“Mesopotamia tour” increases tourist interest

Çetin Aydın – ADIYAMAN

Renaming of the tour in the southeastern Anatolia region to “Tour of Mesopotamia”, the number of tourists visiting the region increased by 30% while tourism professionals predicted that this increase would reach 100%.


The tour, formerly known as the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) tour, did not attract the interest of many tourists as the technical association of the name made people perceive the tour like a trip on infrastructure projects, said Burhan Akyılmaz, an officer of Silkroad Development. Agent.

“By creating the Mesopotamia brand, we have overcome this perception of the technical concept in the minds of consumers and travelers,” Akyılmaz added.

“Mesopotamia tour” presents a tourist package covering trips in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, Adıyaman, Şanlıurfa, Mardin, Batman, Siirt and Diyarbakır.

Stressing that the name Mesopotamia represents the historical roots of the region, travel agencies also supported the change and started selling the trip with the new brand, he said.

The Commagene Biennale, held in the southwestern province of Adıyaman from August 20 to October 20, also contributed to this increase in the number of tourists, he added.


The biennale organized around Mount Nemrut, which was a ceremonial and burial mound for King Antiochus I of the ancient kingdom of Commagene, inspired by the theme of creating “an imaginary civilization” on an “island” of the creator Nihat Ozdel.

Works by some 53 artists from 23 countries were displayed while the exhibition sites are Nemrut Tumulus, Cendere Bridge, Karakuş Tumulus, Arsemia, Kahta Castle and five islands formed after Atatürk’s dam on the Euphrates.

Another reason for the growing interest in the region is Mount Nemrut in Adıyaman, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and known as “the place where sunrise and sunset are most pleasantly observed”.

“We are trying to attract astronomy researchers here to make Mount Nemrut a dark sky park because the surrounding area of ​​the mountain is without light,” Akyılmaz said.

Stressing that they decided to cooperate with the Turkish Space Agency, he said that the horoscope with the lion figure on Mount Nemrut reveals that astronomy studies were carried out even in the ancient period.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of Kahta Castle in Adıyaman after the castle’s restoration works, Governor Mahmut Çuhadar said the Nemrut region welcomed 165,000 tourists last year, noting that the region had already reached that number on September 15 of this year.


“We aim to reach 250,000 by the end of the year. We are working to have between 300,000 and 350,000 next year,” he added.

Mount Nemrut is a 2,134 meter high mountain, notable for the summit where many large statues are erected around what is believed to be a royal tomb from the first century BC.

The site was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1987.


Mesopotamia is a historical region located in the Tigris-Euphrates river system, including southeastern parts of Turkey, present-day Iraq, Kuwait, parts of present-day Iran and Syria.