DPT (State Planning Org.) Project

This page will be updated regularly and Work Packages will be written in English.
Comments and suggestions are all welcome.



  • The city Erzurum is located on a high plateau of ~1900 m altitude.
  • The site is covered with high East, North and South mountain ranges which make the site well hidden in a high altitude plateau (Erzurum plateau) preventing from sudden weather activity occurring in North (colder Black Sea region) and South (hotter Middle East and Mediterranean Sea).
  • The selected site, "Karakaya Tepeleri", has a ~3170 m summit on a mountain range of 2500-3170 m altitude.
  • Urbanization direction is well hidden in the foothills of the other mountain, "Palandöken Dağı" (3170m) which is along the opposite compass direction. In addition to this there exists a mountain range with heights around 2500 m between the city and the cite.


  • Both road transport and the cable car, wired communications, electricity and water have been completed.


  • The city can be reached by air from major cities of Turkey (duration is at most 2 hours).
  • It takes ~5 min from the airport to the city center.
  • The Konaklı center just beneath the Karakaya Tepeleri is ~30 min away from the university campus by car on an asphalt road. To reach to the summit there exists two cable cars which takes about ~5-20 min (depending on the season). If the cite is not covered with snow one can reach the summit by a car on a gravel road (~2-3 km).


  • Meteorological data have been collected since 2008.
  • A continuous data have been taken from both local stations and radiosondes of Regional Meteorological Directorate. Radiosondes are launched twice per day (noon and midnight).
  • Prevailing wind direction is due South and mean wind speed is usually fixed at a low value.
  • The inversion layer which was calculated via meteorological balloon (launched twice per day; noon and midnight) measurements is around 2100-2500m which also depends on the seasons. If there are higher clouds passing over the mountain ranges they cool down and settle on the plateau, clearing the site's sky.
  • The most promising meteorological parameters that promote the site's chance in IR observations were minimum humidity (1-3%), min humidity night count (approximately 5-10 days/year) and mean wind speed (approximately 2.3 m/s for the last 3 years).


  • In addition to these numbers, average clear night counts for the last 3 years were 288 (2008), 267 (2009) and 297 (2010). Even in the high seasonal variation times (April and October) clear night count is around 20 days/month.
  • A short-term DIMM observation (12 days in total with different atmospheric conditions from severe to steady) gave the minimum and median seeing values as 0.45 and 1.06 arcsec, respectively. A complete DIMM observation will be carried out starting from mid-2011.
  • The site's longitude is also favorable for network of telescopes. The closest potential large class telescopes around the site are:
    • China (Far East/LAMOST 4.9m)
    • Caucasus (North/BTA 6.0m)
    • Spain (West Europe/MPI-CAHA 3.5m)
    • ING (West/WHT 4.2m; GTC 10.4m)
  • The site can be counted as the 3rd highest point which is going to have a potential 3+ or 4+ class telescope (1st: Mounakea; 2nd: Arizona; 3rd Karakaya Tepeleri; 4th Haleakala).