Turkey is a country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. It is situated at the crossroads of the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, and eastern Mediterranean. It is also a birthplace of Ottoman Empire, created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia (Asia Minor) that grew to be one of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries. The Ottoman period spanned more than 600 years and came to an end only in 1922, when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic.
The capital is Ankara and the currency of Turkey is Lira.
Where is Turkey?[edit | edit source]
Turkey is borded on the north by the Black Sea, on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia, on the east by Azerbaijan and Iran, on the southeast by Iraq and Syria , on the southwest and west by the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, and on the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria.
How many people live in Turkey?[edit | edit source]
According to the latest census figures, the total population in Turkey was estimated at 83.154.997 people in 2020.
What are the most common languages in Turkey?[edit | edit source]
Under the Constitution of Turkey: Article 42, the Turkish language is established as the official language of the country. The language is also the most spoken in the country.The common ethnic languages spoken in Turkey are Turkish, Kurmanji, Arabic and Zazaki.
What is the most common religion in Turkey?[edit | edit source]
In a 1928 constitutional amendment, Islam was removed as the official state religion. However, more than 90% of the population is Muslim.
What is the sport of Turkey?[edit | edit source]
Turkish oil wrestling (also known as grease wrestling / Yağlı güreş ) is the national sport of Turkey.
It is an old sports apparently dates back to the Janissaries, the elite soldier class of the Ottoman Empire. The Janissaries trained extensively for combat and wrestling was a part of this. Tradition has it that the Janissaries used olive oil to either keep their bodies cool, or mixed with herbs to ward off mosquitoes through hours of training. At some point the oil became inseparable from the wrestling itself and its effects on the matches themselves far outweigh anything it can do for sun or mosquito protection in the modern era.
Wrestlers wear hand stitched leather trousers called kisbet and are drenched in olive oil before the match as this makes it more difficult to gain a grip on your opponent. The rule of grease wrestling are the competitors need to protect their own kisbet while trying to attack his challenger. To gain hold the wrestlers will go down the back of their opponents uniform. Winning using this move is known as paca kazık. The other rules are not to 'show his navel to the heavens'. If you laid down with belly facing the skies , you lose.
What are some important sites?[edit | edit source]
Blue Mosque / Sultan Ahmed Mosque - Istanbul mosque is that it has six minarets, as opposed to the usual two or four of most of the city’s mosques. In the history of the Blue Mosque, legend has it that this is because of a misunderstanding – when the Sultan decreed there should be altın minare (gold minarets), the architect heard altı minare (six minarets)
Hagia Sophia - It is a museum which was originally built as a church during Emperor Justinian and converted to a mosque during the Ottoman Empire and finally under order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk , it was finally reopened as a museum in 1935.
Aspendos Theatre - Aspendos boasts one of the best preserved ancient theatres of antiquity. The theatre of Aspendos was built in 155 AD during the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius and could seat between 15,000 and 20,000 spectators. Because the stage area was later used as a caravanserai (a roadside inn) in Seljuk times, it was continuously repaired and maintained. Thus, the Aspendos Theatre has been able to survive to this days without losing almost any of its original qualities.
Library of Celsus - The library was built around 125 AD to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a monumental tomb for Celsus, the governor of Asia. The façade was carefully reconstructed in the 1970s to its present splendid state from the original pieces.
Pamukkale - It meant “cotton castle” in Turkish, is an unreal landscape in western Turkey, famous for its white terraces. The terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. The ancient Greek city of Hierapolis was built on top of the hot springs by the kings of Pergamon. The ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen at the site.
Mount Nemrut - One of Turkey's most famous sites, Mount Nemrut has statues of Greek and Persian gods that were built by King Antiochus I of Commagene.