Visitors to Turkey will not find themselves short of things to do as this fascinating country contains numerous cultural, natural, archeological and historical attractions. Most people know it first by the city of Istanbul, a cosmopolitan center that has one foot set in Europe and the other in Asia, a city that straddles the narrow Bosphorus Strait which connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea, and which continues to draw shoppers, travelers and peddlers to its colorful bazaars as it has for centuries.

Turkey’s modern capital is Ankara and while much history lies in these two cities there are also many important sites scattered around the country, deep in the heart of central and eastern Anatolia, along the Black Sea coasts, and on the western coasts which border the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas.

Visible and well preserved remnants of the Ottoman era are evident in numerous mosques and palaces that can be found across the country, many of which contain precious examples of Islamic art and architecture. Surely Istanbul is a must-stop city, with its Silk Road roots, great shopping, fabulous food, and its cultural and economic importance.

There are numerous sites from the Hittite, Byzantine, and Roman periods, and many museums containing art and archeological findings from these and many other eras.  Dozens of unearthed ancient cities and sites such as Troy, Ephesus, Pergamon, and the impressive statues of Mount Nemrut in southeastern Turkey await the curious visitor. The cave dwellings and churches carved into the volcanic rock of Cappadocia located in central Turkey bear a fascinating history, important art, and unique troglodyte structures.

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