By Rhea Vitto Tabora
From ancient monuments and beautiful landscapes to appetizing cuisine and rich traditional and contemporary arts, Turkey is packed to the brim with attractions for different kinds of travelers.
No wonder Turkey ranked sixth most visited destination by international visitor arrivals in 2018, with 46 million global tourist arrivals, according to World Tourism rankings compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization—an evidence that its tourism is bouncing back from the rubbles of political turmoil in 2014.
“This year, Turkey is expecting around 50 million international travelers. Arrival has increased a lot from previous years,” shares Alper Ugur Peker, business development manager of Deluks Turizm, a travel agency specializing in personalized programs for a more unique experience for travelers.
Where to go
Top destinations in Turkey, according to Peker, include Ephesus (Roman Empire ruins with colossal monuments), Basilica Cistern (the largest and most celebrated among many underground cisterns in Istanbul, known locally as Yerebatan Sarayi or Sunken Palace and Yerebatan Sarnici or Sunken Cistern), House of Virgin Mary, and Aya Sofya Museum (also called Hagia Sophia, a famed monument in Istanbul).
Other popular attractions are Pamukkale, which is also known as Cotton Castle travertine terraces, one of Turkey’s most famous natural wonders; Cappadocia, one of the world’s popular destinations for unique hot air balloon ride; and Antalya’s picturesque beaches and astonishing museum.
The country’s rich and colorful traditional arts are a worthy addition to the itinerary.
Deluks Turizm organizes workshops for their guests to enjoy learning Turkish arts such as producing tiles, glassware, mosaic, and lace. Tourists can also learn the art of miniature drawings, wood painting, wood carving, traditional Ottoman painting made with gold, wood printing, and paper cutting. Artworks made can be taken home.
“At Deluks Turizm, we design flexible programs to meet individual travel interests over a broad range of cultural, environmental, and social areas,” says Peker.
When to go
Turkey enjoys four seasons. “Sometimes,” Peker says, “you can experience four seasons in one day.”
“Around March or April, there are some places where it is raining and snowing, too. For example, around April in Antalya, it is raining and snowy on top of the mountain with -3 degrees Celsius. But on the same day, you can go for a swim down the mountain because the weather is good at 27 degrees.”
The best time to visit Turkey, according to Peker, depends on the traveler’s personal preference. “If you love snow, the best time to visit is during the months of November, January, and February. If you prefer nice weather, the best months are March, April, May, September, October, and November when it’s not so hot. July and August are very hot months.”
Partnership with NITAS
Deluks Turizm is collaborating with Network of Independent Travel Agencies to promote Turkey as a destination for Filipinos.
“We have a representative office here and we are so happy to be in the Philippines. Filipino people are very warm and friendly. The food, weather, and the islands are very nice,” enthuses Peker.
Meanwhile, for NITAS’ part, its president, Angel Ramos Bognot says, “Partnering with Deluks Turizm is a win-win situation. While Filipinos go to Turkey, I also encourage Deluks Turizm to also promote the Philippines to Turkish nationals.”
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