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General Info About Turkey

There’re millions of reasons to visit Turkey. Our country is a real travel heaven. To begin with, this wonderful land is blessed by a lovely nature. Surrounded on three sides by the sea, it is covered by mountains, forests, steppes and all sorts of scenic beauties. The service-friendliness and traditional warm hospitality of Turkish people for visitors is already well-known worldwide.

The history of the lands of Turkey - Anatolia- is incredibly rich and one of the oldest on the world. Turkey has hosted more than 36 civilizations over the past 5000 years. The whole country is a reflection of this richness in terms of culture, traditions, archeology and anthropology and still embodies many ethnic and religious minorities such as Armenians, Jewish, Christians, and old Levantines together in peace. 
Its borders with Armenia, Iran, Syria, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia have had a great influence on the culture as well. Turkey has a uniqueness of being the cradle of many civilizations with a wealthy heritage of numerous cultural, historical and archaeological sites.

SECURITY
At the moment, there's not any security issue for not going to Turkey. Visitors may feel totally free and safe. The crime rate in Istanbul (with about 15 million inhabitants) is far lower than many Western countries.

RELIGIOUS ASPECT 
As visitors notice when they travel there, The Turkish Republic is a unitary state and totally different from all Islamic countries in the Middle-East. Turkey is a modern, democratic and secular country where everyone can belong to any religion and political opinion by free will. This is guaranteed by the Turkish Constitution itself. Although the great majority of the population is Muslim, there is a full respect and tolerance towards other convictions, cultures and descent as an old tradition of The Ottoman Empire. 

However, it’s necessary to know that in Turkey, some regions are still conservative and the values of Islam are widely dominant. Very informal or revealing kind of clothing may be perceived as disrespect index especially in small towns and villages.

ATATURK: MUSTAFA KEMAL
Turkey has been a democratic and secular republic since The Proclamation of the Republic in 1923 after the collapse of The Ottoman Empire. The founder of “Modern Turkey” is the Great Leader M. Kemal Ataturk who took the lead of Turkish public in the 1919-1922 War of Independence. He went on to reform the education system and language by replacing the Koranic law with European codes and initialized the process of building a modern, industrial society. 

In 1949, Turkey became a member of The Council of Europe, in 1952 joined NATO and played a vital role in the Cold War. Finally, joined The Customs Union with Europe and applied for full membership of The European Union. If the formal process results positively, Turkey will be soon a member of The European Union.

WOMEN'S RIGHTS 
The new Civil Code adopted in 1926 abolished polygamy and recognized the equality of women in divorce, custody, and inheritance. The entire educational system from the primary school to the university became coeducational. The Great Leader Ataturk admired the national liberation struggle of women and praised them. In Turkish society, women have not lagged behind men in science, scholarship, and culture. Perhaps, they have even gone further ahead." Women have gained the same rights and opportunities as men including political rights. In the mid-1930s, 18 women, among them a villager, were elected to the National Parliament. 
And Turkey had: "The world's first women supreme court justice."

LANGUAGE 
The most difficult change in any society is probably a language reform. Most nations never attempted it; those who do, usually prefer a gradual approach. During Ataturk’s Leadership, Turkey undertook the modern world's swiftest and most extensive language reform. In 1928, he decided to remove the Arabic Script, which had been used for a thousand year and replaced it with the Latin alphabet. He asked the experts: "How long would it take?" Most of them replied: "At least five years.” We shall do it," Ataturk said, "Within five months". 

Today, Turkey has major universities all over the country. Except for Europe and North America, it has one of the world's highest ratios of university graduates to population. English and German are widely spoken in the cities. In small villages, it can be difficult to find people who speak foreign languages but the traditional friendliness of Turkish people overcomes barriers. If you learn even a few basic Turkish words, you will be welcomed with an enthusiasm.

WHAT TO PACK
Turkey has a diverse range of climates. The coast is generally mild in winter and hot in summer. The interior is warm in summer and cold in winter so you will need to bring clothes according to the season. Turkish people are generally informal in their choice of clothing and so there is little need to bring formal wear.

Turkey is also an available country for walking, enjoying the scenery or visiting the rights. Good footwear, hat, and sun protection we recommend it. 

Turkey uses a 220volt electricity, 50cycles, 2pin European plug system, so you will need to bring an adapter with you if your electricity system is different.