Travel with Metamorphosis Global Advisory to the glorious, magnificent and ancient sites of Turkey
Istanbul Turkey Mosque of Agia Sophia[Turkey] (Turkish: Türkiye) is on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Eurasia, in spite of the fact that it is associated as an integral part of the Greater Middle East region respectively, due to the social and religious affiliation, even though it is culturally sometimes considered European orientated, with a small section in Southeastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles).
With the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west,Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast,Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.
Marvelous City of Istanbul and the ancient sacred sites of Turkey
There is evidence that the bed of the Black Sea was once an inhabited plain, before it was flooded in prehistoric times by rising sea levels. Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı), at 5,165 m is the country's highest point and legendary landing place of Noah's Ark, lies in the mountains on the far eastern edge of the country.
Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO.
Turkey offers a wealth of destination varieties to travellers: from dome-and-minaret filled skyline ofIstanbul to Roman ruins along the western andsouthern coasts, from heavily indendated coastline against a mountainous backdrop of Lycia and wide and sunny beaches of Pamphylia to cold and snowy mountains of the East, from crazy "foam parties" ofBodrum to Middle Eastern-flavoured cities ofSoutheastern Anatolia, from verdant misty mountains of Eastern Black Sea to wide steppe landscapes ofCentral Anatolia, there is something for everyone's taste—whether they be travelling on an extreme budget by hitchhiking or by a multi-million yacht.
While it may sound like a tourism brochure cliché, Turkey really is a curious mix of the west and the east—you may swear you were in a Balkan country or in Greece when in northwestern and western parts of the country (except that Byzantine-influenced churches are substituted with Byzantine-influenced mosques), which are indeed partly inhabited by people from Balkan countries, who immigrated during the turmoil before, during, and after WWI, while southeasternreaches of the country exhibit little if any cultural differences from Turkey's southern and eastern neighbors. Influences from the Caucasus add to the mix in the northeast part of the country. It can be simply put that Turkey is the most oriental of western nations, or, depending on the point of view, the most occidental of eastern nations.
Perhaps one thing common to all of the country is Islam, the faith of the bulk of the population. However, interpretation of it varies vastly across the country: many people in northwestern and western coasts are fairly liberal about the religion (being nominal Muslims sometimes to the point of being irreligious), while folk of the central steppes are far more conservative (don't expect to find a Saudi Arabia or an Afghanistan even there, though). The rest of the country falls somewhere in between, with the coastal regions being relatively liberal while inland regions are relatively conservative as a general rule. The largest religious minority in the country are the Alevites, who constitute up to 20% of the population and who subscribe to a form of Islam closer to that of the Shiite version of Islam and practice Shamanistic rituals of ancient Turks. Other religious minorities—the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Jews, Syriac Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholics, the latter of whom mainly settled in Turkey within the last 500 years from Western European countries—once numerous across the country, are now mostly confined to the large cities of Istanbul and Izmir, or parts of Southeastern Anatolia in the case of the Syriac Oriental Orthodox. Despite its large Muslim majority population, Turkey officially remains a secular country, with no declared state religion.