Due to the Feast of Sacrifice holiday, there was a density in the old Sumela Monastery in Trabzon’s Maçka area, which was opened to guests after 6 years. Visitors formed lengthy lines as a result of the lack of toll booths and vans, which forced them to wait for hours. Hamdi Ylmaz, the tour leader, remarked, “One of Sumela Monastery’s historic days is currently taking place. In 2.5 hours, we arrived to the monastery.”
After six years of restoration, Sümela Monastery, one of Turkey’s significant historical and religious sites that is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List and attracts thousands of local and international visitors, opened to the public on May 1. It is located in the Maçka district of Trabzon, on the outskirts of Montenegro. Due to the nine-day Feast of Sacrifice event, both domestic and foreign tourists descended upon the monastery.
Visitors to the Altndere Valley National Park are required to park their cars in Trabzon Metropolitan Municipality lots for a fee of 15 TL. Officials and visitors occasionally argue while this is happening. Those who wait in line are taken by minibuses for a cost of 14 TL each to the monastery, which is 2 kilometres distant.
Those that exit the minibus proceed 300 metres along the wooded road before arriving at the monastery’s entrance. Those who have a museum card can enter Sumela here after only a brief wait, but those without a card must wait in large lines in front of the only ticket counter to purchase or pay the entrance charge, which is 125 TL per person.
To enter Sumela at this time, those who have finished their formalities here line up on the stairs. Those who travel from the footpath to the automobile path line to reach the parking lot after the visit. Those who board the minibuses once more are driven to the parking area. Visitors responded by complaining that the population made the toll booths and minibuses insufficient.
Bülent Türkan, who said that he was waiting in line a lot due to the crowd, said:
“We waited in line both below and above. There is a lot of intensity but despite everything, it was nice to see the monastery.” Murat Yılmaz said, “There is chaos at the ticket office. No precautions have been taken. We waited too long. The museum is hard to enter without a card. It is also very difficult to get this card. We waited for a very full queue as we came and went. A better organization could have been made.”