The Lion’s Gate

The Arslantepe Mound, a 30 m high archaeological site in Eastern Anatolia that holds the secrets of the Copper Age, becomes Turkey’s 19th UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, adding to this country’s rich list of breathtaking, ancient, and highly valued places to visit.

The ancient city of Ephesus near Izmir, is a symbol of Turkey

Turkey is a land of incredible natural beauty, historic significance and great cultural depth. Now, there’s one more reason for visitors from across the globe to fly to this now offering more incredible reasons for travellers across the globe to visit this breathtaking country that’s literally a bridge from Asia to Europe.

Arslantepe Mound or Lion Hill, Turkey's 19th UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Arslantepe Mound, a 8000-year old archaeological mound, was inscribed on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites, positioning Turkey as a destination with a record number of cultural heritage sites. This announcement took place during the recent Extended 44th UNESCO World Heritage Committee online session in Fuzhou, China.

The majestic Rock Sites of Cappadocia

As per a statement by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, Arslantepe (“Lion Hill” in English) Mound had been on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List since 2014, and it is one of Turkey’s “earliest religious and civil sites”. With the mound, the number of Turkish sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List has reached 19.

Gobeklitepe, one of the world's oldest archaeological sites, is located in the country's southeastern Anatolia region

Turkey is a land of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, offering magnificent travel opportunities, where outdoor adventures, a diverse culture, and an array of cuisine, abound in a land of turquoise skies and seas. Many civilizations from the earliest ages of humanity have settled in Turkey and have left their mark across this beautiful country. Spectacular examples of natural wonders stand side by side with this rich cultural heritage.

Pamukkale travertines filled with mineral rich hot springs, in Denizli, in southwestern Turkey

“The archaeological site of Arslantepe is located on Southeastern Turkey on the Malatya plain, five kilometers from the city center and 15 km from the Euphrates River,” says a UNESCO. “Malatya is merely a one-hour flight distance from Istanbul. It is a four-hectare and 30 m high archaeological mound dominating the plain and formed by the superimposition of settlements for millennia from at least the 6th millennium BCE to the late Roman period.”

Mount Nemrut, the 8th Wonder of the World, with its ancient disembodied stone heads, in Anatolia

Excavations at Turkey's archaeological mound of Arslantepe are related to the discovery of the famous Late Hittite city entrance. During this period, Arslantepe was the capital of a small Late Hittite Kingdom. This majestic entrance, flanked by two large relief sculptures of lions and various other scenes, was part of a large fortification wall in mud brick surrounding the site.

Hierapolis, and ancient 2nd century BC city, in Anatolia

The addition of Turkey's Arslantepe Mound means that Turkey now has 19 amazing cultural and natural sites recognized on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The list includes the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi, Goreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, Historic areas of Istanbul, Hattusha – the Hittite capital, Mount Nemrut, Hierapolis and Pamukkale, Xanthos-Letoon, the City of Safranbolu, Diyabakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, Archaeological Site of Troy, the Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex, the Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk, Bursa and Cumalikizik, the birth of the Ottoman Empire, Pergamom and its multilayerd cultural landscape, Ephesus, the Archaeological Site of Ani, Aphrodisias, Gobeklitepe, and the Arslantepe Mound.

So, here are 19 wonderful reasons (out of hundreds) to visit Turkey!


Priya Kumari Rana

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