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Most Interesting Facts about Turkey

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Markets, textiles, caves and of course, the increasingly popular hot-air balloon festival, and maybe the location where the city of Troy was built, welcome to the vibrance that is Turkey!

Interesting Facts:

1. First and foremost, which continent is Turkey in? Hah, its in 2 continents! 97% of it is in Asia but 3% is in Europe.

2. And can you travel between the two? Say hello to the Marmary metro line! It is an intercontinental rail route over 76.7kms which connects Gebze in the Asian end to the Sea of Marmara, Halkali on the European end. It was opened in 2013.

3. And with this precious location some also say it is like the centre of the Earth as Istanbul serves as one of the major connecting airports for intercontinental travel.

4. Hello, my dear shopaholics! Well, actually also the culturally curious because the place that I’m about to tell you of is embedded in Turkey’s identity. Meet the Grand Bazaar or Kapalı Çarşı. What’s so special about a good old bazaar you ask? Ah it was formed in 1455, has over 3,000 shops and stretches to an expanse of 3,33,000 sq. km! Phew, no wonder it was said to be the most visited place in 2014 by Travel & Leisure magazine.

5. In fact, Turkey is actually the 6th most visited tourist destination in the world! Yep, that’s right. Go, plan your trip soon!

6. The Biblical city of Ephesus was once the most significant Greek city and the most crucial trading centre in all of the Mediterranean region. It is speculated that Virgin Mary’s resting place is somewhere close to Ephesus.

7. Have a sweet tooth? Make sure to try tavuk göğsü, the Turkish desert extraordinaire. Are you picturing some oozing chocolate? Maybe some caramelized nuts? Ah, let me pop the bubble because this is actually chicken breast pudding! Oh yes, I’m absolutely serious. Boiled chicken with milk, cinnamon and sugar. Mmmmm. Gets you salivating, doesn’t it? Maybe that beef pie that Rachel was making wasn’t all that bad! Hah, okay, all jokes aside this is a must try!

turkish dessert
Source: https://mutfaktaki.com/yalanci-tavuk-gogsu-tarifi/Source: https://mutfaktaki.com/yalanci-tavuk-gogsu-tarifi/

8. The loggerhead sea turtle is today endangered. And Turkey’s Iztuzu Beach is said to be their biggest nesting ground in the Mediterranean region. About 300 nests are dug each year!

9. Ho ho ho! Where was Santa Claus born? North Pole. Nope, take a second guess. Saint Nicholas was actually born in Turkey’s city of Patara in circa 280. He was orphaned at an early age and used the money he inherited to help others. Once a father was about to sell his 3 daughters into servitude as he couldn’t afford their dowry for marriages and each time Saint Nicholas sneaked into their house and left money behind for helping them out. He is also believed to have once aided falsely accused men from being given the death penalty. A devout Christian, he became a bishop and popular in Europe in the 1500s. Overtime the stories of him giving gifts and helping others, his kindness towards children and others gained ground.

10. The Ecumenical Patriach is the spiritual leader of the roughly 300 million around the world Orthodox Christians. Housing one too many gems of Christian significance, it is thus no surprise to see throngs of Christians visiting the country each year even though Turkey is predominantly Islamic.

11. And you know who else visited Turkey? 007 himself. Yes, Bond, James Bond. In not one but 3 movies such as From Russia With Love (1963), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Skyfall (2012). Well, Bond always had style and so did Turkey. Sigh.

12. There are 82,693 mosques in Turkey presently!

13. With all that religious significance, you should also know that the country is said to be home to the world’s oldest temple Gobekli Tempe which was constructed over 12,000 years ago! Its discovery in the 90s sent shock waves in the archaeological circles as it debunked other beliefs. It is so early that the invention is before the wheel or even pottery!

14. Today, the Netherlands is famous for sprawling with tulips but it is openly known that the flowers didn’t originate there but were popularized and exported to Europe by the Ottoman Empire. While there is a little uncertainty around this, it is said that in the 16th century a Flemish ambassador to the court of Suleyman the Magnificent brought back tulipmanias when he returned to Holland. Coincidence much?!

15. The country is actually very rich in wildlife too. It contributes to 5% of the global variety of birds and also is one of the top 35 biodiversity hotspots.

16. Their national sport is oil wrestling which has been around here for more than 654 years. Now that’s a lot of oil, right? ?

Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:

1. The Hagia Sophia is a thing of wonderous architecture and cultural richness. I mean, if its good enough for Bond then who are we to reject it? ? Kidding! The intricacies with which the structure stands makes for a thing of beauty.

Hagia Sophia
Image Credit: https://www.trtworld.com/turkey/hagia-sophia-will-be-called-a-mosque-erdogan-25317

Click here to check out some of the best cafes in Istanbul!

Click here to check out some of the best Indian Restaurants in Istanbul!

2. Now if you’re craving to dip yourself into some natural pools then Pammukale Thermal Pools would be the destination to go to!

3. When in Turkey, you have to enjoy a bath! Cemberlitas Hamami are calling you for a day of relaxation and rejuvenation.

4. Ephesus with all its folklore and history is a sight to see with the ruins that remain even today, tried through the tests of time.

5. You can also visit the Roman theatre of Aspendos, a sight to see and think of the life once lived here! Ani is another great sight for those looking to see the ruins. And so is Pergamum.

6. With all the emphasis that Chandler Bing would probably lay, can I just say, could you BE missing hot air ballooning in Cappadocia?! I’m pretty sure that when you read the name Turkey, that was probably the first image to pop into your mind. And while today it is staggeringly popular and touristy, it doesn’t take away from its sheer beauty as you witness the city from above, in the sky, gazing about at the panoramic view.

Cappadocia
Source: https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions/turkey-tr.htm

7. Oludeniz is the picture-perfect beach waiting for you at Turkey!

Oludeniz
Source: https://www.tourist-destinations.com/2020/03/oludeniz-turkey.html

8. I for one am a sucker for Old Towns and the Ottoman era mansions and cobblestone alleys are waiting for you perfectly at Antalya.

How to Reach:

Istanbul is just 7 hours away on a direct flight from Delhi!

For Visa:

For visa kindly refer to the following page on our website:

https://onhisowntrip.com/visa-turkey/

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