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About Turkey

Turkey is as intricate and colourful as the pattern of an oriental carpet. Myth and legend, interwoven with the history of six great civilisations, shape the back­ground of this vast land.

Throughout centuries of opulence and decadence, of conquest and defeat, Turkey has been moulded by the conflicting influences of Orient and Occident. Seat of Rome in the East, known as the Byzantine Empire for centuries, it was also the nucleus of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, which at its greatest encompassed Europe as far as Vienna, together with much of North Africa and the Near East.

Two narrow straits, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus separate the Asian landmass, called Anatolia or Asia minor, from Trachea, Turkey's tiny toehold on Europe. At the crossroads of two continents, Istanbul exemplifies Turkey's dual personality. The city teems with life, stippled and confused by the ebb and flow of mighty powers.

A walk along a fashionable shopping street, a sophisticated evening in a waterfront restaurant and one will be convinced that Istanbul is Western. Then see the crowds crossing Galata Bridge, dodge the barrow‑men wheeling their carts of cucum­bers and tomatoes, penetrate the bustle of the Spice Bazaar or the calm of a great mosque, and the magic of the Orient appears.

The capital being Ankara, Istanbul is still where the heart of economy beats. The country is surrounded with 3 seas, Black Sea, the Agean Sea and the Mediterranean. It is considered one of the most important passageways in the World.

The Agean Coast perfect for blue cruises and Mediterranean for water/sand/sun holidays, Turkey reflects an excellent combination of modern world with an oriental touch.


Ankara

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul.

Centrally located in Anatolia, Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city. It is the center of the Turkish Government, and houses all foreign embassies. It is an important crossroads of trade, strategically located at the center of Turkey's highway and railway networks, and serves as the marketing center for the surrounding agricultural area. The city was famous for its long-haired Angora goat and its prized wool (mohair), a unique breed of cat (Angora cat), white rabbits and their prized wool (Angora wool), pears, honey, and the region's muscat grapes.

The hill which overlooks the city is crowned by the ruins of the old castle, which adds to the picturesqueness of the view, but only a few historic structures surrounding the old citadel have survived to our date. There are, however, many finely preserved remains of Hellenistic,

Roman and Byzantine architecture, the most remarkable being the Temple of Augustus and Rome (20 BC) which is also known as the Monumentum Ancyranum.


Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul; historically Byzantium and later Constantinople) is the largest city in Turkey, largest city proper and second largest metropolitan area in Europe, and fourth largest city proper in the world with a population of 16 million. Istanbul is also a megacity. It is the cultural and financial center of Turkey. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the Europe (Thrace) and on the Asia (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.

In its long history, İstanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.


Izmir

Izmir, historically Smyrna, is Turkey's third most populous city and the country's largest port after Istanbul. It is located along the outlying waters of the Gulf of İzmir, by the Aegean Sea. İzmir has almost 3,500 years of urban past, and possibly that much more of advanced human settlement. İzmir is widely regarded as one of the most progressive Turkish cities in terms of its values, lifestyle, dynamism and gender roles.

The city hosts an international arts festival during June and July, and İzmir International Fair, one of the city's many fair and exhibition events centered around but not limited to Kulturpark, is held in the beginning of September every year. Modern İzmir also incorporates the nearby ancient cities of Ephesus, Pergamon, Sardis and Klazomenai, and centers of international tourism such as Kuşadası, Çeşme, Mordoğan and Foça.


Antalya

Antalya (formerly known as Adalia or Attalia; from Pamphylian Greek: Αττάλεια Attáleia) is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey, and the capital city of Antalya Province. Situated on coastal cliffs, Antalya is surrounded by mountains. Development and investment, began in the 1970s, have transformed the city into a major international resort. Today, Antalya is one of the largest touristic attraction center with its marvellous costs and suitable weather.


Bodrum

Bodrum (from Petronium), formerly Halicarnassus (Turkish: Halikarnas, Ancient Greek: Ἁλικαρνασσός ), is a Turkish port town in Mugla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of the country. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and it faces the Greek island of Kos. Today, it is an international center of tourism and yachting. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times. The Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was here.

Bodrum Castle, built by the Crusaders in the 15th century, overlooks the harbor and the International Marina. The castle grounds includes a Museum of Underwater Archeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year.


Cappadocia

Cappadocia-The Land of the Horses- is a unique and remarkable natural phenomenon lying in the centre of the country. The whole area consists of a beautiful, almost lunar landscape, impossible to believe it exists on this planet.

The first chapter in the long saga of Cappadocia was written by Mount Erciyes -the ancient Mount Argaeus-, which still dominates the region -and of which the Romans believed that anyone who managed to climb to the top of its eternally-snowy summit would be able to see not only the Black Sea but also the blue Mediterranean-. Millions of years ago, the eruptions of Erciyes covered this land with thick layers of mud and ashes and of lava which were later on turned into deep valleys, fairy chimneys and surrealistic cones by the wind, rain and snow.

Then the unexpectedly magnificent fertility of the white dust from the rocks attracted a dense population from the earlier times to this region. And when the first men in these parts discovered that the stone of the rock valleys is as magical as it looks, generations of local people have carved innumerable doorways and rooms in the rocks over an area of several hundred square meters to be used as homes, stables, quarters of an army, chapels, cells, monasteries and refectories. Taking its turn after the nature, this man- made phenomenon is just as remarkable as the landscape itself. And the result is a fairy- tale written by the Nature and Man with the patience of time.

 


MARDİN

 

MARDİN -The city used to be known as "Marde" by the Persians, "Mardia" by the Byzantine, "Maridin" by the Arabs and "Merde-Merdo-Merdi" by the Syriac. These were transformed into "Mardin" after the area was occupied by the Turks.

Having a provincial territory of 12,760 square kilometers, Mardin is located in the area where the Southeastern Taurus Range meets the Arabian platform to the south. The area called "Mardin-Midyat Passage" constitutes a large part of the territory of the province.

The population is 764,033 (2012). Mardin's administrative districts are Dargecit, Derik, Kiziltepe, Mazidagi, Midyat, Nusaybin, Omerli, Savur and Yesilli.

The city is located on the slope of a hill looking down south to the Mesopotamian plains. Mardin is on the rail and highway routes connecting Turkey to Syria and Iraq. According to a hearsay, the history of the city dates as far back as the Flood. The city lived under the rule of the Hurri-Mitani, Hittites, Surs, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs and the Seljuk Turks. Later, the Mardin branch of the Artuklu Kingdom called "Tabaka Ilgaziyye" was established and the city flourished during this time.

The fortress, Kasimiye Medresse, Zinciriye Medresse and Grand Mosque are important historical sites around the city. Other historical assets in the area worth seeing include Dayrul-Zeferan Monastery and Harizm Medresse. The 15th century Zeynel Bey Mausoleum nearby, is attractively decorated with blue tiles.

Dating from 1385, the Sultan Isa Medresse is an interesting, beautiful Turkish monument with its magnificent carved portal.  The Kasim Pasa Medresse, is also significant for its dome of beautiful stonework and the Ulu (Grand) Mosque with its well-decorated minaret, is another sightseeing spot.

The best examples of Artutid architecture can be seen at Kiziltepe, 21 kilometers south of Mardin, with the 13th century Ulu Mosque with its fine mihrap relief and beautifully decorated portal.

The Dara site is one of the most interesting discoveries of the latest excavations near Mardin. It is located on the way to Nusaybin, near the Syrian border.  At Hasankeyf, which is on the borderline with the Batman province, one can see the ruins of the ancient 12th century capital of the Artutids. The bridge which once connected the two parts of the city over the Tigris (Dicle) river and the palace, are others. Hasankeyf will be completely flooded when the nearby dam will be completed, a part of GAP Project.

Deyr'ul Zafaran Monastery is a Syriac monastery 9 kilometers to the east of Mardin, built in the 9th century. At present, it is a visit place and a shelter for impoverished Syriacs. The monastery used to be a religious centre for the Syriac until 1932. One of the biggest of many monasteries existing in the region, Deyr'ul Zafaran has 52 Syriac Patriarchs buried here. The secret section for worshipping called "mahzen" is the oldest part of the monastery. The monastery was enlarged with additional sections built later. Around the structures which form a trinity with Deyr'ul Zafaran, Church of Virgin Mary and Mar Yakup Monastery, there are three fortresses built for protecting the trinity.

Mar Yakup Monastery derives its name from a priest (Marislium). It was later known as "Marevgan Monastery". According to a hearsay, Marbinyamin, one of the heralds of the east had the bones of his oldest disciple buried here. The monastery was also knows as "Marhonesya" for a time.

The museum is housed in the former patriarchate constructed in 1895 by the Patriarch of Antakya, Ignatios Benham Banni. Now restored to its original condition, the building houses collections dating from 4000 BC up to the present day and representing the Assyrian, Urartian, Hellenistic, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Artuklu and Ottoman periods. Pottery, seals, cylinder seals, coins, lamps, figurines, teardrop bottles, and jewelry are among the many and fascinating exhibits.

Mardin has preserved the old-style carving in its houses. Since it is located in a volcanic area, the basic input used in local architecture is easily workable calcareous rock. Houses in Mardin, reflecting all features of a closed-in life style are surrounded by 4 meters high walls and isolated from the street. These walls also provide protection from difficult weather conditions.

Houses have their separate sections for males and females and mostly have no kitchen. The most important feature of these houses is the stone craftsmanship called "Midyat Work". Doors, windows and small columns are dressed with arches and various motif. The central settlement was given the status of urban site area in 1979. Above the house doors are carved pictures of the Kaaba if the owner has made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and the door knockers have a distinctive form resembling the beaks of birds. Often the lanes run through arched tunnels beneath the upper floors of houses. Relief carvings of animals and fruit lend the city a dream-like character, and the modern world seems to fade away.

Syrian Orthodox gold and silver smiths whose work is famous throughout the country still practice their craft here, their workshops side by side with those of Muslim copper smiths. Along with the buildings themselves, it is to be hoped that this living culture can also be preserved.

After the completion of GAP Project, 100,000 hectares of land are brought under irrigation in Mardin. Newly irrigated areas mainly grow cotton which is processed by enterprises in the Organized Industrial Zone. Besides flour products, fruit processing and seed production, Mardin also processes its local grapes. A part of the phosphorus fertilizers which crop farming needs are provided by the fertilizer industries existing in the province.

Besides an organized Industrial Zone, Mardin also has a site for small enterprises which provide employment to 1,140 persons with its approximately 190 work places. Finally, Mardin also has its own Free Trade Zone.

 

 

 

SAFRANBOLU

 

 

 

 

Safranbolu is located near the north western Black Sea coast of Anatolia, in Karabük nearby Zonguldak.  The known history of Safranbolu, dates back as far as 3000 BC.  Once a city of Roman Province of "Paphlagonia", Safranbolu has hosted many civilizations including the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Empires throughout its history. During the Ottoman era the town served as an important junction on the Kastamonu - Gerede (Bolu)- Istanbul route of the famous silk road. Safranbolu was at the same time a popular residence for Ottoman Royalty close to the Sultan and Grand Viziers.

The city received its name from the saffron which is native in Safranbolu. The powder obtained from its flower is a very strong dye. Used in very small quantities, saffron adds a delicate flavor, distinct aroma and a very unique color to deserts and other food in the Turkish Cuisine. It is also used for some Turkish carpets as a unique dye. Also unique in Safranbolu is the famous Çavus grapes with its extremely thin skin and sweet flavor.

Safranbolu‘s  rich historical and cultural heritage through 1008 architectural structures, displays a good example of Turkish architecture, all preserved in their original environment. These structures include the public buildings such as Cinci Hodja Kervansaray and Cinci Hodja Hamam, Mosques of Koprulu Mehmet and Izzet Mehmet Pashas, The Tennaries Clock tower, Old hospital premises, The guild of shoe makers, The Incekaya aqueduct, The old city hall and fountains as well as hundreds of private residences. Rock tombs and tumulus just outside the city are also of interest.

The city, was placed in the world Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO in appreciation of the successful efforts in the preservation of its heritage as a whole, deserving its real name for its houses.  These houses are perfect examples of old civilian architecture, reflecting the Turkish social life of the 18th and 19th centuries. The size and the planning of the houses are deeply affected by the large size of the families, in other words a total members of a big family living together in one house. The impressive architecture of their roofs have led them to be called as "Houses with five façades". The houses are two or three storied consisting of 6 to 9 rooms, each room is entirely detailed and have ample window space allowing plenty of light. The delicate woodwork and carved wall and ceiling decorations, the banisters indoor knobs etc. all come together to form an unmatched harmony of architectural aesthetics and Turkish art.

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Contact

  • Seyrantepe Mah.İbrahim Karaoğlanoğlu Cad.
    Yayıncılar Sok. Sözügeçer İş Merkezi No:7/1
    Kağıthane/ İSTANBUL
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