The spectacular, varied landscape and rapidly improving infrastructure and facilities in tourism centers and beyond, have opened up a wide range of possibilities for those seeking more from their holiday
Hos Geldiniz – ‘welcome’ is the most frequently heard word in Turkey. First-time visitors are usually surprised to discover that the country’s main attraction is the charming and friendly people who receive guests with almost medieval gallantry and hospitality that is an integral part of the Turkish culture.
Turkey offers a visual wealth of ancient architecture, intricate art, ageless and varied cultures, tantalizing cuisine and drinks, and a cornucopia of seaside towns, forested mountains and fertile plains bathed in almost constant sunshine... Stretching out on two continents, Turkey is a paradise where one can experience the four seasons simultaneously… Whether you are fond of art, history, archeology or nature, you will feel the happiness beyond desires and hopes during your stay in Turkey... The country has seen the footprints of nine major civilizations - Hittite, Urartian, Phrygian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman Turk - and each has bequeathed an impressive legacy.
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 in character, a great visionary, took the defeat of World War I and turned it into a shining victory by liberating Turkey of al foreign invaders. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. He led his country into peace and stability, with tremendous economic growth and complete modernization. Through decades of change and growth, Turkey till boasts this success, living by its adopted motto of "Peace at Home, Peace in the World
Turkey's land mass is 814,578 sq. km The European and Asian sides are divided by the Istanbul Bogazi (Bosphorus), the Sea of Marmara, and the Canakkale Bogazi (Dardanelles). Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east, broken by the valleys of about 15 rivers, including the Dicle (Tigres) and the Firat (Euphrates).
Turkey enjoys a variety of climates, changing from the temperate climate of the Back Sea region, to the continental climate of the interior, then, to the Mediterranean climate of the Aegean and Mediterranean costal regions. Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of a shinning sea at four directions, Turkey generously offers 8,333 km long shores before your eyes. Turkey is also rich in flora and fauna.
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 around the world are able to enjoy the history, culture, and beautiful sites of Turkey. From swimming in the Mediterranean to skiing in Uludag, Turkey has something to offer every tourist.
When to come
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, since the climate will be perfect in Istanbul and on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. It will be cool in central Anatolia, but not unpleasantly so.
The Black Sea coast is best visited between April and September; there will still be rain but not so much of it. . The best time to visit eastern Turkey is from late June to September. Don't plan to venture east before May or after mid-October unless you're prepared for snow.
Marmara, Aegean, and
These coasts have a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and wild
winters. The swimming season becomes shorter the further north one goes: Marmara
and North Aegean - June to September, South Aegean and Mediterranean - April to
October. Black Sea Coast: warm summers, mild winters, and relatively high
Marmara, Aegean, and
Light, cotton summer clothing and cardigans for evening.
The food culture of a society is closely related to its way of living. It develops over the course of time according to changes in the way of living. Many years ago, the Turks led a nomadic life, depending on agriculture and breeding domestic animals, as other societies had done in other parts of the world. Once living conditions became unfavorable in Central Asia, they moved south westwards and there were new plants and animals in these new settlements. As the Turks became familiar with their new surroundings, they gradually began to rear animals and plant crops specific to the region; invented simple methods to process the foods they produced; they also learned to store some of these foods for winter months.
Most Turkish dishes are good combinations of well balanced foods and/or ingredients. For example: Dolma and Sarma (stuffed and wrapped vegetables), soups made with lentils, meat and vegetables, rice or bulgur from Bread-Cereals group and finally yogurt, which is served with most of these dishes. Meat and vegetable stews are always served with rice or bulgur pilafs. The main ingredient of Borek is plain or raised dough made from egg, milk, yogurt, oil and flour. Meat, cheese, vegetables with herbs and a variety of seasonings are used as fillings in Borek. Yogurt-based soups with a variety of cereals and meat and /or legume mixtures are also perfect combinations. Dried legumes are combined with vegetables, meat and cereals. Pilafs are made with meat, chicken, fish and or variety vegetables. Pilafs are also good side dishes for dried vegetables. They are usually served with Ayran or cacik. Kebabs are prepared with vegetables and served with Turkish bread pilafs and Ayran.
Desserts are mostly pastry-based, and commonly include nuts and syrup. The most popular desserts include Baklava, lokma, tulumba tatlisi, kadayif and kunefe.
Visiting a mosque
Five times a day, the "müezzin" calls the faithful to prayer in the mosque. Before entering a mosque, Muslims wash themselves and remove their shoes. Foreign visitors should also remove their shoes and show the respect they would any other house of worship and avoid visiting the mosque during prayer time. Women should cover their heads and arms, and not wear miniskirts. Men should not wear shorts. (In certain famous mosques, overalls are provided for those not suitably dressed.)
Turkey's currency is the
Turkish Lira. Many shops and restaurants in the coastal resorts and big cities
accept payment in foreign currency. But if you are planning to travel to other
parts of the country, it is advisable to take some Turkish Lira.
Cards are widely accepted in
hotels, restaurants and shops.
New Turkish Lira – YTL
New TL Denominations
Banknotes – 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 &100.
Coins – 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 New Kurus and 1 New TL.
There are many rent-a-car services in Turkey. They are placed on the airports, ports, and near by all big hotels. The addresses and prices can be obtained from the local Tourist Information Offices or travel agents.
Inter City Coaches
Many private companies provide frequent day and night services between all Turkish cities. Coaches depart from the bus station (otogar) in large towns, and from the town centre in smaller regions.
Taxis and Dolmus
Taxis are numerous in all Turkish
cities and are recognizable by their yellow color. The fare shown on the meter
reads according to the distance traveled.