TOURISM POTENTIAL OF GÜLNAR GEZENDE (MERSİN) CANYON

Ahmet ATASOY

Cevat ERCİK

Gezende Canyon is located in Gulnar District of Mersin. In the geography where the karst topography has expended, landforms that are intresting than each other have emerged. In Gulnar, where limestone formations reach a significant depth, underground and aboveground karst is quite diverse. Among the objects, subject to natural tourism, there are shapes such as cave, canyon valley, blind valley. In this study, Gezende Canyon and bed pits (potholes) were examined in terms of tourism.

Geomorphologically, Gezende Canyon is located in the half-graben area of Ermenek Stream. As tectonism was effective in the formation of the graben, karstic processes were effective in the deep eroding of the valley.  As Ermenek Stream, which is settled on the fault line, eroding its bed towards to the deep, marble and limestones which belong to The Jura Period were detected at the bottom. Ermenek Stream, which has flood regime has caused a vortex motion in Gezende Canyon by the means of the rock blocks and pebble stones it has dragged. With this vortex motion that has been going on for millions of years, bed pits have formed in Gezende Canyon. These pits are 1m. in diameters and 2-3 meters depth and consist of thousands examples in 4 km. section of the valley. These bed pits, which are single or compound examples are either suspended or scattered at the bottom of the valley. Due to their intresting features, these shapes are of great importance in terms of Adventure and Nature Tourism.  Therefore, Gezende Canyon has been examined in terms of Alternative Tourism types.

To this end, intensive field studies were carried out and negotiations were completed around Gezende Canyon. In order to embody the subject, the necessary datas related to the field was provided and each one was explained in terms of tourism. The subject is explained by drawing physical maps, temperature, precipitation, lithological and geological maps related to the field.

In the conclusion of the study, a number of issues related to the canyon and bed pits have been identified. A number of recommendations have been submitted for these issues. After all these studies, it was concluded that the canyon and bed pits should be brought to tourism. In order to have a susatainable tourism activity in the canyon, Gezende Canyon along with its bed pits should be declared as a natural park.

Key words: Gülnar, Canyon, Bed Pits, Tourism, Jeomorfotourism.