Turkey found its way into my heart after I visited Istanbul a few years ago.
After spending a month in Cappadocia I can honestly say this nation is one of my favorites.
Turkey is East meets West. Literally. Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul. Being so, the country formed a meeting point for ample peoples over the centuries. Rich culture bleeds through the nation. Example; Byzantine Christians carved homes into mountains, here in my current location of Ortahisar, to evade the Roman Empire. Muslims swept through Turkey and the Islamic influence remains today, as I enjoy the salah multiple times daily.
The place offers world class fare; inexpensive, tasty and healthy, too.
Locals? Friendly as can be, and inviting. As a Westerner, I benefit from many people speaking English in Turkey. Or at least, being semi-fluent.
Let’s see why you should visit Turkey.
1: Kind and Friendly People
Yesterday, while playing with the doggies, 2 young Turkish women strolled up and fed the dogs warm, fresh chicken. I never saw them during our month here. Spotted me from 2 homes over; in town for a short holiday.
This embodies the kind, friendly, generous spirit of Turks. Dudes chatted us up in Istanbul, asking if we were lost or needed assistance as we strolled around the city. Genuine, heart-felt and kind, I cannot stress how lovely the people are, making this a must-visit place.
2: Delicious AND Nutritious Food
Kelli and I love Turkish food. Clean, healthy, tasty and filling, Turks work with all natural ingredients. Fruits, veggies and some carbs here and there. Simple with just a bit of seasoning, Turkish food digests easily while being pleasing to the palate.
I have no favorite dish per se but any soup delights the soul. Plus, vegetarian fare avails itself freely here. Good for wifey. Good for me, as I tend to eat vegetarian 99% of the time in countries like Turkey and Thailand.
Olives are world class in Turkey. Best I’ve enjoyed during world travels. Simit, a bagel-type number, addicts you to its satiating, mildly sweet, delicious nature. Remember to add Turkish yogurt to savories here and there; local custom.
Restaurants abound in Istanbul. We would hit a buffet style spot for $3 USD hearty, wholesome lunches. Filling, good for your gut and oh so inexpensive, too.
3: Rich Culture
Seeing men enjoying coffee in tiny shot glass-sized cups outside of coffee shops seared an image on my mind, while in Istanbul, and here in Cappadocia; Turkey bleeds culture. Mosques, Christian churches, calls to prayer, nationalist pride, Turkish coffee (no milk, 1 or 2 cubes because natural sweetness rules), Turkish apple cider tea, taking the van for 80 cents, women wearing shawls, HUGE and friendly street dogs, massive street cats……I see Turkey, I imagine these pictures.
Turkey boasts culture unlike any nation on earth. You have to be here to feel it. Distinctly Turkey, through and through.
4: Ancient History
Here in Ortahisar, the folks say officially, ruins in town go back 3,000 years. Speaking to local Turks, try 6,000 to 7,000 years, off the books.
Turkey is a land of ancient history. I see homes carved into mountains during doggy walks daily, etched in stone during the 4th century. Heading deeper into Cappadocia, one sees Hittite inscriptions spanning back to 1,800 BC.
This nation sits close to the Middle Eastern fertile crescent where civilization came into form, neighboring Syria and being not too far at all from Iraq and Iran. The close proximity means explorers, conquerors and all types of folks in between made their way through the Ottoman Empire, back through hallowed antiquity.
Visit Turkey guys.
Enjoy all the riches this country has to offer.
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