Turkey turns to the classical world to attract visitors

Troy and Şanliurfa are features of London’s World Travel Mart

By Roger Williams | November 6, 2017

Turkey is highlighting Anatolia’s ancient civilisations at the three-day World Travel Mart, which opened in London today. Its large stand at the Excel centre contained a Trojan horse the size-and-a-half of a real horse to herald 2018 as the Year of Troy, celebrating 20 years since the sight was put on the Unesco World Cultural List, and a new museum is slated to open on the plain of Troad. It intends to take items from the local museum, and from around Turkey. The authorities also hope to have items from the 52 museums all over the world that have Trojan artefacts in their collections, and pledge to work towards finding legal means for their return. They might also ask the Mykonos Archaeological Museum for the loan of the Mykonos Vase (pictured here). Dating from around 675 BC, it is the oldest representation of the Trojan horse.

The WTM Turkish stand also has a large replica of the ruins of the 2nd century Temple of Apollo in Side, some 10 feet tall, and a Galata Tower the size of Dr Who’s Tardis.

Going further back in time, Hittite culture is to the fore, with a large poster of Gôbekli Tepe and publicity brochures on the ‘Revitalisation of History in Şanliurfa Project’ designed to encourage tourism. Şanliurfa has more than 200 historic houses and the largest museum complex in Turkey. It also has intriguing flora and fauna, including the rare black rose of Halfeti and the last 200 bald ibis birds in the world. Halfeti (pictured below) is now partly under the waters by Birecek Dam on the River Euphrates, and the only river cruise in Turkey leaves from here.

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