Due to its location in Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Turkey is known to be the “bridge between East and West.” It combines influences from the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the Balkans and Central Asia. Turkey has an unrivalled history stretching back thousands of years. From the ancient Hittites to the Ottomans, dozens of civilizations have made Turkey their home, leaving behind them a historical and archaeological heritage.
Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or “Father of the Turks.” Under his leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. The Turkish state has been officially secular since 1924. Modern Turkey encompasses cosmopolitan centers, pastoral farming villages, and peaceful Aegean coastlines. More than half of Turkey’s population lives in urban areas that juxtapose Western lifestyles with more traditional ways of life.
Turkey is a popular tourist destination. Nature mingles with history at every step, bearing the heritage of several civilizations. The hub of all religions that have been lost in time or still exist, Anatolia is particularly rich in monuments and heritages bearing traces of diverse religious cultures. From opera to ballet and theater to modern dance, there are many opportunities to attend performances influenced by these traditions.