20 May, 2019
Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey, which includes 97 percent of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. European Turkey comprises 3 percent of the country's territory. Seas encircle the country on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Istanbul is the largest city, but more central Ankara is the capital.
The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period. The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who inhabited central and eastern Anatolia, respectively, as early as c. 2300 BC.
Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known human-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a huge Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC. It is the largest, and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date and in July 2012 was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia was heavily settled by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks. Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Smyrna (now İzmir) and Byzantium (now Istanbul), the latter founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC.
The occupation of Istanbul (1918) and Izmir (1919) by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish National Movement under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first President and subsequently introduced Atatürk's Reforms. The reforms aimed to transform the old religion-based and multi-communal Ottoman constitutional monarchy into an essentially Turkish nation-state that would be governed as a parliamentary republic) under a secular constitution. With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Mustafa Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father Turk).
Tourism in Turkey has increased almost every year in the 21st century and is an integral part of the economy. Turkey is one of the world's top ten destination countries, with Germany and Russia sending the most tourists.[
Turkey has 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the "Historic Areas of Istanbul," the "Rock Sites of Cappadocia." Turkey is home to two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Istanbul, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic, cultural and historic center. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side, and about a third of its population lives in the suburbs on the Asian side. It was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world's fifth most popular tourist destination. The city's biggest attraction is its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its cultural and entertainment hub is across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn.
Cappadocia is a region created by the erosion of soft volcanic stone by the wind and rain for centuries. The area is a popular tourist destination, having many sites with unique geological, historical, and cultural features. Among the most visited underground cities are Derinkuyu, Kaymakli, Gaziemir, and Ozkonak. The best historic mansions and cave houses for tourist stays are in Ürgüp, Göreme, Guzelyurt, and Uçhisar. Hot-air ballooning is very popular in Cappadocia and is available in Göreme. The Göreme Open Air Museum is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous places in central Turkey. The complex contains more than 30 carved-from-rock churches and chapels, some having superb frescoes inside, dating from the 9th century to the 11th century.
Turkish cuisine is primarily the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which was influenced by Balkan, Arab, Byzantine, Kurdish, Persian and Armenian cuisines. Yogurt salads, fish in olive oil, sherbet and stuffed and wrapped vegetables became Turkish staples.
Samarth Community organizes tours, specially designed for senior citizens to Turkey and other countries. Please visit https://www.samarth.community/senior-tours for details of our tours.
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