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. 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 treasures.
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
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 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
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.
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 during tours.
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.