"Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972." (cf. UNESCO.ORG)
Cultural Heritage in Turkey (links direct you to bluegetravel.com descriptive or tour pages)
1985 : Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital
These are an ornately decorated mosque and hospital complex built in 1228-1229 by the local dynasty of the Mengujekids in the small eastern Anatolian town of Divriği, now in Sivas Province. The complex is located in the upper town, below the citadel.
1986 : Historic Areas of Istanbul including locations such asthe Galata Bridge, the Seraglio Point where the Topkapı Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), the Yeni Mosque near the Galata Bridge, the Beyazıt Tower and the Süleymaniye Mosque.
1986 : Hattusha, the Hittite Capital in the late Bronze Age. Its ruins lie near modern Boğazkale, within the great loop of the Kızılırmak River
1987 : Mount Nemrut, a 2,134 m (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC. It is referred as the pantheon of the armenian gods.
1988 : Xanthos - Letoon : The Letoon, sometimes Latinized as Letoum, was a sanctuary of Leto near the ancient city Xanthos in Lycia. It was one of the most important religious centres in the region. The site is located south of the village Kumluova in the Fethiye approximately four kilometres south of Xanthos along the Xanthos River.
1994 : City of Safranbolu owes its name to Saframpolis (city of Saffron) and preserves many old buildings, with 1008 registered historical artifacts : 1 private museum, 25 mosques, 5 tombs, 8 historical fountains, 5 Turkish baths, 3 caravanserais, 1 historical clock tower, 1 sundial and hundreds of houses and mansions. Also there are mounds of ancient settlements, rock tombs and historical bridges. The Old Town is situated in a deep ravine in a fairly dry area in the rain shadow of the mountains
1998 : Archaeological Site of Troy
2011 : Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex : This Ottoman mosque located in the city of Edirne was commissioned by Sultan Selim II, and was built by an architect named Mimar Sinan between 1569 and 1575. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture.
2012 : Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southern Anatolia (near the city of Konya), which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC, and flourished around 7000BC. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date.
2014 : Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire. Bursa was the first capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. The city was referred to as Hüdavendigar (meaning "God") during the Ottoman period.
2014 : Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape.
Cultural and Natural Heritage in Turkey :
1984 : Cappadocia and Goreme National Natural Park
1985 : Hierapolis – Pamukkale
Except from these, another 20 or so sites are on the waiting list such as - to name only the most famous ones : Ephesus (Izmir-Selçuk), the paleolithic Karain Cave (Antalya-Burdur area), the Sumela Monastery (Trabzon), the Saint Nicholas church (Antalya-Demre), Harran and its Beehived houses (Sanliurfa), the Ishak Pasha Castle (Dogubeyazit, Agri), Termessos National Park (Antalya), the archaeologial site of Aphrodisias (Aydin), the Lycian ancient cities (Fethiye area).
Intangible heritage in Turkey :
Cultural heritage is not limited to material manifestations, such as monuments and objects that have been preserved over time. This notion also encompasses living expressions and the traditions that countless groups and communities worldwide have inherited from their ancestors and transmit to their descendants, in most cases orally. (cf. UNESCO.ORG)
2008 : The Arts of the Meddah, Public Storytellers
2008 : The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony
2009 : Karagöz and Hacivat : the lead characters of the traditional Turkish shadow play, popularized during the Ottoman period
2009 : Asiklik tradition : a mystic bard, balladeer, or troubadour who accompanied his song—be it a hikaye (a traditional epic or a romantic tale) or a shorter original composition—with a long necked lute (saz)
2009 : Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz : this day marks the first day of spring or Equinox as and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar.
2010 : Traditional Sohbet meetings is a Turkish social practice of community conversations. The communities consist exclusively of men above certain age (typically 15 or 16), regardless of ethnicity, religion or status.
2010 : Kırkpınar oil wrestling festival held annually, usually in late June, near Edirne since 1346.
2010 : Semah, Alevi-Bektaşi ritual
2011 : Ceremonial Keshkek tradition is a sort of ceremonial meat or chicken and wheat or barley stew found in Iranian, Turkish and Greek cuisines
2012 : Mesir Macunu festival. Mesir Macunu is a Turkish dessert. Mesir paste was founded as a medicine during the Ottoman period but later on it became an important part of local festivity in the city of Manisa.
2013 : Turkish coffee culture and tradition
2014 : Ebru, Turkish art of marbling : Paper, silk and glass marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other stone.
Today another 18 natural and archaeological sites are candidates to the UNESCO World Heritage such as Ephesus, Aphrodisias, or the antique cities of the Lycian Civilization to name just a few.