Linking Europe and the Middle East, suspended between the new
and the long-established, Turkey retains a disconcerted balance of
both east and west, representing a cultural mix with many
discrepancies and contradictions. Modern city boutiques and exotic
bazaars clamour for customers, the weekly tolling of church bells
interrupts the daily call of the muezzin, and Roman ruins and the
beginnings of Christianity compete for attention with the history
of the Ottoman Empire and modern secularity.
The different regions of Turkey offer an assortment of
landscapes, activities and characters, and whether one is a history
or archaeology enthusiast, a sun-worshipper, sailor, or city-lover
keen on shopping, there is something on offer for everyone.
Istanbul, with one part in Europe and the other in Oriental Asia,
is a fascinating city with its frenzied market places, imperial
residences and minarets, and sporting a lively ambience of
contemporary art and musical entertainment. Cappadocia in Central
Turkey offers an astounding landscape of eroded volcanic rock cones
and fairy chimneys, remarkable subterranean cities and rock-hewn
houses that merge harmoniously with the ochre-coloured landscape;
while further south the 'Turquoise Coast' is a haven for boat
cruises. One can enjoy a variety of water sports, sunbathe on
golden sands, or explore the wonderful ancient cities of Troy and
Ephesus on the shores of the Aegean Sea.
Most visitors concentrate on Western Turkey, with its
picturesque seaside resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean
coasts, scenic and recreational attractions, well-preserved
archaeological sites and fascinating museums that bring its rich
history to life. Wherever one ventures in Turkey there is certain
to be a warm welcome and traditional hospitality, making this a
deeply satisfying corner of the world in which to travel.