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The ancient beauty of Turkey’s archaeological ruins and pristine landscape have been recognized as among the best in the world this past summer with two new historic sites added to the respected UNESCO World Heritage list, and 53 new beaches added to the exclusive “Blue Flag” eco-label.

The ancient city of Ephesus, Diyarbakır Fortress and the Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding universal value and cultural and natural significance. With 15 sites now on the list, Turkey will host UNESCO’s 2016 World Heritage Committee meeting.

The quality of Turkish beaches, meanwhile, has propelled the country ahead of Greece to rank second in the world for the number of beaches certified “Blue Wave” by the Foundation for Environmental Education for water quality, environmental management and safety. Turkey now has 436 “Blue Flag” beaches, placing it behind only Spain in the top 50 countries on the exclusive list.

Turkey brings together the best of the world’s heritage and nature with rare sites that have archaeological ruins alongside the sands of Mediterranean and Aegean beaches, such as the ancient city of Phaselis near Antalya, or the world’s oldest lighthouse on Patara Beach.

Coupled with new ways to fly to Turkey and new places to stay once in the country, the ancient beauty and natural landscapes make it an inimitable time to join the 41 million travelers visiting the 6th ranked tourism destination in the world.