50 Interesting facts about Turkey

Interesting facts about Turkey

Interesting facts about turkey is the latest thread in our ongoing series of exploring the world through words. Turkey is a nation with a rich history, populated by friendly, hospitable and hardworking people who have built their country into one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe and the world. There is a lot more to Turkey than meets the eye – between the beaches and bustling markets lies a wealth of interesting history filled with religious and literary figures, civil war and a multitude of languages.

Here are some Interesting facts about Turkey you probably never knew. 

Interesting facts about Turkey

Interesting facts about Turkey:

  1. The official name of Turkey is the Republic of Turkey.
  2. This ancient city is mostly located on the Asian continent, but a few percentages of the total city area is also located in Europe, which makes it unique since it’s built on two continents. 
  3. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and is the third most populous urban area in Europe. But it is not the capital, Ankara is, in fact, the capital of Turkey.
  4. There are eight countries that share a border with Turkey including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece, and Georgia.
  5. Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world and had 35 million foreign visitors in 2013 alone.
  6. While nearly all of the Turkish population is Muslim, Turkey is not officially a Muslim country. Turkey has officially been a secular nation since 1927.
  7. Turkey is home to 2 of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus is near Izmir, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is in Bodrum. The Wonders originate during the Greek era in 2nd century B.C.
  8. About 49.7% of the Turkish territory is dedicated to agriculture. They don’t need to rely on importing food from other countries. 
  9. Turkey has a strong manufacturing sector, it makes and exports cars, planes, electronics, clothing, and textiles.
  10. There are dozens of minority languages in Turkey, and education in Turkish or Kurdish is available for all.
  11. More journalists are imprisoned in Turkey than any other country.
  12. Gaziantep, Turkey, is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
  13. The currency used in the country is called the Turkish Lira.
  14. Turkey is noted for having one of the three most famous and distinctive traditional cuisines in the world.
  15. Because of its location on top of a number of plate boundaries, Turkey is prone to earthquakes especially in the north of the country.

Historic facts about Turkey:

Interesting facts about Turkey
  1. The most famous of Turks is Mustafa Kemal who was adorned with the title ‘Ataturk’ or ‘Father of the Turks’ after his contributions to the country’s independence.
  2. The first church built by man (St. Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.
  3. Tulips were introduced to Europe through Dutch traders by the Turks in the 17th century. The word “tulip” comes from the Turkish word for turban, tülbent.
  4. Turkey has 11 Heritages on the UNESCO World Heritage List as of 2012. They include the Archaeological Site of Troy, City of Safranbolu, Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği, Hattusha: the Hittite Capital, Historic Areas of Istanbul, Nemrut Dağ, Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük, Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex, and Xanthos-Letoon.
  5. The ancient real-life city of Troy is located on the northwest coast of Turkey, which is now known as Hisarlik.
  6. Turkey was the birthplace of historical figures such as Aesop, Homer, and St. Paul the Apostle.
  7. Turkey’s Istanbul Tünel is the world’s second-oldest underground railway, after the London Underground, and the oldest on the European continent. It began operating in 1975.
  8. Turkey has been producing wine since 4000 B.C.
  9. In Turkey the Istanbul Tunnel is the world’s second-oldest underground railway, it began operation in 1875.
  10. The ancient real-life city of Troy is located on the northwest coast of Turkey, which is now known as Hisarlik.

Cultural facts about Turkey:

Interesting facts about Turkey
  1. One way of protecting a newborn baby in Turkey is by “salting,” which is a custom where the baby’s body is rubbed all over with salt in the belief that will give the child strength to resist harmful influences.
  2. The Turkish Delight or Rahat lokum is one of the oldest sweets in the world with a history dating back 500 years.
  3. Turkish food is the mixture and refinement of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines by Ottoman chefs. It is typically rich in fish. lamb, beef, chicken, eggplants, nuts, garlic, lentils, cumin, pepper, mint, oregano, parsley, and paprika.
  4. In Turkish, it’s known as Nazar boncuğu, and it’s meant to protect against the evil eye and other harmful spirits. This symbol is also found in many other countries where the Ottoman Empire was present. 
  5. Turkey has had equality for women going back a millennium to the Hittite civilization, and it gave women the right to vote before most European countries and the United States (1930 for local elections, 1934 for national elections).
  6. There are as many as 82,693 Mosques in the country. 
  7. Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that refers to sports directly in its constitution, in Article 59, which reads, “The State takes measures to develop the physical and mental health of Turkish citizens of all ages and encourages the spread of sports among the masses. The State protects successful athletes.”
  8. The Mediterranean diet actually originated in towns like Alacati located at the southern tip of the Cesme peninsula of Turkey, in the middle of the Aegean. The locals continue to speak the language of herbs and host the Alacati Herb Festival every 5 years.
  9. Turkey is one of the few countries where domestic films rake in more at the box office than Hollywood’s offerings, and its movies and television series are a major soft-power export in the Middle East.
  10. Efes is the beer of Turkey. Efes Beverage Group is the largest producer of beer in Turkey with approximately 80% market share and ranked 12 in the world beer market.

Fun facts about Turkey:

Interesting facts about Turkey
  1. The name of the country Turkey may come from Turchia, which is the word Italian observers used to refer to Anatolia. Turkey’s Asian portion, as early as the 12th century. The Turks didn’t use the name Türkiye (Land of the Turks) officially until the republic was established in 1923.[
  2. Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world and had 35 million foreign visitors in 2013 alone.
  3. Modern-day Turkey was formed in 1923 following the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
  4. It is home to the world’s oldest sporting event, grease wrestling, which is also its national sport.
  5. Turkey has the third-highest number of Facebook users in the world, with 14 million users, after the U.S. and U.K.
  6. Turkey is the largest grower of hazelnuts in the world; it is responsible for 80% of the world’s hazelnut exports.
  7. Around 96% of the total population drinks at least 1 cup of tea per day. It’s estimated that Turks consume 3 kilos of tea per person a year. 
  8. The number of species of flowers in Turkey is approximately 9,000, of which 3,000 are endemic. In Europe, for instance, there are 11,500 species. This shows the richness of flora and fauna in Anatolia.
  9. Turkey’s beaches rank 3rd in the world, with 383 beaches and 21 marinas awarded by Blue Flag, an international eco-label given to beaches and marinas with high water quality, cleanliness, and environmental standards.
  10. The word “turquoise” comes from turc, meaning “Turkish,” and was derived from the beautiful color of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast.
  11. About one-quarter of the roses grown in the world come from Turkey.
  12. Turkey is the world’s fourth-largest producer of tomatoes. In 2011, Turkish farmers grew more than 11 million metric tons of tomatoes.
  13. Tradition in Turkey says that a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered “God’s guest” for at least three days.
  14. The Turkish alphabet doesn’t include “X” or “Q”, but has other letters as the dotless “i” instead.
  15. The Anatolian peninsula or Asian Turkey is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. 

Hope you enjoy this thread of Interesting facts about Turkey. For more such articles visit our official website Fajar Magazine.

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