Turkey: Between West and East
Turkey, which emerged from the turmoil of the 1st World War in 1923 as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, is a country rich in history and tradition. 97% of its strategic position is in Asia Minor between the eastern Mediterranean in the south, the Aegean in the west and the Black Sea in the north at one of the most important points of intersection between west and east. The Asian land border divides Turkey with Syria and Iraq in the south, Iran in the east and Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia in the northeast. 3% of Turkey is in Europe, i.e. in the eastern part of historical Thrace with land borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Between the European and Asian parts of Turkey lie the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus, which connects the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea and the rest of the Mediterranean. Thousands of years before the 11th century. Turkish people immigrating from Asia, who finally banished the Byzantine Empire to the history books, this region was a very interesting piece of earth for Hittites, Greeks, Lydians, Persians, Romans and, in the Middle Ages, also for Arabs and Latins, who left their traces here.
The Turkish west coast is not only scenic with its countless bays and the blue water typical of the Aegean Sea, but also truly peppered with ancient Greek and Roman sites, such as Miletus (Militos), Efes (Ephesos) and today’s million-dollar city of Izmir (Smyrna), whose visit should be included in a sailing vacation. Not to forget, of course, Troy at the entrance to the Dardanelles, made famous primarily by Homer and his story of the Trojan War, with a total of 10 settlement layers from the 5th millennium BC to the 4th century. A.D. A visit to Istanbul is of course also recommended, the former Constantinople, the venerable capital of the Eastern Roman and Byzantine Empire and largest European city of the Middle Ages, where approx. 660 BC. Greek colonists from Megara, Argos and Corinth under the leadership of the military leader Byzas founded the place Byzantion.
In Istanbul there are a number of historical sights from bygone times, such as the approx. 3500 year old obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmose III., Aghia Sophia, the largest church of Eastern Christianity from the 4th century, which served as a mosque for centuries and is now a museum. The Constantine Column in honor of the Roman emperor at the time, whose foundation is said to contain parts of the cross of Jesus, the ax of Noah and the staff of Moses, as well as the Valens aqueduct, which supplied the city with water from the Belgrade forest, also date from the same century. From the 5th century. come from the Theodosian walls, which are 7 kilometers long and still characterize the cityscape today. From the 10th century is the brick column that Emperor Constantine VII had built. After the conquest by the Ottomans in 1453, the Topkapi Palace was built, which served as the residence of the Ottoman sultans. From the 17th century. This is where the imposing Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, comes from. Of course, the bay of the Golden Horn, which cuts deep inland and is named after the mythical mother of the founder of Byzantion, is also worth seeing. Istanbul also has a modern, pulsating nightlife to offer for your evening out.
The Aegean coast: from bay to bay
The yacht charter area off the coast of Asia Minor has become an enchanting destination for sailing vacationers in recent years. Countless idyllic anchorage bays with largely untouched landscapes on the coast, with picturesque fishing villages await the visitor, and the many ancient cities from Greek and Roman times are interesting destinations for shore leave. In particular between Çesme and Antalya there are more bays than a year counts days.
In the hot midsummer, the offshore Greek islands ensure that the Meltemi, which then gives a little freshness, blows more moderately off the coast of Asia Minor than further west around the Greek islands in the central Aegean. In spring and autumn, the temperatures are a bit more pleasant and nature is colorfully preparing for summer or recuperating from it in autumnal splendor.
From June to September, shore excursions to the ancient sites in Asia Minor and the picturesque villages with their cozy taverns and local specialties are recommended, but also the enjoyment of the warm waters of the Aegean Sea and the beautiful beaches, where local and foreign visitors come loll in the Mediterranean sun.
Turkish west coast: endless bays and islands
The yacht charter area off the Turkish west coast has been opened up bit by bit for about three decades. Today, when going ashore you can find countless, picturesque bays, pretty fishing villages and the ancient sites from Greek and Roman times and also a number of modern marinas that offer their services at a high level and contribute to the growth of sailing tourism in Turkey.
The fresh summer wind Meltemi ensures slightly lower temperatures in the northern Aegean than in the areas of the southern Aegean. Between Kuşadasi and the Hellespont, today called the Dardanelles, the Turkish west coast is not yet as accessible for sailing trips as the more southern parts. The western Turkish landscape is dominated by wooded hills, fertile valleys, through which rivers such as the Little Meander, the Great Meander, the Hermos and the Kaikos, already known from antiquity, flow, as well as the promontories protruding far into the Aegean Sea with their many bays and charming Beaches.
The visitor should definitely plan enough time for his sailing holiday in Turkey to go ashore to look at the ancient archaeological sites of Ephesus, Priene, Miletus (Miletos), Herakleia or Didyma, the most important oracle of ancient Ionia.