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Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği | © Bertramz/Wikimedia Commons
Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği | © Bertramz/Wikimedia Commons
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UNESCO Heritage Sites in Turkey You Need to Visit Right Now

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 26 July 2017
There’s a wealth of history in Turkey from ancient civilizations to powerful empires and the birth of a republic. Here are some amazing places you should check off your own travel list while you’re in Turkey, due to their inclusion in the much-respected UNESCO World Heritage List.
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Aphrodisias

This ancient Greek city, located in southwestern Turkey in the Aydın province, continues to impress visitors with its archaeological site, marble quarries, and the temple of Aphrodite that dates back to the 3rd century BCE.

Geyre Mahallesi, 09385 Karacasu, Aydın Province

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Archaeological Site of Ani

Quite the surreal sight, Ani, located on a secluded plateau that overlooks the Turkish and Armenian border, was a medieval city that flourished in the 10th and 11th centuries when it was the capital of the Bagratides Armenian kingdom.

Ocaklı Köyü Yolu, 36000 Ocaklı Köyü, Kars

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Archaeological Site of Troy

One of the most famous archaeological sites with a history that spans back around 4000 years, the uncovering of Troy demonstrated the first contact between Anatolian and Mediterranean civilizations.

Tevfikiye Köyü,17100 Çanakkale Merkez, Çanakkale

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Bursa and Cumalıkızık

Once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the city of Bursa as well as the nearby village of Cumalıkızık exemplify the urban and rural system that established the Ottoman Empire.

Bursa, Turkey

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Ephesus

One of Turkey’s most popular tourist sights, the monuments belonging to the Roman Imperial period at Ephesus are impressive due to the well preserved states, most notable the Library of Celsus.

Atatürk Mh., Atatürk Mah, Uğur Mumcu Sevgi Yolu, 35920 Selçuk, İzmir

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Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği

A masterpiece of Islamic architecture, the Great Mosque of Divriği is located in the Sivas province and impresses with its advanced vault construction and beautifully ornate decorations.

Kemenkeş Mahallesi, Ulu Cami Cd., 58300 Divriği, Sivas

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Hattusha

The former capital of the Hittite Empire continues to impress even as an archeological site that exhibits notable urban organization as well as the beauty of rich ornamentation found at the gates.

Hisar Mahallesi, 19310 Boğazkale, Çorum Province

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Nemrut Dağı

The hike up this mountain is rewarded by the sight of the mausoleum of King Antiochus (who ruled over the kingdom of Commagene) a site considered to be one of the Hellenistic period’s most ambitious works.

Kayadibi Köyü,02400 Kâhta, Adıyaman Province

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Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük

Çatalhöyük is one of the world’s most important archeological sites because of the discovery of wall paintings, reliefs, sculptures, and more demonstrating the evolution of social organization and culture.

Küçükköy Mahallesi, Çatalhöyük Yolu, 42500 Çumra, Konya

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Pergamon

Once the capital of the Attalid dynasty, Pergamon was founded in the 3rd century BC and continues to stun visitors with the remains of such structures as the steep theater, the Kybele Sanctuary, and the Great Altar of Pergamon.

Zafer Mahallesi, 35700 Bergama, İzmir

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Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex

Considered to be one of Mimar Sinan’s greatest works, the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne impresses with its vast structure and tile work in its exterior that exemplify the apogee of the Iznik art.

Meydan Mahallesi, 22020 Edirne Merkez, Edirne

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Xanthos-Letoon

Once the capital of the Lycian Empire, this archeological site in Antalya, which displays the most unique architecture belonging to the Lycians, was vital in the understanding of the Lycian people as well as their language.

Kınık Mahallesi, Fethiye Karayolu, 07970 Kalkan, Antalya

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Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia

It’s no surprise that the truly mysterious landscape of Cappadocia — with its erosion formed fairy chimneys, underground cities, and rock sanctuaries — is on UNESCO’s list.

Cappadocia, Turkey

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Hierapolis-Pamukkale

The white travertine terraces of Pamukkale are a truly exceptional natural landscape as well as the nearby ruins of the thermal spa of Hierapolis established by the kings of Pergamon in the 2nd century BC.

Pamukkale, Turkey