Rise in museum admission fees in Turkey 2016

Topkapı Palace in Istanbul
Topkapı Palace in Istanbul

On 4 January 2016, ticket prices to many museums and archaeological sites in Turkey were significantly increased. On the one hand, it is an economically justified move, since Turkish lira has recently been depreciated against the euro and the US dollar. On the other hand, this decision has caused discontent and many protests, especially among the representatives of the Turkish tourism sector. They fear that high ticket prices will deter tourists from visiting the most popular places in Turkey, including - Pamukkale and Ephesus. Also, the largest opposition party in the Turkish parliament, i.e. CHP, issued a request to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mahir Ünal, urging him to cancel the decision.

Notion

Extensive, but overgrown ruins of the ancient city Notion (Notium) are picturesquely situated on a hilltop overlooking the Aegean Sea coast, Ahmetbeyli village. Its history is closely related to nearby Colophon, hidden inland 17 km to the north. The name Notion in Ancient Greek means 'southern'.

Notion
Notion

Belha Monastery near Özkonak

Belha Monastery is one of those places in Cappadocia, which are not frequently visited by organised tours. Although it is located just 5-minute-drive from a popular underground city in Özkonak, this historical monument remains poorly studied and is still surrounded by mystery. Not much can be learnt about its history, and rudimentary information provided by different sources about this monastery is often contradictory.

Belha Monastery near Özkonak
Belha Monastery near Özkonak

Kilistra

Do not be deceived by the photos of rock-carved houses and churches, similar to the structures in Cappadocia and the Phrygian Valley. Here we will be talking about the tiny village of Gökyurt, located off the main roads, about 45 kilometers southwest of Konya. In this site, forgotten by tourists and by the majority of Turks, there are the remains of the ancient settlement Kilistra. It is the settlement carved in rocks, which was reportedly once visited by St. Paul.

Even from a distance you can see that Gökyurt village is a unique place. From the access road, you can admire the settlement, located on a stony hillside, surrounded by natural stone spires instead of defensive walls. However, the biggest attraction of Kilistra is hidden from the eyes of passers-by. These are rooms carved into the rock, which are still used by Gökyurt residents.

Kilistra
Kilistra

Dara

When travelers visit the south-eastern Anatolian province of Mardin, they usually feel that they need to see just one place - the capital of the province. Meanwhile, in the area there are relatively little known but very interesting ruins of the ancient city of Dara. In the early Byzantine times, Dara was an important fortress, located in northern Mesopotamia, near the border with the Persian Sassanid Empire. Because of this strategic location, in the 6th century AD Dara witnessed many military conflicts, of which the most important was the famous Battle of Dara, fought in 530 AD. So if you get to Mardin, then try also to go to Dara, and certainly you will not regret this trip.

Ancient City of Dara, Mesopotamia
Ancient City of Dara, Mesopotamia

Priene

The ruins of the Ionian city of Priene are picturesquely situated on a slope of Mykale mountain. They provide a spectacular lookout point over the plain where the river Meander winds its way to the Aegean Sea. Priene also offers an excellent practical lesson in archeology and history. The main conclusion of the visit in Priene, combined with a cursory reading of literature devoted to this city, is: nothing here is obvious. The original name of the city was, Kadme, it was founded by Karians, and it was situated in a different location on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

The Temple of Athena Polias in Priene
The Temple of Athena Polias in Priene

Broken Minaret in Antalya

The building now known as the Broken Minaret (tr. Kesik Minare) hides more secrets that one might have expected. This characteristic structure of an actually broken minaret belongs to the ruined Korkut Mosque (tr. Korkut Camii). The history of this building is an excellent illustration that offers a better understanding of the turbulent history of Antalya.

Broken Minaret in Antalya
Broken Minaret in Antalya

Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme

Just a short walk from the most famous churches in Göreme open-air museum stands the forgotten church of the Evil Eye. It has been beautifully restored and is now guarded by a custodian who adapted a nearby rock into a stone house. A visit to the church is a nice respite from the crowds, and at the same time - an opportunity to see wonderful Byzantine frescoes. Here, nobody will pay attention as you take a few photos, but remember that the flashlight is harmful to these 10-century-old works of art.

Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme
Church of the Evil Eye (El Nazar Kilise) in Göreme

Pages

Subscribe to Turkish Archaeological News RSS