Diyarbakır Fortress passes through modern city center
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Ephesus, Hevsel Gardens and Diyarbakır Fortress are now in UNESCO world heritage list!

Turkey is a very rich country by means of natural beauty, history and culture. Turkey is rewarded by this combination and the prize is given by UNESCO!

UNESCO’s world heritage committee aims to identify the places being of special cultural or physical significance.

Turkey has already  13 sites marked on the list. (You may see at the end of this post). In 2015, Ephesus, Hevsel Gardens and Diyarbakır Fortress were nominated and they have been selected with total consensus.

Let’s have a closer look at this special places:

1- Ephesus

Roman Library of Celsus
Roman Library of Celsus

New York, London, Tokyo, Berlin… These are great cities of the modern world. Ephesus was one of the greatest cities of the old world, which hosts one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world: Temple of Artemis.

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era. In the Roman period, Ephesus had a population of more than 250,000 in the 1st century BC, which also made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. Click to read more from our article “The Ancient Metropolis: Ephesus”

2- Hevsel Gardens

Hevsel Gardens in Diyarbakır - Turkey
Hevsel Gardens in Diyarbakır – Turkey

Hevsel Gardens is a very interesting place and maybe one of the oldest gardens in the world. The gardens are 8,000-year-old and it is located on an escarpment of the Upper Tigres River Basin that is part of the so-called “Fertile Crescent”. Hevsel Gardens, a green link between the city and the Tigris that supplied the city with food and water for long ages and it is still being protected.

You may be surprised that only one year ago, the Turkish government was pushing Hevsel Garden’s to be zoned for housing. Their plan was to build many villas there. Thanks to god this crazy plan was stopped by environmental activists and this year it is insured by UNESCO’s decision.

3- Diyarbakır Fortress


Diyarbakır Fortress passes through modern city center
Diyarbakır Fortress passes through the modern city centre

Diyarbakır Fortress is an archaic structure build a very long time ago. Some researches say the citadel and fortress were built approximately 9.000 years ago, some say 5 – 7 thousand years ago. The upgraded fortress mainly built-in Roman and Byzantium era and made Diyarbakır as a stronghold in the south-east of the empire. The fortress walls are about 5.8 km long and have sixteen keeps. The walls today are 10-12 m high and 3-5 m thick and visible in the city. You may also get an aerial view from all over the nearby hills.

Bonus: List of World Heritage Sites in Turkey (from wikipedia)

Number Name Year (Inscription) Criteria Province Image
1 Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia 1985 I, III, V, VII Nevşehir Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia
2 Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital 1985 I,IV Sivas Great Mosque of Divriği
3 Historic Areas of Istanbul 1986 I,II,III,IV Istanbul From left to right: The Sultan Ahmed Mosque; the Hagia Sophia; the Seraglio Point consisting of the Topkapı Palace and the Sea Walls; and the Galata Tower at far right, across the Golden Horn
4 Hattusha: the Hittite Capital 1986 I,II,III,IV Çorum Liongate of Hattusa
5 Nemrut Dağ 1987 I,III,IV Adıyaman East Terrace of Mount Nemrut
6 Hierapolis – Pamukkale 1988 III,IV,VII Denizli The main thoroughfare of Hierapolis
7 XanthosLetoon 1988 II,III AntalyaMuğla The foundations of the three temples at the Letoon
8 City of Safranbolu 1994 II,IV,V Karabük Traditional houses of Safranbolu
9 Archaeological Site of Troy 1998 II,III,IV Çanakkale Walls of Troy
10 Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex 2011 I,IV Edirne Selimiye Mosque
11 Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük 2012 II,IV Konya Çatalhöyük at the time of the first excavations
12 Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire 2014 I,II,III,IV,VI Bursa Traditional houses of Cumalıkızlık
13 Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape 2014 I,II,III,IV,VI İzmir Temple of Trajan at Pergamon
14 Diyarbakır Fortress (tr) and Hevsel Gardens (tr) Cultural Landscape 2015 IV Diyarbakır Old city walls of Diyarbakır
15 Ephesus 2015 III, IV, VI İzmir The Library of Celsus in Ephesus

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