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Turkey Tourist Guide


Sailing and cruising are a passion in Turkey. The most popular cruise vessel is the gulette, adapted from Turkey's traditional fishing and cargo boats into modern luxury passenger carriers, built in the local shipyards of Bodrum, Marmaris and Istanbul. You can voyage to the private beach of Cleopatra and the remains of ancient civilisations, and experience the warm hospitality of local people in coastal villages and towns. From unspoilt and sheltered bays all around the coast you see mountains rise 10,000 feet above sea level.

The coastal towns of Izmir and Bodrum have a vibrant cultural scene and modern harbours. Kusadasi has one of the best-equipped marinas in Turkey and the town is renowned for its nightlife. Along the coast, the Dilek Peninsula National Park has serene inlets and coves. Marmaris Bay is delightful and a good starting point for a cruise along the Aegean coast. Antalya is a town of palm tree boulevards, parks, historic buildings and monuments and a vibrant vacation atmosphere.

Turkey is the bridge between Europe and Asia, literally now that a bridge crosses the Bosphorous. Part of the territory of Turkey is in Europe, including the iconic city of Istanbul, known in past ages as Constantinople and even earlier as Byzantium. Music, art, literature and film-making are major factors in modern Turkish culture, more so than in most other Islamic countries. Istanbul is the 2010 European Capital of Culture.

The greater mass of Turkey's land is in Asia and its coast was known in Biblical times as Asia Minor, including the cities of Ephesus (Izmir), Antioch (Antakya) and Tarsus the birthplace of St Paul, as well as the present-day capital city, Ankara. It has coastal resorts and ports on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and its eastern mountains are the source of the great rivers the Tigris and Euphrates and Mount Ararat, the highest peak in Turkey, is the mythical resting place of Noah's Ark.

Officially a secular Muslim state, Turkey is seeking to join the European Union but faces controversy over its occupation of northern Cyprus, its cultural conflict with Greece and the rise in influence of religious Islamists. There are a great many historical mosques around the country, one of the most beautiful being the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne.

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