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Wild turkeys, with their distinctive feathers and gobbling call, were Benjamin Franklin's choice for the national bird of the United States.
To delete this file, click the file name with your mouse, then right-click and scroll down the menu to the "delete" option. To remove the photo permanently from the desktop, locate the photo on the hard drive and drag it to the trash. Download ringtones of cardinals singing, lions roaring, and blue-footed boobies doing whatever it is they do.
Shop for guidebooks, feeders, binoculars, and other great items in the National Geographic Store. Whatever your interest, you'll be entertained and educated with our collection of best-selling DVDs. Select your travel style--whether it's our signature expeditions, our active outdoors adventures, or our lower-priced journeys. Our newest small-group trips, provided in partnership with G Adventures, blend fun, hands-on exploration with meaningful cultural encounters, as well as more free time and choices. Photograph Turkey’s legendary cities, ruins, and landscapes, from Istanbul’s minaret-studded skyline to the surreal "fairy chimneys” of Cappadocia.
Explore the lively markets of Istanbul, Izmir, and Bodrum, and capture their colorful bustle. Shoot stunning panoramas of the Aegean coast aboard a private gulet, a traditional wooden yacht. Depart on an overnight flight to Istanbul, the capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. Set out to explore Istanbul’s iconic sights, taking advantage of incredible photo opportunities at every turn. Begin the day at the Topkap? Palace, the opulent residence of Ottoman sultans for four centuries. This morning, take advantage of more photography opportunities in Cappadocia’s fairytale landscape. Take advantage of a free morning to explore on your own, or visit a local rug weaving cooperative.
Spend the day in Ephesus, once home to the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Set out on a photo shoot in Sirince, a quaint hillside village where Ottoman houses are nestled against a backdrop of vineyards and olive groves.
Known to Europeans as the Magnificent and to his subjects as the Lawgiver, Süleyman I was both a brilliant military strategist and an acclaimed legislator. Whirling in ecstasy, dervishes of the Mevlevi Order in Istanbul perform a ritual dance each December to commemorate the death in 1273 of their founder, Celaleddin Rumi.
Soaring toward the heavens, the vast Selimiye Mosque in Edirne, Turkey, represents the pinnacle of [court architect] Sinan's achievement.
A crescent in stone, the humpbacked bridge at Mostar spans the Neretva River in Yugoslavia's Bosnia-Herzegovina Republic.
Dams are extremely disruptive to the surrounding landscape, but are a tried-and-true method of reducing downstream flooding. The ritual dance of the Sufi sect, a mystical branch of Islam, was created in Konya 700 years ago by the Persian poet Rumi.
Sprawled along a promontory between the Bosporus and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul's Topkapi Palace was, for more than 400 years, the Ottoman imperial residence and its seat of government.
Dubbed the "City of 1001 Churches," Ani was once a spectacular metropolis whose grandeur rivaled that of Byzantium. Most of the ruins of the great city of Ephesus are from its time as a Roman provincial capital.

Haggling over carpets is an age-old pastime at the legendary Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. What is now Cappadocia in central Turkey was once buried beneath a deep blanket of volcanic ash.
Until quite recently, the famed cave dwellings of Cappadocia stood empty and the region attracted only adventurous tourists. Oludeniz Beach on the Turkish Mediterranean is famous for its wide shoreline, deep blue water, and gentle surf—its name means "calm sea." Constant breezes and steep cliffs rimming this secluded cove make it a destination for paragliders. The first bridge across Istanbul's Golden Horn waterway was a temporary structure erected by the Ottoman army in 1453. Capture the morning bustle at the local spice market and the sun glistening across the Golden Horn. The palace’s many treasures include spectacular collections of porcelain, jewels, and lavish garments worn by the sultans. A photographer’s dream, this surreal volcanic moonscape is characterized by clusters of natural stone pillars and cones known as fairy chimneys. Drive to Pasabag, formerly known as Monks’ Valley, to shoot some of the most diverse fairy chimneys up close. Photograph one of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities, from its Great Theater and Terrace Houses to its elaborate water systems and beautiful mosaics.
Peter, a 15th-century crusader fortress, now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology—an impressive collection of relics excavated from ancient shipwrecks found along the Turkish coast.
Light flooding through curtain walls illuminates geometric designs, arabesques, and phrases from the Koran. John, occupying the castle of Bodrum on Turkey's Aegean coast, interfered with Süleyman's control of crucial trade routes and lines of communication. The bridge was built in 1566 on Süleyman's orders to replace a nearby chain bridge deemed unsafe by his subjects. Throughout history, the Euphrates River (center-left) has flooded repeatedly, often even changing its course. Practitioners, dubbed "whirling dervishes" by early European travelers, believe the act of repeatedly spinning allows them to forget their earthly body and move closer to God. Built in the 1550s, the mosque was designed by court architect Sinan in honor of the sultan of sultans, Suleyman I, who raised the Ottoman Empire to the height of its glory in the 16th century. Since the end of World War I, the post-Ottoman government has been fiercely secular, enforcing, among other edicts, a ban on headscarves in state institutions.
The structure was first built in the mid-1400s but was added to and renovated nearly continually over the centuries, eventually reaching a footprint of some 170 acres (69 hectares). Situated on the uneasy border between Turkey and its historical adversary, Armenia, Ani endured centuries of war and earthquakes before being left to the desert plateau. Evidence still stands, however, of its rule by the Greek and Persian empires more than 4,000 years ago. After the city fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, it was converted to a mosque and outfitted with four slender minarets. Rug weaving arose in Central Asia more than 2,000 years ago, and Turkish tribes were among its first practitioners. Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 1460s as the last stop on the Silk Road, this maze of stone and marble is one of the world's first and, despite the advent of the megamall, still among the world's largest covered markets.
Millions of years of wind and water erosion then sculpted the soft rock into forests of mushroom-shaped peaks, dubbed "fairy chimneys." For more than a thousand years people have dug them out and converted them into houses, churches, and even subterranean labyrinths where residents hid from invading armies. But infrastructure improvements and posh accommodations, including new and refurbished cave homes, have turned it into a luxury tourism destination. After time to get settled this afternoon, gather for a welcome reception and presentation by our National Geographic photographer, followed by dinner.

Photograph the cloistered confines of the Harem and examine a vast array of artifacts at the Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
During a specially arranged lunch in a private home, visit with a local family and document their traditions.
Continue to Bodrum, a charming port town and an important center for underwater archaeology. Visit new buildings dedicated to Bronze Age and “glass wreck” excavations supported by National Geographic.
Built in the 1550s by court architect Sinan, the mosque was surrounded by colleges, a hospital, a soup kitchen, baths, and the tombs of Süleyman and his wife, Roxelana. The mosque was built by Sinan in the 1570s for Selim II, Süleyman's son and successor.
But multiple dams, including the enormous Ataturk Reservoir and Dam in south-central Turkey (shown here), have largely tamed this critical Mesopotamian waterway. But a renewed popular desire to embrace the nation's Islamic past has led to high-profile ideological clashes over the garment. Its decor, including the exquisite tile work shown here, matches the grandeur of a great empire and reflects the individual styles of each sultan. Situated near the Cayster River in western Turkey, the ancient city's most famous edifices include the Temple of Artemis and the Library of Celsus, shown here.
Among the diversions available: hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia's breathtaking landscape of volcanic spires and fruit orchards. The current span, connecting the modern Galata neighborhood with Old Istanbul, is the bridge's fifth incarnation. This small mosque was built in 1561 and displays the most lavish use of exquisite Iznik tiles of any mosque in Istanbul.
Spend the afternoon exploring the Goreme Open Air Museum, a vast monastic complex of frescoed medieval cave churches cut into the tuff. After returning to Izmir, explore the Kemeralt? Bazaar and capture the vibrant swirl of life in this port city.
Meet researchers at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA), where numerous National Geographic grantees have based their studies—including current INA president Deborah Carlson and INA founder George Bass. This afternoon, explore Bodrum’s beautiful bays and inlets aboard a privately chartered gulet, a traditional wooden sailing yacht. Born in a Christian village in Anatolia, Sinan rose through the devsirme system, whereby Ottomans brought promising Christian youths to the court in Istanbul.
Here a model at a fashion show in Ankara displays an outfit from Setrms, maker of fashionable Islamic clothing. As time permits, continue to the nearby Mosque of Sultan Ahmet I, known as the "Blue Mosque," with its billowing domes and six minarets. From there, enjoy a leisurely walk along a seaside promenade, capturing the silhouette of minarets across the skyline. On a tour of the conservation laboratory, get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the recent finds, and the conservation work being done to preserve ancient artifacts.
After lunch, continue to the Hagia Sofia, built as a church by Emperor Justinian in the sixth century and converted to a mosque some 900 years later.
This evening, enjoy a rare opportunity to photograph a performance of whirling dervishes—mystical Sufi dancers who spin themselves into a spiritual trance.
Then venture into the ancient Underground Cistern, also known as the Sunken Palace, an important water source during the Byzantine era.

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