Today, Turkish is the world's seventh most widely language with more than 200 million speakers. A few local words, even if incorrectly spoke, is very endearing to Turkish people. This effort is richly rewarded by Turkey's famous hospitality, and visitors may even be invited for a meal in a family home. Since medieval times, there have been public baths in Turkey. Visitors will be expected to de-robe, wrap themselves in a towel and wear wooden slippers. Folk dancing has a long and rich tradition across the country. Performances are enjoyed at social events from national and religious festivals to weddings, and dances vary from region to region. Visitors will also see the resurgence of the water pipe, known as the 'Nargile' or 'Hookah', in modern culture. They are smoked in bars and clubs, and establishments offer a wide variety of fruit and other types of tobacco.
Food and Drink
Turkish food is acknowledged as one of the world's main cuisines, and every region has its own unique dishes and specialities. Food is made with simplicity, but this does not reduce its variety. Its land and soil are extremely fertile and delicious vegetables and fruit spring from it. In the east, family meals and restaurants menus are full of spicy meat dishes. In stark contrast, heading west, succulent seafood, vegetables and olive oil come to the fore. Kebabs are a national speciality, and Turkish cuisine has spread across many other parts of Europe. Lamb is Turkey's most widely-eaten meat. The shish kebab is an iconic Turkish dish, where pieces of lamb are run onto a skewer and cooked over charcoal. One of Turkey's best knows sweets, is Baklava. Many of its other deserts use milk as one of the main ingredients. To accompany this, many Turkish people drink coffee, which is thick and dark, or one of its many types of tea. Alcohol drinkers can take on the aniseed infused Raki, which is usually taken straight, or with soda water.
The country now called Turkey has an ancient history, the first Turkish people did not settle there until relatively late in its history. Its people began its movement in the eleventh century and one hundred years later the country was known as Turchia. Several small Turkish states formed under Mongol rule, after their successful invasion. One, Ottoman Beylik, took control of Western Anatolia, Rumelia and finally Istanbul. This became the Turkish Empire, which then sprawled across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Europe. The empire reached its peak in the sixteenth century, although its technological development did not mature until the 19th century. Following its defeat in World War I, many territories were overtaken by Allied troops. Years later, the Ankaran Government, lead by Mustafa Kemal, masterminded a successful war of independence. After the freeing of Anatolia, The Republic of Turkey was established in 1923 and Ankara was declared its capital.