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Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcije d͡ʒumˈhuɾijeti] (About this sound listen)), is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe.Turkey is bordered by eight countries with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides with the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide Thrace and Anatolia and separate Europe and Asia.Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the country’s largest city and main cultural and commercial centre, classified as a leading global city.

Approximately 70–80% of the country’s citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks.Kurds are the largest minority at about 20% of the population; other ethnic minorities include Circassians, Albanians, Arabs, Bosniaks, and Laz people. The official language is Turkish, which is the most widely spoken Turkic language in the world.Minority languages spoken today in Turkey include Kurmanji, Bosnian, Arabic, Zaza, Kabardian, and several others.

The area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians, and Armenians.After Alexander the Great conquered these lands, the area was Hellenized, a process which continued under the Roman Empire and its transition into the Byzantine Empire.The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, and their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities.

Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, and a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been effectively stopped by the EU in 2017 due to “Turkey’s path toward autocratic rule”. Turkey’s economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history. Turkey is a secular, unitary, parliamentary republic; slated to transition to a presidential system in 2019, following a 2017 referendum. However, Turkey’s current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, reversed and undermined Kemalist policies, and has reversed earlier reforms such as freedom of the press.

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m², attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily

Pamukkale, meaning “cotton castle” in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli in southwestern Turkey. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey’s Inner Aegean region

Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey

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workaway.info is an international hospitality service that allows members to contact one another to organise homestays and cultural exchange. Volunteers or “Workawayers”, are expected to contribute a pre-agreed amount of time per day in exchange for lodging and food, which is provided by their host. Spread over 170 countries !

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Airbnb is an international company which operates an online marketplace and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism such as walking tours, and to make reservations at restaurants. The company does not own any real estate or conduct tours.

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Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, among other statistics.Numbeo is the world’s largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.

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TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, enables travelers to unleash the full potential of every trip. With over 600 million reviews and opinions covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide – covering approximately 7.5 million accommodations, airlines, attractions, and restaurants –