(Sabah Newspaper, 6 January 2014)
//ed. note: another in our occasional looks at the history
Anabasis Road at Kofrakol Yaylası.
The historic road written about in a story called
'Anabasis' from about 400 B.C., has been opened
up for nature tourism. Nature-lovers can yell the
'freedom scream' on Talking Rock and the shops
and baths along the route have been restored.
With support from the Culture and Tourism Ministry,
the project directed by the Macka district Kaymakamlik
(district chief's office) in Trabzon has come to fruition.
District chief Alper Balci explained that the Anabasis
Road Project was financed with private funds and the
project has drawn great interest from nature-lovers in
a short time. Balci went on to say that the route was
used by soldiers trying to reach the Black Sea during a
war that was started against Persian King Artakserkses in
401 B.C. It was later used as part of the Silk Road but
afterwards it was forgotten and abandoned.
According to Balci, "the road is a feast for history and nature
-lovers. Hikers get a great adventure and essentially live history.
We did the road over with this in mind and a fabulous route
has been the result." Balci noted that hikers along the 33
kilometer route can have breakfast in Kusal Yayla (pasture),
climb up on Talking Rock and scream, at Iskobel Yayla, and
then take in the sumptuous view of Sumela Monastery from
He added that "tourists walk under the scent of very special
mountain and forest flowers. They chew pine gum that's
very good for an upset stomach and at Pilav Mountain they
enter a pasture where technology and artificiality have yet
to reach. Once we finish up the infrastructure and get the
word out this road will be a favorite among nature-lovers."
In just the last month about three thousand Turkish and foreign
tourists and made the trek along the Anabasis Road. 'Anabasis'
was written by Greek historian Ksenophon who is said to have
been born in 430 B.C. and died in 355 B.C. The work has been
published in Turkey under the name 'Return of the Ten
The story relates the travel of an army of Greek
mercenaries hired by Kyros, who hoped to take the Persian
throne from his brother Artakserkses. The 'Ten Thousand'
-strong army sets out to reach the Black Sea. Battered by
hunger and exhaustion and losing hope, the soldiers reach
Iskobel Yayla, see the Black Sea and scream in victory.
//Macka district is in south-central Trabzon province.//