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Marmara is a region in North Western Turkey. It is Turkey's bridge and connection to Europe. Turkey's largest city, Istanbul is the region's capital.
- Eastern Marmara— where Ottoman Empire started 700 years ago, featuring historical towns with whitewashed architecture amidst woods and lakes
- Eastern Thrace (European Turkey)— most Balkan part of the country, both geographically and culturally
- Istanbul Province— world-class metropolis Istanbul and its environs
- Southern Marmara— from former Ottoman capital Bursa in the east to Aegean coast dotted with Roman temples in the west
- Balikesir— an inland city with rail links to Izmir
- Bursa— former Ottoman capital featuring lots of early imperial history, now one of the biggest cities of the country
- Canakkale— city on the banks of Dardanelles Strait near the Aegean, hub for visiting Gallipoli, Troy, and Bozcaada
- Edirne— another former Ottoman capital with lots of history to see, first Turkish city when approaching from west
- Istanbul— metropolis connecting Europe and Asia, capital of three empires
- Izmit— industrial city east of Istanbul
- Iznik (Nicaea)— historical town on the coast of Lake İznik which is the site of the first and seventh ecumenical seventh councils of Christianity
- Tekirdağ— city on the northern coast of Marmara, famous for its local meatballs and raki, and where Hungarian prince Rakoczi was exiled
- Yalova— city south of Istanbul across the Gulf of Izmit, surrounded by verdant mountains dotted with thermal springs and waterfalls
- Gallipoli— site of WWI memorials and 1915 Anzac landing
- Troy— ruins of what was the legendary Trojan War was fought for
- Mt. Uludağ (2,400 mt) near Bursa is a national park and the main wintersports resort of Turkey.
- Bozcaada— small island with pleasant architecture, streetscape, and a citadel
- Gokceada— deserted Greek villages on a mountanious island
- Marmara Islands— archipelago in the middle of the Sea of Marmara
- Avsa— sea&sun island frequented by mid-class families
- Princes’ Islands— a getaway from crowded Istanbul featuring pine-covered islands with elegant mansions
This region gets its name from the sea it surrounds: the Sea of Marmara, a part of Mediterranean Sea, connected to Aegean Sea via Dardanelles, and to Black Sea via Bosporus. The Sea of Marmara is considered as the geographical border between Europe and Asia: northern coasts of it are in Europe, while southern/eastern coasts are in Asia.
This region is Turkey’s most populous and most heavily industrialized part, though you can still find primordial forests hardly seen by human eyes here and there.
Atatürk International Airport (IST) in western Istanbul is the main gateway for the city, the region, and the country as well. The other international airport in the region is Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), situated in eastern Istanbul, largely prefered by low-cost airlines. Corlu Airport (TEQ) is used by airlines flying from ex-USSR countries. Other airports in the region are located in Bursa and Canakkale.
There are trains to
All cities and many towns in Turkey has direct daily bus services to Istanbul. Many cities neighbouring Balkan countries also has bus links to the city. Bursa, by virtue of being a big city, is also served from a large number of cities and towns throughout Turkey.
Marmara Region is well linked to neighbouring regions and countries by a motorway and highway network.
There is a weekly ferry service to Istanbul from Izmir during summer months.
While there are more than one airport in the region, given the region's relative small size and the relative short distance between the airports make transportation by plane practically impossible. The only feasible (and, operating) air service totally within the region is between Istanbul and Canakkale.
There is an extensive bus network between towns and cities of the region, and any town with a considerable population (say, >10,000), has a direct bus service to Istanbul.
As in the rest of Turkey, the rail network in the region consists of linear lines rather than a spider web-like system. The lines with passenger services are between Istanbul and Edirne (via Corlu and a number of other towns on the way), continuing on to Bulgaria and Greece; Istanbul and Bozüyük (via Izmit, Adapazarı, Osmaneli, Bilecik, and a number of other towns on the way), continuing on to Eskişehir/Ankara in Central Anatolia; and between Bandirma and Balikesir, continuing on to Aegean Region.
There is an extensive network of ferry and fast ferry lines connecting northern and southern coast of the Sea of Marmara, cutting travel time dramatically. Most fast ferry lines fan out of Istanbul towards towns and cities on the southern coast, while conventional ferries can be found between almost any town on the northern and southern coasts (such as Tekirdağ-Gemlik line, which traverses almost the whole sea northwest to southeast).