Tweety with Ottoman fez in Turkey



Turkey straddles two continents with 97% of its territory and its capital in Asia and 3% in Europe with Istanbul and its region (Eastern Thrace).

The Turkish people, nomadic, comes from an area from Central Asia to Mongolia. Their first Empire was founded in the 11th century by the Seljuk Turkish tribe and covered an area from Central Asia to Anatolia, but it yielded to the Mongol expansion led by Genghis Khan during the 13th century.

In 1299, the Turkish sultan Oghuz Osman 1st took the Byzantine city of Mocadene. As the dinasty of this sultan was Ottoman, this marked the beginning of the Ottoman Empire, which conquered the rest of the Byzantine Empire with the taking of Constantinople in 1453. Renamed Istanbul, it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire which kept expanding in Europe during the 16th century with a peak during the reign of Sultan S├╝leyman the Magnificent, who took Belgrade and Hungary, and made a political alliance with Francis Ist, King of France, against Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, King of Spain, Naples and Sicily and Duke of Burgundy... But the strategic points in Mediterranean Sea, Sicily and Malta, did not fall. The Great Siege of Malta in 1565 failed and the Ottoman fleet, allegedly invincible, was destroyed during the naval battle of Lepanto in 1571 by the Spanish-Venetian-Maltese coalition. It then became more complicated for the Ottoman and they were definitely stopped will be stopped at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 by the armies of the Holy Roman Empire allied with the Poles.

In the losing camp of First World War, the Ottoman Empire lost its Arab territories which became French and British protectorates.

The former Ottoman Empire was taken over in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal called Atat├╝rk who created Turkey and changed the capital to Ankara in the heart of the land. He also chose to adopt the Latin alphabet and caught out a secular state in a country (almost) entirely Muslim. Turkey is at the crossroads of European and Oriental cultures.

General information about the "Sublime Porte"

Motto : Peace at Home, Peace in the World
Anthem : Independence March

Symbol : the blue mosque

Symbol of Turkey : the blue mosque

Flag :

Flag of Turkey

Red is the symbol colour of the Ottomans. The crescent and the star are symbols of Islam religion.

Capital : Ankara
"the symbol of modern Turkey"
Landmark : Atat├╝rk Mausoleum
Population : 68.9 Millions inhabitants (2004)
(2.6 Millions in Ankara and 6.6 M. in Istanbul)
Area : 783,562 km2 (302,535 square miles)
Currency : Turkish lira
Religion :
Muslim (99%)
Political system : Parliamentary republic
(with secular regime)
Official language : Turkish
Time zone : UTC +2h
(from United Kingdom : +2h)
Architectural styles :
  • Ottoman mosques (including those of Sinan)
  • Public fountains
  • Konak (large house)
Folklore and traditions :
  • Folk dances
  • Sema of whirling dervishes
  • Belly dancing (from the Middle East)
  • Turkish bath
  • The use of hookahs
  • Traditional Turkish shadow theater
Culinary specialities :
  • mezes (eg mussels stuffed with rice, spicy tomatoes, eggplant yogurt...)
  • kebabs, fish (sea bass...)
  • Dessert : chichen pudding (cake made with milk and chopped chicken), baklava (pastry usually with honey)
  • Sweets : Turkish delight
Drink :
  • Tea
  • Turkish coffee (to drink or even "eat" if we do it wrong)
  • Raki (rak─▒ in Turkish) : aniseed alcohol (pronounced "rakeu")
  • Fruit juice (cherry juice...)
Miscellaneous :
  • Carpet weaving knotted or woven (kilim).
  • Never drink tap water.
  • Call to prayer by the muezzin via loudspeakers.
  • Use of the Latin alphabet with letters such as ─▒ with no dot.
  • Risk of significant seismic activity.