Let’s play name this country. It was founded on idealistic principles of democracy and secularism. The people in this country are supposedly religious but most of them are so only nominally — they do not practice. They are very patriotic and proud — the national flag flies everywhere. The country is large, with miles of coastline on several different bodies of water. Most long-distance transportation is by car or bus. The cultural capital is not the political capital. The climate is varied, with mountains, forests, beaches, plains, deserts, and lakes. They grow much of their own grains and produce. Unlike many countries, they have only a few neighbors, and consider themselves to be very different from them.
Some would guess the United States, but Turkey fits the bill too. In many ways Turkey felt more like home than anywhere else I’ve ever been. I miss it already.
Even though I sound like a bloody yank saying it, Turkey is fucking awesome (only Americans say “awesome”).
Now I’m in Sofia, Bulgaria. It sure as hell isn’t Turkey. They checked my passport five times at the border. I don’t know what the EU is thinking. They let in Romania and Bulgaria, and not Turkey? Hell, the EU should be trying to get its member states to be allowed to join Turkey.