New Underground City Opens To Tourists In Guzelyurt

 2007-06-26 Tuesday

   One of Cappadocia’s important underground cities, Gaziemir in Guzelyurt, was opened to tourists on Sunday. Aksaray Governor Sebati Buyuran, Garrison Commander Ali Inlek, Chief of Police Department Sabri Yakar and many guests attended the opening ceremony of the underground city.Excavation Chairman Guzin Karakoy, who brought the underground city into tourism, said they unearthed the city, which could not have been uncovered for many years, in six months with a 25-person excavation team.Karakoy said they had started working in four cave entrances and reached new sections as they had cleared out the soil.

  Gaziemir underground city dates back to the Byzantine period. Karakoy said it is larger than similar cities in Aksaray and made up of a bath, two churches, animal shelters, depots, small and big cookers and living spaces.

  “While other underground cities are high enough just for a normal person to walk through, the ceiling of this city is higher. During our excavation work, we found camel bones. This proves the city’s big size. The width of joint use areas and the height of the corridor opening to big rooms, is appropriate for big size animals like camels,” said Karaköy.

  Governor Buyuran said the Cappadocia region had an important richness. “We have work from the Neolithic period, Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. But we have a lot of work to do to present this richness to tourists. One of them was to open Gaziemir underground city to tourists and we did it today.”

  The first visitors of the underground city were a 10-person tourist group including German, French, Hungarian, Chinese and Japanese tourists. Karakoy introduced the underground city to the tourist group.