Warm up this winter with Turkish-style soups

Soup, whose presence in Anatolia stretches back 6,000 years and was transformed into a brand new recipe in the Ottoman palace's cuisine, leads the way among the favourite foods of Turkish cuisine.

Çorba (soup), which passed into Turkish from the Persian language, means "salty food." The interesting thing is that while only one word is used for all sorts of soup in our language, there is, for example, a different word for each different kind of soup in French. Each is made in various ways in different regions around Turkey, and with ingredients such as chicken, legumes, flour, yogurt, fish and black cabbage. Generally the starter course of a typical Turkish meal, soup is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Turkey and is a must for winter menus.

Slow Food movement celebrates Mother Earth Day in Turkey

Every year on Dec. 10 the International Slow Food Movement celebrates the annual Terra Madre Day, also called "Mother Earth Day," to promote healthy food traditions and production to build a sustainable future. In Turkey, the day will be widely celebrated from Dec. 5-9 in Mugla and as well as two resort towns, Bodrum and Milas.

In Bodrum, health writers and physicians will gather with locals and students on Dec. 5 and Dec. 9. In 20 scheduled events, hundreds of students will discuss the health benefits of local food consumption. Similarly, an earth market will be set up in Milas on Dec. 6 where locals can get locally-produced food and fruits. Local villagers will also bring their homemade food there. Another earth market will be in Bodrum on Dec. 9 and locals can find the best of fresh fruits like the organic Bodrum mandarin.

Travel Turkey Fair puts spotlight on thriving health tourism sector

The 10th Travel Turkey Tourism Fair and Congress, a leading tourism show held annually in Izmir, will be held from Dec. 8-11 with a special focus on health tourism.

Professionals and representatives from major institutions including state and university hospitals, health tourism agencies, thermal spa hotels and wellness centres will participate in the event, which will also include a training program designed for travel agencies to become licensed in health tourism.  Training courses will be offered by the educational head of the World Health Tourism Council Constantin Costantinidis on Dec. 8.

Protected species released to wild

The General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP) has released 1,338 wild mammals into their natural habitat.

Speaking to an Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent, DKMP Director Nurettin Tas assured the public that the directorate works hard to protect wild animals as well as their natural habitat. Stressing the fact that wildlife has to be supported in order for a sustainable future for nature, Tas said: "We are trying to protect species which have survived for thousands of years and are on the verge of extinction. We aim to breed them and protect their continuity for future generations."


Tas said many plant and animal species have gone extinct throughout the years both in Turkey and around the world. According to him, the DKMP is supporting wildlife by breeding wild mammals and releasing them into their natural habitats. Tas also said wildlife is one of the most delicate and important parts of Turkey's natural resources.

Mugla's 6,000 years of history mirrored in its ancient ruins

The province of Mugla in south-western Turkey is included on the UNESCO Temporary Cultural Heritage List and attracts nearly 1 million local and international tourists every year with its archaeological sites and breathtaking views of the Fethiye and Antalya Gulfs.

Having witnessed the birth and fall of the Carians and Lycians, Mugla takes visitors on a journey through history with a total of 192 archaeological sites. With its historic and cultural richness, Mugla is considered an "open-air museum" of the Aegean region of Turkey.

The modern province of Mugla was established on the remains of the Carians and Lycians and is one of the most important tourist hubs in Turkey thanks to its historic and cultural potential. Speaking to the press, Mugla Governor Amir Cicek said that the city is located in a very crucial position in Turkey. "On one side, the city is exposed to the Aegean culture and on the other side it is fed by cultures of Central and Northern Anatolia. The geographical position of Mugla is very important for the east of the Mediterranean and the west of Anatolia," Governor Cicek added.

Top ten reasons to visit Turkey

Turkey always provides a good mix of history and nature, a balance between historic bazaars and vacation spots.

Istanbul: Located between the West and the East, Turkey's commercial capital Istanbul is like a haven waiting to be discovered. In each street and district, you will come across a new way of travel. There are hundreds of natural, and of course historic, beauties such as Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and many more. Istanbul is listed as one of the most popular destinations to visit in the world and its ambiance will immediately grab you.

Cappadocia: With fairy chimneys and a secret valley, Cappadocia in Central Anatolia is a great way to witness Anatolian history. Cappadocia can be described as a paradise, with its volcanic landscape offering challenging scenery and slick rocks with lush, green tracks, caves, tunnels and canyons waiting to be discovered.

Season of winter glam begins with Izmir Fashion Week

Izmir Fashion Week is a meeting point for fashion designers, buyers and fashion lovers with the objective of turning the spotlight on stylish collections and local talent.

The event, starting on Dec. 5, seeks to inspire designers.  Gearing to present carefully designed runway shows for the Fall/Winter 2016-2017 and Spring/Summer 2017 seasons, Izmir Fashion Week will be held at Izmir Hilton Hotel.

Bringing together consumers and members of the media, the three-day fashion week that will end on Dec. 7, is set for an exciting fashion experience promoting Turkish fashion designers and the domestic fashion industry. Similar to its previous editions, in addition to the scheduled runway shows, the event program covers workshops, panel sessions and exhibitions. A fashion design competition is also expected to take place.

Fossils dating around 40 million years found in Turkey’s moorland

Shelled and non-shelled molluscs, limpets, asterioidae, mussels and echinodermata fossils have been found during excavations in the small village of Karakuyu, located in Mucur district of Kirsehir province in central Turkey.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmet Cem Erkman, who is the surface exploration team leader and a teaching member at the Ahi Evran University Anthropology department, stated that they are probably remains from the Tethys Sea, dating back to 33 to 55 million years ago.

Love as a 4-legged word: Rehab dog a hero for children with Down ’s syndrome, autism in Turkey

With her long soft hair, keen eyes, and always-smiling face, five-year-old Kass, a female Border collie, has special abilities that would make even Lassie jealous, and she is now the first canine to be designated as a rehabilitation dog in Turkey.

The new title given to this lucky Border collie, a canine breed that is considered to be the "Einstein of all dogs," comes with several key responsibilities that include search-and-rescue operations after earthquakes and natural disasters. Kass plays Frisbee games that promote wellness and obedience and are designed specifically to train Kass.

Despite her young age, Kass has already won numerous awards in several contests, especially in the field of rehabilitation, which allowed her to work directly with special needs children with whom she has worked for more than three years, sharing memorable moments with young children and teaching children with disabilities the importance of nonverbal forms of communication.

Turkey's waste management program helps save 25 million trees each year

The recycling of paper has been contributing to the economy and preventing the cutting down of almost 25 million trees annually.

According to information gathered from Turkey's Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, the capacity increase in waste management and recycling activities in Turkey have had a positive impact on welding efficiency.
Recyclable waste; especially paper and paper boxes, plastic, metal and glass as well as electronic waste, batteries, accumulators, vegetable oil and other recyclable waste is collected separately, according to ministry regulations.  By storing waste regularly, distilling waste in its source and recycling efforts, the waste is prevented from being disposed in nature and instead, they are reintroduced to country's economy.

Tunnel aquarium in Trabzon to be a unique touristic experience

A tunnel aquarium is to be set up in between two valleys - Zagnos and Tabakhane - in north-eastern Trabzon to boost the province's tourism potential and better promote the Black Sea's rich marine life.

As an alternative touristic attraction, the aquarium will be constructed through the valleys located in the city's Ortahisar town. The Zagnos Valley houses a national park with Byzantine-era aqueducts and mansions reflecting the traditional architecture.

Ortahisar Mayor Ahmet Metin Genc said, "Although Trabzon is a coastal city, many locals are not fully aware of the marine life and sea species. The tunnel aquarium is where we can showcase a variety of fish in the same place."   Many aquariums in big cities are normally set up in big malls and this one will be authentic enough to draw more tourists to the area.A study and survey has been carried out to see whether the tunnel can be built in this area.

Minister Avcı: Aizonai in line to become the next Ephesus

Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci made on-site examinations in the ancient city of Aizonai located in Kutahya's Cavdarhisar district.

Nabi Avci said that the ancient city of Aizonai has the best Zeus temple still standing worldwide in terms of size and quality, saying, "The ancient city of Aizanoi is an archaeological site that is in line to become the next Ephesus. We, as the Ministry, will do our best in order to promote the ongoing works in the region along with various activities in the coming period."

Stressing that the ancient city is of grave importance due to it being the first place where a stock exchange was established in the world, Minister Avci said construction had started in the region after the 1st century A.D., pointing out that this historical structure is an exceptional piece of art and that it also has a well-preserved storey underneath, which might have been used as an ancient theatre or a concert hall. Recalling that there is also an ancient stadium and theatre in the region with many traces belonging to Turks, Avci said therefore, the Ancient City of Aizonai is a historically important archaeological site that has hosted many civilizations in the past, deserves to be included in the World Heritage List, and was registered in the Temporary List by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2012.

With e-museum project Turkey's cultural wonders just a click away

Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry will expand the "Virtual Museum" project for a total of 376 museum and archaeological sites in 73 provinces. The "Virtual Museum" will allow people to take a tour in the museum with a 360-degree panoramic view and options to zoom in and out for detailed looking.

The practice will enable access to museums and archaeological sites in Turkey for people around the world. The ministry will install software that will allow virtual touring at 30 museums and sites including the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Ethnography Museum in Ankara, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, the ancient city of Ephesus in Izmir, the ancient city of Gordion in Ankara, Cappadocia and the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon.

Cave in Turkey's west closed for 6 months every year to protect large bats

Every year, Dupnisa Cave in western Kirklareli province is closed to visitors for a certain period of time to protect the cave's large bat population.

Lying in the city's Sarpdere village; the touristic cave houses around 60,000 bats from more than 15 different species, all of which hibernate in winter. The hibernating bats can get stressed and even die if they are scared. They also consume the energy they store during the rest of the year and the loss of energy in hibernation makes them physically weak.

Having opened to visitors in 2003 and run by the provincial culture and tourism directorate, the cave has three main chambers. One of the sections called "Kiz Magarasi" (Maiden Cave) will not be lit up for six months and will remain closed to help bats' reproduction. Those willing to visit the cave are only allowed to see a very limited section where the bats do not hibernate.

Turkey's growing number of vividly coloured tropical birds adorn green zones

Commonly referred to as ring-necked parakeets; brightly coloured Psittacula, and Alexandrine parakeets, this bird flies over Turkey's different regions each year, with their population on a rise.

These outgoing and independent Afro-Asian parakeets adorn trees in parks and recreational areas mainly in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, yet it is possible to see them in more than 20 cities around Turkey. Two researchers from the 19 Mayis University in the northern Samsun province and Gazi University in Ankara have rolled up their sleeves to identify this tropical bird population and their whereabouts.

Tunnel pups taken under protection in Turkey's Kocaeli

A stray dog that gave birth to seven pups inside an electricity tunnel in the north-western Turkish province of Kocaeli, which was found last week by a shop owner just before the tunnel was closed for the construction of a tram, has been taken under the protection of the local municipality.

According to a written statement issued by Kocaeli Municipality, the dog and her pups are currently in the care of the municipality’s facility for stray animals. “The animals are sheltered in a floor-heated room at the centre, which is affiliated with the municipality’s veterinary,” said the statement.

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