The Midas Han was set-up by Nihal Temuçin-Czichon and Ben Claasz Coockson, who met in 2007 at the archaeological excavation at Oymaağaç Höyük / Nerik (director: Prof. Dr. Rainer Czichon). The Midashan Project tries to meet the needs of local and foreign tourists visiting Phrygia.
Nihal Temuçin-Czichon, graduated from the Archaeology Department of the Istanbul University in 1985. After working at several excavations in Southeastern Anatolia and the Black Sea Region she has moved to the tourism sector.
For 13 years she has worked as a tour-operator based in Istanbul and London. After her marriage in 2000 with a German archaeologist she continued to work in the field of archaeology.
In 2012 she moved to Eskişehir. Nihal bought a piece of land in Çukurca, with the recommendation of her old study friends Prof. Dr. Taciser Tüfekci-Sivas and Prof. Dr. Hakan Sivas; who are archaeologists at the Anadolu University in Eskişehir and who conduct for many years research and field-surveys in the region.
Ben CLAASZ COOCKSON
After his work in the Dutch Army Ben Claasz Coockson started a second career as an archaeologist. Between 1990-1995 he worked at the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, from 1997-2011 at the Department of Archaeology at Bilkent University (Ankara).
He gave courses on Archaeological Surveying, Photography, Museology, Drawing and Traditional Village Architecture and took part in many excavations in Turkey and Syria. He summarized his long experiences in two books: ‘Archaeological Illustration and Photography’ (2006 ) and ‘Living in Mud’ (2010). In 2011 he became a Turkish citizen. Ben Claasz Coockson has a long hiking history. Some of these hikes are well known: the ‘West Highland Way ‘about 150 km in Scotland (1984), the Pennine Way 412 km in England and Scotland (1985), the Cleveland Way 177 km in North England (1988). Between 1985 and 1990 he organizes ‘Soft Survival Weekends’ to the Belgium Ardens; a three day hiking experience of about 40 km with very limited comfort. Living in Turkey he continued his hikes all over the country. In 2004 he walked in 28 days with a group of Bilkent students 547 km from the Black Sea to the Medıterranean Coast. In 2005 and 2006 he did hikes of two weeks in Cappadocia and Phrygia. In 2007 he walked 75 km between the two ancient capitals of Hattuşa and Kerkenes. In 2008 a hike near Bergama and in 2009 a large part of the Lycia Way. He gained winter-camping experience during many study trips for the Bilkent Survey Class at Işıkdağ and ‘Three Kings Hike’ (2009). In 2021 he published the guidebook called ‘Midas City’ that is available in the giftshop of Midas Han.
Especially in the last years he concentrated on hiking in the Phrygian Highlands.