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Daniel Stein

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  1. Published on Jun 1, 2017 Eighteen stories below ground in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, the ancient city of Derinkuyu remained hidden for centuries. The underground city was rediscovered in 1963 when a man knocked down a wall in his basement and stumbled across a hidden room. From there, an excavation revealed the impressive network of tunnels connecting ancient churches, schools and living quarters. In total, the city likely could have protected 20,000 people and their livestock from wars and natural disasters. This story is a part of our Planet Earth series. From mammals to insects and birds to reptiles, we share this great big world with all manner of creatures, large and small. Come with us to faraway places as we explore our great big planet and meet some of its wildest inhabitants.
  2. Topkapi Palace, the imperial residence of the Ottoman Sultan, his court and Harem, was also the center of the state administration. The Topkapi Palace was the Ottomans’ second palace in Istanbul. Its construction was completed in 1478. As each succeeding sultan ascended to the throne, he added parts to the palace, indicating to us the different tastes and styles of architecture of four centuries. The Topkapi Palace housed each of the Ottoman Sultans from Sultan Mehmed II to Sultan Abdülmecid, covering nearly four centuries and 25 Sultans. In 1924 the palace was turned into a museum.
  3. One of the most important artefacts in the museum is the tablet of the Kadesh Peace Treaty between the Hittites and the Egyptians.
  4. A tourism video showcasing the cool things you can experience in Adana and Mersin.
  5. The Ancient Hippodrome from the Roman period had many monuments in its central axis. One of these monuments was the Serpentine Column which was brought from Delphi in Greece. It is made with bronze with three intertwined serpents. The Hippodrome was destroyed and plundered in 1204 by the Crusaders. During the Turkish period it lost its popularity, especially with the construction of the Blue Mosque. The ancient Hippodrome changed its name and became Atmeydanı (Horse Square), a place where Ottomans trained their horses.
  6. The Ancient Hippodrome from the Roman period had many monuments in its central axis. One of these monuments was the Egyptian Obelisk which was brought from Egypt. It is carved in the granite and has Egyptian hieroglyphs (picture writings) on its four sides. The marble base on which the obelisk was erected show scenes from the Byzantine Empire, emperor watching either the erection of the Obelisk or chariot races. On one side he is preparing a wreath for the winner of the race. The Hippodrome was destroyed and plundered in 1204 by the Crusaders. During the Turkish period it lost its popularity, especially with the construction of the Blue Mosque. The ancient Hippodrome changed its name and became Atmeydanı (Horse Square), a place where Ottomans trained their horses.
  7. The original Hippodrome was built in 203 AD by the Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus, when he rebuilt Byzantium. Constantine the Great reconstructed, enlarged, and adorned it with beautiful works brought from different parts of the Roman Empire when he chose Byzantium as his new capital. The Hippodrome was 117 m / 384 ft wide and 480 m / 1575 ft long with a capacity of 100,000 spectators. It is said that one quarter of the population could fit into the Hippodrome at one time. The Hippodrome was destroyed and plundered in 1204 by the Crusaders. During the Turkish period it lost its popularity, especially with the construction of the Blue Mosque. The ancient Hippodrome changed its name and became Atmeydanı (Horse Square), a place where Ottomans trained their horses.
  8. The Süleymaniye, more than a mosque, is an important historical symbol for the Turks. It unites Architect Sinan with Süleyman, one representing the best of the arts and the other most power- ful of political strength. The Süleymaniye Mosque was built between 1550-1557. The famous Blue Mosque was built by one of Sinan’s apprentices 60 years after the Süleymaniye.
  9. In a way Kuşadası is a nice little town, but for me, too much concrete, traffic and tourists in the summer. Maybe a summer place on the outskirts would be okay though. What about some of the beach towns along that peninsula just south of Izmir, or around Çeşme?
  10. Is the interior of the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmend Mosque) covered with tiles? Is this the reason that it is called Blue Mosque? A 19-year-old Sultan, Sultan Ahmed I, started digging ceremoniously in the presence of high officials until he was tired. Thus began the construction in 1609 that continued until it was finished in 1616. He appointed his royal chief architect Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, one of the apprentices of Architect Sinan, to be in charge of the construction. He designed one of the last examples of the classical period’s architectural style. It incorporates Byzantine architecture with that of traditional Islamic. Built by Sultan Ahmed I as a part of a large complex, it is originally called as Sultan Ahmed Mosque. However, visitors fascinated with the beautiful turquoise blue tiles always remember it as the Blue Mosque. The complex consisted of a mosque, tombs, fountains, medreses (schools of theology), a health center, kitchens for the poor, shops, a bath, rental rooms, houses and store houses.
  11. The Süleymaniye, more than a mosque, is an important historical symbol for the Turks. It unites Architect Sinan with Süleyman, one representing the best of the arts and the other most power- ful of political strength. The Süleymaniye Mosque was built between 1550-1557. The famous Blue Mosque was built by one of Sinan’s apprentices 60 years after the Süleymaniye.
  12. Half of Russia’s holidaymakers have chosen Turkey as their top travel destination in 2017, a report released by the Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR) stated, citing estimates from the country’s tour operators and agencies, as reported by state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 18. Early reservations for Turkey resumed last September. “Russian tourists have missed Turkey. The [Russian] citizens want to benefit from early reservation discounts,” ATOR said. Turkey had become the first choice of destination among Russian tourists thanks to the recent valuation in the Russian ruble and steep cuts in Turkey’s hotel prices, according to the report. The demand for Turkey doubled compared to 2015, making that half of Russia’s holidaymakers, while the other half chose Greece, Bulgaria, Spain and Russia for their holidays. The most popular Turkish destinations have again become the three towns of the Mediterranean resort of Antalya; Alanya, Side and Kemer, where the hotels make up to 50 percent of cuts in their prices. The first Russian charter plane carrying tourists to Turkey since Moscow lifted travel sanctions imposed after the shooting down of a Russian jet on Nov. 24, 2015 landed in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya on Sept. 2, 2016. The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey increased in the final months of 2016 to around 800,000 over this year, up from almost zero, making the tourism sector very optimistic about the arrivals in 2017. January/19/2017 Source: Hurriyet Daily News
  13. Turkey’s consumer inflation rate hit 8.5% in 2016, surpassing the government’s 5% target. A number of factors contributed to this outcome, including the dollar’s 20% rise against the Turkish lira. Such high inflation also has to do with alcoholic beverages and tobacco, which figure in the “pleasure-giving substances” category. The price increase in this category last year was nearly 32%, or 276% higher than overall consumer inflation. The category accounts for less than 5% of the total consumer basket, and although the exorbitant price increases likely only concern a limited number of people, in Turkey’s prevailing political climate, they speak of growing discrimination and intolerance against Turks who reject the conservative lifestyle the government promotes. Read more: Turkey Pulse
  14. To some extent, I had all of these misconceptions about Turkey. And when I go back home, I see that most others still have them.
  15. There are huge penalties for taking antiquities out of Turkey, so be warned. Even people buying old carpets have to get a certificate from a museum saying it is not an antiquity before they can take it out of the country. I don't know if digging around various places is illegal, but I have read articles about the Jandarma arresting people for digging illegally for antiquities.
  16. Well now you have me curious. What would a Canadian say?
  17. A dumb thing an American (or maybe Canadian) tourist might say: "Turkey's too dangerous. Let's go to Mexico!"
  18. The speed at which Ataturk Airport returned to “normal” was symbolic: Turkey wanted to show to the world that it was safe for tourists and security is as strong as anywhere in the world. Large-scale security operations were also launched in many areas the next day, including İzmir and other touristic areas. Sub Categories: » HOMEPAGE / LIFE/ TRAVEL/ EROSPOLIS Sunday,July 3 2016, Your time is 7:48:14 AM With sector in ruins, a tourist-free summer for Turkey? [email protected] The speed at which Ataturk Airport returned to “normal” was symbolic: Turkey wanted to show to the world that it was safe for tourists and security is as strong as anywhere in the world. Large-scale security operations were also launched in many areas the next day, including İzmir and other touristic areas. Print Page Send to friend » Share on Facebook AA photo Something is missing as we enter our favorite boutique hotel that overlooks a village (in)famous for its fruit wines. The offer of the welcome drink (elderberry syrup, whose recipe is a secret) is not there and neither are the fresh flowers in the pool. The place has lost its “carefully polished” quality and its indefinable sense of peace and quiet. Several teenagers are complaining that they cannot get drinks by the pool and a huge group is loudly arranging a group selfie in front of a perfect sunset. Our favorite place - a far-away breakfast verandah, where we spent many mornings talking to well-informed strangers who have just been on a historic tour of Turkey - is closed. Worst of all, the clientele – international, eloquent, well-read and discreet – has been replaced by another group: Large families with bleach-blonde women shouting shrilly at their children and men shouting into their iPhones. “We have had practically no international bookings this year,” says the youthful manager of the hotel, which has become internationally known. “Our clientele was special. They were middle-aged amateurs of art and history, who would come to Turkey to see Istanbul, Cappadocia and spend several days here on the last leg of their trip before departing. Mostly Anglo-Saxons, with some Dutch, Nordic and French. They would take in Ephesus and visit as many of the Seven Churches of Faith as they could, then leave. Alas, they are not coming his year.” “We had to adapt,” she sighs, looking at the breakfast room with shouting kids. “This means attracting local tourists and cutting costs. “I cannot open the far-off terrace with a reduced staff. The worst part is that I do not see much of a prospect for improvement next year either.” The hotel manager is not alone in her woes. The mighty Ephesus, which receives about two million visitors every year, has become a symbol of the decline. A tourist guide has posted a picture on social media of the empty ruins, with just a few lonely tourists. 2016 is the “Black Year” of tourism, the worst in the last 30 years, since the years of terror in the streets that led to the military coup of 1980. The golden age Turkish tourism players, who boasted at the beginning of the 2010s that Turkey was a tourists’ paradise, had a lot to be hopeful for: Mushrooming hotels from the high end to the family-run “pensions,” a varied geography that was becoming more and more accessible as more roads were built, a growing global awareness of Turkish cuisine and “new wines of the ancient world,” and a national flag carrier, Turkish Airlines, that flew to and from many destinations. Add to this the cheaper chartered planes, the great many package tours, and a hefty budget earmarked for the promotion of Turkish tourism on all international platforms. It was no wonder that the country was claiming that it could lure the luxury traveler, the intellectual traveler and the sun-sea-sand seekers who wanted an affordable chaise-longue on the beach – all included. In Istanbul old parts of the city revived and Istanbul became the sixth most visited city in the world. The southern city of Antalya attracted Russians, Germans and other nationalities, Brits spread around Bodrum, and tourism kept growing, accounting for five percent of GDP. The downfall Then the bubble burst – or, rather, it was shot down. The Syrian civil war, followed by attacks in various parts of Turkey including the historical peninsula and the commercial İstiklal Avenue, followed by the downing of the Russian jet, followed by the refugees, followed by the stand-off with Germany over the “Armenian genocide dispute,” led to the despair of the sector. The struggling tourism of 2015 turned into paralysis. The government announced a first-aid package to the tourism sector, the president called on Turks abroad to vacation in Turkey, and called on local Turks to “holiday in Turkey rather than abroad.” None of this particularly satisfied desperate tourism managers. So Turks have done what they always do when they are gripped by despair: Blame each other, pray for improvement, and turn to jokes. Alanya shopkeepers made headlines by holding a collective prayer. Tradesmen in Fethiye and Bodrum fought over a single tourist. A joker from Antalya posted two elderly, fat (allegedly) Russian women on the beach, saying it was “Revenge of the Russians – apologize quickly!” But just when the apology to Russia came and the tourism owners started expressing hope for the 2017 season, the suicide attack hit the Istanbul Atatürk Airport – the third busiest in Europe. The speed at which the destroyed area was rebuilt and things returned to normal was symbolic: Turkey wanted to show to the world that it was safe for tourists and security is as strong as anywhere in the world. Large-scale security operations were also launched in many areas the next day, including İzmir and other touristic areas. But will tourism recover? Certainly not this year, and not likely next year either. The question is not one of security, but of the perception of Turkey as a brand in tourism. Even if the security issue is solved, rebranding will take time. Source: Hurriyet Daily News
  19. Archaeological Museums of Istanbul host a very large collection of sarcophagi. The word derives from Assos stone in which dead bodies decayed faster. That's why it means flesh-eating stone. The Roman period sarcophagi were made of marble with bas-reliefs on the sides.
  20. Quick Guide 9: Did you know sarcophagus is flesh-eating stone? Archaeological Museums of Istanbul host a very large collection of sarcophagi. The word derives from Assos stone in which dead bodies decayed faster. That's why it means flesh-eating stone.
  21. Throughout Byzantine and Ottoman history, the Hagia Sophia has been the Imperial Church or Mosque. Emperors were crowned, victories were celebrated and Ottoman Sultans prayed in this remarkable building. For many centuries the Hagia Sophia was possibly the largest shrine in the world.
  22. In 330 AD, Constantine I allowed Christianity to be practiced publicly, dedicated Constantinople as the capital of the Empire, and rebuilt the city splendidly. Constantinople itself was not only the new capital of the Empire but was also the symbol of Christian triumph.
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