Turkey

About Turkey

"Coming in gallop from far Asia stretched forward like a mare‘s head into Mediterranean Sea - this is our country."

This is the way Nazim Hikmet described Turkey and a look on the map shows you immediately that the country is surrounded on three sides by the sea: The Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the west coast, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in the south and the Black Sea in the north. Turkey has little land in Europe (24.000 square kilometers) and most of its land in Asia (756.000 square kilometers) Thrace being the name of the European part, and Anatolia being the name of the Asian part. Asian continent is connected to Europe in Istanbul, with two impressive bridges across the Bosphorus, connecting european and asian parts of Istanbul. It is hardly surprising that sea side resorts like Antalya, Bodrum or Kusadasi are very popular with tourists from Europe. This may lead you to believe Turkey is very much oriented on the sea. You couldn't be more wrong: "Anadolu", the anatolian high central plateau is where turkish culture is rooted. The soul of the country is to be found in the green pastures of the hinterland, where shepards still move their herds with the seasons.

This is why you shouldn't be surprised that the Turkish Republic chose Ankara as the capital. The city is located centrally in Anatolia. For travellers, the city offers some interesting sights and attractions, the most imporant ones being the Museum of Anatolian Culture and the Mausoleum of Ataturk.

Istanbul is Turkey's prime attraction, however; it has the most beautiful mosques and palaces of the country, it has Byzantine churches and Roman temples. Without fear of exageration one can say that Istanbul's claim to the title of Eternal city is as justified as Rome's

Cappadocia is another great sight: it is both a natural wonder and the result of human inventiveness. Soft volcanic rock formed a landscape of bizarre beauty, but it was man who made their homes, churches, shops and courtrooms in them. All of these are decorated in a highly original style.

In the East of Anatolia you find the strange rock statues at Nemrut Dagi, which could remind you of Easter island, as well as ancient cities like Van, located on lake Van, and Dogubayazit. When you go west of eastern Anatolia you will find Turkey's "sports city", Erzincan.

On the South coast of Turkey you will find approximately 600 remains of old Greek and Roman buildings, mostly well preserved. About 1 hour west of Kemer there is the wonderfull Roman town Phasalis: this is a museum town, where you can see the remains of a complete Roman city, including a military harbour, an aquaduct a theater and many more buildings. You will walk on the old Roman roads between those buildings.

Which such a diversity of sights, Turkey is a wonderful destination for any traveler.

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