WELCOME to Turkey, a bridge between Europe and Asia, with an extremely rich cultural heritage. Perhaps no other land has witnessed so many diverse civilizations over the last 10.000 years. After the great Mesopotamian, the Hittite and Urartu kingdoms flourished, and in western Anatolia the Ionian and Roman civilizations predominated.
Turkey is without doubt one of the world’s largest 'open air museums' with magnificent landscapes, natural beauty and numerous historical, archaeological and cultural sites.
Istanbul holds the honor of having been the capital of 2 huge empires in the past: first the Byzantine and then the Ottoman Empire. Anatolia itself became a crossroads of peoples, cultures and religions. Christianity, for example, thrived here, and the Islam was glorified by the Seljuk's and Ottomans.
A visit to Turkey should not only take in all the great sights and monuments, it should leave plenty of time for leisure and pleasure. Turkey offers immense resources in these areas: majestic mountains ideal for climbers, hikers and skiers, over 8000 km of coastline laced with picturesque bays and coves, lakes, year-round summer in some areas, yet plenty of snow in others, a solid and expanding tourism infrastructure, one of the world’s healthiest cuisines and extremely hospitable people.
A trip to Turkey is an enchanting experience and an unforgettable adventure!
Did You Know?
- 3% of Turkey lies in Europe, whereas the remaining %97 lies in Asia.
- The mysterious cats of the Eastern city of Van have 1 green and 1 blue eye.
- 62% of male Turks over the age of 25 wear a mustache of some description but 68% of women aged between 16 and 40 think the mustache is unattractive.
- You might find chicken in your dessert! The signature Ottoman treat is tavuk göğüsü, or chicken breast pudding. It’s a strange blend of boiled chicken, milk, and sugar, dusted with cinnamon. And it’s delicious. Look for it on menus across the country.
- People were building temples here back in the hunter-gatherer era. Prior to the mid-1990s, it was assumed that large-scale human constructions weren’t undertaken until early peoples mastered agriculture and established permanent settlements. But then the archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe was discovered in southern Turkey, with evidence of monumental construction taking place at least 2,000 years before the accepted timeframe of the agricultural revolution. Building at Göbekli Tepe also predated the inventions of pottery, written language, and the wheel.
- Ataturk secularized the Turkish legal system by adopting a Swiss Civil Code and an Italian Criminal Law.
- No Turk had a surname before Ataturks reforms in 1923-1924.
- St.Nicholas (Santa Claus) was born in Patara and was a bishop in Myra (Demre).
- Istanbul has a 540-year-old bazaar or covered shopping mall with 64 streets, 4000 shops, 22 entrances and 25,000 workers: The Grand Bazaar.
- Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.
- Turkey is a member of the NATO since 1952 and an ally of the USA.