More than 100 local and foreign visitors attended the “Nature Sports Festival” in Turkey’s southeastern region of Mt. Cilo, the region recently cleared from the PKK terrorist organization.
Mt. Cilo, the country’s second highest mountain, the peak being at an the altitude of 4,137 meters, is located in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari province.
The three-day festival starting from June 29 was organized by the Cilo Sat Lakes and Glaciers Mountaineering and Nature Sports Association along the Sat glacial lakes at an altitude of 3,400 meters.
Several activities -- including trekking, paragliding, canoeing, swimming and mountain biking -- were organized as part of the festival.
Workers of National Medical Rescue Teams, 112 Emergency Health Services and Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority were also present at the festival.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ersan Basar, head of the Turkish Mountaineering Federation, underlined the importance of the region for mountaineers.
"This region is very important for mountaineers. Unfortunately, it was closed for a long time due to terrorism," Basar said. "We have successfully climbed the summit. I think the number of climbers will increase in the future."
Vladan Cosic, a tourist from Croatia, said: “This is one of the very rare natural places. I came across untouched natural beauty here”
Meanwhile, Hakkari Alpine Commando unit Brigade Commander Emre Tayanc said: “Getting together here from different places gives me a lot of hope for the transformation of this area. we will use this place for tourism, animal husbandry and mining.”
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
In its terror campaign against Turkey, which has lasted for more than three decades, over 40,000 people have been killed, including women and children. (AA)