Graffiti near ancient mountain paintings stirs anger in Turkey

The travelers wrote their names in graffiti in the vicinity of the paintings on Beşparmak mountain. (Photo courtesy: Hurriyet Daily News)

A group of travelers who spray-painted their names nearby 8,000-year-old mountain paintings in Turkey have left archaeologists and historians outraged.

The travelers, who were on a trip with the Assos Nature Travelers Group, wrote their names in graffiti in the vicinity of the paintings on Beşparmak mountain near Lake Bafa and then shared photos of the scrawls on social media.

“They shared it on Facebook. They say ‘we leave our trace everywhere.’ God damn your traces!” said former Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum Director and archaeologist Ayşe Temiz in a statement, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

“This is shame; I can’t call it ignorance because most of the people in the group are educated people. This is no different from the Stone Age mind[set].

“Beşparmak Mountain, which was known as Latmos in the ancient era, is home to rock paintings which are very unique in terms of the language of painting. Latmos has been a sacred mountain since the earliest ages. The god of storms was blessed on top of this mountain,” Temiz said.

Assos Nature Travelers Group’s founder and spokesman Gökhan Çapkın has apologized for the actions of the individuals.

“Some people in group painted the rocks. This is unforgettable. We had the same reaction, and I called on our friends there to remove the paint. We cannot approve such a mistake. We apologize to archaeologist and history lovers who showed their reaction. We don’t want to be known as a group that damages history and nature because this is not the way we are. We organize trips to promote and protect the values in the region. As their group leader, it is our mission to intervene against such people, but we failed to see it because it is a large area,” he said.

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Last Update: 12:11 KSA 15:11 - GMT 12:11
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