“Who gossips to you, will gossip of you”
“A person does not seek luck; luck seeks the person”
“Who seeks a faultless friend remains friendless.”
“Patience is bitter, but it bears sweet fruit.”
Turkey Türkiye officially the Republic of Turkey is a transcontinental country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bordered on its northwest by Greece and Bulgaria; north by the Black Sea; northeast by Georgia; east by Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran; southeast by Iraq; south by Syria and the Mediterranean Sea; and west by the Aegean Sea. Istanbul, which straddles Europe and Asia, is the country’s largest city, while Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of the country’s citizens are ethnic Turks, while the largest minority are Kurds at 20 percent. One of the world’s earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey was home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe, and was inhabited by ancient civilisations such as the Hattians and Anatolian peoples. Hellenization started in the area during the era of Alexander the Great and continued into the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating in the 11th century, and the Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans started uniting the principalities and conquering the Balkans, and the Turkification of Anatolia increased during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power. From the late 18th century onwards, the empire’s power declined with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening empire, Mahmud II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century. The 1913 coup d’état effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, who were largely responsible for the Empire’s entry into World War I in 1914. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek subjects. After the Ottomans and the other Central Powers lost the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned. The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the sultanate in 1922, and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey; which became a secular, unitary, formerly parliamentary republic that adopted a presidential system.
Ankara, historically known as Ancyra and Angora, is the capital of Turkey. Located in the central part of Anatolia, the city has a population of 4.5 million in its urban centre and over 5.6 million in Ankara Province, making it Turkey’s second-largest city after Istanbul. Serving as the capital of the ancient Celtic state of Galatia (280–64 BC), and later of the Roman province with the same name (25 BC–7th century), the city is very old with various Hattian, Hittite, Lydian, Phrygian, Galatian, Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites. The Ottomans made the city the capital first of the Anatolia Eyalet (1393–late 15th century), and then the Angora Vilayet (1867–1922). The historical center of Ankara is a rocky hill rising 150 m (500 ft) over the left bank of the Ankara River, a tributary of the Sakarya River. The hill remains crowned by the ruins of Ankara Castle. Although few of its outworks have survived, there are well-preserved examples of Roman and Ottoman architecture throughout the city, the most remarkable being the 20 BC Temple of Augustus and Rome that boasts the Monumentum Ancyranum, the inscription recording the Res Gestae Divi Augusti. On 23 April 1920, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established in Ankara, which became the headquarters of the Turkish National Movement during the Turkish War of Independence. Ankara became the new Turkish capital upon the establishment of the Republic on 29 October 1923, succeeding in this role the former Turkish capital Istanbul (Constantinople) following the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The government is a prominent employer, but Ankara is also an important commercial and industrial city, located at the centre of Turkey’s road and railway networks. The city gave its name to the Angora wool shorn from Angora rabbits, the long-haired Angora goat (the source of mohair), and the Angora cat. The area is also known for its pears, honey and muscat grapes. Although situated in one of the driest regions of Turkey and surrounded mostly by steppe vegetation (except for the forested areas on the southern periphery), Ankara can be considered a green city in terms of green areas per inhabitant, at 72 square metres (775 square feet) per head.
Antalya – The city that is now Antalya was first settled around 200 BC by the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon, which was soon subdued by the Romans. Roman rule saw Antalya thrive, including the construction of several new monuments, such as Hadrian’s Gate, and the proliferation of neighboring cities. The city has changed hands several times, including to the Seljuk Sultanate in 1207 and an expanding Ottoman Empire in 1391. Ottoman rule brought relative peace and stability for the next five hundred years. The city was transferred to Italian suzerainty in the aftermath of World War I, but was recaptured by a newly independent Turkey in the War of Independence. Antalya is Turkey’s biggest international sea resort, located on the Turkish Riviera.
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in the Nevşehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Aksaray, Malatya, Sivas and Niğde provinces in Turkey. Since the late 300s BC the name Cappadocia came to be restricted to the inland province (sometimes called Great Cappadocia), Upper Cappadocia, which alone will be the focus of this article. Lower Cappadocia is focused to elsewhere. According to Herodotus, in the time of the Ionian Revolt (499 BC), the Cappadocians were reported as occupying a region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine (Black Sea). Cappadocia, in this sense, was bounded in the south by the chain of the Taurus Mountains that separate it from Cilicia, to the east by the upper Euphrates, to the north by Pontus, and to the west by Lycaonia and eastern Galatia. The name, traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history, continues in use as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterized by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was built in the 10th century BC on the site of the former Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League. The city came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Among many other monumental buildings are the Library of Celsus, and a theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written here. The city was the site of several 5th-century Christian Councils. The city was destroyed by the Goths in 263, and although rebuilt, the city’s importance as a commercial centre declined as the harbour was slowly silted up by the Küçükmenderes River. It was partially destroyed by an earthquake in AD 614.
Istanbul historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople, is the largest city in Turkey and the country’s economic, cultural and historic center. The city straddles the Bosphorus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey. Founded as Byzantion by Megarian colonists in 660 BCE, and renamed as Constantinople in 330 CE, the city grew in size and influence, becoming a beacon of the Silk Road and one of the most important cities in history. It served as an imperial capital for almost sixteen centuries, during the Roman/Byzantine (330–1204), Latin (1204–1261), Byzantine (1261–1453), and Ottoman (1453–1922) empires. It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times, before its transformation to an Islamic stronghold following the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 CE. In 1923, after the Turkish War of Independence, Ankara replaced the city as the capital of the newly formed Republic of Turkey. In 1930 the city’s name was officially changed to Istanbul, an appellation Greek speakers used since the eleventh century to colloquially refer to the city.
Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal spring water. It is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year. The ancient Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis was built on top of the travertine formation which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away. Known as Pamukkale (Cotton Castle) or ancient Hierapolis (Holy City), this area has been drawing visitors to its thermal springs since the time of Classical antiquity. The Turkish name refers to the surface of the shimmering, snow-white limestone, shaped over millennia by calcite-rich springs. Dripping slowly down the mountainside, mineral-rich waters collect in and cascade down the mineral terraces, into pools below. Legend has it that the formations are solidified cotton (the area’s principal crop) that giants left out to dry.