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The Original Emoji And World’s First Brand Discovered In Turkey Put A Smile On Country’s Tourism Recovery

September 21, 2017 Destination Europe No Comments Email Email

Archaeologists in southeast Turkey unearthed the earliest example of the world’s most popular emoticon, the smiley, on a pot dating back 4,000-years. The “world’s oldest smiley face emoji” will go on display at Gaziantep Museum of Archaeology after being found in the ancient city of Karamis.

For the past seven years, a team of archaeologists have been working at the Hittite site of Karamis, where the first excavations took place from 1911 and 1914 to uncover the place where a biblical battle is believed to have taken place in 605BC.

The world’s first emoji joins the discovery of the world’s first example of a brand “ANT” inscribed on a number of ancient mosaics and terracotta artifacts more than 2000-years-old discovered by a team of researchers in the ancient city of Antiocheia Ad Cragum, in Turkey’s southern Antalya – showing ancient civilizations understood the value of advertising, catchphrases and logos.

While the smiley face emoji is believed to have originated in the early 1960s with the widespread use of keyboards, and the classic smiley version bearing a bright yellow background emerging in the 1970s, the latest discovery in Turkey rewrites the history of the humble emoji. The site of the find will open in 2018 as an open air museum.

TOURISM NEWS – 2017 Tourism Rebound

  • As Turkey’s tourism continues its recovery in 2017, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has set a target of 50 million international visitors to Turkey by 2023, to generate an expected $50 billion in economic impact. Turkey has already made progress towards its goals this year, with more than 17 million people visiting Turkey in the first seven months of 2017, up by 22 percent compared to the first seven months of 2016, and up 46.36 percent in July compared to July 2016.

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS – The Virgin Mary Monastery 

  • The Virgin Mary Monastery in the north of Turkey near a village between the Black Sea and central Anatolia is open to the public after the completion of a long-term restoration project. Near the village of Kayadibi, the four-story, 32-room monastery was built out of a natural cave on a rocky hill and was used by early Christians since the 2nd century, A.D. It is Turkey’s second biggest monastery built out of a mountain after the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, Sumela Monastery. 

DESTINATION NEWS – Lunar Landscape in Cappadocia

  • Known for its history and cultural richness, the city of Cappadocia, one of Turkey’s most well-known tourism hubs, is now offering “full moon walks” to tourists strolling around the fairy chimneys. Offering fabulous scenery for participants, the full moon walks have been initiated amid aims to add variety to Cappadocia’s tourism sector. The full moon walks, which begin at sunset, are conducted along valleys in the region and are held on various routes, the most popular of which begins in the Kızılçukur Valley and ends in the Meskender Valley. Groups of moon walk participants also enjoy taking a break at the historical monastery situated in carved rock in the valley, where some people even perform “halay,” a traditional Turkish line dance.

HOTEL NEWS – Hyatt resort to debut in 2019

  • The first Hyatt Centric resort in Turkey will debut with the opening of the 77-key Hyatt Centric Yalikavak Bodrum in mid-2019. The property will mark the fifth Hyatt-branded hotel in Turkey, joining Park Hyatt Istanbul – Macka Palas, Grand Hyatt Istanbul, Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy, Hyatt Centric Levent Istanbul, and Hyatt House Gebze, which is slated to open in September 2017. The Hyatt Centric is located minutes from the five-gold-anchor marina Palmarina Bodrum, which offers a number of restaurants, an open-air shopping mall and entertainment venues of Bodrum. 

HERITAGE NEWS – UNESCO World Heritage List adds Ancient Ruins of Aphrodisias

  • The Aphrodisias Archaeological Site has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, making this the 17th UNESCO recognized site in Turkey. The inscription took place during the World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland recently. Located in southwestern Turkey, in the upper valley of the Morsynus River, the site consists of two components: The archaeological site of Aphrodisias and the marble quarries northeast of the city. The temple of Aphrodite dates from the 3rd century BCE and the city was built one century later. The wealth of Aphrodisias came from the marble quarries and the art produced by its sculptors. The city streets are arranged around several large civic structures, which include temples, a theater, an agora, and two bath complexes.

AVIATION NEWS – Turkish Airlines inaugurates 300th destination

  • The Thai city of Phuket has been inaugurated as the 300th destination of Turkish Airlines, the airline that flies to more countries and destinations than any other airline in the world. Following the launch, the airline now operates four times weekly: Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from its Istanbul hub to Phuket, one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the world.

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