Most popular cities in Turkey
For more than 1500 years İstanbul was the capital of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. With one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe, İstanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents. The Bosphorus courses the waters of the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn through the city’s heart.
İstanbul’s fate has been sealed by its vital strategic location and its enchanting natural beauty. For more than 1500 years it was the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. It was beautified accordingly with magnificent monuments and became a metropolis where diverse cultures, nations and religions mingled. Those cultures, nations and religions are the small pieces that form the mosaic of İstanbul.
Modern and Traditional Together
It is İstanbul’s endless variety that fascinates its visitors. The museums, churches, palaces, grand mosques, bazaars and sites of natural beauty are countless. As relaxing on the western shores of the Bosphorus at sunset and watching the red evening light reflected on the other continent, you may suddenly and profoundly understand why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build a city on this remarkable site. At such times you can see why İstanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities in the world.
İstanbul is Turkey’s most developed and largest city, with the latest discoveries indicating that the history of human habitation there goes back some 400,000 years. The purple years of İstanbul may have started in 330 when Emperor Constantine declared the city the capital of his empire – royal purple is the colour of the Byzantine imperial family. Until 1453, when it was conquered by the Ottomans, the city served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. During the reign of the Byzantines, İstanbul was adorned with a number of great monuments, which made it the most magnificent city in the world, even during the declining years of the empire.
Striking Multireligious Identity
The identity of İstanbul that began with the Byzantines was further shaped during the period of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror declared İstanbul the capital of Ottoman Empire after he conquered the city in 1453. Over the next 450 years the city was adorned with superb Ottoman monuments. Building works after the conquest gathered apace during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II, with the finest works built by Mimar Sinan, the Chief Royal Architect. This worldfamous architect put his signature on the silhouette of İstanbul with a number of masterpieces.
The Ottomans were tolerant towards all religions and dedicated many places of worship to the Christian and Jewish communities so that these peoples could practise their religion undisturbed. Thus, in İstanbul mosques, churches and synagogues stood and still stand side by side as the physical evidence of İstanbul and a symbol of tolerance and fraternity of religions.
As an imperial capital of 1500 years, İstanbul is rich in architectural monuments reflecting its past splendour.
At every turn in the city one can happen upon Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman palaces, mosques, churches, monasteries, monuments, walls and ruins. The old city centre, with its places of worship, government, trade and entertainment, was where the citizens mingled, enjoying the benefits of the security and bounty of the state while maintaining their culture and way of life.
The most magnificent of İstanbul’s monuments are clustered on the historical peninsula, the triangular piece of land surrounded by the Sea of Marmara to the east and south, by the Golden Horn to the north and by the city walls to the west. The Historic Areas of İstanbul was inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1985, enchanting visitors with an impressive texture. Sultanahmet Square is the core of the historical peninsula and the most prominent examples of Byzantine and Ottoman architecture can be seen in close proximity here.
Living Heritages of Byzantines
During the Byzantine Period the centre of the city was the Hippodrome and its environs. The Palacewas the centre of power, the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) the most spectacular of the religious buildings; the Hippodrome served as the common entertainment centre and the Yerebatan Sarnıcı (Basilica Cistern) supplied most of the city’s water, – all are to be found at the centre of the city. During Ottoman times, the square where the Hippodrome once stood became the site for the circumcision ceremonies of the Sultans’ sons.
THE NEW İSTANBUL
Building on its assets inherited from a glorious past, İstanbul is an international city with a financial and economic centre offering services in banking, telecommunications, marketing, engineering and tourism.
International conferences and festivals, fairs, fashion shows, sports and art performances give a new dimension to the life and potential of the city.
İstanbul is one of the busiest centres of ‘congress travel’ in the world, offering every support and service to conferences of all sizes. Great service is available due to İstanbul’s excellent transportation and communication facilities and a wide choice of accommodation equipped with the latest technology.
A stay in İstanbul is not complete without a traditional and unforgettable boat excursion up the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe and Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present, grand splendour and simple beauty.
Modern hotels stand next to yalı (waterfront wooden villas); marble palaces abut on rustic stone fortresses and elegant compounds neighbour small fishing villages.
The best way to see the Bosphorus is to board one of the passenger boats that regularly zigzag along the shores. Embark at Eminönü and stop alternately on the Asian and European sides of the strait! The round-trip excursion, very reasonably priced, takes about six hours. For those who want a private voyage, there are agencies that specialize in organizing day or night-time mini-cruises.
During the trip you will go past the magnificent Dolmabahçe Palace, while further along rise the green parks and imperial pavilions of the Yıldız Palace. To the waterfront of the parks stands the Çırağan Palace, refurbished in 1874 by Sultan Abdülaziz, and now restored as a grand hotel. For 300m along the Bosphorus shore, its ornate marble facades reflect the swiftly moving water. At Ortaköy, the next stop, every Sunday artists gather to exhibit their works in a streetside gallery with the variety of people creating a lively scene. Sample a tasty kumpir (baked potato) from one of the street vendors. And note its church, mosque and synagogue that have existed side by side for hundreds of years – a tribute to Turkey’s tolerance at the grass-roots level. Overshadowing İstanbul’s traditional architecture at Ortaköy is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges, the Boğaziçi Bridge, linking Europe and Asia.
THE GOLDEN HORN “HALİÇ”
This horn-shaped estuary known as the Golden Horn divides European İstanbul into two. As one of the best natural harbours in the world, the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and their commercial shipping interests were centred here. Today, lovely parks and promenades line the shores where the setting sun casts a golden hue on the water. At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up to the Golden Horn, whole streets full of old wooden houses, churches and synagogues date from Byzantine and Ottoman times, while the Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener. Eyüp, a little further up, is full of Ottoman architecture, much of it restored, and cemeteries dotted with dark cypress trees covering the hillsides. Many believers come to the Tomb of Eyüp in the hope that their prayers will be granted. The Pierre Loti Cafe, atop the hill overlooking the shrine, is a wonderful place to enjoy an alternative view of İstanbul.
ARTS, CULTURE and ENTERTAINMENT
İstanbul is an international centre for arts and culture with a rich tradition in opera and ballet, theatres performing both Turkish and international works, concerts, exhibitions, festivals, auctions, conferences and, of course, museums.
İstanbul’s private museums, which opened one after the other in the early 2000s, have hosted exhibitions featuring the world’s finest masterpieces.
İstanbul Modern offers a permanent collection of modern art, as well as temporary exhibits, featuring many of the most famous Turkish painters. Santralİstanbul offers not only artistic and cultural activities but also aims to become an interdisciplinary, international platform contributing to the creation of an environment fostering intercultural dialog and debate. Contemporary İstanbul is the only international fair for the contemporary art in Turkey. Organized every year, the fair is a meeting place for art-lovers, collectors, art galleries and artists from all over the world. The most prestigious of the city’s international cultural events are the international festivals organised by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, including in their programs the finest examples of artistic creativity in the fields of classical music, ballet, modern dance, opera, folklore, jazz/pop, cinema, drama and visual arts from both Turkey and abroad as well as seminars, conferences and lectures.
İstanbul also has a rich program of entertainment; bars, pubs, nightclubs and discos are plentiful and there are countless restaurants offering Turkish cuisine with all its local varieties, not to mention the Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese and Lebanese cuisine.
The meyhanes, literally ‘wine houses’, are a special experience and where the main drink served is not so much the wine but rakı, an alcoholic beverage made of grapes and anise. Nightclubs provide splendid entertainment throughout dinner, ranging from a selection of Turkish songs to belly-dancing. There are also modern discos, cabaret and jazz clubs in the Taksim-Harbiye district. In Sultanahmet there are a number of restaurants set in restored Byzantine and Ottoman premises which offer a unique setting for an evening out.
Kumkapı is another attractive district with its many taverns, bars and fish restaurants. People have been meeting for years at Çiçek Pasajı in Beyoğlu for snacks and seafood specialties and nearby is narrow Nevizade Street- the best place in İstanbul for eating Turkish specialties and drinking rakı.
On the shores of the Bosphorus, Ortaköy is the best place for nightlife in İstanbul with its nightclubs, jazz clubs, fine seafood restaurants and bars. At Eminönü, don’t miss the opportunity to see the fishermen dressed in traditional Ottoman clothes serving fried fish from their Ottoman-style boats.
İstanbul is a shopper’s paradise, catering to all kinds of customers. From covered bazaars and workshops that continue ancient traditions, to shopping malls and department stores, İstanbul offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities.
Kapalı Çarşı (Grand Bazaar) and Mısır Çarşısı (Spice Bazaar) are the two most visited places in İstanbul. Kapalı Çarşı has evolved into its present form over a period of 250 years, and today sells everything from antiques to jewellery, from gold to affordable souvenirs in over 3000 shops. Its original function determined by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror was to generate income for the upkeep of the Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). Mısır Çarşısı was opened with a similar aim of supporting Yeni Cami (New Mosque). Today both Kapalı Çarşı and Mısır Çarşısı are places for finding plenty alternatives for souvenirs and mementos of İstanbul. As both were once primary trading places during the Ottoman Period, today some traditional wares can still be found there. Arasta Çarşısı (Arasta Bazaar), situated behind the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, is yet another place where authentic goods and handicrafts can be found and Sultanahmet and its environs are other similar areas. Old book enthusiasts should visit the Sahaflar Çarşısı (Booksellers’ Market), which is situated between Beyazıt Mosque and Kapalı Çarşı.
Antalya is the Mediterranean coast’s principle city resort and tourist destination hosting over 10 million tourist in a year. It is obvious to see that why so many tourists visit Antalya because it is a large, attractive city boasting a fabulous climate, excellent shops and facilities, stunning views ,beaches, a world class marina and a fascinating past. Travellers to Antalya know the area for a host of different reasons. Some seek out it luxury hotels while the area’s historic treasures attract culture hunters. Then tehere is a natural beauty of the land. Most visitors will lay testament to picture panoramic views and natural wonders, including the Duden Waterfalls and the Chimera on Mount Olympus where flames have been sprouting from the grounf for the past 2500 years.
The culmination of history with modern luxry hotels makes for a unique lifestyle experiences. It is no surprise, therefore, that Antalya sees 30% of all of Turkey’s tourism and is the third most visited destination in the world. It is also fastest growing province in Turkey with almost %4.5 yearly population growth.
Districts that fall into the Antalya provide are Alanya, Finike, Gazipasa, Kale, Kas, Kemer, Kumluca, Manavgat and Serik.
It is a multicultural destination
While many foreign buyers in Turkey want to indulge full heartedly into the local customs and traditions, the language barrier often stops them. Hence they gravitate to places where locals speak foreign languages. Antalya, as the second most popular tourist destination in the country, has for many years, been a huge community of bi-lingual locals.
English as a foreign language is widely spoken yet many locals also speak Russian, French, and German. The result is a pain-free buying process for foreigners, and many choose to make it their permanent home, boosting Antalya’s already existent expat community
The top reasons for investing in Real Estate in Antalya
The tourism in Turkey is at its best
Today, as it is known, Turkey and especially Antalya is a well known tourism destination. People just love to go To Turkey and have a good time with their families while enjoying holidays. There are so many things that you can do in Turkey but if you are an investor then good things for you is that you can buy real estate in Antalya. There are so many benefits to buy real estate in Antalya but all those benefits is different from eache other. Antalya is a good tourism destination so you can make good money with your real estate in Antalya easily.
Turkey has turned into one of the best developed countries
When it comes to buy a real estate property then the most important thing that you have to consider is that whether the place where you are going to buy a property is developed place or not. The good thing about real estate in Antalya is that it is very well developed area and there is no doubt that whoever will buy Antalya real estate property will be in benefit in coming future and for the rest of his life. Turkey is a developed country now with so much development going on currently as well. It simply means that the Antalya real estate value will keep going higher with this development work.
According to a recent report by the reowned research firm Euromonitor International; by 2020 Antalya will be top ten –at the sixth place – of the fastest growing cities in Europe. Based on this fact, it alone means a guarenteed high return on investment for real estate in Antalya. On the other hand, on the western side, Antalya is adjacent to the Taurus Mountains. The distrcit Konyaaltı- which extends from the centre of the city to the mountains and that until some years ago mainly consisted of orange plantations – experiences the last 10 years an explosive growth. All land plots till 1 to 2 kilometres inland have been sold, and some neighbourhoods seem like one big construction site. The latest apartment buildings are – literally – at the foot of the Taurus Mountains. Also here, a shortage of construction land plots and strict building regulations: the construction height is limited to 5 stories. You can guess the outcome; you also know what an impact this has on the prices of real estate.
İzmir is Turkey’s third largest city and along with the neighbouring coastral resorts make up a significant part of western Turkey, also known as the Aegean. İzmir is always called ‘pearl of the Aegean’ in Turkey.
For many decades, it has won favour with Turks as a holiday and retirement destination, and in recent years, its popularity has increased as more Turks turn away from İstanbul, Turkey’s largest city. Thi also extends to foreigners of whom many have moved to live, work and buy a home in İzmir.
However, İzmir’s status as the pearl of the Aegean hasn’t always been plain sailing. Previously known as Smyrna, earlier civilisations that conquered the region because of its strategic Aegean position close to Europe including Lycians,Persians, Romans, and Alexander the Great.
Under Ottoman rule, it flourished as a major trading port and communities of various faiths and nationalities lived side by side. The first railway line was also built from İzmir. Unfortunately, the Greek invasion in 1919, unsettled daily life and by 1922, when the newly found Turkish republic sought to reclaim the city, a massive fire devastated most of it. These days, with a population of 4 million people, life is more laid-back anc calmer, leading foreigners and Turks to call it as their heaven.
Whether and Climate in İzmir
Izmir’s climate falls under the Csa Mediterranean Koppen classification because of hot summers and cool, mild winters. Rainfall occurs from December to March while sun and beach fans enjoy July and August when temperatures reach the 40s.
City break holidaymakers visit all year-round because life in the center never stops. However, people visiting coastal regions such as Foca,Cesme oe Alacati should go between May to October when the official tourism season starts. During this time, they are guarenteed clean beaches, an extensive choice of hotels and full ranges of menus in restaurants.
How to go to Izmir
Getting to İzmir is so easy and quick thanks to its rail,road,sea and air connections. Izmir airport ( Adnan Mendres –ADB) has frequent flights throughout the year from Europe, Middle Eastern and Asian countries and other places within Turkey.
Main railway lines connect it with the Konya, Ankara and Balıkesir, while regional lines take passengers to neighbouring areas like Nazilli,Aydin,Manisa and Usak. Izmir also connects with the rest of Turkey via the D300 and D500 highways making it easy for car drivers or bus passengers to get there.
On the other hand, to arrive by sea, Izmir has six world-class marinas, in Cesme, Foca, Levent, Alacati and Seferihisar. Morst cruise ships dock into Alsancak or the smaller ports of Dikili, Aliaga, Candarli, and Cesme. If people want to see the ancient city ruins of Ephesus, they will dock into Kusadasi port instead.
Transport in İzmir
Locals like the regular and cheap ferry routes running from Foca ,Goztepe, Karsiyaka, Bostanlı, Alsancak, Pasaport, Konak, Bayraklı and Uckuyular. Izmir is also a bicycle city, with a 40-kilometre shoreline track in the city centre.
If you don’t own one, hire them on an hourly basis from any of 34 Smart Bike System Stations (BISIM.) Otherwise, the Metro includes 17 stations in all major locations throughout the city centre, and locals still use the traditional bus system.
Shopping,Eating Out and Nightlife
As a majot city centre, and home to smaller coastral resorts, indulgence is one thing İzmir does well. In all districts, locals visit weekly farmers markets for organic fruit and veg, but many bazaars and 20 large shopping malls like Optimum, Novada, and Forum Bornova make a roaring trade.
Izmir’s nightlife scene accomodates everyone thanks to immense variety of establishments. A favourite sort among locals in the city centre is the Kordonboyu restaurants, specialising in fresh food and seafood, while the Alsancak district houses large nightclubs, and live music bars.
Travellers on a budget should find street food vendors and traditional restourants selling low priced and delicious Turkish dishes. During summer, in smaller and surrounding coastral resorts, locals prefer dining alfresco style by the seaside, or on rooftop terraces.
Given İzmir’s coastal position, beaches are a focal point of summer. Take your pick including 52 Blue Flag stretches of sand. Seferihisar, Foca, Alacati, Cesme, Dikili, and Urla are home to famous beaches where you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas.