Kaunos rock tombs to be protected by fences

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In order to preserve the 2,400 year old ancient stone graves in the Köyceğiz district of the western Turkish province of Muğla from those who continue to sit on them while taking pictures despite all warnings, the grave walls will now be covered with wire fences.

Kaunos rock tombs to be protected by fences
The world famous historical rock tombs of Kaunos become more damaged as 
tourists continue to sit on them while taking photos despite warnings. With a 
new decision, the tombs will now be surrounded with wire fences 
[Credit: DHA]

Many people ignore the rules and try to climb to the graves, which both puts their lives in danger and harms the artifacts. Besides a wire cloth that will hopefully prevent people from risking their lives, viewing platforms situated below the stone graves have been built, on the instructions of Ertuğrul Günay, former Minister of Culture and Tourism, who is concerned with protecting both the visitors and history.

Head of the excavations at the ancient city of Kaunos, Professor Cengiz Işık has undertaken vigorous efforts to ameliorate the protection of the historical stone graves, which can be seen from the Dalyan neighborhood.

Examining the site on July 13, 2010, Günay acceded to the construction of viewing platforms so that the visitors will be able to observe the graves from a comfortable area while preserving the stone graves.  The viewing platforms have recently been completed and handed over to the directorate of Fethiye Museum.

Kaunos rock tombs to be protected by fences
Tourists clamber onto one of the rock tombs 
at Kaunos [Credit: DHA]

Despite all the efforts and precautions taken to preserve the artifacts, some people still enter the stone graves in order to take pictures, at the expense of damaging the historical remnants. Even though there are watchmen at the entrance of the site, some people recklessly put their lives in danger by passing a 70-80 meter high alley to take pictures, said Işık.

“Unfortunately there is nothing the institutions responsible of this area can do. They assign watchmen and announce that entrance to the graves is forbidden. However, people neglect this and continue to harm the graves. It is illogical to climb to the graves on dangerous paths filled with stones and pebbles,” said Işık, who has been working relentlessly in order to provide a pleasurable time for visitors while ensuring their and the artifacts’ safety.

Işık continued, “I have talked to Hasan Karaçelik, mayor of Ortaca, and asked to cover the walls of the grave with wire cloths to prevent the climbing to the graves through risky ways. He promised to do it as soon as possible. People knowingly risk their lives. Anytime, someone can fall and get killed. I don’t understand why they choose to cause harm instead of preserving our history.”

Karaçelik said that the preparations have been completed, adding, “The placement of the wire cloth will be completed in a few days.”

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [July 31, 2015]

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