Hasanaliler Church is one of innumerable historical treasures hidden in the mountainous landscape of Cilicia Trachea ("Rugged Cilicia"). This rough mountain district is formed by the spurs of the Taurus Mountains. Among numerous valleys, deep gorges, and magnificent mountaintops, the curious traveller will find ancient cities, sanctuaries, ruined farmsteads, and churches, along the natural wonders such as deep caves and picturesque sinkholes.
One of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture is located in the city of Beyşehir in Konya Province. It is the Eşrefoğlu Mosque, built in the 13th century, standing in a beautiful area near Lake Beyşehir. The uniqueness of this building, based on a wooden construction, was noticed by UNESCO, which in 2023 included the mosque on the World Heritage List.
The archaeological site called Çatalhöyük, from the Turkish words çatal "fork" and höyük "tumulus", is a tell of a huge Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southern Asia Minor. It existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 6400 BC and flourished around 7000 BCE. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2012.
The finds from Çatalhöyük, dating back to the 1st half of the 6th millennium BCE, are now on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.
Carchemish was an important ancient city in the northern part of Syria. At times during its long history, Carchemish was independent, but it was also part of the Mitanni, Hittite, and Neo-Assyrian Empires. Today it is on the frontier between Turkey and Syria, encompassing an archaeological site of 90 hectares, of which 55 lie in Turkey and 35 in Syria, located on the West bank of the Euphrates River.
All monumental finds from Carchemish date back to the Neo-Hittite period when a number of states emerged in southeastern parts of modern Turkey and northwestern parts of modern Syria, following the collapse of the Hittite New Kingdom in the 12th century BCE. They lasted until they were subdued by the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BCE.
In the first millennium BCE, Carchemish consisted of a high citadel mound located by the Euphrates River with a walled inner town and an outer town. Excavations found a processional road which led to the temple of the Storm-God and to a monumental stairway into the citadel. The whole complex was decorated with sculptures carved in basalt and limestone. Most of these orthostats and statues from the early excavations are currently on display in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara while several other artefacts are in the British Museum in London.
Without a doubt, the most interesting event in the field of history and culture of Turkish lands in September 2023 was the announcement by UNESCO of the entry on the World Heritage List of two new items from Turkey. This honorable distinction was awarded to the archaeological site of Gordion, located near Ankara, and five wooden mosques from the Middle Ages, located in various locations in Anatolia.