#Ten thousand years of history
Turkey is a crossroads of prestigious civilizations. It offers countless historical treasures, starting with the prehistoric remains, then the many Hellenistic and Roman sites, without forgetting the Seljuq builders who left, everywhere in Turkey, caravanserais, bridges and mosques, or the Ottomans and their wonders, fountains, mosques, hammams... A few days in Turkey allow to cross more than 10 000 years of history. An inexhaustible cultural and artistic heritage.History is superimposed on its layers and enriched to create a contemporary, modern and, what is more, exciting Turkey!
Exceptional hospitality :
Hospitality is one of the foundations of the Turkish way of life. In Turkey, the traveller is never a tourist, he is a misafir, a "guest", a "host". The only embarrassment the foreign traveller may feel is that he or she cannot refuse what is so kindly offered. Accepting coffee, tea or fruit will be the best of thanks. Even in villages, there will always be someone who has a basic knowledge of a foreign language and who, with great eagerness, will improvise to interpret in order to help the traveller who wants to be understood.
A great diversity of landscapes
Between dream waters (7,000 km of coastline bordering the country), arid or very green countryside, mountains, lakes or natural resources (Cappadocia, Pamukkale or Ölüdeniz Bay), Turkey offers a variety of surprising landscapes and thus makes it possible to multiply activities. It is not uncommon to meet travellers who, totally intoxicated by this country, visit it for the umpteenth time.
A tasty cuisine
Between çorba (soup), sebze (vegetable) and tatl? (sweetness), not to mention meyve (fruit), bal?k (fish) and (meat), Turkey is a paradise for the taste buds. It's a place where fruits and vegetables still taste great. A simple tomato will allow you to see it. You will see people eating all day long. In the street, with street vendors, in lokanta (a small restaurant offering simple food with fast service, sometimes open all night) or in restaurants. The meal is still something we share. It is not right to eat in someone's presence without offering to share your meal. Between very light food and pantagruelic meals, choose your gastronomic trip.
A shopping destination
Anyone who likes shopping will be, in Turkey, like a fish in water. There are no souks there but bazaars. The bazaar trades in fruits and vegetables, as well as clothing, household equipment and typical objects. The most popular purchase is carpets and kilims, but leather, copper, bronze, silver, gold, ceramics, embroidery, spices and the famous sea foam (magnesite) pipes are part of the long list of crafts offered by this country of art and tradition. In large cities, in Istanbul in particular, far from these more traditional products, modern avenues or hyper-trendy shopping centres allow the curious to get acquainted with the best of Turkish fashion, such as the brands Vakko, Sarar or Mavi Jeans, which blend in with the other major luxury brands.
A hectic nightlife
The nightlife in cities and seaside resorts is extremely rich and can satisfy all tastes. On one side, there are the traditional mezze restaurants, called meyhane or taverna (Greek version), where dinner is punctuated by singers playing the hits of Turkish music and people often dancing between each dish. On the other hand, trendy restaurants and trendy boxes. For night lovers, Turkey will not disappoint and has nothing to envy from its European or American counterparts. Istanbul, of course, offers the widest choice, but places like Bodrum or Marmaris are not to be missed for the wild summer nights.
An exceptional fauna and flora
Extensive forests cover eastern Anatolia, the Black Sea coasts (composed of many hazelnuts) and the Mediterranean coast. Many fruit trees grow in Turkey: fig trees, apricots, cherries, almonds... And the oleander mixed with the many palm trees of the Aegean coast evokes holidays... The steppes are adorned with a shimmering carpet of wild flowers in spring. The country offers a fauna similar to that of the Balkans: bears, lynxes, wild boars, wolves, and some (increasingly rare) leopards. Horses, donkeys, goats and sheep are more easily crossed by the kangal, a very powerful sheepdog.The ornithological landscape is exceptionally rich, with many birds of prey, including the majestic eagle. Finally, note the presence of Van's famous cat, with extremely disturbing eyes and very high prices.
Turkey is teeming with rare places, which have kept all their charm.These can be archaeological sites where the remains of several civilizations overlap, small villages where you can observe peasant life, coves with turquoise waters.On the same day, you can go rafting down an impressive canyon, visit a Greco-Roman site and dive into the Mediterranean.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette