Mountaineering in Turkey

A glance at a topographical map of Turkey immediately reveals that this is a country of mountains.

Rising in all four directions, mountains encircle the peninsula of Anatolia. A part of the Alpine-Himalayan mountain range, Turkey has mountainous regions of different geological formations. The North Anatolian range skirts the Mediterranean shore.

Turkey’s magnificent mountains and forests are mostly undeveloped, existing as wonderful natural preserves for an extraordinary variety of wildlife, flora and fauna. Two of Turkey’s most famous peaks are volcanoes, both inactive, Mt. Erciyes in Kayseri in Central Anatolia (3917 m) and Mt. Agri (Mt.

Ararat 5137 m) in the East. Other well-known mountain ranges are the Rize-Ka‡kar (3932 m) in the Eastern Black Sea region, Nigde-Aladag (3756 m) in the Central Taurus range, and the Cilo and Sat Mountains (4136 m) near Hakkari in the Eastern Taurus.

The mountainous nature of the country has influenced its cultural evolution. For centuries, nomads and semi-nomadic peoples have migrated annually to the fresh pastures of the higher elevations in the summer. These alpine meadows, called yayla, still represent a firm tie to traditional culture.

For climbers and those interested in mountain geography, Turkey offers a wealth of exploration. Glaciers, volcanoes, and peculiar geological formations such as kars prove irresistible to researchers and students of geology. The challenging terrain offers great opportunities for aficionados of outdoor sports who find interesting experiences on the mountains of Eastern, Central and Southern Turkey. A list of resources to aid an expedition, at whatever level, is to be found below.

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