Türkİye, Culture, Asia - Pacific

World’s oldest temple in Turkey introduced in China

Gobeklitepe in southeastern Sanliurfa province, the world's oldest known temple, introduced in Beijing

Sorwar Alam   | 26.03.2018
World’s oldest temple in Turkey introduced in China


By Fuat Kabakci


Gobeklitepe in southeastern Turkey, the site of the world’s oldest temple, was introduced in a tourism seminar in Chinese capital on Monday.

Hosted by the Turkish Embassy in Beijing, Mehmet Ozdogan, a professor of archeology at Istanbul University, and Ambassador Abdulkadir Emin Onen delivered speeches to the audience, explaining the importance of the historical site in southeastern Turkish province of Sanliurfa.

Ambassador Abdulkadir Emin Onen stated that the beauty and mystery of Gobeklitepe and the nearby sites had been heard in many parts of the world.

He underlined that Gobeklitepe dated back to 6,500 years before the Stone Age and was 7,000 years older than the oldest Egyptian pyramid. He noted that diverse historical artifacts dating back 12,000 years had been discovered in the site.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency after the seminar, Ozdogan said Gobeklitepe was “the common culture of humanity”.

Professor Ozdogan said there was no information on the language used by the civilization that once lived here, adding that DNA detection studies were being carried out on the remains discovered in Gobeklitepe.

“It is not possible to say that well-preserved DNA samples have been found, nor can we clearly establish which civilizations the sites belonged to,” he said.

Gobeklitepe is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is recognized as the oldest temple in the world by many international organizations.

During preparations for its candidacy, a 4,000-square-meter steel roof was erected to protect the site.

After being temporarily closed to visits due to work on its new roof, Gobeklitepe partially reopened last month.

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