Europe and Asia, Mediterranean Sea and lost mountains, green and brownish, Christians among the majority of the sons of Ala, traditions and modernity both live in this country, rich in History, which seeks his future after a glorious and convulse past.

Turkey is a member in full right of the OTAN-NATO. The current opositions to the union to the CEE are the historical problems with Greece in relation to the division of Chipre, and the maritim limits in the Egeo, other within troubles such as the Kurdistan, appart from the modernisation and the solution for a inflation of the 65% in 2000.

In Turkey more than the 90% of the population is considerated as Islamic, with a quite peculiar vision of the Orthodox of the Arabian countries, becoming a question popularly used as a characteristic element of the Turkish character. The origin of this people, fully asian, relationed with the Mongols, and worked through centuries on the rests of the previous Eoman-Byzantine Empire, the Persians, the arrival of the Turkish-Ottomans of Islamic religion, and finally, the abolishment of sultanate after the I World War. Separation of the Church from the state with the establishment of the laicist republic by Mustafa Kemal Pasa "Ataturk" in 1923, beginig with a quick process of westernization, that included the measurement system, sustiotution of the Arabian alphabet for the Roman one, occidental calendar, and universal vote, included women.

This General is still a legend, he managed to defeat the allies in Gallipoli in 1915; he and a group of militariesfinish with the old regime, after a successful war of liberation of the foreign forces, making the family of the sultan go away, too.The dictatorship he installs goes on as a hard regime in his death, in 1938, and evolutions to a democratic system, currently of National Union, to try to solve the severe economical problems, with a mayority social democrat. The figure of Ataturk, "father of Turkish" is not questioned, and Ankara, the city he brought to capital instead of the traditional Istambul, keeps on being a personal monument. His presence is still venerated in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istambul, where he established his residence in the last years.

 Turkey has a population of approximately 60 million, of which 12,5 live in the area of Estambul, of Turkish language. Tourism makes English a common language, and, in a lower level, French or Italian.


Some practical pieces of advice:

* You won´t need an alarm clock, since everywhere the muezzin calls faithfulls to the new day, "Allah u ekber", "Ala is grate. You will hear it four more times during the day.

* In the coast the climate is Mediterranean, warmer to the south.

* Passport is advisable, and for inhabitants of the CEE, the DNI must be usefull untill three months later, at least. When arriving in the country, before the passport control, you must go to the "visa" section and pay 10$ to be able to enter Turkey. That simple.

* Appart from the unavoidable use of bottled water, you can feel yourself in a western country, concerning to the sanitary questions, electrical machines, or the use of the cell.

* The currency can be a bit uncomfortable, since it´s got lots of "ceros", so you can find yourself as a new Rockefeller...Consult daily the exchange rate, since the inflation comes up. The bureau of change results even better than banks. On the other hand, the use of the credit card is very common, although there aren´t many cash dispenser, if it´s not a very commercial area.

* You are in the economical zone of the bargaining. Everything is sold and bought, at least since the "silk route" passed through Anatolia, from the far China to Europe. The prices were and still are relative. From the price of a meal to a plaster. Serveral exceptions: if you need medical atention, you can discuss it to be private, and the restaurants where the prices can´t be changed have a clear warning on the door. The more cheated you feel, the cheaper price you will be able to achieve. But don´t be impatient.

* Tea, yoghurt and raki are the three important elements of the Turkish food, remembering rice, pasta and kebab.
Tea is the national drink, an intelligent way of avoiding infections, in many forms, cold or hot.
Yoghurt is the best ever tried, even better than the Arabian or Greek ones.
Raki, national drink, too, is, sorry, a bad anisette, which, moreover, is taken in the 50%, mixed with water.
Magnific Eastern rice, of long seed, which acompanies many plates, as pasta, too.
And kebab, typical Islamic plate, pieces of lamb in a stick, which is cooked directly in the fire; the best invent for the fast food, much better than the McDonald´s.

* Some relevant words in Turkish:
Zu = water
Var = yes, ok
Yok = no
Merhaba = hi!
Guanaydin = good morning
Iyi aksamlar = good night
Tesekur eredim = thanks
Affedersiniz = sorry
Seferinize = cheers!
Nerede? = where?




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