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8 Interesting Facts About Turkey We Bet You Didn’t Know

City of Turkey

Turkey is one of the most ethnically diverse, tourist-friendly, and fascinating countries in the world. Full of tourist attractions, cultural heritage, and diversity – Turkey is a country that never fails to surprise you. Listed below are 8 of the least known and most interesting facts about Turkey.

1. Santa Claus was born in Turkey

It may surprise many that the famous Christmas Santa Claus, more precisely Saint Nicolas, was actually born in Patara. (Now known as Demre, Turkey) Contrary to popular belief, he does not come from the North Pole.

2. Agriculture originated in Turkey

Residents of Çatalhöyük, a huge Neolithic settlement in south-central Turkey, cultivated and consumed crops such as barley and wheat. This was 11,000 years ago, which according to historians, is the earliest example of agriculture in history.

3. Turkey has the highest per capita consumption of tea

The English may have introduced the world to tea, but they are not consuming it the most. 96% of the Turkish population consume at least one cup of tea every day. The iconic Turkish tea is strong, without milk, and typically served in a small tulip-shaped cup.

4. Turkey’s Grand Bazaar comprises 3,000 stores

Dating back to the 14th century, the “Kapalı Çarşı” – Turkey’s Grand Bazaar, is now a huge maze of 61 streets encompassing about 3,000 shops. It is basically like a small city in itself!

5. Turkey introduced tulips to the world

Although no one knows for certain the origin of the tulip, the Ottomans first introduced the flower to the world. Turkish traders introduced the flowers in Europe, particularly Holland, back in the 16th century.

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6. Istanbul is the only city built on two continents – yet not the capital

Known as Constantinople in the Roman Empire, Istanbul is the only city located on two continents. While most of the city is in Asia, some percentage of the total area also lies in Europe.

However, despite its unique status and being the largest city of Turkey, it is not the capital. Ankara is the capital of Turkey.

7. Turkey is the home of Kebab

Many people are familiar with Doner kebabs, which became popular worldwide. Turkey, in general, is the home for kebabs. This is where the recipe was first invented, and Turks continue to make the best kebabs in the world.

8. A new type of plant is discovered every 10 days in Turkey

One of the 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world, Turkey, is home to over 10,000 plant and 80,000 animal species. Every ten days scientists discover a new type of plant within the country. Turkey truly is a heaven for plant and animal lovers.

Time to visit Turkey!

With all its surprises, cultural and ethnic diversity, and heritage,  Turkey is one of the top tourist destinations. Thousands of people visit the country every year and are pleasantly surprised by its depth and beauty. So, if you are planning a trip abroad, do add Turkey to the list. There are so many more interesting facts about Turkey. You will definitely discover something new about the fascinating place each time.

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Riley Brown
Written By

Riley is a history, lifestyle, and entertainment writer living in San Diego. He received his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Multimedia from the University of Oregon. His work has been featured in many finance and lifestyle publications throughout the US. When he is not writing, Riley enjoys reading and hanging out at the beach with his dog.


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