Turkey is a country that is uniquely located in both Europe and Asia. It is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. Turkey also has coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Aegean Sea.
Turkey’s population is over 77 million. Ankara is the capital of this secular constitutional republic.
Turkey is a fascinating country to visit not just because of its geography, but also its unique history and culture. Turkey is one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions of the world. Archeology sites such as Gobekli Tepe contain some of the first remains of civilization. The area is also referred to in the Bible. Later on, Turkey was the heart of the Ottoman Empire and today is a secular country home to Muslim Turks, Kurds and Arabs.
Getting there and away
Turkey is a relatively easy country to get to, and has land borders with Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Check local news to see if the border crossing to and from Syria is open, also be warned that the land border between Armenia and Turkey has been closed for over twenty years, though there is currently talks going around to open it again. Flights to Turkey tend to be relatively inexpensive, and Istanbul is an international air hub.
Budget Travel Tips
Turkey is a beautiful country to travel in. When traveling on a budget, remember that bartering is common and necessary in order to get a decent price. Accommodation can be a little expensive, but there are plenty of couchsurfing hosts. It is cheaper if you are traveling in a pair, as many hotels charge by the room, not the number of people staying in it. Bus transportation is cheap and very comfortable. On many long distance bus rides we were even served snacks and tea. Food is cheap and delicious, including the always present kebab. Budget travel is possible to do on $25-$30 a day.
Istanbul is a metropolitan city full of beautiful old architecture. It has a very European feel. If you are interested in archeology and more Kurdish and Arab culture, travel to the east of Turkey. Sanliurfa and Hasankeyf are highlights, beautiful old cities in the quiet countryside.