A CARIAN TOWN IN THE LATMOS MOUNTAINS: HERACLEIA
The Beþparmak Mountain, or Latmos, to give it its ancient name, rises steeply from the shores of Lake Bafa and is considered one of Anatolia’s most sacred mountains.
Tekerlek is the highest peak of Latmos and has, since prehistoric times, served as a cult site for rain, consequently for fertility. In ancient times, the Anatolian weather god and a local mountain god were worshiped here.
Later on, Zeus and Endymion (lover of moon goddess Selene), took their place. During Pleistarchus’ era in Heracleia, a network of stone-paved roads crossing the Latmos was constructed, serving as trade routes for olives, olive oil, the famous Carian honey, and wine.
PREHISTORIC CAVE PAINTINGS IN HERACLEIA OF LATMOS
Recently-discovered cave paintings dating from the 5th and 6th millennium BC have added a new dimension to the history of Latmos. So far, we know of 170 such paintings. In chronological order, Latmos was controlled by the Hittites, Carians, Hellenists, Romans, and Byzantines before coming under Ottoman rule at the end of the 13th century. The large number of caves in the Latmos mountains provided refuge to ‘cloisterers’ (recluses) and eremites (hermits), driven out of Sinai and Southern Arabia in the 7th century to search refuge in the Latmos mountains. Perhaps the most well-known of these was St Paul the Younger, who lived in the 10th century and whose fame spread beyond the boundaries of those countries.
Kapikiri has a population of 320 people. The villagers mostly make their living from animal husbandry, fishing, olives, and beekeeping, while some families make a living from tourism. Our region is located in the most important (from a tourism point of view) culture- and nature-rich national park. Lake Bafa is surrounded by important ancient sites. This is the perfect starting point for excursions to other major historical destinations such as
Alinda and many others.