Paths for cultural fraternity between Turkey, South Korea

LEYLA YVONNE ERGIL
Published
The 540 kilometer Lycian Way, which is accepted as one of the world's 10 best long distance walking routes, is a path from Fethiye in Muğla reaching all the way to Antalya.
The 540 kilometer Lycian Way, which is accepted as one of the world's 10 best long distance walking routes, is a path from Fethiye in Muğla reaching all the way to Antalya.

This Friday, Turkey's famous Lycian Way will host a South Korean delegation to solidify the bonds between the two countries by making their most famous walkways ‘sister routes'

Located on South Korea's Jeju island, the 400 kilometer-long Jeju Olle Trail is probably the country's most popular hiking trail, with more than 1 million visitors every year. Now, it has officially become a "sister route" to Turkey's most popular path the Lycian Way.

The Lycian Way spans over 540 kilometers, from Ölüdeniz in Fethiye all the way to Geyikbayırı in Antalya and is named after the ancient civilization that once ruled these parts.

From May 24 to June 4, a delegation from Turkey's Culture Routes Society flew to South Korea to take part in the first leg of a "Global Trail Networking Event."Starting on Thursday, June 14, Turkey will return the favor for a delegation of seven South Koreans that are closely involved with the Jeju Olle Trail and residents from the island.

The delegation will be visiting Turkey between June 14 and June 17. They will be hosted in Demre, Antalya.


South Korean delegation will visit the Lycian Way and take a tour guided by Kate Clow.

In addition to opening addresses, film screenings, photography exhibitions and a number of other activities, the event will also be captured on film to complement the footage taken during the Turkish delegation's time in South Korea. The footage will later be used in a promotional film for the Lycian Way.

Over the weekend, there will be two days of guided walking on the Lycian Way with the visiting delegation. Anyone interested in this cultural exchange and promoting the famous trail is welcome to join. The day starts off on Friday with a photo exhibition, opening speeches and a trip to the St. Nicholas Church, which houses St. Nicholas' grave. Demre is the home of St. Nicholas, popularly referred to as Santa Claus.

The delegation will then embark on the Lycian Way, walking the route from Kapaklı to Hoyran and then paying a visit to the Ancient town of Hoyran. The day will close with a traditional dinner at Kapaklı Village.

The delegation will also be going on a hike along the Kapaklı-Üçağız section of the route the next day, followed by a tour of Kaleköy and a boat trip in which the South Korean delegation will get to discover the sunken city of Batıkkent and Kekova. The hikes and guided tours are open to anyone who wants to join and they will be led by the legendary Kate Clow, the English expat who single-handedly changed the destiny of Turkey's Lycian Way as well as a number of other historical and picturesque routes.

Clow came to Turkey in 1989 and soon moved to Antalya in 1992. This gave her the opportunity to explore the ancient roads, which formed networks linking the centers of ancient civilizations in Turkey. She single-handedly connected these series of old roads, marked trails and created the country's first-ever long-distance walking path referred to as the Lycian Way.

This route was opened in 1999, followed by the St. Paul Trail in 2004, the Kaçkar routes in 2008 and the Evliya Çelebi Way in 2011. She has written countless guidebooks on The Lycian Way, the Kaçkars, the St. Paul trail and the Evliya Çelebi Way, describing the paths in detail, including noting widths, distances, landmarks and their historical significance.Clow is also the chairwoman and founder of the Culture Routes Society, which has spearheaded the sister routes agreement with South Korea. The Culture Routes Society was established in 2012, with the aim of protecting Turkey's existing culture routes as well as to promote the establishment of new routes and to set best-practice standards for their development. A culture route is considered to be a sustainable route or combination of routes that contain a historical, cultural or natural theme and are conducive to walkers, bicyclists or horseback riding.The Culture Routes Society serve as a means of deepening cultural understanding, not only for urban Turks, who are increasingly distanced from their rural past but also for international visitors who want to have greater insight into Turkey's rural culture. To find out more about the varied hiking trails uncovered in Turkey. You can check out cultureroutesinturkey.com for more detail.

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