|Currency:||Turkish lira ()|
Turkey: a land steeped in glorious history, spectacular scenery, vibrant cities and incredibly friendly people. A land where you can relax smoking a shisha in the morning, before taking magnificent dive through the pristine waters of the Med in the afternoon. A land where anything is possible, if you are willing to look for it…
Istanbul is the capital and the main draw for travellers heading on a gap year in Turkey, and you could spend a whole year here without even seeing a tiny percentage of the city. You’ll find amazing buildings, such as the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, great experiences like the Turkish Baths, and markets that overwhelm the senses, with the best being the Grand Bazaar. The Galata Tower is also a great place to visit, allowing you to see the whole city from a great height.
With a total area though of nearly 800,000 km2, there’s clearly more to Turkey than just Istanbul though. For starters, the culture changes dramatically throughout the country, with the metropolitan feel of Istanbul being replaced by more traditional culture when you reach the remoter parts of the country. Then there’s the gorgeous coastal regions – the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas all border this country – with their bountiful opportunities for diving, relaxing and sampling proper Turkish food. More adventurous explorers should also head to the east of the country, near the borders with Armenia and Georgia.
Working in Turkey
Turkey is a country without a huge number of opportunities for those looking to work on their gap year, although there are some placements available for those looking to teach English or work on farms, in exchange for a room and food. There are also volunteering projects to take part in on a gap year in Turkey, such as working with underprivileged children or on environmental projects.
Turkey is the join that connects the Middle East, Europe and Asia – meaning that you can choose from a massive number of different places when you decide to leave. Eastern Europe beckons to the west, and is becoming more and more popular with backpackers looking to visit Europe on a budget. The Middle East, and all the history it contains, can be easily accessed to the south, while it is also easy to get a flight eastwards, perhaps over to India or China.