Turkey is a land that offers many vacation attractions. It is a country that appeals to all tastes and budgets, with a tremendous range of archaeological, historic, scenic and recreational attractions blended with the traditional warm hospitality of the Turkish people. Turkey borders eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia, Armenia and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan and to the northeast; Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south.
Turkey is generally divided into seven regions: the Marmara, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, East Anatolia, Southeast Anatolia and the Black Sea region. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt.
The capital city of Turkey is Ankara, but the largest city is İstanbul. Other important cities include İzmir, Bursa, Adana, Trabzon, Malatya, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Kayseri, İzmit (Kocaeli), Konya, Mersin, Diyarbakır, Antalya and Samsun.
The climate is a Mediterranean temperate climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet and cold winters, though conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior.
There are many sites to enjoy and explore, such as the magical city of Istanbul. Izmir is center of resorts and archaeological attractions. Central Anatolia is the modern capital of Ankara.Visit the ancient rock-carved cities of Cappadocia, and Konya, mythic city of the Whirling Dervishes.
In addition to these famous places, Turkey offers the Turquoise Coast, with the sunny beaches and clear blue water of the Mediterranean; the Black Sea region, with lovely untouched beaches and fishing villages; and Eastern Turkey where vast mountain scenery and the remains of ancient civilizations invite exploration. Turkey is also the setting for the Blue Voyage. One can explore archaeological remains of ancient civilizations from the sea rather than from the land.
The coasts and beaches of Turkey bring water sport enthusiasts to try their hand at yachting, water-skiing, snorkeling and diving. Western Turkey is the most visited and developed part of the country with the historical and cultural city of Istanbul in its midst.
Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) – Istanbul – Famous for its impressive size, remarkable architecture and beautiful mosaics and frescoes, the massive ochre-coloured domed structure known as Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbul’s most popular attractions.
Blue Mosque – Istanbul – The Sultan Ahmet Camii, commonly known as the Blue Mosque, with its tiers of magnificent domes and six graceful minarets is one of the most striking and immediately distinguishable structures on the Istanbul’s skyline.
The Covered Bazaar (Kapali Çarsi) – Istanbul -The oldest and biggest enclosed bazaar in the world, also known as the Grand Bazaar, is one of the most enticing and mesmerizing attractions in Istanbul. Consisting of a vast labyrinth of 65 twisting streets crammed with more than 4,000 shops, teahouses, hamams (Turkish baths), mosques, storehouses and fountains.
Ephesus – Kusadasi – The best preserved and restored ancient city in Turkey! Visit Ephesus which is known to be Commercial, the Religious and Social Center of Antiquity, and one of the highlights of any visit in Turkey. Ephesus is probably the best combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations. With the mythological stories and spectacular ruins you will feel the life in ancient Ephesus.
Bodrum – One of the unique features of Bodrum as a holiday resort is that in addition to the active recreational opportunities available by day and the unequaled Bodrum nightlife, so many more tranquil bays, beaches and villages are available to enjoy. No other area on the Turkish Aegean coast provides the visitor with the opportunity to experience traditional Turkish life only a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of a modern tourist center.
Olu Deniz – Olu Deniz takes its name from the beautiful blue lagoon located a few hundred yards from the main town.
The beach itself stretches for several miles, but the most popular section is the lagoon with its stunning backdrop of mountains and pine forest. This area has been designated a National Park.
Fethiye – Fethiye is an ancient Lycian town with relics dating back to the 4th century BC and is reputed to have been visited by Alexander the Great. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Taurus Mountains and surrounded by a beautiful, island-strewn bay, the town is now a vibrant holiday destination.
The picturesque old quarter is packed with bazaar-style shops, restaurants and bars. A wide range of boat trips are available at the nearby waterfront.
Pamukkale – Pamukkale is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders in Turkey. The big attraction is a vast white cliff side with scallop-shaped basins of water and frozen waterfalls. It looks as if it’s made out of snow or cloud or balls of cotton. The scientific explanation is that hot thermal springs pouring down the hillside deposit calcium carbonate, which solidifies as travertine. If you take off your shoes, you can gingerly roam the terraces or paddle in the pools.
Hierapolis (near Pamukkale) – The ruins of Hierapolis are the other main attraction. Hierapolis has such extensive ruins it contains some of the best examples of tomb styles; it is one of the best-preserved cemeteries in all of Anatolia. The city was founded in 190 B.C. by Eumenes II, king of Pergamon. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, it reached the height of its development as a Roman thermal bath center The thermal resorts also attract visitors to the provinces with their spring waters of therapeutic effects
How to get there
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (The airport is located 24 km (15 Miles) west of Istanbul city centre.) There are international airports at İstanbul, Ankara, İzmir and some of the Mediterranean resorts. Turkish Airlines has direct flights from İstanbul to two dozen European cities and New York, as well as the Middle East, North Africa, Bangkok, Karachi, Singapore and Tokyo.
There are many car hire companies to choose from, but note driving by car is not for the faint hearted. If you have driven in Paris or Rome you have at least some preparation for Turkey, but don`t bank on it.
Rail links from most European cities to Turkey will require changes as they are not direct. The daily Balkan Ekspresi links Budapest and Sofia to İstanbul, while the Bosfor Ekspresi links Bucharest to İstanbul.
Most tourists arrive by cruise ships.
Regular bus services are available to all major cities and tourist destinations. Enquire locally.
Another popular and economic way of getting around is the dolmus, essentially a minivan with passenger seats. The best description of these little group taxis is in the translation: dolmus in English means “stuffed.” The dolmus follows a set route, stopping and starting to pick up passengers until no one else will fit in it. The main stops are posted on the windshield and you pay according to the distance that you go.
More than 100 festivals are held in Turkey every year. Along with the local festivals held in almost every city of the country, international culture and festivals also take place in major metropolitan centers such as İstanbul (İstanbul is the most important center of festivals), Ankara, İzmir and Antalya.
Eating Dining Shopping
The Turkish people favor the spicy kebabs of Adana, the tender lamb dishes of Central Asia, the steaks of Western Europe and the delightful appetizers, soups and vegetable dishes of the Aegean and Mediterranean, along with the sweet pastries of the Ottoman court, topped with a small cup of strong Turkish coffee.
Scores of wonderful seaside fish restaurants in Istanbul, Izmir, and along the Aegean and Mediterranean Coasts offer the best there is of sea food. A traditional dinner begins with meze dishes (appetizers), a dazzling variety of cold and hot treasures, ranging from salads to savory melons.
Raki is the most popular alcoholic drink of Turkey. Meze dishes are typically consumed with the milky-looking drink, the national alcoholic beverage, flavored with anise, and served with water and ice. Turkey boasts three locally brewed beers as well; Efes, Tuborg and Tekel.
Izmir – In the streets of the Kemeralti Market area it is possible to find fascinating antiques, both fine and fun jewellery, a great variety of clothing, and the dried figs and raisins for which Izmir is famous.
The fish restaurants in this colorful area serve up the local specialties of trance and cipura, two types of sea bream. The most modern and elegant shops are on the Kordon Promenades in Alsancak and Karsiyaka, on Cumhuriyet Avenue and in Passport.
Bodrum – Shopping through the narrow streets of Bodrum between the white walls is one of the pleasures you must try here. The Turkish crafts make it impossible to resist buying something. The most popular objects for the holiday maker are of course carpets; but the varied leather, copper and bronze wares, silver and gold, handicrafts and embroidery, and the famous Turkish meerschaum and onyx are on many peoples’ lists. Try also the local market where you can buy the local produce,usually on one day a week.
Istanbul is a shopper’s paradise, with an enormous variety of goods all at prices well below what you would pay at home. In the Old City district, around Aksaray, Beyazit and Laleli, there are many bargains to be found in leather, jewellery and textiles. Istiklal Caddesi of Beyoglu section is a long shopping street, the vividness of which varies from one place to another and ends in the Nisantasi section. As you proceed on this street, prices increase a little, but the quality gets better, there is also the labyrinthine Grand Bazaar, surrounded by many smaller craft shops. The city also has three major shopping districts, (Beyoglu, Nisantasi, Baghdad Street), which are lined with exclusive designer shops
The Republic of Turkey was established on October 29, 1923 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. The origins of modern Turkey can be traced back to the arrival of Turks in Anatolia in the 11th century under the Seljuks. They would be superseded by the Ottoman dynasty in the late 13th and early.
The Turkish landmass has been the stage upon which countless empires and kingdoms have flourished and declined, and its history lingers in famous ruins (Troy is only the beginning), mosques lavish with ornament, and that glittering distillation of Ottoman glory, the half-European, half-Asian İstanbul. The historical richness of people and the land laid the foundations of the current republic.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel: 112
Airport Information Tel: (Istanbul Ataturk International Airport) 90 (0)212 663 64 00
Train station:Tel:(Istanbul) 336 04 75
Tourist Office:Tel:(Istanbul) +90 212 245 68 76
Holiday rents online: Tel:
National Transport Line Tel:
24 hour medical service Tel: International Hospital Ambulance Tel: 0(212) 663 30 00