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Top 6 Historically Attractive Locations of Turkey

Turkey’s ancient history on 783.5 thousand km2 land can make telling its hot spots in just 6 points, but if you do ever visit the land, it is okay if you skip over everything except these landmarks. These locations and cities were once home to world-famous kings, heroes, and still a mesmerizing architectural masterpiece to look at, and lose yourself in to. 

1) The Ancient City of Ephesus

Only 156 km away from the Çeşme district of Izmir, this ruin of the old world used to be the trading center of the Aegean. It contains the region’s one of the largest theater, as well as the second-largest city-state. The travel time between Ephesus and Çeşme is one and a half hours, so be sure to plan your schedule accordingly.

2) Kaş

As the western district of Antalya, Kaş is a highly touristic location for being surrounded by ancient civilizations such as Apollonia, and Kyaenai. Kaş receives a great deal of summer tourism, yet due to its perfect weather that never going below 0 Degrees Celsius, you can experience the ancient history in a calmer season if you wish.

  • Stone Tombs of Myra; Leftover graveyards from the Lydians 4000 B.C., these tombs are scattered around the town with stone tablet writings accompanying them. These tombs are sometimes referred to as the King Tombs, and include a shrine, as well as an ancient theatre.

  • Church of St. Nicholas; The world-famous icon, Santa Claus, was initially born by the Aegean shores of Turkey. He may not have magical reindeers, but Saint Nicholas was, in fact, a real person and a bishop who gave gifts to orphan children and the poor. He was born in the year 270 and died at 343.

3) Anıtkabir - The Mausoleum of Atatürk

When you visit the nation's capital, the monumental tomb of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk should be first on your list. Although he passed away in Istanbul, Anıtkabir was built in the country’s capital to be his final resting place.

4) Göbekli Tepe

Translated as "The Hill with a Belly" from Turkish, this newly discovered ancient ruins have change everything humanity knew about the history of mankind. The revolutionary discovery of the building techniques used on this monument suggests humanity is 10000 years older than first realized. There are markings and designed used on this ancient temple that provides new findings on our collective evolution.


Whoever constructed it, needed a lot of manpower and excellent engineering skills. The architecture suggests a place of rituals hence its nickname as the world’s first religious temple. For centuries, the Stonehenge ruins in the UK equally mesmerized people but to clarify its importance, Smithsonian Institution says Göbekli Tepe predates Stonehenge by 6000 years, and the ancient pyramids by 4000 years.

Göbekli Tepe is located by the South Eastern region of Turkey, north of the Şanlıurfa province. 

5) Fatih District of Istanbul

Although all of Istanbul should have its own top spots to visit the list, the Fatih district is uniquely important in its collective and connecting history with Western and Eastern civilizations. the most famous attraction is the two Mosques gazing down on the city. Hagia Sophia was first built to be the central cathedral of the Byzantine Empire. Its beauty and design were unmatched in the world, until the Ottoman Empire's capture of Istanbul from the Byzantines. By the orders of Sultan Ahmed the First, a mosque was to be designed on a hill overlooking the Hagia Sophia. This new mosque was to be more glamorous than even Hagia Sophia. Once it completed, the building took over the fame of the city in its mantle. 

6) The Ghost Town of Kayaköy

Just 8 kilometers from Muğla's Fethiye district, and 5 kö away to Ölüdeniz through a romantic forest path, a small abandoned village holds an international fame. Possibly, because of its ghost-like architectural design, exploring Kayaköy is a popular tour for the adventurous spirit. Walking the deserted cobbled streets takes visitors across a green hillside scattered with ruins of schools, churches and townhouses. Apart from a few restaurants, a mosque and a basic hostel, the animals and small critters have dominated the area with their voices. Everyone who visits the ghost town is amazed at the houses that is nothing like its former glory yet atmospheric with memories of the past. 

This now ghost town was still home to more than 25 thousand people, mainly of the Anatolian Greek Orthodoxes until 1922. After the Turkish Independence War, the town residents began their migration to Greek lands from Fethiye, and slowly began to abandon the now Turk owned lands. The town itself was home of Christians since the 13th Century, while now they barely make up a few percentage of the currently the population of a thousand.

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