Dick had the privilege of visiting Turkey for the first time. Ozlem, member of "One World Rotary", has had the privilege of living there all her life. This article represents a point of view of a tourist. As a tourist, traveling only the Western coast from the north to the south, From Istanbul to Antalya, the country is extremely impressive.

One is impressed with the friendliness of the people, the beautiful countryside, ancient cities and ruins everywhere, seemingly never out of sight of a Minaret and the massive amount of history. Turkey is a very unique country. It is the crossroad between Europe and Asia. The center of civilization since prehistoric times, it borders on eight countries—Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijani, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Greece and Bulgaria. Across the Black Sea to the West lies Romania, home of members George and Diana. Across the Black Sea to the East lies Russia, home of member Nik. Turkey is on four Seas, Black, Aegean, Mediterranean and Marmara. One World Rotary has four members on the Black sea.

Istanbul is the largest city to the north at the gateway to the Black Sea. The trivia question always asked: On what continent is Istanbul located? Answer: Both! Part is in Europe and part is in Asia. Istanbul originated about 660 BCE (Before Current Era) or BC, as Byzantium, reestablished as Constantinople in 330 CE (AD), it served the Roman Empire (330–395), the Byzantine Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922), It was renamed as Istanbul in 1922.

One of the Ancient Cultural attractions in Istanbul is the spectacular Hagia Sophia. It was the largest church converted to a Mosque.

Istanbul, Turkey: Hagia Sophia: 2:01:


History. Thrace, including European part of Turkey, has been inhabited for forty thousand years. It entered Neolithic by about 6000 B.C. with its inhabitants starting the practice of agriculture. Human existence in Anatolia, Turkey started 27,000 years ago based on the discovery of homo sapiens footprints.

Göbekli Tepe "Potbelly Hill", site in Southeastern Anatolia was discovered in 1994. A mound over the location previously inhabited but abandoned is a height of 49 feet and is 984 feet in diameter. Created in about 10,000 BCE (BC), it includes circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars. More than 200 pillars are currently known with each pillar has a height of up to 20 feet and a weight of up to 40,000 pounds.

This city includes the oldest known religious structure built 12,000 years ago—6,000 years before Stonehenge in England, 7,000 years before pyramids in Egypt and 8,000 years before the previously presumed start of civilization.

12,000 Years Old Ancient Temple Structure - Göbekli Tepe: 9:26 min:


The many carvings of animals and the closeness of Mount Ararat, the supposed resting place of Noah's Ark, creates curiosity about any connection between Gobekli and Mount Ararat.

Ephesus. This 5,000-year old ancient city is relatively recent having originated in about 3,000 BCE and important center of activity as well as a seaport (It is now 5 miles inland). It was also a large city for its time of about 250,000.



Library of Celsus                  Main street                            Major Theater


Have a seat in this 28,000 seat theater in Ephesus, where Gladiators fought to the death, and watch the following video. Your seat is 70 rows high.






Selcuk, Turkey: The Ancient City of Ephesus: 3:43 min:


Home of Virgin Mary is located on the top of the "Bulbul" mountain near Ephesus, the shrine of Virgin Mary enjoys a marvelous atmosphere hidden in the green. It is the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Mary preferred this remote location.

The above is just a couple of examples of the history of Turkey. A lifetime of study can be sent on the various empires, great people like Alexander the great, changing cultures and many other archeological sites.


Turkey, beautiful country, beautiful people: 4:25 min:


Turkey is not just history and ancient sites. The following is a taste of the contemporary Turkey.



Rotary in Turkey. There are three Rotary Districts in Turkey. The one with the most Rotarians is also the smallest, D2420. Rotary did not arrive until 1957 in Istanbul. Making up for lost time, there are now at least 66 Rotary clubs in Istanbul! Istanbul is the home of Rotary Peace Fellow Ayca Atay Davies. Izmir, the home of One World Rotary member Ozlem, was the third club in established in Turkey in 1963.

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