Rock Carvings Discovered in Bekilli Make Impressions in the International and National Press

Rock carvings considered to belong to the 3rd century BC were discovered in Denizli by researcher Ümit Şıracı at 2 different points in the Bekilli district. Pamukkale University Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kutluhan said, “We aimed to focus on rock carvings. Many centers were established abroad in this field. We are also planning to establish the first research center in Turkey.”

It was stated that the carvings, which were found as 33 figures engraved on the rocks at two different points in the countryside of Bekilli district, showing that the Turks settled in Anatolia much before 1071, were engraved on the rocks by shamans in the pre-Islamic period. In addition to Tatar and Kipchak stamps, figures frequently seen in Central Asia were found in the carvings. It is stated that it dates from the 3rd century BC to the 19th century. PAU Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kutluhan and PAU Art History Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Mustafa Beyazıt examined the area where the figures were located.

Prof. Dr. Beyazıt: “We Can Say It Clearly, We Were Here Before 1071”

PAU Art History Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Mustafa Beyazıt who expresses that the rock carvings found belong to the 3rd century, said: “We identified 33 figures here. Each figure has its own significance. We have clues that they were built from the pre-Christian era to a period close to the present day. When we look at the general shapes, shaman motifs are discussed. These take us to Central Asia as a common feature. Excavations continued in the Ottoman period as well. We found the jug motifs. We found Ottoman inscriptions and names. We even saw signs made during the Greek occupation, probably by the Greeks. We think that more rock carvings will be detected in Denizli region. We have been conducting scientific studies on rock carvings for 10 years. 1071 is a period when we took the title deed of Anatolia. Were there Turks in Anatolia before this date? This was a matter of debate. When we look at the Migration of Tribes, we know that there was a settlement in Anatolia. In Byzantine sources, we see that many Turks rose to the rank of general. We can clearly say from our rock carvings determinations that we were here before 1071. These are letters written on surfaces. It teaches a lot to those who know how to read. The tradition in Central Asia continued here as well. It appears as both figures and stamps. The alphabet used in the inscriptions in some places is the Göktürk alphabet. We can say that rock carvings started in the 3rd century BC and continued until the 19th century.”

Rector Prof. Dr. Kutluhan: “Petroglyph Research Center Will Be Established”

Pamukkale University Rector Prof. Dr. Ahmet Kutluhan also said that they will establish a research center. Prof. Dr. Kutluhan said, “Very different rock carvings were found on the rocks in the virgin area. The finds were evaluated by our university. It takes us back in history. It was stated that there are figures before and after Islam. We aimed to focus on rock carvings. Many centers were established abroad in this field. We are also planning to establish the first petroglyph (rock carving) research center in Turkey. The deepest knowledge of Anatolian history is hidden in rock carvings. The deepest information of the history at the point where we came from is hidden in the rock carvings. If we can solve this history, it will be our success. This issue was known in Turkey, but it was perhaps left a little behind in terms of its importance. We will do these studies scientifically,”

The 33 figures identified in two different points in Denizli's Bekilli district, which will change the course of history regarding the arrival of the Turks in Anatolia before 1071, made a great impression in the international and national press.

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