|Arabic, Kurdish, Syriac
|New Year (January 01), Military Day (January 06), Labor Day (May 01), Republic Day (July 14), Independence Day (October 03), Ramadan Feast, Sacrifice Holiday, Islamic New Year, Ashoura
Located on the culturally rich lands of the Mesopotamia and used to be the worldwide center of science and trade, Iraq has been at the forefront throughout the history by its petroleum reserves, arable soils and its geopolitical location. The country accordingly hosts numerous artifacts today and endeavors to regain its power after the hard times experienced for the same reasons, through its peerless artifacts as a heritage of its deep-rooted and unsteady history.
Take a look at the flights to Iraq offered by Turkish Airlines now to enjoy a pleasant journey to this cradle of civilizations which had been the center of the world once upon a time.
Turkish Airlines flies to four different destinations in Iraq: Baghdad, Basra, Erbil and Najaf. Flights from Istanbul Airport (IST) land at Baghdad International Airport (BGW) in the capital within nearly three hours. Direct flights to Erbil International Airport (EBL) in the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government Erbil, on the other hand, take two and a half hours in average. Moreover, flights to Basra International Airport (BSR) having an important role in the country’s air traffic, take three hours and fifteen minutes, whereas flights to Najaf Airport (NJF) take nearly three hours.
As a mosaic of Arabic and Kurdish cultures together with the religion of Islam, Iraq owns highly vibrant and eclectical culture, combined by its deep-rooted history. Especially the country’s music and architecture are highly affected by such diversity of cultures. International Babylon festival taking place every year in September shines out as one of the brilliant events to observe such layered cultural structure. Lasting for one week, the festival is held with various concerts and performances, as well as cultural and scientific workshops, seminars and speeches. Furthermore, Assyrian New Year celebrations are also other attention-grabbing events in the country. Streets truly turn into colorful feasts offering enthralling atmosphere in the celebrations held on April 01, the start of the “Month of Happiness” and New Year according to Assyrian Calendar.
The capital Baghdad is situated on two banks of the Tigris River. It is possible to see many mosques and historical artifacts drawing interest by their fascinating architecture in Baghdad, which has served as a significant center for the Islamic world. The National Museum established in 1923 is one of the ideal spots to gain insight about the country’s background. Even though the museum, which gathers together the vital works of the Mesopotamian civilizations and reveals the historical importance of these lands, was plundered during the US invasion, it was restored and put back into service in 2009. Another noteworthy attraction in the city is the Abbasid Palace, which has managed to survive until today from Abbasid period, serving as Al-Mustansiriya University since 1963. Al-Faw Palace built to commemorate the Iran victory of Saddam Hussein, is another remarkable spot, attracting a considerable number of visitors.
The most significant archeological works in Iraq are doubtlessly performed on the Ancient City of Babylon. Located 100 kilometers south of the capital, the Ancient City of Babylon is regarded as one of the most archaic towns worldwide. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and Ishtar Gate as important as the former are located in this ancient town. This marvelous ancient town where the Code of Hamurabi, the world’s first code of law was written; words like democracy, universal law and justice were used for the first time, ranks among the top must-see spots in Iraq. Babylon, the ancient town of humanity and its history can be reached via a short car travel. You may therefore consider renting a car for both visiting this splendid ancient town and setting your own route for a comfortable transport during your stay.
Located in southern Iraq in the Gulf region, Basra is the second largest city countrywide, also known as the most significant port town in its region. Regarded as a city of commerce, culture, science and literature throughout the history, Basra’s most outstanding spot is the Imam Ali Mosque.
Besides, the city of Najaf situated on a mountain range in the west of the Euphrates River, is an ancient town established by the Caliph Harun Rashid in 791. As a city where the majority of the population comprises of Shias, Najaf’s notable attractions include Imam Ali Shrine and El-Hannanah Mosque. Najaf also is home to the ancient towns of Bible and Ur, which are of a great significance for the believers.
Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, is the most cosmopolitan city countrywide, hosting Kurds, Turkmens, Arabs, Chaldean and Assyrian Christians. It stands out as the safest region of Iraq as well. You may see here the Citadel of Erbil, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, visit Sami Abdurrahman Park and Kayseri Bazaar, and tour between the splendid parks connected to each other with cable car.