Check your Midnight Express stereotypes at the door - this is a rapidly modernising country with one foot in Europe and one in the Middle East. It's not all oriental splendour, mystery, intrigue and whirling dervishes but it is a spicy maelstrom of history knocking up against a pacy present.
The Turkish people have an unrivalled reputation for hospitality, the cuisine is to die for, the coastline is a dream, and many Turkish cities are dotted with spectacular mosques and castles. And while costs are rising, Turkey remains one of the Mediterranean's bargain-basement destinations.
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, since the climate will be perfect in İstanbul and on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. It will be cool in central Anatolia, but not unpleasantly so. Visiting before mid-June or after August may also help you avoid mosquitoes. The Black Sea coast is best visited between April and September; there will still be rain but not so much of it.
With the exception of İstanbul, Turkey doesn't really have a winter tourism season. Places catering to backpackers usually see Anzac Day as the official start of the season; those catering to package holiday-makers get going in early May. Peak season is from July to mid-September, when most Turks take their holidays. The best time to visit eastern Turkey is from late June to September.