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Top 3, in Turkey

Top 3, in Turkey

If you follow our blog constantly, you probably know that ‘Top 3’ is a series that we started more than a year ago and that we continued to feed with monthly posts. This time we will travel virtually, because at the moment it is forbidden otherwise, in a more oriental place, namely Turkey.

Turkey is a country which occupies a unique geographical location, partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history, it has been both an obstacle and a link between the two continents. Turkey is situated at the crossroads of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of territory and population, and its land area is greater than any European country.

Let’s start first with some geography. Here are the most populated urban centers in Turkey:

  • Istanbul – 15.52 million people
  • Ankara – 5.04 million people
  • Izmir – 4.32 million people

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is also known for its outstanding natural beauty. To be more precise, this country has plentiful mountains and hills. Now let’s take a look at some of Turkey’s most prominent mountains together with their unique features.

  • Mount Ararat – 5137 meters
  • Mount Suphan – 4058 meters
  • Mount Kackar Dagi – 3937 meters

The country also has many large and small lakes, which boost the beauty of its natural ecosystems. Although most of the country’s lakes are freshwater lakes, there are also several salt lakes. In fact, two of the largest lakes in the country are saltwater lakes. Here are the top 3:

  • Lake Van (one of the most saline bodies of water in the world) – 3755 square km
  • Lake Tuz (one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world) – 1500 square km
  • Lake Beyşehir – 656 square km

Tourism in Turkey focuses primarily on a number of historical sites and seaside resorts along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Turkey has also become a popular destination for culture, spa and health. In 2019, Turkey drew about 51 million international visitors, and was ranked as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world. Let’s see what attractions these tourists prefer:

  • Aya Sofya (used to be a church, then became a mosque after the Ottomans conquered the city and now has been converted into a museum since 1935)
  • Goreme Fairy Chimneys (also known as the Cappadocia region or every photographer’s dream)
  • Ephesus (one of the most complete, still-standing Roman cities in the Mediterranean region)

Now that have a better idea of how vast Turkey’s history is, let’s see what turned this country into a famous one. Here are the most representative things when thinking about ‘What is Turkey famous for?’:

  • Turkish tea – Many people equate Turkish coffee as a national drink in the region, but Turks consume much more tea. Look around the streets of every town or village, and male-dominated tea shops dominate the scenes, while families and women even go to the tea gardens.
  • Evil eye souvenir – The evil eye, distinguished by white and yellow circles surrounded by blue, is the most commonly available souvenir. Said to ward off evil eyes jealous of your good fortune, it is a superstitious tale but with a cultural twist, hence its time-honored use.
  • Carpets and rugs – In recent years, Turks have replaced their passion for carpets and rugs with cheaper factory models, although they are still a popular souvenir. The value lies in the fact that they are handmade, and each motif reflects an individual story.

Moving on from culinary delights to TV series that turn us into couch potatoes, the demand in Turkey has sewn lock stock and barrel. Over the last decade, Turkey has created several soap operas starring popular Turkish actors and country-famous destinations. The top-rated ones, according to Forbes, are:

  • Çukur – 58.2 million Turkish liras in earnings
  • İstanbullu Gelin – 51.4 million Turkish liras
  • Diriliş: Ertuğrul – 47.2 million Turkish liras

Now that we have clarified the general aspects, let’s see how good the country is doing in terms of economy. Turkey is the 27th biggest export market in the world and, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI), the 52nd most dynamic economy. In 2017, Turkey exported $166B and imported $214B, which resulted in a negative trade surplus of $48.6B. In 2017, Turkey’s GDP was $851B and its GDP per capita was $26.5k.

The top exports of Turkey are:

  • Cars ($13.2B)
  • Gold ($6.96B)
  • Delivery trucks ($5.04B)

And its top imports are:

  • Gold ($17.1B)
  • Refined petroleum ($9.8B)
  • Cars ($8.78B)

And now, to conclude in our characteristic style for this type of article, we will talk about the most adored and well-known culinary dishes that Turkey has to offer.

P.S:If you’re a beginner to Turkish cuisine, you’ve got a mouth-watering journey ahead of you. The most popular dishes (unfortunately, we can only include 3) are:

  • Baklava – Dating back to the Ottoman Empire, Baklava is one of the most popular Turkish dishes and a must for someone with a sweet tooth. This baked pastry is filled with nuts and topped with syrup and ground pistachio for an amazing Mediterranean dessert.
  • Şiş kebap – Turkey’s misunderstood reputation sometimes sees the donor kebab as the nation’s favorite meat dish, but other Turks swear by Iskender kebab. It originates from the north-western part of Turkey and takes its name from its author, who invented it in the 19th century.
  • Döner – The other popular kebab, the döner, provides the same versatility in the option of meat, which is flavored with herbs and spices and cooked on a vertical, revolving spit.

We do not take any responsibility if you have started drooling when reading these last lines, but we hope that you will want to try these delicacies too, if you haven’t already!

If you enjoyed this article or if you think there is anything else we left out, let us know in the comments below! If you love to express your opinions, we can give more power to your voice. The more we are, the more powerful! Join one of our panels!





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