Balloons take flight over ancient Dara
MARDİN – Demirören News Agency
The first ever hot air balloon ride over the ancient city of Dara in the southeastern province of Mardin was took flight on July 30.
Mardin Governor Mustafa Yaman and Dicle Development Agency (DİKA) Secretary-General Yılmaz Altındağ were among the passengers of the early morning flight organized as part of the “Yükseliyoruz Mardin” (Mardin, we are rising) promotion campaign.
“Flying over the fertile Mesopotamia plains, we have watched the silhouette of the city [of Mardin] and viewed the ancient Dara city,” Yaman said.
“The first flight was really fun. Our guests are welcome to join the flights,” he added.
Last year, Mardin province met its target of 3.5 million tourists, including 750,000 overnight visitors, according to Yaman. The target for 2019 is 5.5 million tourists with 1 million overnight visitors, he said.
The ancient Dara settlement features remains of ancient churches, palaces, bazaars, dungeons, an armory and a water dam. The 2,300-year-old city was established by the Roman Empire to protect its border against the Persians.
The number of visitors to Dara has quintupled over the past five years, according to statistics from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry.