Turkey’s most popular faith tourism spots

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The Culture and Tourism Ministry has listed the 18 most popular faith tourism spots in Turkey in a promotional brochure, titled “Turkey, the Homeland of Faiths.”

The brochure features important structures of faith history, including the world’s earliest-known temple Göbeklitepe; Mount Ararat, where the Prophet Noah went ashore; and the Church of St. Peter, the first church of Christianity.

The preface of the 60-page brochure, prepared by the General Directorate of Promotion, states that the fact that Turkey is a cradle of faith is strengthened everyday with archaeological excavations and scientific researches.

Göbeklitepe is the most striking discovery of the recent finds, the brochure says, which revealed that our ancestors had built religious buildings before even building shelters for themselves. This fact revised the information on the history pages. It is possible to see the holy places belonging to different religions in almost every corner of Turkey. The land where Prophet Abraham spent his life, Mount Ararat — where the Holy Prophet Noah went ashore — St. Peter’s Church, the first church of Christianity, the tomb of Mevlana, who embraces all religions and beliefs with great tolerance, the works of the Ottoman Empire and Seljuk providing unique contribution to Islamic architecture, and the tombs of Muslim saints are just some of the holy places you can visit in this region of Turkey.

Mount Ararat, where the Holy Prophet Noah went ashore: The legend of the Great Flood, which has become the subject of Hollywood’s big-budget movies and best-selling books, is known by everyone. Two of the places, where the ship, built by the prophet Noah allegedly went ashore to keep all living creatures alive, are in Turkey.

Şanlıurfa, the land of the prophets: It is home to places, where beliefs were born and the prophets lived, and which many religions consider sacred. In this respect, it is among the most sacred cities in the world. According to beliefs, it is a city where humanity was born twice.

St. Peter’s Church (The first church in history): This is the most sacred building for the Christians in Hatay. It is the world’s first church. It was declared a place of pilgrimage in 1963 by Pope Paul VI.

Demre and Patara, the lands where Saint Nicholas lived: All of the places where Saint Nicholas was born and spent his life are in Turkey.

Cappadocia, the traces of first Christians: The first Christians came to Cappadocia during the last years of the Roman Empire, where their religion was forbidden, and they built places to worship secretly. They formed living areas by carving tuff lands.

Istanbul, the guard of holy relics: There are only two of the Prophet Muhammad’s clothing in the world, both of which are in Istanbul.

Rumi Museum and the tomb: One of the people who reflects the understanding of tolerance in Anatolian land is Rumi. The Green Tomb, where the tomb is located, is the most famous structure in the Central Anatolian province of Konya.

Hurriyet Daily News

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