Turkey

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Date(s) Visited: Too many to count!

Location: Western Asia and Southeastern Europe

Bordering Countries: Syria, Iran, Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece, Nakhchivan

Capital City: Ankara

Other Main Cities: Istanbul, Bursa, Antalya, Fethiye, Izmir, Adana, Konya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Edirne, Van, Urfa, Pamukkale, Trabzon, Mardin, Gaziantep, Urfa, Erzurum

Language(s): Turkish

Population: 80 million+

Religion: Islam (99.8%), Other including Christianity and Judaism (0.2%)

Currency: Turkish Lira (TL)

National Airlines: Turkish Airlines

Known for: Bosphorus Bridge, Turkish coffee, The Ottoman Empire, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Ephesus, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Cappadocia, Grand Bazaar, Troy, baklava, Turkish delight, pastries, raki, beaches, Turkish baths, kebabs,  TV soaps, halva, Efes beer, aubergine, fez, spices, cologne, Turkish coffee, evil eye, Turkish tea, rugs and carpets, bellydancing

Celebrations and Festivals: Ramadan, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, Victory Festival, Republic Festival, Liberation Festival, Kite Festival (Mugla), International Film Festival (Ankara and Istanbul), Apricot Festival (Malatya), Cherry Festival (Aksu), Melon Festival (Diyarbakir), Carpet Festival (Aksu), Golden Orange Festival (Antalya), Rug and Rose Festival (Isparta), Music and Folk Dance Festival (Izmir), Atatürk Culture and Art Ceremony (Amasya, Giresun, Marmaris, Istanbul)

Fun Facts…

  • The official name for Turkey is The Republic of Turkey
  • Istanbul is the only city in the world to be located on 2 continents, Europe and Asia
  • 97% of the country is in Asia whilst 3% is located in Europe
  • Istanbul used to be called Constantinople and was occupied by 3 different empires for 2000 years, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman
  • The first ever coins were made near Izmir
  • “Veni, Vidi, Vici” meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered” was said by Julius Caesar in the Black Sea Region of Turkey
  • The national sport of Turkey is oil wrestling
  • The Turkish alphabet doesn’t include “X” or “Q” or “W”
  • ‘Santa Claus’ (Saint Nicholas) was born in Patara, Turkey
  • One of the first and most precise world maps was made by the famous Turkish cartographer Piri Reis in the 16th Century
  • The worlds oldest shipwreck was found in Kas
  • Many Turks didn’t have surnames until 1934
  • Turkey is home to over 10 UNESCO Heritage Sites
  • Turkey has the highest number of Facebook users in the world
  • Turkish Airlines fly to over 260 destinations and were voted Europe’s Best Airline for 5 years running
  • Tulips were introduced to Europe by the Ottomans
  • The capital of Turkey is Ankara, not Istanbul
  • Turkey is responsible for 80% of the world’s hazelnut exports
  •  Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has 64 streets and 4000 shops
  • Antioch is home to the world’s first man made Christian Church