Most of the region’s fairy chimneys and rock-cut churches are found in Nevşehir, scattered around the districts of Ürgüp, Avanos and Göreme. With a spectacular landscape entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme Valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. The area also contains the villages of prehistoric cave dwellers and underground cities of traditional human habitation dating back to the 4th century. Included in UNESCO's World Heritage List, Göreme keeps unique natural features that display a harmonious combination of natural and cultural landscape elements.
Trabzon, whose history stretches back into very early times, is a hub of cultural and natural riches in the eastern Black Sea Region. Located on the historic Silk Road, the city has been a melting-pot of religions, languages and cultures for centuries. It played an important role in history due to its harbour and vital position on the legendary Silk Road. Such was its fame that Marco Polo visited the city in the 14th century. Trabzon has also been an inspiration for such other world-renowned travellers as Xenophon, Evliya Çelebi, Fallmerayer and Frunze, who visited the city and immortalized it in travel books and manuscripts. To the far east of the Sumela Monastery, the Çamburnu Coast, where migrating birds rest amidst the golden pine trees, is a lovely area for those who would like to have a short break for photographing the wavy sea. One of the symbols of Trabzon is the Uzungöl Nature Park located 95km from the city. The park has a rich flora and stunning wildlife, and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are accommodation facilities, picnic areas and trekking routes for visitors. Besides natural wonders, Trabzon dazzles the visitors also with a cuisine of considerable charm that offers in the city restaurants many local dishes of great flavour found nowhere else in the world.
When approaching Alaçatı, the first eye-catcher for the visitors is the windmills that embrace the sky with their white sails. The windmills some of which have been here for more than a hundred years point out the good relation between Alaçatı and the wind. When sea view is available, many colourful windsurf boards dancing on the water welcome you. If your visit comes across with the Kite Festival, you can witness to a visual feast of the kites dominating the sky. Centre of the Windsurf Alaçatı and the wind have always been together throughout history. This is Alaçatı’s distinctive feature from the other coves in the Aegean Coast. And this is why windmills decorated its hills. Today, the never-ending wind makes Alaçatı a windsurfing heaven. For windsurfing fans, one other charming fact is that the sea never gets wavy. As the well-known Turkish captain and navigator Piri Reis has told, the sea in Alaçatı is like a dough sheet. What is more is that the sea depth is not more than one and a half meter even far from the coast. All these reasons make Alaçatı one of the most popular seven windsurfing centres in the world.
There are substantial grounds to claim that the most significant archaeological discovery of the 21st century is the Göbeklitepe. First of all, it dates back to 12 thousand years ago. In other words, it’s approximately 8 thousand years older than the pyramids and 7 thousand years older than the Stonehenge. Furthermore, it is even older than the human transition to settled life. Therefore, contrary to the widely held view, it proves the existence of religious beliefs prior to the establishment of the first cities. Findings of researchers at Göbeklitepe shows that a religious class existed even at such early ages, division of society into social classes took place well before the widely assumed dates, and perhaps the first agricultural activity may have been conducted in the region. The site is also remarkable with the first patriarchal thought, the first terrazzo flooring and the first statues and reliefs of the Neolithic Age. As a result, all this new information has been added to the collective knowledge of humanity and into the history books. On the merits of its contribution to human history, Göbeklitepe was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018. While the discovery of Göbeklitepe site took place in 1963, the first scientific excavation started in 1995, eventual findings of which added new pages to the history, changing long standing assumptions. Rather than being used as a settlement, the area actually served religious purposes and contain a number of temples. In that respect, it is not only the oldest centre of worship, but also the largest one. Although six of those temples were unearthed to date, on the basis of geomagnetic surveys, the total number of those monumental structures is believed to be twenty, with all temples sharing a resemblance to each other, making this entire region suggestive of being a centre of faith and pilgrimage during the Neolithic Age. There are six-metre-tall T-shaped stone pillars, carved with reliefs of animals, erected to form circles. Those carvings that maybe the earliest three dimensional depictions of animals carved into stone are testament to the artistic ability of our ancestors. Professor Klaus Schmidt, who had led the excavation work in the site for 20 years, firmly stated that the T-shaped stone pillars represented human figures since some of them have carvings of hands and fingers.
For more than 1500 years İstanbul was the capital of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. With one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe, İstanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents. The Bosphorus courses the waters of the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn through the city’s heart. İstanbul's fate has been sealed by its vital strategic location and its enchanting natural beauty. For more than 1500 years it was the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. It was beautified accordingly with magnificent monuments and became a metropolis where diverse cultures, nations and religions mingled. Those cultures, nations and religions are the small pieces that form the mosaic of İstanbul. İstanbul’s most important building works started in the Byzantine period and the city was then embellished further during the days of the Ottoman Empire. Modern and Traditional Together It is İstanbul's endless variety that fascinates its visitors. The museums, churches, palaces, grand mosques, bazaars and sites of natural beauty are countless. As relaxing on the western shores of the Bosphorus at sunset and watching the red evening light reflected on the other continent, you may suddenly and profoundly understand why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build a city on this remarkable site. At such times you can see why İstanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities in the world. İstanbul is Turkey's most developed and largest city, with the latest discoveries indicating that the history of human habitation there goes back some 400,000 years. The purple years of İstanbul may have started in 330 when Emperor Constantine declared the city the capital of his empire – royal purple is the colour of the Byzantine imperial family. Until 1453, when it was conquered by the Ottomans, the city served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. During the reign of the Byzantines, İstanbul was adorned with a number of great monuments, which made it the most magnificent city in the world, even during the declining years of the empire.
Cumalıkızık is a settlement where the time seemingly stood still and the residents managed to have avoided the negative effects of modern lifestyle, which changes, even eradicates traditions and cultures while offering comfort. The friendliness of the people, together with its timber, stone, and mud-brick houses, vividly displaying the historic features of the Ottoman civic architecture, makes the village very attractive. Indifferent to a world where the maxim "nothing endures but change" is the norm, the village not only retained its historical features and cultural values, but also kept its natural beauty intact, and therefore, rightfully deserves to be called the "living Ottoman village". With all these features, Cumalıkızık is included in UNESCO’s Tentative List together with Hanlar Bölgesi (the historic caravanserais district) and Sultan Religious Complexes of Bursa. During your visit to Cumalıkızık you will feel as if you are travelling back in time and walking in the narrow alleys lined with timber-built houses and monumental trees in an Ottoman village which existed for hundreds of years. Experience Ottoman Culture and Traditions Cumalıkızık , with its 700 year history is nearly as old as the Ottoman state. It is just half an hour drive from Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman State, which is renowned for monumental tombs and mosques of the first Sultans. The narrow alleys where no motor vehicles could enter and the old houses, which are among the best examples of Ottoman civic architecture, let the visitors experience the history in its real sense. Three centuries old village mosque is one of the unique and noteworthy structures of the settlement. The villagers typically dress themselves in traditional attire and make their own breads as their forefathers did, leading a lifestyle similar to that of the Ottoman era. Their neighbourhood relationships, as well as their reception of the visitors, reflect the traditional Turkish hospitality.
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