Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers Choice Awards ranked Turkey the Number 1 travel choice destination. At a glimpse, it’s easy to see why this country would appeal to so many: delicious food, spectacular sights and warm and welcoming people. It serves as a bridge between Europe and Asia and was a major capital to the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires – truly any cultural-junkie’s paradise! A very unique and always enriching destination, Turkey is definitely one to tick of your bucket list.
A land of mystery, here are 12 things you may not have known about Turkey that may further peak your interest!
- The Turks answer their phones with ‘My Master?’ instead of Hello.
- Attention caffeine addicts: meet the country behind this sweet and wonderful drug! It was the Turks that first introduced Europeans to coffee in the 1500s.
- St. Peter’s Church in Antioch is believed to be the first church built by man.
- Cappadocia was a place of shelter for early Christians looking to escape Roman persecution
- Though Turks don’t celebrate Christmas, St. Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) was born in Patara and later became the bishop of Demre, which is located on the Turkish Mediterranean Coast.
- The Dutch are thankful to the Turks for giving them their famous tulips in the 16th century.
- Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents.
- Turkey has a lot of coastline. 1,650km worth of coastline to be exact, which is also the distance from Paris to Berlin.
- Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is a truly lively area: 64 streets, 4,000 shops and 25,000 workers make up this market place
- Ashure (also known as Noah’s Pudding) is a sweet and sour tasting pudding made of grains, nuts and fruits, believed to be the last meal that was served on Noah’s Ark.
- ‘Cekoslovakyalilastiramadiklarimizdanmissiniz’, which loosely translates to ‘You are said to be one of those that we couldn’t manage to convert to a Czechoslovak’ is the longest word in Turkish
- The House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus is the first church dedicated to Virgin Mary and is venerated by Christians AND Muslims.