Hot air balloon flights began in the area of the ancient religious complex of Portasar (official Turkish name: Göbekli Tepe) located 14-15 km northeast of the city of Urfa (Urha, Edessa). This was reported by Turkish media.
According to the source, test flights had been carried out here for a month before the flights were finally organized. The first flight took place on the evening of September 23 at 20:51. Thus, the Turks are trying to maximize the profits from the development of tourism at the Armenian complex of Portasar (included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List).
It should be noted that the ancient settlement of Portasar in the Armenian Highlands, on the territory of the modern Turkish Republic, has a history of about 12 thousand years. A 12,000-year-old sanctuary along with the oldest icon paintings in the world was discovered here.
A group of Neolithic port churches is located near the modern village of Orendzhik. Built in an area of about 300 square meters, this sanctuary has 15 meters tall walls.
Portasar is still the first known sanctuary in the world. To date, archaeologists have excavated six temples in the area. According to experts, there are about 20 temples in Portasar. Archaeological excavations have also shown that a wheat prototype first grew at the foot of Portasar.
Archaeologists who have carried out excavations in Portasar say that it has not yet been established what religious rites had been performed here, but they had been performed with some kind of liquid (blood, water, or alcohol).
The discovery of the Portasar sanctuary refutes the well-known historical thesis that nomadic communities became settled only after the cultivation of crops.
As a reminder, on December 25, 2018, President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared 2019 the Year of Portasar. The aim was to develop tourism in nearby areas.