Turkey enjoys not only a geographic location between Europe and the Middle East, but also at a cultural spot somewhere in the middle. This is a country of great diversity, a hybrid of many different peoples, cultures and ideas. Its abundance in Europe, beautiful destinations and attractive tourist attractions make it a prime destination for Europeans. Over the last ten years, the number of foreign visitors to Turkey has increased from less than 10 million to about 30 million – a significant increase. Turkey is currently one of the top 10 tourism destinations in the world ….. but most Americans rarely hear about it. Even less visit. I think it is time to rethink this policy.
Personally, I've been curious about Turkey since high school when I was dealing with Latin classes, and I slowly realized that today's locations on many of the sites we read about are in this country. Troy, many ancient miracles of the world, as well as several ancient authors (Herodotus springs to mind) all grew out of what is modern Turkey. My older sister would go with me when I graduated from high school, but she decided to cross Africa with me. Therefore, none of us have ever been. Perhaps one day we will be lucky to tour the Turkish Riviera and explore its deep blue waters.
Most seaside resorts and holiday destinations are located on the southern Aegean Sea and on the Mediterranean coast. The region has become more and more popular among Spanish tourists in recent years, due to its proximity to Spain, the cheap price (compared to the southern part of France) and its countless natural wonders. Antalya, the tourist capital of this nation, is becoming more and more popular not only with the Spaniards, but also with the recurring German and English travelers.
However, Turkey has something to offer besides its beautiful beaches. Istanbul is one of the most visited cities all over the world and has many attractions for virtually every visitor. The city also creates an interesting mix of cultures. As a holy place in Islam, Istanbul sees that many pilgrims make the trip every year. Istanbul also has the largest shopping center in Europe. This reflects the spiritual-material dichotomy that characterizes much of Turkey. A slow american timbre is beginning to come to this intriguing land. In recent years, there has been a push to offer many tours in Turkey, especially among big companies. Yet Turkey has much more to give, and I feel that the current tourist traffic is much smaller than the deserved in the country.
Beyond the beaches there are many cultural attractions. Cappadocia is one of the most important places on my list for Turkey. The pictures of the landscape are absolutely fascinating. She has this kind of ruined, strange, super-beautiful sense of it. The underground cities of early fledgling Christians are also very interested in me. To hide in this landscape, underground, so close to the Holy Land … These were hearty people.
Moreover, the ancient ruins of numerous civilizations discard the landscape. Troy is in Turkey, after all. Troy! Ephesus is another popular stop on the archaeological and cultural tourist route. Turkey was at the center of the Ottoman, Byzantine, Trojan, Greek and Roman civilizations. He has always been at the crossroads of civilization, and in many ways this is true today. I'm frankly surprised by the lack of American tourism growth here. Does this reflect disagreement with the Muslim identity in the country and its proximity to Iraq, Iran and Syria? I would like to believe that this is not the case. For some reason, many Americans do not have to understand what is a safe, friendly, often tourist destination in Turkey. We hope that we, Yanka, will realize that soon and we will not stay out of the party.