If you think you know everything about Turkey think again, as we’ve listed some fascinating facts about this amazing country that we are sure you never knew. Keep reading to discover more reasons why you should visit this superb destination.
The highest point in Turkey is Mount Ararat
This huge volcanic mountain boasts the highest point in Turkey at an astonishing 16,854 feet. It consists of two volcanic cones, the largest being the highest point and the slightly smaller one measuring in at 12,782 feet. It has a distinctive ice cap on its peak and is currently dormant, so you won’t have to worry about regular eruptions if you’re planning on visiting.
King Midas lived in Turkey
This famous mythological king was said to have possessed a golden touch, which meant that everything he touched turned to pure gold. It is said that he gained these powers after making a fateful wish to a god called Dionysus in return for helping a friend of the god. It is most likely that he didn’t think it would be taken so literally and it soon became a burden that was too much to bear.
Turkey is home to more than ten world heritage sites
You will find numerous awe-inspiring historic sites throughout Turkey including more than ten UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These include the Goreme National Park, the Nemrut Dag tomb, the Archaeological Site of Troy, the Divrigi Great Mosque and Hospital, Pamukkale, Pergamon and the Neolithic Site of Catalhoyuk.
Modern day Turkey was formed in 1923
Following the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I, the country was occupied by the allied forces, which lead to the Turkish War of Independence. This war lasted from 1919 to 1923. Eventually on July 24 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, which defined the borders of the new modern country now known as the Republic of Turkey.
All Tulips come from Turkey
Tulips are a common sight in Europe especially around the gardens of the UK come summer and have become synonymous with the Netherlands. They were in fact never originally part of Europe’s flora, it was only during the 16th century that tulips were introduced to Europe by Turkish traders. They were very successful and have become one of the most widely recognised flowers.
Santa Claus was born in Turkey
That’s right, Santa Claus aka Saint Nicholas was born in the ancient port town of Patara and went on to become the bishop of the town of Demre. He gained a reputation for gift giving, which is what inspired the yearly celebrations of giving gifts on different dates in December around the world. The Name Santa Claus comes from numerous translations of ‘Saint Nikolas’ deriving from his Dutch name Sinterklaas.
Ankara is the capital city of Turkey – not Istanbul
You would be forgiven for thinking that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey, as it’s not only an important cultural centre and very large but also because it’s one of the most talked about cities in Turkey. The capital city is however Ankara, which is around 450km by road to the southeast of Istanbul. It boasts a wealth of historic sites and is a must-visit destination during your next Turkey holiday.
But Istanbul is the only city in Turkey located on two continents
Istanbul may not be the capital but it is the largest city in Turkey and also the only one located on two continents. On the European side is where you will find the historic and also the commercial centre of the city. The Asian side also offers plenty of sights and the opportunity to explore along the edge of the Bosphorus Strait, which separates the two sides.
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