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Overview

First-time visitors to Turkey experience a full volley of emotions. For many, this trip changes lives and minds. Turkey is boisterous, yet demure, modern but staunchly traditional. Sincere hospitality is a universal hallmark and Turkey nurtures eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country exceeds its apparent size on maps: journeys require patience. Western regions contrast abruptly with devout eastern provinces. Everywhere shows tangible evidence of the diverse cultural and religious footprints that leavened Turkish paths, although Turkish historians portray their history more unilaterally. From the Neolithic era to Assyrians, Hittites, ...

First-time visitors to Turkey experience a full volley of emotions. For many, this trip changes lives and minds. Turkey is boisterous, yet demure, modern but staunchly traditional. Sincere hospitality is a universal hallmark and Turkey nurtures eleven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country exceeds its apparent size on maps: journeys require patience. Western regions contrast abruptly with devout eastern provinces. Everywhere shows tangible evidence of the diverse cultural and religious footprints that leavened Turkish paths, although Turkish historians portray their history more unilaterally. From the Neolithic era to Assyrians, Hittites, Byzantines, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans, Turkey is a colorful ethnographic panorama, a cosmic overview of civilization. History aside, some 20 million visitors enjoy superb beaches, splendid yacht cruises, water and alpine sports and golf. Charming traditional festivals round out the span of interests. Early tourists were backpackers or overlanders but moving upmarket has raised Turkey's tourism profile and rekindled awareness of the country's incomparable cultural wealth. Although overwhelmingly Muslim, Turkish locals have a soft-line, laissez-faire attitude to non-believers, particularly in western provinces.

Suzanne Swan
About the Expert

Suzanne Swan is the main author of DK's Eyewitness Travel Guide Turkey. She updated and wrote original material for DK's Eyewitness Travel Guide Istanbul.

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Suzanne Swan for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Turkey is a bridge between Asia and Europe. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea
  • Language: Turkish
  • Currency: Turkish Lira
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall