SIRNAK, Turkey

A southeastern Turkish city that has been for years overshadowed by terrorism, wants to become a tourist hub with its historical and cultural riches. 

After being cleared of terrorism, Sirnak province waits to show its richness to visitors with its historical, cultural and religious sites, including Finik (Pinaka) archeological site and castle, Ulu (Grand) Mosque, Red Madrasah, tombs of Prophet Noah, Mem-u Zin and Ismail Ebul-Iz.

Sirnak University professor Sedat Celik told Anadolu Agency that local institutions conduct projects with a development agency to change the negative perception regarding the region.

“This is one of the places that people need to visit. Not much people know about here,” Celik said.

As part of the projects, visitors come from neighboring cities and visit different parts of the city each week to introduce new routes to tourism.

“With these projects, we will introduce here both to the world and our country,” he said, adding that the province will invite domestic and foreign tourists to Sirnak.

The visitors first visit Cehennem Deresi, or Hell’s Creek, region, an attractive natural site located between Idil and Guclukonak districts.

Aysegul Ilhan, one of the visitors, said she came from Batman province for trekking and to discover natural sceneries in the region.

“This region is so beautiful. We want the nature of Sirnak to be discovered,” said Ilhan.

Akif Ozek said he wants the region to become a tourist hub. “Nature here is wonderful and people visiting here are amazed.”

Visitor Murat Sonmez, said: “Actually, Hell’s Creek is a part of heaven. We invite foreign tourists to the region as well.”  

*Writing by Sena Guler

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