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.

Claiming that Mugla is a well-preserved city, Cicek continued, “Every part of Anatolia is rich in terms of archaeological sites and ancient cultures but Mugla is quite different. The history and culture is more preserved as the historic and cultural values managed to survive without being spoiled until the present time. Hence, the city attracts both domestic and international tourists.”

After Mugla was added to UNESCO’s Temporary Cultural Heritage List, archaeologists have excavated many historic sites, contributing to the increase of tourism in the area which officials predict will continue to bring more visitors to the province in the future. Nearly all archaeological excavations in Mugla as well as the rest of Anatolia are supported by Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry. Considered one of the most crucial discoveries in the province, the Tomb of King Hecatomnus of Caria was excavated with the support of the Ministry and the restoration of the tomb is expected to be completed in the near future. “Excavations are continuing at full speed in nearly all districts of Mugla,” Governor Cicek said. “The artefacts that have been unearthed at these sites are being displayed in museums across the province in a testament to the success of the provincial governorate in protecting the cultural and historic relics and preserving pieces of history that span centuries.”  Governor Cicek shared plans to establish open air museums in Mugla, saying that the first step to be taken will be the inauguration of the Tomb of King Hecatomnus of Caria and its surroundings which will be open to visitors soon.

Mugla, with a history spanning 6,000 years, was a very important hub during the reign of the Lycians. However, the city managed to preserve its importance under Carian rule as well as the rule of the Mentese Beylik. Thanks to recent archaeological discoveries, the city once again caught the eye of the international and Turkish tourists.

 

Source:  Daily Sabah

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