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A COUNTRY FULL OF HIDDEN GEMS

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HOMELAND OF MANY CIVILISATIONS

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SCENIC LANDSCAPES

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UNFORGETTABLE NATURE

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PICTURESQUE HISTORICAL TOWNS

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CRYSTAL CLEAR BLUE WATERS

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FABULOUS PALACES

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GREAT MOSQUES

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STUNNING SITUATED MONASTRIES

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IMPORTANT CHURCHES

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RICH OF HISTORICAL SITES

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THE FINEST MUSEUMS

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UNIQUE NATURE WONDERS

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WINTER WONDERLANDS

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POWERFUL FORTRESSES

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TRAVELLING IN SMALL GUIDED GROUPS

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SLEEPING IN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED HOTELS

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ON THE ROAD

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IN THE AIR

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ON THE WATER

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ON THE TRACK

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ON TOP OF MOUNTAINS

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BENEATH THE EARTH

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TURKISH HOSPITALITY WELCOMES YOU

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WHEN YOU WISH, WHERE YOU WANT AND HOW YOU GO WITH ETD-PRIVATE

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EXTRAORDINARY SOUTHEASTERN ANATOLIA TOUR

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INTRODUCTION

A tailor-made 8-days roundtrip to one of the most fascinating areas of Turkey. Discover different cultures, traditions from thousands of years, the varied nature, the hospitality of the people, the characteristic atmosphere and the culinary kitchen.
Southeast Turkey is the northern extension of the Syrian Plain (map), meaning it is hot and flat.

Unlike most of eastern Turkey, the southeast is not mountainous, but rather an arid plateau at about 600 meters altitude. The region is more or less bordered by the great historical rivers, the Tigris (Dicle) in the east and the Euphrates (Fırat) in the west. Many of the people here are Turkish citizens of Kurdish descent.

The region was a crossroads of civilizations in biblical times, and even earlier. The patriarch Abraham lived for a time in Harran, south of anlıurfa.

For the Crusaders, Şanlıurfa was the Latin county of Edessa. Mardin and Midyat have Syrian monasteries where services are still sung in Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

And ofcourse one of the highlights of Turkey: The colossal stone heads at the top of the 2150 meter high mountain Nemrut National Park are one of Turkey's most famous landmarks. The statues of Greek and Persian gods stood thirty-three feet tall and were part of the tomb and temple complex built by Antiochus I (69-34 BCE), who ruled the Commagene Kingdom.
The land can be fertile if it is irrigated. That is why the Turkish government has invested decades of work and trillions of Turkish liras in the Southeastern Anatolia project. Known by its Turkish initials GAP, this giant public works venture has brought dozens of dams and hundreds of kilometers of aqueducts to the region, vastly increasing its capacity to grow crops and supply electricity. This once poor region is beginning to show the results of massive long-term investment.
DEPARTURE:
May 24. 2023 (from Diyarbakır to Adana ) /
June 01.. 2023 (from Adana to Diyarbakır)
Antakya (1-) Gaziantep (1) – Adiyaman (1) – Urfa (1) – Mardin (1) – Midyat (1) – Diyarbakır (1)

PRICE:
619 EURO p.p. IN DOUBLE ROOM
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 100 EURO
ROUNDTRIP WITHOUT FLIGHTS 549 EURO p.p. IN DOUBLE ROOM
BOOKING FEE 30 EURO PER RESERVATION
(FOR THOSE LIVING IN TURKEY BUT OUTSIDE ANTALYA OR LIVING IN KAŞ OR KALKAN: JUST FOR 25 EXTRA A NIGHT IN A 3* HOTEL (PER ROOM) AND TRANSFER TO ANTALYA AIRPORT INCLUDED.)


NO SALE OF CARPETS, GOLD, GEMSTONES OR LEATHER
Visit to winery and filigree silverware.

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1. DAY: ANTALYA - ADANA ✈️ - HATAY (210KM)

With an early morning flight from Antalya to Adana. On arrival, your English-speaking guide will be waiting for you. Together with the rest of the group, you will travel to culinary Antakya in a luxury mini- or midibus. On the way there is first a break for breakfast (EXTRA).
Under the Romans, Antioch-ad-Orontes was the capital of the province of Syria with about 500,000 inhabitants. It became one of the empire's largest cities - only Rome and Alexandria were larger - with a sizable Jewish community.
Saint Peter came here to preach, and Saints Paul and Barnabas used it as a base for missionary work. There were many converts from the local Jewish community, but it was here that the Saints decided to extend their mission to the Gentiles and call their followers Christians.
In the city you will visit the impressive archaeological museum where you can admire the riches of ancient Antakya, the first cave church in the world of Apostle Peter, visit the first mosque of Anatolia “the Habib'i Neccar mosque, free time and lunch in the exotic bazaar known for local products such as laurel soap, a walk through the oldest district of Antakya with beautiful houses and characteristic streets, and the Harbiye waterfalls, which are located in a pleasant natural park full of cafes and restaurants
Overnight in Antakya.

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2. DAY: HATAY - GAZIANTEP (205 KM)

After breakfast, depart for the city of Gaziantep. Gaziantep is one of the oldest cities of Hittite origin. The city was part of the Kingdom of Armenia, the Hittite Empire, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, among others.
Here you visit:
the world famous Zeugma Mosaic Museum with a rich collection of Mosaics from the ancient city of Zeugma, which was largely flooded by the construction of the Biricik dam.
Gaziantep Castle is a castle first built by the Hittite Empire as an observation point and later built by the Roman Empire into a main castle on top of a hill in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. It underwent further expansion and renovation under Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565 AD. The circumference of the round castle is 1200 meters. The walls are made of stone and the castle consists of 12 towers.
Free time in the very cozy coppersmith's bazaar and a walk through the authentic old quarter of Gaziantep.

Overnight stay in Gaziantep

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3. DAY: GAZIANTEP - HALFETI - NEMRUT MOUNTAIN (353KM)

Today, after breakfast, you will head towards the Nemrut National Park.
Before you reach the national park, you will take an unforgettable boat trip over the Biricik dam to the half-flooded village of Halfeti.
Halfeti: The city of Halfeti in southeastern Turkey has been partially submerged by a dam project and is a truly breathtaking sight. A member of the Cittaslow movement, the remains of the old town can still be seen beneath the translucent water.
Mount Nemrut: this majestic burial mound at the top of the mountain takes you 2100 years back in time and has been named 1 of the 100 must-visit places by the International Association of Travelers. In the UNESCO-listed area, before reaching the top, visit Karakuş burial mound and the Roman Cender Bridge before reaching the 2100 m high Nemrut burial mound. After a walk of half an hour you reach the large burial mound that King Antiochos of Kommagene had built for himself. After viewing the great statues of the gods at SUNSET on the north, east and west terraces and enjoying the unbeatable view, you will go to the hotel.
Overnight in Adiyaman.

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4. DAY: NEMRUT MOUNTAIN - ATATÜRK DAM - ŞANLIURFA (163 KM)

After breakfast you will drive towards Urfa.
Today's program includes:
The Atatürk dam: originally the Karababa Dam, is the third largest dam in the world and it is a zoned rock-fill dam with a central core on the Euphrates River on the border of Adıyaman Province and Şanlıurfa Province. Built both to generate electricity and to irrigate the plains in the region, it was renamed in honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881–1938), the founder of the Turkish Republic. The construction began in 1983 and was completed in 1990. The dam and the hydroelectric power plant, which went into service after the upfilling of the reservoir was completed in 1992, are operated by the State Hydraulic Works (DSİ). The reservoir created behind the dam, called Atatürk Reservoir (Turkish: Atatürk Baraj Gölü), is the third largest in Turkey.
Urfa: The city of the prophets has a lot to offer. You will visit the cave of the birth of Abraham, the place where he was thrown into the fire, Balıklı göl, Halil-ül Rahman gölü, Ayn-El Zeliha gölü, Mevlid-İ Halil mosque, Rizvaniye mosque, Covered Bazaar, Kilim Bazaar, Spice Bazaar , the hardware bazaar, the brass bazaar and the gümrük han.
Also you will visit the largest covered museum of Turkey with a collection of more than 10.000 artefacts and the exhibition of discovered mosaics in this province.
Overnight stay in Urfa
Optional: a traditional Urfa sıra gecesi with dinner, music and dancing.

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5. DAY: ŞANLIURFA - GÖBEKLITEPE - MARDIN (210 KM)

After breakfast, drive towards the beautiful historic city of Mardin. it is known for the Artuqid architecture of its ancient city and for its strategic location on a rocky hill near the Tigris River that rises steeply over the flat plains. The old town of the city is under UNESCO protection.
The city survived into the Syriac-Christian period as the name of the mountain Izala (Izla), on which stood the monastery of Nisibis in the early 4th century AD, where seventy monks lived. In the Roman period, the city itself was known as Marida (Merida), from a Neo-Aramaic language name that translates to "fort".
Between c. 150 BC and 250 AD it was part of the kingdom of Osroene, ruled by the Abgarid dynasty.
Mardin is certainly one of the many highlights in this tour, a city that is bursting with history, cosiness, character, atmosphere and friendly people.
Before you’ll reach Mardin, you’ll visit in the province Urfa the oldest temple of the world -GÖBEKLİTEPE-
Göbeklitepe (UNESCO), the place where human history is being rewritten. This historic site is the oldest discovered temple in the world and was built between 9,000 and 10,500 BC. and is more than 6,000 years older than Stonehenge in England and the pyramids of Egypt
Your visits in Mardin will be for today:
The Kasimiye medresse stands on the edge of old Mardin. Overlooking the flat plains of Mesopotamia, it was completed in 1502 and is in remarkable condition for its age.
Mor behnam (kırklar kilisesi) church is one of the most important historical sites in the old part of Mardin.
The Great Mosque of Mardin dates back to the 12th century, but was badly damaged in the mid-19th century during a period of local uprising. While the mosque itself is quite plain, the massive, ornately carved minaret is worth a look.
Zinciriye Medresse is probably Mardin's most famous landmark with some beautiful domes and large windows and terraces overlooking the plain from one of the highest points in the entire city. For the best view of the domes, go to one of the side streets east of the madrasah and work your way up until you are on the slopes below the castle then work west (left) until you are above the building with a beautiful view of the domes, the minaret of Ulu Camii and the Mesopotamian plains below.
Free time to enjoy the city in your own way
Overnight stay in Mardin

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6. DAY: MARDIN - NUSAYBIN - MIDYAT (189 KM)

After breakfast, another wonderful day awaits you. Via Nusaybin you go to the town of Midyat, which is known from the many Turkish TV series.
You visit today:
The Deyrulzafaran Monastery: As one of the most easily visited monasteries that is a silent witness to Anatolia's ancient Christian past. Deyrulzafaran was founded in the 5th century but has been endlessly expanded and renovated over the years. The original site is said to be a pre-Christian Assyrian Sun Temple, attesting to the ancient Syrian presence in the region.
Dara: One of the most important settlements in Upper Mesopotamia in history, it was founded in 505 as a military garrison town with the initiatives of Emperor Anastasius (491-518) to protect the eastern frontier of the Eastern Roman Empire from the Sassanids. The environment of the ancient city of Dara, which consists of structures carved into the rock and spread over a large area, has been preserved with a wall of 4 kilometers. The inner castle is located on the top flat of the 50 meter high hill in the north of the city. Remains of churches, palaces, bazaars, dungeons, armories and water dams can still be seen in the city. There are also cave dwellings around the village, dating back to the late Roman period.
Nusaybin: a city with a rich history but also to buy cheap contraband in the smugglers bazaar. Well-known and at good prices you can buy telcari silverware here (telcari = filigree)
Mor Gabriel Monastery: is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world. It is located on the Tur Abdin plateau near Midyat, founded in the year 397.
The monastery is an important center for the Syrian Christians of Tur Abdin with about fifteen nuns and two monks occupying separate wings, as well as a fluctuating number of local lay workers and guests from abroad. It maintained a sizable library, but almost nothing is left. The monastery is currently the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of Tur Abdin. In its history, the monastery has produced many high-ranking clergy and scholars, including four patriarchs, one Maphrian, and 84 bishops.
Overnight in Midyat.

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7. DAY: MIDYAT - HASANKEYF - DIYARBAKIR (189 KM)

After breakfast you will visit Midyat extensively. The heart of the motherland (the Tur Abdin plateau) of the Arameans. A town known for the beautiful architecture that can be found in the historic district. The old quarter of jumbled honey-colored stone buildings amid a labyrinth of narrow streets is truly beautiful. The streets wind around tiny houses and ornate mansions, passing under arches and through ancient doors that open into cool courtyards.
Today you will visit:
The Mor Ahısnoya Church: According to the local Syrian community. The church is considered the finest example of church architecture in Midyat.
The State Guesthouse (Midyat Gasthuis) : The State Guesthouse is one of the famous places where popular TV series and movies are shot. The state guest house has 3 floors and offers a wonderful view. Today, the state guest house is run by the Midyat Municipality.
The Cave Dwellings of Midyat: It was founded in 1343 according to the date written on the caves. There are sections in the cave where the rich and the poor live. In other words, slaves and their owners were in separate rooms.
Hasankeyf is an ancient town and district located along the Tigris River in the Batman Province in southeastern Turkey. It was declared a natural conservation area by Turkey in 1981.
Despite local and international objections, the city and its archaeological sites have been flooded as part of the Ilısu Dam project. By 1 April 2020, water levels reached an elevation of 498.2m, covering the whole town. We’ll visit the new settlement and the rescued monuments from the old settlement.

Overnight stay in Diyarbakır

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8. DAY: DIYARBAKIR - DIYARBAKIR AIRPORT - ANTALYA ✈️ (70 KM)

After breakfast you will go on a journey of discovery in this wonderful city. The entire city center within the famous city walls of Diyarbakır is one big open-air museum
Today you will visit:
The Ulu Mosque: Seljuq Sultan Malik-Shah transformed the Great Mosque of Diyarbakir as a means of bringing the prestige and glory of Damascus, the capital of Syria, to Diyarbakir in southern Turkey. The design influenced by the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, used the locally found black basalt stone. The city of Diyarbakir underwent numerous occupations by various conquering empires due to its prime geographic location and proximity to both neighboring allies and enemies of many of its conquerors.
Hasan Paşa han: It was built in 1573 by Vezirzade Hasan Pasha, one of the governors of the Ottoman period. The courtyard was built in two floors. There is a fountain with columns and a dome in the center of the courtyard.
The Four-Legged Minaret: The four-legged minaret of Sheikh Mutahhar Mosque, built by Akkoyunlu Kasım Han, is one of the interesting monuments built on four monolithic columns. The mosque got this name because it was built on the land where the tomb of Sheikh Mutahhar is located. The inscription on the minaret states that the mosque was built in 1500 during the time of the Akkoyunlu sultan Kasım Bey. It is the only example of Anatolian mosques with its square architecture on capitals with 4 simple columns.
The Ten Arched Bridge: The magnificent bridge, known by four different names as Ten Eyes Bridge, Tigris Bridge, Silvan Bridge and Mervani Bridge, is located 3 km west of the Mardin Gate. In some sources about the history of the bridge, it is known that it was built in the 6th century during the reign of Anastasias I. The bridge was destroyed by the forces besieging the city over time, and was later repaired.
The City Walls of Diyarbakir: The 5700 meter long city walls of Diyarbakir are 10-12 meters high in places. It is remarkable with its 3-5 meter bastions, 82 bastions and the main gates that open in 4 directions. The beautiful reliefs on the bastions can be seen almost everywhere. The walls of Diyarbakir, one of the rarest castles in the world and considered the longest city wall in the world after the Great Wall of China, bear witness to a long history.
Transfer to Diyarbakır airport for the evening flight from Diyarbakır to Antalya. End of this fascinating trip and “ETD-TRAVEL” wishes you a safe journey home or a further pleasant stay in your hotel. We would like to see you again on one of our journeys.

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INCLUSIVE - EXCLUSİVE - GOOD TO KNOW

INCLUDING:
Flights Antalya – Adana and Diyarbakır – Antalya
Overnight stays in boutique or 3+/4 star hotels Bed & Breakfast
Luxury bus for maximum travel comfort
Halfeti boat trip
Passengers insurance
English speaking professional guide

EXCLUSIVE:
1x breakfast
All lunches and diners
Entrance fees (Müze card)
All drinks
Sıra gecesi in Urfa (dinner – music — dance evening)
Tip for guide and driver
Travel and cancellation insurance (Also residence permit owners can take out insurance through the bank)

EASY TO KNOW:
You need a condition with an average of 8.000 steps a day
Leave precious juwellery at home
Minimum pocket money per person per day: 30.- e€
Your passport or ID must be valid for at least 6 months when you leave Turkey
UK and EU citizens do not need a visa for Turkey
Make sure you have good walking shoes, a thin rain jacket, and possibly a cap or hat.
Something warm to wear for visiting Nemrut mountain
Changes in order of the program are reserved