The Turkey ONE Association (T-ONE), developing national and international projects to introduce unparalleled historical heritage of Anatolia, is aiming to provide a brand new cultural route to Turkey with its latest project The Mosaic Road, carried out under the main sponsorship of $ölen Chocolates.

In the cities of Hatay, Kahramanmara% Caziantep and Sanllurfa, which embody the traces of countless civilizations, cultures and belief systems dating back to 4000 B.C., many invaluable mosaics have been unearthed during the excavations in the last century. These mosaics show the richness and glamour of these cities in the past and were often found in the lavishly decorated homes of the wealthy traders and military officials of the Roman Empire. Unfortunately, these unique and advanced mosaics have received very little public attention.

ONE Association aims to change this through the “Mosaic Road” project led by the Chairperson of the Advisory Board, the eminent historian, Prof. Dr. ilber Ortayll, in coordination with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and metropolitan municipalities of Hatay, Kahramanmara% Caziantep and Sanhurfa. The goals of this project are; to create awareness for these unique mosaics throughout the world, to educate and motivate the local communities to protect and promote this valuable heritage, and to create a brand new cultural tourism destination for Turkey.

Antakya and Upper Mesopotamia were home to the wealthy traders and military officials and the unique mosaics that were skilfully created to decorate their lavish villas. In fact, the famous Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus, a Hatay native who lived there from 322 to 400, describes the Hatay of the Roman Empire era as “a city that no other city around the world could surpass neither in the fertility of its soil nor in its commercial wealth”. The Hatay Archeology Museum has mosaics dating back to 2 A.D. – 6 A.D. that incorporate different themes such as mythology, beliefs and daily life as well as geometrical shapes and various kinds of plants on display. These mosaics are invaluable due to their notable size as well as the advanced techniques used in their production.

The Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Caziantep remains the biggest mosaic museum in the world with a size of 30.000 square meters. Unearthed during the 1998 excavations, the world-famous “Gypsy Girl” mosaic, thought to be the Greek goddess Gaia, is one of the most Compared to Tunisian mosaics that feature a color palette of 9 colors, the Zeugma mosaics display a much richer 13.

Kahramanmaraş, a prominent trade center located on intersection of the important routes of the time, was home to the Roman-era ancient city of Germanicia, named after the Roman Emperor Caligula. The shadowing techniques and the high quality tesserae used in the mosaics there show that the highly developed Roman mosaic art influenced the Germanicia mosaics dating back to 5th century A.D. These mosaics are unique in terms of the colors and sizes of their tesserae and the stories they tell of the daily life and neighborhood relations within the context of real life, fauna and flora, rather than mythological legends.

The most important relics from Greek culture in the ancient city of Edessa in Sanhurfa are colorful Haleplibahge mosaics that feature outstanding craftsmanship. Not only are these the earliest examples of Amazon warrior queens depicted in mosaic, they are also one of the world’s most precious mosaics thanks to their technique, art and the use of 4 mm square tesserae derived from Euphrates. In preparation for the project, regular meetings were held with representatives from the Municipalities, who have offered great support. A special 4 day, 3 night ‘Mosaic Road’ tour has been prepared and will take place with the participation of academicians and students, opinion leaders, press and NGO representatives.

On February 4, 2016, ONE Association hosted an event at the Elgiz Museum to launch its latest project The Mosaic Road , with the main sponsorship of Sölen Chocolates. Featuring a mapping show sponsored by Vodafone Turkey, mosaic reproductions made with the valuable contributions of the local municipalities, and mosaic-themed dresses by renowned designer Özlem Süer, this exclusive event was participated by officials from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Governorship of Istanbul, Metropolitan Municipalities of Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmara* and Sanllurfa, as well as members of ONE Association, prominent names from the business and art world, and press members.

Turkey ONE Association’s Mosaic Road project was presented at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in Venice, Italy. This was the second time the project was introduced abroad. And it was a night to be truly remembered with the special Mosaic Road music arrangement performed by Harp and a fashion show of beautiful dresses inspired by mosaics created by Turkish fashion designer Özlem Süer. The esteemed guests were served Mil-ango chocolates from the main sponsor Sölen, that was created by world renown designer Karim Rashid.

Founded in 2014 under the leadership of Demet Sabancl Cetindogan as the Chairperson of the Executive Board, with qgclem Simavi as the Honorary Chairperson, and Ahmet KocablYlk, Dr. Serpil Ayasll, Sevda Elgiz, Tilda Tezman, Alinur Velidedeoglu, Prof. Dr. ilber Ortayll, Prof. Dr. Arslan and Sedef Korkmaz as founding members, the ONE Association aims to preserve the cultural heritage and the historical and natural wonders of Turkey to increase the country’s international recognition as a brand.

The ONE Association focuses on raising awareness related to invaluable cultural elements on international platforms through communication, the media, art related activities and organizations in order to foster and maintain intercultural communication and interaction, in collaboration with associations or individuals.

Excavations conducted in the last century in the cities of Hatay, Kahramanmara* Caziantep and Sanllurfa revealed numerous mosaic artifacts embodying the traces of countless civilizations, cultures and belief systems dating back to 4000 B.C. These precious artifacts shed light on history and offer great insights into that era, as well as our country and the entire world. With the project, the ONE Association aims to ensure this area gains recognition around the world as the “Mosaic Road” to help the local people understand better the value of mosaics in these sites in terms of cultural heritage in order to guarantee their support for the protection and promotion of the region, to cooperate with leading tourism companies operating in the region, and across Turkey in order to identify and increase the tourism attraction potential of the Mosaic Road, as well as to internationally promote the unique history of our lands through Turkey’s newest tourist site.