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Turkey’s Eurasian positioning means that it has long drawn on the influences of both Eastern and Western societies to create a unique cultural blend. Although modern Turkey was only established with the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, Turkish history spans more than 4,000 years, and the region that now constitutes the republic wears the legacy of many great civilisations like a precious scattering of jewels. From the hills of Cappadocia, honeycombed with the settlements of ancient peoples, to the many castles and fortresses of mighty rulers past, the ruins and monuments dotted across the country are as diverse as they are spectacular. Lively Ankara is the country’s capital city but it is Istanbul, with its magical skyline of minarets, that is the true cultural capital. Richly endowed with awe-inspiring architecture, charming cobbled streets and bustling, exotic markets, all of which still thrum with the energetic beat of urban life, this is a historic city that is still very much alive. Delightfully, Turkey offers more still to the curious traveller, with a cuisine that reflects its diverse heritage, hospitable locals and a glorious Mediterranean climate, making it a destination that is hard to resist.
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