Turkey is a country with a mixed culture of eastern and western influences, with Ottoman mosques, Byzantine churches, bazaars and chic restaurants, there is a rich diversity all over the Country.
Turkey Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Turkey, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Turkish Arts and Architecture
Turkey is filled with an abundance of archaeological interest. The Capital, Ankara, is the second largest city in Turkey and there are numerous archaeological sites from civilizations including Hittite, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.One of the most impressive examples in the Temple of Augustus and Rome dating back to 20BC.
Some of the many fine museums in Ankara include Museum of Anatolian Civilizations by the Ankara Castle and holds collections including Paleolithic, Bronze Age, Hittite, Phrygian and Roman artefacts. The Museum building is a former covered market dating to the 15th century. There are artefacts from the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk with a sculpture of the mother goddess and hunting pictures on wall paintings.
There are also finds from the Assyrian Kultepe which is one of the oldest bazaars in the world from 2000BC. You can also see impressive stag and bull figures from the Hittite civilization, together with Phrygian wooden furniture and metalwork and Urartian pieces including weapons.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest City and is culturally very diverse and home to a multitude of interesting places to visit. There is an interesting mix of Byzantine churches and domed mosques. One such Byzantine church is the including the Ayasofya, an impressive Byzantine church, dating back to the 6th century which was commissioned by the emperor Justinian. In 1453 it became a mosque and since 1935 it has been a museum. The building is full of stunning mosaics including that of Christ as Pantocrator together Virgin and Christ Child from the 9th century. In the main part of the building are the well known dome, nave and mosaics of gold. There are Ottoman features including medallions dating from the 19th century with gilded letters in Arabic.
There is also Roman architecture in Istanbul such as the Column of Constantine from 330AD is near the Hippodrome and part of the 4th century Valens Aqueduct remains in the district of Fatih. The Anadoluhisari and Rumelihisari are Ottoman fortresses which can still be seen today, together with many palaces and moaques. Topkapi Palace has a variety of styles including Neoclassical and Baroque.
Visitors can see museums such as the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, a former Ottoman palace with pieces such as ornate carpets, scrolls and calligraphy, and the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
The south west coast of Turkey is known as The Turquoise Coast because of the colour of the sea there and is also called the Turkish Riviera. There is a long stretch of shore of over 1000km by Mediterranean and Aegean Sea. In this region you can explore the mountains Bey, Baba and Akdag above next the sea and see the tombs in the rock left from the ancient Lycian people.
Pretty islets and coves are popular with yachters and there are many views of the stunning coast.
The Dalyan area has sandy beach where turtles nest and Oludeniz lagoon has ruins from the Lycian civilization including Oenoanda with imposing mountain scenery, and Patara has a lovely beach where you can access places like Letoon and Xanthos.
You can see the outstanding mountains around Arykanda and also explore around the area from Demre where there are lush fir forests of the Tahtali Dagi which is a National Park, and admire Olympos and Phaselis, ancient areas. There are more impressive rocky mountain areas such as Lycia and Bey Daglari is an impressive sight up high. The region is home to the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus and in Ephesus you can see the Temple of Artemis, each being one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient World. Well known places in the region include Antalya, Alanya and Bodrum, all popular places to visit.
Turkish cuisine is varied with its many influences including Mediterranean and Middle Eastern. Shish Kebabs are famous dishes with chunks of meat cooked on skewers. Doner kebab are slices of meat that has been cooked vertically on a rotisserie and eaten on flatbread such as pita or on rice. Lamb is the most common meat for kebabs but also include chicken, beef and goat. Adana kebabi is beef, sometimes with lamb, mixed with garlic and onion and lots of spices and flakes of hot pepper, often eaten with hot green chillies. Urfa Kebab is similar to the Adana but a milder version. Another favourite is the Iskender kebab from Bursa and is thin slices of doner meat on top of flatbread and covered with yoghurt, butter and tomato sauce.
Meze, which are appetizers, are common in Turkey. Popular ones are sigara boregi which are cheese pastries that have been rolled tight, patlican salatasi which is mashed aubergine and dolma which is vegetable stuffed with ingredients such as tomatoes or peppers. Soup is popular in Turkey and some of the most common are ezo gelin, which is rice in vegetable broth, mercimek, a lentil soup, or iskembe, which is tripe, garlic oil, red peppers and vinegar. Different cheeses are popular such as beyaz peynir, which is similar to Feta and Dil peynir which is a salty hard cheese.
Baklava is a popular dessert in Turkey. It is sweet layered dish made with layers of pastry and a filling of nuts and syrup and was a common dish from the Ottoman Empire. There are various types such as those with pistachio or walnuts. Turkish Delight, or lokum, is a well known sweet, and is sugar with pectin which has hardened, with a rose flavour and covered in sugar powder.
A visit to Turkey will always be an interesting and varied experience, whether you are exploring the impressive archaeological sites, visiting a local bazaar, boating along a warm cove or hiking the rugged mountains and the locals will give you a friendly welcome.
Currency: Turkish Lira
Emergency Services: 112
Drives On: Right
Time Zones: UTC +2