Turkey is Asia’s foothold in Europe, a melting pot of cultures and a bridge between continents. Turkey is secular (swinging to Islam) and Western-oriented and boasts a free enterprise economy. Many Turkish cities are dotted with spectacular old mosques and castles. Turkey offers a wealth of destination varieties to travellers: from dome-and-minaret filled skyline of Istanbul to Roman ruins along the western and southern coasts, from the heavily indented coastline against a mountainous backdrop of Lycia and wide and sunny beaches of Pamphylia to cold and snowy mountains of the East, from crazy “foam parties” of Bodrum to Middle Eastern-flavoured cities of South-eastern Anatolia, from verdant misty mountains of the Eastern Black Sea to wide steppe landscapes of Central Anatolia, there is something for everyone’s taste.
Istanbul is the major city in Turkey for tourists 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.