Meya ancient city, fairy chimneys await to be discovered
The ancient city of Meya, located in the Diyadin district of the eastern province of Ağrı, had hosted many civilizations catering to their needs of shelter, security and defense and with its fairy chimneys that have been formed by the erosion of rocks in recent times, it awaits visitors to come its discover its enticing beauty.
Meya is home to the places of worship, furnace, living areas, and many caves that have been carved into the steep cliffs of a mountain in the west of Günbdür village of the district center.
Various signs and structures carved into the rocks of the ancient city, which reveals that the region has been a home serving many civilizations, fascinates one with its charm.
Described as the “cradle of civilizations,” Meya resembles Cappadocia with its fairy chimneys that formed as a result of erosion of the rocks over the recent years.
While speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Faruk Kaya, vice-rector and professor at Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University (AİÇÜ), talked about his recent visit to the ancient city, stating that Meya is one of the hidden tourism havens in the country that should be introduced well to visitors.
Noting that the whole region belonging to the ancient city holds considerable tourism potential with the presence of canyon and thermal facilities, Kaya said that the fate of the district could change with the investments if made in these areas.
Stating the ancient city of Meya represents as a castle city, he said: “Castle cities are established for defense purposes. It is an area where water can be found nearby and where agriculture and animal husbandry can be done easily. Here, security was taken into consideration, and a seriously sheltered city was built on the top of the mountain where the castle is located.”
Talking about the caves found in the ancient city, he said, “We see that some of the caves here had formed as a result of natural formation, and some of them were built purposely by the civilizations living here for shelter.”
“Basalt, andesite and tuff, especially in the regions where the caves are located, occupy a large area. Tuff and limestone are materials that are easily carved and corroded,” he said while explaining the composition of the caves.
“As far as we can see in the caves, the tuffs in the rocks here were carved very easily for various purposes and caves were formed,” he added.
Noting that the region depicts history, geography and geology, he said that Studies must be done here, and its potential should be brought to tourism.
He also said that access to the ancent city was easy and that everyone should come and see this place.
“When archaeological research is done and this place is declared as a tourism zone, Ağrı, which is one of the underdeveloped cities of Turkey, and its Diyadin district will develop into a new light.”
Emphasizing that the ancient city should be taken under protection, Kaya said that in absence of adequate measures, the caves could destroy over time to a great extent resulting from natural and human factors, and after a while, there might not be any traces left of the caves to see.
Explaining that they saw fairy chimney formations on the west side of the ancient city and that they generally occur in tuffaceous areas, he said, “Fairy chimneys in Ürgüp, Göreme and Nevşehir regions are a serious attraction in terms of tourism potential.”
“There are fairy chimneys next to the caves here. When we look inside the fairy chimneys, we can see that natural caves have formed,” he added.