Thursday, November 4, 2010

The OLD and the NEW

Turkey is old!  Everywhere we went there were ruins.  There are even places built on ruins. The Lycians were first dominated there by the Persians.  The Lycian federal system of government was used as a model by the authors of the US constitution. Then the Greeks took over, then the Romans, then the Christians, then the Muslims.  Turkey has been a cradle of many civilizations, and seems to be evolving still.  We saw Hacilar, a Neolithic farming village in SW Turkey that may have been inhabited as early as 8000BC. They are still evacuating villages and urban centers.  Catalhoyuk was found in 1960, and is thought to be dated around 7000BC. The city of Troy was first evacuated in 1871.
Lycian Rock tombs

"Exact replica of the Trojan Horse".... (with Steve's head!)

Ascelepius Turkey
We visited so many museums and so many archaeological ruins that my mind started blurring times and places.  But, we had a great, knowledgeable guide who helped pull it all together and never tired of our ceaseless and repeated questions.  Turkey is land of earth quakes that have altered lives, but yet uncovered past lives.  I could fill up pages with pictures and descriptions, but will just post a few of my favorite examples of the daily treks we took to ancient monuments and displays.
Lycian Head
Hermaphrodite Sarcophagus

Hellenistic-330 BC

Bronze Age

So, in Turkey we also have a very modern vibrant country which is trying to find it's balance in the world and possibly the Europeon Union.  Yet, they are boarded by Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Armenia! No wonder each person over 18 must serve 15 months of National service.  They also have a higher literacy rate than the US.  The have excellent roads, good health care, and an infrastructure which is trying to keep up with 72 million people.  They certainly didn't have a mortgage crisis, because people have to "save" a huge down payment before buying any home.  Until recently, most Turkish people could not afford their own home until their 50's.  The cars are small, the petrol is expensive, and people walk a lot.  We did not see many overweight Turks.  Even though the younger generations do not pay as much hommage to Kemal Ataturk, this man almost single handedly was the founder of the modern Turkey.  When the Ottoman Empire ended, it was Ataturk who took Turkey into the modern era and became the president of the republic of Turkey.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful photos, Connie! The Lycian rock tombs are amazing! The experiences you've had are certainly priceless. I so admire the two of you for "getting out there" and experiencing life! Keep it up!