Expanded Turkey Guide, we will try to give you answers to all the questions we are wondering about our trip in Turkey. If you have not found an answer to our questions in our expanded Turkey guide, you can ask us questions in the comments section. Turkey is a country with a very special geographical position and natural wonders. The official name of this country is “Republic of Turkey“. The three sides of Turkey are surrounded by seas, and the country is considered as a peninsula. Some of the territory of Turkey is European-wide and the other is Asia-wide. Istanbul is the only city in the world that connects Asian and European continents like a bridge. With this feature it is extremely important. Turkey has four seaside shores, the Aegean Sea, the Marmamara Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Especially the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean are the most visited tourist destinations coming from abroad. Turkey is one of the countries that have witnessed the earliest periods of history. Different civilizations lived in Turkey and Anatolian lands during different periods of history.
Turkey’s Capital, Cities and Regions
The capital of Turkey is the “Ankara” in the Central Anatolia Region of the country. Turkey is geographically divided into seven regions. While these regions are separated from each other, the climatic characteristics and the cultural features are noted. Istanbul, which is considered the biggest and developed city of the country and is the 2010 cultural capital, is located in Marmara region. The Black Sea, which is famous for its horny waves, runs along the northern line of the country and ensures that Turkey is adjacent to Russia. In the eastern Anatolian region, Van Lake and Agri Mountain are found. These two places are among the places where the Eastern Anatolia region should be seen. The southern part of the country has the Mediterranean region and the Southeast Anatolia region. While in the Mediterranean region, one of the world famous tourist cities such as “Antalya” is located, there are historical cities like “Mardin” in the South East Anatolia region. Among the most important cities of Turkey; “Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir , Adana, Antalya, Mugla, Trabzon, Gaziantep, Bursa, Erzurum, Mardin, Eskişehir, Diyarbakir” are located.
Where is Turkey?
Turkey is neighbor with Bulgaria in the north, Greece in the west, Georgia in the north, Armenia in the east, Iran and Azerbaijan in the east, and Iraq and Syria in the south. To the south is the Mediterranean Sea, to the west is the Aegean Sea and to the north is the Black Sea.
Which languages are spoken in Turkey?
The official language of Turkey is Turkish. All of the country knows this official language. At the same time, there are different dialects within the borders of the country such as Laz, Kurdish. In some regions where the population is changing, these dialects are spoken of. The most widely used foreign language in the country is English.
Religion and Belief in Turkey
Turkey has a secular state structure. The country has no official religion. However, more than ninety percent of the people in the country are seen as Muslims. We have to say that this figure is not real. Because, Islam is written in the religion section of population information before being asked about the individuals born in Turkey. For this reason, the Muslim population is seen as too much. However, the number of deist, agnostic, atheist who do not believe any religion other than the official figure is also quite high. He lives in Jews and Christians in the province.
A Brief History of Turkey
The beginning of the history of Turkey is based on the chipped stone age. First, “Aiol, Dor, Ionians and Persians” settled in the territory of the country. After these settlements, Anatolia, III. Aleksendros (Alexander the Great) entered the hegemony and began the Hellenistic period. This aims to mix the ancient Greek civilization with the Eastern civilization. After the death of Alexander the Great, Roman and Byzantine periods were experienced. After the eleventh century, the Turks conquered the country by defeating the Byzantine empire in Anatolia. The war that enabled Turks to live for the first time in Turkey is the Battle of Malazgirt in 1071. Later, Turkey passed the Ottoman Empire. Until the fall of the Ottomans these lands were ruled by the empire. It is possible to see a great number of works from the Ottoman period in principle period in Turkey, Roman and Byzantine period. In addition, the “Göneklitepe” settlement, which remained twelve thousand years ago, shows that the first agriculture settlements of mankind were made in Turkey.
The climate and weather conditions of Turkey vary according to geographical regions. For this reason, tourists who want to come to Turkey should choose the time interval according to the region they will go to. For example, those who want to do summer vacation with sea, sand and sun in Turkey should go to the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts in summer. At the same time, the Black Sea region is the most beautiful spring and summer seasons. Those who come to Turkey to do winter sports, such as “Palandöken, Uludağ, Erciyes” should go in January and February. Located at the junction of Aegean and Mediterranean, the temperatures of Muğla, Bodrum, Datça, Fethiye are high for a long period of the year. For this reason you can go to these areas for a wide range of summer vacations.
There are three main climatic types in different regions in Turkey. The Mediterranean climate on the west and south coasts of the country, the continental climate in the inner regions and the abundant Black Sea climate (similar to the monsoon climate) on the Black Sea coasts. The climate of the Black Sea causes the incredible natural beauty to emerge in this region. The conditions of the continental climate seen in the inner regions of the country are difficult. In these areas, summers are hot and dry, winters are hard and snowy. In the cold season of the year the temperature drops to minus.
Turkish Economy in Brief
Turkey ranks 17th in the world in terms of gross national product. (Note: this order may have changed.) At the same time, the country is one of the founding countries of the G-20 community. Turkey is among the world’s strongest automotive industries. In 2013, world automotive production rose to 17th place in the order. Turkey is making ships at points like “Yalova, İzmit, Tuzla“. This area is in competition with countries such as “Malta, United Kingdom, Malaysia”. Other important centers of the Turkish economy include “Banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, petroleum refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, machinery industry”. Unfortunately, the rate of women working in the country is very low. Only 30 percent of your workforce is women. One-third of the working population is employed in agriculture. The two biggest brands of Turkey are known as “Beko and Turkish Airlines“.
Mixed ethnic groups live within the borders of Turkey. It is possible to encounter people from different nations in different regions of the country. One of the most important factors that determine cultural differences in the country is economic diversity. It can not be said that the distribution of income is fair in the country. However, the number of rich people is small and the middle class is a small group. There are many people who earn a large number of minimum wages throughout the country. While the higher income group has a more European-like life, the majority with lower income depend on the traditions of the Ottoman Empire and the ancient Turkish culture.
Turkish Cuisine is also one of the best known cuisines of the world. Turkey is based on the geography of Mesopotamian civilizations where the oldest civilizations of history are found. The Ottoman Empire is one of the important great empires of history. Different nations and different cultures living together in the Ottoman Empire brought together the emergence of Turkish cuisine.
Turkish cuisine, similar dishes with Arabic, Armenian, Greek cuisines and similar features. In the western regions of the country, mostly olive oil and zebous dishes are dominant. In the eastern regions, grill and meat dishes are the front plan. If you are in the Black Sea region you will see most anchovy fish dishes. The most anchovy region in the country is the Black Sea region and this has influenced the food culture. Livestock breeding is common in the inner and eastern regions of the country. For this reason, more meat dishes are consumed in these areas. There are world famous sweeties in Turkish cuisine. But these are the most famous; Turkish delight and Turkish baklava.
Festivals in Turkey
In Turkey festivals, religious festivals and national holidays are celebrated in a fervent and enthusiastic way. Numerous festivals are held in different cities throughout the country. These festivals are usually organized to promote a feature of the city. For example, a hazelnut festival is organized to promote Turkey’s beautiful hazelnuts. Such festivals are most often seen in the Black Sea region. Apart from this, big film festivals are organized once a year in Turkey, Antalya, Adana and Istanbul. “Golden Orange Film Festival” in Antalaya, “Golden Cocoon Film Festival” in Adana, ” in Istanbul, “Istanbul Film Festival” are the three biggest events in the country. In addition, IKSV (Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts) organizes the annual Istanbul Music Festival, which is the oldest art event in the country.
Gift Items in Turkey
Within Turkey, there are different stores and branches of world famous brands. You can bring gifts to people you like by purchasing products from these brands. However, if you want to bring gifts from Turkish culture to your loved ones; The most commonly received gift is Turkish Delight. You can buy special, hand-woven carpets reflecting classic Turkish culture. Turkish nargiles and Turkish coffee sets are among the most popular gifts. The original Turkish zentine oil, which is produced in Aegean and Mediterranean region and is quite healthy, is also among the preferred gifts. Raki, which is produced in the Aegean and Tekirdağ regions in Turkey, can also be bought as a gift because the drinks such as wine are very high quality.
Tastings / Holidays / Special Days in Turkey
New Year (1 January)
Feast of Sacrifice
Ramadan (Şeker) Feast
Labor Day (1 May)
Youth and Sports Day (May 19)
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day (April 23)
Victory Day (August 30)
Republic Day (October 29)