The bridge from the Middle East to Europe, Turkey certainly has a vivid culture and will come as a definite change to any Aussie traveller – but for those who do get there, the cradle of civilisation will make for an unforgettable exchange experience. At the crossroads of the East and the West, Turkish culture, from its cuisine to social life, bears the traces of different cultures.
The Turks say their country is like a man running west on a train heading east. They are referring to the dichotomies you’ll experience in this vibrant culture. Turkey is a land of dramatic contrasts: mosques on the European side of Istanbul and western style suburbs on the Asian side; western economic systems in a traditional Islamic society; dynamic industrialisation next door to Byzantine buildings and Ottoman architecture; landscapes ranging from Mediterranean coasts to jagged mountains. Best of all, the Turkish people have a well-deserved reputation for friendliness and hospitality, not to mention some of the finest cuisine in the world.
Turkey is like an open air museum thanks to its magnificent heritage and historical and cultural monuments. The major cities of Istanbul and Ankara are very popular for visitors. Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the east and Iran, Iraq, and Syria to the south are the border neighbors of Turkey. From traditional music to customs and traditions to religious ceremonies, Turkey is striking in its uniqueness – don’t miss out on the chance to see it for yourself!