These pages are an
introduction to help you discover the many dimensions
of Turkey, to grasp the splendours of the countrys
past and its cultural wealth, to understand the achievements
and problems of modern Turkey and the connection between
her past and the present. They are not to kind of travel
book where you will find descriptions of places and
information to help you plan your trip to Turkey. Nor
do they pretend to be a book offering a detailed study
of the history and culture of the country.
Turkey, a bridge
between Europe and Asia, has an extremely rich cultural
heritage. Perhaps no other land has witnessed so many
diverse civilisations over the last nine thousand years.
After the great Mesopotamians, the Hittite and Urartu
kingdoms flourished and in Western Anatolia the lonian
and Roman civilisations predominated. Istanbul holds
the honour of having been the capital of two huge empires
- first the Byzantine then the ottoman. Anatolia itself
became a crossroads of peoples, cultures and religions.
Christianity, for example, thrived here, and Islam was
glorified by the Seljuks and Ottomans.
Turkey today still
holds a very strategic position on the world map. This
vast land of the over 65 million people has tackled
the challenges of the future through its journey along
the road towards modernisation, secularism and democracy.
Today, it has a vibrant society, a dynamic economy,
an active political life and great confidence in its
A visit to Turkey
should not only take in all the great sights and monuments;
it should leave plenty of time for leisure and pleasure.
Turkey offers immense resources in these areas: majestic
mountains, ideal for climbers, hikers and skiers; over
8,000 km of coastline, laced with picturesque bays and
coves; lakes; year-round summer in some areas, yet plenty
of snow in others; a solid and expanding tourism infrastructure;
one of the worlds healthiest cuisines and an extremely
A trip to Turkey
is an enchanting experience and an unforgettable adventure.
We hope these pages encourage you to come. If not, we
hope that by reading the text and looking at the photographs
you will have a better idea of Turkey and what she represents.