A country of sun & history, Turkey straddles the point where Europe & Asia meet. It is located where the three continents making up the old world, Asia, Africa & Europe, are closest to one another.
Gobeklitepe Temple complex in southeast Turkey, is the oldest ancient temple built by mankind anywhere in the world. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years & the pyramids by 7000 years. It is also claimed to be in the Garden of Eden.
St. George, the patron saint of England is from Cappadocia region in central Turkey.
The first democratic union known in history was ‘The Lycian Federation’ & in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)
Because of its geographical location, the mainland, Anatolia, has witnessed the mass migration of diverse peoples shaping the course of history. Home to countless civilizations, Anatolia has developed a unique blend of cultures, each with its own distinct identity, each linked to its predecessors through history.
As an ancient land & modern nation, Turkey today holds & protects the common past of all people.
Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents – Europe & Asia. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine & Ottoman Empires.
Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in Turkey – the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus & the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Bodrum.
St. Nicholas, known as Santa Claus today, was born & lived in Demre (Myra) on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous Church of St. Nicholas, which contains the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th century.
Many archaeologists & biblical scholars believe Noah’s Ark landed on Agri Dagi (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.
The famous Trojan War took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan Horse rests today.
Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian who lived in southwest coast of Caria, Anatolia (Asia Minor) in the 5th century BC & is regarded as the ‘Father of History’ in Western culture.
Julius Caesar issued his celebrated proclamation, Veni, Vidi, Vici (“I came, I saw, I conquered”), in Turkey upon defeating the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
Alexander the Great conquered a large territory in what is now Turkey & also cut the Gordion Knot in the Phrygian capital (Gordium), not far from Turkey’s present-day capital (Ankara).
About 65-80% of the worldwide production of dried apricots belong to Malatya.
Aesop – famous all over the world for his fables & parables – was born in Anatolia.
Homer was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey. He depicted Troy in his epic Iliad.
Part of Turkey’s southwestern shore was a wedding gift from Marc Anthony to Cleopatra.
Writing was first used by people in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets – in the ruins of Assyrian Karum (a merchant colony) – date back to 1950 B.C.
One of the oldest known human settlement in the world is located in Catalhoyuk Turkey, dating back to 6500 B.C.
Philosophy began with Thales of Miletus on the western coast of Anatolia (in what is now Aydin Province, Turkey).
There are 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Turkey.
Today, the House of the Virgin Mary is looked after by a small contingent of monks & nuns, is in Turkey, & is visited each day by people from the all over the world.
Assos, is a small historically rich town in Behramkale, Turkey. The philosopher Aristotle lived here & opened an Academy. The city was also visited by St. Paul. Today Assos is a Aegean-coast seaside retreat amid ancient ruins.
Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the Bosphorus, the strait that flows through Europe & Asia. (Although da Vinci’s bridge was never built, there are now two bridges over the Bosphorus).
The oldest active sport organization after the Olympic Games is an oil-wrestling festival called Kirkpinar in Edirne.
Dalyan beach is well known for the Caretta Caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtles) which have existed for 95 million years. International animal protection organizations monitor & protect the turtles’ nesting grounds in Turkey.
The most valuable silk carpet in the world which has 144 knots per square centimeter is located in the Mevlana Museum in Konya.
Asia Minor (modern Turkey) was the home for all Ecumenical Councils in the early history of the Christian church.
In 1492, Sultan Beyazid II, after learning about the expulsion of Jews, dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring them 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, & from Russia in 1881, 1891, 1897, & 1903 all took refuge in the Ottoman Empire.
In ancient times the city Antakya was known as ‘Antioch’ & has historical significance for Christianity, being the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians.