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Central Anatolia

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The dry, arid highlands that form the plateau of Central Anatolia are the heartland of Turkey. The region is full of scenery, such as the extraordinary magical landscape of Cappadocia, but also full of the remains of ancient civilizations that go back more than 7500 years ago. The grasslands, that form the vast steppe that characterizes Central Anatolia, were once home to the mighty Turkish nomad tribes who used it as a base to conquer the Byzantine Empire. Atatürk founded his modern capital Ankara right in the center of the region. For the history lovers, Central Anatolia has certainly lots to offer, such as Seljuk and Ottoman medreses, mosques, caravanserais, and last but not least the world-famous museum of Anatolian Civilizations at Ankara.

Western Anatolia is the region lying between the Aegean coast and central Anatolia. Western Anatolia can be thought of the area west of a line that connects the modern cities of Bursa and Antalya. While the landscape of central Anatolia is characterized by a more or less flat highland plateau, dominated by the presence of a vast steppe, the landscape of western Anatolia is much more diverse and consists of coastal plains, river valleys, and mountain terrain.

This diversity also reflects on the remnants of the ancient civilizations that are found here, such as the rock-carved Phrygian Valley, the ancient cities of Sagalassos and Afrodisias, etc. The very heart of the Turkish identity, the original Ottoman capital Bursa, is also located here with its mosques, imperial mausoleums, and its traditional Iskender kebap. The southern part of the region consists of the beautiful Lake District with Eğirdir, an escapist's paradise.

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