In 2008, TEMA paid for local workers to repair old paths over two major passes. In 2012, a Gençtur volunteer group cleaned up and waymarked 7 day-walks in the Hevek valley (on the south side). Leaflets on these walks are available from the pensions and in Kate’s new Kaçkar book.
We are looking for a sponsor for signposts in the Kaçkar.
Culture Routes Society (www.cultureroutesinturkey.com)
In 2012, Kate and friends set up a Society to support the existing walking routes in turkey. There are now 17 routes, either open for use or about to open in 2013. This website tells you about the routes, the people in the Society, and how you can meet us or support our work. The tasks facing the society are huge - there is no legal framework to protect routes in Turkey and no prospect of one without a huge effort from us and the trail users. Turkey has probably the most extensive network of old trails in the whole of Europe, but we are losing them - to new roads, dams, mining tree-felling and erosion - at a horrifying rate.
Societies such as ÇEKUL, TEMA, the Doğa Derneği (Nature Society) and the Turkish UNESCO National Committee are making heroic efforts to protect immovable cultural heritage.
The government, however, does not have a working, co-ordinated policy to protect its cultural or natural heritage, so every day some valuable artefact, road, site, natural area is irredemably lost. This is the saddest part of living in Turkey. If you can help us in any way, contact the Culture Routes Society.
[updated, december 2012]