While you can’t go back to Constantinople, there are ten good reasons to visit Turkey. Here are my top ten things that make me want to visit this ancient land.
10 The Dardanelles
The Dardanelles is a scenic, narrow strait that connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea. It also forms part of the divide between Asia and Europe.
Ephesus is the site of an ancient Greek city. The Temple of Artemis, better known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, sat here until it was destroyed during an act of arson by Herostratus in 356 B.C.
The ancient land of Cappadocia boasts the Fairy Chimneys, volcanic deposits that were carved by ancient peoples into dwellings.
7. The Food
Okay, not an actual site but who can deny how great Turkish food is to eat? I mean, the baklava and borek alone are enough to get me there. Known for flavorful spices and the widespread use of nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds, Turkish food has been satisfying palates for centuries.
6. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
Begun in 1459, Topkapi Palace was the main residence for the Turkish sultans until 1856. Over the centuries, the palace complex grew as sultans added on to the vast site. Since 1923, the palace has been the site of a museum of Turkish history and civilization.
5. Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul
This palace was built by Sultan Abdülmecid I from 1843 to 1856 to replace Topkapi Palace as the residence of the sultans. The Sultan wanted Turkey to have a palace complete with modern conveniences and luxuries to rival the grand residences in Europe. Dolmabahce is built on land reclaimed from the Bosphorus.
4. Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
What woman wouldn’t want to go shopping in one of the world’s oldest and largest shopping centers? Of course, being a costume designer and general textile lover, I will be looking for clothing and textiles. My husband would probably shop the spice and food stalls. The Grand Bazaar hosts over three thousand shops over sixty one streets. It dates back to the mid fifteenth century when the city was still known as Constantinople.
3. The Ancient City of Troy
Troy might be best known as the site of Homer’s Trojan Wars but today it is a valuable site that allows archaeologists to explore centuries of ancient cities, built one on top of another.
2. Gobekli Tepe
Here, animal carvings grace pillars built over nine thousand years ago. A recent archaeological site, Gobekli Tepe was only first surveyed in 1963. Since then, archaeologists have been studying it to learn more about prehistorical humanity.
1. Hagia Sophia
In my opinion, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Built in the sixth century, Hagia Sophia has served as a church, a mosque, and now a museum. Mosaics abound all over the building, some dating back to about AD 800.
There you have it, folks, my top ten reasons for wanting to visit Turkey. Now, to get my husband on board, and oh, enough money to see these wonders in real life and not just pictures.