Gaziantep. In the past, the city was called Zugma and was known as a major military base, home to three legions on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire, and as one of the trade centers of the Silk Road. However, it was precisely the numerous mosaics that brought him particular fame, including images of Zeus, Dionysus and Achilles, as well as the mosaic scene of the birth of Aphrodite. There is a mosaic museum here, where you can see 550 square meters of mosaic samples, 35 mosaic panels with amazing patterns, 35 sculptures and a unique “wall of art”.
To the north of the city of Belek in the mountains is the Koprulu Canyon National Park. Its area is 36,000 hectares. Here, along the Kepru River, a canyon stretches, the length of which is 14 km, this is the longest canyon in Turkey. Its depth in some places reaches 400m. Tourists are invited to go rafting on the Kepru River on rubber boats. The National Park is also interesting for 400 hectares of forest where Mediterranean cypresses grow. Such forests in natural conditions are not found anywhere else in the world.
Visit to the Turkish bath. According to Top-mba-universities, TTurkish baths (hamam) are a prominent feature of Turkish culture. In them, visitors warm up and steam out on a hot marble bed covered with a towel, then they are given an intensive massage, washed with soapy foam using a hard hair mitten and, finally, doused with cold water.
As part of a one-day excursion, you can visit the Greek island of Rhodes . According to legend, Rhodes was given by Zeus to the sun god Helios. And having been here, willingly believe in it. Everything on this sunny island breathes with the rich history of ancient Greece, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.
On the excursion Perge – Aspendos – Side you can see the most famous cities of antiquity, the three most important centers of the ancient era. According to some historical information, the first city on the way – Perge – was founded by three participants in the Trojan War. However, the Hittite table found in the village of Bogaz states that the city was called Parga, and if you pay attention to the name of one local goddess engraved on a coin found here, then the history of the city dates back to even more ancient times. In Perge, St. Paul read his first sermon. This city has an ancient theater, Roman baths. The next city is Aspendos. Aspendos is located on two hills. On the “Great Hill” were the acropolis (fortress surrounded by a fortified wall), agora, basilica (meeting place), mausoleum and bouleuterium (municipality), or the Chamber of Soviets. But what makes this city famous is its amazing theatre. The Aspendos Theater, built by the great architect Zenon during the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (in the second half of the 2nd century) with a capacity of 15,000 spectators, has survived to this day in a very good condition. This amphitheater is the best preserved Roman amphitheater in the world. And finally, we get to Side. This is the port of ancient Pamphylia. The largest Greco-Roman city, the center of Christianity – until the 9th century, did not know troubles and decline. Side is a city where lovers of antiquity will find many interesting monuments. You can see the remains of an ancient amphitheater for 16 thousand spectators, a statue of Emperor Vespasian, the Temple of Fortune, Roman baths, a necropolis and an aqueduct. Another attraction lies 7 km from the city – Manavgat waterfall, where the river literally falls into the sea.
A lot of interesting objects are located in the mountainous central part of the country – Anatolia and Cappadocia, as well as in the Black Sea region.
The Anatolian highlands are limited by the ranges of the Pontic Mountains and the Taurus, and therefore less accessible than other parts of the country. The nature of these places is unique – due to the erosion of volcanic tuff rocks, bizarre mountains, countless caves and rocks of amazing shapes arose here. Everywhere there are mushroom-shaped stone remnants crowned with stone “hats” of a different color, which have long been used by local residents for the construction of residential towers. The history of this region is truly unique – such a variety and interweaving of cultures that this region of Asia Minor has inherited cannot be found anywhere else. The waves of migrations of dozens and hundreds of tribes that swept across this land created a unique fusion of the most diverse traditions and customs. Temples, churches and mosques, bridges, aqueducts and caravanserais, mausoleums, palaces and tombs coexist here.
The most interesting places to visit are: Hattushash near Ankara – the ancient capital of the very first Indo-European state of the Hittites; the town of Amasia – surrounded by gardens, groves, and vineyards, the former was once the capital of the Pontic kingdom; Cappadocia is one of the cradles of Christianity, thanks to the activities of Saints Peter and Paul, who lived and preached in the lands of Anatolia, many Christian monks appeared here, settling in the Cappadocia valleys, cutting down entire monasteries in the rocks, still found in these tuff mountains.
The small village of Nebi is famous for the fact that dervishes live here. – representatives of the mystical trend in Islam. The sacred servants of the Janissaries, the dervishes of the Bektashi order, built their main shrine – Hadzhibektash, on the walls of which people are depicted – an unheard-of free-thinking for Islam, in which the image of people and animals is prohibited.
Konya famous for its magnificent gardens, the Inje Minar madrasah (1258) and the monastery of the dervish sect of Maleviya with the tomb of the founder of the sect, the poet Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Din ar-Rumi, are also interesting. In Gaziantep, the ruins of a Byzantine fortress have been preserved, and not far from the city there is a hill on which the center of worship of the god Baal was located. The ancient capital of the Seleucid state – Antakya (Antioch, 300 BC) attracts with the ruins of Roman temples, aqueducts, theaters and catacombs, as well as its Archaeological Museum with a collection of mosaics of the 2nd-3rd centuries. Not far from the city is the grotto of St. Peter, in which the apostle read his sermons, as well as the churches erected by the crusaders (XII-XIII centuries). In Adana, the large Roman stone bridge (II century), the ruins of the castle (782), the archaeological museum and the Eski-Yag mosque are attractive.
Excursion to Trobzon, founded in the 8th century. BC e. Greek colonists. It is located behind the Black Sea ridge Akkush. The ancient Citadel with the remains of the imperial palace (XIII-XV centuries), the church of Panagia Chrysokefalos (“Gold-domed Mother of God”, X century), rebuilt in the XV century, have survived to this day. to the Ortahisar-dzhami mosque, also rebuilt into a mosque, the church of St. Eugenia in the Byzantine style, the church of St. Sophia (XIII century), which now houses a museum, the Orthodox monastery of Sumela (XIV century) and other ancient monuments. And the Black Sea coast itself attracts with beaches and good conditions for water sports.