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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.