To punish Prometheus for stealing the fire, Zeus decided
he should be taken to the high, unreachable mountains where no one can rescue
him. The mountain where Prometheus was bound is now the border of North East
Turkey around Kars.
To save the living from corruption, God ordered Noah to
build an Ark. Noah's Ark landed on Mount Ararat, which was above and beyond the
flood. Mount Ararat is now the eastern border of Turkey.To establish a community where believing in one God was
not going to be reason for persecution, Abraham took the people of Harran to
Canaan. Harran where people, since the time of Abraham, speak the language of
Jesus is in the South East of Turkey.The mountains of the eastern part of Turkey
cast their grand shadows over the fertile valleys of the "Garden of Eden."The
rivers Tigris and Euphrates continue to nourish the
"Tree of Life"
in this land where the people of all different ethnic identity, the Kurds, the
Georgians, the Arabs, the Turks, the Assyrians experience a new present and a
hopeful future in the changing world..
The colors of nature and
diverse cultures compose the most wonderful symphony. Give 1001 painters all the
colors they want and ask them to paint the colors of the Eastern part of Turkey
during a day. By the sunset, they will be out of breath but they would still not
be able to get all the colors that you will see and experience in one day.
As you will see from the itinerary, Eastern Turkey offers a
great variety of historic, ethnic, and geographic diversity to make this
educational tour not have a dull moment
Tour Dates :
May 28,2009 - June 11, 2009
seats with MELITOUR on any tour without obligation.
read below the poem written by a tour member anticipating a great tour in 2002
Please read the Tour Journal from 2001
For more information please
read the tour hand book
Day 1 -
May 28, ISTANBUL
When ever you come to
Istanbul, we will pick you up from the air port.The transfer is included
in the price of the tour. Some people choose to arrive a day or two
before the tour starts to recover jet lag. For your extra days in Istanbul
we can arrange hotel ( Single room US$50 Double room US$70 BB)
The tour starts with a group meeting in Istanbul in the lobby of the Hotel
Ayasofya at 5:00 PM. Dinner at a nearby resturant. Overnight at Hotel
Day 2 - May 29, KARS
is farthest eastern city of Turkey on the Armenian border. This city with
its imposing fortress cries out that she has been a frontier city for all
ages. Visit the bridge that was made to survive centuries with egg white
in its mortar.After check in to the hotel we will drive 23 miles to the
border town of Ani, the 10th century capital of Armenia. The city walls of
red stone will make you feel like you might be walking into a movie set.
But when you see the cathedrals, churches, temples dedicated in
Zoroastrian deities, caravansarai and the Silk Road, you will realize that
you are actually walking in the time tunnel of hundreds of years.
Visit the village house closest to the border of Turkey. Find out how one
can live by raising ducks. Overnight at Hotel Sim-Er Hotel KARS.
Day 3 -
May 30, ERZURUM
Leave Kars in the morning and drive
southwest to Erzurum. Once the Caravans of the Silk Road used the road that we
will take from Kars to Erzurum. Of great interest will be the villages of stone
houses and the black sheep on green meadows. Of even more interest will be the
time we will spend with the villagers visiting their homes to find out what it
means to be living in those mountains.
Arrive in Erzurum in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Oral Hotel.
Day 4 - May 31,
Visit a nearby village. See a
hay, duck and dung economy.
People in Erzurum are very loyal to their cuisine. Lunch will give us an
opportunity to taste what the people of Erzurum have been eating for hundreds of
Visit the 12th century Medrese (a Seljukian School). Talk with the imam at the
12th century Mosque and enjoy the ethnographic museum.
Visit an old caravan stop where the local black stone is mounted in silver and
gold by the local artists in the most aesthetic art form.
Dinner and Overnight in Oral Hotel
Day 5-June 01, DOGUBEYAZIT,
Free time in the
Drive east from Erzurum to Igdir then south to Dogubayazit. Have a picnic lunch
at a spectacular site.
Arrive by Mount Ararat to enjoy its grandeur before sunset.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Simer, Dogubeyazit
Day 6 - June 02, VAN
As the sun rises over
the planes of Iran, Mount Ararat catches the light of the new day before you can
see the sun. The halo on the peak will be a spiritual experience as you sip your
coffee on the balcony of your hotel. Visit Noah's ark. See a village which for
hundreds of years lived with Mount Ararat as a backdrop. Mail your post cards
from the eastern most post office that you can find in Turkey on the Iranian
border. See the miles of petrol tanks coming from Iran to put the economic
reality of the region in a different perspective.
After lunch visit a palace which is like an experiment model for an architect
trying to put the
architectural features of all those who had run caravans on the Silk Road.
Ottoman domes, Baroque harem rooms, Armenian stonework, Georgian reliefs will be
captured in your pictures as a proof of synthesis of civilizations.
Drive south to Van.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Merit, Van
Day 7 -June 03, VAN
to a meadow to watch local folk dancers. Have a picnic lunch with the dancers
and talk to
these Kurdish students.
In our private boat, sail to the island in the middle of Lake Van and feel the
excitement of the masons carving the scenes from the Old Testament and the New
Testament on the walls of this church 1,100 years ago. With the snow in the
mountains and blooming almond trees, try to understand how the word white can
have different meanings. Swim in the clear waters of the lake. Return to Van to
see an amazing Kilim collection.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Merit, Van
Day 8 - June 04, MARDIN
departure for the longest bus ride of the tour (7:30 am - 3:30 pm). Drive west
from Van around the southern end of Lake Van to Bitlis, then southwest to Mardin
near the Iraqian border.
As we drive via Tigris River and visit the ancient and modern towns which will
forever get buried under the dam lakes of the new irrigation systems, we will
understand the importance of the proper use of our natural resources in the
world. Not to have the need to built one more destructive dam , you will promise
your self not to waste even one drop of water. The landscape is stunning. The
history of Christianity will come alive in MIDYAT with our visits to the living
Syrian Orthodox churches. This day will be hard to forget with the subjects we
will cover on the environmental and historic aspects of the region.Overnight in
Mardin at Erdoba Evleri.
Day 09- June 05, Mardin
Visit one of the
oldest Christian Monasteries on Earth where the congregation is still speaking
Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. The father of the monastery will open
the doors to us where monks will proudly show us the in and out of their
thousands of years old building. My monk friend, Gabriel will give us the
pleasure of hearing how Jesus would have sounded if he were teaching what we
read in the Bible. Because he will be reading his Bible in the language that
Jesus spoke. We will have a chance to see Mesopotamia with its fertile fields
stretching under our feet when we walk the streets of Mardin. Overnight at the
same hotel in Mardin
Day 10 - June 06, URFA ,
Drive south to Harran.
and the Syrian border
You will be mesmerized with what man can do to a desert. Instead of the sand
dunes of thousands of years now the captured water of the Euphrates river
irrigates the cotton fields giving the people of not just the region but of all
of Turkey a new hope for the future. Harran where Abraham lived seems like it
has not changed at all. The conic homes look like they could have been his
house. The women dressed in layers and layers of colorful dress look like they
could have been his followers marching down to Canaan.
Overnight in Urfa
Day 11 - June 07, NEMRUT
Urfa have another
Biblical experience in its sacred lake, birth place of Abraham and many more
treasures for your memories and /or cameras.
On the way to Adiyaman, we will stop at the biggest dam of Turkey. 22% of the
electric energy we consume in Turkey is being produced in the turbines of this
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Nemrut Kahta
Day 12 - June 08,
Wake up at 2 am. This
is the day we will hike to the top of Mount Nemrut and see how a megalomaniac
king wanted to compete with the grandeur of Gods and built his tomb on the top
of a 7,000 ft mountain. Watching the sun rise from the same place where the
giant size statues of Gods watched, you will understand how these 1,000 year old
statues did not want to be removed from their place. On the way back a Roman
Bridge will give us the sad story of Emperor Septimus Severus. His dead son was
immortalized in this bridge which is still the only connection of two sides of
After lunch at our hotel we will drive to Gazi Antep.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Kaleli in Gazi Antep
Day 13 - June 09 ANTAKYA
Visit the craft
centers of Gaziantep and the world famous museum which contains the mosaics of
the lost city Zeugma .Drive to Antakya. Visit the incredible sculpture making
work shop f the Hittites. The remains of 4000 year old gigantic sculptures still
litters the whole hill side. Arrive in Antakya in the afternoon.
Drive to Antakya Overnightin Antakya
Day 14- June 10 ISTANBUL
Antakya is where St.
Peter , St. Paul and Barnabas had organized the first church of the Christians.
Visit the mosaic Museum of Antakya which reveals the wealth and grandeur
of the city at St. Paul's time. Have dinner where Apollo fell in love with
Daphne .Visit St.Paul's birth place, Tarsus. Fly to Istanbul from Adana.
Day 15 - June 11 Tour is over
After this tour we are offering a short tour to Troy and to the villages of
Western Turkey where villagers are preparing natural dies for the carpets they
weave. The name of their cooperative is DOBAG. We call this tour extension DOBAG
tour. Please check the tour hand book for
After The Tour Options
Please check our
pre/after the tour options
DOBAG and TROY
Price US$ 3,250.00
Tour Price includes the following :
- 14 nights hotel, double occupancy
- 2 Domestic flights from Istanbul and to
- All meals
- All entrance fees
- Tips at the hotels and the restaurants
- All transportation
Single Room Supplement
Single room is US$450