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At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey is a remarkable country whose rich Hellenistic, Byzantine and Ottoman history has left it with an abundance of cultural treasures. Istanbul,  nestled against the Bosphorus river as it opens into the Marmara Sea, is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Istanbul was once the capital city but Atiturk moved the capital to Ankara because of the central location. Four of the country’s greatest attractions – Aya Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar (a sprawling labyrinth of stores fronts and shops selling everything under the sun) – are all within walking distance of one another in Istanbul’s Sultanamet district. The city’s Beyoglu district on the north side of the Bosphorus’ horn offers some great nightlife.

Travelling outside Istanbul is easy.  In addition to internal flights, a well-run inter-city bus system exits which provides comfortable and safe journeys between destinations in the day time and overnight.  A network of tour guides trained in various foreign languages and approved by the government enables visitors to obtain transportation, local tours and food and other services with ease.  Some tour companies even provide handphones to customers so that the former can be contacted directly from anywhere in Turkey in emergencies.

So, after seeing all you can in Istanbul, head south from Istanbul to the ancient Greek and Roman ruins of Efes, Pergamum, Priene, Didyma and Aphrodisias.  Continue on to Pamukkale where one can see white terraces formed when water from hotsprings loses carbon dioxide as it flows down the slope, leaving deposits of limestone.  Right next to the terraces is Hierapolis (Holy City) built by a Pergamum king and bequeathed by its last king to the Romans, who rebuilt it after an earthquake in 17 A.D.

Travel further south to Antalya, the third largest city in Turkey, by the Mediterranean Sea to visit Aspendos nearby, where it has the best preserved Roman theatre in the world, which is still being used.  Continue by sailboat along the Mediterranean coast, stopping at hidden bays and emerald green lagoons along the way. Head back inland to see the incredible sandstone formations and cave churches in Cappadocia’s badlands. Travel east to the base of Biblical Mount Ararat and head north to Trabzon to see the Sumela monastery built right on a cliff in the mountains overlooking the Black Sea. Do all of this while enjoying delicious healthy food (be sure to sample a stuffed eggplant dish call “Imam Beyulde” that is so good it is supposed to have caused an Imam to faint while eating it).  Or try the roast Anatolian lamb (whole), which is delicious; or the Marash ice-cream (the "sticky" ice-cream from the southeastern region of Turkey).  

Turkey is a land with a long history of events and upheavals.  It is also a land where many legends were born; the most well-known is the Trojan War.  But there are others, including the riddle of the Gordian Knot, and the  goldern touch of Midas; both came from kings Gordius and his son Midas of the Phrygian kingdom in western Anatolia around 800 B.C.

Visit Turkey, apart from the sceneries and food, fill in the gaps in history while you visit the ancient ruins, and may be you can dig up enough facts to turn legends into history.  In all, Turkey is a country that can offer the trip of a lifetime to virtually any kind of traveler. 
 

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Questions answered about visiting Turkey
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Going to Turkey, what should I lookout for?
Bono
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I'm also planning to visit Turkey. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do? Thanks!
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Travel Tips from people who've been to Turkey
Jan
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Visit a nice Kebab store on the main street, not far from the junction by the supermarket. They have Iskender Kebap for less then a Lira and its great!
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Izmir is where you'll find one of the holiest place in the world.  Izmir houses the last home of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
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Apurva
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One marvellous little city ... marvellous because it has amazing sights, food, history, attractions and charm ... and little because much of this is conveniently concentrated in the old part of the city Sultanahmet ... you can get here straight from the airport or station .... the rest of the city is largely a modern sprawl that you will need only if you have private or official visits to make, or sample modern Istanbul, or connect to other cities, or go to see the few things outside (such as the touristy Bosphorus or that bridge, walking on which you cross from Europe to Asia) ... the main attractions otherwise are in easily walkable Sultanahment ... the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Aya Sophia ... these are certainly worth it ... but do take the time to sample some good Turkish food, get scrubbed and soaped and sprayed and beaten and by huge Turkish masseurs in a hammam, watch a Sufi dervish dance while smoking a sheesha, linger over cups of Turkish tea or coffee, ... these are the experiences that really stay ... be careful of the carpet sellers though as you navigate Sultanahmet (they can get quite persistent) ... plenty of hotels to choose from ...backpacker to mid-range to starred... so I don't see the need to book in advance except for peak season... walk around and take what you like instead (I've heard of a hotel 'Poem' that I intent to sample in the next visit, where rooms have poems instead of numbers to identify them...) ... Turkish sheeshas and tea-glasses make good tourist buys ... Istanbul is not just a major crossroad now but a major tourist spot too and you are bound to come across several faces of both the tourist industry and the tourist ...

 

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Turkey Travel Guide
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Annie T. answered Bono D.'s question:
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I'm also planning to visit Turkey. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do? .. (More)
Annie T. answered Bono D.'s question:
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I'm also planning to visit Turkey. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do? .. (More)
Annie T. answered Bono D.'s question:
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I'm also planning to visit Turkey. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do? .. (More)
Annie T. answered Bono D.'s question:
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I'm also planning to visit Turkey. Any suggestions on where to go, what to do? .. (More)
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