Photo: Hayri Çalışkan
Turkey has been called "The Cradle of Civilization" and by traveling through this historic land, visitors will discover exactly what is meant by this phrase. The world's first known settlement, a Neolithic city at Çatalhöyük, dates back to 6.500 B.C. From the days of Çatalhöyük up to the present, Turkey boasts a rich culture that, through the centuries, has made a lasting impression on modern civilization.
Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favor throughout history and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.
Being the heir to many centuries of cultures makes Turkey a paradise of information and cultural wealth. Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians Ionians, Lydians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans have all made important contributions to the history of the area. Ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give sufficient proof of each civilization's unique distinction.
Turkey also has a very fascinating recent history. Upon the decline of the Ottoman Empire, a young man named Mustafa Kemal who was a soldier and a great visionary, took the defeat of World War 1, and turned it into a shining victory by liberating Turkey from all occupying forces. Mustafa Kemal Ataürk founded the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. He led his country towards peace and stability that brought about tremendous economic growth and increasing modernization. Through decades of change and growth, Turkey still boasts growing success, living by Ataürk's motto of "Peace at Home, Peace in the World".
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