Adana, the fourth largest city in Turkey, is the Cilician plain’s textile and agricultural center. The city’s the Roman bridge built by Hadrian, the ethnographic and archeological museums are worth to visit. On the northeast side of the city, head out past the impressive, sometime crusader castles of Yilanli Fortress and Toprakkale, and turn north at Osmaniye for the area’s top sight, Karatepe. This open-air museum of huge sculptures and reliefs from the 3,300 years old summer palace of the Hittite ruler Asitiwada stands in a wooded national park.
The ancient site of Zeugma is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. It was an important city of the Kommagene Kingdom in the past. There was an ancient bridge of boats which was connecting the riverbanks in the ancient times, forming one of the major river crossings of the region. The most of the archaeological site is now lost under the waters of the Birecik Dam, but the open-air Museum in the site is still very moving and exciting place to visit those Roman residential mosaic remains. The most spectacular findings and mosaics are now displayed in the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep. Zeugma was founded by Seleucos I in the 4th century BC. He was one of the generals of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death in 323 BC. In ancient times, the name Zeugma encircled the two cities, one was on western banks of the Euphrates and also known as Seleucia after the founder, while the other eastern settlement was called Apamea, since Seleucus’ wife was called Apama.
GobekliTepe is perhaps the most mentioned place in the news and speculated archaeological site especially in the last 20 years. It was discovered in late 1980s by the local farmer, and excavations are ongoing since then. GobekliTepe is located about 20 km northeast of Sanliurfa. The huge anthropomorphic pillars are extraordinary for this time of mankind which dates back to about 13000 BC. Those colossal statue like pillars with some carvings and reliefs are very unique and dates back to around 9000 BC. So far, the archeologists didn’t find any ceramics, and nor any signs of the settlement here. However in the close vicinity of the GobekliTepe seems to us a very sophisticated and well organized society should be living back then. The GobekliTepe site looks us a kind of early religious cult center and the pilgrimage area during the Neolithic ages.The mystery of the GobekliTepe: Its shrines were buried by her own people who were living nearby there on purpose, The reason is still unknown by the historians up to now.
Ahlat, a historical city nearby Van lake in Bitlis. It has the sight of glorious tombstones dating back to the Seljuk period. Thanks to its geographical location, Ahlat has been a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures throughout history. Ahlat played a very important role during the grand legendary journey of Turks from Central Asia to Anatolia. Top tourist attractions in Ahlat are these: Usta Sagirt Mausoleum, Selcuk Open-Air Cemetery with the stele like headstones of red volcanic tuff intricated web patterns and the bands of earlier Kufic letters. These remains are the best examples in their artistic category. People should see the Ahlat Museum as well.
The settings have a linear plan, perched upon a ridge overlooking the Guzelsu Plain called Bol Mountain. It is composed of fortification walls as well as the remains of an Urartian royal palace, built between 764 and 735 BC during the reign of King Sardinian II at the climax of power of the Urartian Empire. There are upper and lower sections of the fortress. In the citadel, there are the Temple of Haldi or Irmushini, citadel walls, king’s tower, workshops from 7th century BC, storehouses, cisterns, kitchen, palace with a throne room, a royal toilet, harem and colonnaded halls were built. A moat surrounded sections of the fortress for earlier security reasons.
Ani is located by the Arpacay creek between Turkish and Armenian border. Arpacay river also gives the life a lot to the Eastern Anatolian landscapes. Ancient Ani, once upon times, a fabulous metropolis, known as ‘the city of a thousand and one churches’. The city was the capital city of Bagratid Armenian Kingdom from the 10th century AD. Ani is situated on trade routes and grew to become a walled city of more than 100,000 residents by the 11th century. In the centuries that followed, Ani and the surrounding region were ruled in turn by the Byzantine emperors, Ottoman Turks, Georgians, and Russians. The Russians repeatedly were attacking and chasing out the area’s residents. By the 1300 AD, Ani was in depression some reason. It was totally abandoned by the 1700. Today most of the churches are still standing to a sufficient height, the streets, baths, market place, an old Mosque, the Turks early palace, and the great fortification walls are very impressive.
A fine example of former Byzantine glory is the best seen at the church of Haghia Sophia (AyaSofya) in the west side of the center. Commissioned by Manuel I (1238-63), this monastery church used all that 13th-century money could buy for its construction. When it was converted to a mosque in 1461, the walls were whitewashed, preserving a set of stunning frescoes covering every surface of the interior. The best are in the narthex (entrance hall), depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. Look too at the south porch, where, above a weathered frieze., the Comnenus eagle spreads its wings on the arch’s keystone.
The entire Black Sea coast’s compulsory sight, 46km south of Trabzon, was among the most revered of pilgrim monasteries in the Orthodox world. According to tradition, two Athenian monks founded Sumela in 386 around a cave which housed a icon of the Virgin Mary painted by St Luke. Later, the Comneni patronized the monastery, some being coronated here. The present buildings were erected last century to accommodate all the pilgrims. This monastery has the spectacular setting. Within a national park, Sumela, usually shrouded in mist, clings to the sheer rock face of towering mountain, 300m above a forested valley floor.