Ambassador Interviews

Picture Perfect Turkey

This country has amazing panoramic views of landscape and valleys. It is also famous for traditional Hammams, and is a must-go-to place for shopping. Read to know more about Turkey in a rendezvous with H.E. Mr. Firat Sunel, Ambassador of Turkey to India.

Tell us about three must-do things in Turkey.

There is never a dull moment in Turkey as there is so much to see, experience and absorb. Experience the panoramic view of Cappadocia’s landscape with a hot air balloon ride and float in air with great calmness. With rock formations dating back millions of years, the valley offers majestic sceneries.

Turkey is also popular for its hammams that can be found across the country with some of them being centuries old. The traditional hammams of Turkey have visitors from all over the world. Hammams or Turkish Baths are a heady mixture of cultures: Roman and Islamic bath culture came together to create Ottoman style bathhouses, many of which are still in use today

A visit to Turkey is incomplete without a visit to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, which is one of the top tourist attractions in the country. With its grand arcaded main streets and narrow alleys, it is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul to get a sense of Ottoman life. The bazaar is popular for carpets, lamps, ceramics, Turkish metalware, jewellery, edibles and souvenirs.

Which is your favourite tourist destination in the world, except Turkey, and why?

As a career diplomat I have been to many countries all around the world. Although I have visited many beautiful destinations across the globe, my favourite destination is still Izmir, my hometown. As one of the oldest cities with continuous settlement for 8500 years, Izmir offers a lot to culture and history lovers. One of the best-preserved ancient cities, Ephesus, is located 80 km away from Izmir too. In addition to that Cesme-Alacati which is one of the most popular resorts in Turkey, is just 70 km away from Izmir where people can enjoy the white sandy beaches stretch lazily along a road lined with exquisitely built houses, several large hotels and a number of restaurants, serving excellent seafood and Turkish specialties.

From the famous Turkish breads to the tea culture of Turkey, tell us about the gastronomy of the country. 

Like the country’s cultural mosaic, the food of Turkey is very colourful and contains countless different influences and tastes. The cuisine of Turkey has continued to evolve over centuries, deriving influence from its rich history of lands that hosted first the Byzantine, and then the Ottoman Empires. Turkish cuisine has a wide variety of foods, including cereals, pastries, vegetables, and self-growing herbs mixed with meat. Turkish kebabs, desserts like Baklava, Turkish coffee, fish preparations are extremely popular with tourists and locals alike. There are plenty of options in vegetarian meals as well, such as Mezes and Dolma.