Some Facts About Turkey You Probably Didn’t Know
-Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in Turkey. They are the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
-Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus as we know him) was born and lived in Demre (Myra) on the Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous church of St Nicholas, which houses the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
-The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings, Hezarfan Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17th Century.
-Mount Ararat (highest mountain in Turkey at about 17,000 ft) is where many archaeologists and Biblical scholars believe Noah’s Ark came to rest.
-The famous Trojan War took place in Western Turkey, around the site where a wooden statue of the Trojan horse stands today.
-Julius Caesar, upon defeating the Pontus in Turkey, issued his celebrated proclamation, Veni, Vidi, Vici (“I came, I saw, I conquered”)
-Tradition has it that St. John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus in Turkey after the death of Jesus Christ. Both St. Paul and St. John preached in Ephesus.
-Turkey is the birthplace of many historic figures and legends: The poet Homer, King Midas, Heredotus (the father of history), and St Paul the Apostle. The great poet Homer was born in Izmir on the Aegean coast of Turkey.
-Writing was first used by people of ancient Turkey. The first clay tablets – in the ruins of Assyrian Karum – dating back to 1950 BC.
-The oldest known human settlement in the world is located in Catalhoyuk, Turkey, dating back to 6500 B.C.
Pergamon, an ancient city in western Turkey, had more than 200,000 books in its celebrated library, second only to that in Alexandria, Egypt. Mark Anthony presented part of Turkey’s south western shore to Cleopatra as a wedding gift.
-Turkey introduced the following to the world, Tulips (to the Dutch, starting the craze in Holland and England), coffee and yogurt (Yogurt is a Turkish word and an invention with Central Asian origin).
-Turkey was one of the pioneers for women’s rights and equality (full suffrage 1934). Turkey had the first female Prime Minister in 1993. Recent statistics indicate that 50% of the professors and 30% of medical doctors in Turkey are women. On a % basis, Turkish women in some professions relative to the U.S.: 5 times more dentists, 3 times more architects, 50% more engineers, 50% more lawyers
-Leonardo da Vinci drew the designs for a bridge over the Bosphorus in 1492. (Although da Vinci’s bridge was never built, there are now two bridges over the Bosphorus).
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