You may have heard someone at some point mention how cool Istanbul is, or how great the beaches are in Turkey.
And while that’s totally true, Turkey is so much more than just that. It’s a real melting pot for all surrounding cultures. For example…
1. Greeks, Turks, and Arabs all claim the gooey deliciousness of baklava as their own invention.
But really, who wouldn’t want to claim this godly food?
2. Greeks and Turks will also fight over who invented yogurt…
3. And Turkish coffee…
Coffee was originally an Ethiopian drink. The Turks changed the serving method, and then popularized it through South Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
4. And doner? Obviously Turkish.
No matter how much Greeks may call it gyro doesn’t change what it is.
5. And of course you can find kebabs everywhere.
Kebabs are the food of choice in much of Turkey, but was originally an Arab food.
And beyond just food, there’s all the history, like…
6. Abraham was born in Turkey. Obviously he knew what was up, and there’s a huge mosque complex dedicated to him
7. Early Christians knew what was up too, and built their first cathedral in Turkey.
Fun fact! This church was set up and used by the first disciples.
8. Even the Virgin Mary thought Turkey was pretty fine, and she spent her last days there near the shore.
Every year, thousands of elderly European tourists imitate Mary and flock to Turkey’s shores.
9. There’s also the Greco-Persian smorgasburg that is the tomb at Mount Nemrut.
10. Actually, Turkey has got tombs covered, like these Pontic ones in Amasya.
Fun fact! Amasya was also the legendary home of the Amazons - those terrifying warrior women.
11. The Byzantines absolutely adored Turkey and built wicked monasteries throughout it.
12. Speaking of monasteries, there is also the Syrian Orthodox Deyrulzafaran Monastery outside Mardin.
13. In fact, Mardin itself is just pretty incredible looking thanks to Arab and Kurdish influence.
14. Of course, the Greeks and Romans also influenced places like Ephesus.
Fun fact! Ephesus was also the location of The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
15. And the Hittites also dug Turkey… Literally. They built underground cities at Cappadocia.
Fun fact! During times of Roman persecution, early Christians used to hide in these underground cities.
16. The former city of Harran is a treasure cove of lost civilizations - from Babylonian to Crusader.
17. The Armenians were also all about eastern Turkey. They even had their former capital, Ani, there.
18. Kars must be the coolest damn city in the world, since the Turks, Russians, Georgians and Armenians all fought for it.
19. Rumi, an Afghan Sufi mystic, lived, worked, and died in Turkey.
Fun fact! Pilgrims of all faiths from around the world continue to visit his tomb in Konya, as his message was one of love and inclusion to all.