Illegal excavations stir reaction in Myndos
BODRUM – Doğan News AgencyIllegal excavations that have been continuing for the last three months in the ancient city of Myndos in Bodrum’s Gümüşlük neighborhood have elicited the anger of locals due to the lack of any action to halt the activity.
“They’re doing whatever they want in the ancient city. Treasure hunters are looting the national treasures of Gümüşlük, Bodrum and Turkey and nobody is taking a measure against it,” said the deputy district chairman of the Homeland Party and Gümüşlük neighborhood representative Sinan Hıncal.
Members of the Gümüşlük Platform, who informed the gendarmerie and museum officials while also filing a criminal complaint, recently showed the illegal excavations to members of the press.
Members of the platform have discovered four tunnels under the bath, castle and church sections and city walls in the ancient city, which is a first-degree archaeological site. The tunnels of various length, depth and width have been dug by treasure hunters over the last three months.
The platform made a press statement in the area in an effort to stop the looting in the ancient city, receiving the support of some political parties.
“Those who have made a complaint have been threatened. Illegal excavations have been continuing here for three months. They have even started to open two-meter-deep tunnels. We hear that there are some businessmen among these treasure hunters. We feel insecure that these excavations in Gümüşlük Cove in the very center of the neighborhood have not been known and heard by anybody so far. Historical artifacts are being plundered here and nobody knows it and not one person has been detained. How is this possible in a tourism center like Bodrum?” Hıncal said.
Under control of Underwater Museum
Another member of the Gümüşlük Platform, photography artist İbrahim Hakkı Zırh, said the area was under the control of the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum.
“Security measures were taken in the area five-six years ago when salvage efforts started. But for the last five years this place has been left to its fate since the ministry stopped sending money to the excavations. We have seen the illegal excavations and informed the gendarmerie, museum officials and the prosecution about it but no measure has been taken so far. The ministry must urgently provide financial aid to this place and support excavation efforts. Otherwise, there will be nothing left to be excavated in the near future.”
The Gümüşlük Platform members also said they would make a report on the illegal excavations and deliver it to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
Myndos was established at least four centuries before the Common Era.