Gobekli Tepe per year drawing more than 2 million visitors

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


Gobekli Tepe, Turkey’s popular archaeological site of Neolithic times and considered as one of the oldest worship venues in the world has witnessed a tourism boom this year drawing more than 2 million visitors, including an increasing number of Chinese tourists.





Located in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa, near the Syrian border, Gobekli Tepe is considered one of the birthplaces of known earliest civilizations. Dating back to around 12,000 years ago, the site has attracted a record number of tourists, Selim Balir, deputy chairman of the local Chamber of Tourist Guides, said this week.





It is according to tourism figures, 2.1 million domestic and foreign tourists have visited the site. He said that they are predicting that the number could reach 4 million at the end of this year.




Last year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared 2019 as “The Year Of Gobekli Tepe” in a bid to boost tourism in the remote part of the country and also to diversify the tourism sector, the country’s most lucrative industry expected to help revive its ailing economy. The tourism site attracts visitors from all over the world, including China. Most tourists from China have listed the place as a must-see destination in Turkey.



In China, we can say that there is a buzz about Gobekli Tepe, said the Turkish envoy, adding that efforts to promote Turkey have increased the number of Chinese tourists by a year-on-year 60 percent to reach 400,000. This number will increase further in the years to come, and I hope we will welcome more Chinese tourists to Turkey, including Sanliurfa and Gobekli Tepe.



Gobekli Tepe is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is recognized as one of the oldest temples in the world by experts. It was discovered in 1963 by researchers from Istanbul University and the University of Chicago. The German Archaeological Institute and Sanliurfa Museum have been carrying out joint excavations at the site since 1995. One of the major and astonishing discoveries in the Gobekli Tepe was the T-shaped obelisks from the Neolithic era measuring three to six meters high and weighing 40 to 60 tons.



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