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New Hotels, Emerging Sights & More – Discover Turkey This Fall

October 12, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Turkey is a modern country with a captivating blend of antiquity and contemporary and of East and West. The cradle of civilization and center of world history today stands as one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the world.

Turkey was the site of the first human settlement; the seat of the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman Empires; the birthplace of Homer and the last home of the Virgin Mary, just to name a few. Today Turkey, with its spectacular coastline, majestic mountains, cosmopolitan cities and quaint villages is one of the world’s most fascinating destinations.

Each year the country continues to grow and below is some hot new developments and what’s new in Turkey: 

Historical Discoveries 

·         While Turkey’s cosmopolitan cities and seaside resort towns grow with new restaurants, bars, resorts and clubs, the country’s rich history continues250x250 to surprise with new discoveries dating back to antiquity. At Göbeklitepe in the country’s south eastmystery remains in the beautiful monuments built roughly 12,000 years ago – 10,000 years before the founding of the Roman Empire, 8,000 years before the appearance of the Hittites, and 7,000 years before the building of the Great Pyramids. A new Gobeklitepe exhibition at Governor Kemalettin Gazezoglu Culture and Art Center explores the latest archeological discoveries made at the site.

·         Further east in Kilis, archaeologists believe that they’ve found the lost city of the Prophet Abraham.  Researchers from the Cumhuriyet University Archaeology Department believe that they have found the ancient city of Ullis, referenced in an Iron Age papyrus documents from 3000 B.C. which is said to be where Abraham lived. During excavations, they also found 134 silver coins from the treasure of Alexander the Great.

·         To the south east, small carved stones unearthed in a nearly 5,000-year-old burial site could represent the oldest gaming tokens ever found. Found by Turkish archaeologists in a Bronze Age grave at Başur Höyük, a 820- by 492-foot mound near Siirt in southeast Turkey, the elaborate pieces consist of 49 small stones sculpted in different shapes and painted in green, red, blue, black and white. Some depict pigs, dogs and pyramids, while others feature round and bullet shapes. Researchers from Ege University in İzmir, Turkey, also found dice as well as three circular tokens made of white shell and topped with a round, black stone.

·         In Turkey’s Aegean coast, the head of an 8,000-year-old statue of a mother goddess has been found during excavations in Izmir’s Yesilova tumulus. The four-centimeter head of the statue is the first of its kind discovered in Turkey, representing women and fertility.

Marmaris’ Kameriye Island To Become A ‘Marriage Center’

·         Restoration work will begin on an 1,800-year-old Orthodox church considered the second home of the Virgin Mary. Located on Kameriye Island in the Aegean town of Marmaris, the church will open for faith and marriage tourism. The Kameriye Church, which is reached by a 20-minute boat trip from Bozburun, is visited by thousands of tourists during summer. Visitors light candle vigils and make wishes by tying pieces of cloth to the tree in front of the church. 

Turkey Delights Cameras, Action

·         Istanbul and Turkey continue to attract the top film stars and productions, with Oscar-winning actor Russell Crowe recently visiting the country to scout locations for his next film, The Water Diviner, based on the World War I Battle of Gallipoli. It is the latest in a long line of major studio movies to film in the country, from Argo in 2012 to James Bond films Skyfall and The World is Not Enough, as well as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Crowe’s latest film, which he will direct, is based on a father who loses two sons in the Battle of Gallipoli. It shares a common thread with one of the earliest western movies to film in Turkey, Gallipoli (1981). 

Hotel Happenings

·         Ciragan Palace Kempinski, one of the city’s most luxurious and historical hotel, is offering an exclusive opportunity for travelers who wish to delve deeper into the country’s culture during the 13th Istanbul Biennial, a city-wide celebration of the unmatched arts and culture scene. The exclusive Istanbul Biennial Package for two at Ciragan Palace Kempinski includes 4 nights accommodations with daily buffet breakfasts; guided visits to Biennial events; dinner for two at Tugra Restaurant & Lounge; sightseeing at Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Istabul Modern, Sakirin Mosque and Beyoglu, among other sites; Turkish hamam and body scrub for two; and roundtrip airport transfers. Package rates start from $4,705.

·         Wyndham Hotel Group, announced the opening of two new Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® in Turkey. The recently-opened, five-star Wyndham Izmir Özdilek is the first Wyndham hotel opened in the country outside of Istanbul. The 219-room, 20-story hotel overlooks the tranquil Izmir Bay. Wyndham Istanbul Levent, is under construction and, once complete in 2014, will become the country’s fourth Wyndham hotel.

·         Radisson Blu Hotel has opened its new property in Istanbul’s ancient Pera Taksim district, a hub for shopping, arts, culture, dining and nightlife. The 130-room hotel is operated by Carlson Rezidor, which now operates seven hotels with more than 1,500 rooms in Turkey. Overlooking the Golden Horn with views of the city and harbor, the hotel is surrounded by parks and promenades. The hotel, which is just two miles from Sirkeci Train Station, includes free high-speed Internet access and complimentary access to the Botanica Spa, Wellness & Beauty Centre.

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