TURKEY

 

Turkey is a uniquely situated country having one foot in Europe but at the same time being the passage way into Central Asia and the Middle East. Turkey has been the bridge between the all three areas therefore giving it a crucial geostrategic standing and gaining attention from big powers. “For the last half century, Turkey’s geopolitical outlook has been shaped by its military alliance with the West” (Wilkins 3). Turkey was once the great Ottoman Empire controlling Southeast Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It could be seen as the Muslim successor to the Byzantine and Roman Empires from the previous era. Constantinople, which is now Istanbul, was the ruling capital of the empire which conquered many areas in the region and amassed wealth and status. With the breakup of the Ottoman Empire and its final dissolution in 1922 the modern state of Turkey was born. This modern state went along with an aggressive modernization, specifically westernization, movement that was spearheaded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or Father of the Turks. However, previous to Ataturk’s westernization movement whose goal was to become closer to Europe and in fact part of that continent, Turkey had always been involved in the European political scene. The Ottoman Empire was recognized as a member of the concert of Europe at the end of the Crimean War in 1856. When the Organization of European Cooperation, the Council of Europe, and NATO were established in the years following the World War II Turkey was treated without question part of Europe (Mango 88). The question that we must ask, however, at the present in 2007 is will Turkey ever become part of the European Union? Is Turkey, a young and Islamic majority country, politically and economically viable to become “European”? Is the Turkish economy and political atmosphere really more volatile than those of other Eastern European countries that have been accepted into the EU such as Romania and Bulgaria, or is this distance that the EU is setting with Turkey due to xenophobia within a “Christian Club”?


“Since its creation in 1923, Turkey has undergone a steady process of economic, political and social transformation. The transition from a largely undeveloped, multiethnic empire to a modern-nation state was an enormous task” (Wilkens 53). Turkey’s vision under Ataturk had always been about secularization in order to enter into Europe and out of the Middle Eastern sphere. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a hugely influential figure in reshaping the Muslim-Turkish mindset and setting its path towards fierce prescriptions towards modernization. He wanted economic development, seeing it as the only way in which to get respect and recognition and eventually into the Western world. Ataturk introduced western inspired modes of government such as a new constitution adapted with European laws and jurisprudence. He implemented import substitution and in the founding of state enterprises and state banks. There was the transfer of Islamic courts and Islamic canon law to secular law and the adoption of the Swiss Civil Court. Ataturk wanted the people and culture to modernize so much that he changed the Turkish dressing to encourage western attire such as suits instead of the robes and fez. Women stopped wearing the veil and were also granted the same rights as men, including the right to vote. He also stopped the outlawing of producing alcohol. Literacy increased under Ataturk since he abolished the Arabic script for the Latin equivalents, which made it much easier for people to learn to read and write. Modern Turkey still holds Ataturk in extremely high regard, through his vision and prowess there were many institutional reforms and moves towards a democratic country all with the goal in mind of becoming European.

 


TURKEY (ISTANBUL)
 5Days 4Nights

ITINERARY
DAY 01 - Arrival Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey. Arrive in Istanbul Airport; meet by our representative and private transfer to the hotel for overnight stay in Istanbul.

DAY 02 - Full Day Istanbul Tour
09.00 a.m. After breakfast pick up from hotel and our journey begins in Istanbul, the only city in the world situated on two continents. Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - its three names span more than 2600 years, nearly 1600 of them as the capital of two of the greatest empires the world has known, Byzantine and Ottoman. We visit the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque and Hippodrome, where chariot races and the Byzantine riots took place. Visit the Grand Bazaar for shopping. Overnight in Istanbul.

DAY 03 - Istanbul, Gallipoli &  Canakkale
Depart from hotel in Sultana met area at 06:30 – 07:00.. Arrive at Eceabat at 12:00 – 12:30. Lunch at Eceabat Maydos Restaurant & Bar. Fully Guided Gallipoli Tour. Visiting; Kabatepe Museum, Brighton Beach, Beach Cemetery, ANZAC Cove, Ariburnu Cemetery,  ANZAC Commemoration Site, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston's Jolly (Turkish & Allied trenches & tunnels), The Nek, Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial. 
Arrive in Canakkale and Check in Hostel / Hotel at 18:30. 4 Corners Documentary, ‘Fatal Shore’ at 19:30. ‘Gallipoli’ movie starring, Mel Gibson at 21:30. Overnight at Canakkale.

DAY 04 - Canakkale – Istanbul
Fully Guided Troy Tour. Visit the famous archaeological and mythological site of Troy, home of the "Trojan Horse" and "Helen of Troy". Return to Anzac House at 11:45. Afternoon at leisure in Canakkale. (Archaeological & Naval museums, recommended) Or watch the documentary and movie if missed previous day. Departure for Istanbul at 17:45. Drop off hotel door in Sultanahmet area. Overnight stay in Istanbul.

DAY 05 – Departure  
Home After breakfast check out from the hotel and private transfer to Istanbul airport for your flight back home. End of our services.