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)

North Aegean coastline – photograph courtesy of Go Turkey Tourism
Dilek National Park, Black sea coast, Turkey – Photograph courtesy of Rough Guides

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.

Turkey Median Age

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.

Hazelnut harvest in Turkey

Noah’s Ark

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)

A view of Mt. Ararat and the monastery of Khor Virap – Photograph courtesy of National Geographic

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.

The House Of The Virgin Mary (Meryemana) On Mt. Koressos In Turkey.

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.

Fethiye in Bloom

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.

Photograph courtesy of Airking

Göbekli Tepe

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.

Göbekli Tepe – Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine

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.

The Gilded Cage at Topkapı Palace- Photograph courtesy of the Weekend Historian

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.

Jelly beans – photograph courtesy of Readers Digest

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.

Aslan (Lion in Turkish) from The Chronicles of Narnia

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)

Inside the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul- Photograph courtesy of the İstanbul Insider

By the way…

3 COMMENTS

  1. I fell in love with Turkey many years ago and return year after year and every year find something different!

  2. Turkey is a great country excellent holiday destination friendly people weather is fantastic A COUNTRY THAT IS A MUST TO VISIT TO EXPLORE THE BEACHES AND THE HISTORY

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