Introduction

Turkey map IntroductionTurkey is a country of great contrasts. Similar in many respects to other Mediterranean countries, its unique history and position, connecting Europe with Asia and the Middle East, makes it special. While 99% of the population is Muslim, the country is far more urban and western looking than most first time visitors realise and you’ll find the trappings of Euro-culture side-by-side with Islamic relics and monuments. Nowhere is this more evident than in Istanbul, where fabulous palaces and ancient churches meet Turkey at its most cosmopolitan. With an internationally renowned programme of arts and culture to rival any city in the world Istanbul is at last gaining the recognition it richly deserves.

Turkey’s Aegean coast is its most visited region. Development around some of the more famous beach resorts has been overdone but there are still plenty of quiet spots, not to mention some of the most extensive and best preserved Roman and Greek ruins anywhere.

But away from the coast Turkey is no less interesting. The geography inland varies enormously. Ranges of high thickly forested mountains rise as you progress from the coast and further north, around Bursa and along the Black Sea Coast, the high ranges are home to Turkey’s best ski resorts. In the centre of the country, Konya(the home of the whirling Dervishes) is surrounded by a vast fertile plain, which gives out to the deep valleys and bizarre rock formations of Cappadocia.

In the far East of the country the variety is even more extreme, with the arid semi-desert of the regions bordering the Syrian and Iraqi border contrasting with the lush greenery surrounding the enormous Lake Van, and the high, thickly forested mountains to the north.

In short, no two areas in Turkey are the same and wherever you go you’ll be amazed by just how much there is to see. It’s the best known destination that you never thought of…

 

 

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