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ABOUT TURKEY

Climate & Landscape

Culture & Religion

Modern Turks are the descendents of nomadic tribes who migrated from central Asia with their flocks.

Turkey’s national religion is Islam, but the country is a secular state with religious affairs and government kept firmly apart. Turkish people are generally far more moderate in their religious beliefs than their neighbours in Middle East. This is particularly the case in the main cities and the coastal resorts. More conservative attitudes tend to be found in the less developed and eastern parts of the country.bvlgari replica watches


In the main cities and resorts areas most Turkish women dress in western-style clothes. But outside these areas, where more traditional attitudes prevail, visitors should dress more modestly to avoid attracting unwanted attention or causing offence. Remember not to wear shorts or short sleeves when visiting a mosque, and women will need to puton a handscarf too. Alcohol is widely available in bars, restaurants and shops, and many Turkish people enjoy a drink.

 

The main religious holidays of the Islamic calendar,purreplica such as Ramazan, are widely observed in Turkey. Banks, government offices and many businesses are closed, and Turkish people traditionally visit their family and relatives.

Turkey has a young and rapidly growing population with 50 % of its people under 25 years old. In the last 40 years there has been a huge movement of people from the countryside to towns and cities like Ankara and Istanbul. Over 60 % of the population now live in urban areas, although their connection with family and friends still living in the countryside often remains strong.

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Getting There

Most people travelling to Turkey do so by plane. During the summer season there are hundreds of package flights into the coastal airports of Bodrum, Dalaman, İzmir and Antalya). However, most operators do not offer services in winter, when you must rely on scheduled flights.
Turkish Airlines and British Airways have daily flights, year-round to Istanbul. From Istanbul there are connecting flights operated by Turkish Airlines and other private airlines to regional airports, such as Izmir, Bodrum, Dalaman and Antalya for the coastal resorts, or Kayseri and Nevşehir for Cappadocia. Cyprus Turkish Airlines operate a useful year-round service direct to Antalya, Dalaman and Izmir from Gatwick, Heathrow, Glasgow, Stansted. And Belgast, with the planes continuing to North Cyprus afterwards.

There is much talk about new direct scheduled and charter flights in winter into İzmir, Antalya and Dalaman, but as yet there isn’t sufficient demand to support such services. This may change in the next  few years as the number of British home owners increases and winter activities, such as  golf, grow in popularity.

DRIVING TO TURKEY

It is about 3,000 km from London to Istanbul with the exact distance depending on the route you take. The northern option passes through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, with a considerable distance still remaining to the south coast once you cross the Turkish border. Alternatively, you can pass through France and Italy , where there are car ferries from Ancona and Brindisi to the Turkish port of Çeşme. Ferries run throughout the year, although the service is very limited in winter. It is advisable to book in advance at any time.

ENTRY VISA

A 3- month tourist visa will be issued when you arrive in Turkey. It costs £ 10 for British citizens and is stuck into your passport.

History

The Economy

Turkey has a very dynamic economy with a vigorous and rapidly growing private sector. However, the state maintains and important role in many areas of the economy, such as heavy industry, banking, transport, and communication. Privatisation, although a priority of several consecutive governments, has been slow. In efficient and badly manage public firms still dominate large parts of the economy and remain a major drain and natural purse. The country’s most important industry are textiles and clothing, employing between them over 35 % of the work force. These sectors also produce the country’s main exports, although other manifacturing industries, such as car making and electronics, are of growing significance. Low labour rates and proximity to markets in Europe and the Middle East have an couraged the growth of these manifacturing industries. Agriculture remains an important economic activity, employing around 40 % of the country’s labour force. Despite wide spread mechanisation and large-scale irrigation projects, traditional farming methods and low production predominate inm any areas. Underlying structural problems within the economy, coupled with political mismanagement and global events, caused a series of economic crises during the 1990s. These culminated in a catastrophic devolution in 2001, and the Turkish Lira has lost 40 % of its value. Thousands lost their jobs. While the country’s GDP plummbed by over 7 %. IMF-sponsored recovery plan introduced by the government of Bülent Ecevit helped stabilise the situation,although it was left to the AK Party government elected in 2002, to guide the Turkish economy out of its worst recession since the second world war. Fiscal belt tightening and econmomic reform have succeeded in cutting the government deficit. Inflation has been brought down from a galloping 70 % to 11.4 % in 2004. Industrial production in the third quarter of last year was up 6,8 % compared to 2003and GDP grew by 4.5 %. Much needed reforms within the banking industry have boosted investor confidence and the improving economic climate have resulted in growing foreign investment.

Despite these dramatic improvements there remian considerable economic challenges ahead, such as improving the country’s tax base, reducing unemployment and dealing height increasing shoes with inefficient state owned businesses. However, the present government, enjoying strong popular support and IMF backing, maintains its commitment to tackling these problems in order to stay on track for eventual EU membership.

Traditionally an agricultural region, raising citrus crops and vegetables for the domestic market and export, the local economy along the west and south coast – the main area for foreign property buyers-is now dominated by tourism. Fishing remains an important economic activity in some areas, while forestry and animal husbandry are significant in the coastal mountains.

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