The Lower Euphrates Basin is hoping to compete with tourist-friendly areas like Bodrum through new culture-tourism projects in an effort to further promote tourist traffic in the area in a project headed by the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality.

Though already a popular travel destination, the south-eastern Gaziantep region hopes to further boost its tourist traffic through its Euphrates Basin project. To further enhance the natural beauty of the Euphrates River and its marked place in history, Gaziantep municipality has opened the area opposite Rumkale to tourism.

Using the unique coast of Bodrum as an example coupled with environmental considerations, the municipality’s first plans for the area include a new marina and coastal beautification.

Aside from shoreline improvements, restorations of Republican period stone houses, similar to those found in Bodrum, as well as a hiking trail and cable car are in the works. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the unique nature of the area, both from the ground and from the air by next year.

While enjoying local dishes in the marina’s quaint restaurants, visitors can gaze at the half-submerged Ulu Mosque and Savasan village, featuring old, abandoned structures and its famous “black rose.”

Inspired by Bodrum

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Fatma Sahin said the River Euphrates was a great treasure for the area.

Recognizing the city as the star of the region, she also explained that new projects were crucial to maintain the touristic flow, stressing every opportunity will be taken to open the Euphrates area to tourism.

Implying they want to use the Euphrates effectively, Sahin said: “In order to utilize the Euphrates better, we need to conduct coastal planning in the area. We have created a joint project with development agencies and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and we are starting a quick coastal plan. The application project will be designed this week. We will pass into the tender phase next year.”

“High quality marinas, like those in Bodrum, will also be here. We have an amazing opportunity to combine belief and culture tourism. There are houses from the Roman period in the Kamisli area, which have now been restored. We plan to establish boat and coast tours in order to complete all of them. We currently have a boat. We will also promote cultural and historical heritage sites, like Rumkale and Halfeti, along with Euphrates’ natural beauty,” Sahin said.

Source:  Daily Sabah

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