Tulumtaş Mağarası


Useful Information

Location: South of Ankara, between Tulumtaş and Incek, in Karayatak Hill.
(39.774184, 32.683427)
Open: not yet open.
[20221]
Fee: not yet open.
[20221]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=549 m.
Guided tours:  
Photography:  
Accessibility:  
Bibliography: T. Çoşkuner (2004): Tulumtaş Mağarasının (Gölbaşı-Ankara) Karst Morfolojisinin Jeolojik Yapı Açısından İncelenmesi Hacettepe Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü. 82s.
Address: Tulumtaş Mağarası,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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History

JAN-1992 discovered during the construction of the Ankara Ring Road.
1992 cave explored by the Maden Tetkik Arama (MTA) and development as a show cave suggested.
1996 building permit for the houses on top of the cave.
2004 master thesis by T. Çoşkuner.
18-DEC-2019 contract signed for Tulumtaş Cave Project.

Description

Tulumtaş Mağarası (Tulumtaş Cave) was discovered in 1992 during the construction of the Ankara Ring Road. Close to the road construction site in the area of the village Tulumtaş, a quarry was used to quarry material for the road. After a blast with dynamite the cave was discovered. The cave is quite exceptional as it is located inside Karayatak Tepe (Karayatak Hill), an isolated patch of limestone which is only 5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 30-40 m thick. It was actually the reason why the quarry was located here. The cave was first explored, immediately after its discovery, by the Maden Tetkik Arama (MTA) and development as a show cave suggested. This was a special cave group of the Ministery for Resources, which did a lot of cave exploration in the 1990s but also assessed each cave for its potential value as a show cave. As a result of their work the cave was declared as a 1st degree natural protected area by the Ministry of Culture.

Unfortunately the cave was located in an area, which was developed for the construction of houses. Massive financial interests were obviously more important than nature conservation, and so the cave was quickly downgraded to second and then third class until it became possible to build on the site. Now there is a suburb with 215 "little boxes" houses on the surface above the cave, which were erected by the SS Çevre göl Parlament Yapı Kooperatifi (SS Cevre Lake Parlament Building Cooperative). At the same time the cave, which had been damaged in the entrance section by the blast, was not closed. Locals went into the cave to have a look or have a party, and to leave some garbage. Speleothems were smashed, walls painted with graffiti, and exceptionally intelligent visitors painted arrows on the walls to mark the exit. Unfortunately those arrows point anywhere, and not just to the exit. Finally the cave was closed by a door, but it seems a lot of damage had already been done.

In 2003 and 2004 the cave was explored in detail by T. Çoşkuner. he wrote his master thesis for the Hacettepe Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü (Hacettepe University Institute of Science and Technology) in 2004.

Finally on 18-DEC-2019 the Ankara Valiliği (Ankara Governorship) represented by the Investment Monitoring and Coordination Head Mustafa Irmak, Golbasi District Governor Tülay Baydar Bilgihan, and Golbasi Mayor Ramazan Şimşek signed a contract. The Tulumtaş Mağarası Projesi (Tulumtaş Cave Project) is intended to develop the cave finally as a show cave. It sometimes called the Tulumtaş Mağarası Müzesi̇ (Tulumtaş Cave Museum), it seems a museum at the cave is also planned. It was celebrated with a lot of pomp and published excessively. A budget of 100,000 lira was allocated by the Ankara Governorship Provincial Council. However, at the moment the cave is still closed, and an opening date has not been scheduled.