Did you know?
Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia. In its thousands of years of history, it has been the capital of three great empires – Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.

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The world’s oldest known settlement is in Catalhoyuk in central Anatolia, Turkey, and dates back to 6,500 BC.

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St Nicolas – the original Santa Claus – was born in Patara in Turkey and has a church dedicated to him in Demre.

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The Virgin Mary spent her last days in Selcuk near the ancient city of Ephesus.

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Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for a bridge over the Bosphorus, the strait that flows through Europe and Asia. It was never built.

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Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words “Veni. Vedi, Veci” (I came, I saw, I conquered) in Turkey when he defeated Pontus, a formidable Kingdom in the Black Sea Region of Turkey.

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Aesop – famous for his fables and parables – was born in Anatolia.

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The Turks introduced coffee to Europe when the retreating Ottoman army abandoned sacks of it at the gates of Vienna.

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Homer was born in Izmir on the west coast of Turkey and he depicted Troy, which is north of Izmir, in his Epic the Iliad.

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The Smallpox vaccination was introduced to England and Europe from Turkey by Lady Montague in the early 19th century (after Turkish physicians saved her son’s life).

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Part of Turkey’s south western shore was a wedding gift from Mark Antony to Cleopatra.

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The famous Trojan Wars took place in western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan horse has been erected today.

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Florence Nightingale practised her nursing skills in a hospital in what was then Scutari and now known as Uskudar, a suburb of Istanbul.

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The word ‘Yogurt’ comes from Turkish, which is appropriate since the Turks eat it with everything.

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Two of the world’s seven wonders are located in Turkey; The Temple of Artemis and The Halicarnassus Mausoleum.

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The word “turquoise” comes from “Turk” meaning Turkish, and was derived from the beautiful colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast.

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The first coins ever minted were done so at Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lycia, at the end of the seventh century B.C.

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According to the Legend of Great Flood, after the withdrawal of the waters, Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat in eastern Anatolia.

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Anatolia is the birthplace of many historical figures such as the Phrygian King Midas, the father of history Herodotus and St Paul.

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One of the first most accurate world maps were drawn by the well-known Turkish cartographer and navigator Piri Reis in 1513.

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The Turks first gave the Dutch their famous tulips that started the craze for the flower in England and the Netherlands. Bulbs brought to Vienna from Istanbul in the 1500s were so intensely popular that by 1634 in Holland it was called “tulipmania”. People invested money in tulips as they do in stocks today. This period of elegance and amusement in 17th century Turkey is referred to as “The Tulip Age.”

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The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation are all found in Turkey: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.

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The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana Museum in Konya, Turkey. Marco Polo’s journeys in the thirteenth centuries took him here, and he remarked that the “best and handsomest of rugs” were to be found in Turkey.

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The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi
flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th century