Locals discover canyon in Turkey’s east
The canyon, dubbed Saklıkapı, which means “hidden door” in Turkish, is located in Akuşağı village.
Fethi Ak, the local who discovered the canyon around a dam lake in the region, shared the images he took on social media and with the academics of the Elazığ’s Fırat University.
Located within the boundaries of Baskil and Keban districts, the canyon stretches out over a distance of 2.5 kilometers and is as deep as 200 meters. It draws attention particularly for its rich flora and fauna.
The canyon was examined by the university’s geography department’s Professor Taner Şengün and academic Muzaffer Siler. Officials’ goal now is to add the canyon to a list of the region’s tourist hotspots.
Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Ak said that they did not know the existence of the canyon, which is close to their village, until a few months ago.
It was when Ak went to look for mushrooms around the Karakaya Dam Lake that he found the canyon. He immediately shared photos he took of the canyon on social media.
He later got in touch with the university’s academics.
“I used to see such places in documentaries and I was amazed by them, but it turns out that we have had one near us all this time. I have never imagined that there would be such a great place in our region, I’m so delighted. I hope it will serve tourism within a short time and everyone will come to see it.”
Şengün said that the Saklıkapı Canyon was an important gain not only for Elazığ and Turkey but also the world.
“The canyon is a natural beauty. It has a big tourism potential for the tourism of Turkey and Elazığ. It is a very young canyon in terms of its formation; you can easily walk there. The walking paths are very suitable to walk. One of Turkey’s most attractive canyons in terms of natural beauty and formation mechanisms is now reachable in Elazığ,” he said.
Şengün said that the canyon could be easily reached by car or by boat through the Karakaya Dam Lake.
“Not only this canyon, the Karaleylek canyon in the region, various historical settlements through the Fırat Valley, and the Karanlık Cave in Akçatepe village are also very attractive in the region. New routes can be created with new tourism plans,” he added.
Siler said that it was the only canyon in the east of Turkey in terms of its characteristic structure. He said that they saw rock blocks that fell from high slopes and fossilized remains of underwater creatures that lived thousands of years ago amid these rocks.
“We had the opportunity to visit the canyon from start to finish. It has a walkable ground. It consists of two parts. One is 600-700 meters and the other part is about two kilometers long. At first, the canyon has a wide valley floor, then narrows and rises with steep walls,” Siler said.