I am back from my 2-week tour of Turkey. It was amazing, I recommend it to everyone I talk to. We all (the tour group, mostly Americans, a few Canadians) agreed that Americans don't know squat about Turkey. We lump it into the "Islamic World," along with Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and get all nervous.
It was a wonderful, beautiful, fascinating place. Language was not that big of an issue, the weather was gorgeous, the history breathtaking. And then there was the Turkish bath! I am melting just thinking about it.
We were constantly reminded that Turkey is a secular country, just like the U.S., it is just filled with mosques instead of churches. It was exotic for a while, but then we all got very comfortable with hearing the call the prayer, seeing covered women, and groups of men socializing.
I went on a tour with Rick Steves company and it was just what I was looking for. The pace was quick, lots of walking, carrying our own bags, fabulous out-of-the way pensions and inns, highly recommend it.