In terms of scenic beauty rich in flora and fauna, or areas of great historical importance, Turkey's 33 official national parks are of great interest to visitors. In addition there are 16 areas which have been recognised as natural parks or nature reserves, which are valued for their aesthetic, botanical and scientific value and their cultural and natural qualities preserved. These natural areas can provide a welcome break from the busy atmosphere of Turkey's cities and resorts.
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Forest Ministry Wildlife and National Parks Gazi Tesisleri 11
Most famous site of all, and one of the best-known images of Turkey, are the huge sculptures of gods on the mountain. In addition, it is also the site of tumulus of Antioch, Arsameia (Eskikale), Yenikale (New Castle), Karakus Tepe (Peak), and Cendere Bridge. In the ancient city of Commagene, King Mithridates I established an independent kingdom, which gained importance during the reign of King Antioch (62 - 32 BC), the son of Mithridates. In 72 AD, the Commageneians lost the war against the Roman Empire, after which they also lost their independence.
Afyon - Akdağ National Park
Akdag Park covers an area of 14,916 hectares, and lies between the borders of the Sandikli district of Afyon Province, and Civril district of Denizli Province, in Central Anatolia. Akdag is best known for its abundance of wildlife, canyons, valleys and landscape, as well as having great opportunities for recreation, and was declared a Natural Park in June 2000. There are plans to develop its facilities, and this will be balanced with the need to protect and preserve the rich diversity of plant life.
Afyon - Başkomutan Historical National Park
The Baskomutan (Chief Commander) Historical National Park is near the Afyon, Kutahya and Usak provinces of Western Anatolia. It can be reached via the Ankara - Izmir highway, Antalya - Afyon highway and Istanbul - Bursa - Eskisehir highway .This park was established as a monument on behalf of war veterans who lost their lives in the War of Independence. The Turkish Liberation Attack, which began on 26 August 1922 and lasted three days, chased enemy troops and fought bloody battles in Kocatepe, before reaching Afyon. It was considered a great victory, under the command of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which surprised the entire world.
Ankara - Soguksu National Park
The Soguksu National Park is in Kizilcahamam, in the province of Ankara. The park can be accessed via the Ankara - Istanbul highway. It is 78km from Ankara, and 2km from Kizilcahamam, a district famous for its thermal springs.
Antalya - Altinbesik Cave National Park
Altinbesik Cave is on the western side of the steep Manavgat Hill, 7km from Ibradi (Aydinkent) district of Antalya, and 5 km southeast of Urunlu village. The National Park is accessible via the Antalya - Ibradi - Urunlu road, then a one-hour walk from Urunlu to the cave.
Altinbesik Cave is a horizontal and partly active cave system, and its name comes from the Altinbesik Hill, on the upper side of the cave. This region of the Taurus Mountains has a very complex geological and geomorphologic structure with geological overlaps, large twists and deep valleys.
Antalya - Bey Mountains Shore National Park
The park is in the west of Antalya, and 30km northeast of Finike. The park crosses the Antalya - Kemer - Kumluca state highway. The road is part of the Mersin - Antalya - Mugla sea road.
Antalya - Güllük Mountain (Termessos) National Park
The park is in 34km northwest of Antalya, in the Taurus mountains in the Korkuteli district.It can be reached via the Antalya - Korkuteli highway.
Antalya - Köprülü Canyon National Park
The park is in the mountains 49km northeast of Antalya. Koprulu Kanyon National Park is in the Manavgat district of the Antalya province. The road along the coast from Antalya to Manavgat then passes through Tasagil and Beskonak.
Antalya - Kurşunlu Waterfall
Kursunlu Waterfall is in the Central District of Antalya, in the Mediterranean region. The park is 20km northeast of Antalya, and can be reached via the Antalya - Aksu Highway, then going north at Sogucaksu Bridge along the 8km long road.
Artvin - Karagöl National Park
The park is situated within the borders of Savsat and Artvin provinces, and is spread over the plateaus of Karagol and Sahara.By road, the old Georgian town of Savsat is 45km south of Karagol, and 17km from Sahara.
Artvin - Hatila Valley National Park
Hatila Valley is a branch of the River Coruh, in the province of Artvin.
Aydin - Büyük Menderes National Park
This park in the region of Kusadasi and Soke, in the province of Aydin. The park can be reached via the Kusadasi - Soke highway, and lies roughly in the middle of the two towns.
The northern side of the park has plants rarely seen in the Mediterranean region. There are many bay and chestnut trees, and it is the only area where the Finike juniper and pirnal oaks are found together. Mediterranean seals and sea turtles are breeding on the shores of the lake,.
Guzelcamli village, at the northeast edge of the national park and at the foot of Dilek mountain, was used as the assembly place for the political and scientific centre of Ionia in the 9th and 8th centuries BC
Aydın - Bafa Lake
Bafa Lake is in the Soke District of Aydin province, in the Aegean Region. Bafa Lake is at the southeast of the Buyuk Menderes Delta, and 25 km from Soke from where it is easily accessible.
Balikesir - Kaz Mountain National Park
The park is in the district of Edremit, in Balikesir province. The park can be reached via the 230 highway from Balikesir (92km), and the 24 highway from Bursa.
Kaz Mountain, originally called Ida in ancient times, separates the Aegean and Marmara regions and is the highest in the Biga peninsula at 1774m. Places to visit include the valleys with their rich variety of flora and fauna; the mythological Ida Mountain which was said to be the venue of the first beauty contest; and the area of Sarikiz, in which the Sarikiz myth took place.
Balikesir - Bird Paradise National Park
Kuscenneti (Bird Paradise) is 20km southwest of Bandirma, and around 50km north of Balikesir, adjacent to Kus lake. The park can be reached via the Balikesir - Bandirma highway.
Balıkesir - Ayvalık Islands
The Ayvalik Islands are just off the coast of Ayvalik, 100km west of Balikesir and 50km northwest of Bergama. The islands are accessible by road and boat. The largest, Alibey Adasi, is accessible by two causeways which link it to the mainland and to the tiny Lale Adasi, and there are public buses which take both these routes. In the summer, there are boats leaving from the centre of Ayvalik.
Bolu - Yedigöller National Park
The Yedigoller (Seven Lakes) National Park is in the north of the Bolu province, and south of Zonguldak in the western Black Sea region.
Bolu - Abant Lake
Abant Lake is 33km away from Bolu, in the west of the Black Sea region, and exactly halfway between Ankara and Istanbul.
Bursa - Uludag National Park
Uludag is 30km southeast of Bursa. A cable car makes the journey up to Uludag from Bursa to the Sarilan Plain, which takes around 20 minutes, and then a dolmus to the hotel area of the park. The mountain road, 34km from Bursa, is open throughout the year. There is also a private helicopter service from Istanbul which takes 25 minutes.
Çanakkale - Gelibolu Peninsula Historical Park
The Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park, with a total area of 33,000 hectares, was founded in 1973 and is on the United Nations list of Parks and Protection Areas. It is in the province of Canakkale, at the southern edge of the Gelibolu Strait, on the European shore of Dardanelles (Canakkale Bogazi).
Çorum - Alacahöyük National Park
Alacahoyuk is 52km southwest of Corum, in Central Anatolia, 29km north of Yozgat and west of Ankara.
By road, Alacahoyuk is off the Sungurlu - Corum highway, and easily accessible by bus from Yozgat or Corum. It is roughly equidistant between the airports at Ankara, Nevsehir and Kayseri.
Yazilikaya Open Air Temple, which is 2 km north of Bogazkoy, can be reached via the road from Sungurlu. Yazilikaya was the first Pantheon known in Anatolia, and there are reliefs of Hittite kings, queens, gods and goddesses.
Denizli - Honaz Mountain National Park
The Honaz Mountain National Park is in the Honaz region of the province of Denizli.
The main feature of the park is the Honaz mountain, which is the highest in the Aegean region, at 2528m. There are species of Alpine flora at the higher altitudes, the most common of which are cluster pine, black pine, and juniper. A wide variety of animals includes an abundance of wild goats, as well as wild boar, rabbit, foxes and badgers. The snow coverage makes this a good spot for skiing.
Isparta - Kizildag National Park
The park is 120km in the northeast of Isparta, and 5km south of Sarkikaraagac, and on the northern edge of Lake Beysehir. It can be accessed by road from Sarkikaraagac.
Kastamonu - Ilgaz Mountain National Park
The park is 45km in the south of Kastamonu, and 200km north of Ankara, and lies in the Central Anatolian region. The park can be accessed from the Cankiri - Kastamonu highway.
Kastamonu - Küre Mountain National Park
The park lies between Kastamonu and Bartin, in the western Black Sea region. The nearest large town is Zonguldak, on the west, and the park is off the coastal road running west towards Bartin.
Konya - Beysehir Lake National Park
Beysehir Lake lies in the middle of Isparta (105km) and Konya (94km), in the province of Beysehir.
Manisa - Spil Mountain National Park
The mountain is 24km from Manisa. Manisa can easily be reached by private and public transport.
Mugla - Marmaris National Park
The park is 6km from Marmaris, in the province of Mugla. The state highways 550 and 400 reach the park.
Mugla - Saklikent National Park
Saklikent is around 40km due east of Fethiye and north of Kas. From the south, the park can be accessed via the Kalkan - Yesilova road leading to the village of Palamut, and from the north via the Kemer road.
The Saklikent Gorge is 18km long and is steep and narrow. The water at the bottom is cold even in summer, because sunlight hardly penetrates, and it is possible to walk through the water, and sometimes on suspended wooden platforms. The forests in this area consist of cluster pine, black pine and cedar trees, which are growing in specific areas according to altitude. Dumanlidag is known for its attractive landscape of cedars
Nevsehir - Göreme National Park
Goreme National Park is just outside the village of Goreme, 12km east of Nevsehir and in the heart of Cappadocia, in Central Anatolia. Goreme village is easily accessible by road from all directions, especially through Nevsehir. The Ankara - Adana highway approaches from the northwest, the Aksaray - Nevsehir from the southwest, and the Kayseri - Urgup highway from the northeast. The national park can be reached on foot from the village.
Nigde - Ala Mountains National Park
The Aladaglar national park is in the province of Nigde, south of Kayseri, and lies 30km from Yahyali.
Osmaniye - Aslan Mountain National Park
The park is on the river Ceyhan, around 40km northeast of Osmaniye, and west of Gaziantep in the southeastern Mediterranean region.
Rize - Kaçkar Mountain National Park
The mountains are in the northeast of Turkey, near the Black Sea coast, around 70km east of Rize.
Trabzon - Altindere National Park
This is the best known park in the Black Sea region, and lies to the west of Trabzon. The park can be reached via the 48km road connecting Trabzon to Macka.
Tunceli - Munzur Mountain National Park
8km in north of Tunceli, in Eastern Anatolia, which is northwest of Elazig and around 100km west of Bingol.
Yozgat - Yozgat National Park
The park is 5km south of Yozgat, in Central Anatolia.