Tourist visas no longer required for the citizens of 6 European countries!

On the 20th of February 2020, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Hami Aksoy, revealed that the Turkish authorities have decided to provide visa exemption to the citizens of six European countries: Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and the United Kingdom. This exemption will be valid starting from the 2nd of March 2020. It offers 90 days of visiting and travelling around Turkey without the necessity of purchasing a tourist visa within the period of 180 days. This step is aimed at increasing the tourism potential of Turkey and developing its commercial and cultural relations with Europe. This news is based on the information published on the official website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Traditional Turkish tourist visas stamped in a passport
Traditional Turkish tourist visas stamped in a passport

Remedies sought for a drowning friend - revisiting the Temple of Apollo in Didyma

Last week I received a most welcome correspondence from the hydrologist responsible for redirecting the water falling into the southeast section of the Temple of Apollo sanctuary in ancient Didyma, Turkey.
This pleased me immensely as there has been a deafening silence from this quarter for a number of months. Though after I sent a number of photographs as evidence for the waters now mingling within the archaeological remains of the Christian Basilica which once stood within the adyton (inner courtyard), Professor Helmut Brückner responded with admirable haste.

Text and photos by Glenn Maffia

The dry well considered for temporary storage of flood water, Apollo Temple in Didyma
The dry well considered for temporary storage of flood water, Apollo Temple in Didyma

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Darülhadis Mosque in Edirne

Darülhadis Mosque was initially intended to be a school of sacred tradition - darülhadis - that gave the building its name. However, the main sponsor, Sultan Murad II, changed his mind and had his architect Koçu Ahmet redesign it as a mosque. Apparently, Murad II was a person who enjoyed changing architectural plans as this story was repeated when Muradiye Mosque was converted from the dervish lodge.

Darülhadis Mosque in Edirne
Darülhadis Mosque in Edirne

January 2020 in Turkish archaeology

January was a rather quiet month for the archaeologists in Turkey. Some interesting discoveries were made, such as ancient baby bottles dating back to 2500 BCE found during excavations at Norik Mound in eastern Bingöl province or an intricate stone floor that indicates that Usakli Hoyuk may have been the lost Hittite city of Zippalanda. The real bomb was only dropped at the end of the month when an amazing find was published: a Polish researcher discovered a human-like figurine in one of the oldest cities in the world, Çatalhöyük in Turkey. This is the first such object made of bone known from this place.

 Çatalhöyük excavations
Çatalhöyük excavations

The Secrets of Pamukkale and Hierapolis - new guidebook

The Secrets of Pamukkale and Hierapolis

Lured by the glistening snow-white travertine terraces, thousands of tourists from all corners of the globe come to visit the famous World Heritage Site of Hierapolis-Pamukkale. For many of them, a walk along these terraces and a dip in the widely-advertised Ancient Pool are the highlights of the trip. However, the site has so much more to offer for all of the visitors who want to see and understand it more profoundly. The ruins of the ancient city known as Hierapolis are extensive, and their far-away corners are rarely seen by the tourists who hurry through the main sights. If you want to be sure that you did not overlook anything of interest during the time you spent at Hierapolis-Pamukkale site, this is the guidebook written for you.

By using this book as a handy travel guide, you will be able to tour the whole site and see all the spectacular sights, such as a grand Roman theatre, a splendid Gate of Domitian, and a spacious agora. Moreover, the book will take you to the less-known but equally fascinating structures related with the cult of St. Philip the Apostle, who, according to one legend was martyred by beheading in the city of Hierapolis. The other locations worth visiting are the old Greek theatre, overlooking the city from the slope of a hill, and the broad Frontinus Street. You will visit the extensive Northern Necropolis of the city and a smaller Eastern Necropolis that offers excellent views over the whole site. Finally, the tour will also lead you to the sacred complex of the Apollo Temple with the mysterious Plutonium.

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