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With its rich history, warm people and diverse landscape, Turkey is currently the world’s 6th most popular holiday destination. She received 51 million foreign visitors last year alone and the projection for 2020 is 58 million visitors.

What makes Turkey a unique destination is the incredible richness and wide range of her offerings, from 12,000 year long history and culture to its beautiful and diverse natural landscape.

Cradle of Civilizations

Turkey historical sites
With one of the oldest ever known human settlements excavated in Göbeklitepe (10,000 BC), Turkey offers the magical atmosphere and the traces of the 20 fascinating civilizations of the last 12,000 years that lived and prospered in her region. The last 2,000 years in this cradle of civilizations saw three big empires: The Roman, Byzantian and the Ottoman
 
But it is not only the Islamic, Byzantine and the Roman cultures you indulge yourself into in this country. You can also trace the history of the first Christians from Abraham to Apostle John and the Virgin Mary. Imagine a country where St. Nicholas (also known as Santa Claus), St. John, St. Paul and St. Peter lived and prayed, and the Virgin Mary spent her last days. All these religious sites make Turkey a premier destination for faith tourism as well.
 
Today, it is almost impossible not to have goosebumps while exploring the ever-living traces of all these rich civilizations in Turkey – a country that resembles more of an open-air museum with its well-preserved historical sites and culture.

East Meets West

Turkey is a bridge between East and West both geographically and culturally. And this is why today’s Turkish culture is a unique blend of modern and old, and East and West with its rich and diverse history. This unique feel is apparent anywhere in the country. The more east one travels, the more eastern it gradually starts feeling.

Turkish hospitality

And, of course, a crucial component of a country is its people. Giving to a stranger at one’s doorstep, as if giving to God, forms the basis of the famous Turkish hospitality. Accordingly, Turkish culture and religion dictates going out of one’s way to give guests as much as possible.

Turkish food

One of the best things about Turkey is the food. Turkish cuisine is a refined and rich synthesis of the cuisines of the former Ottoman territories and it is among the world’s top three most prominent cuisines, along with the French and Chinese cuisines. Both meat lovers and vegetarians can find a wide range of food options to satisfy their taste buds in Turkey.

Natural Landscape

Turkish beaches

From the temperate and lush Black Sea coast, protected by high mountain ranges, to the most pristine beaches of the Mediterranean – the word turquoise is the French word depicting the color of the Turkish Mediterranean – and from the rugged and snow-capped mountains of the East, where winters are cold and long, to the fertile valleys and the lace-like shores of the Aegean, Turkey offers a wide range of alternative landscapes.

Anatolia is encircled with mountains that offer an exceptional variety of wildlife, flora and fauna. The three highest peaks of Turkey are Mt. Ararat (5137 m), where Noah’s Ark is believed to have landed, Mt. Kackar (3932 m), and Mt. Erciyes (3917 m) in Eastern and Central Turkey.

Istanbul, Not Constantinople!

Istanbul

A Turkey page wouldn’t be complete without at least a paragraph on Istanbul. It was the capital of three great empires in the last 2,000 years: the Roman Empire, Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire. Napoleon once said, “If only one state existed on earth, Istanbul would be the capital”. Considered a holy city for both Islam and Orthodox Christianity, Istanbul has 157 Christian churches, 17 synagogues, 10 monasteries and close to 2,000 mosques. 

Istanbul is the only city in the world that lies on two continents: half of the city is in Europe and the other half is in Asia. Walking through the streets of Istanbul, you will have moments where you will feel like you are in any Western metropolis. Then you will turn your head and travel a few centuries back in time. In Istanbul, you will feel the West, but sense the East. The magical history of the last couple of thousand years will be all around you, blending into a modern city.

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