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An update from Evaneos

Best places to visit in Turkey

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.

Gaëtan MOLENE
Selcuk is a major historical town which desreves better than to be used as a springboard for visiting Ephesus.
A small seaside village on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, Selimiye still preserves the charms of a small Turkish port even if it is becoming less and less of a secret.
Sivas is a metropolitan region of 312,000 inhabitants, built at an altitude of 1,200 m on the Central Anatolian plateau, on the banks of the Kizilirmak River. A modern city with many historical monuments and a very pleasant and commercial centre.
The most exclusive destination in Cappadocia, Urgup is a pretty, modern, troglodytic village which is devoted to luxury tourism.
Xanthos is a famous ancient city, just outside the contemporary town of Kinik, which is worth a visit during a trip to Turkey.
Antalya is a touristic seaside resort located approximately 750km South of Istanbul. It's mainly a destination for families seeking calm and peaceful holidays.
Avanos, a provincial city of Nevşehir, is located at the heart of Cappadocia. It is known for its pottery, which dates back to Hittite civilisation, rugs and vineyards. The River Kizilmak, the longest river in Turkey, crosses Avanos.
Konya, a religious town that is the home of the whirling dervishes.
Known for its bloody battles, Canakkale tells of some of the most turbulent parts of Turkish history.
Approximately 3km from Goreme, Cavusin, a village of stone, is known to have the oldest troglodyte church in Cappadocia.
Gaziantep, often abbreviated as Antep, is a city located in south-east Turkey, near to the River Euphrates and the Syrian border. It is mainly populated with Kurdish people.
On top of Rasattepe Hill, in Ankara, Atatürk Mausoleum was built in the honour of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic and fervent defender of secularism. It was finished in 1953, 15 years after the death of Atatürk.
An industrial city on the Black Sea coast.
Ankara is the capital of Turkey. Located 450km East of Istanbul, it's a destination for families and couples.
Bodrum, a seaside resort on the Aegean Coast in Mugla Province, is especially appreciated by night owls.
Gallipoli is a magnificent, wind-swept peninsula and an important First World War pilgrimage site.
Izmir is a very pretty seaside resort located approximately 600km south of Istanbul. It's a stop-off point adapted for families and couples, given its amount of tourism. 
An old fishing village, Kuşadasi has become a very popular seaside resort with Turkish tourists and foreigners. It is located in the Aegean Sea and near to Ephesus.
Once one of the richest and most powerful cities in ancient Greece, nowadays Miletus is an interesting archaeological site, but not an unmissable one.
A well preserved ancient city for those who love culture.
Rize, the region where the most amount of tea is produced in Turkey.
A very touristy Greek city on the seaside.
The Çat Valley is one of the least visited in Cappadocia. Though largely arboricultural and agricultural, it nevertheless contains some beautiful badlands and fairy chimneys. It is also the site of some of the region's most beautiful cave dovecotes.
A city that has suffered an earthquake.
A large city mainly of interest as a winter sports destination.
Located opposite the Rhodes Island, Marmaris remains a picturesque port for arriving in Turkey.
The most famous ancient city in Turkey, the site of Troy has nothing left to show you the grandeur of the city that was.
A small Anatolian town located in Çorum Province, Alaca has little of interest to offer the traveller.
A typical example of mass tourism in Turkey, the only things on offer in Alanya are its holiday resorts, nightclubs and over crowded beaches.
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