For aficionados of opera, ballet, musicals and classical music Aspendos Festival since 1994 has been a “must” place to be in June and July of every year.
Aspendos Theater the best preserved amphitheater, not only of Anatolia, but also the whole of Europe. On the Mediterranen near Antalya, the theater and its festival have delighted more than 600.000 music lovers. In the last seven years music groups from Russia, Georgija, Croatia, Bulgaria, Azerbaycan, Austria, Romania haven taken part.This year groups from Greece, Ka azakhstan and Belarus will perform.
The Turkish opera and ballet companies from Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Mersin this year will be joined by the Antalya State Opera and Ballet, which will perform Verdi’s La Traviata.
The National Opera of Greece will perform the famous ballet of Theodorakis – Zorba the Greek. Spartacus of Kazachiaturian is a demanding ballet; it will be performed by the National Academic Ballet Theatre of the Respublic of Belarus.
The state opera of Kazakhstan will be performing an evergreen opera Bi izet’s Carmen. It will be interesting to see how the Spanish lady will be transformed into a Central Asian woman.
The Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir Opera and Ballet companies will be performing. Aida, Taming of the Shrew, Hurrem Sultan and Rigolleto.
The 8t

th Antalya Festival certainly will be a memorable event.


According to the Hellenic traditions, Aspendos was built during the leadership of Mophsos by the Colonists who came from Argos. The city was originally known as Estvedia – a name derived from a king known as either Asiavadia or Asitavada.
At the beginning of the 5th century B.C., except for the settlement by Side, Aspendos was the only town minting silver coins. In 330 B.C., Alexander the Great invaded the lover part in the city. During the Hellenisc Era, Aspendos as well as Side was a prosperous residentian location. In 190 B.C., following the Magnesiad Sipylum Wars, Aspendos established a good relationship with Rome. On the death of Attalos III, Aspendos was assimilated in n to the station of Asia under Roman sovereignty. The ruins of today belong to this era.


The city of Aspendos is located in Pamphylia, and the theater is situated in the south of the acropolis. The maximum capacity of the theater is 9000 people. It was designed by the Architekt Zeno during the era of Marcus Aurelius in 161-180 A.D. The orchestra in the form of a circle is located between the auditorium – known as the cavea – and the stage ar

rea. The cavea is divided into two by a horizontal passage called adiasoma. The lower cavea ia divided into 9 separate sections with 10 stairs, the upper cavea is divided into 20 separate sections with 21 stairs. The audience reaches the cavea throught the vaulted (paodi) entries located on both sides of the stage. There is a gallery at the very top op the seating area in the shape of a half circle formed from 59 valuts. It is connected to the stage area by sidewals, creating a majestic sight. There is a additional gallery designetd to support the cavea; the upper level is reseved for important guests, whose names are inscribed on the seats. The remaining seating areas are allocate to the publc.
The drainage channels constructed around the orchestra area help to collect rain-water. During the 3rd century a stone parpet was constructed and used in arena surrounding the orchestra area.
The stage areas are constructed out of stone blocs, with five centrances available at the stage level for the artists. Th stage looks like a two storied structure decorated by twenty Ionic and Corenthean columns. Each floor has many niches supported by smaller columns.
The plays are presented on a wooden platform (proscenium) located in fr
ront of the stage. Howewer the gladiator fights during the roman period were more important than plays.


Edrine has a total of five border crossings into Greece and Bulgaria, two by train and three by road. The D- 100 State Highway and trans-European (TEM) motroway both run through Edrine connecting it to Europe and to Turkey’s largest metropolis, Istanbul, a two-hour drive away. It also has a great tourism potential as a starting point to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
Edirne has a rich historical heritage due to its location between Europe and Asia Anatolia.
The fine border town of Edirne greets visitors entering Turkey with interesting mosques, bazaars, bridges, historical houses, and the magnificent Selimiye Mosque.
This city, which deeply feels its cultural heritage, derives its identity and significance from its position as the second capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The Gulf of Saros on the Aegean coastline of Thrace is covered by clean beaches. The Gulf of Saros has the cleanest water in the Aegean due to its strong water currents and its being far from industrials sites. Many different kinds of fish are caught here.
This year, the 640th Historical Kirkpinar Oli-Wrestling and Cultural Activities Week will be held be

etween 26th June – 1st July in Edurne. During the week, folk-dances performances, exhibitions, local food contests and beauty contests will be held before the oil-wrestling competitions take place over the last three days.
In short, Edrine is a marvelous spot for vacation. If you are interested in history, you can visit the Selimiye Mosque, the Beyazid II Complex, a caravanseray, aTurkish bath, an old bridge and the Gulf of Saros.
Edirne is situated in Thrace in the Marmara region. It covers an area of 6,276 square kilometers. The topography consist of plains and rolling hills with an average a of elevation of 41 meters above sea level.


“What brought us here today is in fact our common heritage, the Black sea. This sea has, troughout history linked our countries together. In Turkey, what is wellknown about the Black Sea, is the bravery and courage of its people and I am sure, this is the case for all other littoral countries. So, we feel confident that with these characteristics our navy will fulfill its task. With the stern wind of the BLACKSEAFOR our navy will sailing to the new horizons of friendship and cooperation among our countries.”

Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister.

On 2 April 2001 Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Ismail Cem participated in an historic signing ceremony in the Ciragan Palace Hotel, Istanbul, to establish the Black Sea Naval Cooperation Task Group. Other signatories included Georgian Foreign Minister Mr. Menagarishvili, Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Avdeev, Ukrainian First Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Sergeyev, Romanian Secretary of State Mr. Motoc and Bulgarian Chief of Navy Admiral Petrov.

With this Agreement, These countries of the Black Sea came together for the first time in the history of the region, to pool their naval forces into a join formation for humanitarian and environmental causes. The signing of this Agreement is a testimony to the countries` determination to bring the BLACKSEAFOR into life after a relatively short span of time in two years.

The idea of such a co-operation was spearheaded by Turkey, as part of its foreign policy which is based on fostering and maintaining regional co-operation and friendship, as reflected in the words of Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkey, “peace at home, peace in the world”.

The BLACKSEAFOR initiative aims at increasing peace and stability in the Black Sea as well as promoting regional co-operation. All items in the Agreement are consistent with the purposes and the principles of the United Nations Charter. Furthermore, it is stipulated that the BLACKSEAFOR is neither directed against any state or a group of states.

It is intended to promote naval co-operation, as well as providing an on-call force to carry out certain tasks including
• Search and rescue operations,
• Humanitarian assistance operations,
• Mine counter measures,
• Environmental protection operations,
• Goodwill visits,
Any other tasks agreed by all Participating Nations.

The BLACKSEAFOR is intended to operate in the Black Sea, but can also be deployed elsewhere, should the Parties choose to do so. The BLACKSEAFOR may also be available UN and/or OSCE-mandated operations. Similarly, it can participate in other types of internationals activities in accordance with the aims and tasks of the BLACKSEAFOR will also permit better co-ordination in the event of a tragic incident at sea. This is particularly praise-worthy as the countries of the Black Sea were rivals until a decade ago.


The “Build-Operate-Transfer” model construction of Ataturk Airport International Terminal ctarted on May 1, 1998 and was completed on January 9, 2001 by the Consortium TAV (Tepe-Akfen-Vie).
The 189 thousand square meter terminal building and the Multi Storey Car Park, the largest mono-block car park in Europe were completed in just 22 months, 8 months ahead of schedule, placing Ataturk International Terminal is a model among its peers and is a testimony to the success of Turkish engineering and workmanship.
The product of 3500 workers, Ataturk Airport International Terminal is the most preferred airport in the Middle East and the Balkans with 35 distinct systems including electrical, electronic and mechanical systems.
It uses the latest technology in its mechanical systems, particularly the baggage handling facility with and hourly sorting capacity of 10 thousand items and CUTE (Common User Terminal Equipment), which provides connection with airlines all around the world in a “Worldwide Internet”.
Ataturk Airport International Terminal was also designed as an environmentally friendly airport with its own treatment systems and noise pollution prevention – as, for example, in the use of “Whisper – Announce” Loudspeakers.
Having completed the project 8 months ahead for early start of operation, TAV opened the biggest door of Turkey, and thus contribute to Turkish tourism in a very important way. With an additional facility to the international Terminal, TAV aim at better and more comfortable service for passengers which will start operating in June 2004 and plan to increase the current capacity of 14 million passengers/year to 20 million passengers/year. The additional facility building to be commissioned in 2004 will also include an art museum, an atrium with gardens, a hotel with a total 84 rooms which can be used distinctly from the land and air sides for special service to passengers. With the integration of this additional facility airbridge numbers will be increased from 18 to 23.
Ataturk Airport International Terminal was rated among the “Best Airport in the World” by the readers of International Herald Tribune, and counted among the “Most Appreciated Terminals” by Wall Street Journal.
Located in Istanbul, an intersection of roads throughout history, and contributing greatly to the promotion of Turkey, the International Terminal is also rated among the selected terminals worldwide with respect to circulation, smooth flow and comfort of passengers.


Tekirdag is a beautiful town in Thrace, not far from Istanbul with coasts both on the Marmara and Black Seas.
Barbaros Street in the Ertugrul Quarter of the town is only one of many streets containing houses of Ottoman design. One of these houses, house number 32, is now a museum where moments of the past are still felt at every breath. This is the Rakoczi Museum. Here the old Ottoman the hospitality is ready to open its arms to welcome you, just as did to Ferenc Rakozi II, the leader of the Hungarian people. With the Kurucz Army the founded in order to fight for Hungarian independence, Frenc Rakoczi went into six great battles against the Habsburg hegemony. However, after all that bloodshed, Rakoczi was defeated and had to flee firs to Poland, and then to France in 1710. Yet, betrayal was awaiting him when King Lois XVI of France and the Russian Tsar both refused to help him, although they had previously promised to. In the and, Rakoczi and his attendants took refuge in the Ottoman Empire, which had always been a soil on which people of all religions and beliefs could live freely. They arrived in the Ottoman town of Edirne on January 4,1718. Here Rakoczi met Sultan Ahmet III in person. The Sultan received Rakoczi as a king and addressed him a such. He issued permission that that they temporarily settle in Yusufoglu Bahcesi. Affter a time they finally moved into the 25 residences which Sultan Ahmed III had purchased from some Greeks and Armenians. A short while after the settlement, the street was renamed “Hungarian Street”. Secret passages and tunnels were built to connect the houses to each other, enabling Rakoczi and his attendants to communicate or see each other easily and safely.
At one end of the street were the temples, while there was the dining house at the other. Praying and dining took place in these buildings.

The furniture and inner wall decorations of the dining house, which has kept his original from up to 20th Century, were removed and taken to Hungary in 1906 together with the ashes of Rakoczi himself. The reliefs in the rooms were renovated in 1981 and 1982 by the Hungarian Institution for the Protection of Historical Treasures.
Today this house functions as a living example of Hungarian defiance against the oppression, a symbol of an exemplary leader who worked not only for the Hungarians, but also for all oppressed peoples.


The significance of Istanbul’s successful bid not host the Olympic Games lies very much in its potential for mobilizing the city’s and country’s resources towards promoting active participation of our youth in sports. Awarding of the Games is critical for Istanbul’s log-term objectives, which include spreading Olympism as a way of life and developing the educational benefits of sports throughout the country.
The legacy will be strong and ednuring, not only for the city, but also for the whole country. Istanbul Games will have an extremely significant regional impact: They will contribute to the modernization and peace effort in the troubled area of the world that extends from the Balkans to the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia in way on other single event can.
Istanbul enjoys vigorous governmental support. The Turkish Olympic Law, enacted in 1992, provides unequivocal evidence of the financial and administrative support of the State towards preparations for and the organisation of the Olympic Games in Istanbul.
Istanbul’s candidacy also benefits from the strong backing of the local government. The Mayor, as well as two other representatives from the Greater Istanbul Municipality, is on the Istanbul Olympic Bidding Committee (IOBC) established by the Turkish Olympic Law. The National Olympic Committee of Turkey, which will celebrate its centennial year in 2008, is another body that provides the city with vital support. Equally significant is the solid public support of Istanbul’s candidacy.
IOBC, the responsible for Istanbul’s bidding effort at present, has been constantly developing and implementing Istanbul’s Olympic Project for the past eight years. The IOBC will immediately transform into the Istanbul OCOG (organizing committee) when the city is awarded the Games. The IOBC has invested US $ 181 million in sports facilities over the past eight years. A case in point is the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium, of which 75 percent of the physical construction work has been finalized and will be inaugurated in December 2001. Likewise, the 22,000-spectator capacity Atakoy Dome is about to be completed. The IOBC also attaches special importance to building experience in hosting multi-sports events.
Under the same law, the Treasury of the Republic has allocated the IOBC 584 hectares of land for the development of the Olympic Park. The Olympic and Media villages are located to the immediate south of the Olympic Park, almost within walking distance. Istanbul can host all 28 of the sports on the Olympic summer games program in the city and all of the 28 International Federations have given their approvals for the proposed venues.
Istanbul, with the wealth of its history, its natural features and geographical location is a city of culture there religions and languages have merged over thousands of years of coexistence. Modern Istanbul has extensive accommodation and outstanding congress facilities.
Istanbul is ideally located for the games; and its telecommunications infrastructure is among the most highly developed in the world. Turkey is one of only 16 countries to have their own national satellite system.
Istanbul, biding for the third consecutive time and attaching primary significance to collaboration with all interested parties, is resolute in learning from experience, seeking advice and building on those premises until the very last Olympic requirement is met.


Kirklareli is one of the five towns located on the European side of Turkey, bordered by Bulgaria in the north, Edirne in the west, the Black Sea-Istanbul in the east and Tekirdag in the south. Historical documents show that many people lived in this region from the Neolithic age (6000 B.C.) as feudal clans or city states. In the 4th century B.C. after the disintegration of Odrysis State, the Macedonian King Philip II invaded Kirklarely; the city vas later destroyed by the Ostrogoth invasion. Kirklareli was captured from Byzantium by Demirtas Pasha during the reign of Sultan Murat I. (768 A.D.) and incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Kirklareli was captured by the Greeks for two years after World War I, and liberated on November 10-1922.
Karklareli Museum: The museum, which was visited by Ataturk on 20 December, 1930, was commissioned by Mutasarrif Neset Pasha. The archeology and ethnography sections are on the second floor and there are cultural and nature sections. There are 515 ethnogarphic and 110 archaeological remains and 1882 coins, dating from the prehistoric age to the Republican period. On the first floor, more than 30 stuffed animals are on exhibition.
Tumuli: There are 92 tumuli in Kirklareli, which are known to have been used from the late Bronze Age to the beginning of the 3rd Century A.D.
Mounds: These are particularly evident in the Thrace area. The most important of them are the Aga Pinar and Kanli Gecit mounds, dating from the Neolithic age to the Hellenistic era.
Mosques: Like all the cities of Turkey Kirklareli is dotted by many historical and architecturally interesting mosques. We will not do justice if we try to introduce all these houses of worship in the city and all over the province. One has to visit Kirklareli to visit them. But among those mosques let us cite a few of them.
Hizirbey Mosque (Grand Mosque): It is located in the city center. It was commissioned by Kose Mihalzade Hizirbey in 1383 (785 in the Muslim Calender) and built on a square plan.
Kadi Mosque: It is located in the city center, opposite the Ahmet Mithat primary school. It was commissioned by Emin Ali Celebi in 1577 (985 M.C.) and is still functioning.
Cedid Ali Pasha Mosque: It is located in Babaeski. Cedid Ali Pasha had the mosque built by Mimar Sinan. It is still open for prayer.
The Mosque Of The Conqurer (Fatih) (Old Mosque): It is located in the road behind the historic fountain. It was built in 1467 (871 M.C.) and is still open for prayer.

Kirklareli is also known for its elegant and still functional fountains dating back to 18th centuries for example the Kaylik Fountain, the Grand Mosque Fountain, Karaumur Bey Fountain, Sogutlu Fountain, Kadi Fountain, Pasha Fountain, and the Hapishane (Prision) Fountain. In Babaeski, there is the Quadruplet Fountain (17th C.) Municipal Fountain and Sinanli (Village) Fountain. In Luleburgaz, the Bazaar (Avci Mehmet Fountain), the Zafer Fountain and aqueducts built by Mimar Sinan.
Cemetery For Turkish Soldier-Martyrs, or the Kirklar Cemetery for Turkish Soldiers is located on the Yinik Kula road in Kirklareli. It was commissioned by Sultan Murat in the memory of the Forty Raiders who where killed during the conquest of Kirklareli by the Ottomans.
Kirklareli, the unspoiled part of Thrace is also the home of many castles, caves, a true paradise for hunting and fishing.
Kirklareli is also a favorite sport for campers Kirklareki is one of the important centers of hunting, especially in the Istiransa mountains, which shelter big game and winged animals. The hunting club of the important centers of hunting, especially in the Istiranca mountains, which shelter big game and winged animals. The hunting club of the region was established in 1955. Salmon trout and carp can be found in the Black Sea as well as in the mountain creeks.
Camping facilities are available in Igneada, Kastro and Kiyikoy; and have the advantage of natural sandy beaches, sea, forests and lakes which can be visited daily.
Igneada has sandy beaches of 40-50 meters in width, streching for about 10 km. There are plenty of amenities neaby, including hotels, motels and restaurants.
In the summer the sea temperature ranges between 20 degree and 26 degree C.


The city was founded in the 5th century BC by the Odrysians from Thrace. The city had various names until the reign of Murat I, who conquered the city in 1316, renamed it Edirne, and made it the second capital of the Ottoman Empire. It remained the capital until Istanbul was conquered by Mehmet II in 1435.
Edirne has a rich historical heritage. The architectural monuments include the walls and towers of the Edirne Citadel built the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and the famous Selimiye Mosque dating back to the Ottoman period.
According to the 2000 census, the population of Edirne was recorded as 119,316 in the city and 402,617 in the province. It has been a center of education and culture both during the Ottoman period and since the foundation of the Republic. The University of Thrace is developing rapidly.
Historical Monuments And Touristic Sites
Selimiye Mosque
The architectural wonder of the world constitutes a superb example of Ottoman- Turkish art. It was designed by the master architect, Mimar Sinan, at the age of 80. The masterwork was ordered and built by Selim II between 1569-1575, and has become the symbol of Edirne and the Ottoman Empire. Its four minarets can be seen from a great distance, indicating the skills of Mimar Sinan as a city planner and architect since he chose this ideal spot, which is visible from any point in the city. The mosque is built of hewn stone. Besides its outstanding design, the mosque is also ornately decorated with stone, marble, tiles, wood and mother-of-pearl in lay.

Bayezid II Complex

This religious complex along the shore of the Tunca River is one of Edrine’s most important historical buildings. The complex covers a large area and includes a mosque, medical school, soup kitchen, mental hospital, Turkish bath, kitchen, and storage areas. It was built during 1484-1488 by order of Bayezid II and designed by the architect, Hayreddin. It has a total of nearly 100 small and large domes.

The mental hospital and medical school are located west of the mosque. The mentally ill were treated in domed cells around the courtyard. Music and the sounds of tricking water were the main elements of treatment.

The complex was also noted for its ophthalmology center. The whole complex is important for its cultural history. A Health Museum is also located here.
Eski (Old) Mosque

This mosque is the oldest Ottoman monument in Edirne. Construction was begun by Emir Suleyman in 1403 and completed Sinan. It is a wonderful example of the area of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It follows the typical plan of caravansaries with courtyards. There are a two- story rooms around the courtyard with porches facing in. Behind the porches are rooms with fireplaces and niches. There are identical stairs on the long sides. The upstairs window and door frames are decorated with hewn stone and brick, giving the structure a monumental appearance.

The Rustem Pasa Caravansary was successful restored in 1972 and converted into a hotel. It received the Aga Han Architecture Award in 1980 for the restoration work.
Historical Bazaars

There are many covered bazaars dating from Ottoman times, especially the Alipasa Covered Bazaar, the Selimiye Shopping Center, and the (Covered Market).
Supreme Court

The cupreme court was also designed by Mimar Sinan. It was built in 1561 in order of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It is four stories high, including the ground floor and it has a marble fountain and pool on the top floor. The building was used both by the Cabinet and Supreme Court.
Turkish Baths

The historical Turkish baths in Edirne are the Sokollu Turkish Bath, the Mezit Bey Turkish Bath and the Tahtakale Turkish Bath.
Historical Bridges

There are also many old bridges dating from Ottoman times. The most famous is Uzunkopru which is 1392 m. long; others are the Meric Bridge, the Gazimihal Bridge, the Srachane Bridge, the Ekmekcizade Ahmet Pasa Bridge, the Fatih Bridge; the Beyazid Bridge, the Yalnizgoz Bridge and the Saray Bridge (Kanuni Bridge).
Edirne Museum

The Edirne Ethnographic and Archeological Museum was opened on June 13, 1971. Most of the objects housn in the museum are prehistoric. There are also Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects including a fine collection of gold, silver and bronze coins, statues, and earthenware and glass vases.
Lalapasha Dolmen

The Lalapasha Dolmen erected by a Tracian community from the Northern Balkans dates back to the early Iron Age (1200 BC). Such monuments made of large stones are encountered widely in various regions from Western Europe to Central Asia. A substantial number of dolmens and obelisks are seen especially near Lalapasha.
Museum Of Turkish And Islamic Art

Items on display in this museum were obtained from mosques, theological seminary, Turkish baths, and fountains. In 1925 they were put in the Selimiye theological seminary. Later, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art was established and opened to visitors. In 1971 the items were rearranged chronologically. The first exhibition hall starts with the Ottoman period; the objects on display include handwritten copies of the Koran, weapons and glassware.
Lausanne Monument And Museum

The Lausanne monument was erected by the University of Thrace. It commemorates the Lausanne victory and world peace. The museum founded by the same university has on display documents related on the Lausanne Treaty and photographs of Ismet Inonu.
Sukuru Pasa Memorial

The memorial and museum were built in commemoration of these who had been killed during the Balkan War which broke on 26 March 1913. Sukru Pasa had defended Edirne during the war. His grave was moved to Kiyik Tabya near Edirne, and a memorial erected in his honor. The museum contains objects relating to the Balkan War.
Sarayici Balkan Wars Veterans Memorial

Over 300,000 civilians and soldiers lost their lives defending their beloved homeland between 1912-1913 in the Balkan Wars. This memorial honors 20,000 soldiers who died of starvation in Sarayici.
Traditional Edirne Houses

Edirne is a very important center of civilian architecture. There are many summer houses, mansions, and other wooden houses with attractive “Edirnekari” woodwork. Kaleici is an historical area which has survived from the Middle Ages. It has narrow streets, historical ruins, and beautiful traditional Turkish houses.
Historical Kirkpinar Wrestling And Cultural Activities

The Kirkpinar Grease (actually olive oil) Wrestling Championships are held each year during the last week on June or the first week on July in the green grassy fields of Sarayici which are watered by the Tunca river. These cultural festivities which preserve the old traditions last a week. They include folk dances, fairs, displays, beauty contests, and regional cooking contests. The last three days of the festival are dedicated to grease wrestling competitions.

Edirne is connected to Istanbul and Anatolia by the D-100 State Highway and by the trans-European (TEM) Motorway while it connected to Canakkale, the Dardanelles, and the Aegean Sea by the D-550 State Highway. Furthermore, the city is linked by road and railway to the Kapikule Bulgarian border gate. Thereare also Greek border crossings by road at Pazarkule and Ipsala, and by train at Uzunkopru. Anatolia may easily be reached from Edirne by traveling either trough Istanbul or Canakkale.

Leave a Comment