AN INTRODUCTION TO TURKEY

These pages are an introduction to help you discover the many dimensions of Turkey, to grasp the splendours of the country’s 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.

by: Izzet Keribar

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 future.

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 world’s healthiest cuisines and an extremely hospitable people.

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.

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Originally published by:
The Ministry of Tourism, Turkey
General Directorate of Information Publications Department

Research and Original Text:
Ayse Uçok

Photographic Research:
Bunyad Dinç


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