Turkey is betting on its cultural heritage and archaeological treasures as it launches the project “2018: The Year of Troy” to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the inclusion of the Troy archaeological site, one of the most famous in the world, on the UNESCO List.

The Culture and Information Office of the Embassy of Turkey is also participating this year at the BIT International Tourism Exchange in Milan (from February 11-13) with a stand of 180 square meters, where it will host 11 co-exhibitors, in addition to the Turkish Airlines flag air carrier and the destinations of Bursa, Çanakkale and Cappadocia, the EMITT Fair in Istanbul, the Chamber of Commerce of Izmir, the Agency for Development of Izmir and tour operators Allegro Tour, Entour, Intra Tours DMC, Karavan Travel, METS Yachting Ltd .

There is great satisfaction for the net recovery of tourist flows of over 30 million international tourists between January and November 2017 (to be precise 30,706,245) with an increase of 27.68% compared to the same 11 months of 2016. Also, this year Russia and Germany are confirmed as the 2 main markets of the country (4,647,162 Russian tourists and 3,451,897 German tourists), while the Italians in Turkey were 188,251. The arrivals from the Bel Paese have been constantly recovering since the beginning of last summer (November + 14.46%, October + 12.31%, September + 23.06%, August + 8.11%, and July +33.92 %), so expectations are optimistic for next season.

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The great classics

Istanbul and the Marmara Sea region (with the cities of Bursa and Edirne), Izmir and the Aegean Coast (with Pergamon, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, and Hierapolis/Pamukkale – just to mention the most important archaeological sites, along with Bodrum, Marmaris, and Fethiye for the most famous sea destinations), Antalya and the Turquoise Coast (with the towns of Kemer and Kaş), Cappadocia (with the Fairy Chimneys, the underground cities, and the frescoed churches of Göreme) remain the spearhead of the destination.

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Cultural itineraries

Great attention is given to the gastronomic sector (to slow food presidents and to the networking projects of small local productions) and to cultural itineraries, which have grown enormously in the last few years throughout the country, such as Via Licia, the Via Egnazia, the Way of St. Paul, and the Via di Abramo. These are routes that allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature and visit archaeological sites of considerable charm at the same time.

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Pilgrimage routes

Excellent recovery has also been witnessed on the pilgrimage routes, starting from the cultural-religious path of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Smyrna, Ephesus, Pergamum, Laodicea, Philadelphia, Sardis, and Thyatira) and the House of Mary, Cappadocia, along with the places of San Giovanni, San Filippo, San Paolo, and San Nicola, as well as Konya, the Iconio of the Acts of the Apostles, the city of passage of Saint Paul, and the seat of the Mausoleum of Mevlana, mystic poet and founder of the Whirling Dervishes.

turkey unescoUNESCO sites

Given the importance that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism places on the conservation and enhancement of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Turkey, a new updated brochure is being distributed with a list of the 17 country sites on the official list and 71 candidate sites, which are undergoing huge project work that involves big investments for restoration, promotion, and use by the public.


The “2018: The Year of Troy” marks the 20th anniversary of the inclusion of the archaeological site of Troy, one of the most internationally-renowned sites on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list. The legend of Troy is universally known thanks to the 2 epic poems of Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – and even today its charm and its influence on world culture is unchanged.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey – with an impressive operation that involved all local institutions (primarily the Municipality of Çanakkale), operators in the cultural and tourism sector, associations, and non-governmental organizations – appointed 2018 as “The Year of Troy” in order to promote this place throughout the world with a series of initiatives both in Turkey and abroad.

For Italy, the Culture and Information Office of the Embassy of Turkey is developing a series of dedicated initiatives starting in April. The “2018: The Year of Troy” project is also in line with the decision to nominate 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

New dedicated cultural itineraries and trekking routes in the 144,000 square meters of national parks, along with cultural, artistic, sporting, and entertainment events all mark the year 2018 with a grand wave for tourism. 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.