Greetings fellow Lexiophiles readers today I bring you some very interesting facts about Turkey that might surprise you. Normally Turkey is not a very known or popular country nor does it get as much coverage as the more developed known countries do but that doesn’t mean Turkey is a less interesting place nor that it didn’t have its fair share of spotlight throughout times. Enough talk! Time for facts.
1. Saint Nicholas lived in Turkey.
Yea how did that happen? Well back when Saint Nicholas lived the Byzantine Empire ruled in Anatolia but he lived in the city of Demre (Myra) situated in the modern day Turkey’s Antalya province. Even though mostly forgotten some Turkish people still celebrate Christmas in a non religious way but it is not a common tradition anymore.
2. Most Turks drink 10 or more cups of tea day.
Tea is a very important part of Turkish culture and is the most commonly consumed hot drink. In 2004 Turkey had the highest per capita tea consumption in the world with 2.5kg a person. I don’t enjoy drinking tea well, it’s just not my cup of tea (see what I did there?). This sometimes really makes me feel like an outsider in Turkey. So make sure to drink tea that is offered because it is a sign of hospitality!
3. Noah’s ark landed on Mountain Ararat.
The Ararat mountain which is the highest mountain in Turkey is the landing spot of the Ark mentioned in the story of Noah. The mountain is 5,137 meters high with a dormant volcanic cone. It is located in East Turkey and is very very cold. Don’t try to climb it unless you are a professional. Just don’t.
4. The Turks gave the Dutch their tulips.
Oghier Ghislain de Bysbecq who was an ambassador for the Emperor Ferdinand I to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent is believed to have brought the first tulips to Europe. In his letter an abundance of flowers everywhere was mentioned and those in Turkish called ”Lale” which means Tulip. There was even a Tulip Period in the Ottoman Empire and the naming resulted from the tulip craze.
5. Turks introduced coffee to Europe.
Coffee by Europeans was first noted in Ottoman Aleppo by a German named Leonhard Rauwolf in 1573. Through the trade between Venice and the Ottoman Empire a large variety of goods were exchanged which at one point included coffee. The Venetian merchants then introduced coffee drinking to the wealthy which helped it spread. I raise my cup of coffee to the Venetian and Ottoman traders!
So that concludes some interesting facts about Turkey. It could be a little too historical or cultural but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. Until next time! Görüşürüz.