COUNTRY OF TURKEY

ABOUT TURKEY

A country as old as history, a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes. Turkey has a magnificent past, and is a land full of historic treasures. The lands of Turkey are 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 at a point that is about halfway between the equator and the north pole, at a latitude of 36 degrees N to 42 degrees N and a longitude of 26 degrees E to 45 degrees E. Turkey is roughly rectangular in shape and is 1,660 kilometers long and 550 kilometers wide. Turkey has two European and six Asian countries for neighbors along its land borders. The land border to the northeast with the Commonwealth of Independent States (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Nahcivan ) is 610 kilometers long; that with Iran, 454 kilometers long, and that with Iraq 331 kilometers long. In the south is the 877 kilometer-long border with Syria. Turkey’s borders on the European continent consist of 212-kilometer frontier with Greece and a 269-kilometer border with Bulgaria. Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favor throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides. Turkey is generally divided into seven regions; the Black Sea region, the Marmara region, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, the East Anatolian and Southeast Anatolia regions.

VISA FOR TURKEY

You may need to have visa to get in to Turkey. You may get it at the airport before the passport control. There is a migration office there so before you go online for the passport control, go to Migration office and have cash USD and in change the exact amount needed. they do not accept credit card. You may also contact: Turkish Embassy to learn about the other formalities and check last changes.

ANCIENT GEOGRAPHY

Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east, broken by the valleys of about 15 rivers, including the Dicle (Tigris) and the Fırat (Euphrates) found in Northern Mesopotamia. There are numerous lakes and some, such as Lake Van, are as large as inland seas. In the North, the Eastern Black Sea Mountain chain runs parallel to the Black Sea; in the South, the Taurus Mountains sweep down almost to the narrow, fertile coastal plain along the Turkish Riviera, following the ancient Lycian and Pamphylian coasts. Anatolia has been called ‘the cradle of civilizations’ and by traveling through this historic land, one would discover what exactly is meant by this phrase. The world’s first town, a Neolithic city at Çatalhöyük dates back to 6500 B.C. From the Neolithic days up to the present, Turkey boats a rich culture that has made an everlasting impression on modern civilization through the centuries. Centuries of cultures make Turkey a paradise of information and cultural wealth. Hatti, Hitite, Phrygians, Urartian, Lycian, Lydian, Ionians, Greeks, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottomans have all made important contributions to Anatolian and Turkish histories, and ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give proof of each civilization’s unique distinction.

RECENT HISTORY

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk, or “Father of the Turks.” Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy, enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.

Population: More than 70 Million Area Comparative: Slightly Larger than Texas Language: The Turkish language belongs to the Ural-Altaic group, and has an affinity with the Finno-Hungarian languages. Turkish is written in the Latin alphabet and is spoken by some 150 million people around the World. Religion: Although 98% of the whole population is Moslems, the secular form of the state guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Moslems. Age structure: 0-14 years: 26% (male 9,232,439/female 8,897,135) 15-64 years: 67.3% (male 23,806,367/female 23,053,536) 65 years and over: 6.7% (male 2,140,242/female 2,530,840) (2005 est.)

ECONOMY

Turkey 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 are now enjoying the history, culture and beautiful sites of Turkey. Sailing in the Mediterranean, trekking at the Taurus, pony trekking at the mountain villages, snow skiing at the Eluding, jet skiing at the Aegean Coast would give the great opportunity of enjoying a new kind of 4 Seasons, this time not by Vivaldi. Agriculture: Plays a very important role in Turkish economy. The main crops are wheat, rice, cotton, tea, tobacco, hazelnuts and fruits. Sheep are Turkey’s most important livestock and Turkey is one of the major cotton and wool producers. Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP): GAP is a multi-purpose, integrated development project comprising of dams, hydroelectric power plants and irrigation facilities currently being built on the Fırat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) rivers. Ataturk Dam included in the project, is among the first 10 dams of the World. Natural Resources: coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower. As of 1998, Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hard-shell nuts, fig and apricot, the fourth in fresh vegetables, grape and tobacco production and seventh in wheat and cotton production. Turkish delight and helva are famous throughout the world. Turkey is among the leading countries worldwide in textiles and ready-to-wear clothing production. The exports of this sector constitutes 36 percent of total industrial exports. The leather processing industry is also very developed in Turkey, both in terms of technological level and high production capacity. It places second to textiles in terms of export figures.

POLITICAL STRUCTURE The Turkish Republic is based on a 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 Co-operation Organization, and a member of NATO, the European Council and the European Parliament.MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION Electricity: 220 Volts AC, all over Turkey. Tap Water: Not always safe to drink. Weight and measures: Metric system.

POPULAR CUSTOMS

Hospitality: Hospitality is one of the cornerstones of the Turkish way of life. Following Koranic tenets and naturally friendly instincts, the Turk is a most gracious and generous host. Even the poorest peasant feels bound to honor his guest ‘misafir’ in the best possible manner. Hospitality is taken to such lengths that a foreigner often feels he is suffering from an overdose of it, after being plied with food and drinks for hours and being unable to refuse anything, lest he hurt his host’s feelings. In addition to ensuring a guest’s material well-being, the Turk makes every effort to converse, no matter what linguistic barriers might exist. While most middle-class, urban-dwelling Turks speak at least one European language, even the uneducated, bravely struggle to make themselves understood, with remarkable success. Turkish Coffee Houses: Even the smallest Turkish village has its coffee-house or ‘Kahvehane’, where men can talk, sip coffee, and play the national game of backgammon ‘Tavla’. In Istanbul, especially men can still be seen smoking their hubble bubble pipes ‘Nargile’ in these coffee houses. Turkish Baths: Owing to the emphasis placed on cleanliness in Turkish society, there have been public bath-houses ‘Hamam’ in Turkey since medieval times. There are separate baths for men and women, or, when there is only one bath house in the town, different days or times of day are allocated for men and women. After entering the ‘hamam’ and leaving one’s clothes in a cubicle, one proceeds, wrapped in a towel ‘peştemal’, to the ‘göbek tası’, a large heated stone where one perspires and is rubbed down by a bath attendant. If the heat proves too much, one can retire to a cooler room for a while. This method of bathing is most refreshing and many of the old marble baths are very interesting, architecturally as well.

TURKISH CUISINE, EATING OUT

Would someone come to Turkey just to eat out? Yes, they would .Turkish food is famous throughout the world. The painstaking preparation of simple, but fresh ingredients brings out the richness of their flavors in a way that never fails to delight. The range is enormous, from a number of soups to an astonishing variety of meze (hors d’oeuvre), followed by meat and fish dishes. Then pause a while to contemplate the famous Turkish sweets and pastries before finishing with a Turkish coffee. All Turkish food is prepared from fresh ingredients. The country produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and being surrounded on three sides by sea, the range of fish to be found is also considerable. Among alcoholic drinks are the light Turkish beer, excellent wines, and the national drink, ‘rakı‘which clouds when water is added, giving it the popular name of ‘lion’s milk’. The drinking of rakı is a rite in itself, and it is traditionally accompanied by a variety of ‘meze‘ (hors d’oeuvre). Along with world famous Turkish coffee. Wherever you go, coffee or tea will be offered to you. Bottled drinking water and mineral water are easily found everywhere. Especially in the metropolitan cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, you can also find restaurants which feature Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, French, Swiss, German and Italian cuisine.

TOP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS OF TURKEY

ISTANBUL

Istanbul is an old city; you can see the remains of many ancient civilizations and their culture in harmony with Turkish culture. The old versus the new, the traditional versus the modern is a conflict a visitor often observes. The city is full of contrasts, and colourful views, where the blowing winds from the seven peaks of Anatolian Olympus merge into each other… Where Amazon’s cooled their bodies in the waves that break apart from the Black Sea and roll mightily against the shore … Where love is symbolised in the Maiden’s Tower … Where stand the rocks of Symplegad that brought nightmares to the Argonauts …

Built on seven hills on Asia and Europe … Capital of three empires … Where romance and traffic jam go hand in hand … Lively and exciting …A world metropolis …

Sometimes described as ‘the crossroads of Europe and Asia’, Istanbul – formerly Constantinople – is a vast, heaving metropolis with an imperial history that stretches back for more than 1,600 years. No longer Turkey’s capital but still the cultural heart of the nation, this city of 13 million sprawls across both sides of a land bridge spanning two continents. Istanbul’s unique position on the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, has resulted in the city being a jealously guarded centre of world trade since the Byzantine era.

All three are names ( Byzantium, Constantinople & Istanbul ) for a city with a great past and an interesting present. It was in its time the capital of the 2 world empires which seem incompatible. The eastern Roman empire, Byzantine, was Christian, imbued with European whereas the Ottoman was rooted in the traditions and rules of the newest world religion, Islam, born in Asia. The Islamic conquerors, however, not only took possessions of the country, they took over and adopted anything which seemed of value; Byzantine architecture, monasteries as models for their mosques, baths, cisterns, water supplies, etc. Thus their capital became a bridge between east and west, and buildings from both eras and both cultures still stand impressively side by side today.

The Bosphorus not only divides Europe and Asia, but also the city which thus becomes a bridge between two continents and cultures.  Located in the centre of the world, İstanbul is an important metropolis famous for historical monuments and magnificent beauty. It is the only city in the world that spreads onto two continents. Situated in the region where Europe and Asia are separated by a narrow strait, the Bosphorus. It has a history both colourful and dynamic of 2500 years. Following the establishment of the city at this point of separation of the two continents where the land and sea embrace each other, the area gained strategic importance and soon became a centre of trade and commerce.

The historic city of Istanbul is located on a peninsula on three sides by the Sea of Marmara, the entrance to the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It was the capital of three great empires : “ The Roman, The Byzantine and The Ottoman”. During those 1600 years, more than 120 emperors and sultans reigned in the city. No other city in the world can claim such grandeur. During its development, the city was enlarged four times and each time the city walls were built more towards  the west. The city of Istanbul surrounded by the 5th C Roman city walls, spreads over 7 hills and the mosques built by Ottoman Sultans on these hills, adorn the city like crowns, feeling the queen city of the world. The skyline of the city appears serene, majestic and beautiful from every direction. The Golden Horn which is unusually secure natural harbor, played a very important role in the development of the city throughout its history. Istanbul is the most crowded city of Turkey. Although the area of settlement have changed significantly over the ages, due to the geography and topography of the region, the squares, avenues and monumental buildings in the city have remained in their original locations.

HOW TO GET TO ISTANBUL

The easiest way to get to Istanbul is by plane of course. (www.thy.com) and many other world airlines have regular daily flights to Istanbul. There are also local airliners that run charter flights to Istanbul especially during holiday season such as summer months or Easter and New Year’s period. Some of the direct flying times are: Newyork – Istanbul 10:20 hours, London – Istanbul 3:45, Milan – Istanbul 2:45, Hong Kong – Istanbul 11:50, Moscow – Istanbul 3:05, and so on.

Istanbul has three international airports; one on the Asian side ( Ataturk Airport ) and the others on the European side ( New Istanbul Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport ). From Istanbul you can fly to many cities of Turkey as there are frequent daily flights of different airline companies. Istanbul – Izmir, Istanbul – Ankara, Istanbul – Kayseri or Istanbul – Nevsehir flight takes about 1 hour.

Contact Us  for daily private Istanbul tours, daily small group Istanbul tours, Istanbul package tours and hotels booking in Istanbul.

           

CAPPADOCIA

The wealth history of Cappadocia dates back to the prehistoric times. It has hosted various civilizations like Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Romans, Seljuk and Ottomans. Chronologically, at the beginning, B.C 2000’s Hittites settled in this fascinating region. They found the Great Hittites Empire. Additionally, within this period, Kültepe (also called Nesa or Kanis located around Kayseri) was the very important Trade Colony Centre.

Later, in between B.C 2000 and 1800, Assyrians established their state and trading posts (a trade centre named karum).The glorious city achieved economic and politic power in this era. Well known Cappadocian tablets, trade agreements, receipts, wills, and marriage contracts were figured out in this period as a result of excavations.

Until 334 BC, the Persians ruled by separating provinces called Satrap here. They named this region as Katpatuka which means ‘’the land of beautiful horses’’.

In Roman period, AD 17, there was found a province, trade and military routes and urban centres and settlements.

Afterwards, Christian influence in Byzantine time, the first Christian communities begun to appear in Cappadocia and many monasteries, churches, sanctuaries and other significant structures were built here. Also to protect themselves, the people established various underground spaces. As a result of Invasions belonging to Turkmenistan from Mongolia and then from Seljuks to Ottomans, the movement was finally completed.

Therefore, Cappadocia became a melting pot of a diverse of ethnic groups; it reflects all the culture and religious beliefs today from past.

There are found many places to must visit in Cappadocia like; Fairy Chimneys, Goreme Open Air Museum and rock churches, Kaymakli underground cities of Derinkuyu or Ozkonak, Pasabag and Zelve Valley, Avanos with its pottery and carpets, Uçhisar rock fortress, Ortahisar rock fortress, Ürgüp, Ihlara valley, Mustafapasa Old Greek Village ( Sinasos ), Soganli Valley and Hacibektas.

HOW TO GET TO CAPPADOCIA
By Flight from Istanbul or Izmir
  • To Kayseri Airport:
    There are daily flights from Istanbul to Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR). The companies operating daily flights to Kayseri are; Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com) and Pegasus Airlines (www.flypgs.com).
    There are also some flights from Izmir and Antalya at certain period of the year with Sunexpress Airlines (www.sunexpress.com).
  • To Nevsehir Airport:
    There are also daily flights from Istanbul to Nevsehir Cappadocia Airport with Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com).

Contact Us for daily private Cappadocia tours, daily small group Cappadocia tours, hot air balloon flight and cave hotels booking in Cappadocia.

          

EPHESUS

Ephesus is located between two hills with the silted ancient port  and about three kms from Selcuk town. It belongs to greater Izmir province and 10 kms to Kusadasi, 65 kms to Izmir. The ancient town used to be the home of  historical  Greek and Roman ages so it grabs millions of visitors each year. There is a good connection to Ephesus from all over Turkey and it is only 40 minutes drive from the third biggest airport called as Izmir to Ephesus.

The name comes from Hittite Word “ Apasas” due to Greek  could not do the correct pronouncation so  they converted it  as Ephesus. It means “the bee “ so Ephesus was the city of the bee. The bee was minted on the coins dated 11th BC in Hittite period.

Ephesus  has been known as the home of Greek Artemis, Roman Diana, one of the seven wonders of the  ancient world, used to be center of the paganism about one thousand years, later it became the first of the seven churches of Revelation. First Pagan then Christian pilgrims made Ephesus as the center of their faiths like Vatican today  so it was visited by millions  each year. On the other hand, The port of Ephesus was the central of sea trade in antiquity between Asia, Macedonia(Europe) and North Africa.

The first settlement in the area was done by Amazons according to some legends but the findings shows us Ephesus was first founded by Hittites about 13 th C BC and it fell into Greek hand after the fall of Troy in 11 th BC by Greek commender Androklos . Then the  Romans captured  Ephesus in 1st C BC and Roman emperor Augustos declared Ephesus as the capital of Roman Asia.

Ephesus was noted for all over the world as one of the three  wealthiest cities of Roman empire between the 1st and 2nd C AD, in the time of Pax Romana (Roman peace). The population was 250.000 without slaves and the third largest city after Rome and Antioch. During  Pax Romana, 2 apostles, 4 deciples, 16 Roman emprors and so many famous people in the history  have been to Ephesus. Trade, religion and politics made Ephesus  much visited city in  Roman province of Asia. St. Paul  had  3 years and St.John  had 7 years in Ephesus in order to set up a Christian congregation.

But the glory was ended up at the end of the of 7th C AD because of the earthquakes and mosquitos. The city first lost its natural port and then invaded by mosquitos so maleria became the main threat for the inhabitants. The city was abondent and was left in ruins for centuries. In 13 th AD Selçuk Turks conquered the ancient town and the new name was Ayasuluk that they built a castle to defend the Selçuk town against the Crusaders later. In 1413 Ottomans took over the town.

HOW TO GET TO EPHESUS
By Flight from Istanbul to Izmir

There are daily flights from Istanbul to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport(ADB). The companies operating daily flights to Izmir are; Turkish Airlines (www.thy.com) and Pegasus Airlines (www.flypgs.com).

Please Contact Us for private and small group airport trasfers from Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport (ADB) to Ephesus.

Contact Us for daily private Ephesus tours, daily small group Ephesus tours and Ephesus package tours.

         

PAMUKKALE

Pamukkale, which was formed from hot spring water, is a heavenly lime and the best-known natural phenomenon of Turkey. Over three million domestic and foreign tourists go to Pamukkale to see  calcium oxide travertines  per year. Pamukkale is 2,700 meters long and 160 meters in height and it can be visible even from a distance of 50 kms with a bright white color. In addition to the travertines,  an ancient pool, an amphitheater, an archaeological museum, a long ancient cemetery area with sarcophagus called necropolis, a  Turkish bath are the places should be recommended to visit in Pamukkale location. On the hill, there used to be an ancient Roman sanctuary  called Hiearpolis so the names cames from that area and it has become very famous city in history later.

Contact Us for daily private Pamukkale tours, daily small group Pamukkale tours, Pamukkale package tours and hotels booking in Pamukkale.

         

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