Turkey is the country with hundreds of ancient cities and classical ruins. Many Turkish cities are dotted with spectacular mosques and castles. The Turkish people have an unrivalled reputation for hospitality. Many Turkish customs and practices are derived from Islamic practices. Etiquette demands that one must wear modest clothing and remove shoes when visiting mosques. Ottoman arts mainly include paper marbling and shadow-puppet plays. Carpet weaving is a Turkish passion. The major event of the country is Seker Bayrami — a three day festival at the end of Ramazan. Kurban Bayrami commemorates in March-April, Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Ismael on Mt Moriah. In this festival, every Turkish household who can afford, buys a sheep, takes it home and slits its throat right after the early morning prayers on the actual day of the bayram. Other festivals include Camel Wrestling, National Sovereignty Day, Kafkasör Festival, International Istanbul Festival of the Arts, Folklore and Music Festival and

Watermelon Festival. The whole country stops just for a moment at 9.05 am on November 10, the time of Atatürk’s death in 1938. Hisar — the Byzantine citadel atop the hill is one of the major attractions of the country. Atatürk’s Mausoleum — a monumental building that echoes the architecture of several great Anatolian empires, Ephesus — the grandest and best preserved city of Turkey renowned for its wealth and beauty. Ionia’s Temple of Diana — the temple counted among the Seven Wonders of the World. Istanbul — one of the truly great romantic cities is Turkey’s cultural heart and good time capital. Bodrum — the South Aegean’s prettiest resort with a yacht harbour, palm lined streets and white sugar cube houses. At night Bodrum’s famous discos throb, boom and blare keeps much of the town awake until dawn. The cuisine of Turkey includes Shish kebab — skewer-grilled lamb, Turkish pizza, eggplant dish. Desserts are sweet usually honey-soaked and tend to incorporate fruit, nuts and pastry in tempting combinations. National drink is çay (tea). Beer is served almost everywhere.