A construction project that will damage the Munzur Springs, considered sacred in the Alevi faith, has started in the eastern province of Dersim, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Aug. 10.
Munzur River is a stream that runs through the Munzur Valley National Park in eastern Turkey, which is also home to the sacred goats of Dersim.
Nature is a sacred element of Alevi faith, and a project that the Erzurum Cultural Heritage Protection Board approved threatens the vital space of Munzur Springs in Dersim’s Ovacık district.
Approved in 2019, the project was prepared by a sub-division of the Industry and Technology Directorate and aims to “open the area up to tourism,” and “prevent visual prevention.”
The 800-million-lira project was presented as mostly wood, but still plans to construct steel bridges over the water.
Construction of wooden decks over the rocks reportedly began without the input of the locals, municipalities or non-governmental organizations.
The project also designates an area right next to the springs a parking lot, along with a parcel across from the village of the springs.
Picnic areas, camping areas and sacrificial killing areas will also be designated near the village as part of the project.
Entrance fees will also be implemented as part of the project.