12 Interesting Facts About Turkey

12 Interesting Facts About Turkey

Want to learn more about Turkey? Here are the 12 interesting facts about Turkey that you probably didn't hear before!

Turkey is filled with history, natural beauty, and some interesting facts. Here are 12 things about Turkey that might surprise you.

1) Santa Claus is from Turkey

Santa Claus, Demre

Saint Nicholas, known widely as Santa Claus, was born in Patara, Lycia. Today, this location is a town named Demre in Turkey. The city is particularly popular among Russian tourists, whose patron saint is Saint Nicholas.

2) People in Turkey drink the most tea per capita in the world

Turkish Tea

It is considered offensive for a Turkish person to have breakfast without tea, and preferably lots of it. Most of the population has at least a cup of tea every day, which adds up to an impressive 3 kilos of tea leaves being consumed by each citizen each year.

3) Istanbul is the biggest city with lands on two different continents

Istanbul Bridge

Istanbul’s European and Asian sides are connected with bridges and metro. There are also ferries you can take all day to switch continents on a more scenic route.

4) There is a dessert with chicken

Turkish Dessert - Tavuk Göğsü

You (and most people) might think chicken and a dessert might not go together, but a traditional dessert called tavuk göğsü begs to differ. Literally meaning chicken breast, this pudding is made with chicken and milk and sugar, and it is delicious.

5) Turkey’s national sport is oil wrestling

National Sport of Turkey - Oil Wrestling

Looking for the answer of to the question, in which country is oil wrestling the national sport? Well, it is Turkey’s national sport.

Oil wrestling requires contestants to get completely covered in oil before wrestling. This way gripping the opponent becomes difficult, making the strength of the wrestler useless. The wrestlers can only use their technique to win the game, which happens when you put your opponent’s back to the ground.

6) Agriculture started in Turkey

Agriculture in Turkey - Sunflower

About 11,000 years ago, Anatolia had one of the most agreeable climates and a good diversity of seeds. With these advantages, it is believed that people migrated and started domesticating grains in the southeastern part of Turkey. The remains in the ancient city in Çatalhöyük suggest the people living there had wheat and barley in their diet.

7) Turkey introduced tulips to the world

Tulips in Istanbul

Tulips are believed to be wildflowers of Central Asia and brought by Turks to Anatolia when they migrated. Cherished by Turks, tulip’s popularity increased over centuries and became a must-have for Ottoman-era gardens, even naming an era in Ottoman history “Tulip Era” as it became a lifestyle icon for that time. In the 16th century, the flower was introduced to Holland through an ambassador and became very popular.

8) There aren’t any native camels in Turkey

Camel in Turkey

One of the quickest ways to be racist toward a Turk is to ask them about their camels. Turkish people find questions about traveling on camels offensive since it doesn’t represent their culture or their means of transportation. But that doesn’t mean they are not loved; there is even a festival showcasing camels and also wrestling them. The camels come from Iran, and Afghanistan and they are very precious for their owners. The camels only face their opponent for a short duel, and owners make sure no harm comes to the animals.

9) Turkey is home to one of the primary sea turtle nesting spots in the Mediterranean

Caretta Caretta

On a beach called İztuzu near tourist-favorite Fethiye, the loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs in the nests they dug every year between May to October. The beach and the area nearby are protected and preserved.

10) Turkish is easy to learn

Turkish Language

If you spend some time in Turkey or saw a text in Turkey, the length of some of the words may intimidate you. But fear not, Turkish is very easy to pick up. Since Turkish is written just as it’s spoken, reading signs and becoming understandable by locals is a fast process. If you learn some of the common phrases, you’ll win the heart of every local you meet.

11) The world’s oldest temple was discovered in Turkey

The world’s oldest temple Göbekli Tepe or Potbelly Hill, is in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is widely believed that Göbeklitepe was established around the 10th millennium BCE, yet regarded as one of the most important archaeological places in the world by some scholars.

12) The most important Hecate sanctuary is in Turkey

Hecate, who appears in Hesiod’s Theogony as a strong and great goddess, was a popular deity among the Carians of Anatolia. Her cult was practiced with many local variations all over Western Anatolia. Yet, the most famous Hecate temple is in Lagina, a theocratic city-state in which the goddess was served by eunuchs.

Özge Erdem

Özge’s career goals changed big time during the third year of her major, when she realized she had no wish to be a chemical engineer. After traveling Asia and doing various nomadic jobs, she settled back in Turkey to start her dream job of building websites and copy-writing with her high school friend.

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