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Mardin, sør-øst Tyrkia

Dette har jeg ubeskjemmet tatt fra Tripadvisor, skulle gi reiselyst

Where All Religions Meet, The Incredible Mardin, Trip Report Sep 28, 2013, 3:03 AM Hi Folks,

About a week ago I flew to Mardin. What a wonderful travel experience I had for a few days. Mardin was absolutely wonderful. I very highly recommend every visitor to Turkey to visit this incredible Southeastern Turkish city, Mardin.

I had reserved my seats with Anadolu Jet a couple of months ago. In Turkey if you buy your domestic airline tickets sufficiently in advance you get amazing fares. My fare was 198 TL, Istanbul - Mardin, R/T which is only about 50 USD, one way for a 2 hour flight. A fantastic bargain that I recommend to all visitors. Anadolu jet ( a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines) is a great budget airline. They were on time both ways both on departures and arrivals. They also offer free sandwiches and soft drinks during the flight unlike some other budget airlines. I would fly Anadolu Jet any time: "http://www.anadolujet.com/aj-en/".

I wanted to rent a car at the airport. Fortunately Anadolu Jet has an arrangement with National Car Rental and you get a tremendous discount as Anadolu Jet customer. "anadolujet.com/aj-tr/…". So I rented a Ford Fiesta for 59 TL/day (about 30 USD), unlimited mileage. They give you the car full of fuel at the airport and expect that you do the same upon return. Sabri Turan is a great guy at the National Car Rental at the airport and is very helpful.

I was met at the airport by a 25 yr old Kurdish young man whom I was helping out to get married. He married to a Syrian girl. "imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/268/06n9.jpg". He took me to his small village and I spent a wonderful night at this remote Kurdish Yenisehir (New Mardin) and Old Mardin which is immensely more interesting and where all visitors to the area should stay at.

At the heart of Old Mardin I had chosen Sahmeran Pension based upon its TA reviews. It is a budget pension that I recommend but with some reservations. The pension has a number of shortcomings, the first of which is its accessibility. It is up in the hils of Old Mardin, exactly 73 steps up from the main road (1st Street) and you have to drag your suitcases up those steps. So the place is not for those with mobility issues or for the faint hearted. I did not mind the steps because I walk about 10 km's every day for exercise. I was also rewarded by meeting the two most friendly people at the management of the pension, Ali and Ilker. For details of my stay there have a look at my very recent review: "tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT".

Now what to see at Mardin. First of all here is a nice map of Mardin with all the relevant attractions: "deyrulzafaran.com.tr/images/textbase/Mardin_…" I went to most (but not all) of the very historic and very interesting attractions of Mardin. I drove my car to Deyrulzafaran Monastery. A very easy drive. However if you do not have a car in Mardin you can hire a taxi or you can take tours from Fidnay Turizm, at 269 1st Street, Old Mardin. If they can get 8 people, they offer tours for 60 TL/person and these tours cover main historical sights including a day trip to Midyat and Hasankeyf. Back to the monastery. This is an attraction not to be missed. Have a look at my and other reviews: "tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g672951-d2…".

The next attraction I visited was Zinciriye Madrassa. This Islamic Theological School now belongs to Artuklu University and I was very much impressed with the culture, architecture, spirituality and astounding views of the Mesopotamia valley at Zinciriye Medresesi. Have a look at my review: "tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g672951-d2…".

Besides the above attractions I also visited the following places (excluding the last 4). "tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g672951-Activiti…". I highly recommend the Sabanci City Museum, the Mardin Museum, Ulu Camii, and Kırklar Kilisesi (Church of the 40 Martyrs). One of the highlights of my journey was a visit to the city of Dara. Here are the reviews including mine: "tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g672951-d2…". Dara ruins are a must see also and they are not far from the Deyrulzafaran Monastery, in the direction of Nusaybin. The monastery also has a great museum shop for excellent souvenir purchases.

I also had decided to reserve a days visit to Midyat and Hasankeyf. These two cities can easily be done in one day and you have to pass thru Midyat anyway if you want to go to Hasankeyf. Hasankeyf is only 90 km's from Mardin and Midyat is just about midway. Midyat was an absolute wonder. So many historical churches and mosques and they have a great shopping area and the artisans of Midyat are especially good at jewelery making more at traditional styles.

Next on my list was Mor Gabriel Monastery that is some kilometers out of Midyat on the way to Cizre. During this trip, of all the places I visited, Mor Gabriel Monastery was the most impressive. It was initially built at AD 397 so it more than 1,600 years old. In fact it is older than Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. This monastery has to be seen to be appreciated. Our able and pleasant guide Kuryakos explained everything very well. We even got a chance to see the dining quarters of the priests, momks and other religious leaders. Simply magnificent and a must see. Here is my review and others: "tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g780971-d2…".

My final destination during this trip was Hasankeyf. From Mor Gabriel and via Midyat, Hasankeyf was easily reached, as it is on the road to Batman. Hasankeyf is an absolute marvel. It will be submerged under 30 meters of water. Here is my brief review with pictures: "tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g780973-d2…". It was almost getting dark and I decided to return to Mardin. The return trip, in half darkness and again via Midyat, was to tally uneventful. It was great to see the southeastern Turkey villages and towns at sundown.

Mardin is great and wonderful old down but except first street you will have to hike up and hike down the stairs to see the interesting houses, the castle (at the barbed wire zone), the interesting streets, etc. Rido Kebab on 1st street (main street) is where you should have the authentic Mardin Kebabs, "tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g672951-d1…" and Has Simit Evi (Bakery), "imageshack.com/scaled/800x600/27/je3r.jpg", is where you should have breakfast or get some borek, pastry, etc. all unique to Mardin. I bought a bottle of Suryani wine sold at many stores on 1st street. The quality of wine is average but you can have a great time one evening drinking your wine and enjoying the astounding views of great Mesapotamia valley down below.

One final and important word about this trip. Unfortunately government bureaucrats in US and some EU countries, who may never have stepped foot out of their comfort zones, have the nerve to state that Southeastern Turkey may not be very safe to visit. Never have I encountered even a hint that will compromise my safety. On the contrary I gave two Kurdish boys a ride for short distances during my extensive driving and they were most thankful. Yes I travelled close to Syrian border but except some very poor Syrian refugees reluctantly asking for some help at Mardin, there was not a hint of any civil war going on across the borders.

In conclusion I very highly recommend this trip to everyone who want to see something very different, something unique and meet with people of all religions and ethnic origins who have been peacefully living together thousands of years. As people in US say that about SF, I left my heart at Mardin.

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Sikkert mye positivt og mye å se men det er en del problemer der også, men forstå meg rett jeg beskylder deg ikke for at dette er grunnen til at du drar til Tyrkia.

Turkey: NGO; over 100,000 sex slaves, half are children NGO reveals in an extensive report on prostitution

(ANSAmed) - ISTANBU - There are over 100,000 women working as sex slaves in Turkey, of which half are children, a non-governmental organization has revealed in an extensive report on prostitution in the country quoted Saturday by daily Hurriyet. Up to 3,000 prostitutes work in brothels located in 55 of the 81 provinces of Turkey and 15,000 other registered prostitutes work with an official document, according to the report prepared by Sefkat-Der, a civil association founded to help marginalized segments of society. The most shocking aspect of the report, however, is that the number of women selling sex on the streets has climbed to over 100,000, half of whom are children. It stated that many underage girls from impoverished families, especially in eastern and southeastern provinces, had become victims of the "prostitution mafia." Vulnerable children who have been the victim of abuse inside their own family, orphans, and mentally challenged children are also often prey for organized crime rings. The report added that women up to the age of 60 are working in brothels. Sefkat-Der attracted media attention last spring when it filed a petition to Parliament to ask for permission to open a brothel employing males, in protest at brothels where women are employed. For Sefkat-Der and women's associations, the fact that there are more brothels in Turkey than women's shelters has long been a cause of criticism of both the state and local government. (ANSAmed).

Turkey biggest prison in Europe for journalists, union chief

Amnesty accuses Turkey of abuse on 'massive scale'

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Her er forøvrig noe som sikkert hadde vært greit å få med seg:

Archaeology: Turkey; ancient Iasos rises out of the ashes Italians have found crucial data about the region's history (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, SEPTEMBER 30 - Archaeologists working on Iasos, on Turkey's Aegean coast, have recently discovered that the ancient city was buried under a mountain of ash caused by the explosion of Mt. Thera on Greek Santorini island 3,600 years ago, daily Hurriyet reports quoting Dogan News Agency.

Excavation works have also revealed a sewage system that was in place in the 4,000-year-old city and tunnels to the city's theater. Excavations are being carried out by the world-famous Italian archaeology team of Università degli Studi della Tuscia.

The head of the excavations, Professor Marcello Spanu, is working with assistant archaeologists Emanuele Borgia and Sevki Bardakci, Culture and Tourism Ministry official Selvet Karamahmut, 28 other Italian archaeologists, as well as university students who have recently unearthed new historic sites within the ancient city. Spanu said columns that were found one meter underground provided vital information about the history of the city. "Following the explosion of the volcano Thera, which also caused the destruction of the Minoan civilization on the islands of Crete and Santorini, the ancient city was covered with ash and remained so for a while. This is why its sewage system and tunnels to the ancient theater did not change. At the end of the excavation and restoration works, for which we spend nearly 100,000 Turkish Liras (36,300 euros) annually, I am sure that this place will be Turkey's largest, as well as one of its most important, archeoparks," Spanu said. But Bardakci, the deputy head of the excavations and an official from the Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute, lamented the poor state of the promotion of Iasos, as well as the historic and cultural heritage of the surrounding Kiyikislacik village, while noting that they would undertake new endeavors to draw in more visitors. (ANSAmed).

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