A cliché image of a ‘bridge between the East and the West’ aside, Turkey is the mesmerising mix of the old and the new, traditional exotic and the eclectic modern. Describing Turkey is like reminiscingthe age of orientalism, a cultural spirit which defines the evocative mix of Asian spiritualism and mysticism of the 18th and 19th centuries.With a history dating back to the Palaeolithic Age, Turkeyhas been shaped up by the numerous invasions and conquests by civilizations ranging from the Anatolians, Aeolians, Ionian Greeks, to the Byzantine Empire, including the golden period of Ottoman Empire.
The country still evokes the feeling of discovery and its antiquated charm is still preserved and served with a new dash of modernity and contemporary outlook in modern day Turkey. A country lyingat the threshold of Asia, Europe and North Africa, can be termed as the key civilization or geographical zone of human endeavours. Much of it is evident in its historic ruins, remnants of lost civilizations, cave dwellings and mystical rock formations, geological wonders and a culture which is refined over a period of 600 years during the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey is a modern secular republic with a progressive outlook and key regional player in the geo-political scene of Middle East, a dynamic region. The modern foundation of Turkey was laid after a violent First World War which effectively doused the last embers of already diminishing Ottoman Empire. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a much revered figure of Turkey and world history, laid the foundation of a new, resurgent Turkey which despite losing its geo-political influence, charted its own course in accordance with international politics and economic.
Turkey is among the top most visited countries in the world and still manages to captivate tourists by its varied charms. Diverse landscape dotted with extensive mountain ranges, tranquil traditional villages, turquoise waters of Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, glitzy sea resorts, white sand beaches, urban cities and amazing cultural experience; makes it a country with highly rewarding experiences for tourists.
Turkey is a melting-pot of ethnicities like Kurds, Arabs, Greeks and Christians. Majority of the population follows Islam (70%). The official language is Turkish, with Kurdish being spoken by minorities. English, French and German are also widely spoken in big cities and tourist spots. The climate in Turkey varies from temperate Mediterranean to a temperate Oceanic climate.
Turkey is home to a plethora of remarkable historic and archaeological sites, as well as beautiful churches and mosques. The heavenly Turkish cuisine, with culinary traditions dating back thousands of years is a food connoisseurs’ delight. Lamb kebabs, kofta, dolma, yogurt salads, and the world-famous Turkish delight are a few irresistible signatures of the Turkish fare.This is a land where people are highly cultured, respect family values and tradition and yet thrive on all the comforts of modernity. What makes Turkey an alluring destination is its range of cultural experience, its fabled hospitality and its exotic touristy offerings.