International Writers Magazine
Travel to Turkey
Path of Faith in Turkey
Norman A. Rubin
has a magnificent past, which is displayed throughout the land
graceful aqueducts built by the Romans and dating back to Seljuk
Empire of the 11th century, archaeological sites such as Troy, Pergamum,
Ephesus, Miletas, Perga, etc.. The hinterland shows glimpses of
other ancient civilizations the Hittites, the Khatti, the
Phyrygians, the Lydians.... and the signs of faith.
As visitors to Turkey
course their way through the Grand Seraglio, the immense fortress of
the Ottomani Sultans (now a museum) at Istanbul along the Sea of Marmara
and the Golden Horn, they listen to the faint echoes past centuries
of greatness. The echoing sounds then lead them along the passage through
an important crossroad into the signs of the faith Judaism, Islam
and Christianity. These signs of faith have left an indelible mark in
the course of human history.
The route of faith starts at Haran (Harran). The Bible records that
there the Patriarch Abraham came into Canaan from Harran.. Abraham sent
his servant back to the region of Haran to find a wife for Isaac (Genesis
24:10) and where Jacob spent a score of years. There in that town, Terah,
father of Abraham, found his final resting place.. "But when they
reached Harran, they settled there..." (Gen 11:30-31) Biblical
mentions of the Hebrew population in Turkey are numerous: Icononium
(present day Konya) is mentioned as having a synagogue in Acts 14:1,
and Ephesus is mentioned as having a Synagogue in Acts 19:1:1, etc....
Note: Harran is located 10 miles north of the Syrian border along
the Balikh River, a tributary of the Euphrates River..
are all familiar with Mt. Ararat in Eastern Turkey where, according
to written tradition of the Old Testament Noah's ark landed there
after the great flood. But, how many people are aware that Turkey
was the birthplace of St. Nicholas or Santa Claus. Saint Nicholas
was the Bishop of Myra (now Demre-Kale) who lived in AD 300. He
was extremely kind and went out at night, taking presents to the
needy. Afterwards his fame spread, and over the years it turned
into that merry old gentleman associated with Christmas.
Tarsus in south-central
Turkey was the birthplace of the Apostle Paul; Antioch (Antakyah) is
the site where the followers of the Lord were first called Christians;
here Paul and Barnabas were sent on their first mission. Cappadocia
(Goreme), in the center of the country, is where the early Christians
took refuge from the forces of Roman Empire. And in the small town of
Pamukkale (Hierapolis) is the site of the martyrdom of St. Phillip.
Sophia Museum in Istanbul is one of the most important monuments
of all time. The basilica, built by Emperor Constantine the Great
and reconstructed by Emperor Justinian is one of the architectural
marvels of the world. The Chora (Kariya), situated nearby, is another
important Byzantine monument; the 11th century church's and mosaics
are superb and a sight to behold. The St. Sophia cathedral
(now a museum) at Iznik (Nicaea) was the seat of the first (325
AD) and seventh (787AD) ecumenical councils.
(present day Izmir) is one of the most visited tourist destinations
in Turkey, known for its nearness to the Ephesus, House of the Virgin
Mary and Seljukian works of art. On the other hand you can see Basilica
of St. John, Ephesus Museum, I™sa Bey Mosque, Temple of Artemis
and Byzantine Aqueduct in the town. The seven Churches of the Apocalypse
are all situated in Anatolia Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira,
Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea (Revelation: 1:11-12)
Tokapi Palace in
Istanbul houses a most famous exhibit featuring the Prophet Mohammed's
personal belongings. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Istanbul
is one of the most famous architectural legacies of the Ottoman Empire.
The Haci Bayram Veli complex at Ankara contains a 15th century mosque
and a shrine to Haci Bayram Veli, a prominent Sufi leader known for
his tolerance. In the Mevlana complex at Konya (Iconium) is the tomb
of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, one of the most important humanistic Islamic
philosophers. There are Seljuk stone carvings on tombs and mausoleums
from the 12th and 13th centuries at Ahlat, The Yesil Turbe (Green Shrine)
at Bursa is a 15th century monumental Ottoman complex consisting of
tombs, mosques from 13th and 14th centuries, and a Medresse (theological)
school, a marvel to behold.
The 'Sites of Faith' are found in varied religious and historical texts
- museums in all the major cities have on exhibition the archaeological
and historical wealth of the country.
For additional information:
Ministry of Tourism, Government of Turkey
821 United Nations Plaza, New York, 10017 - Tel: (212) 687-2194
Fax: (212) 599-7568 E-mail: email@example.com
1717 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20036 Tel: (202) 612-6800
Fax: (202) 319-7446 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
1) "Hos geldniz" Welcome to Turkey Turkey is a
paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes that offers the vacationer a
complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life. From April
to October, the country has an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing
on sandy beaches, touring the rich heritage of the land, or for enjoying
the tranquility of mountains and lakes.
Shopping is one
of the great pleasures of a trip to Turkey, which offers a rich variety
of traditional handicraft: Your only difficulty will be in deciding
what to choose from the many tempting bargains. Turkish cuisine is known
for the richness of flavors that never fail to delight and the coffee
served in cafes is famous throughout the world.
2) A passport and visa are required. Passport holders can purchase
a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for $20 cash if they are
traveling to Turkey as tourists. For further information contact
the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey at 2525 Massachusetts Avenue,
NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone: (202) 612-6700, or the Turkish
consulates general in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, or New York. Their
internet site is http://www.turkey.org/.
© Norman A.
Rubin November 2008
email: normrub200o at gmail.com
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