Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Visually stunning landscape of calcite deposits forming white travertine terraces
Pamukkale is one of the top ten visited tourisim destination among the archaeological sites in Turkey (2015 DÖSİMM tourism statistics). According to the archaeological site statistics in 2014 there were 1,874,657 visitors and in 2015 there were 1,731,271 visitors in Hierapolis. However in 2016 this numberdecreased to 974,508. This shows and overall a decline in tourist numbers in the recent years. Threats from tourism infrastructure to spring water and natural assets have been reduces thanks to measures taken in line with the management plan.
At travertine terraces there is controlled movement through pedestrian roads. There is only a small part where tourists can enter with bare foot which is controlled by site rangers (private guards).
In 2017, earthquakes in southern part of Aegean Sea have increased but no impacts have been recorded in Denizli Province. The quantity of water within the property is mostly affected by earth movements. The earth movements may change the flow of water within the limestone system. At the moment, there is adequate water for travertine terraces (Consultation with park staff, 2017).
Recent changes in the legislation (Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Draft Law, change in the directive concerning the identification and registration of protected sites, changes in Coastal Law bylaws, EIA Bylaw change, etc,.) all are regulations that would weaken the protected sites and open them up for usage. (Confidential consultation, 2013).
In May 2017 the Draft Law was submitted to the chairman of the Parliament to be discussed in commission. A number of stakeholders continue to express concerns regarding the proposed Law.
For the management of the site, there are several legislations in force for archaeological site, and protection and management of the environment; however, there is little harmonization between the two (IUCN Consultation, 2017).
There is annual funding from the Government but there should be a share from tourism income to ensure a better management (to ensure a better management (
(SOC 2006 Periodic Reporting Cycle 1). A project-funded monitoring of algal flora at travertine terraces and thermal spings was undertaken between 2010-2011 (Çınar Mühendislik 2010). General Directorate of Protection of Natural Assets, through private sector engagement, had monitored water quality and treatment facilities between 2012-2015 (www.csb.gov.tr).
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Ministry of Environment and Urbanization General Directorate for Protection of Natural Assets||Management of Special Environment Protection Area|
|2||Pamukkale landscaping project in 2016||Denizli Municipality|
|3||Pamukkale University||They have been involved in a joint project with the Government of Japan about earthquakes. There are also other projects of the University about the travertines.|
|1||Confidential consultation, 2013|
|2||Culcuoglu, G., Erkan, Y. and Karakul, O. UNESCO World Heritage Turkey, UNESCO Turkey National Commission, 2013|
|3||Dilsiz, C. , 2002, Environmental Issues Concerning Natural Resources at Pamukkale Protected Site, Southwest Turkey, Environmental Geology 41(7):776– 784.|
|4||DÖSİMM. 2014. Müze ve Örenyerleri Ziyaretçi ve Gelir İstatistikleri (Museum and Archaeological Site Visitor and Income Statistics)|
|5||Dösimm. 2016. Müze ve Örenyeri Statistics (Museum and Archaeological Site Statistics).|
Gavra, E. G. 2012. Ekistics monumental heritage in today’s Turkey: current status and management prospects.
Journal Of Educational Research.
|7||IUCN/WCMC Data Sheets April 1988 (updated 4-2005, May 2011).|
|8||International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Advisory Body Evaluation 1988|
|9||Interviews with central and local authorities and site manager, July-August 2017.|
|10||Kılıç-Taşeli, B. 2016. Achievements in the use of Renewable Energy in Turkey's Special Environmental Protection Areas (SEPA): Renewable Energy in SEPAs. Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), V 3(3).|
|11||Nature Law Watch Initiative Members, Ankara, June 2010|
|12||Somuncu, M. (editor), 2009. Türkiye’nin Dünya Miras Alanları Koruma ve Yönetimde Güncel Durum (in Turkish) (Turkey’s World Heritage Sites - Current Status of Protection and Management), UNESCO Turkey National Commission, Ankara.|
|13||State of Conservation (SOC), UNESCO, 1991|
|14||State of Conservation (SOC), UNESCO, 2006 (Periodic Reporting Cycle 1)|
|15||The Nature Law Watch Initiative, Ankara, 2013, (http://www.change.org/tabiatkanunu)|
|16||World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Infobase, Jan 1992.|
|17||World Heritage Centre, UNESCO (whc.unesco.org/en/list/485)|