Manavgat Ali Bey Hotel
With 64 kilometres (40 mi) of hot, sunny coastline, much of it sandy beaches, with a long river and the waterfall, well-protected countryside including mountains and forests, Manavgat has an important tourist industry. There is plenty of accommodation on the coastline and many places to explore including historical sites, rivers, streams and caves. And there is the sea itself including the odd experience of swimming from fresh water into the salt sea at the rivermouth. Predictably the cuisine includes fish from the Mediterranean.
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.