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Destination Turkey

Akdamar Church (alternatively known as the Church of Holly Cross): The church depicts well-known biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, The Tree of Life, David slaying Goliath, and many more.

Ani Castle: The Ani Ruins are at 48 km distance to the Kars Province. The ancient city is founded at the banks of the Arpaçay River flowing in the vicinity of Turkey - Armenia border and is in the borders of Mevcut Ocaklı Village. The foundation date is estimated to be in BC 350 - 300 years. The tourists coming to our country frequently visit the ruins of Ani. The ruins of city walls, Medieval churches and Seljukian architecture creations of the Ani ruins are magnificent art works and worth visiting.

Ankara: The Capital of Turkey is set in the strategic heartland of Central Anatolia. Although the city is thoroughly modern in appearance, its origins date back to the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations contains the most significant marks of Anatolians.

Antakya (Antioch): The ancient city of Antakya (Antioch) is another Seleucid center founded by Alexander.

Antalya: Principal resort city of the southern Mediterranean, known as the “Turkish Riviera”. It is a lovely port city with palm-lined boulevards, a prize-winning marina, and picturesque old quarters, which has a majestic coastline of beaches and rocky coves surrounded by the towering Taurus Mountains.

The sun, sea, nature and history combine to form a very popular resort, highlighted by some of the cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. The 630km (400miles) shoreline of the province is liberally scattered with ancient cities, harbors, memorial tombs, beaches, secluded coves and lush forests.

Aphrodisias: Prof. Kenan Erim - “Imagine coming upon a city of antiquity so rich in archaeological treasures where choice sculptures roll out of the sides of ditches, tumble from old walls, and lie jam packed amid colonnaded ruins”. Do we need to say more?

Artemis Temple: It is known that a first Ephesus settlement was built around these temple places. The Temple was collapsed by an earthquake then the Ephesusians built a temple more imposing by the support of the Roman Empire. Today only base ruins remain.  The Temple of Artemis, which had been built at first during the Archaic period (7th c. B.C.), was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world later during the Hellenistic period and, in the year 356 B.C. when Alexander the Great was born, it was destroyed by a lunatic called Herostatus who always wanted to be remembered in the future (and he succeeded) and was reconstructed by the people of Ephesus. It has 127 ionic columns and its dimensions are 55 x 115 m (180f x 378f). Some of the bases of the columns of the temple are ornamented with raised relief design. Today two marble statues of the goddess Artemis can be seen in the nearby museum.

Avanos: The ancient name of this city used to be Venessa. It is still relevant and very visible today, with production of earthenware pottery since Hittites.

Belcegiz – Oludeniz: The bay forms the dreamlike Belcegiz - Oludeniz (Blue Lagoon) known as  "a paradise that God granted to Earth", a very fine place with 3 km (2 miles) of natural beach and crystal blue waters in enchanting surroundings.

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque): One of the most famous monuments of Turkish and Islamic art, the mosque is visited by all who come to Istanbul and gains their admiration. This imperial mosque is an example of classical Turkish architecture, and it is the only mosque that was originally built with six minarets.  It is surrounded by other important edifices of Istanbul, built at earlier ages. Istanbul is viewed best from the sea and the mosque is part of this magnificent scenery.  Although it is popularly known as the Blue Mosque, its real name is Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Befitting his original profession, its architect Mehmet Aga decorated the interior fastidiously like a jeweler. Built between 1609-1616, the mosque used to be part of a large complex, including a covered bazaar, Turkish baths, public kitchens, a hospital, schools, a caravanserai, and the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet. Some of these social and cultural buildings have not survived to our day.

The architect was a student of Sinan, the greatest architect of classical Turkish architecture. He applied a plan used previously by his master, but on a larger scale.

Bodrum: The port of ancient Halicarnassus where Herodotus was born and where the Mausoleum was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Cappadocia: An area of rock carved cities and surrealistic landscapes in central Anatolia. Nature has sculpted the earth into fantastic shapes, rock cones, capped pinnacles, and fretted ravines. Cappadocia looks like a lunar landscape. For a thousand years, from the 4th to the 13th centuries, Christians hewed dwellings from the rocks, totally incorporating the architecture into the landscape. The caves were decorated with Byzantine frescoes that can still be seen today.

Ciragan Palace: The interior was rebuilt, at a cost of four million gold coins, beginning with covering the ceiling with wood and the walls with marble. The rooms were decorated with rare carpets, furniture, gold and silver. The sides of the building were decorated with colored marble, and monumental gates connected it to Yildiz Palace via a bridge, which is how the harem women went between the two, in total privacy.

Derinkuyu Underground Cities: Situated in the Derinkuyu Nevsehir province, this city was built as a defense and hiding site during the period of the spreading of Christianity. It was built by excavating the soft rocks underground, and is estimated to have been built during the 9th-10th centuries. It consists of rooms on either side of narrow passages, ventilation stacks, a chapel and a well. These cities were well-hidden complexes, a safe and self-sufficient environment that could accommodate up to 20,000 people. The most thoroughly excavated is Derinkuyu, consisting of eight floors with stables, a school room and dining hall, churches, kitchens, living quarters, wine cellars, store rooms and a dungeon. Original airshafts still function and the maze of tunnels and rooms are well lit

Dolmabahce Palace: It was built over three levels, and symmetrically planned, with 285 chambers and 43 halls. It has a 600m long pier along the river, with two huge monumental gates. The palace is surrounded by well-maintained and immaculate gardens, with an immense 56-columned greeting hall, with 750 lights illuminated from 4.5 tons of crystal chandelier. The entrance was used for meeting and greeting Sultans and opposite the ceremonial hall was the harem. The interior decoration, furniture, silk carpets and curtains all remain.

Ephesus: First and foremost Metropolis in Asia; library of Celsus. Although the excavations have been going on for about a century, only 25% of the
city is excavated it still is the and one of the best preserved Roman city with an impressive theater seating 25,000 people or the third largest library of the ancient world containing well over 1,000 scrolls. Ephesus is also interesting for witnessing the geographical changes in the last 3 millennia; the city that used to be a port now is now kilometers away from the sea.

Fethiye/Telmessos: The city experienced the rule of Persia, Alexander the Great, Rome, Pergamum Kingdom, Byzantium, Menteşeoğulları Principality and Ottoman State respectively. Fethiye has an outstanding and busy marina. The ancient name of the city is Telmessos and you will see a fortress on the hill overlooking the city, which was built by Knights of Rhodes. Fethiye is known for its rock tombs carved into the faces of the cliffs by the Lycian. These are elaborately carved and an especially remarkable; one is the tomb of Amintas dating from the 4th century BC built in Doric architectural style

Galata: was, on the north shore of the Golden Horn, a semi-independent colony of the Genoese, an Italian marine-state. In the early centuries under the Ottoman rule, the district became densely populated as the European quarter. Here the foreign merchants had their houses and their shops and here the ambassadors of the European powers built sumptuous embassies. As the time went on the confines of Galata became too narrow and crowded and the embassies and the richer merchants began to move out beyond the walls to the hills and vineyards above. Here the foreign powers built palatial mansions surrounded by gardens, all of them standing along the road, which would later be known as the Grand Rue de Pera.

Galata Mevlevihanesi: a former monastery and ceremonial hall of the Whirling Dervishes. Now, it is open as a museum, and on display are fascinating objects, once used by the Mevlevi dervishes in their ceremonies of music and dance.

Galata Tower: known also as the Tower of Christ, was the highest point of the Genoese fortifications of medieval Galata and was built in 1348. Ascend the galleries for a magnificent view out over the entire city and its surrounding waters.

Golden Horn: This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul. One of the best natural harbors in the world, it was once the center for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests. Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water. At Fener and Balat, neighborhoods midway up the Golden Horn, there are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from the Byzantine and Ottoman times. The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener and a little further up the Golden Horn at Eyup, is some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture. Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit the Eyup Mosque and the Tomb of Eyup, the Prophet Mohammed’s standard-bearer. It is one of the holiest places in Islam. The area is a still a popular burial place and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones. The Pierre Loti Cafe, at the top of the hill overlooking the shrine and the Golden Horn, is a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.

Grand Bazaar: The mother of all covered market places had humble beginnings as a much smaller market in 1461, during the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror. Now comprised of well over four thousand shops stretching over a maze of sixty-odd winding streets, it easily holds the title of largest covered market in the world. And inside: the famous hand-made carpets and kilims (a woven-style of rug), leather goods, and everything from belly-dancing outfits to 'cezve' (the special copper pots for brewing Turkish coffee).

Hagia Sophia Museum: Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and is still seen as one of the world’s most important architectural monuments - drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art.

Hippodrome:  was not only the place of chariot races. Generals celebrated their triumphs here, politicians lectured the crowds here, heretics were burned here, emperor received the approbation of their subjects here and, on occasions, the bodies of dethroned rulers were exposed to the derision and ridicule of the mob here. It was the place where the public executions were held. This, the largest hippodrome in the ancient world, was begun during the reign of Septimus Severus in AD 203 in an attempt to pacify the Byzantines. It was rebuilt and enlarged by Constantine when he made Byzantium his capital.

House of Virgin Mary: It is thought to be constructed during the IV Century AD and located on the top of Mount Bülbül, which is nine kilometers away from Selcuk, also known as “Panaya Kapulu”. Before the crucifixion, Jesus Christ entrusted his mother to his friends and disciples. As St. Jean thought that to stay in Jerusalem would be dangerous for the Virgin Mary after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, he took her here. Though these rumors are confused with legends, there are evidences proving that these have a great deal to do with reality. Having undertaken a sacred mission to spread Christianity, St. Jean chose Efes as the biggest city of the era, and secluded the Virgin Mary in a hut in a wood of trees very close together on the skirts of Bulbul Mountain because he did not want the Virgin Mary to live in a place where idol worshippers would annoy her. Every day St. Jean secretly visited her and took her food. It has been considered that Virgin Mary lived and died there when she was 101 years old. Then St. Jean buried Virgin Mary at this secret place, which was unknown to anyone except himself. After Christianity became world wide, a church with a "Cross" like layout was constructed of this sacred place of Virgin Mary.

This house was declared the holy place of Christianity by the Papacy in 1967.

Ihlara Valley: It is a hidden Shangri-la. In medieval times the gorge harbored a thriving monastic civilization, which left numerous rock-cut churches decorated with colorful frescoes.

Ishak Pasa Palace: Having approximately 360 rooms and lounges, the palace fits the qualities of a traditional Ottoman Palace.

Istanbul: "There, God and human, nature and art are together, they have created such a perfect place that it is valuable to see." Lamar Tine’s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.

Istanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires - Christian and Islamic. Once capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey.  Its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asian and European, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.

For Istanbul one lifetime is not long enough.

Istiklal Caddesi: a pedestrian street formerly known as the Grand Rue de Pera, today the heart of the city's cultural life with its various cafes, restaurants, shops, and cinemas...

Izmir: Once called Smyrna, Izmir is the birthplace of Homer, and third largest city in Turkey. It is located at the center of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor and now is a bustling modern port city, the heart of the Turkish Aegean.

Kackar Mountains: Kackar Mountains are the lofty eastern continuation of the Pontic Mountains, which run like a spinal column along the entire Black Sea coast. Peaks of Kackar take on greater scale, with the main ridgeline reaching beyond 3,500m in a series of rocky summits. Reminiscent of parts of the Alps, mountains are scattered with numerous icy tarns and covered on their northern haunches by huge swathes of undistributed forest. The Kackar also have incredible human interest in the form of the mountain peoples who live in rustic villages of timber houses.

Kayakoy: Kayakoy was a settlement region of Rums (Greeks of Turkish Nationality) in the 14th century. It was founded on the lands of the ancient city Karmillassos, which had been demolished almost completely excluding a few home-type tombs due to earthquakes. Its ancient name is Levissi. Becoming united with the people of five surrounding Turkish villages and teaching humanity on the concepts of friendship, brotherhood, and peace throughout its history, Kayaköy is one of the most important regions to be proud of. According to the agreement of population exchange signed between Turkish and Greek governments in 1922, Turks living in the western Thrace exchanged Rums living in Kayaköy.

Kelebekler Valley (Butterfly Valley): At a distance of 5-7 km (2-4 miles) from Olu Deniz (Dead Sea), this interesting canyon is surrounded by approximately 350 meters (1,148f) of high mountains. It takes its name from the butterflies called ‘Jarsey Tiger’ seen between June and September.  Kelebekler Valley has always been not only an Earth Eden with its waterfalls, crystal clear springs, brightly shining pebbles, breathtaking beaches and oleanders decorating the environs, but also a meeting haven of the world wonderers.

Lycia Rock Tombs: Fethiye with its 4th century works of art remaining from the Lycia period attracts attention. These are the tombs, carved out on natural rocks, which became the symbol of the district. Amintas, which is the most elaborate of these tombs, can be reached via many regular stairs. It can also be seen easily from the plain below and the admiration for its greatness increases when approached. At the center of the left-side column, ‘ Herpamias’ son Amintas ’ was written in the alphabet of 4th century B.C. The identity of this man is not known exactly. There are many tombs worth seeing in the district. The most important one of these is the tomb, which belongs to the Lycian Period. The tomb, ascending from the sea, has an interesting appearance. On the front side of the two-storied tomb there are quadrangle carvings resembling wooden beams and a gothic style arched cover. Both sides of the cover were ornamented with frescoes depicting wars and it is thought that these are related to the life of Amintas.

Milas: One of the most important cities of Karya, antic Mylasa, has taken its name from Mylasos, who is coming from the Aiolos generation, who is the reign of winds and resides within Aiolia Island in Mediterranean according to mythology.  The  "Asa" suffix of Mylasa name is showing that Milas is founded at very ancient times (3.000 B. C.).

Alexander the Great, who had begun his Asian expedition in 334 B.C., had conquered South - West Anatolia and of course Milas, and just after that conquest he had given his conquered lands to Karya Queen Island.

Mylasa had arbitrated to a class contradiction with the request of Roman Emperor, Macmilius, in 143 B.C., and after this date, become the center of Roman Governors leading courts. During Byzantium period, Milas become bishop center, then conquered by Seljuk, Menteşeoğulları and Ottomans.

Mt. Ararat: Turkey's highest mountain, Mount Ararat (5,165 m/16,946f) has drawn the attention of scientists, mountaineers and wanderers and became a subject of various stories, folk songs and myths.

According to the widespread belief, the mountain, which is mentioned in the Holy Bible and the Pentateuch, takes an important place in tourism. The world was covered with evil things during the time of the Prophet Noah. In order to punish human beings, God ordered Noah to construct a ship. Prophet Noah, his spouse, his sons and their spouses as well as 7 male and 7 female of all species in the world and 2 male and 2 female reptiles would be taken on board. Prophet Noah had constructed the ship as the god ordered and entered the ship with the creatures. 7 days later, all the creatures except the ones within the ship had vanished as a result of the flood that had continued for 40 days and 40 nights. With the withdrawal of the flood the ship had grounded on Mount Ararat, and the creatures had left the ship happily and spread all around the world. The mountain, which has a special place in religion, is very fascinating with its majestic appearance rapidly ascending to the sky on a smooth surface, with its snowy peeks even in summer and with its vegetation and animal species.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art: is also known as the former palace Ibrahim Pasa, the grand Vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent. The pace proved to be the undoing of Ibrahim. Roxelena, who had always been jealous of his friendship with her husband, persuaded Suleyman that his Grand Vizier had ambitions to replace him on the throne and that these ambitions were given visible expressions by the grandeur of his new palace. As a result of Roxelena’s scheming, Ibrahim was executed and his possessions were confiscated by the sultan.

Myra: At Demre (Kale), the ancient Myra, with many splendidly carved rock tombs overlook the magnificent Roman theatre. St. Nicholas was the bishop of this Mediterranean city during the fourth century, and died here in 342 A.D.

Olympus: The home of the gods was, of course, Mount Olympus, though they spent much of their time on the earth, particularly in Anatolia. Mount Olympus is popularly supposed to be a peak in northern Greece, on the borders of Thessaly and Macedonia. On the top of this 10,000-foot peak the palaces and gardens of the gods made up an exclusive kind of heaven.

Pamukkale: Ancient Hierapolis is a noted spa, where calcareous hot springs descending over hundreds of meters have created fascinating travertine in the form of white terraces and basins. The calcium oxide-rich waters flowing down the southern slope of Caldag located north of the ruins have, over the millennia, built up deposits of white travertine on the plateau thus fully justifying both the site's ancient name of Hierapolis (Holy City) and its modern one of Pamukkale (Cotton Castle). Hierapolis was always a luxury resort town famous with its spas and is well worth a visit. The successful excavation and restoration gives an original ambience to the city.

Patara (Ovagelemiş): Once a principle harbor of ancient Lycia, Patara was the birthplace of Apollo, according to Greek legend. This village covering a wide area on the eastern part of the harbor is 41km from Kas and has one of the best beaches in the area, a white golden stretch around 20km long. Patara gained importance during the Byzantine period, because it was the birthplace of St Nicholas, the 4th century bishop better known as his other identity, Santa Claus. St Paul, one of Christ’s disciples, boarded a ship from Patara to Rome. The ruins lay 1km from the beach, and include several Lycian tombs, a basilica, Corinthian temple and a theatre. Access is possible by dolmus from most adjacent towns, although not at night. The Lycian Roman monuments can be seen when entering Patara. The beach is one of the longest in Turkey, with a width of up to 1500m. Declared a Special Environmental Preservation Region by the Ministry of the Environment, it is a major breeding area for the caretta-caretta sea turtles, and during the reproductive season there are strictly applied restrictions to preserve their habitat.

Rumeli Fortress: It is situated on the Tracean side of the Istanbul Bosphorous. It was built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prevent aid from north reaching Byzantine. It took 4 months to build with 1000 masons and 2000 workers. The three towers were built by Çandarlı Halil Pasha, Saruca Pasha and Zaganos Pasha and are named after them. The fortress has 5 gates and lies over an area of 30.000 m²

Sultan Sazligi: There are 301 different species of birds in the entire area, and it is one of the most important incubation fields in Turkey with 85 species breeding here. The ecosystem is rare in that the salt and fresh waters co-exist, and it is the only place in Europe where crane, flamingo, heron and pelican are incubating together.

Suleymaniye Mosque: Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent commissioned the Suleymaniye Mosque, which was designed by Architect Sinan and built between the dates 1550-1557. This mosque is the central piece of a kulliya, which crowns one of the seven hills of the world's most beautiful city, Istanbul. This complex of buildings comprises a madrasa, a medical madrasa and hospital (dar'us sifa), a dining hall (dar'us ziyafe), a caravanserai, a bath, hospices (tabhana) and shops. The mosque building at the center dominates the entire complex with its scale and structure. The general layout of its plan was based on Saint Sophia Church in Istanbul. Like St. Sophia, Suleymaniye contains two semi domes and four subsidiary semi domes, which flank a central dome. Four great pillars carry the thrust of this covering system. The galleries of Saint Sophia are absent in Sinan's structure. These are diminished in scale and moved back to the east and west walls so as to function as women's platform. In this way, the leveled gallery arcades of St. Sophia are eliminated. Hence, the sunlight is piercing through the windows of the sidewalls reach to the central space without being hindered.

Sumela Monastery: Legend has it that an icon of the Virgin Mary painted by St. Luke took flight from the sinful city of Athens, flying over the Aegean and along the Black Sea coast, finally coming to rest on a small ledge on the precipitous side of the Black Mountains. Two monks, Barnabus and Sophronicus, set out to search for the missing icon and helped by a vision, they finally tracked it down to the narrow valley of Altindere in the Pontic Alps. However, instead of taking it back to Athens they built a shrine around the picture, calling it Panayia tou Melas, ‘Virgin of the Black Rock’. It was sacked in the seventh century, but rebuilt. It was richly endowed by the "pocket" Empire of Trebizond and later by Ottoman sultans. Its present form dates largely from the 19th century, when numerous monks entertained throngs of pilgrims, both Christians and Muslims, and presided over an important library.

Sunken Cistern: Nearby Hagia Sofia is the 6th century Byzantine underground Basilica cistern, with 335 massive Corinthian columns supporting the immense chamber’s fine brick vaulting. This is one of several buried in the city’s foundations, and the first to have been excavated and renovated. Thought to have been built in the 4th century by the emperor Constantine, and then enlarged two centuries later, it was supplied with water from the Belgrade Forest and supplied it to the Great Palace and Topkapi Palace.

The Church of St. Nicholas: Patara-born St. Nicholas lived in the middle of the 5th century AD. He became famous with his charitable personality and miraculous ability to cure people’s diseases. While being just a priest at the beginning, because of his fame he was declared a Saint later. His church was also turned into a center of pilgrimage. The main component of today’s church is the structure of the church that belongs to the 5th century AD. Which of the tombs found in the church belong to St. Nicholas is still a matter of debate. Every year ‘Santa Claus and Invitation to the World Peace’ activities are held in the Church of St. Nicholas on the 6th of December, the decease date of Santa Claus.

Topkapi Palace: Topkapi is the largest and oldest palace in the world to survive to our day. In 1924 it was turned into a museum at Atatürk’s request. Situated on the acropolis, the site of the first settlement in Istanbul, it commands an impressive view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorous and the Sea of Marmara. The palace is a complex surrounded by 5 km of walls and occupies an area of 700,000 sq. m at the tip of the historical peninsula.
Following the conquest of the city in 1453, the young Sultan Mehmet moved the capital of the empire to Istanbul; His first palace was located in the middle of the town. The second palace, which he built in the 1470's, was initially called the New Palace, but in recent times it came to be known as the Topkapi Palace. Topkapi is a classical example of Turkish palace architecture. It consists of tree- shaded courtyards, each serving a different purpose and opening onto one another with monumental gates. The courtyards are surrounded by functional buildings. From the time of its construction, the palace developed constantly with alterations and additions made by each sultan.

When the sultans moved to the ostentatious Dolmabahce Palace in 1853, Topkapi lost its importance as the official royal residence and was left to deteriorate. It finally regained its former unpretentious beauty after fifty years of continuous restoration in the Republican era. Most of the objects exhibited in the palace today are unique masterpieces.

There were originally 750 residents of the Palace, during Fatih’s period, which became drastically more congested reaching 5000 during normal days and 10,000 during festivals. It is worth seeing rather than reading

The Tunnel: the underground funicular railway, built in 1875, is one of the oldest in Europe

Urgup: Fantastic forms known as ‘Fairy Chimneys’. As it says…fairy.

Xanthos: Along the east coast of the Esen River, 45km/28miles from Kas, Xanthos was the capital and grandest city of the Lycian Union, but has had a checkered history. Surface findings from the city acropolis reveal that the settlement dates back to the 8th century B.C. Initial research was performed by Englishman Charles Fellows in 1838, which probably explains why the Nereidler and Harpyler monuments, the Payave Tomb and Aslani Grave were taken to the British Museum in 1842. The city walls were repaired during the Roman and Byzantium periods, and strengthened with additions to the width. At the south end, a gate dates back to 2nd century BC, and behind this there is the Victory Arch belonging to Emperor Vesoasianus. To the southwest, the original settlement of the city is the Lycian Acropolis, now badly ruined, with a Byzantine Church.

The history of Xanthos is quite a violent - the Xanthosians twice demonstrated the fierce independence of the Lycian people when they chose to commit mass suicide rather than submit to invading forces.  The Xanthosian men set fire to their women, children, slaves and treasure upon the acropolis before making their final doomed attack upon the invading Persians.  Two commanders of Xanthos city has fought in the Trojan War and their names are also mentioned in Homer's Iliad. Xanthos was later repopulated but the same gruesome story repeated itself in 42 BC when Brutus attacked the city during the Roman civil wars in order to recruit troops and raise money.  Brutus was shocked by the Lycians' suicide and offered his soldiers a reward for each Xanthosian saved. Only 150 citizens were rescued.

Van Lake: The city takes its name from the Van Lake. It is the biggest Sodium Carbonate Lake in the world.