türkçe links to original Turkish article
(HaberTürk Newspaper, 13 March 2016)
Treasure hunting as a spectator sport.
Five years ago excavations were conducted in a field in Yörecekler
village of Bigadiç (pronounced with an Italian NY accent 'biga ditch'),
in Balıkesir province, in search of 40 camel-loads of gold that were
said to be buried there. Now, different people have received
permission to excavate from officials.
The rumor that there were 40 camel-loads of gold in a cave in
Yörecekler spurred treasure hunters into action 5 years ago. The
five compatriots excavated with machines, under the watch of the
Gendarmerie, but found nothing.
Gold digger Maviş in hot pursuit.
Today, 5 years later, Muhammet Dalgıç of Artvin and Halim Maviş
of Bigadiç have rolled up their sleeves. Maviş, a fisherman, dove
into the nearby Simav creek, close to the cave where the gold is
supposed to be buried. There, Maviş noticed an underwater entrance
to the cave, prompting Maviş and Dalgiç (who surname means
'diver' !) to request permission to search for the treasure.
Once the excavation started up, again with Gendarmerie supervision,
curious citizens from surrounding areas began to come to the site.
As a result, the coffeehouse in Yörecekler village has overflowed
with customers. Treasure hunter Maviş explained that "while I was
swimming, I saw an entrance way to the cave and I decided to do an
official excavation. With prayers, a sacrifice and good will, I wanted
to do a different kind of treasure hunt."
It must have been these guys that buried the gold.
"I'm expecting to find between 60 and 70 tons of gold. Right now
I'll reward those who have come to watch with my prayers and love.
Yörecekler village has looked after me for 20 years. God willing,
I'll reward them many times over. I'll do everything I can for the
villagers and settle here, God willing."
As for his partner Muhammet Dalgıç, he said that "I came from
Artvin. My friends and I have a common idea. Halim has led the
way." One of the treasure hunters from 5 years ago, İbrahim Duru,
noted cautiously that "there's not much to say. We were intent
before but nothing came of it. God willing, this time will be better."
Bigadiç district is in south central Balıkesir province.