IŞIK'S 5th ANNUAL NATURE TREK
Students and faculty of Işık University, under the guidance and expertise of Geologist and head of the Şile Volunteers for the Environment Association, Nabi Evren, participated in the 5th Annual Işık University Nature Walk from the village of Hacıllı and through the Valley of Ten Thousand Lakes.Continuing the tradition of the nature walk were Ahmet Burak, Board Member of the Feyziye Schools Foundation, Prof. Dr. Sıddık Yarman, Chairman of the Işık University Board of Directors, and Cem Yurtbay, Işık University Board Member, as well as a team of nearly 50 faculty members, administrators, and students from Işık University.Nabi Evren, Geologist and head of the Şile Volunteers for the Environment Association, served as the group's tour guide for the 2.5 hour walk. Starting with the village of Hacıllı, the group learned that the most important source of income for the village's 300 residents is the production of coal from oak branches. Following a brief tour of the village, the group was ready for its 6 km hike. Five minutes outside the village, the walk started on the banks of the terminal point of the Göksu River, whose headwaters start their 70 km venture in the region near Hereke. The Işık hikers enjoyed a pleasant hike among the Boxwood trees on the way to the Valley of Ten Thousand lakes.
VALLEY OF 11 LAKES
From Göksu Valley, the group followed Mill Stream to reach the first lake. Leaping from boulder to boulder, the Işık trekkers were working up a sweat to keep from falling. And to reach Lake Nazli, the group climbed past the waterfall of Lake Serin.
THE FIRST CHRISTIAN PRISONS
Following the waterfall, southeast of the village of Hacıllı lie the caves of Gürlek. According to the Geologist guide, Nabi Evren, the ürlek caves resulted from a stream carving its way through the underlying rock, creating this space utilized during the Byzantine Empire, prior to the full acceptance of Christianity, as a place for imprisoning Christians. He also informed the group that excavations carried out in this location have revealed human bones, pots, water jugs, as well as evidence of cooking fires.
THE HONEY ROCKS
Despite a solid foundation, the Trias limestone formations are called the honey rocks because their cracks are home to honey bees. During the hike, those among theIşık team who wanted to make the climb were able to witness this extraordinary sight up close.