Storied Mt Nemrut draws tourists to southeastern Turkey
ADIYAMAN - Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s majestic Mount Nemrut, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the southeastern Adıyaman province, continues to draw thousands of Turkish and international tourists hoping to experience its stunning sunrises and sunsets.
Nemrut, located in Adıyaman’s Kahta district, has been preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
It attracts tourists from around the world with its 50-meter-high and 150-meter-wide temple-tombs.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Ekinci, the provincial head of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, said 45,000 tourists, including 14,000 foreigners, have visited the site in the first seven months of this year.
“We’re expecting the bulk of visitors to come in September, October, and November. This year our goal is to top 100,000 visitors,” he said.
Ekinci said this year the country sending the largest number of foreign tourists is Japan.
The mountain summit can be reached after a challenging 800-meter walk, which takes about 40 minutes.
Together with a delegation, Andrii Sybiha, Ukraine’s ambassador in Ankara, also visited Mount Nemrut.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Sybiha said he makes visits throughout Turkey in order to strengthen the cooperation between Turkey and Ukraine, adding that he would like to visit Nemrut again.
Ayşe Başaslan, a history teacher from İzmir in Turkey’s Aegean region, said she came to witness Nemrut’s famous sunrise.
The history teacher said she admired the beauty of the region and would definitely come again.
Statues of Greek and Persian gods are located on the site. A lion and an eagle statue at each end flank the giant sculptures like massive guardians.
The monuments were erected on the orders of the late Hellenistic King Antiochus I, during the Commagene Kingdom, in the first century B.C.
Some legends say the Biblical King Nimrod was buried at the site.
Some Islamic and Jewish traditions state the Prophet Abraham confronted and defeated the evil King Nimrod on the peak of the mountain.