Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkey, is located in the northern hemisphere where the two continents, Europe and Asia, meet. The majority of its territory extends over the Anatolian peninsula, whereas the rest lies on the edge of the Balkan peninsula. Three sides of the country is surrounded by sea: the Mediterranean Sea is to the south, the Aegean Sea and Archipelago Sea are to the west, and the Black Sea is to the north.
In a nutshell
- Turkey offers the world’s second largest mosaic museum, which is found in Antakya (Antioch). The most beautiful and ancient examples of mosaics, which were first used by the Sumerians 5,000 years ago by mixing fragments of pottery into wall daub, are found here.
- Istanbul is the only city in the world located on two continents: Europe and Asia. In its thousands of years of history, it has been the capital of three great empires: Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman.
- Two of the world’s seven wonders are located in Turkey: the Temple of Artemis and the Halicarnassus Mausoleum.
- The most valuable silk carpet in the world is in the Mevlana (Rumi) Museum in Konya, Turkey. Marco Polo’s journeys in the thirteenth century took him here, and he remarked that the “best and handsomest of rugs” were to be found in Turkey.
- Anatolia is the birthplace of many historical figures such as the Phrygian King Midas, the father of history, Herodotus, and St. Paul, the Apostle. When the archaeologists from the Pennsylvania Museum opened the tomb of Midas, they found some of the earliest and most well-preserved wooden furniture in the world.
- Many important events surrounding the birth of Christianity occurred in Turkey: St. John, St. Paul and St. Peter all lived and prayed in southern Anatolia. The seven churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation—Ephesos, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea—are all found in Turkey; and Sanliurfa is known to be the City of the Prophets where Prophet Abraham, Prophet Job, Prophet Elijah and Prophet Jacob lived. Lake of Fishes, which is one of the holy grounds, can also be found in this city.
- Troy, where the Trojan wars were fought, is situated in the province of Çanakkale in western Turkey. The symbolic wooden horse erected at the site to memorialize the historical significance of the place stands as an invitation to a mystical, epical and romantic journey through time.
- Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
- Mosaic Museum in Antalya
- Kaunos Rock Tombs
- Olu Deniz (Blue Lagoon)
- Sumela Monastery
- Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara