A country where people form different cultures,
religions and ethnic backgrounds come together! A geography, as
ancient as the human culture, where the ancient continents of Asia
and Europe meet. Turkey is a paradise of sea, sun and mountains,
at the same time offering the visitors the pleasure of historical
treasures of magnificent ancient cities. Aside from the excellent attractions and accommodation such as the Istanbul apartments, Turkey is undoutedly perfect for anyone. From April to October,
most parts of Turkey have an ideal climate providing perfect conditions
which a visitor can enjoy the comfort of sandy beaches and also
the unique atmosphere of Ancient Cities. It is doubtless that just
one visit will not be enough, one will want to come back time after
time as the extraordinary places and tastes are discovered.
Turkey, exotic, colorful, many-faceted, romantic,
ever-old and ever-new, is the gateway and the key to the fabled
East. Turkey has a magnificent past and is a land full of historic
Modern Turkey is a country of 780,576 square
kilometers, somewhat larger than the state of Texas or France and
Great Britain combined. It is bordered by the Mediterranean, Aegean
and Black Seas. In clockwise order, Turkey shares borders with Greece,
Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. About three percent
of the country is in Europe. South and east of the Dardanelles,
the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus stretches the peninsula known
as Asia Minor or Anatolia. Fertile plains fringe the coast; mountain
ranges separate them from the high central plateau. Nineteen mountains
are over 4,100 meters (13,800 feet) high; of them Mt. Ararat (Agri
Dag) is the highest at 5,073 meters (16,910 feet). Both the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers (Dicle and Firat) rise in Anatolia.
Turkey has been called ‘’the cradle
of civilization’’ and by traveling through this historic
land the tourists will discover exactly what is meant by its phrase.
The world’s first town, a Neolithic city at Catalhoyuk ( by
Konya ), dates back to 6,500 BC. From the days of Catalhoyuk up
to the present time Turkey boasts of a rich culture that trough
the centuries has made a lasting impression on modern civilization.
The heir many centuries of cultures makes Turkey a paradise of information
and cultural wealth. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians,
Lydians, Ionians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks,
and Ottomans have all held important places in Turkey’s history,
and ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give
proof to each civilization’s unique distinction.
Turkey also has a very fascinating recent
history. Upon the decline of the Ottoman Empire, a young man named
Mustafa Kemal, who was a soldier by occupation but a great visionary
in character, took the defeat of World War I and turned it into
a shining victory by liberating Turkey of all foreign invaders.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey on the 29th
of October, 1923. He led his country into peace and stability, with
tremendous economic growth and complete modernization. Through decades
of change and growth Turkey still boasts of this success by effectively
living by their adopted motto of ‘’Peace at Home, Peace
in the World’’.
The current population of Turkey is over 65
million people, of whom 60% live in the cities. Then ten most populous
cities in order are Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep,
Eskisehir, Kayseri and Diyarbakir. More than half the population
is under the age of 20.
The Turkish Language belongs to the Ural Altaic
group and has an affinity to the Finno Hungarian languages. Since
1928 Turkish has been written in a phonetic, Latin alphabet of 29
letters and is spoken by some 150 million people around the world.
While Turkey is a secular state, about 98%
of the people are Muslims; their faith is that of Islam. ‘Islam’
means ‘submission’; a Muslim is one of who submits himself
to God. Islam is the most recent of the three great monotheistic
religions, having developed from the revelations by God to the Prophet
Mohammed. He was born in Mecca and lived from about AD 570 to June
8,632. His activity as a Prophet encompassed the ten years before
his death. The holy book of Islam is the Koran; it is believed to
be the revelation of God to Mohammed. It contains 114 suras (chapters)
and 6,666 ayets (verses). Allahuekber (God is incomparable) are
the words calling the people to prayer. The non-Muslim minority
people are concentrated in Istanbul. There are Sephardic Jews and
Christians of several backgrounds: Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox,
Greek Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, a few Protestants and some others.
The Turkish Republic is based on secular democratic,
pluralist and parliamentary system, where human rights are protected
by law and social justice. The National Assembly is elected by popular
vote and the nation is governed by the Council of Ministers headed
by the Prime Minister. Turkey is a founding member of OECD, the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, a member of NATO, the
European Council and the European Parliament, and an associate member
of the European Community.
Tourism: In recent years Turkey has become
a major tourist destination in Europe. With the rapid development
of both summer and winter resorts, more and more people from all
over the world are able to enjoy the history, culture, and beautiful
sites of Turkey.
Agriculture: Has got a very important place
in the Turkish economy. The main crops are wheat, rice, cotton,
tea, tobacco, hazelnuts, and fruit. Sheep are Turkey’s most
important livestock, and Turkey is one of European wool and cotton
producer. Southeast Anatolia Project (Gap) is a multipurpose, integrated
development project comprising of dams, hydroelectric power plants
and irrigation facilities, that are to be built on the Firat (Euphrates)
and Dicle (Tigris) rivers. It will affect agriculture, transportation,
education, tourism, health and other sectors.
Turkish Cuisine is one of the best in the world. It has a wide variety
of dishes many prepared with fresh vegetables and olive oil. Turkish
food is very healthy as well as delicious. The fresh fruits are
plentiful and very tasty.
is customary at hotels and restaurants and for guides and drivers
Turkey has a strict antiquities law and prohibits
exportation of certain items. One may need to clear some items with
the appropriate authorities if in doubt.
Visas are required by many countries in order
to visit Turkey and therefore one must check with the appropriate
Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence to learn what
is required For US citizens, no prior request is necessary, but
a visa must be purchased upon arrival in Turkey. Usually it is issued
just before passing passport control and is valid for 90 days.
Is it safe to visit Turkey?
Absolutely! Turkey is an Extremely safe country
to visit and especially for tourists. The Turks are very proud people
and welcome visitors and are honored to see foreigners exploring
their land. Therefore all visitors are special guests and are treated
like royalty. Crime is low compared to many countries and the Ministry
of the Interior has established a special squad of police that are
assigned to the major tourist areas. We believe that Turkey in general
is safer than most any other country in the region.