The temple complex of Göbekli Tepe in the province of Sanliurfa in southeastern Turkey continues to attract the attention of tourists from all over the world.
The 12,000-year-old megalithic temple is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List and is considered the oldest religious building in the world.
The opening ceremony of the complex took place on March 8, 2019 with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Göbekli Tepe is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of local and foreign tourists.
After President Erdogan declared 2019 the Year of Göbekli Tepe, the ancient complex gained even more fame.
Director of the Şanlıurfa Province Archaeological Museum, Celal Uludag, told Anadolu Agency that the buildings at Göbekli Tepe date back to a period when, according to modern historical thought, people were only hunting and gathering.
Uludag noted that excavations started in this area of Turkey in 1995 are still ongoing. The finds discovered during the excavations are transferred to the fund of the Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum.
The director of the museum expressed satisfaction with the growing interest in the temple complex.
“Interest in Göbekli Tepe is growing. The tourist flow has increased dramatically after the decision to include the megalithic complex in the UNESCO World Heritage List and the announcement of 2019 as the Year of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. In 2019 alone, Göbekli Tepe was visited by a record 500,000 people. Due to the pandemic in 2020, the number of visitors has dropped to 200,000,” he said.