Turkey is much more than just a holiday destination. It has a rich, diverse culture and history, beautiful landscapes and cuisine that will keep you coming back for more…and more!
When you start to scratch the surface and discover more about this amazing country you will find many interesting facts you never knew. Here are just a few to get you started…
Miles and miles of coastline
Turkey has over 8,000 km (5,000m) of coastline and over 397 “Blue Flag” certified beaches with Antalya holding the world record for having the highest number in the world, awarded for highest water quality, beach cleanliness, and highest environmental standards. (Turkey – Lonely Planet)
Average age in Turkey
The Turkish population has an average age of 30.5 – the average age of males is 30.1 years and females, 31 years.
Nuts, whole hazelnuts
Turkey accounts for approximately 75 percent of worldwide hazelnut production.
According to Edip Sevinc, head of the Black Sea Hazelnut and Products Exporters’ Association, in 2016 Turkish exporters earned $1.98 billion from 227,556 tons of hazelnut exports, mainly to Italy, France and Germany.
Many archeologists and biblical scholars believe Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) in eastern Turkey. The mountain is actually a dormant volcano and the highest point in the country at 16,949 feet (5,166 m)
The rise of Christianity
St. John, St. Paul and St. Peter lived and prayed in southern Anatolia. Tradition has it that St. John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the Crucifixion, where she spent her last days in a small stone house called Meryemana Evi on what is now Bülbüldagi (Mount Koressos). It remains a popular pilgrimage site for Christians to this day.
Are “Tulips from Amsterdam?”
Turkey introduced tulips to Holland; tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. The word “tulip” comes from the Turkish word for turban, tülbent.
The city on two continents
Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents – Europe and Asia. During its more almost 2,000-year history, it has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey is home to the most ancient temple structures ever discovered. It’s circular structures, with their elaborately carved stones and distinctive, T-shaped pillars, are more than 12,000 years old—older than the invention of agriculture or even pottery and have changed the way archaeologists look at the beginnings of civilization.
A Gilded Cage
In the early days of the empire, when an Ottoman sultan came to power, his first job would be to have his brothers killed. But later on, killing all his brothers was deemed inadvisable in case the sultan died without siring a son. So the next man in line to the throne was sent into isolation within Topkapı Palace until he was ever needed to assume power. He lived in what was called the Gilded Cage: luxurious but imprisoned.
A jelly bean fact
Jelly beans first appeared in the United States in the mid-to-late 19th century. Some historians believe they were inspired by Turkish delight—a chewy jelly and powdered sugar confection that was a popular treat from Turkey.
Turkey and Narnia
The word for “lion” in Turkish is aslan, which is also the name of the great lion in C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s series The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. One of the treats featured in the series is the dessert Turkish delight, which originated in Turkey.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar ( Kapalıçarşı, meaning ‘Covered Market’) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.(Wikipedia)
By the way…