Things You Never Knew About Turkey
Today, Turkey has tourists flocking to its shores to discover this country which has such an ancient history. And although we know the country as Turkey, it has actually been the Republic of Turkey since 1923! Here are more things you didn’t know about this wonderful land.
The legendary Roman ruler made one of his most famous statements in the Black Sea region of Turkey, near Anatolia. Veni, vidi, vici — ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’ — was Caesar’s own account of his defeat of the Pontus in 47 BCE. The war may have been brief, but these words have stayed with us forever and he spoke them in Turkey.
Turkey didn’t invent nature, no, but this sublime country has some pretty noteworthy phenomena that will impress even the worldliest travellers. First of all, the coastline along the Black Sea extends 1,650 kilometres, the same distance between Paris and Berlin. If you’re looking for a beach experience, Turkey has you covered.
Speaking of beaches, Iztuzu Beach, near Fethiye (which is especially beautiful by night), is one of the premier sea turtle breeding areas in the Mediterranean. Each year, between May and October, endangered loggerhead sea turtles climb ashore to dig nests. Seeing these cute little creatures definitely makes the trip worthwhile!
Coffee, tulips and more!
Most people associate tulips with the Dutch, but in the 18th century, growing tulips became something of a craze in Turkey. Some of the Ottomans had begun to imitate European court life and pleasures while under the influence of the grand vizier Ibrahim Paşa. Soon rich and poor alike were growing tulips. This symbolised westernisation.
Great things we can thank Turkey for? Hazelnuts! Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts. The Turks have also played a part in introducing coffee to Europe. In fact, the world’s first coffee shop opened in Turkey!
Underground railroad across country lines
The Tünel, the second oldest underground railroad in the world, is in Turkey and has been operating since 1875. This railroad in Istanbul gives you the opportunity to cross continental lines via train. That’s because Istanbul, despite being the largest city in Europe, is partially located in Asia.
Wrestling is a popular pastime in Turkey. In fact, oil wrestling is the national sport and is a 654 year old tradition. In early summer, each year men covered in olive oil and stripped to the waist will compete in a three day tournament in Kirkpinar. The title up for grabs is Chief Wrestler of Turkey.
Anatolia is a peninsula located at the point where Europe and Asia meet and is also referred to as Asia Minor. Throughout history it has been a crossroads for conquering armies, goods and travellers. The region has been the birthplace of many historical people, such as Herodotus, the father of history himself. The Greek poet Homer is also believed to have been born in this region.
Take a trip to Turkey with Falcon. Uncover more interesting facts for yourself in this country steeped in history and mystery!