Mediterranean Region

Akdeniz Bölgesi

The Mediterranean Region is a mountainous strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea in the south. The Taurus mountain range in the region separates the narrow Mediterranean coastal area from the Anatolian Plateau. Alanya and Antalya are popular resort towns on the eastern portion of the Turkish Riviera. Caves can be found all over the Taurus Mountains, in the foothills and even in limestone hills along the coast. There is even a show cave in a limestone rock protruding into the sea from the town Alanya with a historic castle on top. The area is rich in Roman and Greek remains, is popular for its beaches and the center of Turkeys tourism industry. About 40% of all foreign tourists to Turkey stay in and around Antalya. Most tourists prefer all-inclusive offers and never leave the compound, but some travel to the important sites. So it is easy to understand that numerous caves of the area are developed as show caves.

The Taurus Mountains are the largest and most important karst area in Turkey. In an east-west running band along the coast, up to 200 km wide, between Mediterranean Sea and Central Anatolia, the limestone forms mountains between 2,500 m and 3,000 m asl. The limestones are heavily folded and thrust because of the Alpine orogeny, which is a result of the collision of the European and African plate. Cave development is influenced by the faults and thrusts and by the border to the surrounding insoluble schist.

The central Taurus Region is composed of Permian limestones, which are metamorphic, commonly known as marble. Mesozoic limestones and dolomites occur in over 1,000 m thick layers. They are surrounded by various rocks from Cambrian to recent age. The limestone is often surrounded by an ophiolitic melange from the Late Cretaceous forming an impermeable base or cover.