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  • Turkey is located in West Asia, with a small section in Southeastern Europe.
  • Turkey is surrounded by Iraq and Iran to the Southeast, Georgia and Azerjaijan to the Northeast, and Bulgaria and Greece to the West.
  • It is bordered by the Black Sea to the North and the Mediterranean Sea to the Southwest.
  • Turkey has a roughly rectangular shape – it is more than 1,600 km long and 800 km wide.
  • Turkish is the official language of Turkey.  English is common with the younger generation.
  • The dominant religion of Turkey is Islam, with 97% of the population practicing this religion.
  • Turkish cuisine is extremely rich and combines Mediterranean, Central Asian, Caucasian, and Arabic influences.  Beef is the most important meat, with eggplant, onion, lentil, and beans the primary vegetables.



  • In 23,000 BC a cave at Karain, was inhabited by humans. It is the oldest known evidence of habitation in Anatolia. People lived in the cave until a few centuries ago, making it one of the longest continuously-inhabited spots on earth.
  • The world’s first town, Catal Huyuk dates back to 6,500 B.C.  It is said that Catal Huyuk had a population of about 6,000.
  • The Hittites were the first civilization in Turkey. They moved to Turkey about 2,000 BC and at first they were divided into separate states. However about 1,650 BC they were united by King Labarnas.
  • In 334 BC Alexander the Great crossed the Dardanelles and quickly conquered the Persian Empire including Turkey. Alexander died in 323 BC and his empire was divided between his generals. Turkey became split into rival kingdoms.
  • 133 BC was the beginning of Roman rule. Over the next 100 years the Romans gradually extended their rule over Turkey.
  • In the 4th Century the Roman Empire split in two. The Western half declined and in the 5th Century it was dominated by Germanic people. However the Eastern half of the Roman Empire prospered. It became known as the Byzantine Empire and it included what is now Turkey.
  • At the battle of Lepanto in 1571, The Turks were defeated at sea by the Spanish and Venetians
  • In the 17th century, the Turkish Empire began to decline. As late as 1683 the Turks lay siege to Vienna but they were driven back. Afterwards the Turks were forced to surrender territory to the Europeans. (The Turks surrendered territory to Hungary by a treaty of 1699). In the 18th century there were several wars between Russia and the Turkish Empire and the Russians gradually took land from them.
  • In the 19th century the Turkish Empire was faced with the rise of nationalism in Europe.
  • 1914-1918 The Ottoman Empire entered World War I in alliance with Germany.
  • 1930 women won the right to vote. President Mustafa Kemal took the name Kemal Ataturk.  He remained president of Turkey until his death in 1938.
  • Turkey remained neutral in World War II but joined NATO in 1952
  • In 1999 Turkey was formally accepted as a candidate for EU membership


    Mountain Lake

    • Western Turkey is the site of the famous Trojan Wars, the Trojan Horse can still be seen there today
    • St. Peter’s Church in Antioch is the first church built by man
    • Catalhoyuk is the oldest known settlement (dating 7th Millenium B.C)
    • Mount Ararat was the landing pad for Noah’s Ark
    • Turks introduced coffee to Europe
    • The Dutch acquired their famous tulip from the Turks
    • Istanbul is the only city in the world that is built on two continents
    • Hundreds of beaches in Turkey are of “Blue Flag” status on the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas
    • The first coins were made and used in 640 BC in Turkey
    • Julius Caesar defeated Pontus, a Kingdom in the Black Sea region
    • Asure, a sweet and sour pudding in Turkey was served as the last meal on Noah’s Ark
    • The Aegean Region of Anatolia is home to the Seven Churches of Apocalypse. They are, Ephesus, Smyrna (Izmir), Pergamum, Thyatira (Nazilli), Saradis, Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Laodicea.

Avg. Costs

Alanya City

  • Dinner for on at an upscale restaurant – 50-60 Lira
  • Big Mac Meal – 8 Lira
  • Dinner for one at a sit-down family restaurant – 18-25 Lira
  • Movie Ticket – 10 Lira
  • Can of Coke – 1 Lira
  • Draught Beer – 5 Lira
  • One way bus ticket – 1.5 Lira
  • 5km Taxi Trip – 14 Lira
  • Midrange bottle of wine – 14 Lira
  • Bottle of water – 1 Lira


Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.


Information is coming soon.


Hagia Sofia Mosque

  • Turkish hospitality is exceptional; expect friendly and approachable people on your visit.
  • Not only a friendly country, Turkey is as safe as Europe and North America.
  • Crime Statistics, particularly those affecting tourists: Larger cities, like Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir have seen some growth in smaller crimes, just as pick-pocketing and bag-snatching.  As always when traveling, wear your bag strap across your chest, or under your clothes.
  • Single male tourists should be aware of the “Let’s Have a Drink” and “New Traveling Companions”  scams.
  • Female travelers should be sensitive to local customs and attitudes.


Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.


Inside the Islamic Blue Mosque

  • Most of Turkey has a typical Mediterranean climate
  • Summers (May to October) tend to be hot and dry
  • Winters are mild and rainy, with very little snowfall, with the exception of the mountainous regions higher than 2000 meters, which are very snowy and at most times not passable
  • In the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas expect temperatures of 23°C to 28°C in the summer months
  • The Sea of Marmara is colder than the previous, with the temperature being between 20°C to 24°C
  • The Turkish Black Sea and its surrounding coast is considerably colder than the rest of the country, typical temperatures year round range from 10°C to 20°C
  • The interior of the country (ex. Ankara) have hotter summers than on the coast, although evenings can cool to sweater temperatures quite quickly
  • In the northeastern part of the interior of the country, around Erzurum and Kars have cool and rainy summers
  • Near the Syrian border, a desert-like climate will be experienced, with temperatures during the day in the summer reaching well over 40°C in the day and not a drop of rain to be seen

Places to See

Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace

Hagia Sofia

  • Located in Istanbul
  • Formerly the largest Orthodox patriarchal basilica (pre 1520)
  • Later transformed in to a mosque
  • Now a museum

View Map




Bodrum Castle

  • Located in the city Bodrum
  • Built by the Knights Hospitaller in 1402 as the Castle of St. Peter
  • An impressive example of medieval architecture, it’s base occupies approximately 30,000 square feet
  • Many stones used in it’s construction are from the tomb of King Mausalus (353 BC)
  • It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and was brought down by a massive earthquake in medieval times
  • It was recontructed in 1522, during which the funerary chamber of the King was discovered, however those treasures were quickly looted
  • The Knights of St. John invaded the region in the 15th Century and rebuilt the structure to what we see today
  • Now a museum




Mount Ararat

  • Located in the Eastern Region, between Doğubayazıt and Iğdır, bordering Iran
  • Now a dormant volcano, mostly snow capped
  • Formed of lava flows, and pyroclastic ejecta, it is a stratovolcano
  • While the climb is a lengthy one, it is considering an easy route for climbers using an axe and crampons

View Map




Galata Bridge

  • Spans the Golden Horn in Istanbul
  • Sultan Beyazid II commisioned Leonardo da Vinci to biuld the bridge in 1503, but never started it
  • The present structure was built in 1992, replacing the pontoon, orignally built in 1912, that swayed and rolled as the seas moved underneath it

View Map


Lycian Way

  • 500 km footpath that stretches from Fethiye to Antalya
  • The Sunday Times has listed it as one of the world’s top ten walks
  • Graded medium to hard, not level walking and approaches and veers away from the sea
  • It’s recommended that it’s enjoyed in the spring or autumn (February-May and September-November) as summer time may prove to be too hot and dry
  • Mostly consists of limestone and can be hard under foot


Communication Etiquette:
• The most common greeting is a firm handshake
– Shake hands when leaving as well
– Good friends will greet each other with one or two kisses on the cheek
– Greet the most elderly first
• Turks do not require as much personal space as Canadians are use to
– Do not back up it is seen as unfriendly
• Most men love Football (soccer)
– Getting to know someone this can be an excellent talking point
• Eye contact is seen as a sign of sincerity

Business Etiquette:
• They prefer to do business with the people they know and respect
– Spending time to develop a relationship is essential
– In the office or lunches and events
– Ask questions about family and children
• Appointments are necessary and should be made up to a month in advance
– July and August are bad months to try and schedule meetings
– Be prepared during meetings
– Small talk will establish a rapport
– Have written material in both English and Turkish
• During negotiation your success will be determined by your ability to build an effective relationship
– Pressure tactics will not work in your favor
– Decision making can be very slow
– Most likely that you will meet and associate with less senior members before
• Business dress is conservative
– Men – expected to wear suit and tie
– Women – smart professional outfits
• Business cards are exchanged without ritual

Contributions (1)

  • [email protected] says...

    any tourist feedback on istanbul

    Posted on Friday, September 6th 2013 at 8:21 pm

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