Turkey travel tips
Turkey: interesting facts
The greater part of Turkey is in actual fact in Asia, with only a small part in Europe. The Asian part of the country is called Anatolia, whereas Thrace forms the European part. The state borders of Turkey are mainly formed by the sea: the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. Countries bordering on Turkey include Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Iran as well as Syria. Turkey is a secular state, a status that can be traced back to Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Turkey is divided up into the following geographical regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. In the highlands of Thrace, the river Meriç forms the border to Greece. West of the Bosporus lies the Marmara-Region, where the sea of Marmara separates Europe from Asia and the Aegean Sea from the Black Sea. The Dardanelles extends to the Mediterranean Sea. The landscape in this region is hilly and covered with shrubs and forests. At the foot of the Uludağ mountains is the city of Bursa, which, due to the many thermal and sulphur springs is well-known as a spa town. The Aegean region is very hilly and extends along the west coast between Çanakkale and Bodrum. With its many ancient buildings originating from the time of Greek colonization, this region also counts as the most developed tourist region in Turkey. The northern coastal strip of Turkey includes the region around the Black Sea. Here, the hilly landscape with its large forests is characteristically mild and humid. The central Anatolian region includes the inner Anatolian highlands with the saline lake Tuz Gölü and the mountain chains which reach an altitude of up to 3,900 m (1,2795 ft). Inner Anatolia on the other hand is a landscape of steppes, and here hot, dry summers and very cold winters prevail. The Mediterranean region is bordered by the Taurus mountains in the north and the Amanos mountains (only Dağları) to the east. In south-east Anatolia is the river Tigris, and the Taurus Mountains also enclose this area. The region east of the Euphrates is characterized by a high plateau.
The highest mountain in Turkey are Mount Ararat (Büyük Ağrı Dağı, 5,137 m (16,854 ft), the legendary resting place of Noah’s Arc.
Airports and places of interest in Turkey
Turkey has 14 international airports, the most significant of these being the international airport in Istanbul and Sabiha Gökçen airport, Antalya airport and Izmir (Adnan Menderes Havalimanı) airport along with the airport in Ankara (Esenboğa). Due to Turkeys central position, the traffic knot between Asia and Europe proves an important source of revenue.
Places of interest in Turkey include the Topkapı Sarayı in Istanbul (formerly residence of the Sultans), the Hagia Sophia, the İshak Paşa and the city of Troy. The southern coast, also known as the Turkish Riviera, is the tourist center for beach vacations, along with the southern Aegean coast. Fethiye is famous for its coves, islands and beaches. Many sites in Turkey have been listed by the UNESCO as world heritage sites such as the National park Göreme and the cave monuments in Kappadokien, the large mosque and hospital in Divriği, the historical parts of Istanbul, the ruins of Hattusa, the monumental graveyard on Mount Nemrut, the ruins in Xanthos with the holy Letoon, the ancient city of Hierapolis with the Pamukkale chalk terraces, the historic town of Safranbolu and the archaeological site of Troy. There are also two national parks which have also been declared natural world heritage sites by UNESCO. Two of the seven wonders of the world are to be found in Anatolia: the temple of Artemis in Ephesos and the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos in Bodrum.
Capital city Ankara and Istanbul
The capital of Turkey is Ankara and is located in central Anatolia. Here, a harsh, dry continental climate is prevalent, meaning that summers are hot and dry and the winters cold, with plenty of snow. Ankara is a relatively young city with only few places of interest, these include: the roman ruins of the Augustus Temple, the thermal baths and Julian pillar, the Kocatepe mosque (Kocatepe Camii), Hacıbayram mosque (Hacıbayram Camii), the Anıtkabir, Atatürks Mausoleum, the Atakule television tower, the museum of Anatolian civilisation at the foot of the citadel and the first republican parliament opposite the historical Hotel Ankara Palas in the district of Ulus.
However, most tourists would head to Istanbul with its countless tourist attractions if planning a city trip in Turkey.