13 Days (12 Nights)
Land & Air$4,690
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Early Christianity in Asia Minor

MAY 13-26, 2023

Join us on this deeply enriching two-week tour through western Turkey where we will explore sites of biblical significance. Nearly half of the books of the New Testament (12 of 27) have some connection with the places that you will visit. You will see the towns and cities where the apostle Paul, the apostle John, Timothy, Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, Phillip, Philemon, Epaphras, and other biblical figures lived and ministered. You will walk through each of the cities where the seven churches of Revelation were located and sit in the massive theater at Ephesus where the silversmiths provoked a riot against the Apostle Paul in honor of Artemis. And you will see the extensive archaeological work carried out at Laodicea and witness the very beginnings of the excavation at Colossae. Our tour begins with a day in the city of Istanbul (ancient Byzantium, later called Constantinople)—the center of the Byzantine empire and church. Then we will travel south through the beautiful contryside on a private, air-conditioned bus to our biblical sites. Throughout the journey, you will enjoy wonderful Turkish hospitality at beautiful four- and five-star hotels and savor incredible cuisine.

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Dr. Clinton Eugene ArnoldResearch Professor of New Testament
Barbara Elizabeth Arnold
Itinerary Details Hosts & Guide Policies Contact Useful Information

May 13 Sat Depart LAX – Non-stop flight to Istanbul

May 14 Sun Arrive Istanbul
Arrive Istanbul Airport. Your tour guide will meet you after the customs and baggage claim with a “CLINT ARNOLD – TUTKU” sign. Meet and transfer to the hotel. Dinner at the top of the hotel overlooking the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. (D)

May 15 Mon Istanbul
You will start from the Hippodrome and see the monuments around it. Nearby is the historic Blue Mosque. After briefly stopping at the Golden Mile of the Egnatian Way, uou will visit the magnificent Hagia Sophia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From there you will visit the historic Hagia Irene Church. Afterwards you will walk to Istanbul’s Archaeological Museum—one of the most celebrated collections in the world. Among its treasures are the Siloam inscription, the Gezer calendar, and the Thanatos inscription from temple mount. Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. (B,D)

May 16 Tue Istanbul – Troy – Alexander Troas - Assos
Depart Istanbul for Troy. Cross the Dardanelles Strait via the new bridge. Visit the legendary city of Troy and its museum. See the replica of the wooden horse. Then visit Alexander Troas where Paul had a vision to go to Macedonia (Acts 16; 20; etc.) to see the harbor and the new excavation area. Overnight at Assos Dove Hotel. (B,D)

May 17 Wed Assos
Visit Assos where Paul stopped on his third missionary journey; Acts 20:13-14. Free time in the afternoon. (B,D)

May 18 Thu Assos - Pergamum – Thyatira - Izmir
Today we will visit the site of Pergamum where, according to Revelation, the “Throne of Satan” was located (Rev.2:12-17). Visit the towering acropolis—1000 feet above the town. Will also visit the healing center (Ascelpion) on the plain below the acropolis. We continue by driving to Akhisar ancient Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29) and home of Lydia (Acts 16:11-5) Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

May 19 Fri Smyrna - Izmir
Today, we will visit the Smyrna Agora and its “Graffiti” section. See the new excavation in Smyrna (walk to the theater excavation is optional). Walk in vivid Kemeralti Bazaar to Alsancak, the modern part of Izmir. Short visit to St Policarp Church, and then visit the Archaeology Museum in Varyant. Return to the hotel. Tonight, we will have dinner at a local seafood restaurant on the water. Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

May 20 Sat Sardis – Philadelphia – Hierapolis - Pamukkale
Drive to Sardis, another of the Seven Churches of Revelation that was berated by John the Prophet for its facade of strength when, in reality, it was weak (Rev. 3:1-6). Coins were first minted in Sardis. The massive Temple of Artemis, the Royal Road, the gymnasium and the synagogue will impress you. We continue on to Alasehir, to see where the Church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:7–22) was located. Then, drive to Hierapolis. Christianity came to Hierapolis via Epaphras (Colossians 4:12–13). We will see the impressive theater with seats still in perfect condition and visit one of themal pools that still has ancient columns in it! Today, the area is known as Pamukkale, meaning “Cotton Castle.” It is named for the limestoneladen hot springs that cascade from one white-edged terrace pool to the next. Dinner and overnight in Pamukkale. (B,D)

May 21 Sun Colossae – Laodicae - Pamukkale
Morning drive to the unexcavated site of Colossae. We may meet the local archaeologist Dr. Baris Yener depending on his availability. Then continue on to visit nearby Laodicea. The Christians of Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches (Rev 3:14-22), were chastised for being lukewarm, “You are neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:14) and for being too comfortable incorporating pagan and Christian beliefs. In the famous passage from Revelation (3:20-21), Jesus says to the Laodicean church: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock...” Today, there are many acres of ruins to see, including theaters, a temple, nymphaeum, and columned streets.

May 22 Mon Aphrodisias - Kusadasi
Drive to Geyre to visit the ancient site of Aphrodisias excavated by the New York University. See the Stadium, Roman Baths, Agora, Theater, etc. Aphrodisias was once called “Stavropolis”, the city of cross. Also visit the Aphrodisias Museum. Continue west to Kusadasi on the Aegean Sea shores. Dinner and overnight at the Korumar Hotel (sea view rooms) in Kusadasi. (B,D)

May 23 Tue Miletus - Kusadasi
A short drive brings us to Miletus which, due to its four harbors, became one of the great cities of commerce in the ancient world. Of the surviving buildings, the finest is the 15,000-seat theatre originally built in the Hellenistic period and expanded in Roman times. Other buildings include the council chamber built during the reign of the infamous Antiochus IV (175-164 BC), the Sacred Road leading to the Apollo Temple in nearby Didyma, the gymnasium and the well-preserved Baths of Faustina dating from AD 43. Paul stopped in Miletus on the return leg of his third missionary journey where he summoned the elders from Ephesus to meet with him and hear his poignant farewell speech (Acts 20:17-35). Before departing Miletus, we will visit briefly its small but informative archaeological museum have some free time in Kusadasi). Overnight Kusadasi. (B,D)

May 24 Wed Ephesus – Kusadasi
Ephesus is one of the Seven Churches of Revelation (Rev. 1:11). In ancient days, Ephesus was a bustling port town of 250,000, graced with wide, colonnade-bordered streets. We will stroll the excavated streets of Ephesus visiting the magnificent Terrace Houses, the Library, the Agora, the huge Theater and visit where the Temple of Artemis used to stand—one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Today, we will have lunch at a local handmade carpet cooperative. In the afternoon, we will visit the Museum of Ephesus for an up-close look at artifacts from the ancient city as well as the Basilica of St. John, the traditional site of the burial place of John. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. (B,L,D)

May 25 Thu Claros – Izmir
We will make a brief stop to Claros in the morning. Claros was an ancient Greek sanctuary located near the present-day town of Ahmetbeyli in the Menderes district of Izmir Province. The sanctuary was part of the territory controlled by the Ionic city of Colophon. Short drive to Izmir. Rest of the day is free. Dinner and overnight in Izmir. (B,D)

May 26 Fri Fly back to LAX - Transfer to Izmir Airport for
flight back to Los Angeles via Istanbul. End.

Including

• Roundtrip international flights between Los Angeles – Istanbul
• Domestic flight Izmir (ADB) – Istanbul (IST)
• 2 nights at HOTEL ARCADIA BLUE in Istanbul or similar
• 2 nights at ASSOS DOVE HOTEL in Assos or similar
• 2 nights at MOVENPICK HOTEL in Izmir or similar
• 2 nights at DOGA THERMAL HOTEL in Pamukkale or similar
• 3 nights at KORUMAR HOTEL DELUXE in Kusadasi or similar
• 1 night at MOVENPICK HOTEL in Izmir or similar
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels (B:breakfast)
• 11 Dinners at the hotels (D:Dinner)
• 1 Dinner at local restaurant in Izmir
• All Transfers and Transportation by private bus with A/C
• English-speaking, government-licensed, Bible-oriented professional tour guide throughout
• All Entry fees to the sites & museums
• Tips to the hotel and restaurant staff
• Service charges & local taxes

Excluding

• Drinks and Lunches
• Turkish Visa Fee ($50 per person for US citizens to be paid online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr)
• Personal Expenses and any other item which is not listed above
• Travel Insurance: Travel insurance may be given as a separate package at an extra cost. Travel Insurance agreement is contract between the traveler and the Insurance Company (American Express).
• Tips to the tour guide and driver

Hotels
  • May 13, 2023 - May 15, 2023 Hotel Arcadia Blue, Istanbul, Turkey
  • May 15, 2023 - May 17, 2023 Assos Dove Hotel, Çanakkale, Turkey
  • May 17, 2023 - May 19, 2023 Mövenpick Hotel, Izmir, Turkey
  • May 19, 2023 - May 21, 2023 Doga Thermal Otel, Denizli, Turkey
  • May 21, 2023 - May 24, 2023 Korumar Hotel de Luxe, Aydın, Turkey
  • May 24, 2023 - May 25, 2023 Mövenpick Hotel, Izmir, Turkey

 Locations on the map may include pre program or extension locations with main program.
Including

• Roundtrip international flights between Los Angeles – Istanbul
• Domestic flight Izmir (ADB) – Istanbul (IST)
• 2 nights at HOTEL ARCADIA BLUE in Istanbul or similar
• 2 nights at ASSOS DOVE HOTEL in Assos or similar
• 2 nights at MOVENPICK HOTEL in Izmir or similar
• 2 nights at DOGA THERMAL HOTEL in Pamukkale or similar
• 3 nights at KORUMAR HOTEL DELUXE in Kusadasi or similar
• 1 night at MOVENPICK HOTEL in Izmir or similar
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels (B:breakfast)
• 11 Dinners at the hotels (D:Dinner)
• 1 Dinner at local restaurant in Izmir
• All Transfers and Transportation by private bus with A/C
• English-speaking, government-licensed, Bible-oriented professional tour guide throughout
• All Entry fees to the sites & museums
• Tips to the hotel and restaurant staff
• Service charges & local taxes

Excluding

• Drinks and Lunches
• Turkish Visa Fee ($50 per person for US citizens to be paid online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr)
• Personal Expenses and any other item which is not listed above
• Travel Insurance: Travel insurance may be given as a separate package at an extra cost. Travel Insurance agreement is contract between the traveler and the Insurance Company (American Express).
• Tips to the tour guide and driver

Hotels
  • May 13, 2023 - May 15, 2023 Hotel Arcadia Blue, Istanbul, Turkey
  • May 15, 2023 - May 17, 2023 Assos Dove Hotel, Çanakkale, Turkey
  • May 17, 2023 - May 19, 2023 Mövenpick Hotel, Izmir, Turkey
  • May 19, 2023 - May 21, 2023 Doga Thermal Otel, Denizli, Turkey
  • May 21, 2023 - May 24, 2023 Korumar Hotel de Luxe, Aydın, Turkey
  • May 24, 2023 - May 25, 2023 Mövenpick Hotel, Izmir, Turkey

Hosts
Dr. Clinton Eugene Arnold
Research Professor of New Testament

Clinton E. Arnold enjoys teaching, speaking and writing on various aspects of the New Testament. He has had a special interest in the historical and cultural setting of the letters of Paul. He is currently serving as the Vice President of the Evangelical Theological Society. Arnold is the editor of the four-volume Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary for which he wrote commentaries on “Acts," "Ephesians” and “Colossians”. He is the general editor of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament for which he has written the volume on “Ephesians”. His other books include: How We Got the Bible (Zondervan); Ephesians: Power and Magic (Cambridge/Baker/Wipf & Stock); Powers of Darkness: Principalities and Powers in Paul's Letters (InterVarsity Press); The Colossian Syncretism (Mohr Siebeck/Baker); and 3 Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare (Baker). Arnold has published in Christianity Today and was a regular columnist for Discipleship Journal. His research articles have appeared in such journals as New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Journal for the Study of the New Testament and the Journal of Psychology and Theology. Arnold, his wife and three boys are vitally involved in their local church.

Barbara Elizabeth Arnold
Guide
Cenk Eronat

He was born in Ankara in 1966. After primary school he moved to Izmir with his family where he finished High School and University. He graduated from the Tourism and Management Department. After much experience with well-known tourism companies and five star hotels, he received his tour guide license from the government and began guiding tour groups in 1989.

Since 1999, he has been working with TUTKU Educational Travel as vice president and tour guide.

He prepares customized tour programs and he personally guides some TUTKU groups. He also enjoys taking the pictures for TUTKU brochures & websites.

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