Did that ever happen to you? You land in a country, spend a couple of days and as you're leaving it you're thinking to yourself "Man... I must come back & live in this country!". Well, so far I've been to almost 40 countries and out of all of those only a handful (I really mean it .. Less than 5) of those intrigued me that much. The last one of those so far was Turkey, when I first arrived in Istanbul back in 2005 I knew I'd be back again to that amazing city. I was lucky enough to go back to my mystic city in less than one year. As I munched my way through sojok (oriental sausages), baklava (oriental deserts) and Turkish coffee (Turkish coffee :D) I tried to understand why am I so hooked on Turkey..... I couldn't figure out .. so I decided to take it to the next level .. so yet again I took my WiFi enabled laptop to the "porcelain throne" and their I had my *ding* moment.
I guess the first thing that drew me to Turkey is the cultural overlap, The Ottoman empire occupied Egypt for hundreds of years and therefore not only is Turkish and Arabic very similar as languages, cuisine is similar, the look and feel of the streets, shops and basically all the aspects are the same. Even tawola (backgammon) is the way to pass time on a cafe! The second thing that I really like is that unlike almost all other Arab/Muslim countries religion (Islam) is not involved into every single aspect of life. In general I am against mixing religion and state either it's Christian or Muslim, becuase I feel it's unfair to minorities (having been part of the Christian minority in Egypt). Third, I believe that's a common attribute to "Mediterranean" countries, people are more warm .. I don't know how to explain this, but being from the same region, I felt it .. ppl are outgoing, they eat late, stay out late, get quickly to know each other and become friends and buddies ... It's amazing.
Finally, the heritage ... I wont lie to you and tell you I'm into artsy fartsy stuff, but I love to be in a place that has a smell of different centuries and Turkey offers this starting from the Biblical civilizations that lived in east Turkey .. where you have Mt. Ararat (arguably where Noah's ark landed) all thru Greek, Roman ... till Ottoman.
I have no doubt I'll go back to Turkey soon, because now it's on the list ;)
For now I'll enjoy the Turkish coffee