In antiquity, Turkey’s North Aegean was known as Aeolia, and provided the setting for the Trojan war. Civilization first bloomed here under the Phrygians, who arrived in Anatolia during the thirteenth century BC. Later, Greek colonists established coastal settlements, leaving the region rich in Classical and Hellenistic remains. These days, however, it sees far fewer visitors than the coastline further south. While there are some excellent sandy beaches, the lower sea temperature and lack of a major airport have protected the region from widespread development. Most summer visitors are Turks, and even in August visitor numbers are relatively low. Away from the few resorts, farming, fishing and heavy industry (near İzmir) provide the main livelihoods.

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Istanbul

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 20 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe and is among the largest cities in the worldby population within city limits.

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