Ready for some surprising reveals about Turkey? Did you know that Istanbul is not the capital city of Turkey and the origin of Santa Claus’ story? There are more interesting facts about Turkey, including tulips, the oldest bazaar, the Turkish flag. So, let’s get right into it and find out some fascinating facts about Turkey.
1- Legend of the Turkish Flag
For the Turkish people, a Turkish flag is a sacred object. It’s a red flag with a white star and crescent in the center. The red part of the flag represents the blood of the martyrs, and the white part is a reflection of the crescent and star from the blood of the martyrs. The Turkish flag was formed after the Kosovo War in 1389. According to legend, thousands of soldiers died in this war, and on the night of the war, the moon in the shape of a crescent was reflected in the blood of soldiers. In addition, the Turkish flag is protected by law. It is prohibited to burn, tear apart, or throw it on the ground.
2- Santa Claus is From Turkey
Patara, a district of Antalya, was the birthplace of Saint Nicholas, a Christian saint and Greek bishop of Myra. When his parents died, he inherited a large sum of money, which he gave to the poor and needy, according to legend. His good works spread throughout Europe, and now every Christmas, Santa Claus visits people to spread joy and happiness.
3- Istanbul is not the Capital City of Turkey
It is a widely held misconception that Istanbul is Turkey’s capital city. Ankara, Turkey’s capital city, also serves as the seat of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Ankara is located in Central Anatolia and is the second-largest city in Turkey.
4- Turkey is Home to the Oldest Bazaar in the World
The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, built in the 15th century, is the world’s oldest covered market. It is also one of the world’s largest covered markets, with an area of 54.653 square meters. There are 4.000 shops with persistent shopkeepers who want to perform their sales tricks. You can also use your tricks against them. Never buy anything before a bargain and always look around before making a purchase.
5- Tulips are From Turkey
This is one of the most interesting facts about Turkey. Not only the flower, but even the “tulip” word comes from the Turkish word for muslin, “tulbent.” The Netherlands owes its tulips to the Ottoman Empire. The Tulip grew as a wildflower in Central Asia and was first cultivated by Turks around 1000 AD. Every year, the Tulip Festival takes place in Istanbul. Tulips were also important in the Ottoman Empire that Sultan Ahmed III’s was dubbed the “Tulip Era.” The tulip arrived in the Netherlands at the end of the 16th century and quickly became popular.
6- Turkish National Sport
Turkish national sport is oil wrestling. It dates back to 700 hundreds of years ago. Wrestlers get oiled before starting their fight. There is a festival for this called “Kırk Pınar Yağlı Güreşleri”.