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[Anatolian Civilizations]


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Turkey in the World Heritage List …
Expand First settlements in AnatoliaFirst settlements in Anatolia
Expand Ancient civilisationsAncient civilisations
Expand Turkish civilizationTurkish civilization
Expand SeljuksSeljuks
Expand Ottoman EmpireOttoman Empire

In order to introduce cultural and natural protected areas bearing universal values accepted as the common heritage of the whole mankind, to form the conscious that will maintain the universal heritage in the society and to enable necessary collaboration to keep disrupted and terminated cultural and natural values, it was determined that the problem should be a matter of an international convention in the 16th UNESCO General Conference holding a meeting in Paris between 17th of October and 21st of November in 1972 and “Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural & Natural Heritage” on 16th of November in 1972. Turkey signed this convention in 1983.

Turkey has ensured our 9 locations to be in the World Heritage List as a result of the studies carried out under the responsibility of the General Directorate for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage so far.

Of these heritages, Istanbul, Safranbolu, Bogazkoy, Mount Nemrut, Xanthos-Letoon, Divrigi Great Mosque and Hospital, the Archeological Site of Troy were included in the cultural list and Pamukkale and Goreme- Cappadocia were included both in the cultural and in the natural heritage list.

Our Cultural and Natural Heritages in the World Heritage List:

Our Cultural and Natural Heritages in the World Heritage List


It was included into the World Heritage list on 6.12.1985 as a cultural heritage.

The area of Istanbul, founded in the 7th century BC, bounded by the Golden Horn to the north, the Bosphorus to the east, the Marmara Sea to the south is called “Historic Peninsula” today.

Because of its strategic location connecting Europe to Asia, Istanbul has had a significant place for the civilizations reigning in the city throughout its history. The city with these features was the capital city of big empires such as Roman, Byzantium and Ottoman Empires. Istanbul, combining distinct religions, cultures, societies and buildings of these societies in a unique geography, is in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Topkapi Palace, Yildiz Palace, Suleymaniye Mosque and its complex, Zeyrek Mosque (Pantocrator Church)


It was included in the World Heritage List on 6.12.1985 as a cultural and natural heritage.

The most important characteristic of this area being a residence of the Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Tabal Kingdom, Med, Persian, Alexander the Great, Selevkus, Byzantium, Seljuk, Karamanli Civilizations and Ottoman Empire is extraordinary rock formations of tuffs of Mount Erciyes and Mount Hasan as a result of wind and water erosion and its indented locations mild in winter and cool in summer, therefore having convenient climate conditions for each season. Especially Goreme became an important center of Christianity because of the fact that Christians escaping from pressures in 7-13th centuries dwelled here. This cultural and natural heritage where an accumulation of centuries meet is in the World Heritage List with the fairy chimneys formed by volcanic tuffs.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 6.12.1985 as a cultural heritage.

It was built by Ahmet Shah, Divrigi leader of the Mengucekogullari tribe, and by his wife Turan Melik in 1228-1229. It is composed of a mosque with an enshrine having two towers, which is the masterpiece of Islamic architecture, and a hospital adjacent to it. The buildings are in the UNESCO World Heritage List with traditional Anatolian stone working examples in addition to architectural features.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 28.11.1986 as a cultural heritage.

Hattushash as the capital city of the Hittite Empire has been an important center in Anatolia for years. The city called “Hattus” by the Hatti Empire, the first owners of the city, took the name “Hattusha” after it was captured by the Hittite Empire. The Hattusha, captured by the Kussara King Anitta around 1700 B.C, was destroyed by Anitta again. According to written sources, Anitta was the first Hittite king. A hundred years later it was re-founded by Hattushili I and became the capital city of a civilization that would reign for over 400 years. Remnants seen today dates back to the period of the Great King Tudhaliya IV.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 11.12.1987 as a cultural heritage.

It is one of the most amusing remains of the Hellenistic period with the grave built for King Antioches I of Kommanege Kingdom, who reigned during 69-36 B.C to show his gratitude to gods and ancestors and with monumental statues and its magnificent scenery on the slopes of Mount Nemrut at a height of 2150 meters situated in the town Kahta in the province Adiyaman. Monumental statues spread on the east, west and north terraces. The eastern terraces are a sacred center and because of this the most important statues and architectural remains are here. Gigantic statues preserved very well are made of limestone columns and at a height of 8-10 meters.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 9.12.1988 as a cultural heritage.

Xanthos, at a 46-km distance from Fethiye and near the village of Kinik, was the largest governmental centre in the Lykia region, during the Antique Age. The city which was independent until it was occupied by Persian in 545 BC was completely burnt down after a hundred years. After this fire, it was founded again and it even became the capital of Lykia during the 2nd century B.C. The city, under the control of the Roman Empire afterwards, was occupied by the Byzantine Empire then.


Letoon at a 4-km distance to Xanthos was a religious center of Lykia in Antique Age. The Letho, Apollo and Artemis Temples, a monastery, a fountain and ruins of a Roman theater are situated in this sacred area. The largest temple dedicated to Lethos, the mother of Artemis and Apollo, is the Letho Temple built in peripteros style in the west. The Apollo Temple built in Dor style in the east is less preserved than Letho Temple. The smallest temple and in the middle of both temples is the Artemis Temple.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 9.12.1988 as a natural and cultural heritage.

The archeological site Hierapolis hosting splendid white travertine formed by waters with calcium oxide flowing from south root of Calda and ruins of late Hellenistic and early Christianity Period is one of the most attractive centers surviving today from antique ages. The area at a 2-km distance to Denizli is also known for its thermal springs believed to heal a great number of diseases.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 17.12.1994 as a cultural heritage.

The historic city Safranbolu has been a residence since ancient times because of its geographic location. Safranbolu, having been under Turkish domination since early 14th century, was the most important center of trade between Asia and Europe especially in 18th century. The city which is an undisrupted example of Turkish city history is in the World Heritage List as one of the scarce cities which is accepted as a protected area thoroughly with its traditional city structure, combinations of wooden and mud brick houses and monumental buildings.


It was included in the World Heritage List on 2.12.1998 as a cultural heritage.

Troy is one of the most important archeological sites in the world. Nine layers in Troy enlightens a period over 3000 years settled incessantly and enables us to follow traces of civilizations established in this unique geography where Anatolia, Aegean and the Balkans. The earliest residence layer in Troy dates back to 3000-2500 BC, to early Bronze Age; the Troy layers, continuously sheltered afterwards, end with the Roman Period dating back to 85 BC and the 8th century AD.


Ephesus, permanently settled in for 6000 years, has been a significant center of trade and culture during all phases of history. Ephesus, toured by millions of visitors all over the world today, experienced its golden age during Roman period and had the title “the first and the largest metropolis of Asia”.

Unique split-level houses in Ephesus, which explicitly presents life styles during Roman period, shows the taste of house decoration of citizens in Minor Asia.

Artemision, the religious center of the city, is represented with the temple’s one pillar surviving today


Karain Cavern is an important paleolithic center in terms of Anatolia and Near East history. Karain fills an important cavity in the Anatolian archeological studies with the settlement traces seen from lower Paleolithic period to the Roman period.

While most of the Paleolithic caverns known on the earth represent only one period, Karain has a permanently-layered structure with lower, middle and upper layers and the data obtained from these layers is important as that they enlighten the links between Europe and Near East and migration ways.

Movable artistic findings discovered in the cave in addition to the oldest known remains of human beings in Anatolia found in Karain are the earliest examples of Anatolian art.

Recent Studies Concerning the World Heritage List

Our following locations are in the Tentative (Indicative) List ratified in 2000 by the World Heritage Center.

1) Selimiye Mosque and its Complex (16th century)
2) Bursa and Cumalikizik Ottoman Urban and Rural Dwellings (13th- 15th century)
3) Konya Seljuk Capital
4) Alanya Castle and Dockyard
5) Seljuk Caravanserais on Denizli – Dogubeyazit Route (13th century)
6) Ishakpasha Palace (17th century)
7) Harran and Sanliurfa Settlements (17th – 19th century)
8) Diyarbakir Castle and Rampants (12th century)
9) Mardin Cultural Landscape Site (13th century)
10) Ahlat Ancient Settlements and Tombstones (12th– 13th century)
11) Sumela Monastery (5th – 19th century)
12) Alahan Monastery (7th century)
13) St. Nicholas Church (7th – 8th century)
14) St. Paul Church, St. Paul Well and Surrounding Historic Quarters
15) Kekova
16) Mount Gulluk – Termessos National Park

Selimiye Mosque and its Complex

Selimiye Mosque and its Complex, one of the most splendid examples of architectural craft and a work of Mastery Period of Mimar Sinan, were built for Selim III in 16th century. It is an outstanding example of Turkish marble working with its mastery, working and materials.

Bursa and Cumalikizik Ottoman Urban and Rural Dwellings

Bursa, where the first settlement was realized in 200 BC, experienced its golden age as the capital of Ottoman Empire after Roman and Byzantium Empires. It includes Bursa Centrum with 127 mosques, 45 enshrines, 34 collages, 25 inns, 37 baths and 14 alms houses built during the reigns of the first six padishahs of Ottoman Empire and the village Cumalikazik as an Ottoman village with its traditional architecture, life style and traditions, acted as a logistic aid during the conquest of Bursa by the Ottoman.

Konya Seljuk Capital

Konya, being the capital of Seljuk Turks in 12th and 13th centuries, hosts the most magnificent works of stone working and artistic elements brought from Asia by the Seljuks.

Konya Castle, Alaaddin Mosque, Sircali College and many mosques and graves with different sizes are examples of Seljuk monuments in Konya. It is the only examples of Seljuk architecture, civilization and cultural traditions as still a living city.

Alanya Castle and Dockyard

The castle of Alanya dating back to Hellenistic periods housed Roman, Byzantium and finally Seljuk Civilizations. A Seljuk cistern, a Byzantine church, the Sultan Palace and the ruins of a Seljuk bath inside the castle completed with the traditional urban texture. Historic Alanya Dockyard was built by the Seljuk Civilization and it is the only dockyard having been preserved so far.

Seljuk Caravanserais (on the route from Denizli to Dogubeyazıt)

The caravanserais and inns having important places in culture and architecture of Seljuk Civilization Period and inspired from the traditional life styles of nomadic Turkish tribes in Central Asia had their most variations in this period and affected the Anatolian architecture.

Remarkable Inns and Caravanserais on the Recommended Route

Pinarbasi Inn
Egridir Inn
Pinarpazari Inn
Kantarci Inn
Obruk Inn
Oklu Inn
Sultan Inn (2)
Sunnetli Inn
Sikre ınn
Ertokus Inn
Kireli Inn
Elikesik Inn
Kavak Inn
Kurucesme Inn
Altinapa Inn
Sadettin Inn
Zincirli Inn
Akbas Inn
Oresin Inn
Han Mosque
Sultan Inn
Sahruk Brdige Inn
Lala Caravanserai
Gedik Inn
Latif Inn
Mugar Inn
Cibci Inn
Pervane Inn
Kargi Inn
Koprukoyu Inn
Mamahatun Caravanserai
Haci Bekir Inn

Ishak Pasha Palace

Ishak Pasha Palace, a small example of Topkapi Palace and built in the 18th century, bear traces of many cultures from Iran to Anatolian Seljuk Civilization, from Georgia to the Caucus because of the fact that it is on the route of inns and caravanserais seen in its stone working and adornment.

Harran and Sanliurfa Settlements

Sanlıurfa, known as the city of prophets, is a historic location situated in the great fertile plain of Upper Mesopotamia and is full of historic, religious, public and civil architectural buildings that are the best examples of local architecture and traditional stone working.

Harran, situated on the south of the city, is unique with historic city walls, traditional, mud brick houses with conic roofs and Harran Islamic University which educated many Islamic intellectuals.

Diyarbakir Castle and Rampants

Diyarbakir Castle, with the rampants at a length of 5,500 meters, is the longest and best preserved city walls after the Great Wall in the world.


Mardin, housing unique religious and traditional buildings of stone architecture resulted from an interaction between natural structure and human beings, has an appearance of a city of Middle Ages.

Ahlat Ancient Settlements and Tombstones

It comes to the foreground with Ahlat settlements located by the edge of Lake Van and dating back to Urartians and tombstones and monumental works reflecting the stone working, beliefs and life styles of Seljuk Civilization in the most pleasant way.

Sumela Monastery

The monastery complex integrated with the natural landscape on the steep slopes of valley Altindere is a unique construction in terms of its design, materials, architecture and workmanship.

Alahan Monastery

Alahan Monastery, known to be built in the 5th century BC, is composed of a monastery and a church and auxiliary buildings connected to it. It is one of the scarce examples of the Byzantium Period with its materials, design and adornment in the buildings.

St. Nicholas Church

It is an important example of Byzantium religious architecture housing the city Myra, a Lykia settlement dating back to the 5th century BC, and complex of St. Nicholas Church in the city and buildings of various periods.

St. Paul Church, St. Paul Well and Surrounding Historic Quarters

Tarsus St. Paul Church and Well, known as the birth place of St. Paul, has been integrated with the present traditional urban structure as a spiritual center.


The island Kekova in the Mediterranean Region is fascinating not only with its visual features but also with its natural beauties in addition to archeological settlements of Ucagiz and Kalekoy and the submerged city surrounding the island.

Mount Gulluk–National Park

The hidden antique city Termessos (Mount Gulluk National Park) among mountains on the north of Antalya and at a height of approximately 1050 meters above sea level is one of the cities benefiting from the opportunities that nature offers with its settlement types and defense systems.

The steep slopes of Mount Gulluk are a special area sheltering animals in danger of extinction as well as typical vegetation of the Mediterranean and Guver Cliff.