"Europe, finally. Or so it seems." Turkey by Tijavi
Turkey Travel Guide: 24,329 reviews and 69,565 photos
Turkey was my first taste of Europe. In more ways than one, the country, and Istanbul itself, exude a significant amount of Europeanness in them. Just walk around Istanbul's chic district of Nisantasi, and the whole place could well be one of Paris' or Rome's fashionable areas. Or have a chat with "westernized" Istanbullus to get a feel of how much they long for integration within the EU, or how much they wish for secularism to characterize Turkish life and politics.
But Istanbul is not Turkey, nor Turkey is ever complete without Istanbul. Travel across the country to the east, and Turkey assumes a different character - highly spiritual and religious, very family-oriented (vs. individualism that characterizes cosmopolitan cities), largely traditional, and yes, wary against what some Turks perceive as the "destructive" influences of the west. To them, imbibing western values threatens the very nature of the Turkísh way of life, breaks families apart, and erodes Turkey's Islamic heritage.
To westernized Turks, these people represent backwardness, lack of education and a paranoia of things new and western.
The debate could go on and the polemics could be exhausting. Perhaps, this is where Turkey's attraction lies - the melding of western and eastern values into one unique place and people (sans the violence, we hope). Constructively, this presents Turkey with a unique proposition - to become the center for the harmonious dialogue between cultures - just as its colorful history and strategic location intended it to be.
- Pros:Great history, quintessential crossroad of the world, and wonderful, WONDERFUL people
- Cons:Language barrier especially as one moves east
- In a nutshell:Has all the ingredients of a great destination
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Badges & Stats in Turkey
- 132 Reviews
- 385 Photos
- 67 Forum posts
- 8 Cities
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