Turkey – Nature
The sacred Hierapolis of Phrygia, one of the antique cities of the Aegean, was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988.
Deriving from springs in a cliff almost 200 m high overlooking the plain, calcite-laden waters have created at Pamukkale (Cotton Palace) an unreal landscape, made up of mineral forests, petrified waterfalls and a series of terraced basins. At the end of the 2nd century B.C. the dynasty of the Attalids, the kings of Pergamon, established the thermal spa of Hierapolis.
2. Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia
Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 on natural and cultural criteria. This rocky landscape is honeycombed with networks of ancient underground settlements and outstanding examples of Byzantine art.
In a spectacular landscape, entirely sculpted by erosion, the Göreme valley and its surroundings contain rock-hewn sanctuaries that provide unique evidence of Byzantine art in the post-Iconoclastic period. Dwellings, troglodyte villages and underground towns – the remains of a traditional human habitat dating back to the 4th century – can also be seen there.
3. Karain Cave
The cave is situated 30 km. north, north-west of Antalya.Carved in Cratese period limestone, its altitude is 430m from the sea level and 150m from the travertine plain. The plain which is formed by transgression, is one of the largest travertine plains in the world. There are fine water springs where the plain meets the mountains. Geological and geomorphological researches in the recent years revealed a lake in the middle of the plain in Pleistocene; and many open air settlements in Paleolithic period.
4. Lake Tuz Special Environmental Protection Area (SEPA)
The Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey .Being a tectonic originated site, the area is located in a closed large basin called Konya basin. It is one of the most salty lakes of the world as the density of water equals to 1-22.5 cm /g, i.e. salt ratio of 32.4%.This feature brings an economic value as well, of which 70% of salt used in Turkey is produced from Lake Salt.
The surface of the edges of the lake looks like an empty planet in which many visitors can perceive some oasis on the horizon. Over there a white layer covering the steppe plants mimics some sculpture shapes of the fine arts in nature.
5. Kızılırmak Delta Wetland and Bird Sanctuary
Kızılırmak (River) is the longest river that rises from and also flows into the territories of Turkey, and also that has the second biggest drainage basin of Turkey. Kızılırmak Delta is the biggest and most important wetland ecosystem of South Black Sea Basin, for representing habitat species specific to Black Sea in the best possible way and for having flora and fauna fatures that can sustain ecologic and genetic species.
6. Mount Harşena and the Rrock-tombs of the Pontic Kings
Mount Harşena, which is located in the north of the basin separated by the Yeşilırmak River is unique due to various reasons; it has been inhabited interruptedly for more than five thousand years by many civilizations since the Early Bronze Age, it consists of cultural properties such as Amasya Fortress, the Middle Fortress, the Inner Forteress, the rock-tombs of the Pontic Kings, monumental cisterns opened in the 1st century BCE and Yalıboyu Houses (Riverside Houses) besides offering a unique and enchanting landscape together with Yeşilırmak River and its valley.
The monumental rock-tombs of the Pontic Kings which were carved on the surface of limestone bedrock formations in the south hillside of the Mount Harşena are the most impressive archaeological remains of the Kingdom of Pontos and nearly its only preserved remains at all.
7. Harran and Şanlıurfa
Şanlıurfa known as the city of prophets has a very rich and for reaching background, due to its location in the great fertile plain of upper Mesopotamia. This Holy city is full of historic religious, public and civil architectural buildings. All are the best examples of tradition and art stone. The city is mentioned in the Holy bible and in the documents founded at Mari (a city on the Northern Syria) It is important not only for hosting the early civilizations but it is the place where the first Islamic University is founded. The traditional civil architecture, mudbrick houses with conic roofs, are unique.