Touring Turkey


The visit to Turkey was a feast of sights. Turkey is a secular nation, but through its history it has been dominated by a wide variety of worshipers. The Hittites worshipped a Mother God. The Greeks had dozens of gods. The Romans were largely pagan until they turned Christian, forming the Byzantine empire, with its heart in Constantinople. Then came the Moslems, who ultimately formed the Ottoman Empire, with its heart in Istanbul. Finally, in 1923, Kamal Attaturk formed the secular nation that Turkey is now. All of these eras, and the violence of nature, have left their marks, and in our touring, we saw more than can possibly be shown here. The tour went from Anakara, to Cappadocia, Side, Antalya, Perge, Adenos, Heirapolis, Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Askepelos, Troy, Gallipoli and finally Istanbul.

The capitol of modern Turkey is Ankara, selected by Attaturk. This is his tomb, one part of an impressive and contemporary site. Modern and secular. This was the starting point of our tour.

 Cappadocia was defined by volcanic action eons ago. Erosion by wind and water has created a world of fantastically shaped rock formations. In English, these things are called chimneys.

 The Goreme Valley is a vast landscape of "chimneys," and a portion of this valley is called the Outdoor Museum.

 Because much of the Goreme Valley rock is soft, it was a propitious place for first and second century Christians to create churches, homes, even entire communities in the rock. The Goreme Valley structures are generally near ground level, elsewhere in Cappadocia, they created cities underground, largely for safety from marauders.

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