In the tourism market where international competition is intensified, people's choice of destination determines the cultural and natural heritage riches of the countries. Turkey, with its historical richness and diversity of cultural heritage, is located in one of the world's most attractive regions. UNESCO is a subsidiary of the United Nations for the protection and promotion of natural and cultural values. UNESCO declares the World Heritage by publishing its cultural and natural assets under the name of World Heritage List. For tourists, seeing the works on these lists is considered as an important travel reason. At the same time, it is ensured that the possession of natural and cultural assets is recorded as a World Heritage. Thus, a serious process of protection, development
and tourism in terms of evaluation begins.
Turkey's World Heritage List
Turkey is located in the UNESCO World Heritage List with its 18 cultural presence. 16 of these assets are culturally, Goreme and Pamukkale fall into both natural and cultural categories. Here is the list of World Cultural Heritage of Turkey...
1.) Grand Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi (Sivas):
Divrigi Grand Mosque and Darüşşifa, which was included in the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1985, contains the best examples of stonework. This mosque was built during the reign of the Mengucek seigniory of the Seljuk State and consists of a complex consisting of a hospital and a tomb. The historical structure, which is likened to the Alhambra Palace in Spain by researchers, sees the interest of local and foreign tourists.
2.) Historic Areas of Istanbul (Istanbul):
As the capital of the three great empires, Istanbul has a unique historical value. Since 1985, the “Historic Peninsula'' is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
3.) Goreme National Park and Cappadocia (Nevsehir):
In 1985, it is included in the World Heritage list as a Mixed Heritage Area. There are many fairy chimneys in the region, which are formed by wind and rain water. It is known that stuffs that cover the region as a result of eruption of Erciyes volcano have been formed in millions of years due to erosion of wind and water. Goreme has churches carved into the rocks and underground cities built for security purposes.
4.) Hattusa: Hittite Capital (Çorum):
It has been on the World Heritage List as a cultural asset since 1986. Hattusha, the capital of the Hittite Empire, is considered an open-air archaeological Museum with its well-preserved reliefs.
5.) Mount Nemrut (Adiyaman):
It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987. It is known as the sanctuary of the Commagene Kingdom with its statues reaching ten meters in height and inscriptions of several meters in length.
6.) Hierapolis-Pamukkale (Denizli) 1988 (Mixed Heritage Area)
Hierapolis-Pamukkale, which is visited by approximately 2 million tourists every year, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988. The ancient city, which played an important role in the spread of Christianity in Anatolia, is considered one of the centers of faith tourism. Cotton-like travertines are formed by precipitation of calcium in thermal water.
7.) Xanthos-Letoon ( Antalya-Muğla):
The ancient city of Antalya, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, is known as the most important administrative center of the Lycian civilization. The erected tombstones and rock tombs found here are counted as important works reaching today. Letoon, the religious center of Lycia in Muğla, houses the temples and Roman theater built on behalf of Apollo and Artemis.
8.) The City of Safranbolu (Karabük):
It is an unspoiled example of traditional Turkish residential architecture. Safranbolu, UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994, is visited by approximately 1 million local and foreign tourists every year. It is understood that the houses found here have remained undamaged and orderly since the 17th century.
9.) Troy Archaeological Site (Çanakkale)
It is considered to be one of the most famous ancient cities in the world. Troy, known as the site of the Trojan War in Homer's Iliad, has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1998.
10.) Edirne Selimiye Mosque and Complex (Edirne)
Selimiye Mosque, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011, is known as the masterpiece of Mimar Sinan, one of the world famous Ottoman architects. In the 16th century, The mosque, built in the name of Selim sultan II. , represents the highest level of Ottoman architecture.
11.) Çatalhöyük Neolithic Area ( Konya):
It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2012. It is known as an area that witnessed important social changes and developments such as the beginning of agriculture and hunting with the transition to settled life.
In Bursa, where the Ottoman Empire ceased to be a state and became a state, it contains works about the firsts of Ottoman architecture. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014.
13.) Bergama Multilayer Cultural Landscape Area ( İzmir):
In 2014, it is included in the World Heritage List. It contains settlement layers belonging to Hellenistic, Roman, Eastern Roman and Ottoman periods. The region, also known as a cultural landscape, is known as a center of education, culture and health.
14.) Cultural Landscape of Diyarbakir Castle and Hevsel Gardens (Diyarbakir):
Diyarbakır Castle represents civilizations intertwined in Anatolia with inscriptions in Hellenic, Latin, Assyrian, Armenian and Arabic languages. Hevsel Gardens has been meeting the food needs of the city from Assyrians to the present for thousands of years. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.
15.) Ephesus ( Izmir):
It is considered one of the most important centers of ancient times. It sheds light on the urbanization, architecture and religious history of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. In 2015, she is accepted to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
16.) Ani Archaeological Site (Kars)
The Silk Road, which is an important trade route in the Middle Ages, is the first entry point from the Caucasus to Anatolia. It houses architectural remains of Pagan, Christian and Muslim cultures. Since 2016, it is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
17.) Aphrodisias (Aydın):
The ancient city of Aphrodisias, which reflects the Greek-Roman architectural and urban characteristics, is known for its sculpture school. Aphrodisias quarries, which were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017, are made of marble from local quarries.
18.) Gobeklitepe (Şanlıurfa):
In 2018, he is accepted to UNESCO World Heritage List. Göbeklitepe is known as the oldest temple center in the world where people come together and organize ceremonies. According to the understanding of classical civilization, hunter-gatherer societies learn history and become settled, followed by the establishment of villages and cities. Temples are being built with the establishment of cities. However, it is understood that there was a temple in Göbeklitepe at a time when people had not yet settled 12,000 years ago. However, it is known that hunter-gatherer people should feed themselves and protect them from wild animals. Göbeklitepe attracts the attention of many foreign and domestic researchers with this feature and attracts interest in terms of tourism.