Exploring Türkiye: A Journey Through Time and Culture

Are you ready for an unforgettable journey through time and culture? Türkiye boasts a rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and a deep-rooted culture that will leave you breathless. Imagine exploring ancient ruins, indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, and immersing yourself in the vibrant cities of Türkiye.

Türkiye’s cultural influences from the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires offer a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else. Take in the grandeur of Istanbul, marvel at the natural wonders of Cappadocia, and unlock the mysteries of Ancient Troy. And don’t forget to relax on the pristine Mediterranean beaches of Antalya.

Türkiye is a feast for the senses, with its tantalizing flavors, vibrant colors, and rich textures. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Türkiye has something special for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the incredible country of Türkiye.

antalya
Let's embark on a beautiful journey to Antalya! This incredible city is full of opportunities to explore its gorgeous beaches, delicious cuisine, and rich history. With its magnificent weather and fascinating culture, Antalya is the perfect destination for anyone seeking an adventure. Whether you prefer to take a leisurely stroll along the coast or delve into historical sites, Antalya has something for everyone. Let's embrace the vibrant energy of this unforgettable city and create unforgettable memories. So let's pack our bags, put on our explorer hats, and get ready to embark on a journey like no other!
Cappadocia is a region located in central Türkiye, famous for its unique landscape shaped by volcanic activity. The area is characterized by tall, cone-shaped rock formations called fairy chimneys, which have been eroded by wind and water over centuries. It is also home to underground cities, carved into the soft volcanic rock by early Christians as a way of hiding from invasion. The region is rich in history, dating back to prehistoric times, and has been inhabited by a variety of cultures. Today, Cappadocia is a popular tourist destination, known for its hot air balloon rides, cave hotels, and hiking trails. Visitors can explore ancient underground cities, admire stunning panoramic views from hilltops, and experience the unique landscape up close.
Greetings! Istanbul is a city that is rich in beauty, culture, and history. If you have the opportunity to visit, you're in for a treat! With its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and warm and welcoming people, Istanbul is a place that will leave a lasting impression on you. Whether you're interested in exploring the winding streets of the old city, taking in the breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, or simply enjoying a cup of traditional Turkish tea, Istanbul has something to offer everyone. So, let's get excited about this amazing destination and start planning our trip to Istanbul today!
NEMRUT
Welcome to Mount Nemrut, a truly extraordinary destination that offers stunning views, ancient ruins, and a glimpse into a world of history and culture. It is a place where you can climb to the top and feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. With each step, you will gain more strength and determination, and with each breath, you will feel more alive and inspired.As you ascend to the peak, remember that nothing is impossible when you put your heart and soul into it. You have the power within you to achieve your wildest dreams and overcome any obstacle. When you finally reach the summit, take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world around you and the strength within you.This journey is just the beginning of a life filled with amazing experiences and a spirit of adventure. You have the potential to conquer anything that comes your way, and I am certain that you will seize every opportunity with excitement and enthusiasm. Let us continue on this journey of exploration and discovery, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

10 Lesser-Known Facts About Türkiye

1. Santa Claus never went to North Pole! He lived in Antalya!

The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born in the third century in the village of Patara, Antalya. At that time, the area was Greek and now lies on the southern coast of Turkey. Nicholas’s wealthy parents raised him as a devout Christian, but they died during an epidemic when Nicholas was still young. Following Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his entire inheritance to help those in need, including the sick and suffering. Nicholas devoted his life to serving God and was made the Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became renowned throughout the region for his kindness to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

St. Nicholas Church, Demre. (2022, September 25). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Nicholas_Church,_Demre
There are many stories and legends about Santa Claus, but the true story of his life is rooted in Antalya, Türkiye. Known as Saint Nicholas, he was born into a wealthy family in the early 4th century and dedicated his life to helping others. He became known for his generosity and kindness, which made him a beloved figure among his local community.Despite his association with snow and winter, Saint Nicholas lived his whole life in the warm and sunny city of Antalya. His legacy as Santa Claus would not be solidified until centuries later, as his story spread and mixed with other traditions and folklore.Today, Santa Claus remains a beloved symbol of generosity and kindness around the world. While he may still be associated with snow and winter, it is important to remember that his true roots lie in a warm and welcoming place like Antalya, Türkiye

2. Troy is located in Türkiye

Discovering the world can be a truly amazing experience! If you’re looking for a new adventure, why not consider visiting the city of Canakkale in Türkiye? As the birthplace of ancient legends and epic stories, this city has much to offer. In particular, you won’t want to miss visiting the picturesque city of Troy, known for its fascinating ruins and rich history. Just imagine walking in the footsteps of ancient heroes and experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty of this special place. So, why not start planning your trip today and get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime? Remember, anything is possible when you open your mind and heart to new experiences and opportunities!

Once upon a time, in the ancient city of Troy, a story of bravery, passion, and tragedy unfolded. It was a city that stood for centuries, where legends were born, and battles were fought.Despite their battles and struggles, the people of Troy remained steadfast and fought for their city with unwavering courage and bravery. They had a fierce determination to protect their people, culture, and identity.Through their trials, the people of Troy never gave up and never lost hope. They continued to fight for what they believed in, and ultimately their legacy lives on today.Let the story of Troy inspire you to embrace your own courage, determination, and passion. Remember that through hard work and dedication, anything becomes possible. Just like the people of Troy, never give up on your dreams, and always fight for what you believe in.

3. The archaeological discovery of Göbeklitepe changed known human history

The Göbekli Tepe is a prehistoric site of great significance as it has greatly contributed to the knowledge of the ancient world. The site was first found in the 1960s and since then, it has changed the understanding of the ancient world in numerous ways. It is part of a temple complex believed to have been built by hunter-gatherer societies approximately 12,000 years ago. It is considered one of the oldest temples ever discovered and possibly the oldest. Before the discovery of the Göbekli Tepe, the notion that only cultures involved in agriculture constructed temples was widely accepted. The site’s discovery has thus redefined the understanding of ancient civilization and is of immense importance to the scientific community.

The site situated in the Germuş mountains of southeastern Anatolia showcases the impressive megalithic structures from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic age. These structures feature round-oval and rectangular monuments that were constructed by hunter-gatherers between 9,600 and 8,200 BCE. The observed T-shaped pillars stand out, depicting imagery of animals in their natural habitats - which provide a window into the daily lives, beliefs, and rituals practiced by those residing in Upper Mesopotamia 12 millennia ago. It is likely that these fascinating and detailed monuments were used during funerary ceremonies.

4. Virgin Mary died in Ephesus and resting there

The House of the Virgin Mary, also known as Meryem Ana Evi in Turkish language, is a Catholic shrine situated on Mt. Koressos, also called Bülbüldağı or Mount Nightingale, near Ephesus in Türkiye, seven kilometers from Selçuk. Discovered in the 19th century by following the descriptions in the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano after her death, the house has received a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery. While the Catholic Church has never pronounced in favour or against the authenticity of the house, the site still attracts Catholic pilgrims who believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and resided there for the remainder of her earthly life. The shrine has been blessed with several apostolic blessings from different popes, including Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. (reference: https://www.hzmeryemanaevi.com/en/pilgrimage-in-sirince/)

By Erik Cleves Kristensen - House of the Virgin Mary, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=119265764

5.  The Prophet Moses was in Hatay and his stick is still alive as a tree

A plane tree, which is believed to have grown from the staff of the Prophet Moses thanks to the “water of immortality,” draws the interest of visitors from all around the country. The Moses Tree in the southern province of Hatay is believed to be 3,000 years old.

There are various legends about the plane tree, which is believed to have grown from the staff of Moses and the “water of immortality.” According to the legend, when Moses came here, he wanted to drink from the stream, which was believed to be the “water of immortality.” Moses bent down with his staff and drank from the water. Then, he suddenly realized that the staff produced leaves. Therefore, the Moses Tree is believed to be this staff. The tree is 7.5 meters wide and 17 meters tall. (reference: https://www.kulturportali.gov.tr/turkiye/hatay/gezilecekyer/hidirbey-musa-agaci-efsanesi)

By Jale Gökbag, July 2022, subject to copyright

6. the Prophet Abraham (Hz.Ibrahim) lived in Urfa

The lake is located inside the city center and has the appearance of a natural aquarium with the fishes swimming inside the waters and with the centuries old plane trees and willow trees. The lakes are two in number; Ayn-ı Zeliha and Halil-ür Rahman. As Prophet İbrahim begins to struggle with the monarch of the period Nemrut and with the idols that his folk worships and begins to break and destroy such idols defending the idea of a single god, he was cast into fires by Nemrut from the location which is known as the Şanlıurfa Castle. As the God himself orders the fire as “O fire, be cool and secure to İbrahim.”, the fire turn into water and the stones turn into fishes. The place where Prophet İbrahim falled is named as “Halil-ür Rahman Lake”. The step daugter of Nemrut Zeliha falls in love with Prophet İbrahim. Zeliha begs and prays for Prophet İbrahim to his step father Nemrut. As she realizes that Prophet İbrahim is fallen into fire, she casts herself into the fire. The place where Zeliha falled is called as “Ayn-ı Zeliha Lake“. (reference: https://www.ktb.gov.tr/EN-99290/sanliurfa.html)

hz ibrahim
By Jale Gökbag, July 2022, subject to copyright

7. Visit the Heads of Medusa in The Basilica Cistern of Istanbul

Medusa Head sculptures, attributed to the Roman Period, are a true masterpiece of sculpture art. These unique works were used as pedestals under two magnificent columns situated in one corner of the cistern. The origin of the striking Medusa heads remains unknown, and researchers speculate that they were possibly brought to this site only to be used as a base during the construction of the cistern. Nonetheless, their exceptional artistry suggests that they may have once adorned a significant building, palace or temple. Despite being used as column bases, these Medusa heads still possess an awe-inspiring, intimidating presence that leaves visitors in awe of their majestic beauty and the skill of their Roman artisans. Without a doubt, the Medusa heads at the cistern are a true testament to the sophisticated and exquisite craftsmanship of the Roman period.

By Jale Gökbag, May 2023, subject to copyright

8. Wineries and vineyards in Turkey have delicious wines for you to try.

Turkey is home to a variety of wine regions which produce some of the world’s best wines. Among these are the beautiful coastal city of Izmir, situated on the stunning Aegean coast. Pamukkale and Cappadocia are also sought-after areas, known for their unique volcanic terroirs which impart a one-of-a-kind, distinctive flavor to the wines produced there. Another two coastal areas that are famous for their vineyards are Antalya and Bodrum, located in the western part of Türkiye. If you’re a wine enthusiast, you might also want to explore the vineyards in Kayseri, Denizli, and Istanbul, where you’ll find a myriad of excellent wines. These regions are not only known for producing great wine but also offer a picturesque backdrop for wine lovers to explore, with their breathtaking sceneries and rich cultural heritage.

9. Cheese is an art in Türkiye

Cheese has existed for thousands of years and has been produced through a variety of methods and techniques, evolving into various distinct flavors and varieties. It has become a staple ingredient in many cuisines worldwide, particularly for breakfasts. In Türkiye, cheese is a particularly cherished food, with an abundance of cheese types made both in traditional home settings and modern facilities across the country. Each type of cheese offers a unique flavor and texture, prepared using different methods and techniques, and celebrated through festivals recognizing the diversity of Turkish cheese. For centuries, cheese has been a crucial aspect of Turkish cuisine, rich in flavor and providing an important source of nourishment. From crumbled feta to stringy mozzarella, the sheer range of cheeses available in Türkiye is certain to satisfy even the most demanding cheese connoisseur.

Turkey has a rich tradition of cheese-making, with more than 200 different types of cheese produced throughout the country. Some of the most popular Turkish cheeses include beyaz peynir, which is a salty white cheese similar to feta, kaşar, which is a mild, yellow cheese similar to cheddar, and tulum, which is a strong, aged cheese that is typically wrapped in goat skin. Other popular Turkish cheeses include lor, which is a soft white cheese used in many desserts and pastries, and otlu peynir, which is a cheese with herbs and spices added to it. Many of these cheeses are made using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations of cheese-makers, and are an important part of Turkish culinary culture.

10. Türkiye is the world's largest hazelnut producer

Let me tell you about a breathtaking country located between Asia and Europe – Türkiye! The beauty of this land is unmatched, with coasts stretching over three sides, an abundance of history and a unique blend of cultures. Did you know that Türkiye is globally renowned as the world’s top producer and exporter of hazelnuts? This essential nut crop has its origins in central Anatolian region, which also contains wild species of hazelnuts that have helped create the variety we know and love today. Türkiye’s history and landscapes are equally as stunning, boasting rich qualities that are sure to leave you amazed. Dare to explore the wonders of Türkiye, you won’t regret it!

Hazelnuts have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years. The Uyghur epics from 2838 BC mention hazelnuts, making it one of the oldest known sources. Origins of hazelnuts can be traced back to Anatolia, which is known as the birthplace of its cultural history. The cultural varieties of hazelnuts were later introduced from Anatolia to Greece and Italy. Over the years, hazelnuts were brought to different parts of the world including the American continent. Hazelnuts continue to be a popular nut today and are used in a variety of dishes and products such as chocolate, spreads, and savory dishes.
Jale Gokbag
Author: Jale Gokbag

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