I was surprised at how much I enjoyed traveling to Turkey. Istanbul is a very beautiful and unique city with an incredible history that dates back thousands of years. The Turks did a good job preserving many of the ancient artifacts from Roman and Byzantine times. Even though the city is quite large, it has the feel of a European city in its cleanliness and its hospitality. I first traveled to Turkey in 2002. I returned in 2009 visiting the town of Kusadasi and Ancient Ephesus and also traveled back to Istanbul.

Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. 

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul 2002

Inside The Blue Mosque

Inside The Hagia Sofia in Istanbul

Topkapi Castle

Ancient Ephesus at
Kusadasi 2009

Istanbul 2009