Chimney rocks located in the Başkale district of the southeastern province of Van were declared a protected area, the Governor of Van Mehmet Emin Bilmez said.
The area is often dubbed “Vanadocia” as a play on the name Cappadocia, the picturesque region around Nevşehir which is known for its unique landscape.
Vanadocia was declared a “sensitive area to be protected indefinitely” with an executive order on Feb. 12.
Not nearly as popular as Cappadocia, Vanadocia nonetheless features chimney rocks as well, structures of pressed volcanic ash that resemble huts.
Located in the Yavuzlar Neighborhood of Başkale, Vanadocia is about 33 kilometers from the district center.
Spread on 20 kilometer-squares, Vanadocia has about 17,000 chimney rocks, 35 caves and 12 “homes” that were carved out into volcanic rocks.