Turkey: The Second Holy Land, A Most Amazing Place to Visit
Turkey--Sometimes Called "The Second Holy Land"
The Republic of Turkey is a fascinating place to travel and to live. It is full of ancient ruins, tells (mounds) that haven't even been excavated yet, and so much Biblical history! For example:
* Mount Ararat is in Eastern Turkey
* The 7 Churches of Revelation were all in Western Turkey
* Most of the travels of Paul and Peter and the other Apostles took place in what is today Turkey
* There is awesome access to the ruins because there are so many they can't keep track of them all
* Just about everything you see at these ruins is thousands (not hundreds) of years old
* So many civilizations lived there that the variety of ruins and ancient artifacts are from many ancient people groups (the Hittites, Lydians, Roman Empire, Alexander the Great's conquered areas, Persian, Selcuk Turkish remains, Ottoman Empire remains, and so much more).
I Used to Live in Antalya--a Lovely Modern City on the Mediterranean
So I Know What I'm Talking About
Turkey is a charming place to live and travel. One of the highlights for me was the hikes we would take to ruins very near our home. Side (pronounced "See-deh"), Perge (or Perga from the Bible), Termessos, Sillion, Aspendos, and Pisidian Antioch are all well within a few hours to a day's drive from Antalya where we lived. These places are rich with history of the Roman Empire, the missionary journeys of Paul, the powerful conquering force of Alexander the Great, the growth of the 1st Century church, ancient pirate attacks, graveyards with elaborate stone sarcophagi, and much much more.
The ground around many of these places is littered with fascinating pottery shards from many different centuries and millennia.
The people are friendly for the most part, and are happy to show off their fascinating country to foreigners.
The foods, the culture, and many of the products in the markets are a mixture of many cultures and thousands of years of being a crucial part of the main trade route of the world--the "Silk Road."
Remains of the famous Roman roads are still in evidence in many parts of Turkey. As it is said, "All roads lead to Rome." They definitely left their mark on Turkey.
Turkey: The Other Holy Land
Of course the number one Holy Land is Israel. However, Turkey definitely stands firmly at the number two spot.
It's a place where a tremendous amount of biblical and secular history took place.
Mount Ararat where Noah's ark landed is there. Tarsus, the home of the Apostle Paul is there. Antioch (called Antakya) where believers in Jesus were first derogatorily called "Christians" is there. I could go on and on.
It's definitely the Other Holy Land!
I Would Love to Travel Back to Turkey to See My Friends Before I Die
That's number 1!
We have many friends there who we continue to keep in contact with. They are sweet, hospitable, caring, fun, loving, and many of them love the Lord Jesus Christ which endears them to me in a special way.
I Absolutely Love This Sign at Anamurium. You've Got to Read It!
The Second Thing I'd Like to Do Before I Die is to Travel from Turkey to Israel
I've never been there and it's a dream of mine
Because the histories of Asia Minor (now Turkey) and Israel are so tied in the Bible, I would love to tour all the places where Paul went (there are a few in Turkey that I haven't been to) and also continue to those in Israel where he began and ended many of his journeys. For instance, Jerusalem, Caesarea, Joppa, Bethlehem, and all the other places where Jesus once walked. What an awesome privilege that would be!
Photo is of me and one of our daughters standing next to "Emperor Hadrian" who left quite an impression in Antalya.
An All-time Favorite Shot from Ephesus--Public Toilets--Frequented by Senators in their Togas (can you picture it?)
I Would Love to Visit Scotland Before I Die
That's Rather off Topic, Though
There is a significant relationship between the U.K. and Turkey. Many Brits visit Turkey on a regular basis, and since it's actually possible to drive there, it's much easier for them to reach it than those of us in the U.S.
One of the really interesting connections between the U.K. and Turkey is C. S. Lewis, the author and professor. In his books "The Chronicles of Narnia" he uses many references that harken back to Turkey. For instance, the Turkish Delight which the Snow Queen offered Edmund and which he devoured till he was rather sick. It does taste good. I wouldn't eat a whole box of it, though! It's kind of giggly like jello but firmer and has a dusting of flour or sugar of some kind.
Another reference to Turkey by C. S. Lewis is Aslan. That word is actually the word for "lion" in Turkish!
I'm sure there are many more references in his writings to Turkey which tells me that he took a few trips there himself!
I Would Love to Live in Palau Again Before I Die
Palau is where I grew up, but I haven't been there for about 12 years now. I miss it, I miss the people, and I miss speaking Palauan a lot. Oh, I also miss singing with Palauans. They're awesome people!
As far as I know, there's not much connection between Palau and Turkey, so I guess that's all I'll write about that.
Oops, Our Dog Thought This Was a Nifty Place to Sit
This is an old baptistry at the Basilica of Saint Paul at Pisidian Antioch. There isn't a lot left, but excavations are ongoing.
The Fifth and Last Thing I'd Like to Do Before I Die is Have My Whole Family Together
Including My Extended Family
That would be so incredible! It would be even more incredible if all of us could have our reunion in Turkey! Maybe at Kapadokia (called Cappadocia in the Bible). It is a fascinating place where monks and other Christians dug tunnels for many storeys underground and lived there sometimes for years.
It is one of the most fascinating places I can think of for people to visit in Turkey.
The Church of St. Nicholas--He Was a Bishop in Myra, Turkey
The Incredible Baths at Anamurium
The Roman Empire sure knew how to live in the lap of luxury. These Roman baths at Anamurium attest to that.
Stuff on Amazon About Turkey
The Famous Theater in Ephesus
What makes it famous? Well, there was a riot here among the Ephesians concerning the silversmiths business having a damper on their Artemis statues after Paul preached there and many people became believers in Jesus Christ.
The theater held, I think, around 20,000 people. That's a big crowd. This is also most likely the theater where Paul had to "fight the wild beasts." That was a favorite Roman custom for people they didn't like.
It's an incredible place to visit!
Two of our girls on the walls of Memur Castle. You sure don't have to fight the crowds here!
Amusing Sign at Antakya (Antioch) in Turkey
There's nothing like a confusing sign! We loved this. Our girls got a kick out of it.
Ship Docked Next to Castle on Cypris (or Kibris)--King Richard the Lionheart Stayed Here!
Thanks so much for your comments! They are welcome!
Did this lens cause you to want to visit Turkey?