Turkey: Cra­dle of Civil­i­sa­tion and Tourism Hotspot

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS -

An app for shar­ing short videos made the song “Take you on a Jour­ney” fa­mous across China. Now ev­ery Chi­nese per­son is fa­mil­iar with the lyric “I want to take you to see ro­man­tic Turkey.”

Turkey is a transcon­ti­nen­tal coun­try span­ning Eura­sia and the Mid­dle East. Its geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and geopo­lit­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance are ex­tremely im­por­tant, be­cause it stands at a cross­roads be­tween Eu­rope and Asia. The coun­try's com­plex to­pog­ra­phy, rang­ing from coastal plains to moun­tain ranges and from cedar forests to rolling grass­lands, has con­tributed to its rich bio­di­ver­sity.

It is home to many rivers and lakes, the sources of the Ti­gris and Euphrates rivers, and Lake Van, the largest lake in the coun­try which pro­vides abun­dant fish­ing re­sources for lo­cal peo­ple. It is one of the world's lead­ing pro­duc­ers of to­bacco, pis­ta­chios, raisins, fruit and veg­eta­bles, and its boron and chromium re­serves are amongst the largest in the world. Turkey has a strong in­dus­trial base. It is an emerg­ing econ­omy and one of the fastest grow­ing in the world.

Roughly half of Turkey's ma­jor ex­ports are agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial prod­ucts. Its main trad­ing part­ners are Ger­many, Italy and the United States. The ma­jor­ity of the arable land in the coun­try is used to grow food. Wheat and bar­ley are the most plen­ti­ful of th­ese. Turkey is also one of the main steel pro­duc­ers in the Mid­dle East and man­u­fac­tures other ma­jor in­dus­trial prod­ucts, such as ce­ment, me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal prod­ucts, and ve­hi­cles.

The coun­try's close prox­im­ity to Eu­rope, long coast­lines and rich tourism re­sources have made tourism an im­por­tant source of na­tional in­come. Turkey has also be­come syn­ony­mous with ro­mance be­cause of its hos­pitable peo­ple, im­pres­sive cul­ture, charm­ing scenery and mys­te­ri­ous le­gends, which at­tract tourists from all over the world.

Known as the “cra­dle of civil­i­sa­tion,” mod­ern Turkey was founded on Oc­to­ber 29, 1923. His­tor­i­cally, the coun­try was the cen­tre of the Ro­man, Byzan­tine and Ot­toman em­pires. It has a his­tory of 6,500 years and her­itage from 13 dif­fer­ent civil­i­sa­tions. On the west­ern and south­ern shores of Turkey, vis­i­tors can see the ru­ins of an­cient Greek, Ro­man and even Chris­tian civil­i­sa­tions. Is­tan­bul, Ankara and Izmir are the coun­try's three largest ci­ties and are fa­mous tourist des­ti­na­tions. Se­crets of by­gone civil­i­sa­tions are also hid­den in the ru­ins of the an­cient ci­ties of Troy and Eph­e­sus.

Vis­i­tors to Turkey can en­joy tra­di­tional eth­nic sports such as oil wrestling tour­na­ments in and around Kirkpinar and Edirne ev­ery July; jereed com­pe­ti­tions, a fierce team sport played on horse­back in­volv­ing javelin throw­ing, pop­u­lar in eastern Turkey; camel rac­ing in towns across the Aegean re­gion through­out the spring; and bull­fights in Artvin ev­ery June.

Turkey is also a mod­ern coun­try with all kinds of nightlife avail­able. In the big ci­ties of Is­tan­bul, Ankara and Izmir, the na­tional sym­phony or­ches­tra, opera and bal­let troupe per­form works by Turk­ish and for­eign com­posers led by worl­drenowned con­duc­tors. Ev­ery big city also has lively night­clubs that can be en­joyed un­til the early hours of the morn­ing, as can the lo­cal street food.

Turkey is not only a ma­jor Euro­pean tourist des­ti­na­tion, it has also been ranked as one of the top 10 coun­tries to visit any­where in the world. Its sum­mer and win­ter re­sorts are de­vel­op­ing rapidly, and more and more peo­ple are com­ing from all over the world to ex­plore Turkey's his­tory, cul­ture, beauty and na­ture ev­ery year. There are all kinds of pos­si­bil­i­ties in this mys­te­ri­ous and ro­man­tic coun­try.

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