Sun, sea, beach and the relatively cheap prices make Turkey a popular country for holidays. But there is more to do during your vacation in Turkey, such as water sports, excursions and even winter sports is represented. Then we have not even talked about the historical landmarks of a city like Istanbul: the city which connects Europe and Asia through a huge bridge over the Bosperus.
The nature, we almost forget the special nature of Turkey: white lime terraces in Pamukele, the salt, the peatstone landscapes of Cappadocia and the wooded, high mountains in eastern Turkey where many nomads live.
The Turkish population is an amalgam of various steppe populations from Central Asia. In the course of time, however, these groups merged so that their identity was absorbed in what we call Turkish. Turkey has approximately 55 million inhabitants. At present there are in Turkey still ethnic groups who have more or less maintained their identity.
A good example would be the ten million Kurds who are the largest minority of Turkey. Their aim for an independent state is politically very controversial. After the Kurds, the Arabs are with 1% of the Turkish population, the largest minorities. Then there are the Tjerkessen (205,000 people) from the Caucasus, with their blond hair and blue eyes. From much smaller scale but very interesting is the small group (40,000) Syriacs (Syrian Christians).
Other ethnic minorities are Jews (which are still speaking Ladino = Spanish in the sixteenth century) Turkmenian, Karakalpaks, Tatars (all coming from Central Asia) Albanians, Bosnians, Pomaks (all peoples from the Balkans).
The Islamic culture in Turkey increased a lot under the Seljuk Turks and later the Ottoman, but also in the present in Turkey the Islam still is a significant factor in the social and political life. This despite Ataturks ardent desire to make of Turkey a completely secular state, to western model.
Turkey has a total of 2,648 km of land borders with neighbouring countries following 8:
Greece - European - 206 km - with a Turkish Christian minority
Bulgaria-European - 240 km - with a Turkish Christian minority
Georgia - Asian - 252 km - Christian minorities in Turkey
Armenia - Asian - 268 km - Christian oldest Christian republic
Azerbaijan - Asian - 9 km - Turkish Islamic
Iran - Asian - 499 km-Islamic Persian
Iraq - Asian - 352 km - Islamic Arabic
Syria - Asian - 822 km - Islamic Arabic
The Turkish Cuisine
The Turkish cuisine is one of the better ones in the world (after the French, Chinese and Italian). The slightly spicy dishes are seasoned, the kebabs are delicious. Especially a doner kebab (lamb) is worthwhile. Meze are small, delicate appetizers and cacik is a typical delicious yogurt. The corba (soup with grains and yogurt) tastes delicious. Feta is a delicious goat cheese, which you eat with oil and pepper. Fish may be the best in the coastal areas to be eaten.
Baklava is a popular dessert and lokum (Turkish Fruit) was popular.
Raki (taste of aniseed) is the national aperitif. Raki is softened with water and a block of ice. Pure raki is colourless, with water it colours white. Raki can help reduce the problems with stomack cramps or intestinal disorders. The alcohol content of the raki is around 45%.
Turkey has reasonable beer (Efes and Tekel) and reasonable wines (Doluca Riesling, Karmen, Yakut), although they cannot really be compared with the French wines. The mint (cai) is nice (also recommended by diarrhoea) and the black appletee is widely drunk. Turkish coffee is tasteful, the ordinary coffee is usually Nescafé. Sade is not sweetened Turkish coffee. Orta is moderate and sweetened Serkerli strongly sweetened. A good thirst quencher is ayran, an unsweeted yogurt with sparkling mineral water.
You must try the many dishes that are offered in the showcases of the many restaurants. You can try a bit of everything, but it is very nice to try the Turkish courts. The menu is offered on large signs in front of the door. Look calmly to the offer. They try to get you inside as soon as possible, but it is the practice in Turkey and that is not only in restaurants. If you are for the first time in Turkey, it looks strange, but you will get used to it. Prices can be quite varied. Fish is expensive in Turkey, you better first ask for the price. You have to go once to a real Turkish restaurant. It looks like a cafeteria, furnishings are not luxurious and no alcoholic drinks are served. Where many Turkish people are it is usually good to eat. Take a look at the cook in the kitchen, he will highly appreciate that. Apple or black tea is always offered for free. Eat no bulk ice. Water (mineral) you have to buy. Turkey all seasons of the year has a large supply of fresh fruit. You have to visit a Turkish market.
The Turkish cuisine has an almost millennial tradition. The Islamic faith and a strong national feeling ensure its sustainability.
In spite of the restrictions on religious precepts the food is no unilateral.
Turkey surprises almost every tourist with a limitless amount of costly dishes. The very different climatic conditions make a great diversity in agricultural products. In addition, there are clearly contrasting influences noticeable because of Turkey's historical and geographical switching between Europe and Asia. And last but not least, the creative female Turkish cooks make meals each day to a new experience.
You will enjoy superior taste of these dishes. We wish you already now a tasty meal.
About Turkey - Sun and Beach
During a holiday in the sun in Turkey, you enjoy sun, sea and sand but also massages, delicious Turkish food, cheap clothes and other things. Did you know that a flight to Turkey is only 3,5 hours? It is not for nothing that Turkey is becoming more and more popular. In Turkey you can escape the massa tourism and it is still reasonable cheap.
Book your trip to the beautiful bays and beaches on the Aegean coast in southern Turkey.
About Turkey - The climate
The climate of Turkey has a lot of differences. The country is large and has many landscapes. On the south coast, it is delicious dwell, but in the winter is much precipitation. On the north coast is the chance of rain throughout the year present and the heat is less heavy. The east has severe winters in the mountains near Erzurum in January night that average fall to -12 degrees. In the middle of Turkey is the best climate to keep. Summer nights are cool.
The Turkish climate is as varied as the landscape. Each region has a different climate. Along the coast in the west, south and parts of the north has a Mediterranean climate. This is a temperate climate with a dry hot summer. The Central Anatolian plateau and the mountains in the east have a continental climate with hot summer. In the mountainous areas, the winters in some places strict and extensive snow makes the roads impassable for months.
The Mediterranean coast
Specific to the west and south coast there is a Mediterranean climate with hot summers are dry and rainy winters. The shores of the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea ensuring the early spring to late autumn sunshine. Antalya is with annual 3220 hours Sun one of the sunniest places of Turkey.
The southern tip of Iskenderun in Turkey along the Mediterranean Sea against Syria, is on average one of the hottest places. This is mainly because of the mild winter here. Adana in the lowlands to the south coast in the tourist areas is in summer the heatest. In August, the daytime average is about 34.3 degrees here.
In the northern Aegean and Marmara region the bathing season runs from June to September. In the southern Aegean region and the Mediterranean Sea bathing season runs from april until October. The season gets shorter the more you go to the east. It is only more hot in the southeast of the country. On the border with Syria the local temperature in July is even 40 degrees. In Antalya in August the seawater temperature averages 27 degrees.
Above the Aegean Sea blows the Meltemi. This wind occurs in summer and blows hard on the islands in front of the coast. At sea wind reaches 7 or 8 and especially the Greek islands notice this.
While in summer a little rain falls, in winter there is plenty. From November to March is much precipitation to the Turkish coast. Antalya is an annual rain of 1079 millimetres, which is more than in the Netherlands.
This fully applies to the mountains around Finike, southwest of Antalya. Here in the mountains of Lycia annually falls more than 2000 millimetres. It is the wettest place in Turkey, but most precipitation falls in winter. The many rainfalls are caused by moist sea air which is pushed up against the mountains. The other coastal areas in the west and south of Turkey with more than 700 millimetres are as wet as in the Netherlands.
Coast area along the Black Sea
The Black Sea has a relatively mild climate with mild winters and mild summers. In Zonguldak, where it rains throughout the whole year. That is because in summer a northern wind blows which pushes up the moist sea air against the Pontic mountains. Zonduldak with nearly 1200 millimeters rain per year, is a wet place in Turkey. Despite the rainfall, there is room for beach weather and the bathing season runs from June to September. In August, the average temperature of the seawater is 24 degrees. The average maximum temperature in August is 25 degrees. More to the east in Trabzon the sun shines less than in the south. By 1875 hours sun Trabzon is one of the darkest places of Turkey.
Central Anatolian plateau
Central Anatolia between the ridges along the north and south coast, has a continental climate. The area has dry, hot summers and a soft and pleasant spring and autumn. The winters are colder and the more you go to the east, the colder the winters are. Daytime temperatures in Ankara vary from 30 degrees in summer to just below freezing at night in winter. The nights are cool in summer. On the coast the temperature is 23 degrees in the night, in Sivas the temperature drops to an average of 12 degrees. With an annual rainfall of 300 to 400 millimetres it is a lot dryer than on the coast. All in all, an environment where it is reasonable to hold.
The mountainous east
In the mountainous areas, the winters in some places are strict and extensive snow makes the roads impassable for months. In Erzurum, at 1,756 metres altitude, in January the nighttemperature has an average of -11.7 degrees. The average annual temperature is 6.1 degrees colder than we experience in the Netherlands.
Erzurum is not only the coldest place of Turkey, it is also the coldest place on the entire region. Here is a continental mountainous climate. In summer it's hot and the daytime temperature rises up to an average of 26 degrees.
Also the places Van and Sivas, with average minimum temperatures around the -8 degrees, are pretty cold in the winter. In the southeastern corner of Turkey runs the local precipitation up to more than 1500 millimetres per year.