Turkey

Turkish Flag

The fundamentals of the Turkish Flag were laid down by Turkish Flag Law No. 2994 of May 29, 1936. Turkish Flag Regulation No. 2/7175 dated July 28, 1937, and Supplementary Regulation No. 11604/2 dated July 29, 1939, were enacted to describe how the flag law would be implemented. The Turkish Flag Law No. 2893 dated September 22, 1983, and Published in the Official Gazette on September 24, 1983, was promulgated six months after its publication. According to Article 9 of Law No. 2893, a statute including the fundamentals of the implementation was also published.

Country Profile
The laands of Turkey are located at a point where the three continents making up the old world. Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other, and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet. Geographically, the country is located in the northern half of the hemisphere at a point that is about halfway between the equator and the north pole, at a longitude of 36 degrees N to 42 degrees N and a latitude of 26 degrees E to 45 degrees E. Turkey iss roughly rectangular in shape and is 1,660 kilometers wide.
Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favour throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a centre of

f commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.
Boundaries
The land borders of Turkey are 2,573 kilometres in total, and coastlines (including islands) are another 8,333 kilometres, Turkey has two European and six Asian countries for neighbours along its land borders.
The land border to the northeast with the commonwealth of Independent States is 610 kilometres long; that with Iran, 454 kilometres long, and that with Iraq 331 kilometres long. In the south is the 877 kilometre-long border with Syria, which took its present form in 1939, when the Republic of Hatay joined Turkey. Turkey’s borders on the European continent consist of a 212-kilometre frontier with Greece and a 269-kilometre border with Bulgaria.

Geographical Regions
Turkey is generally diivided into seven regions: the Black Sea region, the Marmara region, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, the East and Southeast Anatolia regions. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a narrow but long belt. The land of this region is approximately 1/6 of Turkey’s total land area.
The Marmara region covers the area encircling the Sea of Marmara, includes the entire European part of Turkey, as well as the northwest of the Anatolian plain. Whilst the re

egion is the smallest of the regions of Turkey after the Southeast Anatolia region, it has the highest population density of all the regions.
The most important peak in the region is Uludag (2,543 metres), at the same time it is a major winter sports and tourist centre. In the Anatolian part of the region there are fertile plains running from east to west.
The Aegean region extends from the Aegean coast to the inner parts of western Anatolia. There are significant differences between the coastal areas and those inland, in terms of both geographical features and economic and social aspects.
In general, the mountains in the region fall perpendicularly into the sea. and the plains run from east to west. The plains through which Gediz, Kücük Menderes and Bakircay rivers flow carry the same names as these rivers.
In the Mediterranean region, located in the south of Turkey, the western and central Taurus Mountains suddenly rise up behind the coastline. The Amanos mountain range is also in the area.
The Central Anatolian region is exactly in the middle of Turkey and gives the appearance of being less mountainous compared with the other regions. The main peaks of the region are Ka
aradag, Karacadag, Hasandag and Erciyes (3.917 metres).
The Eastern Anatolia region is Turkey’s largest and highest region. About three fourths of it is at an altitude of 1,500-2,000 metres. Eastern Anatolia is composed of individual mountains as well as of whole mountain ranges, with vast plateaus and plains. The mountains: There are numerous inactive volcanoes in the region, including Nemrut, Suphan, Tendurek and Turkey’s highest peak, Mount Agri (Ararat), which is 5,165 metres high.
At the same time, several plains extended along the course of the River Murat, a tributary of the Firat (Euphrates). These are the plains of Malazgirt, Mus, Capakcur, Uluova and Malatya.
The Southeast Anatolia region is notable for the uniformity of its landscape, although the eastern part of the region is comparatively more uneven than its western areas.

Coastlines
Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, by the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean Sea in the west. In the northwest there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, important waterways that connect the Black Sea with the rest of the world.
Because the mountains in the Black Sea region ru

un parallel to the coastline, the coasts are fairly smooth, without too many indentations or projections. The length of the Black Sea coastline in Turkey is 1,595 kilometres, and the salinity of the sea is 17%. The Mediterranean coastline runs for 1,577 kilometres and here too the mountain ranges are parallel to the coastline.
The salinity level of the Mediterranean is about double that of the Black Sea.
Although the Aegean coastline is a continuation of the Mediterranean coast, it is quite irregular because the mountains in the area fall perpendicularly into the Aegean Sea. As a result, the length of the Aegean Sea coast is over 2,800 kilometres. The coastline faces out to many islands.
The Marmara Sea is located totally within national boundaries and occupies an area of 11,350 square kilometres. The coastline of the Marmara Sea is over 1,000 kilometres long; it is connected to the Black Sea by the Bosphorus and with the Mediterranean by the Dardanelles.

Rivers
Most of the rivers of Turkey flow into the seas surrounding the country. The Firat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) join together in Iraq and flow into the Persian Gulf. Turkey’s longest rivers, the Kizilirmak, Yesilirmak and Sakarya, flow into the Black Sea. The Susurluk, Biga and Gonen pour into the Sea of Marmara, the Gediz, Kucuk Menderes, Buyuk Menderes and Meric into the Aegean, and the Seyhan, Ceyhan and Goksu into the Mediterranean .

Lakes
In terms of numbers of lakes, the Eastern Anatolian region is the richest. It contains Turkey’s largest, Lake Van (3.713 square kilometres), and the lakes of Ercek, Cildir and Hazar. There are also many lakes in the Taurus mountains area: the Beysehir and Egirdir lakes, and the lakes that contain bitter waters like the Burdur and Acigoller lakes, for example. Around the Sea of Marmara are located the lakes of Sapanca, Iznik, Ulubat, Manyas, Terkos, Kucukcekmece and Buyukcekmece. In Central Anatoia is the second largest lake in Turkey: Tuzgolu: The waters of this lake are shallow and very salty. The lakes of Aksehir and Eber are also located in this region.
As a result of the construction of dams during the past thirty years, several large dam lakes have come into existence. Together with the Atatürk Dam lake which started to collect water in January 1990, the following are good examples: Keban, Karakaya, Altinkaya, Adiguzel, Kilickaya, Karacaoren, Menzelet, Kapulukaya, Hirfanli, Sariyar and Demirkopru.
The Climate
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape , and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, results in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.
Religion & Securalism

98% of the Turkish population is Moslem. However, everyone in Turkey has freedom of religion and belief. No one can be forced to participate in religious ceremonies or rites against their will and no blame can be attached to anyone because of their beliefs.
The first phases in the introduction of secularism were the abolition of the Caliphate and the Ministry of the Sheria and Pious Foundations on March 4, 1924, followed by the introduction of separate educational and judicial systems, the hat reform, the closure of dervish retreats and rligious sects, the acceptance of a Sunday weekend holiday rather than the Moslem Friday and the adoption of the western calendar, and finally the adoption of the principle of secularism in the Constitution of February 5, 1937.

In secular Turkey all religious affairs are carried out by a central government organization affiliated to the Prime Ministry, namely the Department of Religious Affairs, established in 1924. The function of this organization is to carry out tasks related to the beliefs, divine services and moral principles of Islam, and to enlighten citizens on religious matters.

Business & Economy
In recent years economic and commercial relations between Turkey and the United States developed into a mutually beneficial partnership. The importance of Turkey vis-à-vis the United States has been steadily increasing not only as a lucrative market for US exports, but also as a reliable prospective partner for joint projects and investments in Turkey and in third countries.
The U.S. Commerce Department designated Turkey as one of the world’s ten “Big Emerging Markets.” In 1999 Turkey was included in the newly established G-20 group along with other major dynamic emerging economies. Turkey is a full member of the EU Customs Union since 1996. The EU formally designated Turkey as a candidate for full membership in its Helsinki Summit in December 1999. Currently, the Government of Turkey is engaged in harmonizing its legislation and institutional basis to match EU standards and requirements.
Both sides remain committed to further expanding and diversifying the scope and content of their economic and commercial relations. The Government of the United States expresses strong support and commitment to the implementation of the strategic Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, which will be an important component of the Euro-Asian energy transportation network in the 21st century. Turkey and the United States are exploring the possibility of creating “Qualified Industrial Zones”inTurkey with special investment and trade incentives to expand commercial relations between the two countries.
The Turkish Government is implementing an ambitious structural reform and economic stabilization program with the support of international financial institutions including a stand-by agreement with the IMF. The Turkish Grand National Assembly approved numerous legislative changes, paving the way towards broader integration of the Turkish economy with the global economy.

Art & Culture

Among the prominent statesmen of the 20th century, few articulated the supreme importance of culture as did Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, who stated: “Culture is the foundation of the Turkish Republic.” His view of culture encompassed the nation’s creative legacy as well as the best values of world civilization. It stressed personal and universal humanism. “Culture,” he said, ” is a basic element in being a person worthy of humanity,” and described Turkey’s ideological thrust as “a creation of patriotism blended with a lofty humanist ideal.”
To create the best synthesis, Atatürk underlined the need for the utilization of all viable elements in the national heritage, including the ancient indigenous cultures, and the arts and techniques of the entire world civilization, past and present. He gave impetus to the study of earlier civilizations of Anatolia — including Hittite, Phrygian, Lydian and others. Pre-Islamic culture of theTurks became the subject of extensive research which proved that, long before the Seljuk and Ottoman Empires, the Turks had already created a civilization of their own. Atatürk also stressed the folk arts and folklore of the countryside as a wellspring of Turkish creativity.
The development of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts had been arrested by Ottoman officials, who claimed the depiction of the human form was idolatry, but these arts flourished during Atatürk’s presidency. Many museums were opened and architecture gained new vigor. Classical Western music, opera and ballet, as well as theater took impressive strides.Several hundred “People’s Houses” and “People’s Rooms” all over Turkey gave local people and youngsters a wide variety of artistic activities, sports and cultural affairs. Book and magazine publication enjoyed a boom. The Film industry started to grow. In all walks of cultural life, Atatürk’s inspiration created an upsurge.
Atatürk’s Turkey is living proof of this ideal — a country rich in its own national culture, open to the heritage of world civilization and at home in the endowments of the modern technological age.
Architecture
The Turks produced masterpieces of architecture during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods. The monumental buildings created by Turkish architects since the eleventh century have a distinguished place in the heritage of world architecture. The Selimiye and the Suleymaniye Mosques built by Mimar (Architect) Sinan, who is the symbol of Ottoman architecture, are masterworks reflecting the degree of maturity which the Ottoman architecture had reached in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in dealing with space and mass compositions. In fact, classical Ottoman style puts forth universal leaps and values.

It is possible to see the most beautiful examplesof the white colored Mediterranean architecture along the coastal regions in Turkey.
The Early Republic Period Turkish architecture which was dominated by the First National Architectural Move- ment until 1930, developed as a continuation of Ottoman architecture. Architects of this period erected public buildings to serve the needs of the major Anatolian cities in the wake of the Turkish War of Independence. These architects who seem to have borrowed certain elements of Seljuk and Ottoman architecture, and who were led by Kemaleddin Bey and Vedat Tek, assigned special importance to facades which they decorated, sometimes elaborately, with stone carvings and ceramic tiles. The public buildings, some of which are standing today, reflect the pecularities of the First National Movement. After the 1930s, foreign architects began to dominate architectural activities. They brought functional designs and an austere look to buildings. Flat roofs were preferred; the facades were bereft of ornaments; large windows were used and almost invariably, buildings were erected in a design of which simplicity and function were given top priority. Most of these foreign architects also worked as instructors and professors in schools of architecture and thus trained a new generation of architects. Meanwhile the Turkish architects of the 1930s mostly followed these imported masters.
The Second National Architectural Movement, between 1940-1950, unlike the first, focused on some of the essential elements of design utilized in the civilian buildings of traditional Turkish architecture rather than merely on ornamental elements.
The architects of this “movement” used structural elements such as eaves, wooden latticework, brackets and windows and carefully searched for a balance between the architectural ideas and elements they utilized. A meticulous workmanship in their works attracts attention. They were also careful about selecting the proper construction material to fit regional conditions. This facilitated and provided opportunities for the development of a local construction materials industry. The Macka Sark Kahvesi (Cafe) and various waterfront mansions on the Bosphorus are among the distinguished works of Sedat Hakki Eldem, one of the most important architects of the period. Emin Onat who is another noteworthy architect of this period produced works both with a regional and national perception. His Anitkabir (Atatürk’s Mausoleum) project in Ankara, which he designed together with Orhan Arda, is the most important monumental masterpiece of the period.
In the early 1950s, the influence of the Second National Architectural Movement rapidly faded and the influence of Western architecture intensified. This period, which lasted until the 1960s, and during which an exploration process in education, organization, design and application was predominant, can be regarded as a period of preparation for the emergence of contemporary Turkish architecture. Since the 1960s Turkish architects have been involved in an unending exploration of concepts, scientific principles and aesthetic values in architectural design. This resulted in the emergence of a myriad of approaches and tendencies and led to a dynamic and productive pluralism in architecture. No single vision and no single movement dominates the contemporary Turkish architectural scene. While making contributions emanating from their own creative resources, and from their unique personal or stylistic tendencies, contemporary Turkish architects have tried almost every architectural approach, from the use of fantastic and/or irrational forms to expressionist approaches, from creating monumental symbols to the utilization of traditional elements and from an arabesque search to postmodernist designs.
Art of Cartoon
In Turkey, the art of cartoon started in the second half of 19th century and has developed in parallel to liveliness in publication life. With the publication of the first humor magazine, Diyojen , cartoon reached an independent milieu of publication. The cartoons of the period show, generally, the characteristic of drawings that emphasize the humorous side of anecdotes and poems, and of those drawings that ornament them.
With the establishment of the Republic, Cemal Nadir Guler and Ramiz Gokce, two important artists of Turkish cartoons, contributed, with their drawings, to the efforts of establishing a new state and of creating a Republican society. In the same period, Akbaba (Vulture), the most long-lived humor magazine of the Republican period, published by Yusuf Ziya Ortac, and in which various tendencies were displayed, left its mark on the period, in view of its cadre of strong authors and cartoonists.
Along with the new freedoms due to the transition to multi-party order in the aftermath of World War II, a transformation was experienced in hu- mor. Marko Pasa, which was published by Saba- hattin Ali and Aziz Nesin and whose cartoonist was Mustafa Uykusuz, was the most important humor magazine of the period.

1994
The Generation of the 1950’s that brought a new concept to the art of cartoon, developed a car- toon humor not based on writing and word. This group, forming a new and contemporary aesthetics of cartoon art, analyzed the structural problems of society in depth and drew accordingly. They spread their new concept of cartoon, not only by drawing, but also by collective exhibitions, articles, seminars and by such humor magazines as 41 Bucuk (41 and a half), Tef (Tambourine), Dolmus (Taxi) and Tas-Karikatur (Stone Cartoon).
The famous cartoonists of the period are Turhan Selcuk, Nehar Tublek, Ali Ulvi Ersoy, Eflatun Nuri Koc, Selma Emiroglu, Semih Balcioglu, Bedri Koraman, Altan Erbulak, Mustafa Eremektar, Sinan Bicakcioglu, Ferruh Dogan, Tonguc Yasar, Suat Yalaz, Yalcin Cetin and Oguz Aral. Cafer Zorlu, Zeki Beyner, Tan Oral, Nezih Danyal, Ercan Akyol, Erdogan Bozok, Orhan Ozdemir and Selcuk Demirel who were brought up between 1960 and 1970, continued the cartoon concept of the Generation of the 1950’s by their original contributions.
The Cartoonists’ Society, which was established in 1970, contributed to the development of a generation of young cartoonists through the International Cartoon Contest of Nasred- din Hodja, collective exhibitions and catalogs. Young cartoonists gathered in the weekly humor magazine, Girgir (Fun), under the management of Oguz Aral, developed, with the contributions of Tekin Aral, a popular humor, based on words, ridiculing mainly persons and events created by distorted urbanization.
The change of values that came about in society after 1980, is being criticized and interpreted in a manner that combine word and writing with their drawings by Ismail Gulgec, Kamil Masaraci, Salih Memecan, Semih Poroy, Behic Ak, Piyale Madra, Hasan Kacan, Ergun Gunduz, Latif Demirci, Haslet Soyoz and Kemal Gokhan Gurses.
Turkish cartoon has a prominent place in world cartoon, thanks both to the international success of Turkish cartoonists and their exhibitions abroad, and to the international activities on the subject of cartoon art held in the country. The International Cartoon Contest of Nasreddin Hodja held by the Cartoonists’ Society, the Hurriyet International Cartoon Contest held by Aydin Dogan Foundation, and the Ankara International Cartoon Festival held by the Cartoon Founda- tion, are some of the cartoon activities known worldwide.
Turkish Painting

“At the gate of Karaman Medresse”by Osman Hamdi Bey
Painting in the western sense started to develop in Turkey in the nineteenth century. Artists such as Namik Ismail, Ibrahim Calli, Avni Lifij, Feyheman Duran and Hikmet Onat, who had their art education in Europe in the 1910s, became impressionists. These artists, who are known as the 1914 Generation , influenced the development of painting in the early Republic Period. Extensive research carried out by Public Centers (Halkevleri) on Anatolian peoples’ art and culture in the 1930s influenced many artists and caused them to deal with the issues raised in the wake of the findings of the research.
In this period, the D Group, established by Zeki Faik Izer, Nurullah Berk, Elif Naci, Cemal Tollu, Abidin Dino and sculptor Zuhtu Muridoglu, ignored the impressionist tendencies and set out to create a joint language, and sought to achieve a synthesis between certain elements of traditional Turkish art and the ideas of the new art movements in Europe, between local color and western techniques and between domestic “soul” and the universal artistic ideals.
Within the art and culture development program, which gained momentum after the 1930s, the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul, which was called Sanayi-i Nefise Mektebi until 1936, was restructured. It was taken under the structure of the Ministry of National Education. A French artist, Leopold Levy, was appointed as the chairman of the painting department between 1949 and 1950. Levy’s students founded a group aptly called the Yeniler Grubu (The New Group) which was the most important group in the field of painting after the D Group and which experimented with new styles and new techniques. The members of this group, who continued exhibitions until 1955, were focused on social issues in the beginning, but later distanced themselves from the social-realistic manner of expression.
In the 1950s, when the art movements were followed more closely, the first abstract painters emerged in Turkey. Among these are Adnan Coker, Lutfu Gunay, Semsi Arel, Abidin Elderoglu and Sabri Berkel who tried to give a traditional and local touch to abstract forms by using calligraphy. Neset Gunal’s paintings on social issues, the miniature-like paintings of Devrim Erbil, Cihat Burak’s paintings which have traces from folk art, the animal figures and Anatolian landscapes of Orhan Peker which he painted with staining techniques, are all examples of the diversity of figurative tendencies in the 1960s and the 1970s. By the 1970s, many artists managed to reach some synthesis between the competing tendencies such as abstract-figurative and universal-domestic. Meanwhile pioneering and experimental works were supported by the annual exhibition “New Tendencies” held within the framework of the Istanbul Art Festival, which was first organized in 1977. Since 1980, conceptual art works are also common along with the traditional paintings on canvas.
Theater
As elsewhere in the world, two elements have been influential in introducing the theater into the life of the Turks: rituals and religious ceremonies from pre-historic times and tales, legends and various other events from everyday life. The first theater was a product of these events as they were staged on various occasions. In Turkey, folkloric theatre of this nature still exists in rural areas. Puppet plays, Karagoz shadow shows, the Meddah (story-teller) and Orta oyun (a kind of Ottoman style dance), all of which have folkloric aspects, remained common in everyday life until the period of westernization. With the proclamation of the Tanzimat in 1839, a series of changes took place in state and social life, one of which was the establishment of the Turkish National Theater. During this period contacts were established with the western theater, which were encouraged by the imperial palace and high-ranking state officials.
The close interest of the imperial circle in theater led to the relatively easy acceptance of theater by society. The library of Muhmut II included a great variety of theatrical works.
High-ranking state officials promoted western theater in Turkey and lent their support to these developments. Turkish intellectuals and embassies also made their own contributions. The opportunities presented to Turkish Embassies abroad to observe theater in other countries gave them an excellent concept of the art. Ahmet Vefik Pasa contributed to the art by translating and adapting the plays of Moliere. By founding a theater in Bursa, he succeeded in bringing an active theater life to the city.
While Ottoman intellectuals adopted western theater, traditional Turkish theater was neglected. This led to a lack of national character in early Turkish theater. Development in this field was generally the result of merely passing on experience. Cemil Pasa, who headed the Istanbul Municipality from 1913 to 1914, pioneered the foundation of a conservatory, in which the theater and music departments were named “Darulbedayaii Osmani.” The departments were directed by Andre Antoine until he returned to his own country at the outbreak of the first World War. Mushin Ertugrul took his place.
The Darulbedayii gave its first performance in 1916. The following nine years were a period of faltering and searching for a foothold. Between 1926 and 1931, the Darulbedayii began to work more seriously, with financial support from the Istanbul Municipality. In 1931 it took on the aspect of a City Theater and achieved further progress from 1947 to 1958.
State theaters were founded by legislation on June 10, 1940, and were affiliated with the Ministry of National Education. Later, State Theaters were attached first to the prime ministry and then to the Ministry of Culture.
The duties of the General Directorate of State Theaters can be summarized as follows: to contribute to the fostering of the Turkish nation’s culture and language; to assist in the training of Turkish playwrights; to promote a national repertoire; to establish a link between the public and the theater through country-wide tours;to promote the works of Turkish playwrights abroad; to contribute by means of cooperation with foreign artists; to participate in national and international festivals; and to increase the interest of the Turkish people in the art of theater.
After the formation of the State Theaters, a number of theaters in Ankara opened their curtains during 1948-1949. Seven years later, on October 5, 1956, the Chamber Theater came into being. That same year, the Halkevi became Ankara’s third theater, while the New Stage started in the 1960-1961 season and later the Altindag Theater on March 27, 1964.
The first regional theatrical activities started during the 1956-1957 season. The opening of the Adana and Izmir state theaters was followed by the opening of the Ahmet Vefik Pasa Theater in Bursa.
The Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul opened in 1969. Until it acquired its own company in 1978-79, the state theater organized continuous tours to Istanbul.
Following the proclamation of the Mesrutiyet (constitution), play-writing developed greatly. Halit Fahri and Yusuf Ziya wrote plays fo rthe Darulbedayii. Ahmet Nuri, Cenapy Sabahattin, Resat Nuri, and Musin Etrugrul also adapted French plays for the Turkish theater. Under the Republic, the City Theaters staged the plays of Halit Fahri, Vedat Nedim, Musahipzade Celal, Omer Seyfettin, Yakup Kadri, Abdulhak Hamit, Cevdet Kudret, Faruk Nafiz and Huseyin Rahmi.
More contemporary recent playwrights include Cevat Fehmi Bakurt, Turgut Ozakman, Orhan Asena, Gungor Dilmen, Necati Culmali, Haldun Tasner, Tarik Bugra, Necip Fazil Kisakurek and Turhan Oflazoglu
Tourism and Travel
Stretching out on two continents, Turkey is a paradise where one can experience the four seasons simultaneously. Whether be fond of art, history, archeology or nature, you will feel the happiness beyond desires and hopes during your stay in Turkey.
Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of a shinning sea at four directions, Turkey generously offers her 8000km long shores before your eyes. Turkey is rich in flora and fauna.
Because of its geographical location, the mainland, Anatolia, has witnessed the mass migration of diverse peoples shaping the course of history. Twenty fascinating civilizations render Turkey the heir of 10.000 years old history, which has still been examined for further ancient secrets to be brought up into daylight. These lands inhales at any moment the mystery of the past through the existence of the statues of gods and goddesses, temples, theaters, agoras, churches, mosques, medresseh, palaces and caravanserais. Becoming a united whole of daily life and all other values, Turkey forms ideal circumstances.
Where to Travel to Turkey
A country of sun and history, Turkey is located where the three continents making up the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet.
Because of its geographical location, the mainland, Anatolia, has witnessed the mass migration of diverse peoples shaping the course of history. The home to countless civilisations, Anatolia has developed a unique synthesis of cultures, each with its own distinct identity, yet each linked to its predecessors through insoluble treads.
We organized our site so that you can discover each of seven different geographical regions individually or you can check out the activities you might be interested during your visit to Turkey.
National Parks
The first national park in Turkey was established in 1958. Since then their numbers have increased to twenty-one. Some of these parks, which were initially established for archeological and historical purposes are at the same time rich habitats where biological diversity is being protected. The Olympos-Bey Mountains National Park in the province of Antalya in the Mediterranean region, for example, contains a wealth of flora and fauna, which are either endemic or relic distributions, in addition to important archeological ruins. The Köprülü Canyon National Park in the same province is the home of Cupressus sempervirens forests. Natural forests of this tree no longer occur elsewhere in the world. In addition to its archeological and geological treasures, this park also contains a large number of endemic plants and rare animal species.
Camping
Unspoiled nature, a cultural panorama, a historical tapestry and uncalculating friendship await campers in Turkey. The geographical diversity and sheer size of the Turkish landscape lends itself to camping adventures: from the shimmering shores of the Aegean and Mediterranean to the lush Black Sea coast, from pristine mountain lakes to the haunting beauty of ancient ruins, from the freshness of high mountain meadows to the surprise of fairy chimneys and underground cities.
Camping whether by caravan or in tents enables visitors to see a Turkey rarely seen by tourists; a country of small villages and charming provincial towns, a country wide open and unfenced, a country known for its hospitality and generosity.
Camping is an inseparable part of Anatolian culture. The nomadic traditions of the Turks have left a strong impression on modern day life, influencing everything from dietary habits to styles of interior decoration Kilims, for example, were originally used by nomads and pastìrma, meat cured with spices and garlic, was an integral part of the nomadic diet. The trek up to the high mountain meadows in summer to escape the heat of the coastal plain is another enduring nomadic tradition.
Medieval caravansarais, a few of them restored, dot the eastwest Silk Route, attesting to the mobility of early commercial travellers. Indeed the history of Anatolia is marked by shifts of populations and an on-going cultural symbiosis, throughwhich the achievements of one civilization draw upon the experiences of a previous one. Turkey is often called an “open air museum” and camping is one of the best ways to see this extraordinary place.
Numerous organized campsites around Turkey welcome travelers. Many of these are accessible by highway and border the sea. These provide an ideal setting for a family vacation; the campsites provide water and cooking and sanitary facilities, and local shops sell fresh food, while the beaches and sea offer endless recreational possibilities for children and adults alike.
Caravans and backpackers may consider the entire country as their campsite. Provisions can be purchased in any town and the locals are always happy to share their land with visitors. Just one reminder: responsible campers leave their campsites clean and unlittered. To enjoy the environment , we must protect it!
This map is intended to provide a starting point for your journey. Your local Turkish Tourism Office will be happy to offer suggestions to help plan a trip. Many tour agencies organize trekking expeditions, river rafting and horseback trips for the adventurous traveller. Fully equipped campers (caravans) can be rented in Turkey’s major cities for excursions into the countryside.

Caves, Speleological Potential of Turkey
About one third of Turkey is underlain by carbonate rocks. The intense karstification is spread almost all over Turkey. It is found particularly in the regions of the Taurus Mountain Range, in Northwest Anatolia, in Konya closed basin and in Southeastern Anatolia. Karstification is present both at high altitudes (over 2000 m.) and also it is known to exist at elevations below the sea level, such as Ovacik submarine springs, Kas – Kalkan submarine springs and the Mediterranean region coastal springs.
Turkey is thoroughly located in the Mediterranean sector of the Alpine orogenic belt. The Alpine orogeny and the following epirogenic movements in Turkey have been important factors in karstification.
According to Eroskay and Günay (1979), four karst regions can be differentiated in Turkey Taurus region, Central Anatolia region Southern Anatolia region, and Northwest Anatolia and Thrace region.

Turkish Language
The Turkish language is spread over a large geographical area in Europe and Asia; recent studies show that this language goes back 5500 years,and perhaps even 8500. At the same time, it is one of the most widely spoken tongues in the world – the sixth most widely spoken , to be precise. It is spoken in the Azeri, the Türkmen, the Tartar, the Uzbek, the Baskurti, the Nogay, the Kyrgyz, the Kazakh, the Yakuti, the Cuvas and other dialects. Turkish belongs to the Altaic branch of the Ural-Altaic family of languages, and thus is closely related to Mongolian, Manchu-Tungus, Korean, and perhaps Japanese. Some scholars have maintained that these resemblances are not fundamental, but rather the result of borrowings, however comparative Altaistic studies in recent years demonstrate that the languages we have listed all go back to a common Ur-Altaic.
Turkish is a very ancient language, with a flawless phonetic, morphological and syntactic structure, and at the same time possesses a wealth of vocabulary. The fundamental features which distinguish the Ural-Altaic languages from the Indo-European are as follows:
· Vowel harmony, a feature of all Ural-Altaic tongues.
· The absence of gender.
· Agglutination
· Adjectives precede nouns.
· Verbs come at the end of the sentence.
The name of the script of the language spoken in Turkey proper, the dialect falls into the southwestern dialects of the Western Turkish language family and also into the dialects of the Oguz Türkmen language group. When the Turkish spoken in Turkey is considered in a historical context, it can be classified according to three separate periods because of the inherent characteristics of each of the periods:
· Old Anatolian Turkish (old Ottoman – between the 13th and the 15th centuries)
· Ottoman Turkish (from the 16th to the 19th century)
· 20th century Turkish

Written Turkish
The oldest written records are found upon stone monuments in Central Asia, in the Orhon, Yenisey and Talas regions within the boundaries of present-day Mongolia. These were erected to Bilge Kaghan (735), Kültigin (732), and the vizier Tonyukuk (724-726). Apart from these, there are some one hundred inscriptions of various sizes mentioned by the Swedish army officer Johan von Strahlenberg. The first to read them and publish his results was the Danish Turcologist Wilhelm Thomsen, while the Russian Turcologist (of Prussian extraction) Wilhelm Radloff contributed in a major way to the deciphering of the script. The perfection of the language used in these records, which document the social and political life of the Gokturk Dynasty, proves that Turkish, as a language of letters, has been in use from very ancient times.
In later periods many forms of writing would appear: Nestorian writing in the northeast, Sogd, Uighur, and Pali writings in the southeast, Manichaean texts. In Brahman writing, and from the 11th centuary onward, Arabic script for Islamic texts. In addition, depending on the region in which they lived, the Turks have employed Suryani, Armenian, Georgian and ancient Greek alphabeths, producing literary works which have transmitted the Turkish culture up to the present day.
After the waning of the Gokturk state, the Uighurs produced many written texts that are among the most important source works for the Turkish language. The Uighurs produced many written texts that are among the most important source works for the Turkish language. The Uighurs abondened shamanism(the original Turkish religion) in favor of Buddhism, Manichaeanism and Brahminism, and translated the pious and philosophical works of all of them into Turkish. Examples are Altun Yaruk, Mautrisimit, Sekiz Yükmek, Huastunift, etc. These were collected by european turcologists in Turkische Turfan-Texte.
The Kokturk (Gokturk) inscriptions, together with Uighur writings, are in a language called by scholars Old Turkish. This term refers to the Turkish spoken, prior to the conversion to Islam, on the steppes of Mongolia and Tarim basin.
With the emergence of the Cagatay Dynasty, which came about when the Empire of Genghis Khan was divided among his sons, a new wave of Turkish literature was born and flowered under the influence of Persian literature. It reached its pinnacle with the works of Ali Sir Navai in the 15th century.
The Turkish of Turkey that developed in Anatolia and across the Bosphorus in the times of the Seljuks and Ottomans was used in several valuable literary works prior to the 13th century. The men of letters of the time were, notably, Sultan Veled, the son of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, Ahmed Fakih, Seyyad Hamza, Yunus Emre, a prominent thinker of the time, and the famed poet, Gulsehri.

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