Did you know?
little-known facts about Turkey
Turkey is the only secular Muslim country among all
the Muslim countries in the world.
In 1923 the democratic Republic of Turkey was established
under the leadership of Kemal Atatürk.
Turkey is a young country in more ways than one:
over two-thirds of the Turkish population is under age
Turkey is physically one of the highest countries in the world, the
average height is 6,000 feet.
Turkey is one of the few agriculturally self-sufficient countries in
More than two-thirds of Turkey's borders are coastline, these stretch for fully 6,000 km (3,730 miles)
along the Aegean, eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea.
is one of the riches countries in species of flowers due to its varied
landscape and climate. There are approximately 9,000 species of which 3,000 are
native. In Europe there are only 11,500 species.
The Turkish people trace their ethnic origins to a group of Ural-Altaic
tribes who were located in the 2nd c. BC in what is today Mongolia.
Esperanto is based on the structure of the Turkish
The majority of Turks were converted to Islam in the 9th c.
Navy brought the Jewish people who were expelled from Spain to safety in the Ottoman lands in 1492.
Tulips are not native to Holland. They were
actually introduced from
Anatolia in the 16th c.
St. Paul was born in Tarsus (located in southern
Turkey). His missionary journeys signalled the arrival of
Christianity in Asia Minor from 47 AD.
Christianity first bloomed in Anatolia with the
first church of Christianity dedicated to St. Peter in Antioch.
Early Christians fleeing from Roman
persecution found refuge in Cappadocia's underground cities.
Anatolia became the heartland of the eastern realm
of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
The Greek Orthodox church is still located in
The Garden of Eden was said to
be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the
garden. Two of them, the Tigris and the Euphrates, are found
mountains of eastern Turkey.
Mount Ararat, the
highest mountain in Turkey, is believed to be the place where Noah's Ark
The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse were all
located in Anatolia - Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis,
Philadelphia and Laodicea.
Nicholas - today's Santa Claus,
was born in Patara (next to Kalkan) and lived as the bishop of Myra in
Demre (also near Kalkan).
Followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" in
All Ecumenical Councils were held in western Anatolia.
Over one hundred Christian churches of many different sects
are found in the city of Istanbul.
Ancient History in
"Anatolia" means "east" in
Greek. In the Turkish language it means "the land full of
The oldest known shipwreck was
excavated near Kaş (a coastal town
next to Kalkan).
King Midas, son of Gordius, the last and the most
famous of the Phrygian kings, ruled over the whole of Asia Minor in the
6th century BC.
Many city names originated in Anatolia such as Philadelphia, Paris, Antioch, Troy and the continental name
Alexander the Great
embarked on a campaign against the Persians in 334 BC crossing the
Dardanelles, occupying Gordium (this is where the fabled cutting of the
Gordian knot took place) and defeating Darius the Third.
Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient
World stood in Anatolia - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
The words "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" were said by Julius Caesar when he
went to Anatolia in 47 BC.
Lycian federal system of government with proportional representation was
used as a model by the authors of the United States