Turkey as a Destination
- Is known as the cradle of civilization since 9000 BC.
- Is central to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
- Is surrounded by seas: The Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean
- Is also acknowledged as Asia Minor; the Asian side of Turkey is referred
to as Anatolia.
- Held grounds for the first known Human Rights Declaration in 1463, 485
years before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Is where Alexander the Great cut the intricate Gordian knot-a phrase
commonly used for “solving diffucult problems” today.
- Is the birthplace of King Midas-The Touch of Midas was said to turn
everything into gold.
- Is the original, and again today’s, destination of the well-renowned
romantic train: The Orient Express.
- Was the center of two of the biggest empires in history, Byzantine and
- Has a 650 year old covered shopping area of 64 streets, 22 entrances and
25.000 workers the famous Grand Bazaar.
- Is the birthplace and home of St. Nicholas, popularly known as Santa
- Is a Republic, founded in 1923, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
- Is where Noah’s Ark landed, at Mount Ararat, Eastern Turkey.
- Is the location for two of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Temple of
Artemis and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
- Has a historical background in three of the world’s major religions-Christianity,
Judaism and Islam.
- Preserves the most valuable silk carpet in the world, in the Mevlana
Museum, with 144 knots per sq.cm. In the 13th century, Marco Polo wrote “The
best and handsomest of rugs are woven here and also silks of crimson and
other rich colors.”
- Is said to have provided the water for the Garden of Eden-from its 2
great rivers-Euphrates and Tigris.
- Is the birthplace of St. Paul for centuries, the sick have drunk from
the well of St. Paul, in Tarsus.
- Is the only country in the world that stretches over two continents,
Europe and Asia.
Geographically, Turkey is the centre between the West and the East, a junction
between continental and peninsular Europe and the immense mass of the Afro-Asian
continent stretching out south and eastwards. The country is a paradise of sun,
sea, and mountains that offers the visitor an ideal climate and a variety of
Historically, Turkey has been the home for many civilizations, such as the
Hitites, Romans, Greeks, Byzantium, Seljuks and Ottomans. The country offers
numerous legendary and historical sites, including the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapý
Museum, Ephesus, Troy, the home of Homeros, Virgin Mary and the ruins of
Culture in Turkey - where three empires reigned each with its own religion, its
own customs and traditions-is very rich in its diversity and forms. Throughout
history many cultures found a home in Anatolia. The handcrafts of jewellery,
embroideries, the traditional theatres, music, and dance and many more aspects
of life reflect the richness of culture in Turkey.
Antalya: The city of Antalya stretches along the bay
its name, and is built at 39 meters altitude on a rocky coastline. One is
immediately struck by the Taurus mountains rising to 3086 meters above this
coastline, intersperesed withvalleys of varying sizes. Land and sea everywhere
meet the beaches stretching for miles or the steep cliffs. The Taurus mountains
against the blue backdrop of the sky, the precipices and especially the caves
close to the sea add another dimension to the beauty of the region. Small and
large streams emerging from the west side of the Taurus water the plains on
their journey to the Mediterranean. This translucent running water, cascading
into the sea at points along the coast, is another attractive sight. The plant
life of Antalya is extremely varied. Every kind of tropical plant can be found
along the coast. Visitors to Antalya are struck by the size attained by the
different species of cactus. When you reach the foothills of the Taurus, you
will see they are covered in the typical Mediterranean maquis, while the forests
are full of thriving oaks and pine trees. The coton and sesame plantations and
citrus and banana groves of the plains have a beauty of their own.
One km. after turning south 57 km. along the Antalya-Kemer highway (in itself a
beautiful ride) one reaches Phaselis. This was settled by the Rhodians in the
7th century B.C. and for many years was claimed to be the most important port
city of the eastern Lycian seaboard. Phaselis has three harbours: the
North harbour, the Military or Protected (enclosed) harbour and the South
harbour, of which the most important is the latter. A 20-24 m. wide avenue runs
throughout the city. The western end is the site of Hadrian's Gate. On either
side of the avenue are sidewalks and shops. Close to these can be seen the
public places like the baths, the theatre and the agora.
Olympos ve Cýralý:Phaselis is in the west part of Antalya and is between
Kemer and Adrasan. After passing Phaselis on the Antalya-Kumluca highway,
signposts leading to Olympos and Cirali will be seen and Olympos can be reached
by following either route. Cirali is the name of the village near Olympos, which
was a port city established in the 2nd century and which continued to flourish
until the 15th century A.D. The famous myth of Bellerophontes is said to have
taken place here. The antique city is on two sides of a beautiful valley. A
sandy beach is found where the town and the valley meet the sea, into which a
mountain stream flows. An hour's walk from Olympos brings you to the natural
phenomenon of Cirali. Known by the local inhabitants as the " burning mountain "
(Yanartas), it is a result of escaping natural gas, whose flames have been
shooting heavenwards for centuries. It is suggested that those who wish to visit
the Yanartas for the first time should be accompanied
by someone from the village.