Did You Know

  • The land of the ancierıt Asia Minor or Anatolia is today’s Turkey.
  • Although Turkey is predominantly an Islamic country, it is a secular, democratic republic and people have freedom of religion and belief.
  • Turkey is an extension and homeland of many great civilizations of the world heritage, such as Hattians, Hittites,Phrygians, Urartians, Lydians, lonians, Carians, Lycians, Persians,Hellenistic people, Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans and finally the people of the modern republic.
  • The earliest landscape painting in history exists on a wall of a Çatalhöyük house dating from 6200 BC. It shows the eruption of a volcano, probably that of Hasandağ’s.
  • The Neolithic culture had its origin in Turkey and the peoples of Anatolia played a leading part in the Neolithic Revolution.
  • The first recorded International peace treaty in the world was the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires, Hattusilis III and Ramses II, in 1284 BC.
  • Homer’s birthplace Izmir (Smyrna) and his mythological city Troy are located in Anatolia.
  • The world’s first beauty contest was held on Mount Ida (Kaz Dağı). The contestants were Aphrodite, Hera and Athena under the judgment of Paris.
  • Many city names in different parts of the world such as Philadelphia, Paris, Antioch, Troy or the Continental name “Europe” originate in Anatolia.
  • The oldest known shipwreck on earth was excavated by a team headed by Don Frey in Ulu Burun near Kaş.
  • In 640 BC, for the first time in history, coins made of electrum were used by the Lydians in Sardis (Sart).
  • The Persian Royal Road of the 6C BC ran from Sardis, western Anatolia, to Susa.
  • Aesop, teller of animal fables, was an Anatolian.
  • King Midas was an Anatolian.
  • Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot near Ankara. The double knot in Turkish carpets is called “Gördes Düğümü”which is the Turkish expression for the Gordian knot.
  • Alexander’s tutor, Aristotle, virtually invented the life sciences while he stayed in Assos (Behramkale) for three years.
  • Betvveen 7 and 5C BC, Miletus was the home of Thales (one of the Seven Sages), of Anaximander and Anaximenes (naturalphilosophers), Hippodamus (philosopher and the earliest town planner) and Hecataeus (geographer).
  • Historian Herodotus, Apollonius, philosophers Anaxagoras,Scopelianus, Cleanthes and many more were all Anatolians.
  • Two of the Seven Wonders of the World stood in Anatolia the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The others are the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes and, the Pharos of Alexandria.
  • The words of Julius Caesar “Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)“ were said in Amasya, east of Ankara when he went to Anatolia in 47 BC.
  • When the Egyptians prohibited the export of papyrus, the King of Pergamum ordered that a new material found. The new discovery was “parchment”, a fine material from sheep or goat skin, which is highiy polished with pumice stone and slit into sheets. The name, Pergamum, has been perpetuated and seen assynonymous with the word “parchment”.
  • Anatolia was the first major stronghold of Christianity. The Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the garden; two of them the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Fırat) rise in the mountains of eastern Turkey.
  • Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is in Anatolia. According to tradition, Ararat is the place where Noah’s Ark landed. Ararat is the Hebrew form for Urartu, the Assyrian name for a kingdom that existed in the region from the 11C to the 7C BC.
  • Early Christians escaping from Roman persecution sheltered in Cappadocia.
  • St. Paul was born in Tarsus (southern Turkey). He undertook most of his missionary journeys and wrote most of his Biblical epistles to early Christians in Anatolia.
  • The Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the Revelation of John are all located in Anatolia; Ephesus (Efes), Smyrna (İzmir), Laodicea ad Lycum (Denizli, Goncalı), Sardis (Sart), Pergamum (Bergama), Philadelphia (Alaşehir) and Thyatira (Akhisar).
  • St. Nicholas, known as Santa Claus today was born and lived as bishop of Myra in Demre. According to legend, he secretly bestowed dowries upon the daughters of a poor Citizen. This originated the custom of giving presents on the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, a tradition later transferred to Christmas Day.
  • All of the 7 Ecumenical Councils which are accepted by both the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches were held in Anatolia.
  • İstanbul houses the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fener and the Armenian Patriarchate in Kumkapı.
  • The huge building of the Hagia Sophia, which was for many centuries the largest church in Christendom, is still standing in İstanbul.
  • For the first time in history, Seljuks created State insurance for the losses of tradesmen.
  • Sultan Bayezit II dispatched the Ottoman Navy to bring the Jewish people who were expelled from Spain. They were brought safely to the Ottoman lands in 1492.
  • Tulips were introduced to Holland from Anatolia by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq He was ambassador of Charles V to Süleyman the Magnificent in 1554.
  • The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Üsküdar in the 17C.
  • İstanbul houses the historical building of Sirkeci Train Station. This served as the last stop of the Simplon-Orient Express “king of trains and the train of kings” between Paris and İstanbul from 1883 to 1977. İt still lives on in the pages of Stamboul Train by Graham Greene, 1932, Murder on the Orierıt Express by Agatha Christie, 1934 and From Russia with Love by lan Fleming, 1957.
  • Indo-European languages derived from Anatolia not the Russian Plains.
  • Many words in English language such as angora, bulgur, byzantine, caique, divan, kiosk, mausoleum, meander, parchment, sherbet, turban, turquoise and yoghurt derived from Anatolia.
  • Turkish women were far ahead of many European women when they obtained the right to vote at municipal level in 1930.
  • Turkey provided homes for 313,000 Bulgarian refugees of Turkish origin in 1989.
  • Turkey welcomed nearly half a million Kurds from Northern lraq who fled from Saddam Hussein during the Guif War in 1991.
  • The number of species of flowers in Turkey is approximately 9,000, of which 3,000 are endemic. İn Europe for instance there are 11,500 species.
  • Turkey is one of only 8 countries in the world which consistently produces surplus food and cattle for export.
  • Many valuable finds from Anatolia can also be seen in museums all over the world. The Pergamum Museum of Berlin contains the Zeus Altar, Gateway to the Sanctuary of Athena from Pergamum, Statues from Priene and the great Market Gate from Miletus. The British Museum has become the adopted home for the Temple of Artemis from Ephesus, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and the Harpy Tomb from Xanthos.