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Gods, Saints & Kings: Discovering Central Anatolian Turkey

September 4-20, 1998

Escorted by Professor Emeritus Richard L. Chambers

Co-Sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Cities

To be added to the free Oriental Institute Mailing List, or for more information on how to register for Gods, Saints & Kings, please call (773) 702-1677 or send an email to


I am pleased to invite you to join me and the World of Oz on a study tour of Central Anatolian Turkey, the land of Gods, Saints and Kings. Turkey is being "discovered" by more Americans every year. Twice as large as California, situated at the crossroads of civilizations where Europe and Asia meet, washed by the waters of the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black Seas, with spectacular landscapes, superb cuisine and hospitable people, Turkey is deservedly referred to as "The Worldís Largest Outdoor Museum."

Central Anatolia, Turkeyís heartland, has a colorful and fascinating past. Since the dawn of recorded history armies have moved back and forth and civilizations have risen and fallen here. Travelers to Anatolia encounter everywhere the relics of this fabled past. Hittite and Biblical cities and the architectural legacy of Romans, Muslims and Crusaders vie for attention with the rock-cut churches and dwellings of Cappadocia and the Commagene kingsí monumental sculptures on Mt. Nemrut. Central Anatolia is also home to the modern cities of Ankara, Nevsehir, Kayseri, Malatya, Sanliurfa, Antakya and Adana, most tracing their history back to antiquity. But no visit to Turkey should omit that most wondrous of imperial cities, Istanbul!

Richard L. Chambers
Tour Leader
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Friday 4 September To Istanbul Departure from Chicago or New York on Turkish Airlines direct flight to Istanbul.

Saturday 5 September Istanbul Arrival Istanbul mid-morning. Transfer to the newly renovated, deluxe Istanbul Hilton Hotel, situated on 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens overlooking the Bosphorus and within walking distance of Istanbulís main business, shopping and entertainment district. Afternoon at leisure. Meet your fellow tour members for a private sunset cruise on the Bosphorus with briefing, cocktails and dinner. D

Sunday 6 September Istanbul Full day of sightseeing visiting the magnificent Blue Mosque Of Sultan Ahmet, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts housed in the restored 16th century Palace of the Grand Vezir Ibrahim Pasha, Roman Hippodrome, underground cistern and Aya Sofia Museum (St. Sophia), considered one of the worldís greatest architectural marvels. Lunch at local restaurant. Visit Dolmabahce Palace, a lavish Turkish- Indian baroque masterpiece built as the new residence of the Ottoman sultans in 1854. Dinner at the internationally renowned Beyti Restaurant, famous for its grilled meats. B/L/D

Monday 7 September Istanbul Resume sightseeing, driving to Kariye Museum (St. Savior in Chora) with its spectacular Byzantine frescoes and mosaics and the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, designed by the master Ottoman architect Sinan. Enjoy a lunch of traditional Ottoman delicacies at the Daruzziyafe restaurant, located in the 16th century Suleymaniye complex. Continue to Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans and center of the imperial government from the mid-15th to the mid-19th century. Marvel at the treasury with its jeweled thrones and other incredible riches, the legendary Harem Quarters, and the kitchens where one of the greatest Chinese porcelain collections in existence is on display. Dinner at the elegant Kurucesme Divan Restaurant on the Bosphorus. B/L/D

Tuesday 8 September Istanbul/Ankara Mid-morning transfer to the airport for noon flight to Ankara. Meeting at airport and transfer to Merit Altinel or Sheraton Hotel. Lunch at hotel. Afternoon briefing at the U.S. Embassy. Evening at leisure. B/L

Wednesday 9 September Ankara Day of sightseeing with visits to Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, winner of the 1997 "European Museum of the Year" award and famous for its outstanding collection of Hittite artifacts, and the impressive Atatturk Mausoleum and Museum. Lunch at a traditional restaurant in " old town " area around the citadel. Visit "old town" and the Temple of Augustus built in the 2nd century BC. Dinner at hotel. B/L/D

Thursday 10 September Ankara/ Bogazkoy/Cappadocia Early morning departure from the hotel for Cappadocia region stopping to visit the Hittite sites at Bogazkoy (Hattusas and Yazilikaya), the seat of their mighty empire around 1400 BC. Lunch en route. Reach Cappadocia late afternoon. Check in at the Kapadokya Lodge or Dedeman Hotel. Dinner at hotel . B/L/D

Friday 11 September Cappadocia Full day of sightseeing in the region including the rock-carved chapels of Goreme, the red monastic complex at Zelve, and the villages of Ortahisar and Uchisar. Dinner at hotel, followed by folkloric dance show and drinks at a local club. B/L/D

Saturday 12 September Cappadocia Today visit the underground city and the Soganli Valley with its many rock churches. Drive to Avanos for lunch in a cave restaurant and afterwards visit the pottery workshops for which the town is famous. Dinner at hotel. B/L/D

Sunday 13 September Cappadocia/Adiyaman This morning depart early for the long drive to Adiyaman via Kayseri, Darende and Malatya. Lunch at Malatya. Dinner and overnight at Bozdogan Hotel. B/L/D

Monday 14 September Adiyaman/Mt. Nemrut/Sanli Urfa Depart from hotel at about 4 AM to drive to Mt. Nemrut. Climb to the summit where the gigantic funerary sanctuary of King Antiochus of Commagene was erected over 2,000 years ago. See the sun rise over the colossal stone statues of the gods and kings, the toppled heads of which are lying on the ground. After late breakfast and further sightseeing in the area, depart for Sanli Urfa, known in ancient times first as Ur and later as Edessa. Lunch en route. Dinner and overnight at Edessa Hotel. B/L/D

Tuesday 15 September Urfa Morning visit to Harran, one of the oldest continuously inhabited spots on earth and believed to be ancient Charan, first mentioned in the Old Testament as the place where Abraham and Sarah spent several years. See the strange beehive houses, ancient fortress, the city walls and remains of an early Islamic University. Continue to the nearby Ataturk Dam, Turkeyís largest and the sixth largest in the world, before returning to Urfa . Said to be the place where Abraham was born in a cave near the present day Mevlid Halil Mosque, Urfa is a pilgrimage site. Visit the Halil Rahman Mosque, which is built around a quiet pool in which holy carp swim, and stroll through the vaulted eastern bazaar and the courtyards of the old hans. Lunch at local restaurant. Dinner at hotel. B/L/D

Wednesday 16 September Urfa/Antakya (Biblical city of Antioch) Departure this morning for Antakya, once the third largest city of the Roman Empire, surpassed only by Rome and Alexandria, with lunch and a stop at the Hittite site of Yesemek en route. Dinner and overnight at Buyuk Antakya Hotel. B/L/D

Thursday 17 September Antakya This morning drive to the nearby site of the Oriental Instituteís archaeological excavation for a tour conducted by Prof. Aslihan Yener. After lunch at local restaurant visit Church of St. Peter, Antakyaís Archaeological Museum famed for its marvelous Roman mosaics, and the "old town" where little has changed since Biblical times. Dinner at hotel. B/L/D

Friday 18 September Antakya/Adana/Istanbul Morning departure stopping to visit the Hittite ruins at Karatepe, a site only recently discovered, and now an open air museum with artifacts displayed where they were found. Lunch en route. Drive to Adana airport for 7:30 PM flight to Istanbul. Transfer to the deluxe spa-style Klassis Resort Hotel at Silivri on the shore of the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul. Late light supper at hotel. B/L/D

Saturday 19 September Istanbul Day at leisure to rest and enjoy the amenities of the hotel (full spa treatments, indoor and outdoor pool, skating rink, etc). A bus will be available for tour members who wish to drive to Istanbul for a day of shopping at the Grand Covered Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar. Depart for return trip to the hotel at 4.PM. Farewell dinner at hotel. B/D
Sunday 20 September Istanbul/USA After breakfast transfer to Istanbul airport for Turkish Airlines flights to Chicago and New York. B

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Tour Costs

(Per Person sharing double)
Land and Air Package: $3550 from Chicago $3500 from New York (plus air taxes)
Single Room Supplement: $605
Land only rate: $2525 (Includes NO AIR- International or Domestic in Turkey)
Tax Deductible Contribution to the University of Chicago: $400 per person
Your Land and Air package includes:
* Educational program of lectures, discussions and reading materials provided by Professor Richard L. Chambers of the University of Chicago
* Visit to Oriental Instituteís archaeological excavation with tour conducted by the director, Prof. Aslihan Yener
* Round trip economy class air on Turkish Airlines from Chicago or New York to Istanbul and including Istanbul/Ankara - Adana/ Istanbul flights
* 15 nights hotel accommodations at Deluxe and best available hotels as stated on itinerary
* Buffet Breakfast daily, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners including Special Dinners at some of Istanbulís finest restaurants
* Cocktail and Dinner Bosphorus Cruise
* Folkloric Dance Show in Cappadocia
* All group transfers and sightseeing as stated by latest model air- conditioned private coach
* All entrance fees
* Licensed World of Oz-Magister guide throughout
* All service charges and taxes, porterage, & tips at included meals
* Travel Kit with itinerary, destination information, hotels lists, baggage tags, document holders and flight bags
Please Note: Fares from other gateways and upgrades to Business and First Class air are available at a supplementary cost.

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About your Tour Leader

Dr. Richard L. Chambers
Professor Chambers is a historian of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, and is a former President of the American Research Institute in Turkey, and a former Director of the University of Chicagoís Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He is currently Professor Emeritus of Turkish Studies and Director of Development for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. He has enjoyed extensive acquaintance with Turkey and has accompanied numerous tour and study programs.

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About World of Oz

The World of Oz is an award-winning creator of deluxe tours to Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and the Orient. The premier tour operator to Turkey for over twenty years, the World of Oz earned a singular honor from Turkeyís Ministry of Tourism, being cited as an "expert" on Turkey in 1989, the only tour operator to receive such a citation for excellence. This is the fifth program with Professor Chambers that the World of Oz is conducting for the University of Chicago.

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Terms and Conditions

FINAL PAYMENT: Final payment for travel arrangements is due at World of Oz-Magister by July 15, 1998.
CANCELLATION PENALTIES: Cancellations must be made in writing and are subject to the following penalties.  Deposit is refundable less $200 administration fees, if cancellation notice is received before June 30th.  From July 16 to July 30 50% of total tour cost; from July 31 to August 26 75% of total tour cost; from August 26 to departure, 100% of tour cost.
INSURANCE: We STRONGLY SUGGEST, to allow for any unexpected contingencies, you PURCHASE TRIP CANCELLATION & INTERRUPTION INSURANCE.  We will send the policy to you and invoice you for this at time of booking.  If insurance payment is received along with deposit, the company waives exclusion of pre-existing conditions.  If you do not wish to purchase the insurance, simply do not pay the charge.  We offer a comprehensive Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance plan from Trip Mate Insurance at $169 per person.
REFUND OF UNUSED ARRANGEMENTS: No refund can be made for any tour accommodation, tour feature, or tour service, or any portion of air ticket purchased from us, not taken.
AIR TRANSPORTATION: Rates shown in brochure are based on Turkish Airlines, group bulk fares, round trip economy class and are subject to change without notice.  Rates do not include taxes in conjunction with air tickets.
VISAS: for US & Canadian citizens, a visa is required to enter Turkey.  Visas can be obtained from Turkish consulates in the US & Canada, or upon arrival in Istanbul at the airport.  The present fee is $20 US.
CONSUMER DISCLOSURE NOTICE: World of Oz-Magister Corp. and The University of Chicago and/or their agents, act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel, whether by railroad, motorcar, morot coach, boat or airplane and assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, strike, war, quarantine, or other causes.  All such losses or expense will have to be borne by the passenger.  The right is reserved to substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary where deemed necessary or caused by air schedules.  The prices on the tours are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at time of printing and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.  The issuance and acceptance of voucher or ticket shall be deemed to be consent to the above conditions.  All arrangements for land accommodations and transportation are made by World of Oz-Magister Corp.  Any dispute arising out of these tours will be settled in the courts of the City of Virginia Beach.
AIRLINES CLAUSE: The airlines concerned and their agents and affiliates are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time passengers are not on board their aircraft.  The passenger ticket in use by said airlines, when issued, shall constitute the sold contract between the airlines and the purchaser of these tickets and/or passenger.
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To be added to the free Oriental Institute Mailing List, or for more information on how to register for Gods, Saints & Kings, please call (773) 702-1677 or send an email to

Revised: March 3, 2009

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