Turkey – A Transcontinental Country
Turkey is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Its culture is rich and diverse, and there is so much to learn about it. In this article, we’ll walk you through a list of interesting facts about Turkey that you might not have known before! From where tulips came from to whether camels are native to Turkey or not, there’s so much information to learn.
Let’s take a closer look.
12 Interesting Facts about Turkey
Tulips originated in Turkey
Even though most of the world associates tulips with the Netherlands, these beautiful flowers originated in Turkey, which later went on to give them to the rest of the world! Researchers believe that tulips were first cultivated in Iran in the tenth century. Later on, tulips were cultivated in larger numbers during the Ottoman Empire. Studies have shown that there were over 12 tulip species in Turkey alone! Towards the second half of the 14th century, the tulips that were bred and cultivated extensively during the Ottoman Empire were sent to Western countries, thus marking the first time that countries outside of Asia received tulips in large numbers. It also marked the first time that tulips were ever sent to the west!
Turkey is home to some of the oldest shopping malls in the world
The Grand Bazaar is located in Istanbul and is one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. According to some sources, it was established in 1455 and continues to sell a wide variety of products. Before you get excited and think that this mall was built in a single building with multiple floors, it’s important and worth noting that this mall is on one level. It covers over 55 streets and has more than 55 vendors and stores. You can buy anything at this mall, from spices and edible ingredients to carpets, jewelry, and bolts of fabric.
A wide range of languages is spoken in Turkey.
One of the most interesting features of Turkey is the sheer number of languages that Turkish people speak! The country’s official and mostly widely-spoken language is Turkish, and some people also speak Kurdish, Zazaki, and Arabic. It’s important to note that a minority of people speak a wide variety of languages in Turkey as well. These include Greek, Russian, Albanian, French, Bosnian, Pomak Bulgarian, Armenian, Judaeo-Spanish, and Balkan Gagauz Turkish. Many languages have become extinct in Turkey over time, including Lydian, Lycian, and Hittite.
Turkey’s weather is quite pleasant throughout the year
If you’ve ever wanted to visit Turkey, there’s a good chance that you can travel there at any time of the year! Turkey’s weather is pleasant and Mediterranean throughout the year. This means that its summers are dry and hot, and its winters are mild, cool, and damp. It’s important to note that its Mediterranean climate applies mainly to Turkey’s coastal regions near the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. However, the weather changes a little bit in the areas near the Black sea. These regions have wet summers and cold, wet winters because areas near the Black Sea receive high amounts of rainfall throughout the year, which is why all its seasons are damp and rainy.
Turkey’s economy is the 20th largest in the world.
Turkey is a newly industrialized country, meaning that economists have given it a label indicating its economic status. The label newly industrialized suggests that Turkey is a developed country whose economic growth is considerably much higher and more prominent than other developed or developing countries. A huge chunk of financial revenue comes from Turkey’s automobile industry, oil, home appliances, and electronics. In the recent past, Turkey has also noticed a significant and noticeable amount of revenue coming from the video gaming industry, thanks to venture capitalists offering gaming companies significant investments.
Turkey is home to several World Heritage Sites and clean beaches.
Another considerable portion of revenue that contributes to Turkey’s economy is travel and tourism. Aside from the beautiful beaches to see and foods to try, Turkey is also home to several World Heritage sites scattered throughout the country. These sites include the Archaeological Site of Troy, the Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, and Nemrut Dağ. All of these sites are both culturally and historically significant. In addition to these cultural sites, Turkey’s beaches are also incredibly clean! The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has given 519 of Turkey’s beaches a Blue Flag, which marks the beach’s safety and quality.
One of the biggest and busiest airports in the world is in Turkey
As of 2013, more than 95 airports were scattered throughout Turkey, 22 of which were international. Istanbul Airport is considered to be the busiest airport in all of Europe, and it is also the 13th busiest airport in the world. Reports from 2013 also tell us that Istanbul Airport was going to be the busiest airport in the entire world, but at present, Dubai’s airport is the most active. However, it is still worth noting that Istanbul Airport is the biggest in the world. It has six runways and sees millions of passengers pass through every day.
Science and technology play an important role in Turkey.
The Turkish government invests significantly in science and technology throughout the country. The primary agency that works on innovation policies and technology in Turkey is called TÜBİTAK. Two other companies, TÜBA and TAEK, also focus on scientific activities and nuclear energy, respectively. Turkey’s first nuclear facility will be completed in 2023, and it is called the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant. In addition to nuclear technology, the Turkish government has also invested in military technology, with a focus on developing weapons and defense vehicles.
Education until the 12th grade is free in Turkey
Education is incredibly important in Turkey, which means all children must attend school until they finish high school. All twelve years of school are free for students across the country; the years are divided into primary, middle, and high school. However, even though education is free in Turkey, research shows that educational facilities are lacking throughout the country. If students want to get into a high-quality school for their last four years of education, they must achieve high grades during their time in middle school. Research also shows that some students hire tutors when they are as young as nine or ten years old to achieve high grades and secure their futures.
Visual arts have played a role in Turkish culture for several centuries.
Visual arts are an essential part of many cultures across the world, and Turkey is no exception. In the mid-19th century, Turkish painting became a part of Turkey’s culture. Students were taught how to draw and paint. In the latter parts of the 19th century, artists like Ferik İbrahim Paşa, Hoca Ali Riza, and Şeker Ahmet Paşa were notable artists whose works were popular. In the early 1900s, a group of Turkish artists returned from overseas travels and shared their knowledge and inspiration from various artistic movements, like Cubism and Expressionism. Weaving tapestries and carpets were part of Turkey’s cultural traditions as well.
Turkey supplies hazelnuts to the rest of the world
It might interest you to know that a significant percentage of the world’s hazelnut supply comes from Turkey! Countries located in and around the Mediterranean area grow hazelnuts in abundance, and Turkey is no exception. They supply hundreds of thousands of hazelnuts to countries all over the world!
Camels aren’t native to Turkey
Since a camel’s natural habitat is the desert, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that these animals aren’t native to Turkey. However, it is essential to remember that you can find camels in any part of the world, even ones that don’t have a desert!
In this article, we walked you through a list of interesting facts about Turkey. This country is vast and full of diverse languages, art forms, and heritage sights. If you want to learn more about other countries, make sure you check out the rest of our website!