60 Interesting Facts About Turkey

Last updated on November 1st, 2022

Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey is a country in Southeastern Europe. It has an area of 783,562 square km. The country’s capital city is Ankara and its official language is Turkish. The Turkish lira is its official currency. It has eight bordering countries that are Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece.

The beautiful country of Turkey has plenty of historical attractions. It is filled with ancient monuments, underground cities, palaces, and ruins. The country has a vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and friendly people. Their landscapes are glorious, making it one of the world’s most enchanting places. The Blue Mosque is popular for its blue walls surrounding its interiors. It is located in Istanbul, which was built in the 1600s. Let’s take a look at 60 interesting facts about Turkey.

1. The place known as Troy from the legendary Trojan Wars is located in Western Turkey.

2. The oldest recognized human settlement is in Catalhoyuk, which is in Central Turkey.

3. The country has two places which are part of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. They are the Temple of Artemis and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.

4. Saint Nicholas, who is popularly known as Santa Claus, was born in Turkey.

5. The first signs of writing were found in Anatolia, Turkey. It was in 1950 B.C. when clay tablets were found in the Assyrian ruins.

6. The first Neolithic paintings found on man-made walls were discovered in Catalhoyuk.

7. The world’s oldest shipwreck was found in Kas. It is currently being displayed in the Submarine Archaeology Museum.

8. The world’s most precious silk carpet is stored in the Mevlana Museum, which is located in Konya.

Carpet Shop in Ankara
Interesting Facts About Turkey – Carpet Shop in Ankara. Image credit – William Neuheisel

9. The first ever coins known to man were discovered in Sfard during the seventh century, B.C.

10. Istanbul was formerly known as Constantinople. It was the Roman Empire’s capital.

11. The first ever university known to man is located in Harran.

12. Istanbul was the capital of three empires for 2,000 years: the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine Empires.

13. The first man-made Christian Church was discovered in Antioch.

14. Historical figures such as Homer, Aesop, and St. Paul the Apostle were all born in Turkey.

15. The Antalya Museum features more than 5,000 art exhibits, making it one of the best in the world.

16. Carpets are very important in Turkish culture. Seen as religious symbols, they are used in mosques.

17. Turkish food is deliciously scrumptious. They are most famous for their kebabs and seafood.

18. In Turkey, you will find a dessert made out of chicken. It is called Tavukgogsu.

Tavukgogsu, dessert made from chicken meat.
Tavukgogsu, a dessert made from chicken meat. Image credit – ali umar

19. Ice cream street vendors also perform circus-clown performances to attract customers.

20. Soup is an essential part of Turkish cuisine. They have it before every meal.

21. The most famous coffee in Europe is made in Turkey.

22. There are more than ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in Turkey.

23. The Cotton Palace or “Pamukkale” is a beautiful complex with unique mineral springs.

24. Seven churches mentioned by John in his revelations are located in Turkey. These are Ephesus, Pergamum, Smyrna, Sardis, Thyatira, Laodicea and Philadelphia.

25. Turkish people are known to be very patriotic. You will never hear them complain or say bad things about their country.

26. They give very high importance to their flag. It is placed everywhere throughout the country.

Flag of Turkey

Flag of Turkey
Flag of Turkey

27. It is common to kiss an elderly individual’s hand as a sign of respect.

28. Turkish public buildings commonly have a black arrow placed on their ceilings. It shows the direction of Mecca, which is considered to be the holiest place on Earth for Muslims.

29. The country takes equality between men and women very seriously. Since 1750, Turkey has had institutions that uphold women’s rights.

30. They were one of the first countries that allowed women to vote.

31. Julius Caesar’s famous saying, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” was spoken in the Black Sea in Turkey.

32. The first ever Church solely dedicated to Mother Mary is found in Ephesus.

33. The famous Gordian Knot, which was untangled by Alexander the Great, is located in Ankara.

34. Istanbul is the last stop for the infamous Simplon Orient Express. It is called the “king of trains and train of kings.”

35. Bargaining is a big part of Turkish culture. It is mostly seen on Istanbul’s streets.

Turkey on the map

36. In the Bible, Noah’s Ark is said to have landed on Mount Ararat, located in Eastern Turkey.

37. Istanbul is famous for being the only city that is part of two continents, Asia and Europe.

38. Hundreds of marinas and beaches have a “blue flag.” It is only given to the cleanest and best beaches in Europe.

39. Istanbul is the largest city in the country, but Ankara is Turkey’s capital.

40. Three percent of Istanbul is located in Europe, while 97% is located in Asia.

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