Turkey

URFA – MARDİN – MOUNT NEMRUT 2023


Tour Details

DATE: November 12 – 21, 2023

TOUR PRICE:  4700 Euro (must be completed before 60 days of tour departure)

ENROLLMENT DEPOSIT:  500 Euro (non-refundable after 60 day remaining  to tour departure)

GROUP SIZE: 6-8 people

ACCOMODATION: Included (see below)

MEALS & BEVERAGES: Included (see below)

TRANSFER: Included (see below)

-Terms & Conditions-


Overview

Istanbul has become a highly multinational touristic metropolitan. This creates both opportunities and challenges for street photography. Moreover, one can still find less-travelled spots to take authentic pictures particular to local touch.

The Southeast is  arid plateau at around 600 meters (2000 feet) elevation. The region is more or less bounded by those great historic rivers, the Tigris (Dicle in Turkish) and the Euphrates (Fırat in Turkish). When you visit this region, you are included in the fairy tale  of Mesopotamia, and ts inviting energy and the yellowish stone color that caresses your eyes when you go.

These area, especially Mardin, is  probably the most photogenic part of the country. There’s history and culture around every corner. Mardin is a  melting pot of Kurdish, Yezidi, Christian and Syrian cultures.

If the murmurs in the vaulted bedestens (markets) of Sanliurfa could be muted, you would be surrounded with the click of pistachio shells being broken by shoppers sampling the product quality. But the shops in the bedestens have much more to offer beyond pistachios—spices, nuts, fruits, carpets and even fabrics such as zardosi which are carefully curated from India.

Harran, with its beehive-like dwellings. It was a major commercial, cultural, and religious center. Here was the site of the Temple of Sin (known also as the first universşty), famous throughout the ancient world for its star readers and savants

Mount Nemrut are of the  trademarks of Turkey. The famous statues sit on two terraces flanking Antiochus I’s giant gravel-covered, mountaintop burial mound. Their 2m-high heads, toppled from their bodies by earthquakes, now sit silently on the ground in front of their colossal, throned bodies.

During this whole trip we will have to chance to experiment on street photography. Whenever a possibility arises, we will stop the car and try to interact with local. We will visit surrounding villages.  For indoor or outdoor portrait photography, we will be working with models in authentic vestments, craftsmen’s ateliers. Landscape photography containing alternating subjects like people, historical structures. We will embark on a boat journey at Van Lake to get different angles of the surroundings.

Astro photography (whenever weather allows).

For landscape photography we will be leaving the hotel before the down and get back to hotel after the sunset.

 

Mardin-Zinciriye-Medresesi
Sanliurfa_Karacadag-Gocerler
Sanliurfa_Karacadag-Gocerler

ITINERARY

DAY 1 | November 12:  Istanbul

You will be picked up from the airport and transferred with a private car to your hotel, which is located in the old city. You will be free for the first day.

DAY 2 | November 13: Istanbul

We will meet at the hotel lobby and hold a  small meeting.  You will meet with the rest of the group. After a short brief and equipment check  we will start to wander the vibrant and colorful bazaars of Istanbul. Throughout of day we will be in outdoors, visiting predominantly landmarks of old city and spots where good pictures may happen.  We may give small coffee brakes during the day. We will have our lunch in a local restaurant. We will be continue on the streets till sun sets.

Then we will have our dinner in a local restaurant and turn back to our hotel.

DAY 3 | November 14:  City of Şanlıurfa (or Urfa).

Early morning we take our domestic flight and fly to Şanlıurfa. Şanlıurfa (or Urfa as it is used interchangeably) is also called “the city of prophets” due to its religious importance

We will be wandering on the streets, in city center, visiting, bazaars.

The  archaeology museum is one of the best in Turkey. The region’s cultural heritage is displayed across three levels covering a time period that stretches from the Neolithic up to the Ottoman era.

We will stay over in Şanlıurfa.

DAY 4 | November 15: Göbeklitepe & Old Bazaars & Halil-Ür Rahman (lake)

We have to see Göbeklitepe, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, between c. 9500 and 8000 BCE, the site comprises a number of large circular structures supported by massive stone pillars – the world’s oldest known megaliths.

Then, we will dive into Urfa’s bazaar alleys to find stalls selling everything from sheepskins and pigeons to jeans and handmade shoes.  It was largely built by Süleyman the Magnificent in the mid-16th century.

You can also see some ancient workshops and craftsmen you cannot see in another place.

Balıklıgöl (or Pool of Abraham, Halil-Ür Rahman Lake), is a pool in the southwest of the city center of Şanlıurfa, Turkey known in Jewish and Islamic legends as the place where Nimrod threw the Prophet Abraham into a fire. Balıklıgöl and neighboring Aynzeliha pools are among the most visited places in Şanlıurfa.

We will spend the night  in Şanlıurfa.

DAY 5 | November 16: Harran

The 250-year-old conical dome houses nestled in the Harran town are highlights of Harran. Each dome on a house represents a room and the number of domes reveals the financial status of the household. Since the exterior of the homes are covered with wet clay, they have withstood the test of time,maintaining their original architectural features from centuries ago.

We will be working with models in traditional cloths.

We will spend the night  in Şanlıurfa.

DAY 6 | November 17: The city of Mardin, The Deyrulzafaran ( Saffron) Monastery

We will drive from Urfa to Mardin. Mardin is a highly addictive and unmissable spot. Minarets emerge from a baked brown labyrinth of meandering lanes, a castle dominates the old city, and stone houses cascade down the hillside above the

The view of Mesopotamian plains from Zinciriye Medresesi (“medrese” is an old religious school), alleyways, Kasımiye Medresesi,  Forty Martyrs Church are some of the highlights of Mardin.

Deyrulzafaran Monastery is one of the unique structures overlooking Mesopotamia in the magical land of Mardin. This monastery, which is 4 km away from the city center, is also called the Syriac masterpiece. If you go to Deyrulzafaran at sunset, you can see the colorful states of the Mesopotamian Plain flirting with the sun and feel all the values ​​that make Mardin different. Deyrulzafaran’s Syriac word meaning is yellow. There are about 40 people inside, including 18 staff members, 3 clergy and nearly 20 students.

We will be photographing some of these with models in local vestments.

We will spend the night  in  Mardin.

DAY 7 | November 18: Midyat town & The Mor Hananyo Monastery

With its  picturesque, sandy colored buildings, Midyat is a well reserved small town. The streets are pretty quiet and you’ll mostly find locals and children going about their day. Some of the kids will offer their ‘guide service’ to show you inside their home or a nearby church and of course, they’ll expect a tip.

The Mor Hananyo Monastery is located on the site of a temple dedicated to the Mesopotamian sun god Shamas, which was then converted into a citadel by the Romans. After the Romans withdrew from the fortress, Mor Shlemon transformed it into a monastery in 493 AD

We will spend the night  in  Mardin.

DAY 8 | November 19: The National Park of the Mount Nemrut (the city of Adıyaman)

We will drive approximately 3 hours to reach Adıyaman. We will photograph Nemrut during sunset hours.

Depending the weather forecast we will try shoot during the sunset the sculptures on the mountain with an elevation of 2100m. Crowning one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range in south-east Turkey, Nemrut Dağ is the Hierotheseion (temple-tomb and house of the gods) built by the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) as a monument to himself.

We will spend the night  in Adıyaman.

DAY 9 | November 20: The National Park of the Mount Nemrut (Adıyaman) – Istanbul

We wake early before the dawn in order to catch sunrise on the top on the mountain again, shoot the sculptures and on the way back shoot surrounding points of interest.

We will transfer to the airport to  fly back to Istanbul. We will have our dinner in a local restaurant.

We will spend the night in our hotel in Istanbul.

DAY 10 | November 21:  Farewell

You will be picked up from your hotel to be transferred to the airport which you catch your flight back to home.

SERVICES (INCLUDED & NOT INCLUDED)

INCLUDED

ACCOMODATION:

  • Istanbul: 3 Nights Bed & Seven Hills Palace, located in the old city
  • Urfa: 3 Nights Half-board Urfa Hilton Garden Inn
  • Mardin: 2 Nights Half-board Mardin  Hilton Garden Inn
  • Adıyaman: 1 Night Half-board  Adıyaman Dedeman Park

MEALS:

  • All meals (starting from the day of we sit down for Welcome Meeting in Istanbul and to the end. (including the diner we will have (after) our arrival  to İstanbul from Adıyaman.

TRANSPORTATION:

  • Domestic flights from/to Istanbul
  • Pick up & drop-off at Istanbul Airport .
  • We will be using a Mercedes Sprinter or similar dedicated to our group for general transportation.

GROUP LEADERS:

  • You will be together Faruk Akbaş for all matters concerning the photography. Another English speaking certified guide will be with you as well for from day one to the end who will be handling logistics, accommodation.

GENERAL EXPENSES & MUSEUM ENTRY FEES::

  • We will take care all the tips and payments concerning the models, locals or organizational contributions. Museum entrances.

NOT INCLUDED

  • The dinner first day you arrive to Istanbul
  • Soft drinks taken during the meals.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Meals or beverages received to your room or from minibar
  • Totally optional: tips to guide and drivers.
  • Any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section.

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR

Below, you can find a summary of  the required photo equipment  during the tour/workshop. If you do not have or do not want to carry a tripod we may arrange you a good quality rental tripod as we will receive your camera info.

  • DSLR/mirrorless camera and a sturdy tripod.
  • A medium zoom lens, such as a 24-70 mm lens.
  • Or prime lenses of your preferences
  • A camera bag to transport all your equipment.
  • A cable or wireless shutter for night photography
  • A headlamp for the night shootings.

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