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Museums shed light on Anatolian history
|Thousands of works with traces of various cultures are on display at museums all around Turkey. Antalya, Alanya and Side museums in the Mediterranean, the ones in the eastern Anatolian cities of Erzurum and Kars, and Amasra and Ereğli museums in the Black Sea region receive great interest from visitors|
Anatolia is home to important historical works including the Castle of Erzurum, the Ruins of Ani in Kars and the Genocide Monument in Iğdır.
The region's four museums are the Archaeology Museum, the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum (Yakutiye Madrasah), Atatürk House, and the Castle of Erzurum as a site of ruins.
On display at the Archaeology Museum are works belonging to the Karaz culture dating back 5-6,000 years. Works belonging to the Trans-Caucasus culture are also on display.
Nearly 20,000 works are being exhibited at the Archaeology Museum. Some 8,000 of them are coins, approximately 3-4,000 are ethnography works, and the rest are archaeological works. The Yakutiye Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum exhibits 750-800 works. The museum building, a monumental construction dating back to the İlhanlı period in 1310, displays ethnography works such as dresses, jewelry, manuscripts and amulets belonging to the periods ranging from the Seljuks to the Ottomans.
"Our other museum is the Atatürk House where the national struggle started. This place has vital importance because the foundation of the Turkish Republic was laid here. Objects like pictures, photos and maps in the building are also on display," says the Erzurum Museum director, Mustafa Erkmen, adding that all the museums are open to visitors.
Pointing to the importance of the Erzurum Castle, Erkmen says there is a clock tower, a madrasah, a tomb and mosque from the Saltuklu period in the castle.
The Ruins of Ani are located on a high hill in the Ocaklı village of Kars, where there are 10 churches, a bridge, and the remains of many buildings. The ruins attract the attention of tourists visiting the region.
Antalya Museum hosts world heritage
Antalya Museum established in 1922 is home to Turkey's richest natural and historic treasures and is regarded as one of the respectable museums in the world. It exhibits selected works illuminating the history of the region.
In its 13 halls and garden, Antalya Museum, winner of the 1988 European Council Special Prize, displays works unearthed during periodical excavations carried out by Turkish and foreign scientists. Among these works are ceramics, mosaics, marble portraits, the Perge Theater, sarcophaguses and coins.
Antalya Museum director, Selahattin Eyüp Aksu, says with more than 53 works the museum is one of the top 10 museums in the world.
The Alanya Museum opened in 1967 to preserve and display archaeological and ethnography works including marbles, bronze and mosaic findings and coins from the seventh century. The symbol of the museum is the Heracles statue from the second century B.C. The 52-centimeter statue, unearthed in 1967, is on display in a private room.
Museums in Amasra and Ereğli
Amasra Museum in Bartın's Amasra district and Ereğli Museum in Zonguldak's Amasra district, are two of Turkey's wealthiest museums. Amasra, which was established under the name "Sesemos" in the 12th century B.C, holds traces of history going back 3,000 years. Among the most striking pieces in the Amasra museum is the statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian with motifs symbolizing Romulus and Remus, who are the founders of Rome according to Roman legend, and the snake statue symbolizing the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. The museum displays 1,168 coins, 900 archaeological and 754 ethnography works.
Ereğli Museum, which is a mansion built in the 19th century, displays 6,057 works from the early Bronze Age, Greek, Roman, Byzantium and Ottoman eras. The museum is expected to become wealthier with the works that will be unearthed during ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Filyos in the Çaycuma district.
Most of works being displayed at the Side Museum in the Mediterranean district of Manavgat is made up of the ones discovered during the excavations carried out at the Side Ancient City between the years 1947 and 1967.
Inscriptions from the Hellenic, Roman and Byzantium periods, Greek statues, sarcophaguses, portraits, amphora, alters and pillars are on display at the museum. The statues of Greek Gods Aphrodite, Apollo and Athena receive the greatest attention from visitors.