Turkey: It’s Not Just a Type of Bird

During the summer months the halls of St. Paul Preparatory School are quiet and barren. However, during the weeks between July 12th and August 9th St. Paul Prep comes alive with students from Turkey who are participating in Nacel Open Door’s Short Term Program. Students take a semester’s credit of World History and Human Geography all within a 4 week period. As the program begins to come to a close we decided to learn more about Turkey and the culture these students come from. We rounded up 15 interesting facts about the country of Turkey.

  1. Turkey has a total population of 75,627,384.
  2. The country of Turkey is slightly larger than the state of Texas.
  3. Turkey is home to two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: Temple of Artemis & Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
  4. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the fifth largest city in the world.
  5. Eastern Anatolia contains the oldest monumental structures in the world.
  6. The last home of Mary, mother of Jesus, is located just 7 km (4 mi) from Selçuk.
  7. High school is optional in Turkey. Courses are generally lecture-based, and memorization is emphasized.
  8. The oldest known shipwreck on earth was found in Uluburun near Kas.
  9. There are approximately 9,000 different species of flowers in Turkey.
  10. Turkey is actually called the Republic of Turkey.
  11. 80% of the world’s hazelnut exports are from Turkey.
  12. The first Christian church was built in Antioch.
  13. The Turkish alphabet does not include “X” or “Q.”
  14. Tulips were introduced to Europe by Turkish traders in the 16th century.
  15. The turkey bird gets its name from the country, despite being a native bird to the Americas. Europeans misidentified the bird as a type of guineafowl or turkey fowl, which are birds that were imported through Turkey.

Do you have an interesting fact about Turkey? Tell us in the comment section below!