Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye), officially the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (help·info)), is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in southwestern Asia and the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest, Greece to the west, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Iran and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan to the east, and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. In addition, it borders the Black Sea to the north, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara that is used by geographers to mark the border between Europe and Asia, thus making the country transcontinental.
The region comprising modern Turkey has seen the birth of major civilisations including the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Owing to its strategic location at the intersect of two continents, Turkey's culture is a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition, often described as a bridge between the two civilisations. With a powerful regional presence from the Adriatic to China in the Eurasian landbelt between Russia and India, Turkey has come to acquire increasing strategic significance.
Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic whose political system was established in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Since then, Turkey has increasingly integrated with the West while continuing to foster relations with the Eastern world. It is a founding member of the United Nations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, a member state of the Council of Europe since 1949, and of NATO since 1952. Since 2005, Turkey is in accession negotiations with the European Union, having been an associate member since 1963. Turkey is also a member of the G20 which brings together the 20 largest economies of the world.
Tourism in Turkey
Tourism in Turkey is focused largely on a variety of archaeological and historical sites, and on seaside resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. In the recent years, Turkey is also becoming a popular destination for the SPA and health care tourism.
Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, has a number of major attractions derived from its huge historical status as capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. These include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the "Blue Mosque"), the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapı Palace, the Basilica Cistern, the Dolmabahce Palace, the Galata Tower, the Grand Bazaar, and the Pera Palas. Istanbul has also recently became one of the biggest shopping centers of European region by hosting malls and shopping centers like Metrocity, Akmerkez and Cevahir Mall(which is the biggest mall in Europe and second largest shopping center in the world).