Turkey - Turkiye
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
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.
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!