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Turkey, the Gateway to the Orient, continues to hold its millennia-old status as one of the most important crossroads countries in the world. Emperor Constantine established Christianity in 324, establishing its position as a world religion, and moved the centre of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, now Istanbul. From Cappadocia, Julius Caesar got the best horses his armies had. In modern times, the Orient Express connect Europe, crossing from Paris to Istanbul, where East and West meet in art and architecture. Mount Ararat, at 5,166 m the highest point in the country, is said to be the resting place of Noah's Ark. The famed city of Troy is here as well, south of Istanbul. And you must not leave without seeing Ephesus, the legendary city , home to the Temple of Artemis and the location where Saint Peter wandered, spreading his gospel before settling in Crete. There are many other sites of archaeological and religious significance. Its situation along the coasts of two important and beautiful bodies of water, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, make Turkey a country well worth a visitor's vacation time.

Turkey is in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria

Anatolia (Asia Minor) had been a cradle to a wide variety of civilisations and kingdoms in antiquity. The Seljuk Turks were the first Turkic power to arrive in the 11th century as conquerors (earlier Turkic peoples such as the Pechenegs had become allies and subordinates of the Byzantine Empire), who proceeded to gradually conquer the existing Byzantine Empire. Their Turkic successors, the Ottoman Empire, completed this in the 15th century with the fall of Constantinople, after which the empire expanded across the eastern Mediterranean. Rising nationalism in the 19th century and the First World War caused the embattled empire to crumble in the aftermath of the war. The Republic of Turkey was created in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who reformed Turkey into a modern, secular, and western-oriented republic.

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  Turkey Overview

Generally, the temperature warms the further south one goes; but Istanbul in the north is hot in the summer, as is much of the country, and very cold and wet in winter. The weather along the west coast is mild, with warm, sunny summers. To the east, towards Cappadocia, hot, dry summers give way to harsh cold in the winter months; come here in the springtime.

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