Turkey Facts

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What is the capital of Turkey ?

Who is the President of Turkey ?
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Who is the Prime Minister of Turkey ?
Ahmet Davutoglu

Where is Turkey located? Is Turkey part of Europe or Asia ?
Turkey is located in western Asia and eastern Europe, and is close to Africa. The Bosporus or Bosphorus is one of the Turkish Straits, which divides Europe from Asia. West of the Bosphorus is Europe, while east of the Bosphorus is Asia. Turkey’s location is considered to be highly strategic politically, as they have control of the straits between the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas.

What countries border Turkey ?
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Syria

What was the Ottoman Empire ?
The Ottoman Empire was a large territory across North Africa, western Asia, and eastern Europe that lasted from July 27, 1299 to October 29, 1923. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). The Empire was the strongest power in the entire region, quickly conquering surrounding areas, and planning to conquer Rome, the capital of the West. The Ottoman Empire's huge size contributed to its fall, and it was replaced with the Republic of Turkey in 1923, though its territory was only a portion of the Ottoman Empire.

When was Turkey founded ?
The modern Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923, which is now celebrated as Republic Day, Turkey's national holiday. Mustafa Kemal was the first president of the Republic of Turkey, and took on the name Atatürk, meaning “father of the Turks.” Atatürk is considered a national hero, for his service helping Turkey undergo social, legal, and political reforms.

Is Turkey a member of the United Nations or NATO ?
Yes, Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and NATO in 1952.

What is the status of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea ? Turkey has claimed Cyprus as a territory, but this matter is still in dispute with Greece. Turkey's claims to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are not recognized by the United Nations.

What are Turkey's major cities ?
  1. Istanbul
  2. Ankara (capital)
  3. Izmir
  4. Bursa
  5. Adana

Does Turkey have an official religion ?
No, but an overwhelming majority of Turkey's population is Muslim, mostly Sunni.

What is the official language of Turkey ?
Turkish is the official language of Turkey, but Kurdish is spoken by Kurds, and Zazaki languages are spoken by the Zazas.

Who are the Kurds ?
Kurds are an indigenous people of the Middle East, in the region called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is located in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, though the Kurdish Diaspora brought Kurds to several other countries as well. Kurds speak Kurdish, and comprise about 20% of Turkey's population. They are the 4th largest ethnic group in the Middle East.

Who are the Zaza people ?
Zaza are another indigenous group of the Middle East, located primarily in the Anatolian region of eastern Turkey. Some speakers of the Zaza languages consider themselves Kurds.

Where is Anatolia ?
Anatolia is the farthest west portion of Asia, and a region of eastern Turkey.

Are turkeys (the birds) named after Turkey the country ?
Yes. Though origins of the name are not fully known, many historians believe that when Europeans first saw turkeys in America, they believed the birds were a type of guineafowl, which were imported into Europe via Turkey (from Africa). Thus, they associated the birds with Turkey. They also believed they were in the far East, adding to the belief that the birds were exotic eastern animals.

Where do people believe Noah’s ark landed ?
Some people believe Noah’s ark landed at Mount Ararat, on Mount Masis which is the highest peak of the Ararat Mountains. Mount Ararat is located in far eastern Turkey.

Turkey Map


Interesting facts about Turkey
Fact 1You had to hear about the Troy, a place where legendary Trojan Wars took place, and you've probably seen the movie 'Troy' with Brad Pitt. The famous Troy is located in Western Turkey.
Fact 2Catalhoyuk (Çatalhöyük) in Central Anatolia in Turkey is the oldest known human settlement. It is estimated that it dates from the 7th Millenium B.C.
Fact 3Two of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world are in Turkey: Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
Fact 4St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Claus, was born in Patara. There is a church dedicated to him in Demre, on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast, where he was a bishop.
Fact 5First signs of writings are found in ancient Anatolia. The first clay tablets in the ruins of Assyrian Karum date back to 1950 B.C.
Fact 6The first Neolithic paintings on man-made walls are also found in Turkey, in a previously mentioned Catalhöyük.
Fact 7The first ever Christian church built by a man was in Antioch, Turkey.
Fact 8For more than 2000 years Istanbul was capital of three empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman
Fact 9The first known university in the human history is in Harran, in southeast Turkey.
Fact 10Istanbul, or the Constantinople at the time, was once the capital of the Roman Empire.
Fact 11The first ever coins were made in Sfard, near Izmir, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, at the end of the 7th century B.C.
Fact 12The most precious silk carpet in the world is in Mevlana Museum in Konya.
Fact 13The oldest known shipwreck is found in Kaş. That shipwreck could be seen now in Submarine archaeology museum in Bodrum.
Fact 14Turkey was the birthplace of historical figures such as Aesop, Homer and St. Paul the Apostle. Aesop was famous Greek storyteller, best known by his fables. Homer was born in Izmir, Western Turkey. He is best known by his description of Troy in his epic Iliad.
Fact 15With its huge collection of 5000 works of art exhibited in the 13 halls, its open air gallery and almost 30000 artifacts that are not exhibited, Antalya museum (Antalya, Turkey) can rival world class museums.
Fact 16What tells the best about how artistic Turkey is, is the amazing calligraphy of the Ottoman Empire.
Fact 17Carpets in Turkey are real artistic masterpieces. They serve as a religious purpose and they are always used in mosques.
Fact 18Turkish cuisine is one of three most diverse cuisines in the world, along with French and Chinese. It's not necessarily the most healthy one, but it's certainly the most tasty! You should definitely try kebab, seafood, Turkish delights, halva, Efes beer...
Fact 19The most famous drink that has spread across the Europe from Turkey is famous Turkish coffee ... But in Turkey, they consume much more tea than coffee.
Fact 20More than 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located in Turkey.
Fact 21Pamukkale ("Cotton Palace") is an attractive natural complex of unique mineral springs near Denizli city in Turkey.
Fact 22Even though Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, and the third most populated in Europe, Ankara is the capital of Turkey.
Fact 23Istanbul's Grand Bazaar has 64 streets, 4000 shops and 25000 workers.
Fact 24The number of new archaeological locations in Turkey is more than 150 every year.
Fact 25Turkey's Istanbul tunnel is the world's second oldest underground railway - it begun operation in 1875.
Fact 2670% of hazelnuts come from Turkey.
Fact 27Turkish Airlines flies to 245 destinations in 105 countries across 4 continents, making it the 4th in the world by number of destinations.
Fact 28Turkey is ranked the 6th most popular tourism destination in the world with 35.5 million foreign visitors in 2012.
Fact 29Football is the most popular sport in Turkey. Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000. The Turkish national team finished 3rd in the 2002 FIFA World Cup Finals.
Fact 30Efes is the beer of Turkey. Efes Beverage Group is the largest producer of beer in Turkey with approximately 80% market share and ranked 12 in the world beer market.
Fact 31Turkey is one of the world's 5 only transcontinental Eurasian countries. Asian Turkey comprises of 97% while European Turkey comprises of 3% of the country. They are separated from each other by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles.
Interesting Facts for kidsBecause of the young population of Turkey,  it is so common to see children playing social games on the street. Perhaps the three most popular games are Korebe, Saklambac and Uzun esek.

Korebe (blind catcher) is a game where "ebe" (it) tries to catch other kids while blindfolded. The kid that gets to be caught or touched by "ebe" becomes the next "ebe."

Saklambac is the Turkish version of hide-n-seek.

Uzun Esek (long donkey) is played mostly by boys. In this game, simply players jump over the back of an ebe (it). In some different versions of the game, just like riding a donkey, players get to sit on the back of the ebe for a short while.

Last Updated on: October 12th, 2017