interesting facts about Turkey

17 Terrific Facts About Turkey

Looking to learn some interesting facts about the countries of the world? Impress your friends with your knowledge with these 17 fun facts about Turkey!

1. Where is Turkey?

Turkey is a beautiful and ancient country in both Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

It is bordered by Bulgaria to the northwest, Georgia to the northeast, Iran, Armenia and Nakhchivan to the east, Syria and Iraq to the south and Greece to the west. It also has a coastline along the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Aegean Sea to the west.

2. Here’s the compass credentials.

Fancy a spot of shopping, a dip in the sea or a history-packed adventure? Head for the coordinates of Turkey, which are 39.9167° N, 32.8333°

3. It’s easy to keep in touch.

Want to call your friends in Turkey?  You’ll need to use the international dialing code +90.

The Turkish Flag - a white crescent moon and star on a red background

Flag of Turkey

4. It’s great for exploring.

The terrain here consists of a high central plateau, narrow coastal plains and several mountain ranges, so there’s lots to explore!

5. It’s pretty big!

The total land area of Turkey is 300,948 square miles (779,452 square kilometers).

6. Millions of people call Turkey home.

Turkey’s population was 84.98 million in 2022.

7. Ankara, not Istanbul!

Despite popular misconception, the capital of Turkey is Ankara, not Istanbul and covers an area of 971 square miles (2,516 square kilometers) and has a population of 5.663 million (2020).

8. Life expectancy here is impressive!

The average life span here is 77.69 years (2019).

9. The markets here are something else!

Dating back to 1455, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. It boasts over 3,000 shops and can attract up to 400,000 visitors per day!

Aya Sofia, Istanbul

Aya Sofia, Istanbul

10. The weather in Turkey is generally lovely.

The Turkish enjoy a temperate climate, with hot dry summers and mild wet winters.

11. What do people speak in Turkey?

The official language of Turkey is Turkish, although Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian and Greek are also spoken here.

12. Speaking Turkey is an interesting affair!

Turkish is a phonetic language, so words are pronounced the same way that they are read – at least that makes things a little easier!

Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey

Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey

13. UNESCO loves Turkey!

As a country steeped in culture and history, Turkey has a total of 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

14. Fancy an oil wrestle?

Fancy taking part in the national sport? Well, you’ll have to strip off to the waist and douse yourself in oil! That’s right, oil wrestling is the national sport of Turkey! In fact, it’s the oldest continuously running sporting competition in the world, dating back to 1362!

15. It’s wonderful for flora and fauna lovers.

With more than 10,000 plant species and 80,000 animal species, Turkey is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots!

Istanbul with the Blue Mosque in the background


16. Head to the exchange!

Turkish Lira is the official currency here; make sure you stock up if you want to buy one of the many beautiful lanterns in the Grand Bazaar!

17. Turkey’s exports are wide and varied.

Turkey grows cotton, tobacco, olives and grains and rears livestock.

Its industry consists of textiles, food processing, mining, steel, petroleum and automobiles.

Turkey also exports foodstuffs, apparel, textiles and transport equipment.

The busy streets of Istanbul

The crowded streets of Istanbul

FAQs about Turkey

Are Turkish people friendly?

Yes, very much so! In fact, many Turkish people love asking questions, so don’t be shy!

Is Turkey safe to visit?

On the whole, yes, Turkey is safe to visit as a tourist, but usual safety checks apply.

Is Turkey expensive to visit?

It’ll cost you more than $1,000 to visit Turkey, on average, with a family of four people - though this may vary!

Do you know any fun facts about Turkey?  Share them in the comments below!

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This page was last modified on June 11, 2024. Suggest an edit

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