Trip Start May 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 26, 2008

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Monday, June 23, 2008

From Mt Nemrut we headed south to the city of Sanliurfa and to a definitely hotter location in Turkey where the still, dry climate easily creeps past 90 F.  The city is firmly in the southeastern part of the country so we also began to clearly see a different population here.  The Turkish now mix with Kurdish as well as a small population of Arabian.

There is recorded history of Sanliurfa dating from at least the 4th century BC, and it was one of several cities in the cradle of the Mesopotamian civilization. Sanliurfa is also known as the birthplace of Abraham and of Job and therefore is a center of pilgrimage - primarily for those of the Muslim faith.  Seeing the traditional mix with the modern, while watching those who travel here to have their prayers heard from the holy sites of this city was surely in contrast to the resort cities of the Mediterranean that we visited just a couple of weeks ago.

It is a very conservative and pious city.  Conservative dress was the norm - in a few cases even complete cover for the women.  Not surprisingly, there wasn't a bar in sight.  While western tourists are certainly still seen, the numbers have dropped significantly.  Here they were replaced by the Syrians and Iranians who come to this holy place.  Nevertheless, we found it to be just as welcoming.  In fact, it has become quite nice to leave the souvenir shops and carpet salesmen behind.


Jon and Liz
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