Turkey has a majestic past. It was the centre of the first Christian empire, under convert Constantine, who named the capital after himself(Constantinople, now Istanbul). It was also the centre of the enormous Muslim Ottoman Empire, run by the Seljuk ancestors of modern-day Turks. Every year on 10 November the country comes to a momentary standstill to remember its modernising leader of the 1920s, Ataturk. Today Turkey is still looking to the future, and it sees that future in Europe. But its path to EU membership is not obstacle-free.
Turkey 's rich culture and landscape means that there are a lot of options for how to spend your time there, from turtle counting on the coastline to soaking up the history in the former capital, Istanbul(the current capital is Ankara). The best time to go to Turkey is in the spring or autumn, when it shouldn't be too hot whichever part of the country you choose. Peak holiday season, for Turks as well as tourists, is from July to September. Depending on your interests, possible highlights of the Turkish calendar include camel wrestling in January, art and music events in July and a watermelon festival in September.
Greece and Turkey may have had their differences, but they both share a love of the kitchen; and anyone who has visited Greece will have some idea about what can be found on a Turkish menu. Turkish cuisine is an often unexpected highpoint, especially meze. The varied and ever-arriving dishes make it an entertaining way to share an evening with friends as well as to nourish yourself. A typical meze will contain starters such as dolma(stuffed vine leaves), patlican (eggplant puree) and an assortment of breads and olives. Then there will be lamb and/or fish dishes and some sweet pastries to finish, perhaps washed down with the local spirit, raki.
Speaking of food and drink and the consumption thereof, the 30 day Muslim fasting period of Ramadan is fixed at a different time each year according to the lunar calendar, and may be something holidaymakers want to take account of when planning the timing of their visit. Finally, though Turkey is generally as safe a holiday destination as any, it's worth double checking its current status on the Foreign Office website when you are looking into visiting.