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MERSIN, Turkey

About 11.5 million people have visited 32 museums and historic sites in Turkey through the government’s digital platform, the top culture and tourism official said on Tuesday.

The ministry unveiled the digital portal for museums and historic sites in late March after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the tourism industry hard.

The museums, which house millions of rare works of culture and art, have been made accessible to visitors through a virtual environment at, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet said. Nuri Ersoy during the opening ceremony of the Tarsus Museum. in the southern province of Mersin.

Some of the museums include the Gobeklitepe Archaeological Site Museum, known as the oldest temple in the world in the province of Sanliurfa in southeastern Turkey, the War of Independence Museum, housed in the first building of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in the capital Ankara, the Museum of Anatolian Civilization in Ankara. , the Ephesus Museum in the Aegean province of Izmir, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, and the Trojan Museum in the western province of Canakkale.

Virtually the most visited is the Gobeklitepe Archaeological Site Museum, a site over 10,000 years old discovered by researchers from the universities of Istanbul and Chicago, which is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

On the portal, which gives the impression of walking on site, visitors can launch their virtual visit from any section of the museum.

While history students and art lovers have the opportunity to examine the works on display by zooming in in 3D format, virtual travelers can also access information about the history of objects and places seen in museums.

Those interested can access a myriad of museums, palaces, mosques, churches, monasteries and fortresses listed by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism at

Museum of Tarsus

Ersoy said converting the building used as a courtroom into a museum between 1954 and 2013 cost more than 32 million Turkish liras (about $4.2 million).

According to information shared by the minister, the museum will house a wide and diverse collection of works of art and history, from prehistory to the more recent Roman and Islamic era. A gift shop will also be available to museum visitors.

*Written by Ahmet Gencturk

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