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Turkey is one of those countries on which an extraordinarily beautiful sun shines. Throughout history its civilizations have expressed their love for the sun in various symbols and the name of the land itself, "Anatolia", means "land of the mother sun".

Owing to its geographical position at the junction of the Asian, European and African continents, Turkey is the inheritor of the many natural and cultural treasures of this matchless land. In terms of both accessibility and being a crossroads where many civilizations have come and gone over the millennia, Turkey ranks among those countries with the highest tourism potential in the world.

Anatolia is the cradle of many civilizations and has played a prominent role during various periods of human history. Settlements dating back as far as ten millennia have been excavated here.

The Turkish people who migrated to the fertile lands of Anatolia a thousand years ago brought their own culture dating from prehistory with them, but also preserved the works of earlier cultures which they found.

Turkey is literally an open-air museum containing works of art created over ten thousand years, ranging from the Stone Age to some of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen. The ancient cities of Pergamum, Aphrodisias, Sardis, Troy and Gordion, redolent with distant legend and history dot the landscape. Two of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus are here in this wonderful country. The landscape in Turkey resembles a magnificent but threadbare Turkish carpet, hundreds of years old, displaying patterns which have evolved to perfection over the long centuries.

 

The natural environment in Turkey is a humanized landscape inseparable from its culture. Nevertheless, to the outsider, nature in many parts of Turkey gives a new meaning to wilderness, because even in the most inaccessible or isolated parts (such as the high mountain tops or the secret places in the valleys) the visitor is left with the feeling that sometime in history this place, now wild and untended, was the home to civilizations with settled villages and city life for nine thousand years.

There are areas of beauty coupled with historical interest such as the Bosphorus, Cappadocia, the Dardenelles, Mount Ararat and Pamukkale.

Today, the three largest cities are Turkey's foci; Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have become major urban centers by history as well as design. Following the foundation of the Turkish Republic after World War I, Istanbul and Izmir became the foci for social and business life while Ankara became the new capital. These cities contain the country's most respected universities, conservatories, theaters, and consert halls. Jewish and Christian communities and immigrants from different parts of the Ottoman Empire add diversity to the cities, contributing to the human mosaic so characteristic of Anatolia.

With over eight thousand kilometers of Black Sea, Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, Turkey offers a wide scenic variety from its gorgeous coastline and its fertile agricultural regions to its great mountains. Besides beach holidays, there is scope for cultural and religious tourism, mountaineering, hunting, mineral collecting, health- tourism, natural wonders, etc. Turkey is a yatchtman's paradise and yacht tourism has become particularly popular in the last few years. To support and encourage it, numerous facilities have been built and expanded. Yachters can find world-class amenities when they sail Turkish waters.

Turkey offers extraordinary diversity in terms of sights, scenery and activities. It is not a country with a single culture and single lifestyle.


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