The overwhelming beauty of Turkey is evident in its incredibly varied landscape and the complexity of its history. Pealing back these layers through the centuries and ages, we discover a land of immense archaeological, cultural, and Biblical value. So, though the modern Republic of Turkey may have been imagined by Ataturk as a champion of secularism, it is evident that the Turkey we see today is very much informed by its historical and religious legacy: it is a proverbial Agora of East and West, a successor of an enduring imperial ebb and flow, and an unremitting conversation of faith, spirituality, and culture.
Wedged between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Aegean, Turkey has always been an important center of trade, and really is the “Cradle of Civilization”! In fact, southeastern Turkey’s Göbekli Tepe (the oldest monument in the world) is around 11,000 years old, predating the famous Stonehenge by 6,000 years! And the nearby site of Çatalhöyük is an impressively well-preserved Neolithic settlement that has significantly contributed to our understanding of human development.
And then there’s Troy, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world! The extensive excavations here were first undertaken by the famous (and arguably reckless) archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the late 1800’s, and unearthed the setting of the Trojan War, as immortalized by Homer in the Iliad.