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Few Facts About Turkiye

Capital : Ankara
Other Big Cities: Istanbul, Izmir, Adana
Official Language: Turkish
Currency: Turkish Lira
Population: ~75 million
Regime: Republic



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History of Republic of Turkiye

The roots of Republic of Turkiye can be traced back to Middle Asia via its ancestors: Ottoman Empire and Seljuq Turks. After World War I, as one of the defeated countries, Ottoman Empire was partitioned between the allied forces. Against this partitioning, Turkish people fought an independence war from 1919 to 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who played an important role as as a general and a politician. In 1923 the Turkish Senate abolished the Sultanate and announced the new Republic of Turkiye.


Turkish Culture

Turkiye has been at the crossroads of many cultures from east and west which enriched the Turkish culture over centuries. Therefore; the music, dances and cuisines vary from region to region. Here, we would like to provide you a potpouri of cultural elements from those regions.


Turkish Language

As we stated previously, the Turkish people's ancestry goes back to central Asia. Thus, unlike the common misunderstanding, Turkish is not from the same language family with Arabic and European Languages. Turkish does not employ grammatical gender and the sentences are structured as subject-object-verb (similar to Japanese and Korean). If you would like to learn a few simple Turkish words, you can check this BBC link. It has audio recordings for the pronounciations and will be plenty to impress your friends ;)

Turkish Music

Turkish Classical Music was very popular in Istanbul and was enjoyed by the upper class during Ottoman Empire and is still being enjoyed throughout the country. It has a wide variety of modes or scales known as "makams". Kurdi, Hicaz, Acem and Ussak can be cosidered to be few of the most popular makams used in Turkish classical music. During a performance, generally a vocalist is accompanied by an instrumental ensemble which plays instruments like ud, keman (violin), kanun, ney and kemence.


Here you can see that violin is used in Turkish classical music as a proof of the cultural exchange between Turkish and Western cultures. Similar to this influence, Turkish music did also affect the western music. A good example would be Mozart's piano sonata number 11's last movement, namely "Ronda alla Turca", which was inspired by the music of Turkish military marching bands (Mehter Takimi).

Turkish Folk Music is a body of anonymous musical work of people throughout Anatolia.The signature time scale of Turkish folk music is the "limping rhythm" which is one of the 5/8, 7/8 or 9/8 time scales. The music varies from region to region as we stated before and has different features and instruments in each region. For instance in Black Sea Region kemence and tulum are widely used as instruments while darbuka is popular in Marmara Region and saz is popular in Central Anatolia. Marmara Region's folkloric music has Balkan influences while Southeastern Anatolia has Arabic/Persian influences. As you can see, the Turkish folk music is rather a colorful mosaic.



Rumeli Karsilamasi - Marmara Region
Cokertme - Aegian Region
Ay Dogar Ayazlanir - Mediterranean Region
Cayelinden Oteye - Black Sea Region
Acem Kizi - Central Anatolia Region
Hele Dadas Hos Musan? - Eastern Anatolia Region
Urfaliyim Ezelden - Southeastern Anatolia Region


Turkish Folk Dance

Turkish folk dance is in parallel with the Turkish folk in terms of diversity. It is generally performed as a group in weddings and social gatherings. The costuming varies from region to region and formed of various layers and accessories. Today, there are many folkloric dance competitions that Turkish youth groups compete. These competitions help Turkish folk dances to survive and be appreciated by the next generations.



Turkish Cuisine

Due to various climates, abundance of vegatable and fruit varieties in Turkiye (let's not forget about the variety of people here), Turkish people could create a complex and colorful cuisine. Again, the cuisines vary from region to region. For example, in Marmara region the cuisine follows the traditional Ottoman court cuisine with less usage of spice while in the Black Sea region the emphasis is on fish dishes, especially with hamsi (a fish type abundant in Black Sea). Southeastern Region is known for its kebab varieties and spicy food while Aegian Region is know for its olive oil based vegetable dishes. If you happen to come to Turkey, here are a few things you should:



Drink: Turkish Tea, Turkish Coffee, Ayran,Raki


  • Meat Dishes: Manti, Dolma, Borek, Sucuk, Pide, Lahmacun, Adana Kebap
  • Vegetable Dishes: Mercimekli Kofte, Mucver, Imambayildi
  • Deserts: Baklava, Muhallebi, Asure, Lokum

For foodies out there, here is a very informative website giving a very detailed history of the Turkish cuisine and various authentic recipes: http://www.turkish-cuisine.org/english/index.php


Where to Visit in Turkiye?

There are so many options, it is hard to short it down. Here you can find a list of many options available on Tripadvisor and here is a short list of recommendations we can give:

Cultural Destinations:


hagia kiz

Hagia Sophia Mosque
Maiden's Tower


topkapi vapur

Topkapi Palace
Ferry Across Bosphorus


Other cities

efes troy

Ephesus / Izmir
Troy / Canakkale


Natural Wonders Destinations:

pamuk capadocia

Pamukkale / Denizli
Cappadocia / Nevsehir


kekova bodrum

Kekova / Antalya
Bodrum / Mugla