Malatya canyon to become rafting center

Malatya canyon to become rafting center

MALATYA - Anatolia News Agency
Malatya canyon to become rafting center

The Girmana Canyon is 5.7 kilometers long and features sharp and rocky places, natural terraces as well as a 3,300-meter long rafting area. AA photos

A canyon in the eastern province of Malatya could soon become a hotbed for mountaineering, rafting and trekking thanks to the local municipality’s efforts to attract adventure tourists to the natural wonder.

“A 4,200-meter-long circuit [for rafting], a 700-meter-long railing, 11 pergolas, as well as 25 picnic tables and bridges in the canyon have all been constructed. Some 11,000 pine trees have also been planted,” said Kaya Akgül, the mayor of the local town of Girmana in the province’s Hekimhan district.

The canyon, also called Girmana, is 5.7 kilometers long and is known to have been formed 35 million years ago.

Various organizations helped contribute 1.1 million Turkish Liras for the rearrangements in the canyon, which features sharp and rocky places, as well as natural terraces. Akgül also said the canyon lies on the fabled Silk Road.

“The river has a 3,300-meter-long rafting area. We have formed a rafting club in the district, but we were not able to buy boats because of financial problems,” he said.

He also said they would construct 10 bungalows for visitors in the canyon, allowing tourists to stay in the area from Friday until Monday.

‘Calm weekend in nature’

“People will be able to spend a calm weekend in nature with their family. We have determined the places where these houses will be built. In this way, this canyon will be opened to tourism and will become an indispensable area in the province.”

Akgül also related a story from the 19th century in relation to plans to reconstruct a historical bridge over the canyon.

“A young man was crossing the river using the branch of a pine tree. One day, however, the branch broke and the young man died. [His lover] sold her dowry and had a bridge built over the river in order to prevent the death of other people. This wooden bridge, known as the Maiden’s Bridge, served in the region for many years but collapsed through time. As part of this project, we will have this bridge rebuilt to keep the memory of these young people alive,” the mayor said.