Turkey | Bridge From West to East
Unfortunately, in early March 2016 terrorist activity prompted the State Department to issue a travel warning to Turkey. That is unfortunate for intrepid travelers because Turkey remains one of the most interesting, enriching and enjoyable places to visit in the world.
When the violence subsides, this destination should rise to the top of every world traveler’s list. Its scenery, cuisine, remarkable history and people make this country a place to return time and time again. Why the allure? Turkey, at the most basic level, is situated geographically as a bridge between two continents: Europe and the Middle East. This means it contains influences from areas as diverse as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Asia.
Turkey boasts one of the best cities in the world: Istanbul. This major city, formerly called Constantinople, actually straddles Asia and Europe, and offers unforgettable shopping, dining and atmosphere. The Old City contains such treasures as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Another top destination in Turkey is Cappadocia, which offers exotic geological formations and where the Hittites dug underground tunnels to protect themselves from the invading Greeks and Persians. The ruins of Ephesus on the Aegean offer yet another major site for visitors. Its former Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in the first century B.C.
Some other not-to miss locales in Turkey:
- Bodrum, located on the Aegean, with breathtaking ruins, beaches and cliff-top resorts.
- Side, an ancient port with classic ruins.
- Marmaris, a beautiful seaside resort.
- Antalya, a vibrant city on the Mediterranean coast.
- Konya, one of the oldest cities in the world, is known for its Whirling Dervishes, people who practice the ancient religious ceremony of whirling around on their left feet while wearing white, billowing gowns.