Located on the edge of Europe and Asia, Greece and Turkey straddle two worlds. For Greece, it’s antiquity and modernity—its capital Athens, as well as its many islands, boast ruins of the ancient Greek civilization that spawned many Western fields of thought, including philosophy, mathematics, politics, science, and theater.
Turkey’s dual nature comes out of its geography: it’s split between the European and Asian continents, and this mix of different cultures shaped Turkey’s ’s history. Most notably, the country was dominated by the Ottoman Empire, which controlled parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe from the 14th until the early 20th centuries. Their former glory is reflected in the eastern and western influences found in Istanbul.