DID YOU KNOW THAT ..!
- The 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 years.
- The number of archaelogical excavations going on in
Turkey every year is at least 150.
- The oldest known human settlement is in Çatalhöyük,
Turkey (7500 B.C.).
- Ephesus and Halicarnassus - two of the seven wonders
of the ancient world - are in Turkey.
- Anatolia is the birthplace of historic legends, such
as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Heredotus (the father of history), and St.
Paul the Apostle.
- Julius Caesar 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.
- The famous Trojan Wars took place in western Turkey,
around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan Horse rests today.
- The first church built by man (St. Peter's Church)
is in Antioch (Antakya), Turkey.
- Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
- Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips.
- The Amazons originated in Turkey's Northeastern
- The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik,
- Writing was first used by people in ancient
Anatolia. The first clay tablets - in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (merchant
colony) - date back to 1950 B.C.
- Female deities dominated the Central Anatolian
pantheon for thousands of yearsbefore these supernatural powers were
transferred to male gods.
- Abraham was born in Şanlıurfa in Southeast
- The Hittites sold Abraham the cave where he buried
his wife Sarah, when the Israelites came to Palestine.
- St. Nicholas was born in Demre on Turkey's
- According to legend, Noah's Ark landed on Mt. Ararat
(Ağrı Dağı) in Eastern Turkey.
- The last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding with nearly
40 ingredients, is still served throughout Turkey.
- The last home of Virgin Mary is in Selçuk, Turkey.
- St. John, St. Nicholas, St. Paul and St. Peter have
all lived and prayed in Southern Anatolia.
- Part of Turkey's Southwestern Shore was a wedding
gift that Mark Anthony gave to Cleopatra.
- Homer was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey
and he depicted Troy in his Epic the Iliad.
- Suleyman the Magnificent (the famous Ottoman Sultan)
was a poet who wrote over 3000 poems some of them criticising the greed of
- One of the biggest and best preserved theatres of
antiquity seating 15,000 is Aspendos on the southern coast of Turkey
whereinternational music festivals are held each year.
- Aesop - famous all over the world for his fables and
parables - was born in Anatolia.
- Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the
Bosphorus, the strait that flows through Europe and Asia. (It was never
built then; but now there are two Bosphorus bridges.).
- President Woodrow Wilson was fond of telling some of
the tales of Nasreddin Hoca (13th century Turkish wit and
raconteur; UNESCO has declared a "Nasreddin Hoca year",
- Greek Prime Minister Venizelos nominated Turkish
President Atatürk for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934.
- 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 capital (Ankara).
- Greek Cynic philosopher Diogenes was born in Sinop
on Turkey's Black Sea Coast.
- Croesus - whose name is synonymous with great wealth
- had his kingdom (Lydia) in Western Turkey.
- The only massive monument erected anywhere in the
world for a translator is Istanbul's Dragman Camii (Translator's Mosque,
- Smallpox vaccination was introduced to England and
Europe from Turkey by Lady Montagu in early 18th century (after
Turkish phsycians saved her son's life).
- Istanbul's Robert College, established in 1863, is
the oldest American School outside the United States.
- Throughout history Anatolia - land of Turks has been
a bridge between Europe and Asia where people of different origins have come
together and mingled with the ones already settled each time creating a new
- Early Christians escaping Roman persecution nearly
2000 years ago sheltered in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia.
- In 1492 Sultan Beyazıd II, learning about the
expulsion of Jews dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jews safely to
the Ottoman lands. Likewise Jews expelled from Hungary in 1376; from Sicily
early in the 15th century; from Bavaria in 1470; from Bohemia in
1542 and from Russia in 1881, 1891, 1897, 1903 all took refuge in the
- As it was the case during the Bolshevik revolution,
Turkey served as a safe passage an haven for those fleeing their native
countries during the World War II, Turkey was one of the few countries in
the world which welcomed the Jewish refugees escaping the horros of Nazism.
- During the Gulf War in 1991, Turkey welcomed nearly
half a million Kurds from Northern Iraq, who were fleeing the torment of
- Turkey provided homes for some 313,000 Bulgarian
refugees of Turkish origin expelled from their homelands in Bulgaria in
- According to Turkish tradition a stranger at one's
doorstep is considered "A Guest from God" and should be
One of the most beautiful verses of Mevlana
Celaleddin-i Rumi - the renowned Turkish philosopher and the father of
Mysticism is the following: "Come, come again, whoever you are, come!
Heathen, fire worshipper or idolatrous, come! Come even if you broke your
penitence a hundred times, Ours is the portal of hope, come as you are."
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