The number of cultural and natural assets in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List has reached 85, with Turkey's historic eastern and southeastern Anatolian towns joining the list.
Two more sites within Turkey have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The total number of Turkish assets has now reached 85.
The Late Antique and Medieval Church and Monasteries of Midyat, and the surrounding area (Tur Abdin) in the southeastern Mardin, as well as the historic town of Kemaliye in the Erzincan province, were added to the list, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry statement.
All 85 sites are from the Gobeklitepe archaeological site in Turkey's southeastern province of Sanliurfa, and the ancient city of Ephesus in western Anatolia.
Apart from Turkey’s spectacular beaches and other natural attractions such as mountain resorts and forests, the UNESCO-certified cultural assets also attract millions of tourists from around the world.
These are the two Turkish towns that most recently entered the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Midyat and Surrounding area
Midyat, an historic town of Mardin, is located in southeastern Anatolia.
Several empires have ruled this small town, including Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and the Ottomans.
Today, people from different religions and sects live in the region together, continuing on the path of social harmony as seen throughout the centuries.
Midyat is known to be the historic centre of the Assyrians in Turkey. There are monasteries everywhere.
The Tur Abdin region in Midyat houses early examples of monastic architecture, a place that has seen intense construction and change since the early periods of Christianity.
It witnessed the emergence of a new and unique architectural language that can be associated with the Syriac Orthodox community throughout history.
The rural landscape, a limestone plateau, covers 80 villages with approximately 100 churches and 70 monasteries.
The Mor Sobo Church, Virgin Mary Church (Yoldath Aloho), Deyrulzafaran Monastery, Mor Gabriel Monastery, Mor Abai Monastery, Mor Loozor Monastery, Mor Yakup Monastery, Mor Quryaqos Church and Mor Azozo Church, are also included in the permanent list.
Together with surrounding terraced vineyards, olive and almond trees, the monasteries and churches form a dramatic landscape.
"We believe there will be a large influx of tourists here after the epidemic," Midyat Mayor Veysi Şahin said.
Over time, the historic town of Kemaliye became an important trade centre within the eastern Anatolia region due to the caravan routes of the Silk Road.
It also connects northern and southern cities within the region by a valley among high mountains and cliffs.
In addition to this, the town is blessed with unique natural elements.
The Karanlik (Dark) Canyon, that one will find there, is among the five deepest canyons in the world - it has a depth of 1,000 metres. The canyon is spread over 35 kilometres.
Traces of Turks can be found in the Dilli Valley, located 4 to 5 km northwest of Kemaliye.