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10 interesting facts about Turkey

24th October 2013

Here are 10 interesting facts you may not know about Turkey


1. Turkey is the third largest country in the world to use Facebook
Two years ago Turkey’s usage of Facebook was almost nothing. However, nowadays it has an astonishing 14 million users, overtaking France and Canada to become the third largest country on Facebook (after the US and UK)

2. Turkey’s alphabet is Latin-based and not Arabic
All books, traffic signs, menus and any other printed materials all contain letters that are familiar to our own alphabet. With the exception of a few modified characters; Ç, Ğ, I, İ, Ö, Ş, and Ü
For those of you who assumed traveling to a Muslim country meant that the written language would look completely different, this is not the case.

3. Self Sufficient
Turkey is agriculturally self-sufficient, meaning it doesn’t need to rely on other countries for food imports. Turkey produces a number of different food items including figs, barley, tomatoes, aubergines, green peppers and lentils.
Interesting Fact: Turkey is responsible for 80% of the world’s hazelnut exports.

4. Turkey has had equality for women going back a millennia
During 1750-1190 B.C. a powerful ruling group in Turkey, know as the Hittites had institutional equality among the sexes.There is historical evidence, which documents this, and equality amongst men and women was taken very seriously. In Turkey, to this day, equality for women still continues. And in fact, Turkey was amongst some of the first countries to give women the right to vote. (Before America and most European countries) 

5. Troy is located here
The legendary city of Troy is located in Turkey and if you are a fan of history, you might be interested in learning that the ancient city of Troy is believed to have really existed. According to historians, Troy was built, destroyed and rebuilt many times and today you can visit the remains of the walls that once surrounded the city.

6. Turkey was once the center of the Roman Empire
The city of Constantinople, now modern day Istanbul, was once the capital of the Roman Empire. When Rome began to fall, the Emperor Constantine moved the empire to Turkey and the city became known as Constantinople. (Named after the emperor)

7. Turkey spans two continents 
Turkey covers two continents with one part (Istanbul) extending into Europe and the other extending into Asia. At the center is the Bosphorus Strait, surrounded by the ‘Black Sea’ and ‘The Sea of Marmara’.

8. Turkey is both Secular and Democratic
In 1923 the Republic of Turkey was formed marking the beginning of a huge change in the country. Turkey became a secular republic and adopted big changes in politics, making it the only Muslin country in the world to be both secular and democratic.

9. Some of the earliest and most advanced civilizations where found in Turkey
Two settlements dating back to the Neolithic Age, have been uncovered, named as Hacilar and Catalhoyuk . Scientists agree these settlements date back to 7,000 - 6,000 B.C and where some of the earliest recordings of advanced humanity. The inhabitants where mostly farmers and had well built homes. They also kept domesticated farm animals, such as goats, sheep’s and cows.

10. Turkey introduced coffee to Europe
Turkey introduced coffee to Europe in the 1500’s. The ruling Ottoman Empire first introduced coffee beans to the Italian people and from there it quickly gained popularity before spreading to the other European countries. Coffee houses soon became a very familiar site throughout Europe. 

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