FACTS ABOUT TURKEY
It is impossible to frame in one page all about Turkey however, the below notes may give you basic knowledge…
In the dark hours of WWI, the brave General of the fallen Ottoman Empire, deny to give him & his soldiers’ weapons back saying “if I can give them, how can I defend my citizens” and this creates a great movement of building up Modern Turkey. Well educated soldier, Mustafa Kemal and his friends travel all around Turkey to gather all the local forces and manage to create a big army with them… His victory was inevitable as they were supported but not just by soldiers but all people… In the War of Freedom, many people walk to death just to defend their country for their kids… In the end, after many casualties and sad stories, on the 29th of October 1923, Mustafa Kemal declared the Turkish Republic.
But he desired more for the Turkish people and with his great support from the public; he went into great reforms in-laws & education. He created Today Turkey’s strong foundations with his friends & supporters… When he died on 10th November 1938 while he was 57 years old, remaining great grief in all Turkish citizens’ hearts that even today we all feel in our hearts.
PLACE OF THE WOMEN
One of the greatest acts of the Modern Turkish Republic was giving rights to women. In 1926, with the adoption of new laws, polygamy has been banned and equality of genders have been accepted including in Political Life… In 1930, 18 women were elected to the National Parliament. Besides them all, Turkey had the First Female Supreme Court Justice of the World…
Turkey is a democratic, secular country that laws are protected by the Turkish Constitution. It is a very important detail as more than %90 of the population is Muslim, Country still keeps its secularism very strong and alive. This is the land that all religions lived together for a long time. It was called “Land of Thousands of Gods” by the Hittites. People are fully respectful of other religions.
COMMON DEVICE OF COMMUNICATION: LANGUAGE
One of the greatest reforms of Ataturk was the changing of the Alphabet which was the great barrier to education… In Ottoman Period, Arabic Script was using however it was not fit in the Turkish language and it was making education more difficult. With Ataturk’s great attempt, in 1928 they changed the old script to the Latin alphabet which is easier for Turkish people.
Oldest Turkish writings dated back to the 8th century called Orhon Inscription which was referred to as Turkic Runes. And with the Latin alphabet, which is suitable for the original language let Turkish Literature grown up and have its place in world literature…
SECURITY IN GENERAL
Turkey is a traveler-friendly country that guests feel safe, especially in Istanbul. Comparing with other big cosmopolite cities, it has the lowest crime rates among them. But, guests should be aware that, every city in the world has some darker corners that guests should be careful.
WHILE PACKING FOR TURKEY
It depends on where you are going in Turkey. In general, we can speak about two parts of Turkey. Coastal areas are mainly hot during summer and humidity is at high levels. Winters are cold but softer… On the other hand, inner parts of Turkey have dry heat in summer and get very cold during winter, especially in the Eastern part. For that reason, it is better to ask your travel advisor for approximate temperature…
On many sites, you will walk or you can even have great hiking opportunities. For that reason, having proper shoes can be very wise… About wearing, please keep in mind that, Islam has a dominant power that décolleté is disrespectful for religious places, in the rural areas and villages. For that reason, having a nice scarf can be a nice accessory and you could cover your décolleté with it…
Turkey has many beauties and you would love to take pictures of them. For that reason, double-check your memory cards of cameras that you have enough space… For electrical devices, you may need an adapter as Turkey uses 220volt electricity, 2 pins European plug system.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT TURKEY
- The world’s oldest temple, “Gobekli Tepe” is in Sanliurfa.
- The legendary civilization of the Amazons lived in Turkey’s Black Sea region.
- Turkey has 11 sites chosen by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites: the archaeological site of Troy; the city of Safranbolu; the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği; Hattusha, the Hittite Capital; Old city of Istanbul; Nemrut Dağ; the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük; the Selimiye Mosque and its associated buildings in Edirne; Xanthos-Letoon; Göreme National Park and the rock sites of Cappadocia; and Hierapolis-Pamukkale
- The four bronze horses of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice were taken from the Hippodrome of Constantinople.
- Many historic figures like Herodotus (the father of history), Homer (the poet), and St. Paul the Apostle were born in Turkey. It is said that Santa Claus came from Turkey.
- In the 15th century, unlike their European counterparts, Turkish people were using indoor toilets. In Istanbul alone, there were more than hundreds of public toilets!
- The remains of Catalhoyuk, dated to the 7th millennium B.C.E., are counted as one of the oldest settlements in the world. The world’s first landscape painting was found on the wall of a home in Catalhoyuk. It shows the eruption of volcanic Mt. Hasan in the Neolithic period (6,500 BCE).
- The world’s first Islamic University was founded in Harran, Turkey, in the 8th century.
- Carpets for the Ottoman Palace in 16th to 20th centuries were produced in Hereke Izmit (Kocaeli) Turkey. The area continues to be a source of lovely rugs and carpets.
- Peter’s Church of Antioch (now Antakya) is the World’s first church.
- The Kasikci Diamond, exhibited in the Topkapi Palace Treasury, is 86 carats and surrounded by 49 brilliants. It counts as one of the biggest diamonds in the world.
- One of the most beautiful ancient masterpieces, the Sarcophagus of Alexander, is in Istanbul’s Archeology Museum.
- One of two mountains, Ararat and Cudi, is believed to be where Noah’s ark landed.
- Tomato Red used in Ottoman tiles that produced only in the 16th century the ingredient is still unknown…
- “Kundekari” is the technique of combining chased geometrical wooden parts to each other without pins or glue. This technique lets the wooden fragments last longer than normal as each piece supports the other. The results of this technique are still seen in the elegant decorative wooden doors and shutters of Ottoman Period architecture.
- In the Ottoman Period, books were so valuable that they were used as donations in the mosque library…
- Kars and Erzurum are the cities in Turkey where the crystals of snowflakes can be seen with bare eyes, just like in parts of the Alps.
- The First Ecumenical Council of the Churches was held in 325 in Iznik.
- Anatolia was the major site for a “Mother Goddess” cult that existed thousands of years before male gods showed up.
- The famous Ankara cats, recognizable because of their two-colored eyes and white fur, are mainly deaf.
- The Gordian knot that Alexander the Great untied by cutting was in Turkey.
- Angora wool sheared from Ankara Goats and Rabbits.
- The Silk Carpet in the Mevlana Museum in Konya is considered one of the most precious ones in the world. Hattusa of the Hittite Empire, Gordion of the Phrygian Empire, and Konya of the Seljuk Empire were the capitals of the Anatolian Empires.
- The small monument called “The Million Stone” in Sultanahmet Square was the symbolic center of Constantinople.
- Ancient people started producing wine in the Cappadocia area in 4,000 BC.
- The Column of Christ’s Flagellation is in Istanbul’s Greek Orthodox Patriarchate.
- The world’s first peace treaty, made between Egyptians and Hittites, is exhibited in Istanbul’s Archeology Museum remains from 12th century BC:
- Hagia Sophia, dating from the 6th century, was the biggest building for a thousand years. It is still the 4th biggest cathedral building in the world
- Hagia Sophia is the first rectangular building with a dome…
- Under the orders of Darius, king of the Persians, ships were tied to make a bridge over the Bosphorus in the 4thcentury BC.
- The old city of Istanbul has seven hills, just like Rome.
- The great majority of cave churches with in-situ frescoes are in the Cappadocia region.
- Einkorn, the first domesticated wheat, still grows wild in Anatolia.
- Avanos, located in the Red River area of Anatolia, has been a pottery-making center for more than 10,000 years.
- Saint George, the dragon slayer, was born in Cappadocia.
- The underground cities of Cappadocia could safely hide 100,000 people in troubled times.
- The Virgin Mary’s House in Ephesus was discovered by Sister Emmerich, who saw it in her visions. It counts as one of the most sacred places for Christians.
- The Trojan War was fought in Canakkale.
- the Seven Churches of Revelation are all in the Aegean Region in Turkey (Ephesus, Sardis, Thyatira, Pergamon, Philadelphia, Smyrna, and Colossae)
- The word “Turquoise” comes from the clean sea color on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey.
- Lydia, one of the early Aegean civilizations, was the first in the world to use money (coins) as a means of trade.
- “Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)”, the famous quote of Julius Caesar, was said in Turkey after he defeated the Pontus kingdom of the Black Sea.
- Because of its micro-climate, the Black Sea region hosts tens of unnamed and more than two hundred endemic plants in its flora.
- Istanbul is mentioned in the legendary search for the Golden Fleece by Jason and the Argonauts. This is where they met with Harpies and Symplegades.
- One of the greatest military commanders in history, Hannibal, is buried in Gebze.
- The first rows of the columns in the main hall of Hagia Sophia were taken from one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Artemision of Ephesus.
- The famous Turkish dessert, baklava, should have a minimum of 40 layers and should be shaped with hands and a rolling pin
- The main ingredients of Turkey’s popular chicken breast puddings, Tavukgogusu, are milk, gum-mastic and chicken.
- Asure, a special pudding made by Noah (made with grain, rice, chickpeas, dry bean, dry fruit & sugar) upon disembarkation from the ark, is still made in Turkey for religious celebrations.