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Some Interesting Facts About Turkey
* 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 world’s oldest known settlement is in Catalhoyuk in central Anatolia, Turkey, and dates back to 6,500 BC.
* St Nicolas – the original Santa Claus – was born in Patara in Turkey and has a church dedicated to him in Demre.
* The Virgin Mary spent her last days in Selcuk, İzmir, near the ancient city of Ephesus.
* Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the Golden Horn, an inlet at mouth of the Bosphorus, that was never built.
* Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words “Veni. Vedi, Veci” (I came, I saw, I conquered) in Turkey when he defeated Pontus, a formidable Kingdom
in the Black Sea Region of Turkey.
* The first known University in history is in Harran, Southeast Turkey.
* Homer (Homeros) was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey and he depicted Troy, which is north of Izmir, in his Epic the Iliad.
* The smallpox vaccination was introduced to England and Europe from Turkey by Lady Montague in the early 19th century (after Turkish physicians saved
her son’s life).
* Part of Turkey’s south western shore was a wedding gift from Mark Antony to Cleopatra.
* The famous Trojan Wars took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden model of the Trojan Horse has been erected at the site.
* 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).
* One of the seven wonders, The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (today only base ruins remained in Selcuk, Izmir).
* One of the seven wonders, The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus today only base ruins remained in Bodrum, Mugla.
* The word "turquoise" derives from the French word for Turkish (Turquois), the beautiful colour of waters of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern
* The first coins ever minted were done so at Sardis, near İzmir, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Lycia, at the end of the seventh century B.C.
* According to the Legend of Great Flood, after the withdrawal of the waters, Noah's Ark landed on Mount Ağrı in eastern Anatolia.
One of the first most accurate world maps were drawn by the well-known Turkish cartographer and navigator Piri Reis in 16th century.
* Contrary to popular opinion, tulip originated not in Holland but on the Asian steppes. The Turks first gave the Dutch their famous tulips that started the
craze for the flower in England and the Netherlands. There is a period of elegance and amusement in 18th century is named "The Tulip Age" in Ottoman
* The Seven Churches referred in the Book of Revelation are all found in Turkey: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
* The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey. Marco Polo's journeys in the thirteenth centuries took him here,
and he remarked that the "best and handsomest of rugs" were to be found in Turkey.
* The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the
* The Amazons originated in Turkey's Northeastern region.
* Anatolia is the location of the first known beauty contest, judged by Paris, with Aphrodite, Hera and Athena as leading participants.
* The number of archaeological excavations going on in Turkey every year is at least 150.