Did you know that ….

  • Turks introduced coffee to Europe and Anatolia was producing wine as early as 4,000 BC ….. read on for more interesting facts …..
  • 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 2,000 years.
  • The number of archaeological excavations going on in Turkey every year is at least 150.
  • The oldest known human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, Turkey (7,500 BC)
  • Abraham was born in Şanlıurfa in South Eastern Turkey
  • Anatolia is the birth place of historic legends such as Omar (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) and St Paul the Apostle.
  • Julius Ceasar 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.
  • St Nicholas, who became popular as Father Christmas, was born in Demre on Turkey’s Mediterranean Coast.
  • According to legend, Noah’s Ark landed on Ağrı Dağı (Mount Ararat) in Eastern Turkey.
  • The last meal on Noah’s Ark, a pudding with nearly 20 ingredients, is still served throughout Turkey.
  • The last home of Virgin Mary is in Selçuk (near Ephesus)
  • St John, St Nicholas, St Paul and St Peter have all lived and prayed in Southern Anatolia.
  • Part of Turkey’s South Western shore was a wedding gift that Mark Anthony gave to Cleopatra (you can visit many ruins of Cleopatra’s not too far away from Dalyan)
  • Homer was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey and he depicted Troy in his Epic the Illiad.
  • Aesop, famous 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.
  • 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).
  • Istanbul’s Robert College (established in 1863), is the oldest American school outside the United States.
  • Early Christians escaping Roman persecution nearly 2,000 years ago sheltered in Cappadocia in Central Anatolia.
  • The Amazons originated in Turkey’s North Eastern region.
  • The famous Trojan wars took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan Horse rests today (not too far away from Gelipoli)
  • Accordingly to Turkish tradition a stranger at one’s doorstep is considered “A guest from God” and should be accommodated accordingly.
  • The first church built by man (St Peter’s Church) is in Antioch (Antakya).
  • The first Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik
  • Süleyman the Magnificent (the famous Ottoman Sultan) was a poet who wrote over 3,000 poems, some of them criticising the greed of mankind.
  • Turkey is a longtime member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) since 1952.
  • Turkey provides 70 percent of the world’s hazelnuts; the nut in your chocolate bar was most probably grown in Turkey.
  • Istanbul has a 540 year old covered shopping mall of 64 streets, 4,000 shops, 22 entrances and 25,000 workers – the famous Grand Bazaar.
  • The most valuable silk carpet in the world, is in the Mevlana Museum, Konya with 144 knots per square centimetre. In the 13th century Marco Polo wrote “the best and handsomest of rugs are woven here, and also silks of crimson and other rich colours”.
  • Hezarfen Ahmed Çelebi was the first man who flew a significant distance using wings across the Bosphorus (Visit the Gallati Tower near Taksim Square on the Asian side of Istanbul, wonderful views and a great place for something to eat too – entertainment in the evenings).
  • Anatolia is the location of the first known beauty contest, judged by Paris, with Aphrodite, Hera and Athena as leading participants.
  • Turkey receives children from around the world each year on April 23 to “honour and cherish the freedom and independence of all people”.
  • Anatolia is the location of seven Churches of Asia.