Surprisingly Great

“Turks were a great nation even before they adopted Islam. This religion did not help the Arabs, Iranians, Egyptians and others to unite with Turks to form a nation. Conversely, it weakened the Turks’ national relations; it numbed Turkish national feelings and enthusiasm. This was natural, because Mohammedanism was based on Arab nationalism above all nationalities.”
— Atatürk

I never knew Turkey was such a wonderful place before coming to visit. My impression of it was a hodgepodge of things I had seen on hardline left-wing news outlets like CNN and BBC. Turkey is nothing like how the popular media outlets portray it.

Turkey is a highly developed and civilized country that is once again finding its place in the world after the Ottoman empire came to a timely, though abrupt, end. The people are very sophisticated and cultured and there is plenty to suit everyone’s taste.

It is also a very liberal place. I remember drinking rakı sitting next to a man who was enjoying the same while thumbing away on his prayer beads. When things are good in a country, everyone is naturally more open and friendly and strangers quickly become friends.