Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, Armenian and Balkan cuisines. Turkish cuisine has influenced those and other neighboring cuisines, including those in Balkans, Central Europe, and Western Europe.
The Ottomans fused various culinary traditions of their realm with influences from Levantine cuisines, along with traditional Turkic elements from Central Asia, creating a vast array of specialties.
Turkish cuisine varies across the country. The cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and rest of the Asia Minor region inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with a lighter use of spices, a preference for rice over bulgur, koftes and the wider availability of vegetable stews (türlü), eggplant, stuffed dolmas, and fish. The cuisine of the Black Sea Region uses fish extensively, especially the Black Sea anchovy, and includes maize dishes. The cuisine of the southeast (e.g. Urfa, Gaziantep, and Adana) is famous for its kebabs, mezes and dough-based desserts like baklava, şöbiyet, kadayıf, and künefe.
Especially in the western parts of Turkey, where olive trees grow abundantly, olive oil is the major type of oil used for cooking. The cuisines of the Aegean, Marmara, and Mediterranean regions are rich in vegetables, herbs, and fish. Central Anatolia has many famous specialties, such as keşkek, mantı, and gözleme.