am rarely happier than when traveling in Eastern Turkey. The culture, art, people and history of the region have wooed me, won me over, heart, mind and soul. This past fall trip was even more exciting for me when we as a group visited the ancient site of Gobekli Tepe. I had read, seen images and had imagined what this relatively newly discovered archeological site might hold. Nothing had prepared me for the magnitude and beauty of what is the oldest temple or religious site known to mankind. Seven thousand years before the ancient pyramids of Egypt; six thousand years before Stone Henge of England; in 9500 BC Gobekli Tepe was erected. Eleven thousand five hundred years ago, before mankind had settled, before the age of pottery and agriculture, this massive centre of religion was raised on the Mesopotamian Plain. The German archeologist, Klaus Schmidt, who has partnered with the Turkish
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Archive for the ‘Eastern Turkey Tour’ Category:
astern Turkey beckons once again and we land in Trabzon ready to start our trek south following the borders. Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria all share Turkey’s eastern border and stretch out before us for the next fourteen days. The Black Sea laps at the city’s shore along the ribbon of new highway spanning the north coast of Turkey. Although Trabzon is familiar to me from previous visits sadly on this visit there is one site that we will not be visiting. The church of Aya Sophia of Trabzon has been recently converted from a museum to a mosque. This 13th c structure is a wonderful
he week before it was time to come home from Turkey my daughter Leah and I took a short trip to Mardin in the Southeast of Turkey. Our time was a combination of putting our feet up and relaxing and also exploring some nearby sites and cities that I had never visited previously. One such morning we set aside some time for a trip to Dara. Dara is a village built on the site of ruins dating back to the 6th c BC. The name harkens back to King Darius the Persian king
ooking ahead to the fall of next year we have travel planned for Eastern Turkey October 4th -18th, 2013. We will start and end our trip in Istanbul with an internal flight to the city of Trabzon on the Black Sea in the northeast of Turkey close to the Georgian border. Then we will return to Istanbul from Gaziantep in the southeast corner of Turkey. Travel in eastern Turkey provides glimpses of landscape, culture and traditions that appear to have remained unchanged for centuries. The same travel includes insight into the monumental changes that are impacting the region. Highways, massive dams and sophisticated agricultural undertakings exist side by side with the very old. I personally love to tour the ancient sites of Eastern Turkey. I love the experience of not being with masses of people as we wander through monasteries, palaces, abandoned ruins of bygone cities or hike in the Taurus Mountains above a lakeside village. My imagination is lured back in time when on the Mesopotamian plain, when in Sanliurfa (birthplace of Abraham)
arpets stacked high, kilims by the meter, in Istanbul this wealth of colour, design, texture and tradition share a commonality of being made of wool. Old and antique weavings or pieces right off of the loom all started out ‘on the hoof’, wool or hair on the backs of sheep or goats. I have a strong image of the first flock of sheep I saw grazing in the distance on a hillside in Cappadocia. The shepherd was visible at the rear of the flock as they grazed against the surrealistic landscape that defines Cappadocia. It seemed an ancient image to me. In fact research would indicate that the practice of animal husbandry spans the past 8000 years in Anatolia. On our travels in Eastern Turkey one day as we were driving across the Mesopotamian plain towards Mardin my colleague Mehmet noticed
TWO FACES IN VAN – BEFORE THE EARTHQUAKE ack had a plan. Jack, my husband, an inveterate people/project person, is my companion on our tours throughout Western and Eastern Turkey. Jack loves people but he especially loves kids. The wheels were turning in Jack’s head when he visited with my niece’s husband Archie in North Vancouver. Archie, father of two, and coach of his eldest daughter’s soccer team was telling Jack about the season and about the replacement of the used practice balls with new balls for the next season. The light went on for Jack. In his mind’s eye he could see those kids throughout the East of Turkey without soccer balls, kicking a deflated plastic water bottle back and forth, and here was a net bag of used balls languishing in Archie’s garage. So the small scale project, but meaningful to those involved (Jack included) began and continues. Jack takes deflated soccer balls as well as pumps and needles that he purchases along in an extra bag to Eastern Turkey and when he