Turkey: the cradle of cultures and civilizations connecting Europe and Asia and capital of civilizations that have reined the lands of Anatolia for centuries.
Turkey has a varied geography rich in mountains, plains, caves, seas and many other natural formations and beauties. All types of outdoor sports can be done amidst a breathtaking nature providing both for adrenaline and entertainment. Few things are more relaxing than the warm Aegean and Mediterranean beaches, where you will be accommodated by excellent hotels. Allow yourself the luxury to experience the Blue Voyage, a week-long trip on the locally built schooners to ancient cities, harbors, tombs, mausoleums and intimate beaches in the numerous small coves, lush forests and streams that lace the Turquoise Coast. Turkey is much the same as an open air museum thanks to its magnificent heritage comprised of historical and cultural monuments and sites built everywhere in Anatolia since the ancient times. Amaze while exploring the Giant sculptures of Nemrut, the Ottoman Village of Cumalikizik, the cave houses of Cappadocia and many more! While visiting the capital, Istanbul, don’t miss the chance to see the linker of the two continents, the Bosphorus Bridge, the magnificent Blue Mosque, enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine and their delicious tea! There is no need to think twice. Turkey!
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the second largest city(also by population) in the country after Istanbul. It is a modern European metropolis speckled with a lot of reminders of its own history. There are a number of castles from Hittite, Phrygian, Roman, Byzantine, Hellenistic to Ottoman civilizations wich makes a large impact on its landscape. The modern city has government and state houses, universities, military bases, bustling nightlife, military bases and also the oldest park of the city, Genclik Park. Ankara is home of a large population of foreign diplomats and embassy staff so of course it offers services better than the other cities in Turkey.
Istanbul is at the same time the largest and the most populous city of Turkey. It’s located on both sides of the Bosphorus. Istanbul serves as a bridge to connect Europe with Asia, but not just a physically, also culturally. There is a wide variety which makes the visit to this city worth a while, starting from mosques, bazaars and Turkish baths of Istanbul. This could keep you happily occupied for the whole trip. An amazing architecture found everywhere around the city. You can visit the Blue Mosque(Sultan Ahmet Camii), which is also visible from many points of the city. Pass by the Galata Bridge and make a stop at the Miniaturk Park where you can see these tiny artifacts. Not to mention the Grand Bazaar that has thousands of shops to choose from. But beware not to get lost in it!
Of course you have heard of Homer’s Iliad about the battle of Troy and Trojan Horse. It was discovered first in 1863 and ultimately in 1868. You can experience a thrill just from seeing Troy’s ancient walls, climbing around the ruins and gazing across the Troad towards the waters of Dardanelles and the hills of Gallipoli. You can visit also the mountains, east of Troy to massive Kazdağı(Mount Ida). It has the oldest ruins date from 3000BC, and it’s impressive for its great age and beautiful situation. You can buy also costumes with capes, helmets, a chariot and bows and arrows. You can even see the Trojan Horse(of course not the original one).
Edirne is one of the few Turkey’s border cities and serves as a gateway to the west. It’s a charming city with both natural and cultural heritage. It was founded by Thracians that came from Asia in the ancient times. During the Ottoman empire it was a very important city because it served as capital city for 92 years. It is situated south of Istranca Mountains, alongside of Meriç River. You can visit its historical buildings and structures, can try its traditional foods, see the cultural mosaic and be embraced by the hospitality of its inhabitants. The imperial past is what makes Edirne interesting. The Ottoman imperial complexes and neo-classical architecture of downtown shops, although at first all you’ll see will be concrete apartment blocks when entering the city (and Selimiye Mosque right in front of you).
Surface area: 783,562 km2
Time zone: GMT + 2, GMT + 3 (during summer)
Population: Over 77.600.000
Coast line: 7200 km in the Mediterranean, Aegean, Marmara and Black Sea
Climate: A mix of climate; Mediterranean along the coastline, sub-continental inlands and severe continental in the Anatolian plateau in the center of the country
Religions: Predominantly Islam with over 96%
Official language and alphabet: Turkish language
Political system: Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Monetary unit: Turkish Lira (TRY)
International telephone code: +90
Pets: Allowed, is better to have a vaccination record and veterinary certificate.
Customs formalities: Expensive professional and technical equipment should be declared at the border crossing.
Traveling documents: To enter Turkey you need a valid passport depending on international agreement between the countries.
Visa: If required, please check with the nearest Turkish Consulate or Embassy
Currency: Foreign currency can be changed at Banks, Exchange Offices, Post Offices, Tourist agencies, hotels etc. All major cards (American Express, Visa, Euro/MasterCard, Diners) are accepted for a wide range of services.
Medical services: Medical care for foreigners can be provided at hospitals and clinics in all major cities in Turkey.
Drivers: Valid documents for themselves and for the vehicle, as well as the green insurance card.
Rent-a-Car & Taxi: Cars and Taxi can be rented at the airport, in towns and in all major tourist centers.
Postal services: Postage stamps are sold at post offices, hotel receptions and newspaper stands. FedEx, EMS and DHL air-express carrier services are also available. For international calls, besides using hotel and post office services, phone cards (for sale in all post offices) are used in all public phone booths.
Top Ten facts about Turkey
One of the least known facts about Turkey is that its official name is the Republic of Turkey and it was formed in 1923. It succeed the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the region from 1299 and onwards, and crumbled after the First World War.
Turkey has borders with eight countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
It is believed by some scientists and scholars that Turkey was the landing place of Noah’s ark. The story of mass flooding on earth appears in the Christian bible and the specific location that Noah landed the ark has been determined as Mount Ararat which is 5165metres high.
The capital of Turkey is Ankara. Many people believe it to be Istanbul however the capital was moved from Istanbul to Ankara after the Turkish war of independence in 1921-1923
The population of Turkey is estimated to be 70 million of which 98% are reported to be Muslim. The other 2% of people mainly belong to the religions of Christianity and Judaism.
Turkey is a country that is stepped in history particularly belonging to the Christian religion. It is reported that the first church was in Antalya and it is called St Peters Church. Traveling around the country will also reveal many other destinations connected with the Christian religion including the Virgin Mary’s house in Selcuk
Santa Claus also originated from Turkey. At the time of his life, he was known as St Nicholas and he was born in a town of the Patara District. The area in which he was born was part of the Greek empire during those years and he later went on to become the bishop of Demre
While many people associate Tulips with Holland, the flower was actually introduced to Holland by Turkish traders in the later stages of the 16th century. You can see motifs of the Tulip on traditional Turkish carpets and also see many tulip festivals with the vibrant colorful flowers grown in parks of big cities like Istanbul
The most revered person in Turkish history is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He has the title of being the father of all Turks and he was part of the war of independence which led to the formation of the Republic of Turkey. You will see his face on Turkish money, in office buildings and you will also see his statue in town centers
In Turkey you can experience all the four weather climates. The weather in Turkey will vary and if you visit the Antalya region, it is possible to be on the snowy ski slopes in the morning and sunbathing on a sandy beach in the afternoon. You can experience -30 degrees as well as +40ies in couple of months time; there are many wonderful surprises waiting for you when you visit this wonderful country
Top Ten famous Turkish people
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
Mehmet Akif Ersoy