The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk becoming the first president and founder of the nation. Ataturk is considered to be much more than just the first president of the Republic.
He is the most revered figure in the country history, known as the creator of modern day the nation who held the country together in unification following the Ottoman defeat during WWI and helped to initiate the creation of the modern Turkish language.
Ataturk literally means “Father of the Turks,” and his god-like status can be seen all throughout the nation today from the many statues, monuments, museums and photos hung in almost every restaurant and shop.
Turkey has been a historical crossroads and bedrock since the start of civilization and a main reason why Turkey is such as fascination country.
The country literally is where ‘West’ meets ‘East,’ bringing a confluence of culture and history into the modern age. The famous Bosporus strait is the waterway running through the heart of Istanbul and linking the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea, down into the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.
The Bosporus is a dividing line between Europe and Asia, which means less than 5% of Turkey is considered to be in Europe. The rest of Turkey to the east is called Anatolia or Asia Minor.
While Turkey has seen the rise of many different religions such as Judaism and Christianity, Islam is Turkey’s national religion, with approximately more than 99% of the population being Muslim. With that being said, Turkey is tolerant of all religions and has been deemed ‘the prime example’ of what a secular state should look like in the region.
Turkey consists of two main ethnicities, Turkish (approx. 75 %) and Kurdish (approx. 15%) with other ethnicities making up the remaining 10%. Geographically speaking, Turkey is extremely diverse with many different climates.
To the north you have the Black Sea; to the west are the Marmara and Aegean Seas; and to the south is the Mediterranean Sea. The nation also borders eight different countries; Greece and Bulgaria to the west; Iraq and Syria to the south; Iran, Armenia and parts of Azerbaijan to the east; and Georgia to the northeast.
There are many more things to be said about this beautiful place, so there are some quick facts and travel destinations highlighted below to help you get to know this beautiful, historic nation.
The entire nation with historical cities steeped in history, beaches and beautiful countryside