The “Year of Troy”

By | Category: Travel destinations


Troy with the “famous” horse that led to the Greeks gaining access and destroying Troy

Turkey has launched “2018: The Year of Troy” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Troy archaeological site being recognised as an UNESCO world heritage site.  The legend of Troy is universally known due to the two poems of Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – and even today its influence on world culture is unchanged. Who is there who doesn’t know the story of the Trojan horse and its significant as the Greeks managed to defeat the Trojans?

Over thirty million international tourists visited Turkey in 2017 so it still hasn’t matched the peak 2014 figure of 42 million but the rebound is well under way.

There are many heritage sites in Turkey but Troy may be one of the most significant. At least nine civilisations have been located there by scholars; there may be more and new discoveries and interpretations continue.

Located about thirty kilometres away from Çanakkale in the north of the country, the area is one of 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Turkey. This year will also see the opening of the Troia Museum, whose building was designed on the basis of an international competition, and whose inauguration will coincide with a 4-day international meeting.

Many tour operators providing holidays to Turkey include or offer an excursion to Troy as part of their itinerary. If not, there are dozens of Turkish operators who arrange overnight or two day tours to the area.

Although it might be the Year of Troy, Turkey is anxious that other important archaeological sites such as Ephesus, Pergamon, Aphrodisias, and Hierapolis/Pamukkale aren’t forgotten. Like Egypt and Greece, Turkey has played a significant role in early civilisation and there may well additional sites to be discovered. This year is also the European Year of Cultural Heritage as decided by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union so Turkey will benefit from all the heritage media stories that are issued. If that helps to bolster visitor numbers back towards the 42 million figure, Turkey will be happy.

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