Map of Turkey, great country for Biblical and Religious Sites, Anatolia, Asia Minor of Historical times.
OLD TESTAMENT SITES IN TURKEY
Harran is mentioned the Old Testament as the place of residence for Abraham and his family. Abraham moved there with his father Terah from the city of Ur (Genesis 11:31). Terah died in Harran. Leaving part of his family in Harran Abraham left for Canaan.EdessaAccording to tradition, Abraham dwelt there for a while. This was the city of King Abgar asked for Christ help during a plea.HittitesHittites mentioned in the Bible many times. Abraham bought a land from Hittite Ephron to bury Sarah (Gen.23). Esau married to Hittite girls. A Ararat is located in the eastern Turkey near the Russian and Iranian borders. Mount Ararat is considered as the traditional spot for landing of Noah’s Ark. After the flood, Noah’s Ark rested upon the Ararat Mountain. (Genesis 8:4)Tigris Euphrates
In the story of Adem and Eve, the Bible describes a perfect home for human race irrigated by four main rivers. Two of the rivers are known as Tigris and Euphrates flowing in the eastern Anatolia.
RELIGIOUS PLACES IN TURKEY
YAZILIKAYA/HATTUSAS: Hattusas, the capital of Hittites, is home of fascinating monuments of this great empire. Yazilikaya, which was the open-air sanctuary of Hittites, offer the carving of Great Hittites Pantheon.
NEMRUD DAGI: Nemrud Dag, located in the south-east Anatolia, attracts great number of visitors to the tomb of Antiochus where colossal statues of Gods, Kings and sacred animals stare sightlessly on a mountain reaching to 2100 meters high.
TRABZON: Trabzon, which became the late capital of Byzantine Empire, has fascinating monuments of Byzantine and Turkish Times. St Sophia church and Sumela monastery are famous monuments of the city.
VAN/AHTAMAR: Historically, Van was the center of the former Urartian Kingdom. The church of Holy Cross on the Ahtamar Island is one of the most beautiful churches of the area
CAPPADOCIA: Cappadocia, which is one of the geological wonders of the world, has the most fascinating monuments of Hittite, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman times. Cappadocia’s rock cut churches, monasteries; underground cities attract great number of visitors to the region
EDIRNE: Located on Turkish-Greek and Bulgarian Border, Edirne is full of magnificent Ottoman Monuments. Captured by Murat I in 1361, Bursa became second great capital of the Ottoman Empire. Even after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Edirne stayed as a favorite retreat place for the Ottoman Dynasty.
BURSA: Located in the south of Istanbul, Bursa houses magnificent early Ottoman buildings. Captured by the Ottoman Turks after a long siege, Bursa became the first capital of the Ottoman Empire. Besides its early Ottoman monuments, Bursa has “royal burial grounds” where tombs of founders of the Empire are located.
ANKARA HACI BAYRAM VELI CAMII AND TOMB: Located in the old city near the Temple of Augustus, Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque and the tomb of Bayram Veli are sacred places for Muslim people.
KONYA: Konya houses sacred shrine of Whirling Dervishes, and tomb of Mevlana, a great religious figure, and philosopher whose son, Sultan Veled, established the famous order of Whirling Dervishes.
KAYSERI: Kayseri, which was one of the major cities on the Silk Road, was the capital city of Cappadocia. The city houses great monuments of Seljuk and Ottoman times.
HACI BEKTAŞ VELİ: Located in the Central Anatolia in Kırşehir, Hacibektaş is birthplace of Hacı Bektaş Veli, the founder of the Bektaşi order who venerate a trinity of God, Mohammed and Ali.
ERZURUM: Erzurum, which houses great number of Seljuk monuments, is one of the major cities of the East Anatolia. Two theological schools with elaborate stone carvings place Erzurum among the most attractive towns worth visiting. SIVAS: Sivas, which was a major city on the former trade roads, houses great number of Seljuk mosques and theological schools.
DİYARBAKIR: Diyarbakır is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities of the Middle East. The city rivals Istanbul with its great number of mosques.
DIVRIGI ULU CAMI The Ulu Camii of Divrigi, which was built in the 13th century, is one of the most fascinating monuments of Turkey.
ISTANBUL: Istanbul houses the most famous mosques of the Muslim world. Among these, one can mention the Blue Mosque, famous because of its tiles; Suleymaniye Mosque, masterpiece of architect Sinan the Great.
HOLY RELICS: Topkapi Palace, besides its fascinating Crown Jewels, houses the most sacred Relics of the Muslim Faith. Among these objects, one can admire a hair from Mohammed’s beard, his footprint, his seal, soil from his grave, his coat. In the same section Holy Flag of Muslim Faith, the casket of the Holy Black Stone of Kaaba are displayed.
EYUP DISTRICT OF ISTANBUL:
Located towards the end of the Golden Horn harbor, Eyup district is considered one of the most sacred areas in Istanbul. Eyup al-Ansari, a friend of Prophet Mohammed and standard-bearer of the Muslim Army, was killed by an arrow during the Arabic siege of Constantinople. Buried by his friends, Eyup’s tomb was discovered by the Mehmet the Conqueror and his teacher after the fall of Constantinople. In the following centuries, Eyup District became one of the greatest cemeteries of the Orient