Turkey history and its culture with essential information for those visiting on Holiday or considering to buy property in Turkey. It is a country of diversity, stunning scenery, warm hospitality, and a whole range of resorts and activities to suit all tastes. A country spanning two continents where east meets west and 10,000 years of civilization, Turkey is a treasure trove of history and culture.
The mix of cultural influences and traditions in Turkey is one of the things that draw tourists to the country. Turkey has a rich cultural heritage with a long history of influences from both Europe and Asia, which is reflected in the complexity and diversity of certain Turkish arts, language and handicrafts. Turks are proud of their centuries-old musical tradition, which is similar to the music of nearby Islamic regions such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and northern India. A cosmopolitan nation, Turkey has also adopted and developed ideas and traditions that combine Western, Asian, and Arabic elements.
Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts boast a perfect Mediterranean climate with low humidity. The long, extended summer runs between May and October with temperatures ranging from the low 20°Cs at the beginning and end of the season, up to the mid 30°Cs in the hottest months of July and August. During spring, the scent of citrus blossoms fills the air, the hills and valleys are green with vegetation and the cool, sunny days are ideal for hiking and sightseeing. During the autumn months it is a pleasure to visit historical and natural sites in the cool weather or to buy up bargains at end-of-season sales! Winters tend to be mild with some sun, and occasional showers, and it is not unusual to be able to swim in the sea even in November.
The Hamam, or Turkish Bath, was a Roman and Byzantine tradition which was adopted by the Selcuk Turks in the 11th century and has been part of the Turkish Culture and a way of life ever since. It claimed an important role in society as not only was it a place where the faithful could follow the Muslim precept of cleanliness, it was also a place in which to socialize, gossip and even talk business or politics. The exfoliation, bathing and massage routine provide both a relaxing and exhilarating experience. Today Hamams can be found in most Turkish towns and cities and are they are popular with both locals and tourists alike.
Turkish Food & Drink
Turkish food is amongst the best in the world. With enough climatic zones to grow most ingredients locally, there is a vast array of produce to excite and entice the palate. Besides its famous kebab dishes, there are many other traditional Turkish foods to choose from. Meze (appetisers) for which Turkey is justly famous, are a range of hundreds of small dishes from simple combinations such as cheese with melon to elaborately stuffed vegetables. These are served in all Turkish restaurants and are traditionally accompanied with Raki, a clear anise- flavoured spirit claimed to be Turkey’s national alcoholic drink.
Turkey’s most popular beers are the home produced Efes Pilsen and Tuborg, and whilst the wine industry has yet to realise it’s full potential, Kavaklidere and Doluca, the best known brands, produce a selection of both red and white wines.
Shopping in Turkey offers the most unusual and diverse range of gifts tempting even the non-shoppers amongst us. Traditional handicrafts such as carpets, kilims, copper goods, painted ceramics and jewellery are popular buys, along with a good selection of leather goods, sandals and beachwear which can be found in most of the larger resorts. In tourist and coastal areas, opening hours are quite flexible and during the summer many shops stay open until late in the evening, seven days a week, leaving tourists to browse at their leisure and escape the heat of the day.
In souvenir shops and stalls, it’s always worth trying a spot of haggling. For food shopping, local minimarkets provide basic essentials, whilst the supermarkets found near the larger resorts are similar to those we are used to at home. Most resorts have a weekly market selling local produce, crafts and textiles and are well worth a visit.
Things to do in Turkey
Turkey offers a wide variety of activities for couples and families alike. Watersports including windsurfing, parasailing, jet skiing and canoeing are popular on designated beaches in or near many of the larger resorts. Scuba diving is also widely available, and the calm, clear waters are ideal for beginners and novice divers. Walking and trekking are becoming increasingly popular and they offer one of the best ways to explore the countryside.
When To Go
The main season for visitors to Turkey’s western Aegean and Mediterranean coastal resorts is between May to October, when the weather is settled and the days are long and sunny. Temperatures range from the mid 20°Cs early and late season, to the mid 30°Cs during the peak season of July and August which is also the most popular time to visit when all the activities are in full swing. The sea temperatures are warm and ideal for swimming throughout the summer, and it is not unusual to be able to swim in the sea even in November. Ready to go, just visit Turkey E Visa.