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  Anatolia Region  

Central Anatolia

The triangularly shaped region in the midst of the country, is the Central Anatolian Region; the heart of Turkey. A different world in this distinct country is this wide plateau with all its extraordinary motifs and attributes.

Witnessing the earliest times of humanity originating back to palaeolithic and neolithic ages, this region constitutes a real cradle of civilizations. History, lively stands here, beginning from Catalhoyuk, near Konya, with its remains from the oldest settlements of mud houses and simple constructions; to the capital of today's Turkey, Ankara, with its modern blocks, buildings and facilities. This city of administration is yet a further midpoint of this central region, giving it a strategic significance besides the historical and geographical importance.

The tawny-yellow field dominating in Central Anatolia, is decorated with natural figures of outstanding beauty. Here are the volcanoes Mount Erciyes and Mount Hasan, which once had violently erupted and covered the surrounding area with tuff. Eroded by wind and rain, these formed spectacular landscapes of rock cones and capped pinnacles of Goreme, near Nevsehir. Known as Cappadocia in Roman times, this place is one of the rare regions in the world with its original ground of various colors ranging from red tones to greys. As charming and interesting as this district, are the underground cities of Kaymakli and Derinkuyu, on the way to Nigde, with their hidden rooms and tunnels The broad lakes of Tuz and Beysehir, complement the scenery of Central Anatolia and give a different feature to this extensive land.

Typical of this geography, a climate of dry, sunny summers, and cold winters with rain and snow, rules over the region, increasing the temperature differences between day and night, and from season to season. Wheat fields are spread all over the land, in correspondence with the climatic features, while-gardens and vineyards are present for picking apples and grapes.

For those who would like to make a trip to this diversified region, options are certainly far too much. Come and see the fascinating views of beautiful valleys, such as Ihlara. If you want to ski down the slopes of snowy mountains, Mounts Erciyes and Ilgaz are here to go. Visit Konya, a cultural center of many centuries, with its mosques and "Whirling Dervishes". And old Hittite Anatolian cities wait for you to wander around. The choice is yours, although it is recommended to see them all.

Eastern Anatolia

The eastern part of the country is a unique region with striking natural richness. The Toros Mountains in the south, and the chain of Black Sea Mountains in the north, unite in the east and form the highest region of Turkey, which is different in both appearance and character, to the rest of Anatolia. This region has an unimaginable diversity. The high mountains provide excellent opportunities for mountaineering and winter sports in addition to their perfect landscapes. Mount Nemrut which has one of the most famous sunrises in the world, Mount Suphan, once an active volcano with its black basalt slopes and Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi), are all attractive places for hiking. The biblical Mount Ararat has been the destination of professional mountaineers for years the vast ochre plateau of Erzurum reaches a height of 1950 m while the forests add colour to the land scape. The waterfalls and meadows of Kars and Agri are exquisite destinations for those who want to discover the "unspoiled". The deep blue waters of Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey, completes the picture and you will find it a strange experience to swim in its "sodawaters". The desertlike plains of high Mesopotamia lie here in contrast with the fertile valleys of the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Firat).

For the sightseer, the region holds very precious and rare monuments, the most famous and praiseworthy being the gigantic statues of mythological gods and King Antiochus on the summit of Mount Nemrut; the ruined city of Ani near Kars and in Erzurum the tremendous Ishak Pasa Palace, overlooking the "Silk Road". There are many other monuments like Seljuk caravansaries, elegant Ottoman mosques and Byzantine monasteries, all of which have great historical and artistic value.

The life style is also very specific. The people of the region have developed a life style of their own, based on survival as a result of the diverse geography and climate, while on the other hand, they preserve the hospitality and generosity specific to Turkish people. You can find shelter in any house, in case you happen to encounter a heavy snowfall, and your host, while giving you a cup of hot soup, will advise you not to visit this part of the country in the midwinter. Since it is a high region, the winters are severe and not suitable for venturing out unless of course you are staying in a skiresort. The best time to visit Eastern Anatolia is between May and October.

To the traveler and lover of adventure this splendid region will have a particularly strong appeal.

South Eastern Anatolia

Here is the geographically smallest region of Turkey: the Southeastern Anatolian Region, certainly not that small with respect to natural and historical beauties it possesses. This region of ancient cities, is adorned by attractive natural figures, constituting a real mixture of sights and past combined with originality.

Situated on the broad plain of upper Mesopotamia, Sanliurfa is one of these points, once being a city of 1001 nights and camel caravans. Then comes Diyarbakir with its wonderful architectural designs dates back to the Middle Ages. Here is the Malabadi Bridge presenting a peaceful view, besides the Dicle Bridge over the Tigris (Dicle) river. Another famous river, the Euphrates (Firat), flows through Harran, a wonderful place to see with its ancient city walls and castle.

Throughout this region a special atmosphere exists, one uniquely different from other parts of the country. Thus, reflecting a specific life style over its land, Southeastern Anatolia offers a wide variety of opportunities for its visitors. If you especially want to escape from a "sun - sea - sand" holiday, you should explore this region and live out of ordinary days in very distinguished places.

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