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MAMURE, the old Crusader castle, well-preserved, about 7 km south east of Anamur. Originally built by the Romans in the third or fourth century AD, it was enlarged by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusaders. After the Seljuk Turkish Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat captured the castle in 1221, he had it rebuilt in its present form. It consists of three courtyards with 39 towers, surrounded by a moat. In one courtyard there is an ancient mosque with a minaret – built by Mehmet Bey of Karamanoğulları in 1300-1308 – which is still open for prayer. There are the ruins of a bathhouse on the opposite side. The castle is in two sections with two lines of ramparts between them, a walkway along the ramparts links the two sides.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.