Gürkan Genç Traveler Scholarship

 http://www.gurkangenc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/gg1.1.jpg Project Name Young Explorers
Project Time 10 Days
Project Deadline 1 June
Who can I apply?

The applicant student must be a member of the Cycling Club of the University s/he studies. The students who want to apply to Route 2 and Route 3 studies of “Unknown/rarely known Anatolian routes project” 2015 summer period are expected to write a proposal about their contribution to this project and to answer the question “Why me?” The exact working plan and period will be determined together with the team of students whose proposals are accepted. The proposals will be evaluated by me and my team mates. For the project “Exploring routes that have a story” thestudents have to apply on behalf of their Cycling Club. The project proposals for the route of “2016 Young Explorers Anatolian Bicycle Festival” will be presented at the “4th Bolkarlar Bicycle Festival” which will be held at June 27- July 1, 2015.
Application address: demiratliadam[at]gmail.com

Supply gear and finance for Young Explorers

  • Gurkan Genc Scholarship financial support: 2000TL (contribution of myself and my followers. It might increase with the donations till August 1st which also depends on how far I’ll ride) (My support page)
  • The income from the sales of Iron Men dessert at Ankara Damla Patisserie for one year (This dessert is baked for this project by Bahadir Duman)
  • Four bicycles from Gungorler Bisiklet
  • Two Husky Bizam-3 tents from Gurkan Genc Scholarship
  • One week free holiday at Ahmet Alacam’s sea side camping place at the project end.
  • The gear and financial support will be delivered to my team mate and the project coordinator Nuzhet Turker.

Young Explorers Project


Gurkan Genc’s “Young Explorers” project is a comprehensive project searching and presenting unknown/rarely known Anatolian routes and also routes having a story through supporting the work of young Turkish cyclists, mainly university students.

A. Unknown/rarely known Anatolian routes

The three years project “ Lycaonia – Cilicia Birota routes” is a part of the unknown/rarely known Anatolian routes project announced by “Young Explorers”. Its aim is to re-discover rarely known (or forgotten) old Roman roads connecting Karaman to Mersin. In this project Turkish university students from different regions will take part. Among the proposed routes Route 1 and Route 2 were explored by the members of Cukurova University/Adana Bicycle Team in August 2014. Their first hand impressions have been shared on my web page under the headings “Riding through history” and “In the footsteps of nomads” (http://www.gurkangenc.com/en/routes)

Brief introduction of the project

The project routes are based on old Roman roads (mentioned in the Peutinger map) connecting inner Anatolia to Mediterranean coast traversing Bolkarlar mountains part of the Taurus range. The Romans established roads to the remotest places they occupied in order to keep the territories they occupied under control. Also, Anatolia was webbed with such roads. These roads were of importance for commercial and military purposes during antique period and also during the spread of early Christianity. An important portion of these roads have become the infrastructure of the modern roads. While some are still used locally, the remaining roads have mostly been forgotten or are rarely known. Many of these routes coincide with the routes of the migrating nomads.

One of the four main roads connecting Iconium (Konya) to Pompeipolis (Mersin) an important city of antique period mentioned in the Peutinger Map is the road which traverses through Ad Fines (presumably Dedeli plateau) and Tetrapygia (Kemer plateau). [This road is mostly forgotten and main part of this presently dirt road is used by the migrating nomads]. The first stop of this road is Laranda (Karaman) which was an important road junction during antique period. From here there are four roads reaching Mediterranean cost.

  1. Karaman – Bucakkisla – Ermenek
  2. Karaman – Sertavul pass – Mut (Klaudiupolis) – Silifke (Selukeia) [Nowadays the modern Silifke-Karaman road]
  3. Karaman – Magara (Kirobasi) – Uzuncaburc (Diokaisareia) – Silifke [Nowadays partly paved side road connecting villages]
  4. Karaman – Yesildere (Ibrala) – Taskale (Manazan) – Buyukkoras – Kucukkoras [The old Roman road from Eregli (Heraklia) to Magara (Kirobasi) through Divle and Percin pass crosses at Kucukkoras with this road. This paved road a short cut between Ayranci and Mersin is used regionally]–Ad Fines (Dedeli plateau)–Tetrapyrgia (Kemer plateau)

Route 1 and Route 2

Supported by “Young Explorers” project, the GPS coordinates of Route 1 [Huyuk plateau – Berendi – Taskale – Dagpazari (Koropissos) – Alahan Monastry] and Route 2 [Gozne – Kizilkaya – Topasir – Huyuk plateau – Kikpinar plateau – Sari lake – Akrep – Yazi lake – Ala lake – Karatas] was recorded during August – September 2014 riding through both routes. Works on both routes are in progress.

Route 3

The study area of 2015 summer period is the old Roman road starting from Karaman through Tetrapyrgia. This Roman road forks at Tetrapyrgia.

  1. Tetrapyrgia – Arslankoy [Efrenk] – Findikpinari – Kuzucubelen – Mersin [This route interconnects mountain villages of Mersin along which are many medieval fortresses]
  2. Tetrapyrgia – Dumbelek pass – Tirtar – Yavca – Yenikoy – Belenkeslik – Mersin or Tırtar – Evcili – Gozne – Mersin [This route interconnects mountain villages of Mersin along which are many medieval fortresses]
  3. Tetrapyrgia – Sorgun – Avgadi (Aydinlar) – Koramsali – Arslanli – Bozburun (Kayaci) – Cet Tepe – Erdemli (Kalanthia) [This route interconnects mountain villages of Mersin along which are many Cilician city remains]

Route 4

Another route which will also be studied during 2015 summer period is partly following the route called “Footsteps of Olba princess. It follows: Karaman – Magara – Uzuncaburc [Diocaesarea] – Olba – Kizkalesi (Korykos) – Mersin [Pompeipolis]

Routes 5, 6 and 7 will be studied during 2016 and 2017 summer periods.

Route 5

  • Magara – Musurdum well – Hacpinar canyon – Sultan plateau – Goedet – Meyil mountain – Kizilcesme – Karaman [This route follows partly the road called after English Said Pasha (1882) governor of Konya]

Route 6

  • Old Roman road following the route Konya – Gokyurt – Ermenek [migration route of Sarıkeçili nomads]

Route 7

  • Old Roman road following the route Konya – Karaman – Bucakkisla – Ermenek [migration route of Sarıkeçili nomads]

B. Exploring routes having a story

In this frame the students are expected to submit a proposal describing the route having a story on behalf of the Cycling Club of the university they study. A route might have a story covering a sociological phenomenon, historical happening, an archaeological site, animal migrations, endemic plants, a geological happening, a geographical site etc.

The project proposals are to be presented at the “Young Explorers Anatolian Bicycle Festival” which will be held each year. The winning project will be the route of the next festival which will be guided by the team of the project

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