By Annam Hassan Burki- Publicist
- Why did you select Turkey for your holiday destination?
I have always dreamt of going to Turkey since the first year of my university. The unique culture, exquisite cuisines, spectacular architecture and their way of living has always inspired me. So when I finally decided for vacations, nothing came to my mind other than, TURKEY. I went with my friends Sonal and Mahnoor.
- First impressions of your destination?
No words could ever describe the warmth of Turkey. It is the liveliest place on earth. People welcome you with open arms regardless of where you come from.
- Which are the must-see places in Turkey?
Istanbul is the historical place which encompasses Ottoman buildings such as Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Rumeli Palace, Aya Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Galata Tower, Bosphorus Ride, Istaklal Street, Ortakoy, Kumkapi Food street, Grand Bazar and Arasta Bazar are treat for the eyes.
Cappadocia is standing tall with rock formation mountains. Hot air balloon ride, Underground city tour, Pigeon valley, Ilhara Valley and Fairy Chimneys are a must-see places.
For the love of Rumi the poet, Melvana Museum is best place to visit in Konya. Pamukkale is famous for its thermal pools, Cleopatra’s pool and Roman Amphitheater.
- What is the specialty of Turkey? It’s differentiating feature?
Turkey is a cultural hub. It welcomes people from all countries, religions, races and background. You will never find yourself a stranger there.
- Which tasty street foods and cuisines did you try?
I have had the chance to try both street food and fancy restaurants. After I finished my Bosphorus tour I got a chance to eat hot & spicy fish burger. The very-famous Turkish ice cream is available on every second street. You can find smoked corn stall at every nooks and cranny of Istanbul. I had chicken roll sandwich, chicken grill platter, pottery kebabs and Turkish tea from the local restaurants.
- What did you personally enjoy most about Turkey?
To be honest, each and everything. There was never a bore moment there.
- Any funny incident that took place on your trip?
Oh there were quite a few. I met the very famous actors Aiman and Menal Khan there. I got the chance to meet them in Instanbul and Cappadocia. Surprisingly, all their tour was aligned with mine. Another funny thing was that the local people thought, me and my friends were Indians and called us Kareena Kapoor.
- Turkey is famous for its mosques. Did you visit any of them?
Yes, I got to see Sultan Ahmet mosque in Istanbul and Allahdin Mosque & Selimiye mosque in Konya.
- Turkey is also renowned for its historical landmarks like the structure of Troy. Detail us on your experience.
Turkey is being ruled by Ottomons for over 600 years. The city has experienced vast changes over the course of time. The historical landmarks such as Topkapi Palace, Dolmobahce Palace, Basilica Cistern, Aya Sophia, Sultan Ahmet Mosque etc are still preserved in their original shape.
- Is there anything one should be prepared for when visiting Turkey? (excluding common factors like language barrier)
Turkey has a very tricky weather so always keep a jacket and umbrella with you.
Keep a Turkish language dictionary because people in Cappadocia and Pamukalle understand very minimal English.
- Did you bring any souvenirs with you?
Yes a lot! To name a few, I brought diaries, mugs, post cards, Rumi statues, and other decoration stuff.
- What is the one thing that you recommend others to try/experience in Turkey? Why did you select Turkey for your holiday destination?
I would recommend people not to miss Pamukkale. It has the most amazing thermal pools and natural beauty.