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About Turkey

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye), known officially as the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and Thrace (Rumelia) in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west, Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhichevan), and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea and Archipelago are to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. Separating Anatolia and Thrace are the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and the Dardanelles), which are commonly reckoned to delineate the border between Asia and Europe, thereby making Turkey transcontinental.

 Due to its strategic location astride two continents, Turkey's culture has a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition. A powerful regional presence in the Eurasian landmass with strong historic, cultural and economic influence in the area between Europe in the west and Central Asia in the east, Russia in the north and the Middle East in the south, Turkey has come to acquire increasing strategic significance.

 Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic whose political system was established in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Since then, Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe (1949), NATO (1952), OECD (1961), OSCE (1973) and the G20 industrial nations (1999). Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the EEC since 1963, and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Meanwhile, Turkey has continued to foster close political, economic and industrial relations with the Eastern world, particularly with the states of Southwest, Central and East Asia. Turkey is classified as a developed country[8] by the CIA and as a regional power by political scientists and economists worldwide.

Tourism

Tourism in Turkey is focused largely on a variety of archaeological and historical sites, and on seaside resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. In the recent years, Turkey has also become a popular destination for spa and healthcare tourism. Turkey is the 9th most visited country in the world and 7th in Europe.

Istanbul is one of the most important tourism spots of Turkey. There are thousands of hotels and other tourist oriented industries in the city, catering to both vacationers and visiting professionals. Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, has a number of major attractions derived from its huge historical status as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires. These include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapı Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Galata Tower, and the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul has also recently become one of the major centers shopping, retail and trade centers of Europe by hosting shopping malls like Metrocity, Akmerkez and Cevahir Mall (which is the largest mall in Europe and seventh largest shopping center in the world). Sporting events and pilgrimage sites (such as Eyüp) are also among the major tourist attractions in the city. Istanbul has many museums and hosts numerous cultural events. Miniatürk, the world's largest park of scaled down miniature models of landmark buildings, is also in Istanbul. The park contains 105 building models which are crafted in a scale of 1/25.

Beach vacations and Blue Cruise, particularly for Turkish city-dwellers and visitors from Western Europe, are also central to the Turkish tourism industry. Most beach resorts are located along the southwestern and southern Aegean coast, especially along the Mediterranean coast near Antalya. Antalya is also accepted as the tourism capital of Turkey. Major resort towns include Bodrum, Fethiye, Marmaris, Kuşadası, Çeşme, Didim and Alanya.

Major cultural and historical attractions elsewhere in the country include the sites of Ephesus, Troy, Pergamon, the House of Virgin Mary, Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Konya (where the poet Rumi had spent most of his life), Didyma, the Church of Antioch, the religious places in Mardin (such as the Deyrülzafarân Monastery), and the ruined cities and landscapes of Cappadocia.

Ankara has an historic town center with numerous monuments and ruins, and although the city is not exactly a tourism destination, it serves as a major stop for travellers who go to Cappadocia. The city enjoys an excellent cultural life, boasting numerous museums and cultural events. The Anıtkabir is also in Ankara. It is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey.

İzmir is also a popular tourist destination with its beautiful beaches and historical sites. The city has an ancient agora and numerous landmarks such as the Izmir Clock Tower in the city center. İzmir International Fair is the oldest trade show in Turkey, considered the cradle of Turkey's fairs and expositions industry, and is also notable for hosting a series of simultaneous festival activities.

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