This is the Turkish equivalent of British Caving. It begins by describing lava tubes which are illustrated with many fine colour photos by David Bunnell. This is followed by a detailed account of karst caves, how they are formed, types of passages and surface features. This neatly transforms into the Caves of the Bahamas and their fauna, mainly anthopods or cave shrimps. From the underwater caves of the Bahamas we travel to the caves of the Yucatan and its underwater fauna, again, all illustrated with either line drawings or photos. The chapter on speleothems begins with an explanation of the formation of stalactites, and stalagmites. The various forms of speleothems: aragonite, crystal, spar, Baldacchino canopies, rafts, curtains, balloons, moonmilk, bathtubs, soda straws, deflected stalactites, coralloids, popcorn, showerheads, bell canopies, flowstone, blisters, shields, are described and illustrated by more fine colour photographs. Forty-two cave minerals are described and most are illustrated in colour. The chapter on Caving begins with a brief history of cave exploration. Even Lloyd's descent of Eldon Hole in 1770 receives a mention. Caving in Turkey began in 1850 when Abdullah Bei described some caves near Istanbul. In the first half of the twentieth century caves were mainly explored by archaeologists. In 1955 Dr Temucin Aygen explored and published descriptions of many caves. Organised caving began in 1964 when the MAD (Magura Arastirma Dernegi) [caving club] was formed. Since 1973 BUMAK (Bogazici Universitesi Magura Arrastirma Kulubu) [Bosphorus University, Cave Research Club] have taken the lead, followed by other university caving clubs. Surveying, caving gear, ropes, knots, SRT, photography are all covered in the chapter on Caving. A short chapter on Cave Tourism is followed by descriptions of 45 top Turkish Caves: The first is, Dupnisa Magarasi [Dupnisa Cave] which is located near the village of Sarpdere, in the Demirkoy district of Kirkareli. Well off the beaten track, a 4WD vehicle is required to get to the cave. The cave has three entrances, one of which is the resurgence for the River Rezve. This river forms the border between Turkey and Bulgaria. One chamber is 150 x 60 m and contains some massive speleothems. Another chamber is the hibernation site of the Greater Horseshoe bat. The total length of the cave is 2720 m. The book is concluded with, Longest & Deepest Caves of the World, Largest Chamber, Longest and Deepest in Turkey, a Glossary and 96 references.
Text by Tony Oldham (2008). With kind permission.
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