For a country that is over 90 per cent Asian geographically, but has more than 2,000 years of European history; practices Islam but has been home to the world's largest Christian church for nearly a 1,000 years; and which is Perso-Arabic by language but Latin-Roman by script, Turkey has managed to imbibe the best of many things.

If Turkey is European in mind, it is very much Asian by heart. It is not to be outdone by its flamboyant Mediterranean European neighbourhood with which it shares sea, sun, and sibling rivalry.

Turkey has taken a quantum leap developmentally. Despite that, agriculture not aeronautics, tourism not technology, pottery not power-reactors and carpets not corporates still remain its major modes of sustenance. It still prefers colonic irrigation to toilet paper. It is a country of contrasts, a feature very evident when sightseeing.

5 Reasons to Visit Turkey

It’s the country of firsts in the history of the world so there is a lot to see and experience. However, in these Coronavirus days, it’s difficult to choose a country to visit as there is a wide range of restrictions all around the world between countries.

1. The People

Turkish people are some of the friendliest and most genuinely hospitable people in the world. Visit any shop and chances are you’ll be offered free samples, tea and conversation with absolutely zero pressure to buy anything.

Head to East Turkey and here you really will be blown away by the friendliness and generosity of the locals. With few foreign tourists here most won’t speak any English, but they’ll still want to talk to you and most likely offer you tea, free food and sometimes even the offer to join them for dinner or stay at their house.

2. The History and Culture

Turkey sits at the crossroads between Asia and Europe and, having been occupied by everyone from the Greeks to the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, its colonial history reads like a who's who of big-Empire hitters. Herein lies the reason for Turkey's modern-day melting pot of people, religion and architecture which make it such a mesmerising destination for anyone with an iota of interest in history and culture.

3. Turkey Sea coastline - Sun and Sea Lovers’ Paradise

Bodrum, Antalya, Izmir and Fethiye have some of the most beautiful beaches in Turkey, with a spectrum that includes everything from secluded coves to exciting beach parties. One of the best ways to experience Turkey’s many beaches and the Mediterranean or Aegean Coast is by taking a Blue Cruise.

Turkey has a great climate. Summertime in its Southern parts lasts for 6 months of the year, especially in Antalya and Bodrum, the most popular “sun and sea” tourist destinations. Blue Voyage and Blue Cruising will allow you to enjoy the beaches and turquoise water with yachts. For beach lovers, this can be the highlight of the vacation.

4. The Food

Food is important when I travel, there is nothing worse than traveling to a country where you don’t enjoy the local cuisine. You will never experience such a problem in Turkey, everything is easy and systematic. If you are a non-pork eater, you can easily eat something without asking if it has pork in it. In Turkey, you often get a basket of bread as soon as you sit down. It’s real bread too, not that American sandwich stuff you get in stores that weighs nothing. This bread, with the variety of soups in Turkey, is something special, I know it sounds basic, but trust me. While the locals often eat meat, you can easily find opinions for vegetarians here too.

5. Istanbul

Spread across two continents, the vibrant metropolis of Istanbul is very much the key to Turkey. It is packed with so much that even a four day visit may not do justice to it. Its list of must-sees include the Romanesque Hagia Sophia, the Ottoman palace of Topkapi with its elaborate Harem section, the Renaissance-styled palace of Dolmabahce with its fourton chandelier, the Grand Bazaar with its chain of over 4000 shops, the Blue Mosque with its intricate tile-work and the leisurely cruise along the Bosphorus with views of Turkey's dome and the minaret-studded skyline. For panorama enthusiasts, the twilight views from the Pierre Loti and Camilica Hill are a must.