Turkey Sights, UNESCO, Climate and Geography

Turkey Sights, UNESCO, Climate and Geography

According to COUNTRYAAH, the Republic of Turkey is a greatcountry partly in Europe and partly in Asia. The exact location of this separation differs per geologist or agency. Some authorities maintain that the division runs through the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Marmara, while other geographers add Turkey as a whole to Europe for political and cultural reasons. In general, everything west of Istanbul is said to belong to Europe and the rest to Asia. The history several thousand years before our era. The first permanent habitation took place in the Neolithium about 11,000 years BC. Remains of this can still be found at Çatalhöyük. In the centuries that followed, the land was inhabited by the Hittites, Armenians, Greeks and some other peoples. In the second century AD, the country became part of the Byzantine Empire and the city of Constantinople, present-day Istanbul, became the capital of this empire. In the eleventh century, the Turks moved from Asia to present-day Turkey and gradually conquered more and more land. This is the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. However, it would take another two hundred years before these too would conquer Constantinople. After the conquest, this became the capital of this mighty empire. In the centuries that followed, the power of this empire diminished until it made the mistake of siding with the Germans, Austrians and Bulgarians during World War I. After the war, the country was divided by the victors. This eventually led to the Turkish War of Independence led by Atatürk. He founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Since this republic was proclaimed, several coups have been committed by the Army over the years. The last was in 1980.

Today, the political situation in Turkey is a lot calmer, but it is experiencing significant problems from neighboring countries Syria and Iraq. Many Kurds still live in the eastern part. These have been striving for a state of their own for many years. Fortunately, little of this is noticeable in western Turkey. Especially in the more touristy areas you will not get much of this. The Turkish Riviera has been one of the most popular holiday destinations for many Europeans for years. Places such as Istanbul, Bodrum, Alanya, Antalya and Marmaris have been among the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey for years.

Tourism in Turkey has experienced a stormy development, with peaks and troughs. In times of political or economic turmoil it is quite easy to find cheap holidays to Turkey. As soon as Turkey is in calmer waters, you will see that prices rise due to the increasing demand for holidays to the Turkish coast. Because you can find what you want from Turkey: the fact is that they often have a good sense of what the tourists are looking for.


There are many places of interest in Turkey. Some of the sights in Turkey are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. An attraction in itself is the largest city in the country Istanbul. This city has been the capital of three of the most important empires in history. This has left its mark. The main attractions in this city are the Blue Mosque, the Kopkapi Palace, the Aya Sofia, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Chora Church, the Hippodrome, the Dolmabahçe Palace, the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar. One of the most beautiful areas in Turkey is Cappadocia, this strange landscape consists of beautifully shaped rock formations, fairy chimneys, underground cities and rock dwellings. Another natural highlight is Pamukkale near the ancient city of Hierapolis. Pamkulla’s hot springs have created beautiful limestone terraces. In the ancient city of Hierapolis, the remains of a Roman theater, a Roman bath and an ancient temple can still be seen. Other places where you will find remains of ancient Greek or Roman habitation are Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Aspendos and Troy. Of course there are many more of these places but these are the best known. Mount Nemrut Dagi is known since King Antiochus Theos. He is buried in a fifty meter high stone pyramid surrounded by large statues of various Greek Gods. Other places where you will find remains of ancient Greek or Roman habitation are Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Aspendos and Troy. Of course there are many more of these places but these are the best known. Mount Nemrut Dagi is known since King Antiochus Theos. He is buried in a fifty meter high stone pyramid surrounded by large statues of various Greek Gods. Other places where you will find remains of ancient Greek or Roman habitation are Aphrodisias, Ephesus, Aspendos and Troy. Of course there are many more of these places but these are the best known. Mount Nemrut Dagi is known since King Antiochus Theos. He is buried in a fifty meter high stone pyramid surrounded by large statues of various Greek Gods.

The capital of Ankara is home to Turkey’s most important museum; the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Other places of interest in this city include Atatürk’s Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, and the Kocatepe Mosque.

The most important sight and the biggest tourist attraction of Turkey is of course the Turkish Riviera. Every year millions of tourists flock to this area to enjoy the sun, the sea and beautiful beaches.


In total, Turkey has thirteen entries on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The first registration took place in 1985. This concerned the historical areas of Istanbul. Later the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi and Hattusha the capital of the Hittites followed. In 1987 the burial mound of Nemrut Dağı was added and a year later the ancient city of Xanthos. This city was founded by the Lyciers as early as the seventh century BC. In the same year, the Hierapolis Pamukkale archaeological sites were also credited. In 1994 the city of Sanfranbolu was added. This city has a total of more than 1,000 monuments, including 25 mosques. In 1998 the city of Troy, known from the Greek epics Iliad and Odyssey by Homer, was added to the World Heritage List. The Selimiye Mosque in the city of Erdine was added in 2011. Later the archaeological site of Çatalhöyük, the places Bursa and Cumakikizik and the ancient city of Pergamon followed. One of the first entries was the Göreme National Park and the Cappadocia Rocks. This area is known for its oddly shaped peat cones and many carved cave dwellings.


Three different climate types can be distinguished in Turkey. The eastern part is called a moderate continental climate, the central part a steppe climate and along the coast the Mediterranean climate occurs. In particular, the Mediterranean climate with its mild winters and warm, dry summer months is very popular with tourists. The climate in this part of Turkey is perfect for a spring or autumn holiday. In the high summer months, the mercury can rise to well above thirty degrees Celsius. On the hottest days of the year, it is best to find a shady place near the sea. Since the sea breeze can make the heat somewhat bearable.

It is very different in the rest of the country. Especially in the eastern part of Turkey it can get quite cold. Long periods of frost occur in the winter, snow is the rule rather than the exception during this period. There are even some winter sports areas in Turkey. But also much closer to the coast there are some mountains where you can ski in the winter months.

The central part of Turkey is again particularly dry. This is mainly due to the sheltered location of the interior behind some mountain ranges. Only 300 to 400 millimeters of precipitation falls in this area every year.


Turkey is a large country in southeastern Europe and is largely located in Asia. Turkey has land borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq and Syria. Turkey is also located on the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Sea of ​​Marmara. The largest city in the country is Istanbul, the capital is Ankara. Other major cities in the country are Izmir, Bursa and Adana. There are a number of mountain ranges in Turkey. The highest peak is the Aratagbergte. The highest peak of this mountain range is Aratat with a height of 5165 meters. The geography of Turkey is mainly defined by two major mountain ranges. The Taurus Mountains and the Pontic Mountains. The high mountains of Turkey can be found at the place where the two mountain ranges meet. Other mountain ranges that are wholly or partly in Turkey are the Armenian Highlands, the Lesser Caucasus and the Samsun Dağı Mountains on the Turkish peninsula.

The largest lake in the country is Lake Van. Other large or well-known lakes are Lake Köyceğiz, Salt Lake Tuz Gölü and Lake Uzungöl. There are also some large reservoirs such as the Atatürk Reservoir, the Karakayast Reservoir and the Kerban Reservoir. There are quite a few rivers running through Turkey. The best known and most important are the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Red River and the Arars. A river worth mentioning in terms of name is the Batman, a river in the eastern part of Turkey.

A total of about five hundred islands and uninhabited rock formations can be found off the coast of Turkey. The largest island is found in the Aegean Sea. The island of Gökçeada is one of the few islands in Turkey that is permanently inhabited. Other well-known islands are Marmara, Avsa and Pasalimani, Imrali and the Princes Islands in the Aegean Sea, Giresun Island and Kefken in the Black Sea, Kekova in the Mediterranean Sea, the Ayalik Islands, Bozcaada and Gökçeada in the Aegean Sea.

The most popular tourist places in Turkey are located on the coast. The most popular destinations are; Side, Alanya, Marmaris, Kusadasi, Antalya, Kemer, Bodrum, Gumbet, Daylan and Belek.

Travel advice

There are some travel advices for traveling to Turkey. These mainly concern the areas around the borders with Syria and Iraq. Demonstrations may take place across the country. Avoid these and other large gatherings. These demonstrations are regularly violently dispersed. In the southeast of Turkey it is best not to go on the road after sunset. If you are involved in a fatal accident you will be arrested and placed in custody at all times. Traffic checks can be quite thorough, make sure you always have your driver’s license and passport with you.

All travel to the border area with Iraq and Syria is discouraged. There is also an increased security risk for travel to the southeast of Turkey. This has mainly to do with the Kurdish workers’ party that is active here.

In terms of crime, Turkey can be compared with other southern European countries. Crime mainly occurs in the more touristy areas and in the larger cities.

Earthquakes occur regularly in Turkey. Keep a close eye on the news at all times so that you know how to act in an emergency.

Travel documents

For a trip to Turkey you must have a valid passport or proof of identity. This applies to all travelers, including children under the age of twelve. If you travel to Turkey by car, it is mandatory to bring a passport. Your registration number will then be noted in this.

There are no mandatory vaccinations for Turkey. Malaria does occur in some parts of the southeast.

Info table

Capital city Ankara
Phone (country code) 90
Internet domain .tr
Language(s) (official) Turkish
Language(s) (colloquial) Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic and a few more minority languages
Religion(s) Islam
Time zone(s) UTC+2
Time difference summer In Turkey it is 2 hours later than in the Netherlands
Time difference winter In Turkey it is 1 hour later than in the Netherlands
Daylight Saving Time Control no
Currencies Turkish Lira