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Dim Cave

Dim CaveIt's the second biggest cave of Turkey. Its height above sea level is nearly same with the height of Alanya Castle (240m). Its distance to the city center is 12km. The road to the cave is asphalt-paved road. Officially the cave was opened to local and international tourism in 1999, but the cave must have given service to humanity in ancient times. I thought like this because the cave's real entrance was taken under control and protection by the committee to make investigations and observations. This entrance faces west and it's not being used now. First it has to be investigated and observed and the authorities opened a new entrance at the opposite direction of the old entrance. The old entrance is very spectacular with its old walls, its height and width.

The valley in front of this cave reaches to Kusyuvasi district and it's called Dim Valley. The village at the right and left of Dim Valley are called Dim Villages. After some investigations about the word "Dim" I found that a place in Russia where Kazan Turks are living today has the same name. At that place there is a river similar with Dim Stream which joins to another river called Bozkir. Kazan Turks have been tortured, they forced to migrate along their history, but they didn't give up. They still keep their autonomy. Sometimes I think that what would happen if they migrated to Turkey. I think this way, because citizens from Dim district are also brave and fighters like Kazan Turks and they use Dim as the name of this district. I would also like to mention some interesting words which come from the word "Dim". These words are "dimi" and "dimilemek". "Dimi" is a noun and means a kin of dress which is made from a thick fabric. And "dimileme" is a verb and means to hike the skirts of the dress called "dimi".

I would like to turn back to Dim Cave. Dim Cave was discovered in 1986 by Dr. Nuri Guldali and his friend. But in 1983 my friend Ali Cirenli came and told me that he had found a cave and he suggested to take photographs of the cave and introduce the cave to Alanya and then to the whole world. We went to the cave and took some photos. In 1984 I went to see Mayor Müstakbel Dim and explained the situation. Then I went to see the deputy from Alanya Ali Kale (Dizdaroglu) and explained the situation to him too. They both said to me not to worry and that they are going to do everything for this cave. In the local elections, which was made in March 1989 I was chosen as a member of the local council. I talked to Mayor Cengiz Aydogan about the cave and he said the same things as the others. While Müstakbel Dim was mayor and Ali Kale was deputy, a road to the cave was opened, though it was not a very good one. Iron fences have been put around the cave to prevent ingress and egress. In 1989 I published photos that I  ook with my son in Dim Cave in my book "Alanya, From Yesterday Till Today". In 1986 Nuri Guldali came to Alanya with a committee and made some investigations and researches in the cave. They established a company together with Kestel Municipality. They made internal arrangements, environmental arrangements, paved the way, bought powerful generators against power cuts and built a restaurant for visitors with spending big amounts of money. The cave was opened to public service in 1999 by the Minister of Tourism. How you can access to Dim Cave? With your own car first you need to drive 6 km to east till Dimcayi Bridge on D-400 highway and after the Dimcayi Bridge you need to turn to the left, pass by the Akrapol Hotel and drive 6km more till Dim cave. Also hourly bus services from the city center.

Now I would like to mention the characteristics of the cave. Alanya's soil is limy and calcareous. With the help of rain this kind of caves are formed under the ground. Stalactites and stalagmites are formed with dropping rain water. When stalactites and stalagmites get longer a vertical integration happens and columns are formed. I've explained how long it takes to form these structures. There is always 4QC or 5QC temperature difference between Damlataş and Dim Caves. In summer Dim Cave is always cooler than Damlataş Cave. In winter and spring, water drops continuously in the cave. These drops form stalactites, stalagmites and columns. The east entrance of the cave was opened by experts  with no damage. When you get there you are welcomed by a charging person who knows Turkish, English and German. You buy your ticket from him and enter the cave. First you go and see the smaller part which is at your right. The structures in this part are look like travertine in Pamukkale. The real entrance that I've mentioned before opens directly to this part. After you see this part you stroll into the bigger part of the cave which is 350 or 360m long and 10 or 15m high. There are lots of different and interesting structures. You can stroll here safely because there are concrete or iron stairs and enough illumination. In the cave you feel like you're in a dreamland. There are thick ropes and iron fences around the stairs and passageways for your safety. There are different parts in the cave. For example there is a Niagara part because of its resemblance to the Niagara Falls. There is a chandelier part because there are chandeliers like the ones you can see in most of the mosques. At the end of the cave is the lake part. The lake here never desiccates even in the summer. When you look at the cracks on the ceiling you can see that they are filled with a solution which is caused by rain. This solution makes cracks safer than ever. Alanya isn't in an earthquake area. Because of this reason all of these stalactites and stalagmites and columns are still standing erect. Don't leave the place without going to Seyrantepe and watch the beautiful view of Alanya Castle. There are lots of different caves in Alanya. We all wish that these caves will be opened to public and tourists who come here will be able to go and see those beauties also. As an example of these caves I can say Gol Cave in Kuzyaka Village, Uzun Cave in Fakircali summer meadow.

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