Cappadocia

Distinctive Turkey

Yasar Karadag|January 19, 2010|Blog Post

Zegrahm's Turkey tour partner was born in the Caucasus Mountains. Having covered every mile of his beloved homeland, Yasar Karadag has educated travelers for over 20 years on its cultural, archaeological, and natural splendors.

It seems that the longer I work in the world of travel the greater my pride in my homeland. Not only was I born in the same country as Homer, Herodotus, St. Paul, and Mevlana, but I am privileged to carry on the tradition of recalling their legacies by showing travelers the multitude of Turkey's splendors.

With its unique geography, Turkey is often considered the cradle of civilization-the land where history, legend, and nature have woven a bridge between Europe and Asia. Its 3,000 year historical time-line has given us the spectacular relics of 17 civilizations. We can boast about our lovely temperate climate, topography that ranges from mountains and fertile fields to shores washed by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean, our world- renowned cuisine, and the traditional hospitality of a generous and welcoming people.

It was personally very exciting for me to construct the itinerary with Zegrahm for the Distinctive Turkey program. As your host, I want to be sure my guests will experience the full variety of the land and its culture. So we will begin our journey in Ankara, the capital of modern Turkey, with a visit to one of the best museums in Europe and home to the largest collection of pre-historic artifacts. To connect ancient Turkey with the contemporary world, we visit the Mausoleum of Ataturk to understand how this forward-looking leader turned new perspectives into a new nation-making Turkey the only secular model for the modern world of Islam.

Cappadocia, the rugged, historically rich inland region, and home of Herodotus, is one of the most intriguing places in Asia Minor. Here we will witness the creative use of this harsh landscape and visit the magnificent churches, monasteries, and underground cities which remain as eye-witnesses to the Early Christian settlements. We also have the opportunity to meet the people who live locally, tasting the delicious traditional foods prepared especially for us. The magical aura of this area is powerful and I am captivated anew each time I return.

I hope you will join me in my Turkish homeland, in the springtime when fruit orchards bloom and the warm sun blesses a land waiting to share its incomparable wonders.

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