Afterward Cappadocia, air balloon rides over Göbeklitepe is now the new trend. Hot air balloon rides over Göbeklitepe has officially begun after completing safety tests and presentation stages.
Colorful hot air balloons now dot the blue skies above Göbeklitepe. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southeastern Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province. It has been intensely attracting local and foreign tourists to experience the historical marvel from a different perspective.
Air Balloon Rides over Göbeklitepe Has Already Begun
The company operating the hot air balloons over Göbeklitepe has officially commenced balloon rides. After completing safety tests and presentation stages, both tourists and locals have begun to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
What Ours The Flights Do Take Place?
The flights start at dawn, allowing tourists and adventurers to watch Göbeklitepe. What’s more, it also allows adventurers to watch the city of Şanlıurfa from the sky as the sun rises over the Mesopotamian plain. The flights will take place at intervals with ample time in between until December. The reason for doing so is to accommodate health and safety measures imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Strict Precautions Taken Before The Flights Begin
A balloon pilot, Bilge Ezel, assured visitors that they had made strict arrangements in line with nationwide preventive measures against COVID-19. Moreover, she also added that “(Despite all) we aim to take Göbeklitepe to the sky.”
A Brief Information on Göbeklitepe
Göbeklitepe archaeological site is a settlement belonging to the Neolithic period. It locates near the Örencik neighborhood which is 18 kilometers (11 miles) from the city center. It was first discovered by researchers from Istanbul and Chicago universities. The discovery took place during surface surveys in 1963. However, the most concrete findings in the area were revealed by a statue found by a farmer when plowing his field in 1986.
Growing Reputation of Göbeklitepe
Göbeklitepe is continuing to grow in reputation every year. It took place on UNESCO’s World Heritage Tentative List in 2011. Then, the committee included it on the World Heritage List at the 42nd World Heritage Committee. The meeting was, by the way, held in Bahrain on July 1, 2018.
This title boosted the worldwide recognition of Göbeklitepe which experienced its “golden age” in tourism last year after 2019. In that year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the site as “The Year of Göbeklitepe”. Experts described it as “the zero points of history” in common with a heritage dating back 12,000 years. Furthermore, the site set visitor records by hosting over 412,000 people in 2019.
Ongoing Popularity Thanks to Virtual Museum
Göbeklitepe was closed to visitors for about three months this year due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, it came to the fore as the most visited historical site during the outbreak within the scope of the virtual museum application. The application became available with the effort of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The site continues to welcome its guests in accordance with mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, and hygiene practices since June 1.