Turkey 2011

LOOKING TO THE ANCIENTS: MAGICAL TURKEY

DATES OF TOUR:  SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 13, 2011

It’s been said that geography is history.  If that is true, then when visiting Turkey one will find a repository of unsurpassed cultural and historical wealth gleaned over 5,000 years. Turkey is at the crossroads of civilization.  It is the only country in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia, and is the world’s greatest epicenter of exchange between east and west.  Turkey has an abundance of classical Greco-Roman ruins (perhaps more than exist in either Greece or Italy), and turquoise-tiled mosques reminiscent of Central Asia.  Temples built in honor of Aphrodite and Diana are found along the west coast, while caravansaries, inns built around a large court for accommodating caravans along  trade routes in central and western Asia, still mark the ancient Silk Road from China in the East. We will visit the area where disciples wrote and preached the Gospels.  We will also visit the hamlet in southeast Turkey where, according to history, Abraham was born and Moses was a shepherd.

There are so many amazing places and experiences included in our journey through Turkey, including the “fairy castles” in Cappadocia, temples built to honor goddesses, a performance of “whirling dirvishes”, walking through amazing Ephesus and of course exploring the wonderful sites of Istanbul including the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Museum and the Grand Bazaar.

In addition to these sites, we will visit an area in the southeast portion of Turkey that is not typically included in journeys to this wonderful country.  In 1994, a shepherd found a few stones sticking out of the ground in the southwest area of Turkey.  His find led to the discovery of Gobekli Tepe, one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time. The excavation, being led by German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt, has uncovered what is believed to be a temple complex, carbon dated to over 12,000 years ago. This site of standing stones and stone carvings predates Stonehenge (built around 3000 BC) and the Pyramids (built around 2,500 BC).  We will have the opportunity to visit this special site, which Dr. Schmidt calls “a temple site in the Garden of Eden” and learn first hand about the history that has been uncovered.

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY 1- DEPARTURE FROM USA                                                                    Sep 30, Fri

Flight to Istanbul

 

DAY 2 – ISTANBUL / SANLIURFA                                                                     Oct 1, Sat

Arrival at Sanliurfa. Transfer to our hotel. Dinner and overnight. (D)

 

Sanliurfa

The ancient town of Sanliurfa, also known as Urfa, lies in the basin of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. According to both the Bible and Koran, It is the birthplace of Abraham and Moses was a shepherd in the region for several years before returning to Egypt. Throughout its history, pagan temples were converted to synagogues, synagogues to churches and churches to mosques, resulting in diverse history and architecture.

 

 

DAY 3 – SANLIURFA/ HARRAN/GOBEKLI TEPE                                                Oct 2, Sun

Travel in the morning to the beehive houses of Harran; reputed to be the oldest continually inhabited community in the world. Return to Sanliurfa and explore the fascinating sites of this Old Testament town, the Sacred Carp Pools of Abraham, his birth cave and then the exquisite mosque complex, the fortress and the most traditional covered bazaar.  Overnight Sanliurfa. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 4- SANLIURFA/ ANKARA                                                                         Oct 3, Mon

Today we will explore Gobekli Tepe. Gobekli Tepe tour is a journey into the history of mankind that dates back more than 12,000 years. The site was discovered on the Harran Plain in the province of Sanliurfa and contains several standing stone circles. This special place is believed to be a temple complex.  We will learn about the very ancient people who lived in this place and erected the carved stones. Free time is included to allow for exploration on your own.  Transfer to the airport for our flight to Ankara.  Overnight in Ankara. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 5- ANKARA / CAPPADOCIA                                                                         Oct 4, Tue

Today we discover Ankara that was once a Hittite town, then a Roman city, and now the capital of Turkey. Then visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, which is housed in a restored Caravanserai, seeing its Hittite treasures and artifacts. We will continue to the great Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. Then drive to Cappadocia via Salt Lake. Dinner and overnight at your cave hotel in Cappadocia. (B, D)

 

DAY 6- CAPPADOCIA                                                                                    Oct 5, Wed

Today we experience Zelve Valley, The Uçhisar Village, The Pottery Village of Avanos, and the Underground city of Kaymakli.  Cappadocia is one of the strangest regions on earth, with its surrealist landscapes. Several thousand years of erosion produced the formations known as Fairy Chimneys. We visit Goreme Valley and some of its famous rock carved churches. Lunch on our own. Cappadocia saw the penetration of Christianity into Anatolia. Following the footsteps of St. Paul, the first Christians came to settle in the almost inaccessible natural grottoes. They created the rock carved churches and the underground cities. The churches were painted with brilliant colors relating the important episodes of the Bible. The apogee of Byzantine and Christian Cappadocia took place between the beginning of the 10th Century and the second half of the 11th Century. Its magnificent rock churches and Byzantine paintings constitute an important part of the Oriental Christian art.   Dinner at hotel; overnight in our hotel in Cappadocia. (B, D)

 

DAY 7- CAPPADOCIA / KONYA Oct 6, Thu

This morning we drive to Pessinus, where we visit the Temple of Cybele, the Phrygian Mother Goddess who was also venerated by the Greeks and Romans. Discovered by Belgian archaeologists in 1967, it is surprisingly small, though it was once the most important temple in the area. Next we travel to Konya, a green Oasis in the middle of Anatolia, known for its Seljuk Art and mysticism. In antiquity it was known as Iconium, and was a prosperous city on the way to the Orient. However the apogee of the city took place after the conquest of Seljuk Turks. In the 12th Century the city became the Islamic Cultural Center with a very high spiritual level. Free time to explore.  Dinner at hotel and overnight in Konyal. (B, D)

 

DAY 8- KONYA / CATALHOYUK/ KONYA                                                             Oct 7, Fri

After breakfast we explore the Mevlana Museum, which includes the tombs of Rumi, his family, and high ranking members of the Mevlevi order. In addition ceremonial musical instruments and materials, handwritten books, and carpets of the time can be seen at the museum. Take time to meditate near the tomb of this awe-inspiring mystic and see what worlds might open to you. Return to the hotel for lunch on our own and a bit of free time.

This afternoon we have the rare opportunity to visit the 9,000 year old Neolithic site of Çatal Hoyuk, located on a vast prairie beside the active Hasan Dag volcano. The name means “forked mound” and refers to the site’s mounds which formed as centuries

of people tore down and rebuilt the settlement’s mud-brick houses. Here, at Çatal Hoyuk, existed a matriarchal, spiritual and art-loving people who worshipped a Mother Goddess of a fertility cult that could have been the precursor of Artemis, or Cybele as she is known in Anatolia. The room set aside as a shrine for the ancient Mother Goddess had a sculpture of the Great Mother of Çatal Hoyuk seated with a tame lion on either side, showing that She was a sacred woman, the Great Mother of Nature, and the tamer and

civilizer of the world as well. There were also paintings of animals, cryptic symbols, and geometric patterns.  During excavation, it was found that the cult room was frequently rebuilt, and many religious articles were uncovered. Most were votive statuettes, in the form of pottery with reliefs of the Mother Goddess, bull’s heads and horns, women’s breasts, and leopards. These religious items show a high degree of skill, and cultural

refinement. The site was first discovered in the late 1950s, excavated between 1961 and 1965, and became famous internationally due to the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and other art that was uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists

has been carrying out new excavations and research.

Return to the hotel. Dinner with our group, followed by a Whirling Dervish performance by men dressed in white robes, whirling and rotating around the floor. During this moving meditation the dancer focuses on his great love of God, and can thus attain divine unity. Dinner at hotel and overnight in Konya.  (B, D)

 

DAY 9 – KONYA /APHRODISIAS/ PAMUKKALE                                                 Oct 8, Sat

After breakfast we depart for Pamukkale, experiencing Aphrodisias en route. This ancient site was built in approximately 5,800 BC to honor the Mother Goddess of fertility and crops.  Later it was dedicated to the Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of love and fertility.  Its ruins are as impressive as those of Ephesus. The Aphrodite Temple, the marbled stadium, the Theatre, the Odeon, the Agora and the Roman Baths are all beautifully preserved. Lunch on your own.

After lunch we continue to Pamukkale, one of the most interesting places in the world, famous not only for the entrancing beauty of its unique geological formations, but also for its historical remains. The name Pamukkale means “cotton castle”, derived from the dazzling white calcareous castles which are formed by limestone-laden thermal springs, creating a fairyland of bizarre solidified cascades and shell-shaped basins.

Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B, D)

 

 

DAY 10 –PAMUKKALE / DIDYMA/MILETUS/ KUSADASI                         Oct 9, Sun

Depart for Kusadasi via Miletus & Dydma. At Miletus we explore the Temples of Serapis, Athena and Asclepius. The ancient city of Miletus was the oldest and the most powerful of the twelve Ionian cities in Asia Minor. The Temple of Serapis is from the 3rd century CE. Only the very fine pediment is visible, the rest of the temple being concealed under dense vegetation. In the remains of the Temple of Athena, built in the first half of the fifth century BC, there are six Ionic columns on each of the shorter sides and ten on the longer sides. Before 500 BC, Miletus was the greatest Greek city in the east. It was the natural outlet for products from the interior of Anatolia and had a considerable wool trade with Sybaris in southern Italy.

In the afternoon, we drive to Didyma and the Temple/Oracle of Apollo and the Artemis Temple. The design of the Temple of Apollo was influenced by the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Temple of Hera at Samos. Originally, 122 enormous Ionic columns surrounded the temple; today only three remain intact. Dating from the second century BC,  the columns are 60 feet tall, the height of a six-story building, and have a diameter of 6 feet at the base. Even the stumps of columns that fell are impressive in size and display beautiful carvings at their base. In the western end of the roofed chamber, three doors lead via a great staircase to the oracle room, to which only the priests and oracles had access. Within this room is a small chapel that held the cult statue and the sacred spring. This is where the priestess of Apollo uttered her oracles.

Didyma was an ancient Ionian city, the modern Didim, Turkey. The town formed just outside of the sanctuary containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. Next to Delphi, Didyma was the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world, first mentioned among the Greeks in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, but preceding literacy and even the colonization of Ionia. Mythic genealogies of the origins of the Branchidae line of priests, designed to capture the origins of Didyma as a Hellenic tradition, date to the Hellenistic period.    Overnight and dinner at our Kusadasi. hotel  (B, D)

 

DAY 11- EPHESUS                                                                                                 Oct 10, Mon

After breakfast we depart for Ephesus. We spend a full day at Ephesus. Ephesus is the greatest Temple City in Asia Minor and was dedicated to the Great Goddess Artemis Diana. The Temple of Artemis Diana, built about 550 BC, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and one of the most complex temples built in ancient times. The temple was the last of the Great Goddess temples to remain open, and was the site of Goddess worship well into the Christian era. When the Temple was in use, it was brightly painted and inlaid with stone, had a marble sanctuary and a tile-covered wooden roof. Conceived by architect Chersiphron and his son, Metagenes, the temple’s inner space featured a double row of at least 106 columns, each believed to be 40 to 60 feet high. The foundation was approximately 200 feet by 400 feet. The original temple burned in 356 BC and was rebuilt on the same foundation. Fire devastated the second temple in 262 AD, but its foundation and some debris have survived. Next we explore Mother Mary’s House near the ruins of Ephesus. In 431AD, it was here the Christian church

declared Mary to be the “the God-bearer” in order to legitimize Christianity in the eyes of the people of Asia Minor. Prior to that time, she was not recognized by the Christian church. Many of the Great Goddess’s titles were taken and declared to be the titles of Mary, including; “Queen of Heaven”, “Divine Virgin”, “Mother of All”. Ephesus was chosen for Mary’s installation to add legitimacy to the church’s claim that Mary, not Diana, was “the Mother of God”, the “Mother of All.” Many believe that with the rise of Christianity and papal power, the Goddess slowly disappeared from western culture and faded into the mist. But, so great was devotion to the Goddess that She was resurrected in the hearts of the people by a new Goddess, Mary, Mother of Jesus. We will visit St. John Basilica built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the 6th century AD with the belief that it was the site of the tomb of St John. Ephesus was one the biggest and most famous sites in the ancient world. Towards the third Century BC, Ephesus was located naturally on the crossing point of the commercial road and so gathered all the richness of the Orient. This city offers us its witnessing to the splendor of Asia Minor during the Roman Era. Among its numerous monuments, you will see its famous Arcadian Street, large Hellenistic Theatre, the Celsius Library, and the magnificent façade of the Hadrian Temple (2nd Century Corinthian style). Overnight and dinner at Kusadasi hotel (B, D)

 

DAY 12- IZMIR/ISTANBUL                                                                                     Oct 11, Tue

After breakfast we depart for Izmir for an early flight to Istanbul. Situated on two continents (Europe and Asia) and inheritor of a great history where we can still witness the remnants of five civilizations, Istanbul is one of the most fascinating ancient capitals of the Orient. The antique Constantinople became Byzantium in the 4th Century. In 1453, the city passed from Christianity to Islam with the rule of Ottoman Sultans and a new name, Istanbul. Its urban profile has since then been symbolized by the minarets of its mosques. You will plunge to the heart of the history of the old Istanbul and discover its principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. Today, we visit the famous Blue Mosque, with its mighty dome, and the only mosque in Istanbul with minarets  It was built on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium in the early 17th century. Today it is a working mosque and is therefore closed to non-worshippers during the five daily prayers. The interior, with its lightness, spatial effect and color, is one of the finest creations of Turkish architecture. Next is the St. Sophia Museum, formerly known as the Hagia Sofia (Holy Wisdom), a former Greek Orthodox Church that was converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Ottoman Empire and today is a museum. The supreme achievement of Byzantine architecture, it is the city’s most celebrated monument. Large numbers of columns were brought to Constantinople from temples in Asia Minor, Lebanon, Greece and Italy, and the finest marbles and noblest metals were used. Next we visit the At Meydani, the Ancient Hippodrome of Septime Severius (2nd Century), the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine. Lunch on your own.

Afternoon shopping tour at the famous Grand Bazaar, the largest of its kind with 17 gates, 65 streets and 4000 shops in addition to its historical importance. Barter for colorful kilims, leather goods, pottery and jewelry. The market was constructed in the 1660’s as part of the imperial mosque complex, with its shop rents supporting the upkeep of the mosque as well as its schools, hospitals, baths and public fountains. Merchants sold such things as cinnamon, gunpowder, rabbit fat, pine gum, peach pit powder and many folk remedy ingredients.  Overnight in our Istanbul hotel. (B)

 

DAY 13- ISTANBUL                                                                                                 Oct 12, Wed

Explore Istanbul continues. Today we’re off to visit Chora Church. Chora has mosaics from the 12th century depicting the role of Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, with the emphasis on Her being Mother rather than Jesus being the God, a profound thought to ponder as you take time to meditate in Her presence!   Lunch on your own.

In the afternoon we explore the Topkapi Palace, the ancient residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Built by Mehmet the Conqueror on the ancient location of the Byzantine Acropolis, the palace is now used as a museum and has a wonderful view of the Marmara Sea.   Overnight in our Istanbul hotel. (B)

 

DAY 14- DEPARTURE FROM ISTANBUL TO USA (JFK AIRPORT)        Oct 13, Thu

We say our farewells and depart for Istanbul International Airport for our journey home. (B)

 

Note: Flight times will be added later.

 

 

 

 

 

TOUR PRICE:  $3,500 per person, based on double occupancy from JFK airport

Single Supplement:  $600

 

DEPOSIT:  The NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $600 is to be paid in two installments:

$300 by November 12, 2010 and $300 by February 11, 2011.

The deposit must be made by check, payable to Triple B Travel, LLC.

 

FINAL PAYMENT: Final payment of $2,900 is due on July 15, 2011.  Final payment

can be paid by credit card or check.

 

US Passport is required, valid for six months after the trip departure date

 

Note:  Itinerary subject to change

 

Included in the tour price:

Round trip International air from JFK (New York)

Domestic Flights In Turkey

All deluxe hotel accommodations (double occupancy)

Many meals, including daily buffet breakfast

All transfers as per itinerary by air conditioned coach with driver and English speaking guide

All entrance fees to sites listed in itinerary

Porterage for two pieces of standard size luggage per person

All tips including tips/gratuities for drivers and guide

Awesome memories beyond your most vivid imagination

 

Not included in the tour price:

Round trip domestic air to JFK airport in New York

Turkey Visa (Approximately $20 and obtained at Istanbul airport upon arrival)

Travel Insurance (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) - As in the past, Maggie will assist in getting insurance coverage for the trip

Beverages, meals or other items not listed in the itinerary, items not specifically detailed in the final trip itinerary, personal items/expenses including, but not limited to passport fees, optional sightseeing tours, laundry, room service.

 

We encourage you to register as soon as possible, as this special journey will fill quickly.

 

To obtain your registration package, which includes your registration form and the tour

Terms & Conditions, please contact:

MAGGIE BOOSE, MN, RN, CTC in Atlanta by email: triplebtravel@aol.com or by phone: 404-271-1018

For more information about Continuing Education Hours contact:

JOAN FURMAN, MSN, AHN-BC, CETII in Nashville by email: joan@joanfurman.com or by phone:  615-500-6998

Continuing Education Information

This experience has been approved for  45 contact hours of continuing education by the Kentucky Board of Nursing.  Check with your tax advisor about the tax implications of this educational experience.  You will receive a certificate of completion, which may apply to professions other than nursing.  You are welcome to experience this journey regardless of your interest in contact hours.