Road trippin’ the Turkish Riviera: from Kalkan to Kaş

You may meet somewhere a Turkish citizen who has traveled the world and will still say that even if he/she has seen the South East Asia, Caribbean, Pacific islands, some of the best beaches are located in Turkey. So I came to think about what is it that makes these Turkish bays so splendid? The first thing must be the special geographical location, that the two seas, the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet at the Southwest of Turkey and sharing the same geographical privilege with the Greek...

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Dreams Academy in a Mediterranean Village: the door to an alternative life

Located on a hill village in the Mediterranean region in Turkey, namely Cukurbag Village, the Dreams Academy is an open air complex converted from an old primary school. The Academy itself is based in Istanbul, here in Kaş, since 2014 it serves mainly outdoor activities for ‘Alternative Camp’ a programme for disabled and a project for adolescent girls who are socially disadvantaged. I spoke to Alper Akça, the project manager and asked him how his idea come into reality. It is such an...

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Mardin

Mosques, churches, terraces, tunnels… What we imagine before traveling to a city and what we remember afterwards, I guess that’s what we talk when we talk about cities. Before my visit to Mardin I had read about ;the city in the books of the ;famous Turkish poet/writer Murathan Mungan. In one of his books, ‘The Genies of Money’, he says that ‘in Mardin the use of the stones is very important. ;The streets are connected to one another by dark tunnels which are called ‘abbara’. These abbaras...

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Konya: a trip to the 13th century, capital of the Selcuki Empire

Most of the visitors come to this city in Central Anatolia to pay a visit to the mausoleum of Rumi. Especially in the last years the story of Rumi and Sems, two mystics who met here in Konya has become widely known. The Mausoleum of Rumi is always full of people. At one of the walls inside the Mausoleum of Rumi you’ll see the waw letter in Arabic alphabet: waw, this time two of the letters are looking at each other. The mystics interpret this as a representation of the fetal position of the...

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Road trips in the north Aegean Turkey: Bozcaada island

This little island on the North Aegean Sea is located half an hour ferry ride from the main land (Turkey). We take the ferry from Geyikli station and when we reach the island we find ourselves right at the town centre. This is an old Greek town with cobble stone streets, stone houses, colourful doors, flowers hanging from the windows, it’s so charming you never get bored of walking the same streets several times like we did everyday early in the morning before we head to the beaches and later...

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The House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus

As you climb towards the Bulbul Mountain (aprox. 4 kms) from the archeological site of Ephesus you reach to the House of The Virgin Mary where Jesus’ mother Mary spent the last years of her life. Today it is accepted as a sacred site by both Muslims and Christians and is open to public visit.There are a couple of indications that show Holy Mary died in Ephesus. The first remains found on this site are from the first century. The expulsion of the apostles in Jerusalem who were being tortured...

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Ephesus Museum

The Ephesus Museum located in Selcuk is highly recommendable and can be visited together with St John temple and Isa Bey mosque as they are within walking distance. Many pieces from Ephesus are exhibited here and it will make your visit more memorable as you will notice many details of the ancient city when you walk through the halls of this important museum.The museum is divided into a couple of parts, the garden exhibiting the tombs, the hall of terrace houses (the ruins which you visited...

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Terrace Houses in Ephesus

It is not only necessary to survive but to live a good life.The Terrace Houses inside Ephesus show us the significant part of arts and philosophy for the elites of this ancient city. You may see the picture of Socrates or Cicero inside a house hang on a wall, or a mythological figure on the floor mosaic of a house. Terrace Houses located at the heart of Ephesus on the Curetes Street reflect the grandeur of the city during its peak period. Ephesus, the most advanced city of the Province of...

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The Ancient City of Ephesus

An exceptional tourist site of modern day Turkey, visited by thousands every year, Ephesus, located on the Western Aegean part of the country was one of the most important cities of antiquity and the capital of Anatolian Rome. The history of Ephesus goes back to year 1000 B.C. The location of the city changed several times; it was also destroyed and reconstructed many times due to earthquakes, it was ruled under different powers from Greeks to Persians and to Romans. During the Ioanian period...

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Cappadocia

Houses carved into caves, churches, monasteries. Caves, valleys and surreal landscapes. Welcome to one of the most interesting places on earth.The lavas, ashes and muds of the volcanic mountains that are no longer active, Hasan and Erciyes, form the rocks which are then shaped by rivers, floods and rains that form the canyons, valleys, curves, chimney and tower like formations during millions of years making Cappadocia a true open air museum. The main colour of the region is rust, a brick red...

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The ancient city of Aphrodisias

Between Ephesus and Hierapolis is Aphrodisias, a beautiful ancient city dedicated to the Queen of beauty and love Aphrodite. It is listed among Unesco heritage sites in modern day Turkey and was unknown until late ‘50s. A Turkish photographer, Are Guler who was in the region as a photo reporter he sees locals using ancient grave stones, columns in their daily lives such as tables, playgrounds for kids, etc. He comes back and takes several pictures to be sent to Times magazine. The...

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Eskisehir and Odunpazari Modern Museum

The historical urban district of Odunpazari, which is listed in Unesco’s tentative list, is located at the northern part of Eskisehir and takes its name being formerly a wooden market. The first Turks who came here, nearly thousand years ago were from different tribes. The first settlers were the Selcukis, then the Ottoman Turks came and they built mosques, schools, wooden houses which were well preserved until today. This neighbourhood still preserves the traditional Turkish neighbourhood...

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Abant and Golcuk: a green paradise

For foreign tourists the northern part of Turkey including the region of the Black Sea is somewhat less known and less visited places. Ancient Greek cities such as Ephesus or the first Christian churches of Cappadocia are among the first places to travel. The natural beauty of the Black Sea Region is incomparable to rest of the country, though. You may think that one would only find forests and lakes but once you are there you will appreciate the natural beauty of this region. Located about...

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The villages of Aegean Turkey: From Alacati to Sirince

The best part of a road trip in the Aegean coast of Turkey is that you can combine a cultural visit to an archeological site with beaches. The cities of ancient Greece such as Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Sardis, Miletus, Priene that were once part of Ionia and Lydia are all located in this area and open to public visit.You may create your own itinerary with one of these places and a beach town, and while traveling you may visit the villages of the Aegean which are also known by their gastronomy....

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Bodrum, the capital of Turkish Riviera

Hills filled with look alike white residential houses, beach clubs, resorts, restaurants, cafés and bars, bays of the Aegean sea that guarantee you a perfect swim, pine trees and bougainvilleas, it is hard not to please someone in Bodrum. Compared with St Tropez or Hollywood for Turkish celebrities its fame comes from the top luxurious resorts that have opened in recent years but Bodrum has something for everyone.A big peninsula with various centres here is a brief about what to find and...

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Cappadocia, villages, churches and monasteries

Cappadocia has been the land of many civilisations from antiquity to today. History books tell us around 3000 B.C. Assyrians lived here, then the Hittites came around 1750, following them Phrygians and Lydians, then Persians, Macedonians and the Pontus Kingdom ruled these lands. Around the first century it was already under the rule of Roman Empire. Many churches that were built around eleventh century have Greek words on it. When the Turks arrive around the thirteenth century the names of...

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