Ancient Urartian cave rooms in the Çemişgezek district of eastern Turkey’s Tunceli are expected to boost tourism in the city. The cave rooms, which were carved out by ancient people to create a settlement area, will be restored thanks to a project by the local district municipality.
Located in the hidden paradise of Tağar Creek Valley, the prehistoric cave rooms are a natural and archaeological protected site. Although the cavernous holes attract thousands of visitors every season of the year, they are mostly in ruins and have been targeted by treasure hunters for many years. Çemişgezek Municipality has embarked on a project to restore the caves back to their former glory.
Mehmet Güder, district governor of Çemişgezek, authorized the project that was approved by the Fırat Development Agency, a state-funded organization to help the local development of the region. The restoration and the related environmental planning consist of a suspension bridge for ease of accessibility, a walking trail, decorative lighting and restoration of the caves while protecting their historical texture.
“The project will boost tourism in the district that is home to cultural, historical and natural attractions,” Güder said. “We are working extremely hard on this project to ensure that the caves which were human-made nearly 3,000 years ago during the Urartu civilization, a ninth-century B.C. kingdom located in modern-day eastern Anatolia, are accessible and enjoyable to the public. Thankfully Fırat Development Agency has greenlit the project in recent days and efforts will continue according to plan,” he said.