Strategically located on the Bosphorus peninsula between the Balkans and
Anatolia, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Istanbul has been associated
with major political, religious and artistic events for more than 2,000
years. Its masterpieces include the ancient Hippodrome of Constantine,
the 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque.
Ankara (AH1/AH87) Ankara
lies in the center of Anatolia. The town, once an important trading center
on the caravan route to the east, had declined in importance by the 19th
century. It became an important center again when Kemal Atatürk chose
it as the base from which to direct the War of Liberation. It was declared
the capital on 13 October 1923.
Izmir (AH87) Izmir is Turkey's
second largest seaport. Settled during the Bronze Age, it changed hands
many times from the 7th to 15th century, when the Ottoman Turks conquered
it. A busy commercial and industrial centre as well as gateway to the
Aegean Region, it is dotted with idyllic fishing harbours, holiday villages
and the ruins of ancient civilizations.
Icel (AH84) Icel lies on
the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. A rapidly developing city and
the largest free-zone area on the Turkish Mediterranean. It occupies the
site of an extremely ancient city. At the Yumuktepe tumulus, three kilometres
west of the town, excavations have unearthed several successive settlements.