only city in the world located on two
continents is Istanbul, which has been the capital of three
great empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman for more than 2000
Istanbul has a 540-year-old covered shopping mall
of 64 streets, 4000 shops, 22 entrances and 25,000 workers,
-the famous Grand Bazaar.
Leonardo da Vinci drew designs
for a bridge over the Bosphorus, the strait that flows through
Europe and Asia. It was never built.
introduced coffee to Europe.
provides 70% of the world's hazelnuts;
the nut in your chocolate bar was most probably grown in Turkey.
gave the Dutch their famous tulips
that started the craze for the flower in England and the Netherlands.
Bulbs brought to Vienna from Istanbul in the 1500s were so intensely
popular that by 1634 in Holland it was called "tulipmania".
People invested money in tulips as they do in stocks today.
This period of elegance and amusement in 17th century is referred
to as "The Tulip Age" in Turkish History.
most valuable silk carpet in the
world is in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey with 144 knots
per square centimetre. Marco Polo's journeys in the thirteenth
centuries took him here, and he remarked that the "best and
handsomest of rugs" are woven and were to be found in Turkey.
Anatolia is the origin of the names of Paris,
Philadelphia and Europe.
The first man ever to fly was Turkish.
Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew a significant distance
from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Usküdar
in the 17th century.
oldest known human settlement in
the world is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7500 BC). The earliest landscape
painting in history was found on the wall of a Catalhöyük
house, illustrating the volcanic eruption of nearby Hasandag.
first coins ever minted were done
in the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, at the end of
the seventh century B.C. in Turkey.
Anatolia is the location of the first
known beauty contest, judged by Paris, with Aphrodite,
Hera and Athena as leading participants.
Anatolia was producing wine as
early as 4000BC.
number of archaeological excavations going on in Turkey every
year is at least 150.
Famous Trojan Wars took place in
western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the
Trojan Horse rests today.
Many archaeologists and biblical scholars believe Noah's
Ark landed on Agri Dagi (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.
last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding
with nearly 20 ingredients, is still served throughout Turkey.
of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; Temple
of Artemis and the Mausoleum at
Halicarnassus, are in Turkey. -The Temple of Artemis
at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
word "turquoise" comes
from "Turk" meaning Turkish, and was derived from
the beautiful colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern
Nicholas known as Santa Claus (Father
Christmas) today, was born and lived in Demre on Turkey's Mediterranean
Coast. The village contains the famous Church of St Nicholas
with the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
Mary's last home was in Selcuk, Turkey.
Tradition has it that St John bought Virgin Mary to Ephesus
after the Crucifixion, where she spent her last days in a small
stone house (Meryemana Evi) on what is now Bülbüldagi (Mount
Koressos). It remains a popular pilgrimage site for Christians
to this day.
important events surrounding the birth of Christianity occurred
in Turkey. St John, St
Paul and St Peter all lived
and prayed in southern Anatolia.
first church built by man (St. Peter's
Church) is in Antakya, in southern Turkey. A cave known today
as the Grotto of St Peter, or Church of St Peter, is believed
to be where the apostle Peter preaches when he visited Antakya.
It is widely considered to be one of the earliest Christian
houses of worship. In 1963, the papacy designated the site as
a place of pilgrimage and recognised it as the world's first
cathedral. Every year on June 29, a special service held at
the church, is attended by Christians from around the world.
Early Christians escaping Roman persecution nearly 2000 years
ago sheltered in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia.
All of the Seven Churches of Asia
mentioned in the Book of Revelation are located in Anatolia,
Turkey: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia
first Ecumenical Council was held
collection of Korans in Topkapi
Palace Museum in Istanbul are the richest to be found anywhere
in the world. It includes texts of the Koran inscribed between
the 7th - 19th centuries in Arabia, ran, India, Maghrib (North
Africa) and in the lands dominated by the Seljuks and Ottomans.
of Turkey's south western shore was a wedding gift that Mark
Anthony gave to Cleopatra.
Abraham was born in Sanliurfa in
South eastern Turkey.
was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey and he depicted
Troy in his Epic the Iliad.
famous for his fables and parables, was born in Anatolia.
Alexander the Great conquered a
large territory in what is now Turkey and cut the Gordion Knot
in the Phrygian capital (Gordium) not far from Turkey's present-day
Anatolia is the birthplace of many historic legends, such as
Homar (the poet), King
Midas, Herodotus (the father
of history) and St. Paul the Apostle.
Suleyman the Magnificent (the famous
Ottoman Sultan) was a poet who wrote over 3000 poems, some of
them criticizing the greed of mankind.
Piri Reis, a Turkish geographer
and a renowned cartographer of the 16th century, drew the oldest
map of America in existence. He was also a pirate and
admiral who left his mark on Ottoman naval history.
Ceasar proclaimed his celebrated words,
"Veni, Vidi, Vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) in
Turkey when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in
the Black Sea region of Turkey.
Istanbul's Robert College (established
in 1863), is the oldest American school outside the United States.
Amazons originated in Turkey's north eastern
According to Turkish tradition a stranger at one's doorstep
is considered "A Guest from God" and should be accommodated
is a long-time member of NATO (North
Atlantic Treaty Organization) since 1952.
Turkey receives children from around the world each year on
23rd of April (the opening date of Turkish National Assembly
in 1920) for a unique festival called "April
23rd National Sovereignty and Children's Day" to
honor and cherish the freedom and independence of all people
around the world. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa
Kemal Atatürk, dedicated April 23rd to the children to
emphasize that they are the future of the new nation. During
their stay in Turkey, the foreign children are housed in Turkish
homes and find an important opportunity to interact with the
Turkish kids and learn about each other's countries and cultures.
The foreign children groups also participate in the special
session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. This results
in a truly international Assembly where children pledge their
commitment to international peace and brotherhood.