The excavations in the ancient city of Side on the Turkish Riviera have been supported by Barut Hotels for many years, and since 2021 they have even been the main sponsor. The Side Museum celebrated the 75th anniversary of the archaeological work on May 13.
"Side is inextricably linked with our family," says company founder Ali Barut, "I was born here." Seven of the Turkish hotel group's now 13 resorts are still located in the Side region, and for the Barut family, it has long been a matter of the heart also to be committed to the region's rich cultural heritage.
From village to tourist center
A lot has happened in Side since archaeological work began in 1947, said Feristah Alanyali, director of the excavation site in ancient Side, at the event at the Side Museum. "In the past, Side was a small village where only families from Crete lived". Today, he said, tourists come from all over the world. And so Side is also the "pride of our country with its tourist facilities," Alanyali said.
Thanks to Barut Hotels
"Thanks to the contributions of Barut Hotels, restoration work in ancient Side has received a big boost," Alanyali explains. For example, he says, significant progress has been made in investigating the hammam gymnasium complex. The excavations also received support from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Turkish Historical Society, the Antalya Governorate and Anadolu University.
Temple with sea view
The highlight for ancient trackers in Side is the Temple of Apollo high above the sea. But there are two more temples nearby as well as a basilica from Byzantine times. A Roman amphitheater, including the ruins of the Temple of Dionysus, is also part of ancient Side, as is the round temple of Tyche, the Greek goddess of fate, reconstructed ten years ago. "The support of Barut Hotels has been very important for Side," Alanyali sums up.
Photo exhibition on the history of archaeology
To mark the 75th anniversary of Side's excavations, a photo exhibition on the subject was also opened at the Side Museum as part of the ceremony. 150 people, including executives of Barut Hotels and Haydar Barut, Ahmet Barut, Levent Barut and Cengiz Barut, attended the ceremony. The program ended in an ancient setting with a harp and cello concert performed by Antalya Symphony Orchestra Artists.