Republic of Turkey
Declaration of Republic – 29 October 1923
Capital city – Ankara
Dialing code – +90
Anthem – İstiklal Marşı
Language spoken – Turkish, Kurdish, English
Currency – Turkish Lira ₺
Time – EET (UTC+2)
Population – 77 million 695 thousand 904 (in 2014)
Religion – Islam, Christian, Jewish
Turkey – Geography
Turkey is located between Asia and Europe continent, making Istanbul the only city in the world which is located in both Europe and Asia. Turkey is divided into seven regions; Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeast Anatolia and Mediterranean. The capital city of Turkey is Ankara which is located in Central Anatolia. Turkey is surrounded by seas on three sides; Aegean Sea, Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Up in the northwestern side, Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara. There are 81 provinces and a total of 923 districts.
Turkey – Tourism
Tourism in Turkey has been growing very rapidly since the last 20 years. Around 40 million tourists have arrived in Turkey the past year during summer. Turkey is very rich in terms of beaches and historical and cultural sites. Most beaches are located in the southwestern and southern coast which is called the Turkish Riviera, Mediterranean coast and along Black Sea. Antalya which is located along the Mediterranean coast is also known as the capital of tourism in Turkey.
Turkish culture is a mixture of many different cultures and at the same time has been a big influence to many cultures. Turkish culture represents cultural richness and diversity, and remains its deep roots in the Central Asia, Middle East, Anatolia and Balkans.
The Turkish cuisine is very famous worldwide. The kitchen has a wide variety of different courses which is known and loved by internationally. The Turkish kitchen is specialized in meze, main courses, grilled meat, kebabs, deserts and pastry. Turkish people have a proverb ‘eat sweet and speak sweet’…
Turkey has a variety of forms of entertainment. There are many bars, clubs and lounges available all around the country. Especially during summer time it is very lively and there is a very colorful nightlife in Turkey. There are always concerts available in open air or concert halls, which are highly popular by tourists and local people. In Istanbul, Taksim Beyoglu district and places around Bosphorus strait are main places to visit for entertainment.
The main language spoken in Turkey is Turkish. In some parts of the country other languages like Kurdish are spoken. Around 73 million people in the world speak Turkish. Turkish is also spoken in Cyprus, Greece and other European countries. The roots of Turkish comes from central Asia. The language was influenced by Ottoman Turkish and now is replaced with phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet.
Turkish art is a combination of various forms of the Turkish culture. The Turkish art refers to Turkish paintings, architecture, music, literature, dance and many more. Turkish art is very rich and influenced by Turkey’s history and culture and many more.
Turkish dance is very important for Turkish people. There are very different types of dances available including Halay, Hora, Zeybek, Belly dance, Horon and Folk, which are the most popular types and many more dances available.
Turkish music is very rich in genre; Folk, Rock, Pop, Classical, Alternative, Hip Hop, Jazz, Tango, Military. Turkish music was first originated in the 11th century. The roots of Turkish music reach to the time when the Seljuk Turk’s colonized Anatolia and Persia.
The Turkish bath is very popular in Turkey. Turkish bath is called a ‘hamam’ which is a similar thing to a sauna or spa. There are many visitors annually that visit the Turkish bath’s annually. Apart from tourists the Turkish baths are an attraction for Turk’s also.
Weather and Climate
Turkey usually has a long summer, around 8 months. During summer Turkey experiences very high temperatures, especially around the South and Eastern Anatolian side. The weather is around 30°C around July and August. During winter in January the temperature may fall to -30°C on Eastern sides.
The following places are mostly visited by tourists and by the local population:
Ephesus – located in İzmir (Aegean region). Ephesus contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean including; the library of Celsus, Temple of Artemis, Odeon, Temple of Hadrian, Temple of Sebastoi, Tomb of Pollio.
House of Virgin Mary – located in İzmir (Aegean region). The House of Virgin Mary is a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos in the vicinity of Ephesus. The house was discovered in the 19th century. According to the catholic belief Mary was taken to this house by Saint John and lived there until her assumption.
Hierapolis – located in Denizli (Aegean region). Hierapolis is a natural site that contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.
Sümela Monastery – located in Trabzon (Black Sea region). Sümela Monastery is a Greek orthodox monastery that is dedicated to Virgin Mary. The monastery was founded in AD 386 during the reign of the emperor Theodosius I.
Didyma – located in Aydın (Aegean region). Didyma was an ancient Greek sanctuary. Didyma was the biggest and most significant sanctuary on the territory of the great classical city Miletus.
Deyrülzafaran Monastery – located in Mardin (southeastern Anatolia). Deyrülzafaran Monastery is a very important Syriac Orthodox monastery. From 1160 to 1932 the monastery was the official place of the patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox church and later on it moved to Damascus.
Cappadocia – located in Nevşehir (Central Anatolia). Cappadocia is a historical region in Cental Anatolia. Following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, Turkish clans under the leadership of the Seljuk’s started settling in Anatolia, and together with the rise of the Turkish power in Anatolia, Cappadocia begun becoming a tributary to the Turkish states.
Anıtkabir – located in Ankara (Central Anatolia), the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk the founder of the Republic of Turkey and the first president of Turkey. Anıtkabir is also the final resting place for the second president of Turkey; İsmet İnönü who died in 1973.
Hagia Sophia – located in Istanbul (Marmara Region), Hagia Sophia was built in 537 and served as an Orthodox Cathedral until 1453. Hagia Sophia is now open to the public and used as a museum.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque – located in Istanbul (Marmara Region). Sultan Ahmed Mosque is also known as Blue Mosque because of its interior design. The mosque was built during 1609 – 1616 with the orders from Ahmed I. The mosque still serves as a mosque and is open to the public.
Tourists throughout the year mostly visit the following touristic sites, especially in summer:
Bodrum – located in Muğla, which is in the southwestern Aegean region. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in the ancient times. Bodrum was famous for housing the Mausoleum of Mausolus which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Bodrum Castle is also located here, built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th century.
Marmaris – located in Muğla which is in the southwestern Aegean region along the shoreline of the Turkish Riviera. During summer around 400,000 people visit the town annually. Marmaris is also a great place for sailing and diving.
Kuşadası – located in Aydın which is in the Aegean region. The name comes from Kuş (bird) adası (island), because the island is shaped like a birds head from the sea.
Didim – located in Aydin which is in the Aegean region. Didim is an antique city of Didyma with its ruined Temple of Apollo.
Alanya – located in Antalya, which is in the Mediterranean region. Alanya is a popular site for tourism with its Mediterranean climate, natural attractions and its historic heritage.
Çeşme – located in İzmir, which is in the Aegean region. Çeşme is a holiday resort and district center. İzmir is the largest metropolitan center in the Aegean region. Çeşme is visited mostly by local citizens.
Datça – located in Muğla, which is in the South- western Aegean region. Datça is situated midway through the peninsula and carries the same name as the district. The local citizens also visit Datça.
Ölüdeniz – located in Muğla, which is in the South-western Aegean region. Ölüdeniz is also called the blue Lagoon. It is a small village and beach resort on the coast. The beach is listed in the top 5 beaches in the world by travelers and tourism journals.
Istanbul Aquarium – Istanbul Aquarium is a public aquarium located in Istanbul which opened in 2011. Istanbul aquarium is the leader among other worldwide aquariums. There is a large variety of species within the aquarium. The aquarium also has plenty of events like diving with sharks, fish feeding and many more. You will need to get a ticket to enter during the working hours.
The sites listed below are visited by tourists and especially by the local citizens:
Amasra – located in the Black Sea Region. Amasra is one of the most attractive and peaceful places in the Black Sea. Together with its natural beauties people are also able to visit historical sites like the Genoa Castle.
Şirince – located in Izmir which is in the Aegean Region. Şirince is a historical Romanian village that is 8km east of the Ephesus. There are vineyards, peach gardens and olive groves in Şirince which people are also able to visit. Şirince is famous with its famous ‘Şirince’ house built with Anatolian architecture during the 19th century. Şirince is also famous with its wine, that people are able to purchase and taste.
Saklıkent – located in Muğla which is in the South western Aegean region. Saklıkent is a valley which is 18km long and 300 meters deep, located between Fethiye and Antalya. Saklıkent is a natural beauty that is able to be visited in spring and summer because during winter the water rises. People are also able to do climbing in this valley.
Pamukkale – located in Denizli which is in the Aegean Region. Pamukkale includes traces of the ancient civilization of Hierapolis. Pamukkale includes an archaic pool, archaric theatre and archeological museum.
Nemrut – located in Adıyaman which is in the Southeastern Anatolian Region. Nemrut National Park includes traces of the Kingdom of Commagene which is an ancient civilization. There are gravestones and great sculptures of lion and eagle heads that are around 7 meters high. Nemrut National Park is recognized by the UNESCO.