In Cappadocia, which is one of the important tourism regions of Turkey, the fairy chimneys, which are neglected and unprotected, succumb to time. The fairy chimneys and natural rock formations that emerged as a result of centuries of rain and wind erosion of the soft layer formed by the lava and ashes erupted by Erciyes Mountain, Hasandağı and Güllüdağ millions of years ago have been home to people for centuries. The process of destruction, which started with the abandonment of fairy chimneys in Göreme town of the central district of Nevşehir, which is the most important center where life is intertwined in the Cappadocia region, continues rapidly since 1985.

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Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University Cappadocia Geological Heritage and Rock Carving Structures Application and Research Center Director Assoc. Dr. Mutluhan Akın said that when there is life in rock-carved spaces, the deterioration process naturally slows down. Assoc. Dr. In his statement, Mutluhan Akın said, “In the rock-hewn spaces in the region, especially the historically opened rock-hewn spaces are in danger of collapse due to the deterioration of ignimbrites over time.

“However, we also see that when there is life in these rock-carved spaces, the natural deterioration process slows down. Because people pay attention to these rock-carved places where they live. For example, when it snows, the snow cover is cleaned or the contact of the rock with the water is reduced with the necessary drainage measures. Thus, the life of rock-carved spaces is increased.”

Fairy Chimneys

“Rock carved spaces should be opened for use”

Assoc. Dr. Mutluhan Akın said, “The opening of the rock spaces in the region for construction or use after the necessary engineering measures are taken is actually important in terms of protecting these rock-carved spaces. Of course, we are not saying that either. It should not be understood that all rock spaces are suitable for use. It is a fact that the volcanic rock that opens inside these rock-carved spaces, which we call ignimbrite, is very sensitive to water effects. In order to be protected from the effects of water, there must be life in it.

When there is life in them, the wear and tear process of these rock-hewn spaces slows down. While the rock-carved spaces with life in them last longer, the historical rock-carved spaces left idle are entering a rapid extinction process. It will definitely make Cappadocia live by those who live in it. “On the condition that this is done consciously, after the necessary engineering measures are taken,” he said.

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