DID YOU KNOW ABOUT TURKEY?
- UNESCO declares Istanbul, Pamukkale, Mt. Nemrut, Great Mosque of Divrigi, Hattusa, Safranbolu, Goreme Open Air Museum, Hierapolis, Troy, Xanthos and Letoon as World Heritages.
- The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana museum in Konya.
- The four bronze horses of San Marco Cathedral welcoming the guest today in Venice, were taken from Istanbul.
- St. Nicholas, also known as Santa Clause, was born in Demre, on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast.
- Virgin Mary's house where she spent her last days, situated on the top of Bulbul dagi (Ephesus), is considered as a holy place for all religions.
- The biggest Open - Air temple of Ancient world found in Urfa - Gobekli Tepe.
- In the Middle Ages, Istanbul had more than 1400 public toilets in the city meanwhile there weren't any even at the palaces in France and other European cities.
- Virgin Mary's House in Ephesus is visited by Pope the 6th Paul and Pope Jean Paul as well.
- Noah's Ark landed on Mt. Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey.
- The first church built by man (St. Peter's Church) is in Antioch (Antakya)
- The First University in History is in Harran, Turkey
- The Hittites sold Abraham the cave where he buried his wife Sarah, when the Israelites came to Palestine.
- Tarsus is the birthplace of St. Paul the Apostle.
- The famous Trojan Wars took place in Truva town.
- Ephesus and Halicarnassus - two of the most famous places of the ancient world - are both in Turkey.
- Seven Churches of Revelation are all in Aegean Region in Turkey (Ephesus, Sardis, Tyatira, Pergamon, Philadelphia, Smyrna, Collosae)
- Some oft he historic legends such as Homer (the poet), King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) was born in this legend.
- Alexander the Great cut the intricate Gordian knot at the Phrygian capital, Gordion.
- The oldest known human settlement in Turkey is Catalhoyuk (7th Millennium B.C.)
- The first landscape picture of the world found on the wall of house at Catalhoyuk, depicted erupting volcano (Mt. Hasan) in Neolithic times (6,500 BCE).
- Istanbul, the precious queen of Turkey is the only city on the world spread in both Asia and Europe
- Hereke which is in the world carpeting literature with the quality of the wool and silk rugs is in Izmit (Kocaeli) Turkey.
- The oldest sculpture on the world found in Urfa remains from 13 century BC.
- Kasikci diamond (86 carats) one of the greatest pieces of the world and is displayed in Topkapi Palace.
- The last meal on Noah's Ark, a pudding of sweet and sour taste (Asure), is still served throughout Turkey.
- Crystal flakes can seen with bare-eyes in Erzurum-Kars region
- The First Ecumenical Council was held in Iznik, Turkey.
- Female goddesses dominated the Central Anatolian pantheon for thousands of years before these supernatural powers were transformed to male gods.
- Ankara cat is famous with two colored eyes and white fur.
- Angora wool derived from Ankara Goats and Rabbits.
- Central Anatolia was home to the capital cities of 3 major empires: the Hittite Empire at Hattusa, the Phrygian Empire of King Midas at Gordion, and the Seljuk Empire at Konya.
- The Million stone at Sultanahmet square Istanbul was the zero point of the world once upon a time.
- Wine was produced in the Cappadocia region as early as 4,000 BCE.
- Three of the 10 remaining mobile mosaic icons of the world and according to the belief of Orthodox, Jesus Christ's cross which he was crucified are in Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
- Sarcophagus of Alexander, First peace treatment of world are exhibits in Istanbul Archeology Museum.
- Hagia Sophia was the biggest cathedral on the world for thousands years and still it is the 4th biggest one.
- First bridge of Bosphorus made by ships tied each other in Persian Invasion at 4th century BC.
- Constantinople was founded on seven hills like Rome.
- The world largest numbers of cave churches are in Cappadocia, many with in-situ frescos.
- The earliest domesticated wheat, Einkorn, can still be found growing wild in Cappadocia.
- Three of the greatest fathers of the Christian Church, Saint Basil, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, and Saint Gregory of Nyssa, were all Cappadocians.
- Pottery has been making in Avanos for 10,000 years.
- The most famous Dradon Slayer, Saint George was born in Cappadocia and the crusades spread his fame to Europe on their way back to home.
- The Cappadocia region has about 30 known underground cities that could safely hide 100,000 people in troubled times.
- The Best preserved Roman Theater is located in Aspendos , Antalya.
- The Color "Turquoise" comes from the clean see color on the Aegean Cost in Turkey.
- The world's greatest amphora and glass collection is in Bodrum Museum in Bodrum Castle.
- Lydia which is one of the greatest civilization lived in Anatolia has still got some remainings around Salihli (Sardis) and it's the first civilization which coined money.
- The philosopher Aristotales lived in Assos for three years.
- Julius Caesar proclaimed his celebrated words, "Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" in North Anatolia when he defeated the Pontus, a formidable kingdom in the Black Sea region of Turkey.
- On Black sea region has more then 100 un-named and 200 different endemic plants in flora.
At a Glance
The Turkey travel experience is rich in history and culture, as Turkey has been a melting pot for the many civilizations that trace their beginnings to the region. Turkey's cultural mélange has yielded Greco-Roman ruins, Byzantine art and Ottoman architecture — as well as Babylonian tiles, Hittite cuneiform tablets and Trojan gold. Reminiscent of both East and West, Turkey embodies a character all its own. Footsteps of Alexander the Great in Turkey.
At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, with a rich mosaic of cultures, blending history and legendary civilizations - TURKEY today is an exciting destination that offers modern amenities and an endless variety of diverse attractions for even the most sophisticated travelers.
Turkey is called the Other Holy Land as it has more biblical sites than any other country in the Middle East. Unfortunately many Christians are unaware of Turkey's unique role in the Bible because biblical reference works usually refer to this strategic peninsula, that bounded by the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas, as Asia Minor or Anatolia. Turkey is very important in understanding the background of the New Testament, because approximately two-thirds of its books were written either to or from churches in Turkey where the three major apostles- Paul, Peter and John-either ministered or lived in. Turkey's rich spiritual heritage starts at the very beginning in the book of Genesis.
Turkey, the second holy land. Follow in the footsteps of St. Paul's journeys in Turkey and the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. It includes the religious sites and places such as Tarsus, Antioch, Iconium, Laodicea, Hierapolis, Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis and Nicea. A must pilgrimage for all the Christians and true believers.
History of Turkey
Sixteen ancient civilisations, from the Hittites to the Ottomans, have contributed over thousands of years to the exotic paradise of Turkey. Travel along roads that great warriors, colourful silk caravans and couriers of mail or secret treaties passed along many centuries before. Follow in the footsteps of St. Paul and the mystic Sufis spreading divine knowledge.
Anatolia was the home of Herodotus, the Father of History and Homer who wrote of the Trojan wars in his Iliad. It is also home to the ‘Whirling Dervishes’, the birthplace of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) and the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last days.
Travel to Turkey and you will be hard pushed to find a more unique country with such a diverse heritage. Turkey today is one of the world’s premiere destinations for luxury travel and that should surprise no one – it has been this way for more than two millennia. Whether it’s the Spartans attacking at Troy, Byzantines sailing for the first time down the Bosphorus Strait or the discerning guests of modern times packing the seaside resorts and fine restaurants, Anatolia, Thrace and Istanbul. Istanbul have always been central and favoured in the minds of global travelers. They savour its historic treasures, enjoy the wide range of climates, cultures and lifestyles, and leave with lifelong memories.
Turkey’s thousands of kilometers of rugged and spectacular coastline offer all the best resort options – secluded boutique hotels overlooking sheltered coves, all-encompassing resorts catering to families, couples or singles or picturesque towns like Antalya or Bodrum, where the relaxed Mediterranean ethic, historic archaeology and modern accoutrements combine to offer a compelling package that has come to be known worldwide as the “Turkish Riviera”. Inland, a rich cultural heritage amid a unique and startling landscape awaits in Cappadocia, where early Christians built rock-cut churches and cave homes amid tear-drop spires and wind-swept vista. And, of course, there’s Istanbul, Turkey’s crown jewel. Imperial and elegant; timeless yet modern, this stunning city continues to leave guests coming back for more.
What to Pack
Turkey has a diverse range of climates. The coast is generally mild in winter and hot in summer. The interior is warm in summer and cold in winter so you will need to bring clothes according to the season. Turks are generally informal in their choice of clothing and so there is little need to bring formal wear.
Turkey is also a country for walking either to enjoy the scenery or visiting the rights. Good footwear, hat, sun protection are advisable.
Turkey uses a 220 volt electricity, 50 cycles, 2 pin European plug system, so you will need to bring an adapter if your electricity system is different.
At this very moment there's not a single reason not to go to Turkey. Regarding the average crime rate most foreigners will be even safer in Turkey than at home. The crime rate in Istanbul (about 12 million inhabitants) is far lower than in western countries and in non- tourist Turkey. It's virtually non existent. The risk that something is stolen from you by Turks is about zero.
Turkey Key Facts
South - eastern Europe/Asia Minor.
GMT + 2
Offices and banks are generally open from 09.00 to 17.00 hours from Mondays to Fridays.
779,452 sq km (300,948 sq miles).
76.9 million (July 2009 est.)
94.04 per sq km.
Turkey borders the Black Sea and Georgia and Armenia to the northeast, Iran to the east, Iraq to the southeast, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Mediterranean to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west and Bulgaria and Greece to the northwest. Asia Minor (or Anatolia) accounts for 97 % of the country's area and forms a long, wide peninsula 1,650 km (1,025 miles) from east to west and 650 km (400 miles) from north to south. Two east-west mountain ranges, the Black Sea Mountains in the north and the Taurus in the south, enclose the central Anatolian plateau, but converge in a vast mountainous region in the far east of the country. It is here that the ancient Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise.
Republican parliamentary democracy.
Turkish. (English, German and French are widely spoken in cities and tourist areas).
Muslim 99.8% with 0.2% mainly Christian and Jewish. Turkey is a secular state which guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Muslims.
220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Weight & Measures
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport with expire date at least 3 months, is required for entry to Turkey. Visa information will be sent separately but information can be obtained from your nearest Turkish Embassy or www.mfa.gov.tr
Currency and Credit Cards and Exchange
The official currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL). Major credit cards are accepted by hotels, restaurants and shops.
ATMs can be found in even the smallest Turkish cities.
Banks will exchange foreign currency and traveller's cheques with your passport as a proof of identity.
Exchange offices also offer a fast service and usually do not charge commission.
For a detailed average analysis please click here.
All restaurant prices and taxi fares include service, but good service in the restaurant can be rewarded with a tip. Tipping is at guest's discretion in hotels.
Turkey is not a part of the European Union so custom formalities are different from other countries in Europe. Please check the web sites www.gumruk.gov.tr or www.tourismturkey.org before sending anything to Turkey. (COURIER COMPANY OFFICES CAN GIVE MISLEADING INFORMATION)
1 January New Year's Day
23 April National Sovereignty and Children`s Day
19 May Ataturk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day
30 August Victory Day
29 October Republic Day
Religious / Bank Holidays
The dates of these holidays change according to the lunar calendar.