Exchange slips: The exchange slips for the conversion of foreign currency into Turkish lira should be kept, since you may be required to show these when reconverting your Turkish lira back into foreign currency, and when taking souvenirs out of the country (to prove that they have been purchased with legally exchanged foreign currency).
Artvin had been called as Coroksi, Corok, Kollehis, Klarceti and as Livane during the Ottoman period. The source and date of this name is not known exactly. But it is understood that the first names are related with Coruh River. The history of Artvin is thought to go back till 3000 B.C., that is, the Bronze Age, taking as a basis the copper axes accidentally found around Demirkoy in Yusufeli and Meseli in Savsat Districts. According to Ksenophon who had passed from the region in 4th century B.C., tribes like Kolkhs, Makarons and Taoks had lived in Aıtvin and its periphery. Geographist Strabon, who lived in 1 st century B.C. says that Artvin and its periphery had been dominated by local kingdoms during domination of Rome over Anatolia. After that, it was dominated by Arsakli and Sasan Kingdoms and by Bagratli Kingdom under the auspices of the Byzantium in the Middle Age. After 1015 with the beginning of Seljukian attacks had been tried to be tiffened with Saltuklular in the l2th century. After the Mongolian invasion it was dominated by İlhanlilar, Cildir Atabekleri, Temur and Karakoyunlu, Akkoyunlu and Safevi States. The Ottoman sovereignty which began in the time of Yavuz Sultan Selim was completed with the conquest of Ardanuc Castle, capital of Atabekler, in 1 551 by İskender Pasha, Governor of Erzurum, in the time of Suleyman the Magnificent. During the Ottomân time, Hopa and Borcka were subject to Trabzon, and Artvin, Ardanuc, Savsat and Yusufeli were subject to Cildir State whose capital was Ahiska. Cildir was lost after the defeat of the Ottomans against Russia in 1828 and the units subject to Cildir were included in Erzurum State. After the War in 1877 - 1878 the Ayastafanos Agreement was signed on 3rd March 1878 and Artvin, Ardanuc, Borcka, Savsat and Kemalpasa village of Hopa were left to the Russia as war compensation. As per the Brest - Litovsk Treaty signed on 3rd March 1918, Russians withdrew from Artvin. After that, Artvin was invaded by England and Georgia but taken back on 23rd February 1921 as a result of the endeavors of Grand National Assembly. This situation became definite as a result of the Moscow Treaty signed to 16th March 1921 Artvin was established as a county and became a province on 24th April 1924. A winding drive midway up a mountain side takes you to Artvin, the capital of its province. At the foot of the escarpment, a ruined 16th century castle crowns a rock outcrop. Artvin is a charming city beautiful old Turkish houses, typical of the region. The areas mild climate makes summer visits delightfully refreshing and every June, crowds of tourists, as well as brightly-clad locals, throng to the Kafkasor Festival, where the spectacle of bulls fighting each other highlights the celebration. The adventurous might like to attempt white-water rafting on the wild, romantic Coruh River. During the Middle Ages, this area came under Georgian sovereignty. The Artvin area is the best place for touring remains of the Georgian pasts; its wonderfully scenic roads lead to the ruined churches and settlements that stands as a legacy of this period. The best preserved of these are at Barhal and Ishan, in the awesame Kackar Mountains. Barhal offers some of the best country horseback riding. Several other churches, in Bagbasi and Camliyamac, are just of the road to Erzurum, which passes by the Tortum Waterfalls and the pristine Tortum Lake. Near Yusufeli are other Georgian churches and settlements: Dortkilise, Koprugoren, and Tekkale. East of Artvin, Ardanuc, formerly the Georgian capital has a famous castle, which overlooks the longest canyon in the region.
Herewith I would like to emphasize again the excellent experience we had last week with our guide Yildirim on the climbing of the Ararat. He was taking care of us with a lot of attention and we could really trust on him. Also after the climbing he was escorting us very kindly and all appointments were taken accurately. It was really a great pleasure for us.
We should also congratulate Celam who prepared nice meals, always with enthousiasm, and we will remind him as our good cook forever.
As soon as we have the opportunity, we will send you some pictures about this expedition.
Be assured we are happy about the way it was organised.
Pierre Kockerols / Brussel