Facts About Turkey
Turkey is a Eurasian country and has Ankara as its capital. The country stretches from the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia to Thrace (Rumelia) in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. It is because of this strategic location of Turkey that it has become blessed with a unique blend of Eastern and Western traditions The country stands surrounded by eight countries, namely Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia; Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus fall to the south of Turkey, while the Aegean Sea and Archipelago are in its west and Black Sea in the north. To get some more interesting information on Turkey, read on.
Fun & Interesting Facts about Turkey
- Turkey is officially known as the ‘Republic of Turkey’.
- Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary and constitutional republic.
- The Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923, under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
- Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe (1949), NATO (1952), OECD (1961), OSCE (1973) and the G20 industrial nations (1999).
- Turkey became an associate member of European Union 1963 and reached a customs union agreement in 1995.
- The capital of Turkey is Ankara, while its largest city is Istanbul.
- The major religion of Turkey is Islam, while its official language is Turkish. Kurdish, Dimli and Azeri are also spoken in the country.
- The monetary unit of Turkey is New Turkish lira.
- The part of Turkey in Europe is called ‘Thrace’, while the part in Asia is called ‘Anatolia’.
- The highest peak in Turkey is Mount Agri (5,166 m). It is also said to be the place where Noah's Ark came to rest.
- The largest lake in Turkey is Lake Van.
- Anatolia, the part of Turkey that is in Asia, was settled by Ionians (Greeks from Attica). It houses the Classical Greek Ionic column.
- The Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was in Ephesus.
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, in southwestern Turkey, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
- St Paul (Saul) was born in Tarsus, situated to the east of Mersin.
- Istanbul, initially Constantinople, was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
- St. Peter’s Church, situated in Antioch (Antakya) - Turkey, is the first church built by man.
- St. Nicholas was born in Demre, on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
- It were the Turks who introduced coffee to Europe.
- Istanbul is the only city in the world that is spread over two continents.
- Cherry was first introduced to Europe from Giresun (Northern Turkey).
- All the ‘Seven Churches’ of Apocalypse are situated in the Aegean region of Anatolia, namely Ephesus, Smyrna (Izmir), Pergamum, Thyatira (Nazilli), Sardis, Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Laodicea.
- The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (dating back to 7th millennium BC).
- It was in ancient Anatolia that writing was first used by people.
- The oldest tin mine in the world has been found in Göltepe, 60 miles to the south of Tarsus.
- Turkey is the only secular Muslim country amongst all the Muslim countries in the world.
- Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that is agriculturally self-sufficient.
- There are approximately 9,000 species of flowers in Turkey, out of which 3,000 are native.
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