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