"East meets West" Turkey by mad4travel

Turkey Travel Guide: 24,826 reviews and 71,541 photos

East Meets West

Whenever Turkey gets mentioned in the travel magazines they always say " Turkey- where East meets West". Yeah, right, I thought - but its true.

Having been to Jordan, its not quite Arab and having been to Greece, its not quite European. That makes it a fascinating and unique place to explore.

If you want an easy introduction to Islamic culture as well as fabulous food and friendly people Istanbul is the place.

There are lots of things to see and it is perfect for a long weekend.

My trip to Turkey was over 3 weeks and I packed quite a lot in.The map shows my route, from Istanbul through Ankara, to the weird hoodoo landscape of Cappadocia to the more conservative religious town of Konya and then on to the Turqouise coast. Lots of antiqueties on the way, Ephesus, Pergamon, Troy and Aphrodisias and finally through the World War 1 killing fields of Galipoli back to Istanbul.

I enjoyed every minute of it!

As you can see , Turkey is a biiig country so three weeks only covered about a third of the country so I'd love to go back and see more.

History

Where do you start with the history of Turkey? It goes back such a long way.
Heres an attempt at a quick potted history. Stay awake, I will be testing you later!

1900-1300 BC
Hittite Empire with Hattusas as capital, contemporary with ancient Egypt and Babylon

1250 BC
The Trojan war and the fall of Troy

1200-700 BC
Establishment of the Phrygian, Ionian, Lycian, Lydian, Carian and Pamphylian Kingdoms.

700 BC
Homer is born in Izmir (Smyrna). Aegean Hellenism begins

546 BC
Cyrus the Great leads the Persians into Anatolia

334 BC
Alexander the Great drives out the Persians

130 BC
The Romans incorporate Anatolia as the province of Asia, controlled from Ephesus (Efes)

47-57 AD
St. Paul spreads Christianity and a community at Antioch is established


330
Constantine lays out the boundaries of his new capital, Constantinople

527-65
Byzantium Empire under Justinian

638-718
Muslim Arabs conquer Constantinople

1071-1243
Rise and rule of the Selcuk Turks in Anatolia, Konya is their capital

1096-1204
The Crusades

1288
Ottoman Empire appears in Bursa

1453
The fall of Constantinople - the birth of Istanbul

1520-66
Suleyman the Magnificent sits on the Ottoman throne controlling a huge and powerful empire


1914
Turkey allies with Germany in the first world war

1915
Gallipoli

1919
Ataturk leads resistance to the allied plan to carve up Turkey.

1923
Foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Scenery

Turkey has a variety of interesting scenery.
From the Tarsus mountains, Olympic National Park, Turquoise coast, Anatolian Plain to the weird hoodoo formations of Cappadocia.

Cappadocia is especially interesting to me (as I was a Geologist at University). Formed from volcanic ash the landscapre has weathered into a crazy mixture of spires, hoodoos and rainbow rockfaces.

Many of the rock towers have been hollowed out and used as houses monasteries and churches.

I was fortunate enough to go balooning over it. Check out the things to do tips.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A good introduction to Muslim Culture
  • Cons:It can be blinking hot!
  • In a nutshell:History, Culture, Food, People, its got the lot!
  • Last visit to Turkey: Jun 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 7, 2005
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Reviews (38)

Comments (11)

  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2007 at 4:46 AM

    nice set of pages on Turkey. I was there for 3 weeks some years ago and also was quite fascinated by this magnificent country.

  • iaint's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2007 at 12:27 AM

    another Turkey fan! good pages...

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2006 at 4:19 AM

    I would love to visit Ephesus--your trip must have been wonderful! THANKS for the tour...

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2005 at 2:09 PM

    Great job of photos & Tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2005 at 9:33 AM

    I went to granada to the Alhambra so peaceful with water & flowers - the symetry on the Islamic buildings is amazing great informative page & tips esp the whole beat me bath experience

  • rjaparidze's Profile Photo
    Jun 12, 2005 at 1:06 AM

    Very good descriptive part on Turkey. Good job!!! You should travel to the eastern part as well -- there are plenty of things to visit

  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2005 at 12:50 PM

    Hi Melanie and thank you for the memories, they all came flooding back. I love anything to do with Turkey and i get withdrawer symtems if i don't get to visit at least once a year, very well done on this super page.

  • cleocat's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2005 at 5:18 AM

    Turkey has always been on my to-go list. Now I'm convinced. Very informative and interesting pages and nice pic's

  • Mar 27, 2005 at 4:08 AM

    Loved your tale of the turkish baths and topless women - sounds a bit of an experience!

  • catalysta's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2005 at 11:01 AM

    Wonderful page about a fabulous country! I look forward to reading the rest when you get a chance to finish your page. Thanks for the vicarious journey...cat

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