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All About Turkey

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Turkey: Heritage of Beauties

Turkey is a large and diverse country that surprises and delights everybody who visits. It has an abundance of amazing villages, towns and cities that have proven to be the ideal location for holiday makers and also ex-pats looking to relocate in the country. A colorful history and varied geography combine to form a country that is now a major tourist destination for many nationalities.

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The History

f years, the history of Turkey begins with the fact that historians have discovered some of the earliest human settlements of the world in the Anatolian region. Settlements such as Catalhoyuk have produced artifacts that date back to the Stone Age and other settlements show that by the Iron Age, there were many inhabited regions. 

The Anatolia region continued to be home to 13 successive civilizations over the years including the Hittites, Hattians, Lycians, Phrygians, Romans, Greeks, Ottomans. In 334BC, Alexander the Great became ruler and he divided the area into smaller kingdoms which were eventually taken over by the Roman Empire. Rulers after the fallen Roman Empire included the Seljuk Dynasty, Mongol rule and the most prominent Ottoman Empire. 
The sultans of the Ottoman dynasty ruled more than 500 years from 1299 to 1922 before being broken up as a consequence of the Treaty of Serves which saw their lands being shared to winners of the First World War including Britain, Italy, Greece and France. 
The occupation by the fore mentioned countries however was not taken lightly by certain prominent figures and a military commander called Mustafa Kemal Ataturk stepped forward to start the Turkish war of independence in an attempt to revoke the decisions made by the treaty in 1920. 
On July the 24th 1923, the war was won and a new country was formed called "The Republic of Turkey". In present days, Turkey is an important country because of its location, historical treasures and business exports and imports. It has also become one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

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Turkey spans over 302,535 square miles (779,452 and is classed as Eurasian country due to its location covering two continents. 97% of the country is located in Asia while 3% is located in Europe. Bordering countries include Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

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Time zone, Calling code, and Currency

Time Difference – Turkey is two hours ahead of GMT, one hour ahead of CET, 5 to 10 hours in front of the USA dependent on USA location, and twelve hours in front of New Zealand. For more detailed information please refer to well-known World time clocks.  The Country calling code is 0090 and the currency is Turkish lira which has paper notes of 200TL, 100TL, 50TL, 20TL, 10Tl and 5TL. Lower currency coins are known as Kurus. 

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Turkey is a major tourist destination receiving over 28 million visitors each year. Popular locations include coastal resorts such as Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye and Antalya. The big city of Istanbul is also popular for city breaks and the unique landscape of Cappadocia is growing in popularity each year. 

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The Language

Turkish is a language that has been heavily influenced with Persian, Arabic and European words. It is estimated to be spoken by over 220 million people worldwide. It can be traced back 1300 years and until 1928, it was known as Ottoman Turkish until the letters and words were replaced by the Latin alphabet. For useful Turkish phrases to learn for your visit, take a look at our Turkish language page.

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Big Cities in Turkey

There are 81 destinations within Turkey which are officially classed as cities. Of these, the biggest is Istanbul with an estimated population of 12,9 million, the capital Ankara with an estimated population of over 4,5 million, and Izmir as the third city with an estimated population of 4 million.  All of these destinations are now popular with tourists.

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The main religion in Turkey is Islam and it is estimated that 97% of the population follow it. There are 236 churches open for Christian followers however the exact number of Christians is hard to determine. 

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Within Turkey, there is a large diversity in culture however Turks are known all over the world for their friendliness to strangers and visitors from other countries. The western coast of Turkey and Istanbul has seen a lot of influence from other countries and is considered by many Turks to be the modern part of Turkey. The east is known to be more traditional and focused on village life and year old traditions. 

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"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world" - Gustave Flaubert