Interesting Facts on Turkey
Turkey is geographically the site of tremendous amounts of history, and the source of much modern culture.
Turkey: Historical Interesting Facts
Istanbul itself, once known as Byzantium, then Constantinople, is the only city in the world that spans two continents. It was the capital of the Roman (later the Byzantine) Empire, then the Ottoman Empire, both of which ruled huge portions of the world. Today it’s the capital of Turkey and remains a vital, thriving, living city. As a sign of just how old and stable this city is, consider that the Grand Bazaar, a covered shopping mall with more than 4,000 shops employing more than 25,000 workers, has existed for almost six centuries.
Istanbul is just the tip of the archaeological iceberg in Turkey. Each year sees anywhere from 100 to 200 excavations being worked on in Turkey. The oldest known human settlement exists in Turkey at Catalhoyuk, Turkey, believed to have been established almost 10,000 years ago! And two of the ancient “Wonders of the World,” the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, are located in Turkey and can still be marvelled at today!
Turkey: Cultural Interesting Facts
If you’re reading this while perking up with your morning coffee, you can thank the Turkish, who introduced coffee to Europe centuries ago – and still claim that no one in the West knows how to make it properly (the Greeks would agree)! The people living in what is now Turkey are also some of the first people to make wine – as early as 4000 BCE. So if you’re reading this on your tablet while waiting for friends in a wine bar, you might thank the ancient Turks!
Santa Claus was born in what is now Turkey, in the form of St. Nicholas, who was born in the city of Demre, located in what is modern Turkey's Mediterranean Coast. And Aesop, the author of the famous Aesop’s Fables, was born in what now constitutes modern Turkey (then known as “Anatolia”).
And a final fact about the warm, generous people who live in Turkey today: Traditions there consider unexpected guests, especially strangers, to be a “guest from God” who must be welcomed and treated as honoured guests. If you ask me, that may be the only fact you need to know about Turkey and the people who live there.