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Turkey Travel Guide

flights to Turkey

As the country that lies on the east/west divide of the world, Turkey borders Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and the three seas which lap itís shores are the Black Sea, the Mediterranean and the Aegean. Sandwiching the Anatolian Plateau, there are two east-west mountain ranges - the Black Sea Mountains in the north and the Taurus in the south where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise. These ranges include the biblical mountain of Mount Agri (Ararat) rising to a height of 5137 metres and allegedly the resting place of Noahís Ark after the Great Flood. 97% of the country is Asia Minor which forms a long, wide peninsula 1650km (1025 miles) from east to west and 650km (400 miles) from north to south. Far from the dry, barren, dusty landscapes often depicted in films, Turkey has plenty of lush agricultural valleys, meandering rivers, rolling hills and steppes laden with brightly coloured flowers. Turkey also boasts 8400km of rugged beaches making up the serpentine, sun drenched coastline.

The seat of Turkey's government lies in Ankara - the heart of central Anatolia and the countryís capital. Containing Turkeyís most prized universities, conservatories, theatres and concert halls, Ankara is also something of a cultural capital. It is rich in art and culture with world-class performances of ballet, theatre, opera and folk dancing, not to mention itís highly acclaimed Philharmonic Orchestra. The city is full of history including Hisar, the Byzantine citadel and the ubiquitous Roman ruins are sprinkled in amongst the mosques and monuments of Muslim Anatolia. The other most famous city in Turkey is Istanbul - the only city in the world built on two continents. Istanbul is a complex maze of mosques, churches and museums. The mosques are spectacular pieces of architecture and open to visitors every day outside of worshipping hours. The most famous is the 400yr old tranquil Blue Mosque, distinguished by itís six slender minarets and striking blue Iznik tiles covering the walls. The popular covered bazaar (Kapali Carsisi) is something of a legend where a labyrinth of over 4000 little shops are filled with jewellery, oriental carpets, silver bibelots, leather, ceramics and hand-woven textiles.

Turkey also boasts Ephesus, the grandest and best-preserved classical city on the Mediterranean. A thriving cultural centre during the Greek Empire, and a busy provincial capital during Roman times. Ephesus was home to Ionia's Temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. With itís bustling cities, ancient remains and itís flourishing beach resorts such as Gumbet, Olu Deniz, Bodrum and Marmaris, Turkey is a diverse and fascinating country which caters for all interests

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Turkey Travel Guide, Attractions and Highlights
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