Vacation in Turkey

After visiting Turkey for the first time in my life, I have to say that it was definitely more than I had imagined it to be! The drive was simply amazing with the mountains, the sea, desert-like landscapes, sunflower and other agricultural fields, cities and so much more for the eye to feast itself upon as we drove in pure amazement! I have taken plenty of road trips in my time, but this one was one of my favorites because of its vast views!

The people provided a pleasant shock to me as well. I had my suspicions and slight fears due to what I had seen on the news, media, internet and through hearing warnings prior to going. Well, they were all nice and they welcomed us at each place that we stopped, offering us nothing but smiles and warmth. This made me feel at peace while being excited to be in a place that I had never been!

This melting pot also made me feel nostalgic seeing the different cultures intertwine as they do in Florida.  It was a pleasure, to once again, see people from different backgrounds come together and work in harmony.

Ultimately, Turkey simply wowed me because of its ability to shock me in so many different ways! I have done some research on this country and provided it below, along with one of the websites that I collected information from.

https://www.microarch.org/micro35/Turkey/DATA/FACTS.HTM

FACT SHEET

OVERVIEW:
While modern Turkey is a relatively young republic having been founded upon the remains of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, it is an ancient land, the cradle of civilization and the center of world history. The site of the first human settlement; the seat of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman Empires; the birthplace of Homer and the last home of the Virgin Mary; the originator of yogurt and that presenter of coffee to the West – just a microscopic sampling of Turkey’s extraordinary heritage. Today, this large country, twice the size of California, with its spectacular coastline, majestic mountains, cosmopolitan cities and quaint villages is one of the world’s most desirable destinations, a captivating blend of East and West, antiquity and contemporary, the exotic and the familiar.

OFFICAL NAME:
The Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)

LOCATION:
Eastern Mediterranean on both the European and Asian continents at the only point in the world where three continents converge – Europe, Africa and Asia. The European portion of Turkey is known as Thrace, while the Asian is called Anatolia or Asia Minor; Istanbul straddles both as the world’s only city located on two continents. Turkey is surrounded on three sides by water – the Agean, Black and Mediterranean Seas – yielding more than 5,000 miles of coastline.

SIZE:
314,500 square miles, slightly larger than the state of Texas – 3 percent in Europe and 97 percent in Asia

CAPITAL:
Ankara in the heart of Anatolia. Despite its long history – Ankara has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age – it is a thoroughly modern, well-planned city distinguished by wide avenues, green parks, elegant shops, embassies and government buildings, and numerous world-class hotels and restaurants. Indeed it is the only city in Turkey with an urban development plan dating to the 1930s, the result of the formerly provincial town being named the capital of The Republic or Turkey by its founder, Kemal Atatürk, in 1923.

POPULATION:
65.3 million (as of 2000)

LANGUAGE:
Turkish, which uses the Latin Alphabet, part of the Ural-Altaic group and strongly related to Finno-Hungarian languages. English is widely spoken in major cities and resort areas.

GOVERNMENT:
Founded in 1923 by Kemal Atatürk Turkey is a democratic, secular, social state governed by the rule of law; committed to the concepts of public peace, national solidarity, justice, respecting human rights and the nationalism of Atatürk; based on the principle of a separation of powers.

  • Legislative Power: The Turkish Grand National Assembly
  • Executive Power: President and the Council of Ministers
  • Judicial Power: Independent courts and supreme judiciary organs

A member of NATO, Turkey is a candidate for inclusion in the European Union.

MAJOR CITIES:
Istanbul 9.2 million
Ankara 3.7 million
Konya 1.9 million
Adana 1.7 million

Bursa1.2 million

CLIMATE:
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence of mountains running parallel to the coasts, results in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates – warm summers and mild winters – the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.
GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS:
Seven regions, divided into 80 administrative provinces, four of which are name after the seas that abut them:

  • Black Sea Region
  • Marmara Region
  • Aegean Region
  • Mediterranean Region

The other three regions are named in accordance with their location in Anatolia.

  • Central Anatolia Region
  • Eastern Anatolia Region
  • Southern Anatolia Region
ECONOMY:
16th largest in the world and the strongest in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caspian basin, Central Asia and the Middle East – with an average growth rate over the past 30 years of around five percent.

Agriculture remains the economy’s base with Turkey being the world’s leading producer of hard-shell nuts, figs and apricot, fourth in fresh vegetable, grape and tobacco production, and seventh in wheat and cotton production. However, Turkey is also among the leading manufacturers of textiles and ready-to-wear clothing, representing 36 percent of exports. The leather processing industry is also an important sector of the Turkish economy.

MONETARY EXCHANGE:
Turkish lira (TL) with coinage in 25,000, 50,000 and 250,000 lira pieces. Bank notes are in 100,000, 250,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 5,000,000 10,000,000 and 20,000,000 lira denominations. The exchange rates for foreign currencies are published daily. Traveler’s checks are widely accepted and can be cashed upon producing identification. The most popularly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard. Exchange offices in resort areas and major tourist destinations are generally open until midnight.

DOCUMENTS:
In addition to a passport, a visa is required for all U.S. citizens entering Turkey. Visas may be obtained upon any Turkish entry point or in advance from one of the Turkish Consulates around the U.S. Application for a business visa must be made ahead of time.

The tourist visa is valid for a year starting from the issue date. There are two different types – a single entry visa, which allows a stay of up to three months, and a multiple entry visa, which allows for a stay of up to three months for each entry.

Visas given at entry points are valid only for three months. Therefore, visas must be obtained in advance for visits lasting longer stays and for study, research or employment purposes.

HOSPITALITY:
Centuries-old cornerstone of Turkish daily life, especially for travelers for which tradition dictates a warm welcome and the offering of refreshments

VISITORS:
435,000 total arrivals in 2001- including via cruise ship, which accounts for the vast majority of first time visits to Turkey. The number of visitors has more than doubled over the last six years with Turkey devoting more money to tourism than any other European country during this period.

AVERAGE STAY LENGTH:
10 days

HOTELS:
Luxury to budget, the choices are vast. The greatest number of five- and four-star hotels are in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, as well as in the Mediterranean and Aegean coastal resort areas. Breakfast is usually included in the room rate, even at more modest properties. Many hotels are licensed by the Ministry of Tourism; rated from one to five stars, they are required to meet strict regulations and standards.

Special License Hotels – a relatively new breed of boutique properties that have been converted into charming, atmospheric hotels from Ottoman mansions, caravanserais and other structures that are protected by the government. Because of building restrictions, facilities and amenities may be somewhat limited making them difficult to categorize within the star system.

RESTAURANTS:
World-class fine dining, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara where international cuisine is quite prevalent. There are also many small, family restaurants serving traditional Turkish cuisine at moderate prices and roadside establishments offer spit-roasted lamb, salads and fresh vegetables stuffed with savory rice. Tasty local beers and fine Turkish wines are available throughout the country.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES:
Unrivaled in terms of exploring the remnants of a number of the world’s most important civilizations, through countless ruins, internationally acclaimed and restored historic structures. Music, theater dance and art are also hallmarks of Turkish culture.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES:
Turkey’s diverse typography presents almost limitless opportunities for: bicycling; boating; diving; golf; hiking; rafting; and skiing (snow and water).

Anatolia’s nearly 1,000 thermal springs have generated a number of spas and therapeutic facilities.

FESTIVALS:
From camel wrestling to yachting, music to wine, Turkey celebrates its distinctive traditions with festivals staged every month or the year.

TRAVEL:
Turkish Airlines provides regular service to and from Turkey’s seven international airports to the rest of the world. Other major international carriers have access to those gateways as well.

Car and passenger ferries from many Black Sea and Mediterranean ports serve Turkish shores and rail service is available from most major European cities to Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines and Turkish Railways maintain an expansive transportation network throughout the country.

ELECTRICITY:
220 volts

RELIGION:
The only country in the world where churches, synagogues and mosques of peacefully co-existed for centuries, the population is 99 percent Muslim. As a secular state Turkey guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Muslims.

FLAG:
Red background with a white crescent and star in the middle

NATIONAL ANTHEM:
“Istiklal Marsi” (Independence March), lyrics by Mehmet Akif Ersoy Adopted as Turkey’s National Anthem on March 12,1921

INFORMATION:
Call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY or contact the Turkish Tourist Offices in Washington, D.C., at 202-612-6800 or in New York at 212-687-2194, and visit their Web sites at www.tourismturkey.org or www.turizm.gov.tr.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Details of the places we stopped will be in my future post(s)… I will try to put them all in one but we will see…

We felt drawn to visiting a country near Romania, and we realized that this was where we should go when a friend suggested Turkey to us. The following verse applies in many occasions in our lives, but I like to think that it works here as well.

Proverbs 16:9 KJV

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Thank-you for taking the time to visit and read my post today! I would enjoy hearing from you so please do share your comments below!

Christy 🙂

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28 thoughts on “Vacation in Turkey

  1. floatinggold says:

    Never been to Turkey. It’s a country that’s neither on my “must visit” , nor “don’t go”. It’s just neutral. I’m glad you enjoyed it. And when I pick places to visit, I do consult reason, but I never not go because of things in the news.

    Liked by 1 person

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