Turkey and Istanbul
A country of sun and history, Turkey forms a bridge between Europe, Asia and Middle East because of its geographical location and its culture. The mainland Anatolia has witnessed the mass migration of numerous people, which has shaped the course of its history. The home to countless civilizations, Anatolia has developed a unique synthesis of cultures, each with its own distinct identity, yet each linked to its predecessors through insoluble treads.
Having historical treasures from 13 civilizations Anatolia hosted Hittites, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Seljuk, Ottomans and Turks. As the homeland of Homer, St. Nicholas and St. Paul, Anatolia has witnessed the very well known Trojan War. Being the home of two of the seven worlds wonders The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and Mausoleum at Halicarnassus Turkey welcomes every year millions of foreign and local tourists.
After the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Turkey focused on westernization. In a very short period of time Turkey has made great political,economical and social progresses. In 1928 Latin Alphabet was accepted and in 1932, Turkish women gained their right for vote. Turkey became a member of UN in 1945 and a member of NATO in 1952. Today, modern Turkey has a secular, democratic parlimentery and is one of the 10 merging markets of the world.
The Country extends over 780,580 km2 and has a population of more than 70 million with mean age of 27. 15 million people live in Istanbul. The capital city of Turkey is Ankara, which has a population of 4 million. The official language is Turkish though especially in touristical regions it is very usual to meet bilangual citizens.
Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture
Istanbul is a natural gateway, offering a friendly welcome and genuine hospitality. It is a metropolis proud of its rich history and unrivalled natural beauty spread on two continents, Europe and Asia, divided by the Bosphrous.
The city has been a capital for Roman, Byzantium and Ottoman Empires. It is attractive both for the beauty of the surrounding landscape and for its historical treasures.
Beneath the unchanging skyline of Istanbul's domes and minarets, you find the continual bustle and movement of the crowds, the rumbling of vehicles along the ancient cobbled streets mingling with the horns of shipping in the busy ports, all revealing magnificent vitality.
Bounding the old and the new together Istanbul offers you many treasures. You can visit the very well known mosques and monuments of Otoman Empire or the valuable Byzantine remains. For those who prefer shopping, the modern shopping malls are available with their brand goods.
Turkish cuisine is said to be one of the best of the world. Istanbul does not only offer you different traditional tastes of Turkey but also worldwide known cuisines such as Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Italian etc. One can choose the modern and elegant restaurants or smaller ones with local flavor.