The fascinating journey of astronomy enthusiasts of all ages from Diyarbakır to the stars for 3 days has come to an end. The International Sky Observation Event, organized by TÜBİTAK National Observatory (TUG) at Zerzevan Castle this year, has been completed. The event, attended by approximately 500 people, was followed with interest, especially by children and young people. Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank stated that the children made observations with their families throughout the event and said, “We want to direct our children and youth to science, technology and space.” said.
Noting that Zerzevan Castle has a 3-year-old history, Minister Varank said, "We can say that it is the most important discovery after Göbeklitepe in terms of archaeological discoveries in Turkey." he said.
Explaining that the event was very productive, Varank said, “Our 500 citizens, children and their families are having a different experience. Here we stay in tents. We listen to the interviews and eat our meals together. Hopefully, we will continue to increase this event with more participants.” said.
The Sky Observation Event, organized by TUG in Antalya for 22 years, was held in Diyarbakır this year. The 3 International Diyarbakır Zerzevan Sky Observation Event, which lasted for 2021 days, was held at the 3-year-old Zerzevan Castle, which is on the World Heritage Tentative List by UNESCO.
The event, supported by the Ministry of Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, TÜBİTAK, TUA, Diyarbakır Governorship, Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality and Karacadağ Development Agency, brought together about 500 astronomy enthusiasts from Turkey and the world, as well as professional and amateur astronomers.
Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu, who was in Japan due to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, was also connected online to the event, which was opened by the Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank. Children attended the event with their families and had the opportunity to examine the sky with giant telescopes in the company of professional astronomers. Astronomy enthusiasts tried to discover the mysteries of the sky together with experts in the 10-year-old Zerzevan Castle, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List and considered one of the 3 best places to observe the sky in Turkey.
In addition, the participants learned about the astronomical studies carried out thousands of years ago in the world's best-preserved Mithras Temple. During the event, which aimed to increase the interest of young people in space with the vision of the National Space Program, seminars, competitions, many workshops and events related to astronomy were held.
The event, which was held in the 3-year-old Zerzevan Castle, attracted great interest from abroad. In addition to astronomy enthusiasts from different countries, ambassadors of Bulgaria, Ukraine, Slovenia and Luxembourg attended the event with their spouses.
Astronomy enthusiasts who stayed overnight in the tent at the event, where participation is free, will see the Moon in its last crescent phase, Jupiter, the largest planet of the solar system, halkalı He tried to explore the mysterious depths of space by observing Saturn, also known as the planet, and many other celestial bodies.
During the day, seminars, competitions and workshops such as Experiment Turkey, water rocket, Galileoscope construction, unmanned aerial vehicle piloting training, satellite construction, space-time continuity, Mars vehicle construction were held.
Head of Zerzevan Castle Excavation Committee Assoc. Dr. Stating that the castle is one of the best preserved Roman garrisons in the world with its military settlement, underground and aboveground structures, Aytaç Coşkun said, “Besides, it bears many traces of different cultures and faiths. The location of the Temple of Mithras, which we discovered during the excavations, was not chosen randomly. The Mithrasians are closely related to astronomy and space science.” said.
Assoc. Coşkun said, “This is seven degrees; Symbolized by the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. With the contribution of these historical features, Zerzevan Castle and Mithras Temple were included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2020.”
Before the launch of the National Space Programme, a metal monolith with the phrase “Look at the sky, see the moon” in Göktürk, erected at a point close to Göbeklitepe, was also erected near the castle for the promotion of the observation event. The participants of the monolith event, which is a symbolic reflection of Turkey's claim in space, also showed interest.