Underground city to open to visitors

20th Dec 2012

Tourists could soon be allowed to visit an underground city in Turkey, dating back to the early days of Christianity.

The historic settlement is in the Midyat district of Mardin, a province in southeast Turkey. Archaeologist Lozan Bayar, who works for the Mardin Municipality Protection and Supervision Office, said there were plans to restore the city and open it to visitors from all over the world.

But the site is so large that so far archaeologists have not yet been able to access all of it.

Reports were first written on the location - known as the Sogutlu Underground City - three years ago and the documents were sent to the Diyarbakir Council of Monuments.

Bayar said archaeologists had known the city was there before the project started but had not been aware of its size. They have now found it covers a large part of the Midyat district with two main entrances and one in the north side.

He said there are still parts of the settlement, created in the fourth and fifth century, that have not yet been explored and added that there were similar underground cities in the Cappadocia region of Turkey.

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