Introducing Turkey26 May 2013
Few places rival Turkey as an East-West meeting point. This was the birthplace of the Greek civilization, the seat of the Ottoman Empire which spanned nearly 500 years and stretched from the Danube to the Persian Gulf. Modern Turkey has historical sights to match Europe’s, first-class resorts, splendid beaches, winter and summer sports, trekking and mountaineering. Recently, the many religious shrines dedicated to the Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths are enjoying a touristic revival.
Istanbul has a history stretching back over two millennia and a romantic setting second to none. The spectacular domes and minarets of the grand mosques dominate the skyline of the Golden Horn, while the Topkapı Palace guards the exquisite treasures of the Ottoman Empire.
Along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts you can admire some of the finest classical ruins, including entire cities such as Ephesus and Pergamon. This coastline also has superb scenery. The barren heartland of Anatolia contains sites dating back to the mysterious Hittite era of the Bronze Age and the vast, incredible undergound cities and cave dwellings of Cappadocia. On the Black Sea coast, where Jason and the Argonauts sought the Golden Fleece, lies the legendary Trabzon (Trebizond), while eastern Turkey beckons with Lake Van and biblical sites such as Mount Ararat.
Turkey has a rich and varied cuisine. The teeming bazaars sell everything from junk to treasures. Good buys include carpets, kilims, jewellery and leather.
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