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Fouilltes de Sagalassos

Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük

Turkish Tourists visiting the 4040 area under the North Shelter

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Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

EdirneSelimiye

EdirneSelimiye

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Nemrut Mountain

Nemrut dag

Nemrut dag

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Archaeological Site of Troy

Trojan Horse

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City of Safranbolu

Safranbolu

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Hattusha: the Hittite Capital

Hattusa

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Assos and Behramkale, two tiny jewels on the Aegean coast

Assos

The Aegean region has no shortage of scenic spots and among them, about a hundred kilometers south of Canakkale, is the acropolis of Assos. The village of Behramkale, located a few kilometers away in the hills, is also a must to visit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tarsus, the birthplace of St. Paul

Tarsus

       In southern Turkey, the city of Mersin was born one of the most important names of Christianity, Saint Paul. His rich history has left beautiful traces still visible today. Read the rest of this entry »

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The UNESCO list of World Heritage places in Turkey

The UNESCO list of World Heritage places has 11 locations from Turkey. In 1994, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee launched the Global Strategy for a Representative, Balanced and Credible World Heritage List. Its aim is to ensure that the World Heritage List reflects the world’s cultural and natural diversity of outstanding universal value. Eleven properties in Turkey have been listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Two of these properties are listed as mixed (Natural & Cultural) Heritage, the rest as cultural only.

  • UNESCO’s Natural and Cultural Heritage properties in Turkey
    • Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
    • Hierapolis-Pamukkale
  • UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage properties in Turkey
    • Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
    • Historic Areas of Istanbul
    • Hattusha: the Hittite Capital
    • Nemrut Dağ
    • Xanthos-Letoon
    • City of Safranbolu
    • Archaeological Site of Troy
    • Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex
    • Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük
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World’s best festivals: Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling

Pehlivans

Oil wrestlers Flickr photo by Ceyhan Molla

Lonely Planet listed Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival as one of the World’s Best Festivals in June – July.

Location: Kirkpinar, Edirne, Turkey

Dates: late June–early July

Level of participation: 1 – watch the slippery Goliaths grapple

During the early, expansionist days of the Ottoman empire, the military commander Süleyman Pasa would let his soldiers unwind between warfare by wrestling. On one memorable occasion, 40 men scuffled at once. The two fiercest fighters grappled past midnight and until both died of exhaustion. When the remaining army had conquered Edirne, the victors referred to the 40 soldiers in the name of Kirkpinar, where the wrestling competition still takes place.

It’s unclear whether olive oil was used in the Ottoman era, but it certainly is today. Over 100 drums of oil are used during the three-day tournament, starting with an opening ceremony where the contestants, some just children, get greased up.

The idea is to prevent your foe from getting a good grip. Circulating the stadium between 20 grunting, glistening showdowns, the attendants with extra oil prove popular. This is no-holds-barred wrestling, where a contestant might grab his opponent’s testicles. With a 14-carat gold belt awarded to the bas pehlivan (head wrestler), there’s everything to play for.

However, in remembrance of the brotherhood shared by the original 40 wrestlers, participants are marked on the manners they show their oily opposite number. If a winner has not emerged after 30 minutes, a ‘sudden death’ round ensues.

Local attractions: Kirkpinar Museum contains wrestling relics such as tote bags, clay oil jugs and gold belts.

More info: www.kirkpinar.com

via Lonely Planet

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