9 Days (8 Nights)
Land Only$1,390
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Seven Churches of Revelation and John of Patmos

MAY 25-JUNE 2, 2022 Istanbul Extension

Join us for this tour of the Biblical sites in Western Turkey. We will travel to all of the Seven Churches of Revelation and Patmos, the island where John received revelation.

Additionally, we will visit other important sites along the way, such as Colossae, and Hierapolis. At these sites we will discuss the birth, growth, trials and development of the earliest Christian congregations as they struggled to understand their new faith in Christ.

At the end, we will include an extension tour of Istanbul, where you can enjoy its rich culture, historical sites and impressive archaeological museum.

We invite you to accompany us on this odyssey.

Dr. Tim Foster
Dr. Mark Wayne WilsonAsia Minor Research Center
Itinerary Details Lecturers & Guide Policies Contact Useful Information

May 25 Wed DEPART USA or CANADA

May 26 Thu ARRIVE IZMIR (AIRPORT CODE ADB) - IZMIR
After landing at the Izmir International Airport, our representative will meet you after the baggage claim with a “TUTKU” sign. Meet and transfer to your hotel. Dinner and Overnight at your Hotel in Izmir. (D)

May 27 Fri SMYRNA TOUR & LECTURES - IZMIR
This morning we’ll take a visit inside St Polycarp Church (if open), which was dedicated to the bishop and martyr of the church of Smyrna, and ponder John’s word of commendation for the Christians in Smyrna who were persevering in their faith despite persecution. We’ll also visit the ancient Agora of Smyrna (Rev 1:11; 2:8-11). In the late afternoon, we will have LECTURES at the hotel before dinner. (B,D)

May 28 Sat PERGAMUM (Rev 1:11; 2:12-17) and THYATIRA (Rev 1:11; 2:18-29) - IZMIR
This morning, we’ll travel north to visit the first of the seven cities of Revelation—Pergamum. It is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in all of Turkey. Its attractions are hard to surpass: a 10,000-seat theatre on the side of the Acropolis that is the steepest in the ancient world; the magnificently restored Temple of Trajan; the remains of a library of 200,000 volumes second in size only to that in Alexandria; the base of the Altar of Zeus; the Temple of Dionysus; and the medical center of Asclepion. This ancient healing center had its own theater, library, underground tunnel and other buildings. John warned the church here that they were living in a place of “Satan’s throne” (Rev. 2:12-17). On our way back to Izmir, we’ll make a brief stop at the ancient city of Thyatira, where, due to the presence of the modern city of Akhisar, few archaeological remains have thus far been uncovered. John warned the church here about its toleration of a woman symbolically called Jezebel who was leading believers astray, causing them “to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols” (Rev. 2:18-29). Return to Izmir. Dinner and Overnight Izmir. (B,D)

May 29 Sun SARDIS (Rev 1:11; 3:1-6), and PHILADELPHIA (Rev 1:11; 3:7-13) - and HIERAPOLIS (Col. 4:13-15; 4:16)
This morning before leaving Izmir, we’ll take a peak inside St Polycarp Church (if open), which was dedicated to the bishop and martyr of the church of Smyrna, and ponder John’s word of commendation for the Christians in Smyrna who were persevering in their faith despite persecution. We’ll also visit the ancient Agora of Smyrna. Then we’ll depart for Sardis, one of the other cities of Revelation. Here, we’ll see the remains of the magnificent temple of Artemis (later converted into a church), the beautifully reconstructed gymnasium and public baths, and the largest known synagogue outside Palestine. We’ll make a brief stop in Philadelphia, where much of this ancient city has either been destroyed or lies buried under the modern city. John wrote to the church here (Rev. 3:7-13), commending them for their patience endurance in spite of persecution. We’ll finish our day with a walk along Pamukkale’s dazzling Calcium Cliffs. In addition, we’ll visit the remains of ancient Hierapolis to see the newly found Tomb and Martyrium of St. Philip and the city’s theater with one of most impressive reconstructed Roman skenes. Dinner and Overnight in Pamukkale (B, D)

May 30 Mon COLOSSEA (Col 1:2), LAODICEA (Col. 2:1, 4:13-16; Rev 1:11; 3:14-22) - KUSADASI
Today, we’ll enjoy the scenic Lycus River Valley where three important biblical cities are to be found: Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis. Our first stop in Colossae will be brief since this city is one of the only biblical sites in Turkey that remains unexcavated. Nevertheless, this is an important site for Christians to visit since Paul sent here two letters: one to the church of Colossae and one to the rich Christian slave-owner Philemon, who hosted the Colossian church in his home. Our second stop is Laodicea, a major city in Roman times that is rapidly being uncovered. Laodicea had not one but two theatres, a stadium, an aqueduct, and over 20 churches dating to Byzantine times that archaeologists have already uncovered. Laodicea is the last of the seven churches to whom John directed the book of Revelation (Rev. 3:14-22). It also had a close relationship with the nearby churches of Colossae and Hierapolis (Col. 4:13-15) and was the recipient of one of Paul’s now lost letters (Col. 4:16). Drive to the holiday town of Kusadasi located on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Dinner and Overnight in Kusadasi. (B, D)

May 31 Tue EPHESUS (Acts 18:19-21, 24-26; 19:1-20:1; 20:16-17; 1 Cor 15:32; 16:8; Eph 1:1; 1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 1:18; 4:12; Rev 1:11; 2:1-7)
Drive to Selcuk town to visit the famous ancient city of Ephesus. This site had successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements and was an outstanding example of a Roman port city with a sea channel and harbor basin into which the Apostle Paul sailed. He lived and ministered here for 2-3 years after a riot in the Great Theater, which we can still visit today. Excavations have revealed other grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including marble-paved roads, terrace homes of the elite, Roman Baths, the Celsus Library, and more. Today, Ephesus is also one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. After lunch in the town of Selcuk, we will visit a local Anatolian Handmade Carpet and Kilim production center and learning how our world-famous Turkish rugs are made. We will see unique Christian design carpets at this place. Afternoon we’ll tour the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus displaying ancient coins, statues, and mosaics from early and late Roman periods. Next, we’ll the visit the Tomb and Basilica of St. John, the last-surviving disciple of Jesus who is said to have lived in Ephesus during his final years along with Jesus’ mother Mary. Finally, we’ll see the remaining pillars of one of the seven ancient wonders of the world—The Great Temple of Artemis of the Ephesians. Overnight in Kusadasi. (B,D)

June 1 Wed PATMOS (Greek Island where John received revelation)
Roundtrip ferry to Patmos - Early in the morning sail to Patmos with a ferry. Arrive to the port city Skala. Meet your local Greek guide. Then start to visit the island starting from Church of the Apocalypse the drive to Monastery of St John. Free time for lunch before sailing back to Kuşadası. Farewell dinner and overnight at the hotel in Kusadasi. (B,D)

June 2 Thu Transfer to Izmir Airport. End. Or, take Istanbul extension


ISTANBUL EXTENSION

June 2 Thu FLY ISTANBUL
(The other “City of Seven Hills” and “The only City on Two Continents”) After breakfast at our hotel, morning flight to Istanbul, the only city on two continents! We will make our way to Istanbul’s Archaeological Museum— one of the most celebrated collections in the world. Among its treasures are the Siloam inscription from Hezekiah’s tunnel in Jerusalem (cf., 2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chron. 32:30; John 9:7), Herod’s Temple Warning Inscription forbidding Gentiles to enter upon pain of death (cf., Acts 21:27-31; 24:6,12,13), the Gezer calendar (one of the oldest Hebrew inscriptions dating to the 10th cent. BCE details the agricultural seasons in Israel), and stunning tile panels from Nebuchadnezzar’s Ishtar gate in Babylon (ca. 7th-6th cent. . Continue our day with a stroll through the colorful and fragrant Egyptian Spice Market, a feast for the senses, to enjoy its sights, smells, and tastes and to make a few final souvenir purchases. We’ll end our day with a relaxing Boat Tour along the Bosphorus that offers an excellent vantage point to view Istanbul’s many famous landmarks that dot both its European and Asian shores. Dinner and Overnight at your Hotel in Istanbul—2 nights (B,D)

June 3 Fri ISTANBUL
(Ancient Byzantium/Constantinople) After breakfast at the hotel, we will have a guided Istanbul Old City Tour. First, we visit the pinnacle of Byzantine Christian architecture--Hagia Sophia (the church of “Holy Wisdom”). Built by Constantine the Great and reconstructed by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century as the crowning achievement of his sacred building program, this church was the center of the Christian Byzantine Empire. It’s one of the world’s greatest architectural marvels and a designated World Heritage site. We will also visit Hagia Sophia’s sister church--Hagia Irene (Holy Peace). Also rebuilt by Justinian, Hagia Irene is particularly important in Christian History as the location of the 2nd Ecumenical Council (381 AD). Located nearby is the Hippodrome (a.k.a. Sultanahmet Square) that once stood in the heart of the Byzantine city of Constantinople and originally held up to 100,000 people. Although little is left of this gigantic horseracing arena, there are a number of impressive columns and other structures situated at the site, such as the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpent Column, and the gazebo-styled German Fountain. After lunch, BCE). If it’s not under construction and time allowing, we will also visit the Blue Mosque, which was built during the years of 1609–1616 and which was intended to compete with the impressive beauty of the Hagia Sophia. Inside, the famous blue–and–white tile work from which the mosque gets its nickname, is bathed in light from 260 windows. Late afternoon we will visit one of the famous Underground cisterns of Byzantine era from 6th century. Then proceed to Grand Bazaar to finish our day before returning back to our hotel for dinner. (B,D)

June 4 Sat DEPARTURE – FLY BACK HOME
Transfer to Istanbul Airport. From the airport, you will fly back home


Including

• Izmir – Istanbul Domestic Flight June 2– for Extension only (we want everyone to fly together so we included this flight)
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• 3 nights at Moevenpick Izmir Hotel or similar
• 1 night at Doga Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale or similar
• 3 nights at Korumar Hotel in Kusadasi or similar
• 2 nights at Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul or similar– for Extension only
• Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels
• 6 dinners at the hotels
• 1 dinner at Local Restaurant in Izmir
• Roundtrip Ferry from Kusadasi to Patmos
• Guided Patmos Tour
• Entrance fees to all sightseeing
• Government Licensed, Bible-oriented Tour guide throughout the tour
• Arrival and departure transfers
• Map of Biblical Turkey, Tutku Bag, Tutku t-shirt, electric plug, Luggage Tag
• Tips to hotel staff
• Service charges and local taxes

Excluding

• International flights to arrive/depart Izmir (depart Istanbul if you take the extension) (Please ask for our special Air Fares)
• Lunches and drinks
• Tips to tour guide, driver ($5 per person per day fort he guide, $2 per person per day for the driver)
• Turkish Visa Fee-to be obtained online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr
• Personal Expenses, Travel and Health Insurance, any other item which is not included above


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

• Izmir – Istanbul Domestic Flight June 2– for Extension only (we want everyone to fly together so we included this flight)
• Sightseeing as per the itinerary
• 3 nights at Moevenpick Izmir Hotel or similar
• 1 night at Doga Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale or similar
• 3 nights at Korumar Hotel in Kusadasi or similar
• 2 nights at Moevenpick Golden Horn Hotel in Istanbul or similar– for Extension only
• Daily open buffet breakfasts at the hotels
• 6 dinners at the hotels
• 1 dinner at Local Restaurant in Izmir
• Roundtrip Ferry from Kusadasi to Patmos
• Guided Patmos Tour
• Entrance fees to all sightseeing
• Government Licensed, Bible-oriented Tour guide throughout the tour
• Arrival and departure transfers
• Map of Biblical Turkey, Tutku Bag, Tutku t-shirt, electric plug, Luggage Tag
• Tips to hotel staff
• Service charges and local taxes

Excluding

• International flights to arrive/depart Izmir (depart Istanbul if you take the extension) (Please ask for our special Air Fares)
• Lunches and drinks
• Tips to tour guide, driver ($5 per person per day fort he guide, $2 per person per day for the driver)
• Turkish Visa Fee-to be obtained online before arrival www.evisa.gov.tr
• Personal Expenses, Travel and Health Insurance, any other item which is not included above


Lecturers
Dr. Tim Foster

Tim is married to Alison, and they have three children (Caitlyn, Harry and Lucy). He became a Christian in 1985 while at Sydney University. After completing an Arts degree he served as a Youth Minister in multicultural Earlwood. He studied at Moore Theological College (1990-93), before being ordained and working in monocultural Gymea in Sydney’s south. While at Gymea Tim began his Doctor of Ministry through Fuller Seminary, focussing on mission and church in the post-Christendom context. He also developed the People of God evangelism resource. Tim then headed up the Training Division at Anglican Youthworks where he founded Youthworks College. In 2002 he returned to parish ministry as Vicar of All Souls’ Leichhardt. He has also completed a Master of Management in non-profit management.

Dr. Mark Wayne Wilson
Asia Minor Research Center

Dr. Mark Wilson is the founder and director of the Asia Minor Research Center in Antalya, Turkey, a country in which he and his wife Dindy have lived since 2004. He received a D.Litt. et Phil. from the University of South Africa (Pretoria) where he serves as a Research Fellow in Biblical Archaeology. He is a Visiting Professor of Early Christianity at Regent University and also Professor Extraordinary Discipline Group Old & New Testament at Stellenbosch University. Mark regularly leads study trips for the Biblical Archaeology Society to Turkey, Cyprus, and Greece. He also blogs periodically for Bible History Daily. He is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and reviews including Biblical Turkey: A Guide to the Jewish and Christian Sites of Asia Minor. His particular research interest is the ancient Jewish communities, Roman roads, and Biblical routes in Turkey. Mark has been married to Dindy for thirty-nine years; they have four adult children, four grandsons and four granddaughters.

Guide
Zafer Bozoglu
Tourist Guide – Expert on Culture and Christian Tourism
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