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Turkey - The Bridge of Europe and Asia

The Republic of Turkey is a beautiful country that borders Iraq, Iran, Bulgaria, Greece, and four other countries as well. It is a nation filled with colorful history and the birth of the Hittites and Ottoman empire. It is very much a melting pot of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cultures because of it's location.

Turkey is very much like a bridge of cultures, if you live on the Western half you will encounter many European tourists and foods, along with ancient Greek housing in small villages. There will be Internet and modern plumbing with incredible marble buildings and mosques that attract many tourists every year.

On the Eastern side there is a dramatic change as old Turkey comes to life, where the simple village life is still the norm. There are of course many modern things as well but often you will find old Turkish toilets where there is nothing more than a tiled hole in the ground, or delicious foods which you have never dreamed of, or even camel wrestling if you are lucky! Now matter what, a trip to Turkey is bound to be an excellent adventure, and whether you go to the East or the West you will find a variety of culture and sights anyone can enjoy. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I Turkey was declared it's own Republic on October 29, 1923 under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This was established after a war of independence which started in 1919. Since then the country has become more and more Westernized and modernized, they have been trying for years to enter the European Union though they have fallen short in many areas.

Although Turkey is officially a secular State, it is roughly %99 Muslim and the culture is very heavily influenced by that. The population in 2007 is around 71 million people with Istanbul as the largest city and Ankara as their capital. The official language is Turkish although many people speak English, German, or Russian. The food is also excellent and generally healthy as Turkey is known by many as the Salad Country because of the wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

In conclusion I highly recommend a visit to Turkey if only for a short visit. You can stay in a five star hotel for relatively cheap and see the sights and meet the wonderful and interesting people there. I personally lived there for two years and loved it, one day I hope to return and spend more time! So if you get the chance and want to try something other than the usual Paris, or London, or all the other places people usually go, Turkey is a great choice!

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