"East meets West" Turkey by mad4travel
Turkey Travel Guide: 24,322 reviews and 69,510 photos
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.
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!
Hittite Empire with Hattusas as capital, contemporary with ancient Egypt and Babylon
The Trojan war and the fall of Troy
Establishment of the Phrygian, Ionian, Lycian, Lydian, Carian and Pamphylian Kingdoms.
Homer is born in Izmir (Smyrna). Aegean Hellenism begins
Cyrus the Great leads the Persians into Anatolia
Alexander the Great drives out the Persians
The Romans incorporate Anatolia as the province of Asia, controlled from Ephesus (Efes)
St. Paul spreads Christianity and a community at Antioch is established
Constantine lays out the boundaries of his new capital, Constantinople
Byzantium Empire under Justinian
Muslim Arabs conquer Constantinople
Rise and rule of the Selcuk Turks in Anatolia, Konya is their capital
Ottoman Empire appears in Bursa
The fall of Constantinople - the birth of Istanbul
Suleyman the Magnificent sits on the Ottoman throne controlling a huge and powerful empire
Turkey allies with Germany in the first world war
Ataturk leads resistance to the allied plan to carve up Turkey.
Foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
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:A good introduction to Muslim Culture
- Cons:It can be blinking hot!
- In a nutshell:History, Culture, Food, People, its got the lot!
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