Ancient gems of Turkey

Are you a touch curious about history or archaeology? Turkey is that the right country for you to work out and travel then. Let’s begin to get together ancient gems of Turkey?

Zorhan Mokoele | TDO local expert from South Africa


By Fatihilhan

I believe Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I am from the Cappadocia Region of Turkey, which is famous for its so-called ‘fairy chimneys’, strange looking rock formations. I like very much trekking in rocky valleys of this region and exploring its splendid nature. Along with that, I have been to many splendid parts of Turkey. I would like to share all of these experiences with you in this blog and introduce my country.

a Turkey based traveler

Göbekli Tepe
When scientists discovered that Göbekli Tepe was built 7,500 years before Stonehenge in England and therefore the Egyptian Pyramids, they were shocked. After that, Göbekli Tepe was included into UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, and 2019 was declared because the year of Göbeklitepe. And, it's believed to be the oldest temple.

This ancient site is open for visitors now. It's located in Örenköy, a village 22 km faraway from Şanlıurfa to the west of it. you'll take a right away flight from Istanbul to Şanlıurfa. Once you arrive in Şanlıurfa, you'll take a minibus or a taxi to travel to Göbekli Tepe excavation site.

The Göbekli Museum(excavation site) is open all year around. You'll visit the museum at 10:00-18:00 from April 1 to day and at 10:00- 16:00 from October 24 to April 1. This entrance money is 45 TRY.

In Göbekli Tepe, you'll be able to see 12,000 –year old stone statues with 1.8 m height. Scientists believe that this site was a gathering point of individuals to perform their religious rituals.

Tip 1: the traditional works and little statues excavated from Göbekli Tepe are exhibited within the Archaeology Museum of Şanlıurfa. So, don’t forget to go to this museum to determine additional works from Göbekli Tepe.

Tip 2: Şanlıurfa may be a historical and traditional city. You'll visit other historical and touristic sites of town like Balıklı Göl, Harran or Grand Mosque and taste its local food.

Do you believe that people built a modern and crowded city 9,000 years ago? In Çatalhöyük, they did and set the first example of urban life of mankind. People of the ancient city were engaged in farming to make their living.

To go to this interesting place, first, you must fly to Konya, a city in the middle of Turkey. Then, you must go to Çumra, a district of Konya. Çatalhöyük is 10 km away from Çumra to the east of it.

You can visit this museum all year around. From April 1 to October 1, it is open at 10:00-19:00 and from October 1 to April at 10:00 17:00; and closed at weekends. Currently, there isn't an entrance fee for this site.

What will you see or find in Çatalhöyük? You will see an ancient city with estimated 10,000 population. You will see the traces of mankind’s urban life. There are separate houses, but they have no doors and windows.

People used to enter their houses from roofs of houses. They garnished their houses with paintings and figures. They buried death people with their jewelries underneath of houses. You will find many other things about Çatalhöyükt that are interesting and captivating.

Tip: When you are in Konya, don’t forget to eat the traditional food of Konya, etli etmek, and visit the tomb of Mevlana.

Assyrian Colonies
We can see first traces of mercantile culture in these colonies. About 4000 years ago, Assyrians established an international trade system in Turkey. They brought tin and weaving products from their country and exchanged them with gold, silver and copper in Turkey. They formed three colonies in Turkey. The most important of these trade centres is Karum.

Karum is 23 km away from Kayseri to the east of it. You can visit this site all year. Around, and there is no entrance fee. To go there, first you must fly to Kayseri from Istanbul, and when you are in Kayseri, you can take a taxi.