Unknown fairy chimneys demand to serve tourism
Following the success of operations by security forces, the Başkale Municipality now wants the district to receive its share from tourism.
The rock formations, created by the lava from the volcanic Yiğit Mountain, 33 kilometers away from the city center, are similar to the fairy chimneys in the Cappadocia region in the central Anatolian province of Nevşehir. This is why the area is called Vanadoccia. Besides the rock formations, the area also has 35 inns and 12 rock-carved houses.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the district governor and deputy mayor Abdulselam Öztürk said Başkale was one of the old districts in the eastern Anatolian region. He said the district had not been developed for years because of terrorism and as soon as he took the post, he accelerated projects in the areas of tourism, economy, community and culture.
“Başkale is too rich in terms of historic and cultural richness. The district is home to the 1,700-year-old St. Bartholomeus Church, where it is believed lies the grave of Bartalmay, one of the apostles of Jesus the Christ,” said Öztürk.
“In addition, the tablelands and the fairy chimneys, known as Vanadoccia, have tourism potential. Unfortunately, terrorism has prevented the promotion of these places. Even though they were promoted, people were prevented from coming here. Now that terrorism has been defeated, we have started work to revive tourism here,” he said.
Öztürk said they were ready to do their best for those who want to invest in tourism in the region, adding that it had been a big loss that the region had not gained tourism. “We have created a special area in the center of the district resembling fairy chimneys and travertines,” he said.
Nuri Kaplan, who has been working in Başkale as a teacher for three years, said the natural beauties of the region had not been promoted enough.
“Similar structures to Vanadoccia can be seen in Central Anatolia too. These regions draw tourists with investments and promotions. We want Başkale to be promoted, too. Many teachers and health personnel are working here. Our door is open to everyone who wants to see the beauty of the district,” she said.
Teacher Tuğba Koçyiğit said the fairy chimney-like formations in Başkale had been hidden for years because of terrorism. “If tourists come here, it will have positive impact both culturally and economically. I will do my best to promote this place,” said Koçyiğit.