Travelers interested in visiting archaeological sites and museums in Turkey frequently face a very basic question: is this particular site currently available for visitors? And if so, how much does the ticket cost? Naturally, it is possible to check this out in guidebooks or on various websites, Turkish Archaeological News portal included. However, the opening hours and ticket prices are changed regularly, and some venues are temporarily closed because of renovation, restoration, or other reasons.
Euromos ruins, located just off the Söke-Milas road, are frequently overlooked by travelers who do not realize that an olive grove hides one of the best preserved ancient temples in Asia Minor. Meanwhile, if you just turn off the road as indicated by a signpost, you will see a magnificent view of the ancient temple of Zeus. More inquisitive tourists can also find the remains of an ancient theater, city walls, and an agora.
An essential element of the Hittite religious beliefs were the practices of the so-called sympathetic magic. The rituals were performed by the priests called 'soothsayers,' and the priestesses known as the 'old women.' Their actions were aimed at reversing the imminent danger, from impotence to abandonment of the sanctuary by a deity inhabiting it. Most of the practices associated with these activities took place outdoors, and a particular importance was attached to water sources. Many of these places of worship, often in the form of a simple 'sacred sources,' have been preserved to our times. Eflatun Pınar is an excellent example of elaborate stone shrines adorning eternal sources of water. It is situated on the south-eastern side of Beyşehir Lake and called Eflatun Pınar.
The great theater of Ephesus is a splendidly preserved and very impressive building. This structure, built of marble, has a width of 145 meters, and its audience once reached up to 30 meters. In its heyday, it could accommodate up to 24,000 spectators.
The Library of Celsus is probably the most distinctive building commonly associated with Ephesus. The library has a two-storey façade, and its interior is one large room with dimensions of 10.90 to 16.70 meters. This library room was located above the vaulted substructure. The building was surrounded by an additional wall, offering adequate protection from moisture.
There are two places, paramount from the historical point of view, bearing the same name - Yazılıkaya - in the area of Turkey. Not surprisingly, as in Turkish this word means 'inscribed rock' and thus perfectly reflects the character of all the monuments that were created by carving inscriptions in the rock walls. The monument, which is described here, also has two other names - Midas Kenti (Midas City) and Midas Anıtı (Midas Monument), that distinguish it from the Hittite sanctuary of Yazılıkaya, located in the vicinity of Hattusa, in central Anatolia.
Göynüş Vadisi, located in the area known as the Phrygian Valley, is a long and narrow valley surrounded by high cliffs of volcanic tuff. The old name of the valley - Köhnüş - derives from the Turkish word köhnemiş, which means the area damaged by weather conditions.
Ayazini village, located in the Phrygian Valley, boasts an amazing resemblance to the Cappadocian landscape, well-known to many travelers. In its vicinity, there are beautiful valleys that encourage hiking, and unusual rock formations, including - so-called fairy chimneys. In the village, you can find a church, tombs, and houses carved into a rock. All these attractions have one significant advantage over Cappadocia - as Ayazini is rarely visited by tourists so it can be explored and enjoyed in solitude.
One of the most impressive free-standing monuments in the Phrygian Valley is the so-called Aslankaya i.e. the Lion's Rock. This religious sanctuary from the mid-sixth century BC was dedicated to the goddess Cybele, one of the most prominent figures of the Phrygian pantheon. Aslankaya owes its discovery to the Western world to William M. Ramsey, a Scottish archaeologist. He found this place and thoroughly described it in 1884. In 1997, another study of Aslankaya was conducted by T. Tüfekçi-Sivas.
10 heritage sites from the area of Turkey have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Tentative List recently. With these new additions, Turkey has 70 sites on the tentative list. It is the highest number of natural and cultural heritage sites on the UNESCO tentative list.