TURKEY

Straddling two continents, Europe and Asia, and bordering the volatile Middle East, Turkey has an unrivalled history stretching back thousands of years. From the ancient Hittites to the Ottomans, dozens of civilizations have made Turkey their home, leaving behind them a dazzling historical and archaeological heritage. There are 40 national parks, 189 nature parks, and 109 nature monuments in Turkey. Ankara, the capital, is renowned for the Angora cat, Angora rabbit and Angora goat. The coastal areas of Turkey have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Turkish cuisine is regarded as one of the most prominent in the world, its popularity is largely owed to the cultural influences of the Ottoman Empire and partly because of its major tourism industry. It is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines

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