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The opulent, sensual and indolent charm of the odalisques is no more, but Turkey remains a place of sublime attraction for visitors. Since ancient times travellers have landed on the coasts of that wine-coloured sea sung of by Homer, and many return to find enchanting views, unchanged, hospitable villages, and archaeological gems.
A visit to Turkey is an ongoing invitation to reflect on the destiny of civilization, to delight the eyes and the soul. There are the colossal statues of Nemrut Dagi, the ruins of Troy, the treasures of the Topkapi palace, a whole people to know: the women, no longer captive princesses but leading figures in political and social life; the fishermen, always with a smile on their lips; the peasants of Cappadocia, anxious to offer occasional visitors a tasty pide with fresh butter.
And there is also Istanbul, a city set between two continents, where for centuries tradition has struck a balance with the drive toward the modern world; coasts that are a paradise for sailing enthusiasts; enticing inland paths and an almost never-ending succession of surprises.