Turkey’s Southeast Secret
However, there is a corner of Turkey that remains hidden to the rest of the world; the southeast. Bordering Iran, Syria and Iraq this is an area where many are reluctant to take their family holidays. Turkey, however, is relatively safe from the threat of terrorism and whilst the FCO advises against all travel to certain states in the southeast, the destinations mentioned below are all safe for travel. Though, as always, guests are advised to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings.
While the southeast remains unpopulated by the tourist market taking family holidays, Turkey, it has attracted pilgrimages of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions for centuries. During biblical times the region was a crossroads of civilization and home to the Patriarch Abraham. You would be forgiven for thinking that little has changed since this time; the Sunday church services are still conducted in Aramaic (the language of Jesus) and the main industry is traditional agriculture and irrigation.
The first stop on your family holidays, Turkey, should be Harran with its beehive shaped mud houses. This was where the Patriarch Abraham lived before moving onto towards the Promised Land. It also believed that Adam and Eve set foot in Harran after being expelled from the Garden of Eden. The famous beehive shaped houses are thought to have stood for at least 3,000 years and were constructed entirely without the use of wood. On your family holidays, Turkey your children are likely to be fascinated by these unusual structures and how cool they are inside, despite the surrounding desert temperatures.
Whilst Harran, with its ancient history, is likely to be a hit, one place that your children are bound to enjoy on your family holidays, Turkey, is the city of Kahramanmaras. Known locally as Maras, the city makes a unique ice-cream that doesn't melt in hot weather. This may sound like an invention from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but we can guarantee that your children will love it. The ice-cream is made with a special Arabic gum that stops it from melting and, rather bizarrely, shop-keepers used to hang it from hooks in front of their shops as it contained so much body! Nowadays, the sweet desert is sold by vendors in traditional Marash dress and comes in a whole host of flavours. We recommend the pistachio, as the salty nut is one of the area's key exports.
Nearby Sanliurfa is the birthplace of Abraham. The cave in which he was born is a key pilgrimage point for Muslims, but can be visited by those all faiths. There is plenty to see and do in Sanliurfa on your family holidays, Turkey from the sacred pool at the Throne of Nimrod, filled with Koi carp, to the town's museum. If you want to take home a traditional Turkish rug or some sticky Baklava then check out the sprawling medieval bazaar. This Aladdin's Cave of treasures has plenty of souvenirs to tempt you with and we know that your family holidays, Turkey won't be complete without a special souvenir of the secret southeast.
Davide Smith is the Destination Expert for Bargain Holidays Online, a unique holiday website which specialises in cheap, last-minute deals for family holidays Turkey as well as giving you access to over 20 million other bargain holiday deals. Book your bargain holidays with http://www.bargainholidaysonline.com/ today and save.
17 Apr 2010 by LoreenC 357