A collection of stories from Turkey. (February 2013)
We visit the cave and well of Prophet Job (Ayub), the famed Biblical city of Harran — home of Prophet Abraham — and the mysteriously fascinating 11,000-year-old archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe. (February 2013)
The ancient Urfa castle cum fortress, dating from antiquity, lies atop a rocky hill called Damlacik. It overlooks the historical precinct related to Prophet Abraham’s legend and the old market area of Gumruk Han. We climb Damlacik from the market, and descend into the gardens of Abraham. The day ends with Maghrib prayer at Hasan Padisah Mosque and a worthy dessert called sillik, a uniquely Urfa invention. (February 2013)
Urfa, located in the Middle Euphrates in south-eastern Anatolia, is said to be one of the 18 settlements founded by Prophet Noah after the Big Flood, and it has flourished ever since. Located along the ancient Silk Road, the Ottomans built a major caravanserai in the 16th c. which has now become the market of old Urfa. It’s one of the best-preserved markets in Turkey, and a very delightful place to explore and observe. (February 2013)
We continue with our Prophet Abraham quest — the legendary Pool of Sacred Fish or Fish Lake, and the accompanying Zeliha (Zulaikha) Lake. We end the morning Urfa walkabout with a visit to a beautiful church-turned-mosque dedicated to Salahaddin Al-Ayyubi, the Muslim warrior. (February 2013)
We visit the cave in Urfa, believed to be the birthplace of Prophet Abraham some 4000 years ago, whose mother fled to in order to hide her pregnancy and delivery. Evil pagan King Nimrod was at that time on a rampage, killing every male newborn, after dreaming that one of them would grow to end his rule. February 2013.
After the Anatolian museum visit, we explore Ulus, the old quarter of Ankara, before heading for Esenboga Airport for the flight to Sanliurfa (Urfa). In Urfa we have our first taste of the famous Urfa kebab before retiring. February 2013.
In Ankara, the capital city of modern Turkey, we spend the morning exploring the priceless exhibits at the world-famous Museum of Anatolian Civilisations. These exhibits date back from more than 4,000 years ago. Living ancient history at its best! February 2013.
Continuing with Day 2 in Cappadocia, we see some amazing pottery in Avanos, and even more amazing natural formations in the Monks Valley. We end the day with a long bus ride to Ankara, the capital of Turkey. February 2013.
Second day in Cappadocia and we get to see how a cave hotel room is made, plus a memorable visit to the ancient Eastern Orthodox churches of Goreme, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. February 2013.