The beginning of March 2021 brought sad news as George Bass, who played a critical role in the creation and evolution of underwater archaeology as a scientific discipline, died on March 2. Then, the remains of an ancient port in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin’s Mezitli district have come to light due to the receding water levels. Also, many renovation projects were announces, including the Temple of Zeus in Euromos and the ancient structures at Aizanoi. Finally, at the end of the month, it was announced that the ancient city walls of Hadrianapolis in Edirne were declared as a first-degree archeological site.
Once known as Adrianople and Hadrianopolis, and today as Edirne, this border town of the European part of Turkey is an astonishingly inconspicuous place. If the visitors come to see it, it is mainly for one of two reasons. The huge draw for the people who love historical architecture is the magnificent Selimiye Mosque Complex, built by the most famous Ottoman architect, Sinan, and proudly listed by the UNESCO as the world heritage site.
The village of Cambazlı, located in the Taurus Mountains, welcomes travellers from the Mediterranean coast with a wonderful surprise. It consists of the ruins of a monumental church from the early Byzantine period. Further exploration of the village results in the discovery of other historical buildings. However, despite its attractive sights, few tourists reach Cambazlı, as most of them follow the coastal route from Mersin to Silifke.
The inclusion of Selimiye Mosque on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 encouraged the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism to increase the budget for tourist attractions in for Edirne. One of the most important initiatives was the reopening of the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art (tr. Türk İslam Eserleri Müzesi) in 2012, after a long and thorough renovation.
February 2021 was the month of some amazing archaeological discoveries in the area of Turkey. Roman bath ruins were found in Hıdırlık Tower excavations in Antalya while Roman period ruins were unearthed in the parking lot works in Pazarkapı location of Ortahisar district of Trabzon. Sadly, the millennia-old burial tumuli of the Lydian kings became threatened by the treasure hunters in Bintepe area near Sardis. Finally, the comprehensive restoration project was announced for the Theodosian Walls in Istanbul.