Turkey: Ancient & Glorious Gateway to the East
From Ankara to Constantinople, from Turkish Delights to belly
dancers, this fascinating country - an ancient cradle of
civilization - is a wonderland of old-world bazaars, historic ruins
and a varied landscape. But then, one comes to expect marvellous
things from the land of legendary Trojans and the ancient capital
of the Byzantine world. Travelling to Turkey is a boundless
adventure for every type of traveller as it is bound to satisfy
every interest with its lovely scenery and unique culture.
Turkey is a vast land that by water is bordered by the Black
Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea; by land it is bordered by
Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and
Syria. Turkey has well over four thousand miles of coastland
containing many wild and remote tracks, but also many incredible
beaches that attract visitors from all parts of the globe. This
land is more than a gateway to the Middle East and lands beyond,
but is a continental meeting place of Europe, Asia and Africa.
These continents have influenced Turkey's culture throughout the
ages making for one of the most unique places you will ever
Modern day Turkey is a product of a rich history that includes
some of the first civilizations from about 6000 B.C. Turkey was
also the home of ancient Hittites who lived in Central Anatolia.
Their empire was followed by the Persians in 550 B.C. until
conquered by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. History and
archaeology may not appeal to every traveller, but Turkey is an
utmost place of interest for such pursuits with its dig sites and
well-preserved ruins. Other notable dynasties that occupied the
area were Romans, Byzantine, Seljuk, Mongolian and Ottoman
Time: GMT +2 hrs
Currency: Turkish lira (YTL)
Presently Turkey is divided into eight major regions: Thrace,
Black Sea, Marmara and Aegean, Mediterranean, Western Anatolia,
Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia and South-eastern Anatolia.
These regions have their own unique history, scenery and cultural
makeup. While each region has its own particular enticements for
travellers, the Mediterranean area sees many visitors annually with
its historic sites and unforgettable landscapes. Of course,
Turkey's major cities like Istanbul attract thousands to its
incredible location on the Bosporus.
Sultan Ahmet Camii
- The Blue Mosque
Istanbul, a city of about nine million, has much to offer with
its fascinating history and culture. Tourists regularly visit such
world-renowned landmarks as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque,
Bosporus Bridge, and the Egyptian Spice Market. Once known as
Byzantium, it is the site of great cultural and religious mixing.
Bursa lies at the foot of Mount Ulu and features the Green Mosque
and important examples of Ottoman Empire architecture. Many flock
to Antalya to the lovely stretches of beach and the natural harbour
making it one of the country's most beautiful cities.
While many travellers are only able to visit particular sections
of the country, Turkey is well worth a grand tour across all of its
regions. Turkey, a country famous for so many things - its cuisine,
magic carpets, history, etc. When planning a visit to Turkey, be
sure to consider including some additional placed of interest on
your trek: Topkapi Palace (Istanbul), ancient amphitheatre at
Selcuk, Cappadocia (Central Anatolia), Nemrut Mountain, Aperlae
Island (Mediterranean), Kekova Island (Mediterranean), Independence
War Museum (Anitkabir), Museum of Anatolian Civilization (Ankara),
Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Bodrum), Grand Bazaar (Istanbul),
and many, many more!
Hagia Sofia, Istanbul
Before a visit to Turkey, a bit of research will allow
travellers to get a grasp of the rich culture and history cantered
there. Read about Ataturk to see how Turkey stands apart from other
Middle Eastern nations. To really get in a Turkish mood, read
Homer's legendary epic The Iliad for a bit of Turkey's ancient
past. Turkey is that exotic land all travellers dream of - be
prepared for a thrilling escapade and an unforgettable journey.