Posted on June 28, 2021 via Hürriyet Daily News – Turkey launched a promotional program for the “Mesopotamia” brand on June 27th, created to promote the tourism potential of the Southeast Anatolian region to the world.

At the event, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said that Turkey, with its history, culture and geographical structure, is the richest and most unique homeland in the world.

“We will make tourism investments in each province [of the region] Step by step in the most accurate and successful way and we will give these countries a new identity in terms of culture and tourism, ”said Ersoy.

He said the tourism-focused promotion and branding project for the southeastern region of Anatolia includes Adıyaman, Batman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Kilis, Mardin, Siirt, Şanlıurfa and Şırnak provinces.

The minister noted that the region of Southeast Anatolia “reflects the tourist diversity of Turkey,” said the minister: “There are more than 18.5 million Turkish lira in these nine provinces [around $2.1 million] of the project and application aid were 611 immovable cultural assets and approx [around $17.3 million] was assigned for landscape and infrastructure applications. “

Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank also attended the event. “By preserving the cultural and natural heritage, we want to make Mesopotamia a global brand, imprint it on people’s minds and ensure that more people visit these places and make unforgettable memories,” he said.

Varank said Turkey also aims to “increase tourism revenues, create new job opportunities and accelerate development in the region” through this project.

The governor of Sanliurfa, Abdullah Erin, also cited Mesopotamia’s “countless treasures, riches and cultural and historical assets”.

Erin said that with the synergy they will create under the Mesopotamia brand, the nine provinces of the region involved in the project can get what they deserve from the growing tourism economy.

New sites near Göbeklitepe. discovered

It was also announced that 11 new mounds were discovered around the world famous ancient site of Göbeklitepe in Şanlıurfa.

“We have [discovered] 11 more large hills on a 100 kilometer line around Göbeklitepe. This is where we will give the details for the first time and now call it 12 hills, ”said Ersoy at the event.

Speaking to reporters, Ersoy said a “major study” on the 12 hills is nearing completion and will be presented in September.

He said the area could even be described as the “pyramids of southeast Turkey”.

“If you look at Mesopotamia, this region has a unique culture. It has its own registered gastronomy. It has many products. And when you combine that with its unique archaeological value, it’s a wonderful thing, ”he added.

Citing the establishment of Turkey’s Tourism Promotion and Development Agency in 2019, Ersoy said the agency’s main goal was “to spread tourism to our 81 provinces in Turkey by 2023”.

Göbeklitepe has been on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list since 2011. It was discovered in 1963 when researchers from the Universities of Istanbul and Chicago were working on the site.

Since 1995, the German Archaeological Institute and the Sanliurfa Museum have been working together on site to find three to six meters high and 40-60 tons heavy T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic period.

During the excavations, various 12,000 year old artifacts such as 65 centimeter high human statuettes were uncovered.

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