Turkey is on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Eurasia, in spite of the fact that it is associated as an integral part of the Greater Middle East region respectively, due to the social and religious affiliation, even though it is towards culturally sometimes considered European orientated, with a small section in Southeastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles).
Tourism in Turkey has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part of the economy.
At its height in 2014, Turkey attracted around 42 million foreign tourists, ranking as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world.
Tourism in Turkey is focused largely on a variety of historical sites, and on seaside resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean Sea coasts. Turkey has also become a popular destination for culture, spa, and health care.
A major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
The Ottoman-era Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) was named for its blue interior tiles. Circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, home to Ottoman sultans until the 19th century, contains royal artifacts and rooms that once comprised a large harem. Nearby is the Spice Market and rambling Grand Bazaar. Spanning the Golden Horn estuary, atmospheric Galata Bridge is a popular fishing spot and leads to the city’s modern heart. The Galata area is known for its medieval tower and upmarket boutiques. Beyoğlu’s stylish bars lie south of Taksim Square. The city’s eastern, Asian side encompasses residential areas and waterfront districts such as Kadiköy.
It was once the home of emperors of 3 continents. It is a must-see for everyone as it homes a great view of Istanbul, traces of hundreds of years of history and priceless treasures.
Hagia Sophia Museum
Once a church, then a mosque and now it is a museum. This more than a thousand year old work of art will attract you in. Not to give any spoilers, don’t forget to make a wish inside.
Blue (Sultan Ahmed) Mosque
Half thousand year old mosque, built by Mehmet Agha (last student of architech Sinan) welcomes millions of tourists every year. Fine tiles brought by Iznik make it look bluer that it is.
Dolmabahçe Palace Museum
Dolmabahçe Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for almost a century, then it served as the house of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic.
It’s one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. It’s just like shopping in those old movies. Test your bargaining skills in there and shop for fantastic gifts and souvenirs.
Built by the talented architect Mimar Sinan on the order of the Sultan Süleyman in 1557. The mosque is not only beautiful inside and out, but it also has one of the most amazing views of the Golden Horn and the mouth of the Bosphorus.
Narrows in Turkey
The Bosporus or Bosphorus is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. The world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Most of the shores of the strait are heavily settled, straddled by the city of Istanbul’s metropolitan population of 17 million inhabitants extending inland from both coasts. Together with the Dardanelles, the Bosporus forms the Turkish Straits.
Ankara is the capital city of Turkey and the second largest city in the country after Istanbul. It is located at the heart of both Turkey and Central Anatolia. The population is around 4.5 million.
Ankara is the administrative center of Turkey and a huge university town, so it has a large population of government workers and university students. As the national capital, Ankara is home to a large population of foreign diplomats and embassy staff, so it offers goods and services that might be more difficult to find in other Turkish cities.
Ankara is a sprawling, modern city which can appear as little more than a dull, concrete jungle at first glance. As a result, many tourists tend to use it merely as a transit point for getting to places like Konya or Cappodocia. However, Ankara does have a lot to offer for those prepared to look a bit deeper.
Ankara has a symbolic significance for the secular Turks. It is the place where a new era for the Turkish people started. It is a symbol for independence, development and Western values.
Ataturk Mausoleum (Anit Kabir)
The Ataturk Maouselum, part of the Anıt Kabir (literally “memorial tomb”), is the mausoleum of Mustaga Kemal Ataturk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. The Anit Kabir encapsulates both architectural impressiveness and historical significance, making it one of Anakara’s must sees.
Ankara Citadel (Hisar)
Located atop a hill in the heart of Ankara, the Ankara Citadel, or castle, serves as one of the most recognizable symbol’s of Turkey’s capital. Visiting the citadel is more than just seeing the impressive structure, with its 14-16 m (46-53 ft) high walls. A journey inside the citadel also provides you with a look at what ancient Turkey might have looked like.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
Considered to be one of Ankara’s premier attractions, the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is a must-see for history buffs or anyone interested in learning about ancient Turkey. Housed in a restored 15th-century covered market, the museum is home to a wide array of artifacts discovered in excavations throughout Turkey.
A 410 foot (125m) communications and observation tower, Atakule stands in the Cankaya district of central Ankara, and serves as the city’s primary landmark. A glass elevator whisks visitors to the tower’s observation area for spectacular views of the city.
The capital of the Hittite Empire during the late Bronze Age, Hattusas is one of the best sites of ancient ruins in Turkey. During its heyday, it was an impressive city with spectacular structures, but now consists mostly of reconstructed foundations, walls, and rock carvings. Do not let the relatively modest sounding attractions deter you, however. Lovers of ancient history will be more impressed by the site’s almost eerily enchanting atmosphere, which conveys the historic antiquity of a place long forgotten by time.