Underwater beauty of Rumkale to open to visitors
The Roman-era ruins located on the outskirts of the historical Rumkale, called the pearl of the River Euphrates, which hosted many civilizations in history, will open to visitors with an underwater project.
Rumkale, which is home to Urartu, Babylon, Sumerian, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations in Yavuzeli district of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, is located in the region where Merzimen Stream joins the Euphrates River in a natural wonder surrounded by emerald green lakes on three sides and steep, steep rocky hills surrounding it.
The castle and its surroundings attract the attention of local and foreign tourists with its natural beauties along the Euphrates in spring, as well as the historical buildings it has.
Rumkale, which is also considered holy by Christians, is said to have been inhabited during the Roman period by one of the apostles of the prophet Jesus and the Bible was copied in a room carved from the rock.
The Culture and Tourism Ministry listed Rumkale as one of Turkey’s 13 most spectacular castles and works are continuing to add the castle to Turkish tourism.
The Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality has previously made landscaping around Rumkale and is now preparing to open the Roman-era ruins located underwater at the foot of the castle.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, Gaziantep Metropolitan Mayor Fatma Şahin stressed the importance of Rumkale for regional tourism.
Stating that they used every opportunity to include the castle in tourism, Şahin said, “There is a castle in Rumkale as old as humanity and there is a life there. The inns, baths and houses built during the republic period have been restored. Then we made a beach arrangement there. We organized the Rumkale Water Sports Competition to promote this place and it was very successful.”
Şahin said that they would realize all projects to reveal the beauty of Rumkale and the Euphrates in the near future.
“Our current target is to carry out two projects that will enable people to watch the Euphrates and Rumkale from the top. One is a cable car, the other is a glass view terrace. The view terrace project is about to be completed. I hope we will complete our project quickly next year. When people get there, they will see the unique beauty of the Euphrates while sipping the famous Menengiç coffee.”
Şahin said that there was a big cultural treasure underground Rumkale as well.
“Under Rumkale there is a great Roman-era history. Our national diver Şahika Ercümen and Derya Can dived there. They said, ‘There is a wonderful history and a wonderful beauty there. We need to introduce it more.’ We are thinking of a project called the Underwater Archeology Institute. It will bring us underwater through glass. We carry out our studies with the related units. We took the photos of places there with special cameras underwater and an exhibition was organized about it. There’s a lot of work to do underwater. We will show such a hidden paradise, the great treasure to the whole world,” Şahin said.