A huge country on the borders of Europe, Turkey is the door to the East; it is a fascinating country of ancient cultures. The centre of the Ottoman Empire, it was proclaimed a republic in 1923 and Atatürk, its first president, guided the country towards secularity and growth. In 2002, the moderate Islamic party Justice and Development Party (AK) obtained the majority vote in parliament and pursued the economic development of the country.
Travelling in Turkey presents no major risks. However, given the events on the Syrian border, you should make enquiries at the Foreign Office in London, especially if you wish to visit the Eastern Anatolia Region or the Southeastern Anatolia Region. These regions are home to very beautiful cities that have a wealth of cultural heritage, such as Gaziantep and Sanliurfa, and let's not forget Ishak Pasha Palace and Lake Van.
Above all, don't leave Turkey before exploring the wonders of Istanbul. Take the time to soak up the exuberant, warm atmosphere of the megalopolis. Discover Taksim Square—a popular venue for protests—and then visit the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Cami Mosque), and the Topkapi Palace. Go and have tea on the Galata Bridge and cross the Bosphorus on one of the many steamers to reach the eastern coast. From there, you can easily enjoy the beaches along the Black Sea on the country's northern coastline; they are very popular with the region's inhabitants.
Situated inland, the capital city of Ankara holds little interest for tourists if it is not on their way to Cappadocia, where you can find "fairy chimneys" or hoodoos and other cave churches in the Göreme National Park.
Still on the huge plateau, explore Konya, the country's most conservative city. Plan to arrive on Saturday to enjoy the Mevlevi Order's ceremony: the whirling dervishes. When you set off again, visit the underground towns and the very pretty Ihlara Valley with its cave churches at the back of a canyon.
Make the most of the mild climate by the Mediterranean Sea to walk along the Lycian coast and explore magnificent towns like Demre or Izmir. Visit Nemrut Dağı, where the last Hellenistic king ordered a temple built, or Ephesus, unless you prefer a less-frequented site like Pergamon. Don't forget the region's natural wonders either, especially the magnificent Pamukkale.