Turkey’s southeast lures thousands of skiers
Thanks to the investment support from the Eastern Anatolia Development Agency (DAKA), the Hakkari Ski Center has become one of the major ski resorts in the region.
Hakkari usually remains under a thick snow cover for about six months during the year, which makes it a perfect location for skiers.
The ski resort attracts people from nearby cities. Also, visitors from Iran and Iraq, Turkey’s neighboring countries, flock to Hakkari to enjoy the facilities.
Last year, during the entire season, the Hakkari Ski Center lured some 30,000 visitors. This year, additional ski tracks were launched. Also, around 15 million Turkish Liras (around $2.3 million) has been invested in a new chairlift, whose ropeway is around 1,200 meters long. Other investments were also carried out to increase the capacity at the resort.
As a result of those work, the Hakkari Ski Center managed to attract around 50,000 people over the past three-and-a-half months versus 30,000 visitors in the entire season last year.
“The ski resort is around 12 kilometers from Hakkari city center. Snow can pile up to three meters at certain spots in the resort,” Emin Yıldırım, the provincial director of youth and sports, told Anadolu Agency.
Convenience in transport gives the ski resort certain advantages over other similar facilities in the region, according to Yıldırım.
He noted that the skiing season starts in December and lasts until the end of May.
“We can still ski here while other parts of the country enjoy the spring. We have a 685-meter-long tele ski and another 1,165-meter-long chairlift ropeway here. This is a perfect place for skiers with high snow quality. We are seeing a strong increase in the number of visitors this season compared with a year ago,” Yıldırım said.
He also underlines that a tender has been held for the construction of a hotel which will host up to 120 visitors.
“If construction work for the hotel is completed next year, we will resolve the accommodation problem,” Yıldırım said.
Şirin Adıyaman, a skiing enthusiast, says she comes to the resort usually at weekends, but she does so whenever an opportunity occurs.
“We would like to welcome people all over Turkey at this ski center. We are having great fun, enjoying a picnic with our families and friends.
“People coming to the center with their families create a warm atmosphere in the city. And new investments made in the resort encourage people to do this sport,” she added.