Visually impaired visitors from 20 countries will meet in the ancient ruins of Troy in northwestern Turkey's Canakkale province between Aug. 13 and 18.
Turhan Icli, head of the Turkish Confederation of the Blind, told reporters in the capital Ankara on Friday that visually impaired people would attend the ancient Greek poet "Homer Readings" event.
The event coincides with the 20th anniversary of the inclusion of Archaeological Site of Troy to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
00:00 dk 23 Temmuz 2018 Yeni Şafak Ancient Troy City in Turkey
Foreign and local tourists visit the ancient ruins of Troy in Canakkale province of Turkey on July 23, 2018. Troy, located on the mounds of Hisarlik overlooking the Turkish Aegean coastal plain, is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world, with its 4,000-year history.
Icli said about 125 foreign visitors would attend the event.
"The program will start on Aug. 14. Visually impaired people from each country will read a passage from the Iliad in their own language. These will be translated into English and Turkish simultaneously," he added.
Icli did not provide details on the visiting countries. He added a panel discussion would be held on Aug. 15 at the 18 Mart Canakkale University, where speakers from Turkey, Japan, the U.S. and New Zealand will also attend. "During the panel discussion, the situation of blind people in Turkey and in the world will be evaluated," Icli said.
Boasting 4,000 years of history, Troy, located on the mounds of Hisarlik overlooking the Turkish Aegean coastal plain, is one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. Troy has been immortalized by the ancient Greek poet Homer in his mythical epics The Iliad and The Odyssey.
The city was long thought to be purely mythical until the groundbreaking work of Heinrich Schliemann, a German amateur archeologist who began uncovering the site in the 1870s.
Akdamar Church in eastern Turkey attracts visitors
Akdamar Church, a medieval Armenian church, in Turkey's eastern Van province draws the interest of foreign and domestic visitors.The church, located on Akdamar Island in Lake Van, was built between 915 and 921 A.D. by architect Bishop Manuel, under the supervision of Gagik I Ardzruni, an Armenian king.Video: Turkey's Akdamar church eyes UNESCO World Heritage listIt was accepted in the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage on April 13, 2015."Akdamar Church represents a unique accomplishment in Christian architecture, displaying for the first time sculpted imagery on the exterior of a church in such an elaborate profusion," according to the UNESCO website.The church, which was opened as a monument museum in 2007, has been hosting annual international religious ceremonies organized by the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul once a year since 2010.Muzaffer Aktug, Van provincial director of culture and tourism, told Anadolu Agency that the church deserved to be included in the permanent list of UNESCO."Around 83,000 people visited the island in the first seven months of this year," Aktug said.He added that efforts were underway to get the church on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Turkey's Kultepe eyes UNESCO World Heritage list
The site of Kultepe, which was capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kanesh, is eyeing the UNESCO World Heritage list.The site, located 20 kilometers to the northeast of central Kayseri province, was accepted in the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage on April 15, 2014.According to the UNESCO website, Kultepe became a "key centre" of culture and commerce between Anatolia, Syria, and Mesopotamia by the end of the 3rd millennium B.C. and during the first quarter of the 2nd millennium B.C.Fikri Kulakoglu, a professor of archeology at Ankara University and head of the excavation team, told Anadolu Agency that the excavations are ongoing since 1948."Our aim is to add Kultepe to the permanent list. Of course, this cannot be achieved only with archaeologists," Kulakoglu said.He added Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and Metropolitan Municipality of Kayseri "strongly" supported them."This year, we will complete the file and submit it. Maybe next year or the other year, this issue will be considered," he said.Kulakoglu said Kultepe with its pecularities can easily be added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.According to UNESCO, scientific archaeological excavations at the site have uncovered a series of "highly important" monumental administrative structures as well as private dwellings.A total of 23,500 clay tablets, which are the earliest written documents of ancient Anatolian history, have been found during the excavations."Life, society and economy at this site, even the family affairs and personal relationships of its inhabitants, were recorded on clay tablets in the Old Assyrian dialect of the Akkadian language using the cuneiform (wedge-shaped) script, the knowledge of which came into Anatolia with Assyrian merchants," it added.
Turkey becomes tourist attraction for Egyptians
With breathtaking scenes, convenient hotel prices and qualified services, Turkey has been an attraction for a growing number of tourists from Egypt.Despite political tension between Cairo and Ankara since the military coup against democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi in Egypt in 2013, holiday-makers from Egypt are increasingly favoring Turkey to visit their vacation.Around 101,000 Egyptian tourists visited Turkey in 2017, up from 94,000 in 2016, according to official Turkish estimates.The rise comes despite restrictions imposed by Egyptian authorities on people aged between 18 and 40 years old, who are willing to visit Turkey.George Bolis, a 47-year-old Egyptian, visited Turkey last year for an “amazing” vacation as he puts it.He visited several tourist and archaeological sites such as the Bosphorus, Hagia Sophia and royal palaces during his visit.“Turkey has many amazing tourist sites in addition to convenient hotel and flight prices, excellent services and [people’s] civilized behavior,” he said.Bolis said his week-long visit to Turkey had cost him 7900 pounds ($442), including flight tickets and accommodation.Hiba Halabi, an Egyptian academic, said she has fallen in love with Istanbul during her visit to the city.“I loved the Bosphorus and taking a ferry,” she said."Whenever you feel bored or get demoralized, just get on a ferry and change your mood,” she said. “After crossing to the other side of Istanbul, you feel like a new person.”-Turkish cuisineMany Egyptian and Arab visitors to Turkey speak highly of the Turkish cuisine.Ayatollah Gunes, an entrepreneur who started a dessert shop in Cairo, said many Egyptians visit his shop to taste Turkish desserts such as baklava.“Baklava is the most favorite dessert for people here,” said Gunes, whose “Turkish Delight” shop is frequently visited by Egyptians in downtown Cairo.He said Turkish delight is also highly demanded by luxury hotels and dessert shops in touristic areas in Egypt.Health tourism in Turkey is another attraction for Egyptian and Arab holiday-makers.Hair transplantation, rhinoplasty, sleeve gastrectomy and liposuction operations are performed in Turkey for reasonable prices, which is "two birds with one stone" for many Arab tourists.Many Egyptian and Arab celebrities have recently hailed their holidays in Turkey.Hamdi al-Margani, a rising Egyptian comedian and his wife, have recently shared details of their Turkey experience on social media, viewing many photos of their visit to Istanbul.Lebanese singer and actor Nicole Saba and Youssef El Khal were also among celebrities who have chosen Turkey to spend their summer vacation.According to Lebanese media, the two have chosen Bodrum in western Turkey to spend their holiday.*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara