Caves in southern Türkiye create mystical ambiance for visitors

Caves in southern Türkiye create mystical ambiance for visitors

Caves in Mersin province offers mystical journey to local, foreign visitors

By Serkan Avci

MERSIN, Türkiye (AA) - The caves in Türkiye’s southern Mersin province offer an opportunity to experience a mystical journey in history, health, sports, faith and tourism.

The caves attract attention with their different mysterious stories revealing the traces of civilizations that the region hosted.

Thousands of local and foreign visitors flock to the caves at all times of the year.

- Journey to Ice Age: Gilindire Cave

Gilindire Cave, discovered by a shepherd grazing his animals in 1999 while following a hedgehog in the Aydincik district, contains interestingly figured stalactites, stalagmites, and columns, as well as formations such as cave pearls, flag travertine and shower heads.

The last part of the cave, which was formed during the transition to the post-glacial period with the last climate change at the beginning of the fourth period (Quaternary), is underwater.

Gilindire, which has water approximately 46 meters (151 feet) deep, is also known as "Aynaligol.” The water level of the lake is minus 47 meters, which shows that the cave continues below sea level.

The cave, which was found to keep hydrological and atmospheric data regarding the Glacial Period, is considered the only recording point in the Eastern Mediterranean, covering Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Balkans.

- Story of ‘sacred sleep’: Ashab-i Kehf Cave

It is believed that seven youngsters who refused to worship idols took shelter and slept for 309 years in the early 2nd century AD in the Ashab-i Kehf Cave.

There is not any exact information about the exact location of the cave known as the "Cave of the Seven Sleepers," which is mentioned in surah Al-Kahf in the Muslim book, the Quran.

The cave in the Tarsus district is considered sacred by Christians and Muslims and makes itself special by being included in books of other heavenly religions.

Attracting the attention of visitors with its mysterious story and "mystical" structure, Ashab-i Kehf is filled with prayers.

- ‘Healing’ of water flowing from its walls: Asthma Cave

It is believed that the water flowing from the walls of the Asthma Cave, 15 meters underground in the Silifke district, is "sacred" and good for asthma patients.

The cave in the Narlikuyu district attracts asthma patients from various cities.

With its interestingly shaped stalactites and stalagmites, the cave is also a hub for photography enthusiasts.

- Morca Cave where American mountaineer evacuated

Morca Cave in Anamur district is among the deepest caves in Türkiye.

The cave, where scientists and speleologists go to make discoveries, is also known as the place where various definitions were discovered in the medical world.

The Morca Cave recently became popular following the evacuation of American mountaineer Mark Dickey.

Teams were dispatched to the region after it was reported that Dickey had stomach bleeding.

After doctors approved Dickey, who was treated with medication in the cave, evacuation efforts started Sept. 9. He was rescued Sept. 12.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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