Turkey can be whatever you want it to be, it is as romantically exotic as you could hope for, it's skyline is a parade of graceful domes and minarets, it's bazaars are awash with sights, sounds and smells of the East. It is ready to take its place at the European table of pavement cafes, trendy bars and modern clothes shops.
This country has everything, a climate that guarantees summer sunshine, beautiful beaches, dramatic scenery, more classical ruins than Greece or Italy, fantastic cuisine, matchless public transport and a resort nightlife that is second to none.
Hospitality has always played a starring role in Turkish culture and this is what lingers longest in the memory – the incredible friendliness of the Turkish people themselves.
Turkey is located at a point where the three continents making up the old world Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other, and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet. Geographically, the country is located in the northern half of the hemisphere about halfway between the equator and the north pole. Turkey is situated in Europe and Asia.
The land borders of Turkey are 2,753 kilometers in total, and coastlines (including islands) are another 8,333 kilometers. The South Aegean is one long string of beaches and ancient ruins. Main attractions are the mainly ruined Ionian cities, Ephesus, Apollo Temple, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Lake Bafa, Dilek Nation Park and the Underwater Archaeology Museum in Bodrum
Some facts about Turkey:
• Full country name: Republic of Turkey
• Area: 779,452 sq km
• Population: 68.1 million
• Capital City: Ankara (pop 3.7 million)
• People: Turks (85%), Kurds (12%), other Islamic peoples, Armenians, Jews
• Language: Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek English is also widely spoken
• Religion: Muslim (Sunni)
• Government: Republican Parliamentary Democracy
• Head of State: President
• Head of Government: Prime Minister
• GDP: US$183.7 million
• GDP per capita: US$2,490
• Major Industries: Textiles, Food Processing, Tourism, Motor Vehicles, Mining, umber, Petroleum, Construction.
• Major Trading Partners: Germany, USA, Italy, UK, France, Russia
• Member of EU: Application for membership has been made and should be accepted within the next five years, this will lead to adoption of Euro currency.
You can get Cheap Flights to Turkey as the costs of the airline tickets are going down due to more chartered flights, especially in summer.
All year around you can find flights to Turkey. The cost of living is much cheaper than in Western Europe, which results in an easier quality of life.
Did you Know? - Turkey's Little Known Facts:
- Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia. In its thousands of years of history, it has been the capital of three great empires - Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
- The oldest known human settlement in the world is located in Catalhöyük, Turkey, dating back to 6500 B.C. The earliest landscape painting in history was found on the wall of a Catalhöyük house, illustrating the volcanic eruption of nearby Hasandag.
- Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in Turkey - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
- Breathtaking beaches,Turkey had 140 'Blue Flag' beaches - 7th in Europe for certified beaches.
- The Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
- The first coins ever minted were done so at Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, at the end of the seventh century B.C.
- The word "turquoise" comes from "Turk" meaning Turkish, and was derived from the beautiful colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast.
- The Turks first gave the Dutch their famous tulips that started the craze for the flower in England and the Netherlands. Bulbs brought to Vienna from Istanbul in the 1500s were so intensely popular that by 1634 in Holland it was called "tulipmania". People invested money in tulips as they do in stocks today. This period of elegance and amusement in 17th century Turkey is referred to as "The Tulip Age."
- The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey. Marco Polo's journeys in the thirteenth centuries took him here, and he remarked that the "best and handsomest of rugs" were to be found in Turkey
- Many important events surrounding the birth of Christianity occurred in Turkey. St John, St Paul and St Peter all lived and prayed in southern Anatolia. Tradition has it that St John bought Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the Crucifixion, where she spent her last days in a small stone house (Meryemana Evi) on what is now Bülbüldagi (Mount Koressos). It remains a popular pilgrimage site for Christians to this day.
- Many archaeologists and biblical scholars believe Noah's Ark landed on Agri Dagi (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.
- The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation are all found in Turkey: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
- A cave known today as the Grotto of St Peter, or Church of St Peter, is believed to be where the apostle Peter preaches, when he visited Antioch (Antakya, in southern Turkey). It is widely considered to be one of the earliest Christian houses of worship. In 1963, the papacy designated the site as a place of pilgrimage and recognised it as the world's first cathedral. Every year on June 29, a special service held at the church, is attended by Christians from around the world.
- Anatolia is the birthplace of many historic figures and legends such as the poet Homer, King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) and St Paul the Apostle.
- St Nicholas known as Santa Claus today, was born and lived in Demre (Myra) on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous Church of St Nicholas with the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
- The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Usküdar in the 17th century.