A country of in depth history and culture, the Turkish Republic is located where the three continents of the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe, are closest to each other and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet. Because of this geographical location, the mainland Anatolia has witnessed the mass migration of diverse peoples, shaping the course of history. Home to countless civilizations, Anatolia has developed a unique synthesis of cultures, each with its own distinct identity, yet each linked to its predecessors through insoluble threads. As a modern nation in an ancient land, Turkey today is the inheritor and conservator of such an essential, shared heritage of humanity.
Turkey's Little Known Facts
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.
The oldest known human settlement in the world is located in Catalhöyük , Turkey , dating back to 6500 B.C. The earliest landscape painting in history was found on the wall of a Catalhöyük house, illustrating the volcanic eruption of nearby Hasandag.
Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in Turkey - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
The Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
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.
The word "turquoise" comes from "Turk" meaning Turkish, and was derived from the beautiful colour of the Mediterranean Sea on the southern Turkish coast
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."
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.
Many important events surrounding the birth of Christianity occurred in Turkey. St John, St Paul and St Peter all lived and prayed in southern Anatolia. Tradition has it that St John bought Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the Crucifixion, where she spent her last days in a small stone house (Meryemana Evi) on what is now Bülbüldagi (Mount Koressos). It remains a popular pilgrimage site for Christians to this day.
Many archaeologists and biblical scholars believe Noah's Ark landed on Agri Dagi (Mount Ararat) in eastern Turkey.
The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation are all found in Turkey: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
A cave known today as the Grotto of St Peter, or Church of St Peter, is believed to be where the apostle Peter preaches when he visited Antioch (Antakya, in southern Turkey). It is widely considered to be one of the earliest Christian houses of worship. In 1963, the papacy designated the site as a place of pilgrimage and recognised it as the world's first cathedral. Every year on June 29, a special service held at the church, is attended by Christians from around the world.
Anatolia is the birthplace of many historic figures and legends such as the poet Homer, King Midas, Herodotus (the father of history) and St Paul the Apostle.
St Nicholas known as Santa Claus today, was born and lived in Demre (Myra) on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The village contains the famous Church of St Nicholas with the sarcophagus believed to be his tomb.
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 Usküdar in the 17th century
9 of Unesco’s World Heritage which are Goreme National Park, Great Mosque and Hospital of Divrigi, Istanbul Old City, Mount Nemrut, Hattusha, Hierapolis, Xanthos, Safranbolu City, Archaeological Site of Troy are located in Turkey
You can Discover
With 8,500 years of a glamorous history, Istanbul has always been an important
metropolis of its days. Former capital of many empires including Roman,
Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire the city holds within some of the precious
ancient monuments as well as a unique beauty with the Bosphorus running across
the city separating Europe and Asia.
You can Explore
8500 years of history, capital of 3 great empires, population of 14.2 million, top 10
tourism and congress destination, world’s ‘Number 1’ congress destination since
2011 with more than 500 delegates, 2010 European Capital of Culture, 2012
European Capital of Sport, connecting 2 continents-Europe and Asia, 70 public
and private museums, almost 200 shopping malls, 5 imperial palaces, dozens of
summer palaces and mansions, 4 historic bazaars, 49 universities, 4 seasons
throughout the year.
You can Fly
Istanbul is considered to be one of the main air traffic hubs connecting more than
300 international airlines from Europe to Middle-East, Asia and Africa. Thanks to
the Turkish Airlines massive network (flying to more countries in the world than
any other airline) Istanbul became a more popular and widely visited destination
with 2 international airports in each continents.
You can Travel
Istanbul offers a huge network of public easily be accessed with a single
transportation card – Istanbulkart. With city busses, ‘Dolmus’ yellow minibus
routes, ferries, sea-busses, railways such as subway and tram systems, Istanbul
offers plenty options to get around the city.
You can Stay
The hub city for many cultures over the centuries Istanbul offers a variety of accommodation choices. With almost 100.000 guestrooms, over 170 five-star hotels including both international and Turkish chains, a variety of deluxe hotels situated in the Bosphorus shore and ancient peninsula, including suitable lofts near the central areas. The variety of hotels and the breath-taking sites of Istanbul will turn your stay into a unique experience to never be forgotten.pe and Asia.
You can Experience
A wide range of historic places from Ottoman Palace’s to cisterns, from modern
facilities to mansions on Bosphorus shores, Istanbul awaits you with unique
venues to meet a fusion of diverse cultures and a wonderful cuisine of the East
and the West. Whether a gala dinner or a social event, for any programme you may
conduct, Istanbul is ready for you with a promise of an unforgettable experience.
You can Visit
One of the most prestigious capitals of the ancient and modern world, Istanbul
owns both religious and cultural phenomena of centuries as it is the only city that
has marked the ending of an era in history with its conquest. Some of the
wonderful sites of Istanbul are Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque, Maiden’s
Tower, Dolmabahçe Palace, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower,
Princes’ Islands and many more.
You can Taste
The Turkish cuisine’s richness of variety offers a wide choice for those who want to
experience and enjoy new fiavours. From exquisite pastry choices to delicious
meat, fish and vegetable specialities; Turkey’s gastronomic panorama refiects a
remarkable culinary synthesis coming from its cultural heritage. Istanbul provides
a wide range of food choices originated from all around the world.
You can Enjoy
There is a common saying in Istanbul that states “this city never sleeps”.
The hub of many different cultures living in harmony, Istanbul is the ultimate
dining, shopping, music and entertainment capital of Turkey. Throughout the year in
Istanbul, many events, concerts, art exhibitions and social gatherings all occur at
once. Also Istanbul offers a variety of shopping opportunities of both authentic
antiquities of Ottoman style to the modern multinational brands.
You can Meet
Istanbul Congress Center is situated in the heart of Istanbul’s business and
cultural district, on a hill looking down onto the Bosphorus strait towards the
Asian half of the city. The location of the Congress Center combines leading
international and Turkish three, four and five-star hotels within walking distance
as well as exclusive shopping areas and vibrant Taksim.