It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a strictly travel piece. (It’s been awhile since I’ve travelled!). After watching a mini-series on the Ottomans and becoming acquainted with tidbits from the Topkapi Palace on the t.v. show Museum Secrets I was inspired to repost my travel primer for Turkey entitled Turkish Delights.
WHERE IS IT?
- Turkey is located on 2 continents. Three per cent of it is in Europe while 97% is part of Asia. The Asian part is known as Anatolia.
WHY GO THERE?
- History! See the ancient sites of Troy, Ephesus, Pergamon, Mount Olympus…
- Relaxation! Enjoy the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean coasts.
- Culture! Check out the many mosques and museums of Istanbul.
- Eat drink and be merry! Enjoy the food, coffee, and Turkish arts and crafts.
- The unusual! See the heads of Mt. Nemrut and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia.
WHAT IS IT?
- Turkey is a democratic and secular society. The majority of people are Muslim but others are free to practice whatever religion they like.
- The country is run based on the nationalism of Ataturk.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE?
- The population of Turkey is about 70 million.
- The people considered to be ethnically Turkish emigrated from Central Asia.
- There are also a number of other groups living in Turkey including the Kurds and Roma people.
WHEN TO GO?
- Turkey has a varied terrain and therefore a varied climate. It can get quite cold with snow and be very hot depending on where you are in the country and what the time of year you are there.
- Generally spring and fall are ideal as the weather is decent and the crowds reasonable.
HOW TO GET THERE?
- Air: There are 2 international airports in Istanbul with connections to major cities around the world. Internal flights can also be done through domestic airports.
- Land: Turkey is joined by land to 8 countries and can be reached by car, bus or train. Come via Serbia, Hungary, Romania, Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, whatever border is safe and open.
- Sea: Sail into Turkey from ports in Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Russia and the Ukraine.
- The usual precautions apply with food, climate and sanitation/hygiene.
- Routine vaccinations are recommended. Click here for a complete list.
- The southeastern part of Turkey is reported to have malaria. Click here for precautionary measures.
- Wifi: Can be found many places and connection is generally good.
- Flush toilets: Abundant.
- ATMs: Plentiful.
Information compiled from Go Turkey and CDC. It is accurate at time of original publication (June, 2011).
THE 5 SENSES OF TURKEY
- Sight: the many minarets of the mosques; crimson poppies; turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea
- Sound: the call to prayer
- Taste: sweet, syrupy baklava; salty cheese borek; nutty simit
- Smell: freshly caught fish in the Golden Horn; sewage; cigarette smoke
- Touch: tightly woven kilim carpets; silk