Turkey’s Tourism Potential And Resources
Bridging the two continents Turkey, is a gateway to East and West. It is centrally located between Asia and Europe; the Black Sea on the north and the Mediterranean on the south. Turkey is a vast country; its land mass is 814.578 sq km.
The Black Sea mountain ranges on the north and the Taurus Mountains on the south, running parallel to the coast line, separates the coastal areas from the high Anatolian plateau. The average altitude above sea level of Anatolia is 1000m, rising gradually towards east where the average altitude is around 2000m, with peaks over 4000m and numerous extinct volcanoes. Anatolia is broken up by 15 rivers. There are numerous lakes including Salt Lake in the Central Anatolia; Lake Van in the eastern Turkey with an altitude of 1720m and surface of 3750 sqkm and relatively smaller ones throughout the country.
Turkey has different climatic regions ranging from temperate rainy climate of the Black Sea Region, to the continental in the Central Anatolia and subtropical Mediterranean on the south. From west to east there are also considerable differences and contrasting climatic regions, with hot summers and mild winters in the Marmara and the Aegean region to the Eastern Anatolia with extremes of temperature where the winters are long with heavy snow fall.
The flora and fauna of Turkey are correspondingly diverse. The flora varies from lush forests, steps to typical Aegean and Mediterranean vegetation. With nearly ten thousand species, Turkey is a botanical paradise. Turkey is on the migration routes of birds and there are a number of areas which are the natural habitat for many different species, including rare ones.
Turkey has a historical heritage of successive civilizations from Hittites, Phrygians, Lycians, Lydians, Ionians, Romans, Byzantines to the Seljuks and Ottomans. There history of human kind has continuously added on itself, from the earliest settlements, to the contemporary Turkey today.
Historical assets of past civilizations can be seen anywhere in Turkey from the big cities to smaller towns and rural settlements; from the mountain tops, sacred valleys to the sea bed. The settlement pattern in Turkey today, is more or less the same as it had been through the ages of history. Most cities, house the remains of successive civilizations side by side or one on the top of the other; where cultural values intermingled through centuries. Istanbul, the city of beauty unmatched, proudly preserves the historical legacy of the three empires, and cultural treasures of inestimable value. This unique city of universal repute is the only one in the world situated on two continents. It is truly a city of wonders.
The traveler runs from one surprise to another in Turkey where traditional and modern go hand in hand. A multicentre tour for example, from Istanbul to Ankara the capital city of the modern Turkey today, then to smaller towns with traditional architectural style, picturesque villages set against spectacular landscape of matchless beauty to the modern premier resorts will, without any doubt, be quite an impressive experience, full of surprises and astonishing contrasts for any traveler in the world.
These natural, historical, cultural assets and values altogether constitute an enormous potential and creates the infinite diversity of tourist resources of Turkey, which can be outlined as follows;
Four seas with 8333 km of varied coastline and range of beaches, bays suited to all types of marine activity yachting and cruising.
Mountainous areas, occupying more than half of Turkey’s landmass, high plateaus suited to a range of activityholidays, trekking, mountaineering, skiing and winter sports; rivers running through dramatic valleys tempting activity holidays, canoeing, rafting enthusiasts.
Approximately 1300 geothermal resources with temperature varying between 20-110 C., suitable for many different sorts of cures and treatment of numerous health problems.
Historical heritage of many successive civilizations, thousands of archeological sites dating back to the earliest settlements as long as 12000 years, a vast open airmuseum, a must do place for anyone who is interested in history and archeology.
Legacy of cultural values, art treasure of master pieces and socio- cultural values inherited through centuries; diversity in unity, harmony of traditional and contemporary.
Historic cities, where traditional and contemporary; ancient and super modern go hand in hand; pitoresquestowns, villages and rural settlements.
Natural wonders such as extraordinary cascades and terraced pools of Pamukkale "Cotton Castle"; fairy chimnies in the land of Cappadocia, with rock-cut dwellings, churches, underground cities, combined withlocal architecture, forming a fascinating mixture of natural- cultural landscape.
And of course the way of life and socio cultural values, folklore, world famous cuisine, the traditional Turkish hospitality.
Contrasting geography, different climatic regions,
correspondingly diverse flora and fauna, a varied magnificent landscape, encompassing the vast variety of her geography, aparadise for nature based, special interest tours.