Conference Tourism in Turkey

conference tourism turkey
CONFERENCE TOURISM

 

A treasure-house of history and culture, Turkey is a gateway into a world of exciting possibilities. Located at the juncture of Europe and Asia, Turkey is a superb venue for motivational meetings and conventions.

 

Turkey offers a wealth of first-class hotel accommodation and conference facilities, easy access to major cities worldwide, beautiful settings and unequaled sightsee­ing attractions. All this, plus wonderful weather, at a much lower cost than alterna­tive destinations.

 

From European centers, Turkey is an ideal destination being both exotic and conve­niently close. Flying time into Istanbul is only two or three hours by Turkish Airlines and other national carriers. Turkish Airlines (THY) provides an important network of domestic flights from the international air­ports of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Trabzon, Dalaman and Antalya to all of the major Turkish cities. Daily connections link Istanbul to all major cities in the United States, the Middle East, and Asia. Sightseeing and entertainment programs can be fully packaged. Istanbul is among the world’s greatest tourism destinations, with an unrivaled setting and a wealth of architec­tural treasures. Izmir, a city of palm trees and ancient ruins, is the gateway to the Aegean region. The natural wonder of Pamukkale, as well as charming seaside resorts such as Kuşadası, Marmaris, Bodrum and Fethiye are good choices for sales meetings and quiet getaways. Antalya, Alanya, Mersin and the Mediterranean coastal resorts beckon visitors year-round to enjoy the sun, the beautiful sandy beaches and its ancient sites. Turkey’s capital city, Ankara, boasts sophisticated hotels and restaurants, along with easy access to fabled Cappadocia, a wondrous landscape of rock-carved churches and underground cities. Bursa, the first Ottoman capital, offers a picturesque setting, as well as hotels with thermal baths, and excellent skiing on Uludağ (Mt. Olympos). Turkey today is well-equipped to handle meetings, incentives and conferences of all sorts and sizes in comfort and style. Traditional Turkish hospitality, a high stan­dard of local food and wine, and endless pos­sibilities for entertainment and sightseeing guarantee that any conference organized in Turkey will be a resounding success.

 

İSTANBUL

 

İstanbul is the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia, the other into Europe.

 

The former capital of three successive empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – the city is a fascinating mixture of past and present, old and new, modern and tradi­tional. The museums, churches, palaces, mosques and bazaars, and the sights of nat­ural beauty seem inexhaustible. As you recline on the shores of the Bosphorus at sunset contemplating the red evening light reflected in the windows and slender minarets on the opposite shore you under­stand, suddenly and profoundly, why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build on this remarkable site. In addition to its unique historical and cul­tural background and innumerable attrac­tions, modern hotels, exclusive restaurants, nightclubs, cabarets, bazaars and shops make Istanbul a superb site for meetings, conferences and conventions. Istanbul is fast becoming one of the most popular international congress and exhibi­tion destinations. The opening of the Lütfi Kırdar Istanbul International Conference Center (IICC) doubled the capacity of con­gress facilities in Istanbul. The IICC is ide­ally located in the modern district of Harbiye, at the center of the city’s business, cultural and commercial life, surrounded by some of Europe’s top quality hotels.

 

BURSA

 

Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, is a picturesque city located in the foothills of Mount Uludag (Mt. Olympos) amidst green countryside and forest. The city is filled with gardens and parks and overlooks a verdant plain. Bursa was, and still is, famous for its silk trade, textile manufacturing and thermal springs. Uludağ is Turkey’s most developed ski resort and a wonderful place to visit all year round. The city’s many good hotels are ready to host national and international meetings. The cultural heritage of the city includes monuments, imperial mosques, mausoleums, caravanserais, typical old houses, and a covered bazaar dating from Ottoman times.

 

İZMİR

 

Izmir, the “pearl of the Aegean,” is Turkey’s third largest city and second most important port.

 

A city of palm-lined promenades, broad avenues and green parks set in sweeping curves along a circular bay, İzmir also has an exceptionally mild climate and many fine hotels. The city is a busy commercial and industrial center as well as the gate­way to the Aegean Region. Turkey’s Aegean shores are among the loveliest landscapes in the country. The magnifi­cent coastline, lapped by the clear water of the Aegean Sea, abounds in vast and pris­tine beaches surrounded by olive groves, rocky crags and pine woods. Dotted with idyllic fishing harbors, popular holiday villages, and the remains of ancient civi­lizations, (attesting to the inheritance of more than 5,000 years of history, culture and mythology) this region offers an exceptionally attractive venue for meet­ings, incentives and conferences. Luxury and first-class hotels, and exclusive restaurants throughout the region provide excellent accommodation and facilities for sports, entertainment, shopping and meetings of all kinds.

 

ÇEŞME

 

Çeşme is one of Turkey’s most beautiful stretches of coast, surrounded by clear blue seas, with a landscape of cultivated fields.

 

Visitors can enjoy unspoiled bays, excellent holiday accommodation, restaurants, and sports and entertainment facilities. Thermal baths offer a healthy break from the rigors of modern life. Excellent shopping is available, with a good selection of carpets, leather goods and souvenirs. At night, a lively atmosphere pervades, especially in the restaurants, cafes, bars and discos along the promenade. Çeşme hosts many national and international meet­ings and conventions throughout the year.

 

KUŞADASI

 

Kuşadası, literally “Bird Island,” is a lovely port built around the shores of a glittering bay.

 

The terraced town overlooks the most beautiful inlet of the Aegean and seems to have been created purely for the delight of the holiday maker. A large marina offers full facilities for visiting yachts. Quality hotels and holiday villages provide a wide range of accommodations. Discos and fish restaurants overlook the harbor. The pic­turesque old town offers superb shopping. Proximity to Ephesus and other ancient sites make Kuşadası an unusually attractive venue for meetings and conferences.

 

PAMUKKALE

 

Pamukkale (“Cotton Castle”) is a natural wonder of mineral-rich waters cascading over travertines formed through the centuries and is set amid historic ruins.

This thermal center 20 km north of Denizli is known all over the world for its restora­tive and therapeutic benefits for such mal­adies as rheumatism, dermatological and gynecological disorders as well as nervous and digestive complaints. Built by the King of Pergamum, Eumenes II, in 190 BC, this ancient facility, then known as Hierapolis, has been continuously used and enjoyed. The waters come from the ground at 35 degrees Celsius and run over the travertines created by centuries of natural activity. The ruins include the octagonal church or martyrium of St. Philip, an extensive necropolis, and former baths.

 

As it was long ago, this is still an enjoyable venue for meetings as well as a center for health, shopping, and relaxation with numerous hotels. To the north, just 5 km away is the thermal center of Karahayit, whose waters are rich with iron.

 

 

BODRUM

 

The town is dominated by the Crusader castle of St. Peter, now the Museum of Underwater Archeology.

 

Bodrum, known in ancient times as Halicarnassus, was the birthplace of Heredotus and the site of the Tomb of King Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. With its typical Mediterranean architecture, lively narrow streets, attractive marina and friendly Bohemian atmosphere, Bodrum is an enchanting holiday destination with a wide variety of accommodation, lively nightlife and lovely scenery. Hotels and vacation villages in and around the town are equipped to handle meetings and con­ferences.

 

 

MARMARİS

 

The marina is one of the largest and best-equipped in Turkey.

 

Situated on a breathtakingly beautiful bay, Marmaris is surrounded by rugged pine- clad mountains. Tranquil in its setting, Marmaris is ideal for watersports and sail­ing. Nevertheless, the town offers a lively atmosphere during the summer season, with a good variety of bars, restaurants and shops. Marmaris offers excellent venues for meetings and conferences with a wide range of accommodation and facilities.

 

FETH İYE

 

The beautiful and unspoiled coastlines are ideal for water sports and nature lovers. The calm, crystal clear water of the Ölü Deniz lagoon is justly famous.

 

Set in a lovely bay, the popular resort of Fethiye is built around a charming town full of restored houses and local bazaars. A hill crowned by the ruins of a crusader fortress built by the Knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the town numerous Lycian rock tombs, reproduc­ing the facades of ancient buildings, are cut into the cliff face. First-class hotels in the nearby resorts, especially the ones in Sarigerme, offer excellent possibilities for meetings and conventions.

 

KEMER

 

Located on the slopes at Beydaglan Olympos National Park against a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery, Kemer is one of the loveliest resort towns of Turkey.

 

A fully equipped marina allows yachtsmen to enjoy the unspoiled bays and beaches south of the town. Shoppers delight in the wonderful range of souvenirs for sale. A beach promenade north of the marina is lined with lively cafes and restaurants. In the Yörük (Nomad) Theme Park, visitors can watch traditional craftsmen at work.

Along the successive bays on both sides of Kemer many charming and delightful resorts with first-class accommodation, and sports and entertainment facilities offer excellent relaxation resources for national and international meetings and conventions.

 

ANTALYA

 

Set in a scenery of sharp contrasts, Turkey’s principal holiday resort center of Antalya is an attractive city with shady palm- lined boulevards and a prize-winning marina.

 

In the picturesque old quarter of Kaleiçi, narrow, winding streets and old wooden houses abut the ancient city walls. Since its founding in the second century B.C., Antalya has been continuously inhabited. The Romans, Byzantines and Seljuks suc­cessively occupied the city before it came under Ottoman rule.

 

At Antalya, the pine-clad Toros (Taurus) Mountains sweep down to the sparkling clear sea forming an irregular coastline of rocky headlands and secluded coves. The region, bathed in sunshine 300 days of the year, is a paradise of sun-bathing, swimming and sports activities like wind­surfing, water skiing, sailing, mountain climbing and hunting. If you come to Antalya in March or April, in the morn­ings you can ski the slopes and in the afternoons swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean. Important historical sites await your discovery amid a landscape of pine forests, olive and citrus groves, and palm, avocado and banana plantations. The Turquoise Coast is the tourism capi­tal of Turkey. Its full range of accommo­dations, sunny climate, variety of excur­sions and activities, and its warm hospi­tality make it a sought-after venue for meetings and conferences. A Culture, Exhibition and Congress Center was opened in 1996 in the Konyaalti Quarter. The Congress hall itself is in a glass pyramid.

 

SİDE

 

Side, an ancient settlement dating back to 1,000 BC, was a small fishing village until the early 1980s.

 

Today, it is one of the most charming resorts on the southern coast of Turkey. It offers modern hotels on the sweeping sandy beach, lively cafes, discos and restaurants, in addition to colorful shops. The impressive ancient theater is the only one in Turkey which is not built into a hill­side.

 

Sorgun and Titreyengol to the east of Side, as well as Kumkoy and Colakli on its west, are inviting resort areas with modern hotels.

 

ALANYA

 

Alanya has been a favorite holiday center, especially as a winter resort, since the Seljuk reign.

 

The symbol of the town is its Red Tower (Kizil Kule), dating from Byzantine rule. Both as a holiday town and as a convention location the possibilities of Alanya are numerous. The shopping is fun and includes some items that are unique to Alanya. There are also a number of day-trips possible to the various caves found in the area.

 

MERSİN (İÇEL)

 

Surrounded by densely cultivated orchards and vegetable farms, Mersin lies midway along the eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

 

Its shady, palm-lined avenues, city parks and modem hotels create a pleasant ambience, and there is plenty to visit in the way of near­by historical sites and beaches. Mersin is developing rapidly and has the largest tax-free zone on the Turkish Mediterranean. Despite its very modern appearance, the city occupies the site of an extremely ancient city. At the Yumuktepe tumulus, 3 kilometers west of the town, exca­vations have unearthed several successive settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age. The modern hotels in and around Mersin are well equipped to host national and interna­tional meetings. Mersin is close to the impor­tant commercial cities of Adana and Tarsus and is well situated for excursions to the Taurus Mountains, the eastern Mediterranean coast and Antakya (ancient Antioch). The sunny climate and mild tem­peratures make it a pleasant venue for meet­ings all year-round.

 

ADANA

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Adana, the fourth largest city in Turkey, is in the heart of the fertile plain of Çukurova (ancient Cilicia) and is a growing industrial center.

 

Running through the city is the Seyhan River which offers many a shady tea garden and restaurant for relaxing evenings. There are also a number of Roman ruins in the city and even more in the surrounding countryside. Famous local culinary delights include spicy “Adana Kebab” and refresh­ing drinks like “Şalgam” and “Şıra.”

 

ANTAKYA (HATAY)

 

Antakya (Antioch) was not only a biblical site but also a capital of the Seljuks as well

Antioch on the Orontes is on a fruitful plain surrounded by mountains. The cul­tural and commercial heyday of the city was under the Romans. From the mosaics left by the Romans the richest collection in the world can now be seen in the local museum. The religious history includes the labors of Barnabas and Paul, and the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” here.

 

GAZİANTEP

 

The city lies on a large fertile plain covered with olive groves and wheat fields and is known as the pistachio capital of the world.

 

Industry in the area makes a large contri­bution to the national economy.

Traditional copper and woodwork are known and sought after. “Lahmacun” (a kind of thin-crusted pizza) and pistachio baklava from this area are famous.

 

DİYARBAKIR

 

Known in ancient times as Amida, the city spreads across a basalt plateau close to the banks of the Dicle (Tigris) River.

 

The black basalt city walls encircling the old town are 5.5 km in length with 16 keeps and five gates, an excellent example of medieval military architecture. The refurbished “Deliller Hani” by the Mardin gate is a hotel that recreates the atmosphere of caravanserais gone by.

 

ERZURUM

 

While the archeological museum reveals much of the city’s history, the local architecture is the best display.

 

Erzurum is the largest city in eastern Anatolia, sprawling on a high plateau at an altitude of 1950 m. Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman works attest to the lengthy history of the area and the Aziziye War Memorial in memory of the Turko-Russian war in 1919 brings the city into the 20th century. The local black stone used in the buildings is also found in the jewellery, most easily found in the old caravanserai of Rüstem Paşa. To the south is the winter sports area of Palandöken with the longest ski run in Turkey.

 

RİZE

 

This port town is located on the slopes of the Kackar Mountains surrounded by the fluffy green pillows of tea bushes.

 

From Ziraat Park there is a wonderful view of the town and its environs. The town is the center of the Turkish tea industry and naturally has an annual Tea Festival when you can purchase the best blends of Black Sea teas. The town is also a gateway for the entire Kackar Mountain Range, which is a national park.

 

TRABZON

 

The city was founded in the 7th century B.C., was the center of the Comnene Empire left over after the fall of Byzantine Constantinople, and was handed over to conquering Ottomans in 1461.

 

The jewel of the city is the 13th-century Byzantine St. Sophia Church with frescoes on each of its interior walls. Wooden houses fill the old quarter in the ancient fortifications and the ubiquitous house of Atatürk is now a museum.

 

SAMSUN

Samsun has been the largest port and industrial center on the Turkish Black Sea coast for centuries.

 

Products from all over the country are exported from there, and an annual Trade and Industrial Fair is held there. On the ancient history side, there is a tumulus at Dundartepe where artifacts from Amisos are on display.

 

BOLU

 

A tranquil retreat of heaven surrounded by rich natural and historical wonders.

 

Being one of the unique towns of our current times, with the colourful mountains, forests, cute rivers and lakes, cold springs, curative spas in Western Black Sea, Bolu started to take its place in history in the region called ‘Bithynia’ in north-eastern Anatolia. Throughout history Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans all reigned Bolu and its environs respectively.

 

Bolu, together with the Abant Region, is not only an ideal place giving the joy of a pleasurable stay but also provides the best setting for meetings and convention tourism. Throughout the summer times the area receives both domestic and international tourists in its accommodation centres which are of high quality and offer a parade of services for a satisfactory stay. The tourism establishments also provide to their guests facilities for seminars, symposiums, panels in a beautiful natural environment.

 

AFYONKARAHiSAR

 

The legendary contest between Apollo and Marsyas was near the town of Dinar.

 

An imposing and inaccessible fortress dating from Byzantine times overlooks the city while the Independence War Memorial and Archeology Museum chronicle its place in history. Monumental rock reliefs from the Phrygian Kingdom are north of the city.

 

KONYA

 

Known in Roman times as Iconium, the city was a Seljuk capital in the 12th and 13th centuries. It became the center for the Mevlana Order and their famous “Whirling Dervishes.”

 

TOKAT

 

Tokat city is a shopping center and depot for the whole province of Tokat.

 

Tokat is a typical central Anatolian city. The present archeology museum was the 13th century theological school (medrese) of Pervane Bey Darusifane. Tashan, Suluhan, and Yagcioglu are ancient depots. There are many mausoleums, inns, and bazaars with typical architecture on Sulu Street. Gazi Emir (Yazmacilar) Inn displays printed fab­rics over 300 years old. Mural painting and wood carving are arts the city is famous for.

 

ÜRGÜP – GÖREME

 

The town of Göreme is set right in the middle of a valley of rock cones and fairy chimneys.

 

Known in Roman times as Cappadocia, Göreme is one of those rare regions in the world with a spectacular surrealistic land­scape of capped pinnacles and fretted ravines in colors that range from warm reds and golds to cool greens and greys. The architects of this unique environment are God and man together. Dwellings and churches have been hewn into the rocks dating as far back as 4,000 B.C.

 

Ürgüp, a lively tourist center at the foot of a rock riddled with old dwellings, serves as an excellent base from which to tour the sights of Cappadocia.

 

As a National Park and also as a conserva­tion area, the construction of new buildings is under strict control. But no need to worry! Excellent accommodation provides all the facilities necessary for a memorable meeting in this very impressive setting.

 

ANKARA

 

Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is, despite its long history, a thoroughly modern and well-planned city.

 

The city is distinguished by its wide avenues, green parks, elegant shops, embassies and government buildings, and a large number of first-class restaurants and hotels.

 

The city has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age. The very fine Museum of Anatolian Civilizations details the ebb and flow of cultures that have passed through the area, from the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians and Persians to the Galatians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk Turks and Ottomans. Ankara was a small provincial town until being named the cap­ital of the new Republic in 1923, since which time it has developed quickly. It is the only city in Turkey with an urban development plan dating back to the 1930s.

 

In addition to the numerous historical buildings, mosques and museums, visitors enjoy touring the citadel and browsing through the old shops in Çıkrıkçılar Yokuşu near the Ulus area. On the street of Bakırcılar Çarşısı, you can find many inter­esting old and new items: copper objects, jewelry, carpets, costumes, antique repro­ductions and embroidery. In Çankaya, the Atakule Tower, at 125 meters, offers a magnifcent view over the whole city. Ankara offers an attractive infrastructure for international meetings and is an excellent starting point for excursions to Cappadocia and day trips to other ancient sites.

 

İSTANBUL

 

Istanbul is the only city in the world which embraces two continents, one arm reaching out into Asia, the other into Europe.

 

The former capital of three successive empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – the city is a fascinating mixture of past and present, old and new, modern and tradi­tional. The museums, churches, palaces, mosques and bazaars, and the sights of nat­ural beauty seem inexhaustible. As you recline on the shores of the Bosphorus at sunset contemplating the red evening light reflected in the windows and slender minarets on the opposite shore you under­stand, suddenly and profoundly, why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build on this remarkable site.

 

In addition to its unique historical and cul­tural background and innumerable attrac­tions, modern hotels, exclusive restaurants, nightclubs, cabarets, bazaars and shops make Istanbul a superb site for meetings, conferences and conventions.

 

Istanbul is fast becoming one of the most popular international congress and exhibi­tion destinations. The opening of the Lutfi Kirdar Istanbul International Conference Center (IICC) doubled the capacity of con­gress facilities in Istanbul. The IICC is ide­ally located in the modern district of Harbiye, at the center of the city’s business, cultural and commercial life, surrounded by some of Europe’s top quality hotels.

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