Interesting Facts About Turkey
With its unique part in the history of the world civilizations, Turkey has a rich culture and important role in the global economy, agriculture, and trade. There are many interesting facts about Turkey that are still not commonly known.
Turkish economy was one of the few economies which grew despite the pandemic in 2020
Covid-19 affected the whole world and drifted economies even the stronger ones into such despair in 2020, there were only several countries and economies to survive during this period. Turkey is one of the economies that grow despite the damaging effects of the pandemic. Turkish economy grew by 1.8% in 2020, according to the annual data revealed by the government on March 1, 2021.
Turkey has one of the youngest populations in the world
Turkey has one of the youngest populations in the world ranking. The average age is 32.2 years in Turkey, while it is 32.8 years for women and 31.7 years for men. Also, 23.4% of Turkey’s population is under the age of 15.
Turkey is one of the top 10 agricultural producing countries in the world
According to various historical researches, agriculture is believed to started in Turkey around 11,000 years ago, and until today it has always been the primary occupation for the societies that occupied Turkey. In 2018, approximately 19.2% of total employment in Turkey was provided by agriculture. Fruits, barley, corn, hazelnut, and chestnuts are the top crops produced in Turkey. According to Insider Monkey, in 2019 only Turkey produced 5.83 million metric tons of agricultural goods. Turkey is the leading country for hazelnut and chestnut producers, and 70% of the world’s hazelnuts come from Turkey.
Istanbul is the only city on earth settled on two continents
One of the many unique things about Istanbul is the only city that spans two continents – Asia and Europe – on earth. Only 3% of Turkey is in Europe, while a very large part of the country is settled on the Asian continent. While the European and Asian sides of Istanbul are divided by a stretch of water called the Bosphorus, the European side is also split in two by a cove called the Golden Horn.
The world’s first temple is in Turkey
First discovered in 1963, Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill) is recognized as ‘the place where civilization was born’ and ‘zero points of human history’. According to archeological researches, the stones discovered in the temple date back to 13,000 years ago. As a UNESCO-protected archaeological site, Göbekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill) is located in Şanlı Urfa province of Turkey, near the village of Örencik, and it attracts tourists all over the world. Due to the amount of interest and visits to the archaeological site, 2019 was declared as “The Year of Göbekli Tepe” by the government.
Tulips and coffee were introduced to Europe by Turkey
Although it is not very clear where the first tulips were born, it is widely known that it was the Ottomans who spread the flower and introduced it to Europe. In 16th-century, Süleyman the Magnificent gifted a Flemish ambassador the first tulip seeds, and they were carried to the Netherlands. Today it is falsely believed that the tulips were born in the Netherlands, yet it is far from the truth.
It is also thanks to Ottoman Empire, Europe met with coffee as well. During their invasion of Europe, the Ottoman Empire left coffee behind in Vienna, Austria, and the first coffee shop was opened with that coffee supply.
Turkey was one of the very first countries that give women the right to vote
In Turkey, the first legislation for women to take part in the elections was issued in 1930. Women were granted the rights to participate in municipality elections and then to be elected as the local authority of the villages. In 1934, the women of Turkey won the right to vote and to be elected as a deputy in parliament.
Over 20 languages are spoken in Turkey
One of the most interesting facts about Turkey is there are many languages spoken within the borders of the country. According to the data released in 1965, there were more than 30 languages spoken in Turkey back then. Today, it is believed to be over 20 languages are spoken in Turkey including the official language of the country Turkish, Arabic, Kurmanji (Northern Kurdish), Zazaki, Laz, Azerbaijani, Tartar, Georgian, and Greek.