The Most Beautiful State of the Sky from Zerzevan Castle

The Most Beautiful State of the Sky from Zerzevan Castle
The Most Beautiful State of the Sky from Zerzevan Castle

Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank and Minister of Youth and Sports Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu attended the first night observation of Diyarbakır Zerzevan Sky Observation Event. During the observation that started at night, the ministers, who examined the stars, planets and celestial bodies from the telescopes set up in and around the Zerzevan Castle, made space observations with the young people. The observation, which started with the disappearance of the moon, continued until the morning hours.

Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, who made observations with the youth, explained his impressions with the following words:


We do our sky observation activities for our children and youth. We organize these events so that our children and young people will be interested in science, space and technology, and we believe that our children who have this experience here today and look at the stars, the Moon and the planets will be the most important astronomers, space engineers and scientists of tomorrow. They will be their Saint Sancars. We set out to spread this event all over Anatolia. Last year, we started from Diyarbakir, Zerzevan Castle. Here we are again this year. Hopefully this year we will go to Erzurum, Van, Antalya and we will bring our children and their families together with nights full of space, technology and aviation through sky observation activities.


Diyarbakir, Zerzevan Castle, is one of the most distant garrisons of the Roman Empire in the east, but this place has another feature: It is one of the best preserved temples in the world, where the Mithra belief, which we can call a different cult or belief, is kept alive here. Planets and space are very important in this belief. Observations have been made in these areas over a period of 3 years, and stars and planets have been observed. Astronomy was made in these lands, so by doing this activity here, we actually regenerate the ancient culture of these lands. We are bringing astrology back to this land. In this sense, doing this job in Zerzevan Castle is both meaningful and beautiful. We can see that everyone who comes is also affected.


Minister of Youth and Sports Kasapoğlu stated that they are in a place where history and science meet the stars and said, “We are in one of the 10 destinations where sky observation is best done. Zerzevan Castle, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2020, is one of the rarest examples of our civilization and cultural treasure.” said.

Esma Çakmak, 11th grade student who participated in the event, stated that she was interested in space and the sky and said, “I want to study aerospace engineering. This is a great opportunity for me. So I am happy.” she said.


The observation activity will continue until Sunday at Zerzevan Castle in Diyarbakır's Çınar district. The event is being held under the auspices of the ministries of Industry and Technology, Youth and Sports, Culture and Tourism, and under the coordination of TÜBİTAK with the support and contributions of Diyarbakır Governorship and Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality, Karacadağ Development Agency and Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA).


Zerzevan Castle, which has a history of 3 thousand years, is shown among the 10 places where the best sky observations are made in Turkey. The castle, which was included in the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO in 2020, and the Mithras Temple, which is located in the castle, has been attracting people's attention for hundreds of years.

1 to 86

A total of approximately one thousand people attend the event, the smallest being 1 and the largest being 86. Many foreign press members and ambassadors of countries such as Iran, Burundi, Indonesia, Chad, Philippines, Thailand and South Sudan also take part in the event.


Diyarbakır State Classical Turkish Music and Civilizations Choir gave a concert in front of the castle. Participants did not remain indifferent to the concert, which was held under the stars for the first time in Zerzevan Castle. Accompanying the folk songs, sky enthusiasts added color to the night by dancing halay.


During the event, scientists; Interesting presentations on different topics such as exoplanets, satellite technologies, stars in mirrors, light pollution, let's get to know the sky, misconceptions about basic astronomy, what is in the sky, asteroids passing close to the ground, star occultation, space weather, pulsars and black holes, polar studies. is being done.


Throughout the program, professional and amateur astronomers study the sky and meet the stars. Participants also learn about the astronomy work carried out at the Mithras Temple thousands of years ago. During the event, which aims to increase the interest of young people in space with the vision of the National Space Program, seminars, competitions and many activities related to astronomy are organized.

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