• 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.
  • Turkey has the 17th largest economy in the world.


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