Turkey's Must See Attractions
Gallipoli is a peninsula locality in north-eastern Turkey, close to Istanbul. The Gallipoli Peninsula is the site of extensive First World War battlefields and memorials on the north bank of the Dardanelles. A commemorative site for the Allied (British Empire, France) and Turkish forces who fought, died and were wounded there, the area around Anzac Cove is particularly significant for Australians and New Zealanders, whose armies received their baptism in fire on the cliffs there, and - although not ultimately victorious - carved a fine military reputation under extreme adversity. The 1915 landings and battles are commemorated by Australians and New Zealanders on Anzac Day, 25 April, every year. At this time especially, Gallipoli becomes a place of pilgrimage for many Aussies and Kiwis who want to honour the memory of their ancestors.
Pergamon is one of the spectacular sites in the Aegean region. It is on the high edge of the hill overlooking the abundant plains. Pergamon had the second largest library in the world after Alexandria. The site is also known as the place where parchment was invented.
Sirince is a small charming village in the hills east of Selcuk. Before the switch in 1924 the village were mostly inhabited by Ottoman Greeks. One can easily spend several hours here, strolling around the undersized narrow streets, visit the ruined Church of St John the Baptist, have something to eat and go shopping for lace or local wine. In Sirince there are many small wine shops selling different sorts of fruit wine, which are rather cheap and very tasty.
This unique church burned down and was rebuild and damaged more than a few times by earthquakes. Built over the remains of two older churches by Justinian the Great, the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) was the largest place of worship until St. Peter's Rome Cathedral was completed. The Hagia Sofia reigned as largest place of worship for a thousand years. When the Turkish conquered Constantinople in 1453, they turned it into a mosque. The Moslems added four minarets at the corners of the building. The Hagia Sophia is now a museum open to the public, called St. Sophia Museum and has been since 1935.
The Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque situated in Istanbul, is Turkey's most visited tourist attraction. The reason for its name is because of its interior tiles. It has six minarets and a great cascade of domes, the Blue Mosque is a sibling to the Hagia Sophia mosque just a few blocks north. Tourists are welcome to visit and entrance is free, but donations are gratefully received. Note that the Blue Mosque is a working mosque, so it is closed to non-worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers and for longer times on Fridays (the Muslim holy day).