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TURKEY  TOUR     A tewelve thousand year old civilization. Anatolia is,in a sense,an accumulation of years. Articles that appeared in periodicals and papers,in books and documentaries and my during  my radio interwies,and,last but not least the exhibitins in museums were all based on the cultural soil and backgound of Anatolia,yet,what constituted the essential source...
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TURKEY  TOUR

 

  A tewelve thousand year old civilization. Anatolia is,in a sense,an accumulation of years. Articles that appeared in periodicals and papers,in books and documentaries and my during  my radio interwies,and,last but not least the exhibitins in museums were all based on the cultural soil and backgound of Anatolia,yet,what constituted the essential source was infinity of written and visual aids.

A TWELVE THOUSAND YEAR OLD CIVILIZATION

            ANATOLIA

 

REF”GÜROL SÖZEN”

 

 

 

 

 

TURKEY TOUR 

 

DAY 1 İSTANBUL-DIYARBAKIR

ARRIVE TO İSTANBUL AIRPORT . TAKE A FLIGHT TO DIYARBAKIR. ARRIVE TO DIYARBAKIR. CHECK IN KERVANSARAY HOTEL. AFTER LUNCH IN LOCAL RESTAURANT. AT LEAST 5000 YEARS OLD, DIYARBAKIR IS ONE OF THE OLDEST CITIES IN THE WORLD. IT IS A FASCINATING CITY ENCIRCLED BY A MASSIVE PARAPET BUILT OF JET-BLACK BLOCKS OF BASALT. IT IS A CITY BASED ON A ROMAN PLAN WITH FOUR GATES. WITHIN THE CITY THE HISTORIC AND THE MODERN MEET.A WALKING TOUR TAKES US TO THE FORTIFICATION WALLS, THE ANCIENT WALLS OF DIYARBAKIR. STEPS LEAD TO THE TOP WHERE THE VIEW IS OF THE SPRAWLING METROPOLIS. THERE WILL ALSO BE TIME TO VISIT ULU THE (GREAT) MOSQUE FROM THE SELJUK PERIOD, AND THE 3RD CENTURY ARAMAIC CHURCH OF THE VIRGIN MARY. DINNER AT HOTEL

DAY 2 HASANKEYF –MIDYAT-MARDIN  

AFTER BREAKFAST WE WILL DRIVE TO HASANKEYF STOPPING ON THE WAY IN BATMAN TO HAVE SOME TEA. DESPITE ITS UNUSUAL NAME, BATMAN IS A BUSTLING BIG CITY. A GREAT DEAL OF PETROL OIL IS TAKEN FROM HERE. 40 KM AFTER BATMAN WE WILL ARRIVE TO HASANKEYF . HASANKEYF IS SITUATED BY THE TIGRIS RIVER. IT IS SAID THAT THE TOWN IS GOING TO BE SUBMERGED UNDER THE WATERS OF THE TIGRIS SOON BECAUSE OF A DAM THAT IS SCHEDULED TO BE BUILT.THE HISTORY OF HASANKEYF GOES BACK THOUSANDS OF YEARS.WE WILL SEE THE RUINS OF A MEDIEVAL CITY PERCHED ON CLIFFS ABOVE THE TIGRIS AND THE REMAINS OF A MEDIEVAL BRIDGE BUILT IN 1116. THE BYZANTINES MADE THIS PLACE A FORTRESS WITH THEIR STRONG STONES. HERE THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF CAVES, HIDDEN WATERWAYS, TOMBS, A LARGER AND SMALLER PALACE, AS WELL AS RUINS OF THE GREAT MOSQUE. IN THE NORTH OF THE CASTLE THERE ARE TWO HIDDEN WATERWAYS. WE WILL ALSO HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE EL-RIZIK MOSQUE,THE VALLEY WITH CAVES, THE MINT, AND THE STONE BRIDGE. AFTER THE HASANKEYF AREA WE WILL CONTINUE TO MIDYAT TO SEE MOR GABRIEL MONASTERY.  THE MOR GABRIAL MONASTERY, NEAR HASAN KEYF, HAS BEEN INHABITED BY THE SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS FROM ABOUT 5C. ACCORDING TO ANCIENT TRADITION, THE MONASTERY WAS FOUNDED IN 396 BY THE AGED SAMUAL OF ESHTIN WHO FLED FROM THE LAND OF THE PERSIANS.THE MONASTERY CONTINUED TO BE PLACE OF LEARNING FOR MANY CENTURIES, PRODUCING CHRONICALS, COMMENTARIES AND MATERIAL ON THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS. TODAY IT STILL HAS A RESIDENT BISHOP AND A SMALL COMMUNITY OF MONKS AND LAY ASSISTANTS.WALKING TOUR IN THE OLD PART OF THE MIDYAT CITY.DEPART TO MARDIN.CHECK IN ERDOBA KONAKLARI SPECIAL HOTEL. WALKING TOUR ON OLD BRICK ROADS OF MARDIN TO SEE THE MARDIN MARKETPLACE, KASIMIYE TEOLOGICAL SCHOOL AND THE KIRKLAR CHURCH AND MARDIN MUSEUM. . WE  WILL ADMIRE THE MARVELOUS STONE MANSIONS OF MARDIN ALL DAY LONG. DINNER AT RESTAURANT

DAY 3 MARDIN-HARRAN 

AFTER BREAKFAST  WE’LL VISIT VERY WELL PRESERVED DAYRULZAFERAN MONASTRY SUPPOSEDLY USED VERY EXPENSIVE SAFFRON POWDER IN THE MORTAR. WE WILL DRIVE TO SANLIURFA.TAKE A LUNCH AT RESTAURANT.AFTER LUNCH WE WILL DRIVE TO HARRAN, ON THE SYRIAN BORDER. IT IS A TOWN OF THE REGION OF URFA. HARRAN, IS A FAMOUS CITY FROM MESOPOTAMIA TIMES, A MYSTICAL AND ANCIENT VILLAGE OF “BEE HIVE” HOUSES BUILT OF MUD BRICK. GENESIS SPEAKS OF THIS TOWN AS THE PLACE WHERE ABRAHAM AND HIS FAMILY LIVED.TODAY’S HARRAN IS NOTED FOR ITS CURIOUS BEEHIVE SHAPED DWELLINGS AND ITS BIBLICAL CONNECTIONS. AT THE SAME SITE WE WILL TOUR THE FIRST ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY OF THE WORLD.IMAGINE, WE WILL BE DRIVING THROUGH THE ANCIENT LANDSCAPE OF MESOPOTAMIA! IT IS BEAUTIFUL NATURAL COUNTRYSIDE WITH FERTILE VEGETABLE AND FRUIT FARMS AND COTTON TO BE HARVESTED.DRIVE BACK TO URFA. CHECK IN EL-RUHA HOTEL NEAR THE ABRAHAM’S LAKE. DINNER AT HOTEL.

DAY 4 ŞANLIURFA-KAHTA-MOUNT NEMRUD  

AFTER BREAKFAST WALKING TOUR IN OLD URFA CITY AND BAZZARS. OUR VISIT CONSIST OF ŞANLURFA’S ESSENTIALS SUCH AS HALIL RAHMAN MOSQUE, PROPHET  ABRAHAM CAVE, HOLY FISH POND (BALIKLI GÖL, LISTEN TO THE STORY OF THIS POND AND SEE THE MARKS ON EACH FISH) AND URFA CASTLE; THEN WE’LL HAVE OUR REGIONAL LUNCH AT LOCAL RESTAURANT.AFTER LUNCH WE’LL DEPART FOR MOUNTAIN NEMRUT. ON THE WAY TO NEMRUT WE’LL STOP OVER AT TURKEY’S LARGEST DAM ATATÜRK. ATATÜRK DAM PLAYS GREAT ROLE OF IRRIGATION FOR THE WHOLE PLAIN. HERE WE WILL GET A BRIEFING ABOUT THE DAM AND FUNCTIONS ON SA PROJECT. PROCEED TO ADIYAMAN, KAHTA EN ROUTE WE’LL HAVE OUR LUNCH AT ACROPOLIAN RESTAURANT NEAR BY THE LAKE. TIME TO WIND UP MT. NEMRUT WITH GROUPS OF 9 AT EACH MINIBUSES SINCE NEITHER BUSES NOR CARS CAN CLIMB UP TO TERRACES, EN ROUTE WE’LL VISIT CENDERE BRIDGE AND KARAKUS TUMULI. AFTER OBSERVING WORLD FAMOUS SUNSET, WE’LL GO BACK TO OUR HOTEL IN KAHTA. MOUNTAIN NEMRUT IS ACTUALLY FAMOUS FOR ITS SUNRISE SCENERY. FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO BE THE WITNESS OF THIS MOMENT ARE WELCOMED TO WIND UP VERY VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING AGAIN.DINNER AT HOTEL.

DAY 5 KAHTA-GAZİANTEP 

AFTER BREAKFAST DEPART TO GAZIANTEP. A PANORAMIC CITY TOUR PAYING A VISIT TO THE GAZIANTEP ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM WHERE  WE WILL GET THE CHANCE TO SEE THE SPECTACULAR MOSAICS SAVED FROM ZEUGMA ANTIQUE SITE.TAKE A LUNCH AT LOCAL RESTAURANT. IN THE HISTORICAL TEPEBASI DISTRICT, VISIT SOME FINE BUILDINGS TYPICAL TO THE MID-NINETEENTH CENTURY SOUTH EASTERN ANATOLIAN ARCHITECTURE. THE MISSIONARY HOSPITAL AND SCHOOL CONSTRUCTED AT THE REQUEST OF TEPEBASI’S MERCHANTS STILL STAND ALONGSIDE A COLLECTION OF SYNAGOGUES, MOSQUES,  ROMAN CATHOLIC, PROTESTANT, AND ORTHODOX CHURCHES IN THE HISTORICAL DISTRICT.  AT THE CENTER OF THE DISTRICT IS THE SIRA HANI, THE LARGEST AND GRANDEST OF THE CITY’S HANS, OR TRAVEL LODGES, FEATURING KITCHENS, ANIMAL STALLS, AND GUESTROOMS THAT WELCOMED BOTH WEALTHY MERCHANTS AND REFUGEES. DURING WORLD WAR I, TEPEBASI WAS A DESTINATION FOR ARMENIAN REFUGEES, WHOSE CRAFTSMANSHIP IS STILL VISIBLE IN INTRICATE IRONWORK, CARVED STONE ARCHES AND COLUMNS, BASALT ORNAMENTATION, AND COLORFULLY TILED COURTYARD FOUNTAINS. SIGHTSEEING TOUR AND FREE TIME FOR SHOPPING IN THE COPPER AND MOTHER OF PEARL WORKSHOP BAZAAR. DINNER AT AN AUTHENTIC RESTAURANT WHERE A LARGE, RICH, DELICIOUS VARIETY OF KEBABS AND DESERTS WILL BE SERVED OVERNIGHT IN GAZIANTEP.

DAY 6 GAZİANTEP-ANTIOCH

AFTER BREAKFAST DEPART TO ANTIOCH. ANTIOCH WAS THE HEADQUARTERS OF ST. PAUL’S MISSIONARY JOURNEYS. IT WAS THE THIRD LARGEST CITY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, RIVALED ONLY BY ROME AND ALEXANDRIA. STS. PETER, PAUL, BARNABAS AND TIMOTHY ALL PREACHED IN THIS PLACE WHERE JESUS FOLLOWERS WERE FIRST CALLED CHRISTIANS. AFTER LUNCH AT DAPHNE VISIT THE CAVE CHURCH WHERE ST. PETER FIRST CELEBRATED MASS. SOUTH OF THE CHURCH, THE IRON GATE WAS ONE OF THE ACTUAL ENTRANCES OF BIBLICAL ANTIOCH; STROLLING THROUGH THE OLD PART OF THE CITY, YOU CANNOT HELP RECALLING THE SAINTS WHO WALKED THESE OLD STREETS, FOR LITTLE HAS CHANGED SINCE THAT TIME. THEN DRIVE TO SELEUCIA PERIA MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS THE PORT FROM WHICH ST. PAUL AND ST. BARNABAS SET SAIL FOR ANATOLIA ON THEIR FIRST MISSIONARY JOURNEY (45-46 AD). VISIT THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS FOR A BIRDS EYE VIEW OF THE HARBOR, AND THEN VISIT THE FAMOUS TITUS WATER TUNNEL. .CHECK IN HOTEL. DINNER AT RESTAURANT

DAY 7  ANTIOCH-ADANA-MERSİN

AFTER BREAKFAST VISIT THE ANTIOCH MOSAIC MUSEUM AND DRIVE TO ADANA.LUNCH AT KEBABCI RESTAURANT NEAR THE ADANA LAKE.DRIVE TO TARSUS, THE BIRTHPLACE OF ST. PAUL, AND CULTURAL CENTER OF THE ROMAN AND BYZANTINE EMPIRES, LATER CONTROLLED BY ARABS, CRUSADERS AND MAMELUKES. DRIVE THROUGH THE TAURUS MOUNTAINS AND VISIT ST. PAUL’S ARCH, THE WELL OF THE BLESSED WATER (SAID TO BE ON THE SITE OF ST. PAUL’S HOUSE) AND CLEOPATRA’S GATE (BUILT IN 2 AD AFTER THE EGYPTIAN QUEEN WHO MET THE ROMAN MARK ANTHONY HERE), ST.PAUL’S CHURCH. DRIVE TO KIZKALESI.CHECK IN HOTEL.DINNER AT HOTEL.

DAY 8 KIZKALESİ 

AFTER BREAKFAST MORNING IS FREE.LUNCH AT LOCAL FISH RESTAURANT. AFTER LUNCH VISIT THE HELL & HEAVEN CAVES, DINNER AT HOTEL.

DAY 9 KIZKALESI-CAPPADOCIA  

AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO CAPPADOCIA REGION ON CENTRAL ANATOLIA.ON THE ROAD VISIT THE UNDERGROUND CITY OF  KAYMAKLI.LUNCH AT UCHISAR CASTLE. VISIT THE CARPET, ONYX AND POTTERY SHOPS. CHECK IN HOTEL. DINNER AT HOTEL.

DAY 10 CAPPADOCIA

AFTER BREAKFAST FULL DAY TOUR IN CAPPADOCIA REGION. VISIT THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS, GOREME OPEN AIR MUSEUM. LUNCH AT LOCAL RESTAURANT.PHOTO STOPS AT GOREME, DERVENT,ZELVE VALLEYS.DINNER AT HOTEL.AFTER DINNER TURKISH NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT UNDERGROUND RESTAURANT.

DAY 11 CAPPADOCIA-ÇORUM

AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO CORUM. WE DRIVE ALONG THE KIZILIRMAK (RED RIVER) VALLEY TO THE CAPITAL OF HITTITE EMPIRE, HATTUSAS, AND ITS PANTHEON YAZILIKAYA. YAZLIKAYA IS REGISTERED NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK. THE MAIN SITES TO BE VISITED DATE BACK FROM THE LAST PERIOD OF THE GREAT HITTITE EMPIRE. ON THE WAY TO THE PARK, WE CAN SEE THE BIG TEMPLE AT ASAGI SEVIR THE CITY WALLS WITH THE COLOSSAL DOORS (GATE ARSANLI WITH ITS LIONS, GATE POTERNI AND YER, ROYAL GATE KRAL). IN YUKARI SEVIR, ONE ADMIRES THE 31 TEMPLES BUILT ON THE EDGE OF NISAN HILL, AND THE ROYAL PALACE, THE BIG CASTLE AND OTHER BUILDINGS.CHECK IN HOTEL.DINNER AT HOTEL. 

DAY 12 ÇORUM-ANKARA

AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO ANKARA, CAPITAL OF TURKEY.LUNCH AT LOCAL RESTAURANT. AFTER LUNCH, WE VISIT THE MAUSOLEUM BUILT FOR ATATÜRK AND ATATURK MUSEUM. HERE, ONE FINDS HIS PICTURES AND OTHER EXHIBITIONS RECALLING THE KEY EVENTS OF HIS LIFE AND OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC. OUR GUIDE WILL THEN LEAD US TO THE ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS MUSEUM, PRIZE-WINNING MUSEUM OF THE BEST WORLDWIDE MUSEUMS IN 1995. THIS VISIT WILL BE PRECEDED BY A CONFERENCE ON THE ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS OF ANATOLIA.  CHECK IN HOTEL.DINNER AT RESTAURANT.

DAY 13 ANKARA-İSTANBUL

AFTER BREAKFAST DRIVE TO ?STANBUL .APP.5 HOURS ROAD. LUNCH AT ABANT LAKE.ARRIVE TO ?STANBUL. CHECK IN HOTEL. FREE TIME. DINNER AT LOCAL RESTAURANT.

DAY 14 İSTANBUL

AFTER BREAKFAST FULL DAY İSTANBUL TOUR. TOUR OF “SULTAN AHMET CENTER”, THE HEART OF THE “OLD CITY” FROM WHERE THE BYZANTINE AND OTTOMAN EMPIRES WERE RULED.HAGIA (ST.) SOPHIA, ONE OF THE GREATEST MARVELS OF ARCHITECTURE, CONSTRUCTED AS A BASILICA IN THE 6TH CENTURY BY EMPEROR JUSTINIAN.BLUE MOSQUE, FACING HAGIA SOPHIA, FAMOUS WITH ITS BLUE IZNIK TILES AND UNIQUE WITH 6 MINARETS, BUILT IN THE NAME OF SULTAN AHMET.HIPPODROME, CENTER OF SPORTIVE (CHARIOT RACES, ATHLETICS) EVENTS AND POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF THE OLD CITY. OBELISK OF THEODOSIUS, SERPENTINE COLUMN, GERMAN FOUNTAIN OF WILHELM II ARE THE MONUMENTS DECORATING HIPPODROME. GRAND COVERED BAZAAR, MOST ATTRACTIVE SHOPPING CENTER AND BIGGEST “SOUK” IN THE WORLD WITH NEARLY 4000 SHOPS SELLING ANTIQUES, JEWELLERY, GOLD, CARPETS, LEATHERWARE AND SOUVENIRS.LUNCH DINNER AT LOCAL RESTAURANT.

DAY 15 İSTANBUL

AFTER BREAKFAST VISIT THE SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE, DOLMABAHCE PALACE, BOSPHORUS BOAT TOUR WITH LUNCH. (APP.2 HOURS). VISIT THE  BEYLERBEYI PALACE.DINNER AT LOCAL RESTAURANT.

DAY 16 İSTANBUL

AFTER BREAKFAST DEPART TO İSTANBUL ATATURK AIRPORT.

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