Behind Closed Gates: Turkey’s Enigmatic and Mysterious Attractions
The Intrigue of the Hidden Gems of Turkey
Turkey is a country steeped in history, religion, culture, and natural beauty. When you take a trip to Turkey, you will be amazed at the incredible array of attractions that the country offers, from Ottoman architecture to stunning natural landscapes. However, there are some places in Turkey that are a little more enigmatic, mysterious, and secretive. These hidden gems are unexplored by most tourists, and they can offer an unforgettable and unique experience.
The closed gates often guard the entrances to the country’s most mysterious sites. They lead you to an adventure that is sealed off to the public. These attractions are hidden behind dense forests or even on the peaks of the mountains. You can’t see them from the road, and they rarely appear in guidebooks, but they are well worth seeking out if you want to uncover the true hidden treasures of Turkey.
The Mystical City of Harran
The city of Harran is one such place, located about 50 km south of Sanliurfa, in southeastern Turkey. It is an ancient city, brimming with history, which offers a wealth of archaeological wonders. The city atop the hill is very meditative, seducing visitors with unique ways that seem like it comes from mythology. The city, which was once a thriving center of learning, is home to some of the most significant ruins in the country. These include the huge tower of Harran, which dates back to the 8th century B.C.E.
The famous beehive houses of Harran are the most well-known structures of the city. They are reminiscent of the houses featured in the ancient stories of the Arabian Nights. These houses were built entirely out of mud, and they keep the interiors cool even in the scorching summer heat.
After visitors climb to the top of Harran’s most significant hill, they will be able to see the present-day town to the north. The town radiates the same exotic aura of the ancient city, an excellent destination for those who like to delve into a city’s roots.
The Hidden Monasteries of Cappadocia
The region of Cappadocia is home to some of the most captivating and unique geological formations in the world. The area is also home to some of the most beautiful monasteries in the world, most of them carved into the desert rocks.
When you visit Cappadocia, you can explore an entire city that has been created underground. These underground cities were once used as hiding places by early Christians who were avoiding persecution. There are over 30 underground cities in Cappadocia, and most of them are still unexplored.
One of the most significant cave complexes in Cappadocia is the Goreme Open-Air Museum. It is an open-air museum that houses some of the most beautiful monasteries and chapels in the world.
The Goreme Open-Air Museum has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Cappadocia.
The Underwater City of Kekova
Kekova is a small island located on the southwest coast of Turkey. It is home to an ancient city that is now submerged beneath the sea. Many who visit Kekova will take a boat ride to see the city’s ruins beneath the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean.
The city of Kekova was once a significant port city of the Lycian civilization, which was known for its advanced seafaring abilities. Many of Kekova’s ruins are now submerged beneath the sea, making it appear like a mystical sunken city.
While diving is not permitted in Kekova, visitors can get up close and personal with the ruins by kayak or boat.
The Unexplored Gobekli Tepe
Gobekli Tepe is another of Turkey’s hidden gems. It is located in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border. The site was discovered in the 1960s by a group of shepherds, but it was only in the 90s when archaeologists realized the significant historical value of the site.
Gobekli Tepe is the oldest known megalithic site in the world, dating back over 11,000 years. The complex consists of numerous massive circular structures built by a prehistoric civilization.
The site is closed to the public, and only a few archaeologists have been allowed to explore it. However, visitors can get a glimpse of the site at the Şanlıurfa Museum.
Behind Closed Gates FAQ
Q: Do I need special permits to visit these hidden gems?
A: Yes, for some of them, you do. Speak to a tour operator to ensure you secure all the necessary permits before you attempt to visit any of these sites.
Q: Are these sites safe to visit?
A: Yes, these sites are safe to visit. However, some of them require a bit of physical exertion and may not be suitable for everyone.
Q: Are these sites fully accessible?
A: Unfortunately, not all sites are fully accessible. Some may require a climb or a hike, while others may only be accessible in certain seasons.
Behind the closed gates of Turkey’s most enigmatic and mysterious attractions lies a world of wonder and excitement. From the mystical city of Harran to the underwater city of Kekova, these hidden gems offer a unique and unforgettable experience. While not accessible to all, these attractions are well worth seeking out if you are looking for a true adventure off the beaten track.