TURKEY has been called “the cradle of civilization” and one can discover what this literally means only by traveling in this land of history. The world’s first town, a neolithic city at Çatalhöyük, dates back to 6500 BC. From the days of Çatalhöyük up to the present time Turkey boasts of a rich culture that through the centuries has left a lasting foot-print on modern civilization. Being the heir of many centuries of culture makes Turkey a paradise of knowledge and cultural heritage. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians, Ionians, Persians,Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans have all occupied crucial places in the historical background of Turkey and ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give proof to each civilization’s unique distinction. There is no doubt that one visit will not be enough, and you will want to come back again and again as you discover one extraordinary place after another. All of them, no matter how different, have one thing Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life. From April to October, most places in Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on sandy beaches or enjoying the tranquility of mountains and lakes.
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
The best way to travel in and around the Turkish coastal resorts is by the local minibus services which can be hailed from the roadside. There are good bus services between the major towns and organised tours to many attractions, though more independent travelers often prefer to rent a car.
Average highest temperature in day time in March is 10°C / 50 F, average lowest temperature at night in March is 4,2°C / 39,56 F, average temperature in March is 7 °C / 44,6 F. Generally weather is rainy in March. It is advised for the guests who want to have a tour in Istanbul to take their umbrellas.
Turkish food is famous throughout the world, the range is enormous, from a number of soups to an astonishing variety of meze (appetisers), followed by meat and fish dishes, many famous Turkish sweets and pastries and Turkish coffee. The traditional breakfast is a scrumptious combination of tastes comprising bread, olives, tomato, cucumber, white cheese, butter, jam/honey, yoghurt, and sweet black tea. Tea is the main drink in Turkey, served without milk in small bulbous glasses with sugar lumps on the saucer. For a very refreshing long drink try Ayran, a mix of yoghurt, water and salt. There are also the normal soft drinks and a wonderful range of squeezed fruit juices. Among alcoholic drinks are light Turkish beer, excellent wines, and the national drink, raki (an anisette), which clouds when water is added giving it the popular name of ‘lion’s milk’.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS
Turkish currency is the Turkish Lira, TL. You will have a bank office near the Conference Center at your service. TL is freely sold and bought in hotels, banks and special exchange offices called “döviz bürosu”. Car rental offices, hotels, above average restaurants, shops, travel agencies, gas stations will accept your credit cards. You can get cash with your credit card or cash card by using cash machines (ATM’s) in bank buildings or street booths.
Did you know that Turkey is … ?
- A secular Republic, founded in 1923, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
- The only one country in the world that stretches out to two continents, Europe and Asia.
- Central to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
- Surrounded with seas known as the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea.
- A country which has 3500 periodical publications, 1056 radio stations and 280 TV channels.
- Known as the cradle of civilization-in fact, for many civilizations since 9000 BC.
- A long-time member of NATO (since 1952).
- Also acknowledged as Asia Minor; the Asian side of Turkey is referred to as Anatolia.
- The place that the first known Human Rights Declaration written in 1463, 485 years before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- Where Alexander the Great cut the intricate Gordian knot-a phrase commonly used for “solving difficult problems” today.
- The birthplace of King Midas; the touch of Midas was said to turn everything into gold.
- The original, and again today’s, destination of the well-renowned romantic train: The Orient Express.
- The center of two of the biggest empires in history, Byzantine and Ottoman.
- Famous with a 650 year old shopping mall-the famous Grand Bazaar. Its covered shopping area of 64 streets, 22 entrances and it has 25.000 workers.
- The birthplace and home of St. Nicholas, popularly known as Santa Claus.
- Where Noah’s Ark landed, at Mount Ararat, Eastern Turkey.
- The location for two of the Seven Wonders of the World-the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
- A country with historical background in three of the world’s major religions-Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
- Preserving the most valuable silk carpet in the world, in Mevlana Museum, with 144 knots per sq.cm. In the 13th century, Marco Polo wrote “The best and handsomest of rugs are woven here and also silks of crimson and other rich colors.”
- Said to have provided the water for the Garden of Eden-from its 2 great rivers-Euphrates and Tigris.
- The birthplace of St. Paul-for centuries, the sick have drunk from the well of St. Paul, in Tarsus.