Explore culture and history in Turkey

Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes offering the visitor a wide range of geography in which to enjoy a truly splendid holiday.

Joining two continents, Europe and Asia, Turkey is a land of rich culture and history. Turkey has a magnificent past and is a land full of historic treasures covering over thirteen successive civilizations. One can spend just a little time in Turkey and still enjoy the past.

Turkey's land mass is about 774,800 square kilometers.  Turkey has many climates-- desert, high plateau, green mountain ranges of the Taurus Mountains, and beaches along the Aegean and Mediterranean coast.

Turkey is a founding member of the OECD (Organization of Economic Development), The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, and is a member of NATO, the European Council and the European Parliament and is a candidate member of the European Community. The Turkish nation has a rich mixture of peoples that reflect the diversity of the nation itself: ethnic Turks, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Laz, Cretans, Bulgarian Gypsy--all call themselves Turkish citizens and can quote from memory the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's most famous sayings, "Happy is the one who calls himself a Turk".

Turkey has long been called one of the cradles of civilization.

It has been host to many great peoples--Lydians, Lycians, Armenians, Greek, Byzantine, Kurd, Persian, Roman, Seljuck Turk, Ottoman Turk, and finally the Republic of Turkey. The ancient site of Çatalhoyuk is believed to be one of the world's first cities, dating back to 6500 B.C.

Istanbul, home to Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations, is a cosmopolitan mixture of the city's history. Izmir (ancient Smyrna) also hosts reflections of its past in the Agora and Jewish synagogues. Ephesus is one of the world's most excavated sites and is one of the showcases of the archeological world. Cappadocia, with its mysterious "fairy chimneys" soaring into the night sky, and its multi-storied underground cities are a sight to behold.

These sites along with beautiful natural beaches, forests and nightlife make Turkey one of the most desirable holiday spots in the world.