In upcoming weeks Emel Çalkam, NowWeBike blogger from Turkey will be the one sharing experiences from the NowWeBike tour. NowWeBike is part of NowWeMOVE campaign and will be taking place from 24 July to 9 September 2015. During those 7 weeks the team will cross 12 borders and cycle 2,700 km across Europe.
By Emel Çalkam, NowWeBike blogger
NowWeBike team started the tour to YATAGAN city located 30 km away from the province of Mugla at 9am on 23 July. It took us two hours to cycle to YATAGAN. The road is surrounded with nice villages and nature. First of all, we went to Yatagan Municipality and visited the mayor Hasan Hasmet Isık. Mr Feridun Ekmekci talked about importance of NowWeMove and NowWeBike for having active life in order to fight against inactivity time bomb.
We also met Tarcan OGUZ, folklore researcher, who works as deputy mayor at Yatagan Municipality. Since he is very interested in folklore and local history, he gave us lots of valuable information about history and culture of Yatagan city. He advised us to cycle to Stratonikeia, the ancient city which “was founded in the name of love.” So we first biked to Stratonikeia.
Stratonikeia is an ancient city located in the borders of the Village of Eskihisar, 7 kilometres to the west of the district of Yatagan in the province of Mugla. It is the most important city state which goes back to Hellenic Period. The city was named by the Commander Seleucid Antiochus I, after his former stepmother and later wife Stratonike in the first quarter of the third century BC. In 130/129 BC, the region became a part of the Roman Republic (then Empire). After Byzantine period, Turkish settled down in the city and Stratonikeia was continuously inhabited in the 14-15th century. Under the control of the Ottoman Empire the city was decorated with magnificent noble architectural buildings. Many aghas, Ottoman military officers, lived there in the Ottoman Period and the early era of Turkish Republic. There are magnificent parts in Stratonikeia, be it Gymnasium, Roman Bath or the antique theatre in Greco-Roman from Hellenistic period.
The ancient city of Lagina, religious centre of the time, lies 11 kilometres away from Stratonikeia. In antiquity the two ancient cities were connected to each other by a holy path. The archaeological research was the first to have been done by a Turkish scientific team, under the direction of Osman Hamdi Bey. The city of Lagina is very important in terms of Turkish archaeological history.Lagina is famous for its Hekate Sanctuary and it is the centre of the religion of Paganism. During the first International Culture and Art Fest in Yatagan lots of pagans visited Lagina and organised Pagan ceremony. One can also have wonderful full moon view in Lagina.Besides Yatagan has the oldest igneous rock in Turkey. The oldest rock is 1 billion years old and the youngest is 15 million years old.
It is really worth cycling to Yatagan!
For more information about NowWeBike tour, the team and side events visit our website