Turkey is one of those very interesting countries that straddles both continents of Europe and Asia. I also felt that it was a great time to go to Turkey because the country is in a position where it can become a more liberal, european type country, or become more conservative and I wanted to see how the people balance that. We coinsidently went while riots errupted between the citizens and the government. The residents of Istanbul were fighting for a park that the government wanted to turn into a mall. Obviously, the issues go much deeper but it was my first experience with international riots and tear gas. Other than the culterual education I was looking for, I knew Turkey was an absolutely beautiful place and I was right! Turkey has it all, the beautiful architectures from hundreds of years ago, the lavish beachfront towns, not to mention hot air balloons over magical rock formations. None of which can be missed! I will say, if you are going to travel around the country, the best way to do it is to fly. Turkish Airlines is a great airline and makes the country much more accessable. There are overnight bus options but flying is too each not to use this option.
Disclosure: Traveled to Turkey in May 2013