Waterfall feeding world-famous valley in danger of drying out
Toygun Atilla - Hürriyet
A river originating in the Aegean province of Muğla’s Fethiye district and reaching the Butterfly Valley is in danger of drying out due to the unauthorized use of the hotels, motels and hostels around the world-famous natural wonder.
The valley, which was named after the 80 different butterfly species it shelters, draws the attention of its visitors with its outstanding nature and plant diversity including endemic plants.
Situated in the neighborhood of Ölüdeniz on the foothills of world-renowned Mount Babadağ, the waterfall surrounded by 350-meter-tall cliffs is a popular destination for adventure junkies.
But there is no trace of the old state of the river flowing from the waterfall in the valley, which is the only source that feeds the nature up to the point where it reaches the Mediterranean Sea, according to Hürriyet daily.
Residents of the Butterfly Valley and environmental volunteers investigated the reason for the translucence of the water in the stream and eventually found that pipes were laid in the streambed.
The pipes led to hotels, motels and hostels in the vicinity and the steam was directed to these businesses.
A complaint was filed with the Presidential Communication Center (CİMER) after the pipes laid to draw the water were photographed and the findings were registered.
Hasan Gürbüz, the chairman of the Anatolian Tourism Development Cooperative, who holds the operating rights of Butterfly Valley, was one of those who made the complaint.
Speaking to Hürriyet daily, Gürbüz underlined that the nature on the water route is under threat.
“If the use of spring water by businesses continues in this way, there is no doubt that many trees and plants on the water route, especially Butterfly Valley, will dry out and the ecological structure of the environment will change as of this summer,” Gürbüz said.
Noting that it is not possible for the businesses on the route of the spring water to use the water, Gürbüz warned that if the situation is not intervened, the natural wonder, especially the valley, will turn into a desert.
“Natural wealth and resources are under the rule and disposition of the state. The right to search and operate them belongs to the state,” said Mahir Işıkay, a lawyer, emphasizing Article 168 of the Turkish Constitution.
“It is illegal for these enterprises to use water without permission by laying pipes in the region where the Butterfly Valley is located,” Işıkay added.