Every corner of Turkey is blessed with a different landscape, culture and lifestyle. There is a destination for everyone, whether you want a gourmet trip to the east, to discover the unmatched nature of the Black Sea or the lovely villages of the west. This week, Daily Sabah takes you on a journey to three different parts of Turkey for some unique experiences.
Mardin, appealing to taste buds
Mardin ranks first among the must-see destinations with its mosques, churches, monasteries, shrines and authentic architecture. The city has many features that attract tourists, such as stone houses, telkari (the art of filigree), narrow streets, historical sites and cultural places, inns and delicious food.
The narrow, steep streets of the city offer a sight to behold. Due to the challenging slope of the streets, donkeys are used throughout the city to make life easier. The city, which stands out visually, is quite impressive with its old town built under Mardin Castle. Folks in the city often say to those seeing the vast Mesopotamian plain for the first time: "If you watch the plain from the same place at night, it feels like you are in the middle of the sea because a car on the road in the middle of the plain looks like a ship floating on the sea."The Grand Mosque of Mardin, Zinciriye Madrasah, Deyrulzafaran Monastery and Mardin Museum are some of the "must see places" in Mardin.
Accommodation in Mardin is a different and interesting experience. Those who want to feel the ambiance and atmosphere of the city can stay in stone houses that have been converted into hotels.
Now, let's talk about the cuisine. Mardin has one of the richest cuisines in the country. It is possible to try various flavors in almost every restaurant in the city. Mardin style İçli köfte (stuffed meatballs), işkembe dolması (stuffed sheep tripe), onion kebab, kaburga dolması (stuffed lamb ribs) and Mardin muffins are among the local favorites. Every type of meat is delicious in this city.
Hidden villages of the Aegean
There are many large and quaint villages with historical significance in the Aegean region. Birgi, which is home to some of the most beautiful examples of Ottoman civil architecture, served as the capital of the Aydınoğulları Principality.
The Grand Mosque, the memorial of Veteran Umur Bey, who established the first Turkish fleet, the Cami-i Kebir neighborhood, the 250-year-old Çakırağa mansion, Derviş Ağa Mosque, Çukur Madrasah and Bath and Demirli Shop are among the best places to visit.
Sığacık, which is one of the 15 Cittaslow regions in the country, is an old Greek village. It is home to a castle built in 1522 under the orders of Suleiman the Magnificent.
The deep blue sea and the domestic produce market are also very popular. Büyük Menderes Delta National Park and Bafa Lake in Doğanbey, which stands out with its natural beauty, are natural wonders filled with native plants and protected areas for wildlife.
Bozüyük district is ideal for trying village products and local dishes. The famous Belen Coffeehouse in Çaybükü and Stream of Akyaka-Azmak, one of the oldest fishing towns in the country, are also the favorites of visitors. Şirince and Tire are among the most-loved villages of the Aegean.
Destination Black Sea: Pokut Plateau
The name Pokut (Windy Valley) comes from Armenian. It is located in Rize's Çamlıhemşin district at an altitude of 2,050 meters. You can reach the plateau after an exciting, fun, occasionally frightening journey that lasts one and a half hours with unique nature views. You may, however, need help from an experienced local driver for the road on the edge of the cliff.
There are about 80 wooden houses in the plateau. The village is trying to protect the structures as best as they can. The moment you arrive on the plateau, you can feel the fresh oxygen. A short walk will take you to Mola's terrace on the plateau. It welcomes you with snow on the summit of the opposite Kaçkar Mountains. It offers a very memorable view. It's so high that it feels like you can almost touch the clouds. There is some unique landscape on one side and beautiful bird songs on the other. Don't say goodbye to the plateau without tasting the local cornbread, pickle roast, stuffed cabbage and crepes with marmalade.