Buildings cluster along the hillside beyond a citrus orchard in Bodrum, Turkey.

Wild and Cultivated Plants in Turkey

You may be surprised to learn that tulips originate in Turkey, not in Holland. Anatolia is one of the world’s pantries, with plants that have been cultivated for human and animal sustenance since prehistory, and Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustaining in food production and still make exports.

Statue of three figures outside Istanbul University.

Turkey Demographics: Peoples, Cultures, and Languages

The peoples of Turkey include dozens of ethnicities—all who hold citizenship are considered Turkish under the constitution—so is very rich and varied culturally. The official language is also Turkish, but many other languages are spoken and represented in the media.

Buildings cut from rock in Cappadocia.

Booking Accommodations in Turkey

Before booking accommodations in Turkey, make sure you fully understand the ratings system to avoid unhappy surprises when you arrive, as the star-class system used isn’t standardized. Turkish travel expert Leeane Murphy shares tips for finding the best rates, understanding what’s included in your booking, and other handy advice.

Dome and turquoise tiles of Mevlânâ Shrine in Konya, Turkey.

Excursions Near Cappadocia

Take a few days to explore the museums and sights of historical cities in the Cappadocia region, and treat yourself to some truly innovative cuisine while you explore. You’ll need to do some driving to reach most of these destinations.

People waiting outside customs at the arrival gate in Instanbul's airport.

Getting Into and Out of Turkey

Getting into and out of Turkey is fairly straightforward. Visas are obtainable online prior to travel for most countries, and the list of customs regulations regarding what you can import and export is also pretty standard. As always when visiting a foreign country, however, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules beforehand to keep your travels smooth.

Olive trees on a hillside in Turkey.

Turkish Olives and Olive Oil

In 2013, Turkey became the fifth-largest olive oil producer in the world. Turkish olives are so different—and prized so highly for the oil they make—than those cultivated in the rest of Europe because of the sandy soil in which the trees grow, the prevalence of a sea breeze, and the sheer variety of the fruits.

Turkish Angora cats are known for their heterochromatic eyes.

Wildlife Native to Turkey

Turkey is a natural habitat for a wide variety of animals. Europe in its entirety is home to 60,000 species, while Turkey has 80,000, not counting subspecies. From migratory birds to ancient species of lions to two almost extinct sea creatures, here’s a little about Turkey’s wonderful native wildlife.

Clear turquoise water on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

Turkey’s Regional Climates

Turkey’s four western and central regions all have different climates. Year-round there’s some variation as well, so to help plan when and where you’d like to visit, here’s what to expect in the Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean, and Anatolian areas.