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Host: Hi there and welcome to our conversation about the amazing facts of Turkey and its landmarks! We’re here to learn more about this incredible country and discover what makes it so unique. Today, we have Irfan BIYIK joining us from Istanbul, TurkeyWİT


İrfan Biyik : Thanks for having me!


Host: To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about the geography of Turkey?


İrfan Biyik: Sure! Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia, with a small part of its territory located in the European continent. To the east, beyond the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, lies the Asian continent. Turkey’s total land area is around 780,000 square kilometres, making it the 37th largest country in the world. It has a long coastline that’s full of beautiful beaches and coves, making it an incredibly popular tourist destination.

Host: Can you tell us what's going on in Gobeklitepe, which seems to be getting so popular with visitors literally pouring in.


Irfan Biyik: Well, Göbeklitepe is a Neolithic archaeological site in southeastern Turkey that dates back to roughly 10,000 BCE. It is made up of multiple circular buildings constructed of enormous stone pillars, some of which are beautifully carved with animal images. The site is regarded as one of the oldest and most significant instances of human cultural history because it demonstrates early human social organization, ceremonial customs, and art. It is particularly interesting because it defies earlier assumptions about the Neolithic period, which was considered to be characterized by small, nomadic tribes with simple social systems. Excavations at Göbeklitepe began in 1995, and ongoing study continues to disclose new details about the site and its historical significance. In 2018, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Host: Amazing! It sounds like there’s a lot to explore in Turkey. Now, let’s talk about some other landmarks. 


İrfan Biyik: Absolutely! One of the best-known landmarks in Turkey is the Hagia Sophia, which was built in Istanbul in 537 AD as a Greek Orthodox cathedral displaying amazing Byzantine art and architecture. Following the conquest of the city by the Ottomans, it was converted into a mosque. The Temple of Artemis, located near the modern city of Selçuk, is another great landmark. It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built in the 6th century BC. Then there’s the Hot Air Balloons offering visitors a unique way of exploring the area with spectacular views of the landscape. And finally, there’s Mount Ararat, an extinct volcano located near the borders to Iran and Armenia. It’s believed to be the site where Noah’s Ark landed after the flood. 


İrfan Biyik: Wow, that’s incredible! Can you tell us about the Ramadan Festival.


Guest: Of course! Turkey boasts a vibrant culture, characterized by festivals. One of the most important festivals is Eid, celebrated every year following a 30-day fast. During this time, families across the country gather to mark the occasion. However, this tradition seems to be less popular among younger people, who prefer to travel during the festival rather than visit their parents and relatives!


Host: Before we let you go, let's talk about Cappadocia.

Irfan Biyik: Like for many, Cappadocia is also one of my favorite destinations. It is a region in central Turkey known for its unique geological formations, including fairy chimneys, cave dwellings, and underground cities. The region has a rich history, dating back to the Hittite period and later inhabited by early Christians who carved underground churches and monasteries into the soft volcanic rock. The area is just whimsical and it's pretty much like you're stepping off another planet.


Host: Interesting ! Well, that wraps up our conversation today – thank you so much for joining us and sharing your knowledge about this incredible country and its many landmarks!

Irfan Biyik: It's always a pleasure to be here. Thank you...

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