TURKEY has been called “the cradle of civilization” and one can only discover what this truly means by traveling through this land of history. The world’s first town, a neolithic city at Çatalhöyük, dates back to 6500 BC. From the days of Çatalhöyük up to the present time Turkey boasts of a rich culture that through the centuries has left a lasting foot-print on modern civilization.
Heir to many centuries of culture, Turkey is a paradise for those who seek knowledge and wish to learn about cultural heritage. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians, Ionians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans all occupied a crucial place in the historic background of Turkey. The ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country are proof of the unique distinctiveness of each of these civilizations.
There is no doubt that one visit will not be enough, and you will want to come back again and again as you discover one extraordinary place after another. All of them, no matter how different, have one thing in common: Turkey is a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes that offers the vacationer a complete change from the stress and routine of everyday life. From April to October, most places in Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on sandy beaches or enjoying the tranquillity of mountains and lakes.
Turkish is the official language, but English is widely understood in the main tourist areas.
The best way to travel in and around the Turkish coastal resorts is by the local minibus services which can be hailed from the roadside. There are good bus services between the major towns and organised tours to many attractions, though more independent travellers often prefer to rent a car.
In October, the monthly average is 21°C – with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 17°C.
Turkish food is famous throughout the world. Its range is enormous, including numerous soups, an astonishing variety of meze (appetisers), followed by meat and fish dishes, many famous Turkish sweets and pastries and Turkish coffee. The traditional breakfast is a delicious combination of tastes comprising bread, olives, tomato, cucumber, white cheese, butter, jam/honey, yoghurt, and sweet black tea.
Tea is the main drink in Turkey, served without milk in small bulbous glasses with sugar lumps on the saucer. For a very refreshing long drink try Ayran, a mix of yoghurt, water and salt. There are also the normal soft drinks and a wonderful range of freshly squeezed fruit juices. Among alcoholic drinks are light Turkish beer, excellent wines, and the national drink, raki (an anisette), which clouds when water is added giving it the popular name of ‘lion’s milk’.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS
The currency is the Turkish Lira, TL. You will find a bank office near the Conference Centre. TL is freely sold and bought in hotels, banks and special exchange offices called “döviz bürosu”. Car rental offices, hotels, above average restaurants, shops, travel agencies, gas stations will accept your credit cards. You can get cash with your credit card or cash card by using cash machines (ATM’s) in bank buildings or street booths.