Turkey: the cradle of cultures and civilizations connecting Europe and Asia and capital of civilizations that have reined the lands of Anatolia for centuries
Since the beginning of history, Anatolia, well known as one the earliest settlements, has continued to flourish with the migration of various tribes, and accumulated a large cultural heritage through a line of succeeding empires and civilizations. Many empires ranging from the Sumerians to the Hittites, the Lydians to the Byzantines and the Seljuks to the Ottomans have once thrived and expired within the borders of Turkey.
Ankara is the capital of Turkey, which established a democratic regime with the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. The Bosporus and the Dardanelles, connecting the seas of this magnificent landscape surrounded by the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara seas, function as bridges connecting the lands of the region almost like silk threads.
Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the east and Iran, Iraq, and Syria to the south are the border neighbors of Turkey. The member of various international organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and the Organization of the Islamic Conference our country continuous to evolve and grow at rapid speed.
Proud to possess numerous riches in every corner and territory of the country from east to west and north to south, Turkey is blessed also with a wide range of climatic diversity. One may encounter different climate zones in different areas of Turkey which is comprised of seven geographical regions and experience various climates in one day!
Turkey is much the same as an open air museum thanks to its magnificent heritage comprised of historical and cultural monuments and sites built everywhere in Anatolia since the ancient times. With the establishment Çatalhöyük, the first proto-city settlement of the Neolithic Age, history began to leave its marks discernible today even in the tiniest structures.
Located at the mid-point of the European, Asian and African continents, Turkey has a varied geography rich in mountains, plains, caves, seas and many other natural formations and beauties. All types of sports activities and more specifically outdoor sports can be done amidst a breathtaking nature providing both for adrenaline and entertainment.
The hub of all religions that have been lost in time or still exist, Anatolia is particularly rich in monuments and heritages bearing traces of diverse religious cultures. According to Christianity, for instance, pilgrims travelling the route of the seven holy churches including Ephesus, Izmir, Bergama, Salihli, Alasehir, Denizli and Akhisar are considered to have fulfilled their duty of pilgrimage. Furthermore, many branches of art that originated in the Anatolian lands and were introduced to the world are still kept alive and continue to be developed in the present day.
One of the most precious and diverse treasures of Turkey is, of course, the Turkish cuisine. The variety offered by this magnificent heritage of flavors which evolved over the centuries with the blending of the culinary cultures of many communities and civilizations is limitless. Thousands of unique delicacies and specialties ranging from meat dishes to cold dishes with olive oil, from sorbets to spices are waiting to be served to guests from all over the world.
Entertaining and lively folk dances and songs, which originated from the combination of the local culture with music and dance, provide for unique local entertainment in every province you visit. Thanks to its geographical position located at the meeting point of three continents, Turkey is able to offer fast and convenient transportation with more than 200 direct flights to various destinations in the world and connecting flights to all other destinations around the globe. It is also possible to explore different corners of Turkey by entering the country via highway through neighboring countries located in Asia and Europe.
Ankara, the capital city of Turkish Republic, lies on the eastern edge of the High Anatolian Plateau at an altitude of 850 meters. It is bordered by the provinces of Çankiri and Bolu to the north, Eskisehir to the west, Konya and Aksaray to the south and Kirikkale and Kirsehir to the east. Being one of the most developed cities in Turkey, Ankara's history and that of the surrounding area dates back to the Bronze Age as the home of many civilizations including Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Galatians, Celtics, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans. Following World War I, Ankara became an important center for the Turkish Independence War and was declared as the capital of the new Republic of Turkey in 13 October 1923. The oldest parts of Ankara surround the ancient citadel. Within the walls, the 12th century Alaeddin Mosque, restored traditional Turkish houses which are used as art galleries or restaurants and Museum of the Anatolian Civilizations, and outside the citadel 13th century Aslanhane Mosque, 14th century Ahi Elvan Mosque, the 3rd century Roman Baths, 4th century Julian Column and 2nd century Temple of Augustus are worth visiting. Anitkabir, Ethnography Museum, the Painting and Sculpture Museum and the Independence War Museum are among the sites to see. Ankara is also a center of culture and art for opera, jazz, ballet, modern dance, film, art and music festivals.