When coming to Turkey, some of the things you will be dealing with are: Turkish lire, a literacy rate of 87%, mostly Muslims, and people speaking Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Kurdish, and Armenian. Due to it’s location, reminding one of a bridge, between Asia and Europe, Turkey has dominated trade in the past millennium and even now is an important geographical power.
The city of Istanbul, is the only city in the world that literally is in two continents. When you tour the Bosphorus Strait you’ll be on a waterway that dissects Istanbul leaving one side in Asia and the other side of Istanbul in Europe. So people might live in Asia but work in Europe or vs/versa. Istanbul is considered, with nearly 13 million people, to be the third most populous European urban area only after Moscow and Paris and yet many times when one is walking around, you have the feeling of being in small neighborhoods.
The interesting facts of Turkey make learning an exciting event when visiting or vacationing here. For instance: all 7 Churches of the Apocalypse and two of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the world are in Turkey. Or some more Turkish Trivia: tulips originated in Turkey and were sent to Holland, the highest point in Turkey, Mount Ararat, is believed to be the Biblical resting place of Noah’s Ark, Mother Mary died in Turkey, St Nikolus (Santa Claus as we think of him) lived in Turkey.
Turkey has been a member of the UN since 1945 and NATO since 1952. In 1990 Turkey allowed US forces to use Turkish air space in the Iraq war. and in 1999 Turkey gained approval as a candidate country for membership in the EU. The road has not been smooth and the aim of joining by 2015 is in flux at the moment.
The people of Turkey, from the shop keepers, to the nomads weaving collector carpets, to people on the street, all; are kind and gentle. They have a respectful demeanor. Not to say that in the Grand Bazaar (or any Bazaar) the game will be on for the shopkeepers to get the most money for their items and you will equally be trying to spend the least. This ‘haggling’ is a tradition and don’t be surprised if you end up having tea and sitting down to discuss your country or philosophy.
The land is so filled with history, excavation sites, museums and magnificent beaches. You’ll never have a dull moment on your vacation whether you ride a Cappadocia hot air balloon, have a Turkish Hamam experience, shop til you drop for Turkish delights at the Grand Bazaar or Spice Market, ride horses on the beach, visit Wonder of the World Ephesus or other epic cities like Pergamon, Sardis, Didyma. Let us know if we can assist with your planning