Foreign Cavers

Bogaziçi University Speleology Club BUMAK was founded in 1973 by Bogaziçi University Students. Initial name of the club was Bogaziçi Caving Club. Founder Nüzhet Dalfes has summarized the aims of the foundation in one of his articles as following: ‘In a country where interest towards nature science is limited within a narrow frame, and where the researches are carried much more by foreigners, the aim is to introduce students speleology and lead them to nature researches.’

With this aim in mind, a clear proof of the clubs scientific approach ‘Outlines of Turkish Karst’ was published in 1975 when the club was still very young. The publication was prepared by ITU Geology Prof. A.M. Calal Þengör who was doing his PhD in University of Houston at those times.

The first cave trip was carried out in 1974 to Yarimburgaz Cave and the clubs activities remained limited around Istanbul caverns for about two years. Although the activities were carried out by a very small number of people, the most salient fact was the determination and firmness of all the members despite lack of equipment and knowledge.

Activities started to spread throughout Turkey with the researches carried in 1976 in Toros area and Karabük-Bulak Cave trip in 1977. In 1978, Ayvaini Cave’s exploration for the first time, which had a 4866-meter length, the pre-explorations of Kirklareli/Dupnisa cave (3150 m), discovery of 10 new caves in Akseki/Cimyayla area, accelerated BUMAK activities. Next year Cimyayla region exploration carried out together with Imperial College team, BUMAK used SRT techniques, which had been used individually beforehand, and concluded the 25 caves’ investigations. Dünekdibi pit with its depth of –192 is still the deepest pit. Cimyayla and Dupnisa reports were published in 1980 as the 2. and 3. publications of BUMAK.

After 1980, BÜMAK has started block explorations in Kastamonu. Within 3 years time around Devrekani, Pinarbaþi, Cide, Azdavay districts more than 20 caves were found and investigated. Around the same dates Mugla / Yatagan, Izmir / Ödemis, Ýznik / Bursa district explorations were carried out. All these works were publicated with BUMAK’s magazine DELTA that was published 7 times until now.

In the year 1989, Dr. Timuçin Aygens’ notification to BUMAK about a deep cave in Anamur Toros became a milestone in BUMAK history. After completing the investigations Çukurpinar pit –1192 and –1429 Peynirlikönü pits were found. The expeditions which took quite a long time to be finished BUMAK has diverged its investigations to the other unexplored sides of Taþeli Plateau.

After completing the investigations around Gazipaþa Plateaus, which was obvious at the very beginning that it would be very rich in caverns, BUMAK will publicize a general outline covering the whole of Taþeli plateau.

BÜMAK, throughout its 30 years with limited resources, has investigated 119 caves for the first time, and publicized them in 14 publications. At the same time it is the only University Club that investigated 2 deepest caves among the deepest 50 caves in the world.

On the other hand, BUMAK within its 30 year-history has created a love for nature among its 450 members, shared the warmth of fire, shared the delight in caving and solidified its greatest value ‘friendship’ that BUMAK has been so proud to have.

Ali Yamaç
2006