Experiential travel stories from India and 31 other countries!

12 Treasures of Turkey


First things first, I have not visited Turkey yet but I have discovered multiple reasons to go there soon. I maintain a travel notebook where I list down everything that excites me or prepares me for a place. I have read a number of things about Turkey and it is definitely on my radar. I am sure when you will be done reading this blog, the next thing you will be looking for cheap tickets and process for quick visa to Turkey.

When it comes to Mediterranean luxuries, there isn’t anything better than Turkey.  And if you ask for kebabs, Turkish coffee, mosques, hazelnuts, carpets, kilims, rugs, baklava and Turkish delights, the locals will convince you that they have the best. 

In the past few years, I have had many of my friends visit the famous cities of this gorgeous country and I have been lured with their pictures and Facebook updates. It definitely has lots to boast about, the mighty empires of Hittite, Lycian, Roman, Ottoman, the Turkish traditions, heritage of artisan crafts, the incredible landscape, the “fairy chimneys” of Cappadocia, locally grown saffron in Safranbolu, the historic silk route, cave hotels, hot air balloons, the spa site of Pamukkale, Archaeological Site of Troy and much more.

Hidden facts about Turkey
The popular hot air balloons of Turkey!

Most of us know about the above mentioned things, but there are many hidden traits of Turkey! Let us discover them one by one and finally, we will discuss the visa process.

  • In turkey, you will always find fresh produce. It is one of the few self-sufficient countries which produces a number of dry fruits, fresh vegetables, wheat and cotton. If you love hazelnuts, figs, apricots, raisins and grapes, Turkey should definitely be on your list. Last but not the least, Turkish people love pomegranates and use it in many forms in cooking as it is grown in abundance and the country is the biggest exporter of the “nars” as they call it locally. The pomegranate juice sellers can be seen all around in the bazaars.
  • For the longest time, I thought that Turkish language had evolved from Arabic but only recently, I was told that it is Latin based and carries some influence from Arabic. Muvaffakiyetsizleştiricileştiriveremeyebileceklerimizdenmişsinizcesine is a 30 letter word and it is not just a tongue twister but also one of the longest words in Turkey. Don’t be amused like me when I tell you that verb Çıkmak, means 58 different things of daily usage. Some of the words in Turkish actually mean a whole sentence.
Turkey and its visa process
A date with history!
  • UNESCO identifies 18 world heritage sites in Turkey. 16 of them cultural, while 2 are mixed. While the Archaeological Site of Ani is the latest to be added to the prestigious list, I have always wanted to see the city of Troy which is over 4,000 years old, the city of Ephesus which is known for the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and The Rock Sites Of Cappadocia
  • Whenever someone talked about Tulips, I could only think of Netherlands. But a recent revelation has made me think check the facts. I was surprised to learn that it was the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey which started the culture of cultivating Tulips and it was exported to Netherlands.
  • Coffee is love here. Due to its fine grind and texture, the Turkish coffee is delightfully amazing and there are many rituals associated with it. Ottoman Court had celebrations around coffee. In fact women in the harem were given proper trainings to brew a perfect coffee. Coffee making was considered so important that men fell for their potential wives on their coffee brewing skills. A friend tells me that a story also goes that in the 15th century, a woman could apply for divorce if her husband did not give her a cup of coffee, every morning.
  • There are more than 80,000 mosques in the whole of Turkey, and of course Istanbul has the highest number. Camlica Mosque Complex is the newest one and is being touted as the largest.  It flaunts Ottoman and Seijuk architecture styles.  As far as worshipper capacity goes, it has room for 63,000 people to pray together. It also has a museum of 11000 meter square.
Aya Sofia in istanbul
Gems of Istanbul
  • Turkey has a very interesting national sport called oil wrestling.  As evident from the name, the wrestlers grease their body with lots of olive oil and then take over their opponents. Kirkpınar “Oil Wrestling Festival” has been taking place in Edirne province (“Sultan of Cities”) since 1362. This weeklong festival is one of the oldest sports events in the world.
  • Turkey has exceptionally rich habitat with more than 30 biodiversity hotspots. With 10,000 species of plants and richest flora, it is a great birding area too. Bosphorus (Istanbul), Eastern Black Sea Mountains (including the Çoruh Valley) and Amanos Mountains (includes the Belen Pass) are three very important areas where thousands of Black Storks, White Pelicans and other soaring birds are located. The Kure Mountains, Yenice Forests, Karcal Mountains and Ibradi-Akseki Forests, Istanbul’s Forests are some of the best places to immerse in nature.  
  • If you have a sweet tooth, I am sure you would have heard about Turkish Delights or rahat lokum.  They are one of the oldest sweets in the world.  The tradition of making these sweets dates back to 500 years. A few years ago, my husband had a transit from Istanbul Airport and he brought three different varieties of it. I loved them all but my favorite happens to be the one with the pistachio filling.
  • 95% in Asia and 5% in Europe, Turkey is a country in two continents.  Istanbul used to be the capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. It is one of the most ancient cities, one of the most culturally rich and still happens to be is the largest city.  But presently, Ankara is the capital city.
  • Turkey gave birth to the color ‘turquoise’ which is namesake for a gem. When you say turquoise in French, you actually mean “Turkey”.  The blue-green colored mineral were found in the mines of historical Khorasan of Persia and were introduced to Europe and the rest of the world from Turkey. This stone and color is used a lot in dome and interiors of mosques.
  • History and Turkey go hand in hand. The Greek city of Ephesus with its temples, grand amphitheater, the Library of Celsus, the Sumela Monastery, Altındere Valley National Park, the ancient city of Aspendos, Mardin (a UNESCO World Heritage), the 7,000ft Mount Nemrut,  Greco-Roman history all over the country, there is no end to the awesomeness of Turkey.
E-visa to turkey


When it comes to international borders, visa application comes into real play. While its tedious to procure a visa for some countries, it is very easy for others.  Application for Turkey visa falls in the latter case.  As per my friend who visited Turkey on a very short notice, there is a site which helps with one of the easiest processes for procuring your visa. You really don’t have to prepare a lot of documents and travel to the VFS. Just go online and fill an application form. The filling will take 5 minutes. After you make a small payment, you hit on the submit button. The visa will be sent on your registered email id as soon as the payment is done. Isn’t it wonderful?

While applying for he e-visa turkey the official travel authorization from the Turkish Government, do ensure that you fill the application form carefully, have a valid passport and have no intentions of business of any sorts. This is strictly a tourist visa that we are talking about.

Happy Travelling to Turkey!

Read more stories from Europe

2 thoughts on “12 Treasures of Turkey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.