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Underground City Discovered by Chance in Turkey | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An underground 18-storey city that was discovered by chance in Turkey (Photo: Getty Images)

Ankara – Coincidence led archeologists to discover an ancient underground city, with 52 chambers, in Turkey’s central Kayseri province. The new city was reached after shepherds and local residents informed authorities about a cave in the area of Gesi, which has seen excavation works by a team of archeologists since 2014.

The researchers discovered the 80-meter long Belağası Underground City.

Dr. Osman Özsoy, head of the team told that they were previously within the borders of Melikgazi district and started working in the Belağası district after notification from locals and shepherds. He noted that they discovered a church and different structures on the surface of the mountain near the underground city.

Özsoy highlighted that the underground city could be the first of its kind in Turkey to have more than 50 chambers.

The discovered city of Belağası differs from all other underground cities in Cappadocia, one of the most important touristic cities in Turkey.

Özsoy noted that while underground cities in Cappadocia were built in a vertical fashion, Belağası was built in a horizontal manner, which is a common feature among underground cities in Kayseri province.

Underground cities were built by ancient peoples as a means to seek refuge from invasions. They offered living space, transportation, food storage, drainage and more.

Cappadocia in Turkey is particularly famous for the Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu underground cities, which were carved out of unique geological formations and have become popular touristic attractions.