The Silk Road is approximately 40,000 km long, starting from Hian (Chang’an-Xi’an) in today’s China, which is actually the starting point of the road, East Turkestan, and extending to Rome. long network of caravan routes. While the main line of these caravan routes travels from east to west, on the other hand, it heads north and south from certain centers. This chain of roads, which has the longest highway feature in history, spread like a spider web in all directions, especially from the centers, BC. It maintained its importance from the 3,000s to the 1800s. This trade-centered road network played the biggest role in east-west, north-south interaction.
These ways; It has connected geographies of different civilizations, different cultures, different political organizations, nations with different languages and religions, as well as people from three different races. While bringing these differences together and playing a bridge role in their meeting and merging, it has sometimes been the most important reason for disagreements, struggles and wars between states.
In the second half of the 19th century, German geographer and geologist Ferdinand von Richthofen became the first scientist to describe China and explore the west of China. He used the term “Silk Road” in his work in which he described his investigations and travels in detail. From that day forward, the concept of the Silk Road began to be used by everyone who spoke of the millennial relations between the Great Empire of Asia and Europe. However, this road is in Turkestan and China; It was called “Great (Great) Caravan Road”, “Great Road”, “Horse Road”, “Tea Road” or “Yada (Jadestone) Road”.
It is not known when these roads, which have a history of approximately two thousand five centuries, began to be used for the first time. However, it seems certain that this trade started with Central Asia’s barter trade with China. It is the place where the peoples of Central Asia bought silk, tea, porcelain and satin from the Chinese in exchange for Yada Stone (Jade), horses, precious stones, and furs.
There is a fact that; Yada Road was opened before the Silk Road and became the pioneer of the Silk Road. Already Japanese and Uyghur historians; They confirm that the Great Road was known to the Chinese from time immemorial, as Yada Stone (Jade) was brought to China, and also that the ore trade was older than the silk trade.
The Yada Road traversed the Taklamakan Desert, traversing its south. Later on, he used this route on the Silk Road. In later times, roads passing through the north of the Taklamakan Desert were used because this road was very dangerous and unsafe. The most important feature that separates these two ways is; While the Silk Road established a link between Europe and Asia, the Yada Road only brought Central Asia and China closer. For this reason, even though these two roads are on the same route, it is necessary to name, think and evaluate separately.
All roads end, but the Great Silk Road does not, because human life is not enough to finish this road.
Considered the most valuable fabric in the world, silk has left its mark on history, geography and roads, and has become immortal by having its name written in the history of humanity and world geography. This legendary road, stretching from China, Central Asia, and Anatolia, stretched from the Anatolian bridge to Rome.
Starting from China, Xi’an (Chang’an), it reaches Central Asia, crossing the northern and southern roads, descending to Iran, passing through the south and north of the Caspian Sea and reaching Anatolia. The Great Silk Road, which has a historical feature longer than a quarter of the circumference of the world, reaching from the Balkans to Athens and Tirana, joining the Adriatic coasts, passing through Iran and reaching Babylon and Baghdad in the south, as well as Sur and Damascus.
Silk Road; There has also been a way of science that brought famous scholars from east to west and from west to east. For thousands of years, it has been a jugular vein in all kinds of political, military, commercial and cultural relations between Asia and Europe. Alexander the Great of Macedonia trying to reach India from west to east, Persian Emperor Darius who wanted to reach Europe, Mongolian Emperor Genghis Khan who wanted to rule the world and his heir Amir Timur have always used these silk roads.
Heavenly religions such as Buddhism and Brahmanism of Indian origin, Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam that flourished in the Middle East and various sects originating from them also spread to the masses through this road network. Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern philosophies are blended through this road network. Caravans carrying various agricultural and industrial products of the mainland had always passed through these roads. Over the centuries, millions of merchants, travelers, scholars, artists, and adventure seekers have also passed through these roads.
Trade beliefs, beliefs have been under the influence of trade. This historical fact remains so today. All silk road cities, especially Xi’an, Hami, Tibet, Dunhuang, Turfan, Kara Hocho, Samarkand, Hotan, Bukhara, Belh, Merv, Khorasan, Kashgar, Khwarezm, Tabriz, Jerusalem, Baghdad, Konya, Antakya, were like in the past. It still retains its characteristics today.