Turkey: Hot air balloons dot Göbeklitepe's skies

AA Photo

Colorful hot air balloons floated over the skies of Göbeklitepe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southeastern Turkey, attracting local and foreign tourists to be above the world.

The company operating the hot air balloons over Göbeklitepe started the flights after completing the test and presentation stages, local authorities said Monday.

The flights would start at dawn allowing tourists and adventurers to watch Göbeklitepe and the city of Şanlıurfa from the sky. The flights are planned to take place at intervals until December because of the COVID-19 measures.

A balloon pilot, Bilge Ezel, said they had made arrangements in line with preventive measures in place to avoid COVID-19. "We aim to take Göbeklitepe to the sky," Ezel added.

Göbeklitepe in the Turkish province of Şanlıurfa was discovered in 1963 by researchers from the universities of Istanbul and Chicago.

Described as "the zero point of history" with its 12,000-year-old history in Şanlıurfa, Göbeklitepe set a new record by hosting over 412,000 people in 2019.

After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared 2019 the "Year of Göbeklitepe", the number of visitors increased significantly at the site, which is visited by many local and foreign tourists every year.

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