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Turkey - Turkiye
Republic of Turkey FlagTurkey is a secular democratic country with a population of 70 million, a NATO member since 1952 and a long time ally of the USA. It is about twice the size of California and is one of seven self-sufficient food producing nations. The Asian part of Turkey is called Anatolia or Asia Minor. The diverse landscape along with the four seas, over a dozen rivers, numerous lakes and mountains have created seven different climate zones which in return have made the flora and fauna varied and abundant.

So much history has transpired on this land and so many civilizations have left their marks in Turkey that it has been called The Cradle of Civilizations, Where East Meets West, An Open-Air Museum, The Crossroads of History, The Land of Contrasts, etc. Some of the great civilizations that came and went are as follows: Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Assyrians, Urartians, Lycians, Lydians, Ionians (Ancient Greeks), Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Unfortunately it is not feasible to summarize all the civilizations in a travel catalogue but to give an idea, Turkey has more Ancient Greek sites than Greece and more Ancient Roman sites than Italy.

Also Turkey probably holds the record for the most number of significantly important figures, real and mythical, to have been on one land: Noah, Abraham, Mother goddess/Cybele/Artemis, Apollo, Homer, Ajax, Hector, Heros, Achilles, Paris, Odysseus, Helene of Troy, Aphrodite/Venus, Athena, Dionysus, Galen, Justinian, Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Midas, Diogenes, Thales, Croesus, Constantine, Julius Caesar, Xenophon, Xerxes, King Mausolus, Cyrus, Alexander the Great, Amazon Queen Amasis, Aesop, St. John, Virgin Mary, St. Paul, St. Luke, St. Peter, St. Nicholas/Santa Claus, Alaeddin, Dervish Mevlana, Mehmet the Conqueror, Sultan Bayezid, Suleyman the Magnificent, Architect Sinan, Piri Reis, Marco Polo, Barbarossa/Red Beard, Ataturk and many more.

The Turks originated from Central Asia and some began migrating to Anatolia in the 11th century: Huns, Gokturks, Uygurs, Karahans, Seljuks, Oguz and Ottomans. Other peoples that set foot on ancient Anatolia include but are not limited to Carians, Hurris, Cimmerians, Vikings, Mongols, Slavs, Jews, Armenians, Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, Georgians, Celts and Lazes. Turkey is a melting pot of different peoples and today continues to receive an influx of people due to economical, political, retirement, educational and business reasons.

Bosphorus Bridge connects Europe and AsiaAfter the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during W.W.I., foreign forces occupied and started dividing the land. Against all odds, Mustafa Kemal united the people and defeated the occupying forces. Then he created the Republic of Turkey in 1923, made Ankara the capital and accomplished many reforms like: Separation of church and state, voting and equal rights for women, switched alphabet from Arabic to Latin, westernized dress code and calendar, converted to metric system, shut the medresses and overhauled the school system, adopted the Swiss legal code and revolutionized agriculture. For his achievements, the people honored him with the surname Ataturk, father of Turks.

The Turkish cuisine is one of the best and richest in the world. What cuisine can boast "101 recipes" with the obscure eggplant alone? Even the regions have their own unique dishes. The healthy Turkish cuisine uses fresh ingredients and consists of a variety of vegetables, seafood, meats, poultry, nuts, grains, cheese, etc. Most of the dishes are prepared with tomato, onion, garlic and olive oil as base ingredients and accompanied with salad and yogurt (Turkish origin). The shish kebab is one of many well known Turkish creations. The pastry and dessert selections are diverse and sumptuous too. The Turks drink tea from tulip shaped glasses and Turkish coffee at every occasion. There are plenty of other local drinks including alcohol (beer, wine and the popular anise flavored grape brandy, raki).

Your five senses should be ecstatic when you encounter many things in Turkey, especially if it is your first time: Experience the past and present marvels along with remnants from ancient civilizations, kaleidoscope of people, nature's beauty, delicious food, spice markets, assortment of sounds and music, colorful bazaars, glittering jewelry, silk rugs and leather goods. After all this, your senses might be overwhelmed so plan on booking one of our gulet cruises or vacation resort packages. Enjoy!

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