TURKEY : TOURIST SITES

Most visits to Turkey start in Istanbul, the gateway to the Orient. The city is also known under its former name of Constantinople, the Rome of the East, and later the capital of the Ottoman Empire, the mightiest Islamic empire of all times.

The trip then continues alongside the sunny Mediterranean beaches, where Homers Troy lies, but also Ephesus, the New York of the Greek-Roman world. There are more ancient ruins here than in continental Greece and their beauty matches everything else that can be found in the ancient world. Furthermore, most of these ruins are scarcely visited so that it is still possible to enjoy and admire them without having to share them with herds of tourists. There are more tourists on the western coast, but deserted and idyllic beaches and bays abound everywhere. In the virtually unspoiled mountain areas there are no tourists at all. During the springtime it is even possible to ski in the mountains during the morning and to swim in the warm water of the Mediterranean in the afternoon.

Those who decide to go inland will discover a landscape of vast plains and salt deserts that can be found nowhere else in Europe. Perhaps one of the greatest wonders of nature in Turkey is the very surrealistic turf stone landscape of Cappadocia with its thousands of cave dwellings and hundreds of churches in the rocks. And of course, no one should miss the beautiful (but very busy with tourists) calcium terraces of Pamukkale.

And then there is the adventurous Eastern Turkey. No lack in nomads tents here ! Everywhere in the wilderness are scattered the remains of lost civilizations. A beautiful example is the Nemrut mountain (2.150 m) with its mysterious idols or the ghost city of Ani close to the border with the former Soviet Union. The blue-green waters of the Van lake, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and grazing herds of cattle, are reminiscent of Central Asia, the true land of birth of the Turks. When crossing the Kars-Erzurum line, one arrives in the area of the little Caucasus or the Pontic Alps, a region which is almost never visited and which is never mentioned in tour guides. The mountains are covered with dense forest and with Balkan-like little villages and long forgotten basilicas. A visit to Turkey can then be closed off by a beautiful boat trip on the Black Sea.

Already after a few days, it should be possible to answer the question that every Turk will ask "How do you like Turkey ?" - "Turkiye ? Çok Güzel !" " Turkey ? Very beautiful !".


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