♣ The land of the ancient Asia Minor or Anatolia is today's Turkey.
♥ Although Turkey is predominantly an Islamic country, it is a secular, democratic republic and people have freedom of religion and belief.
♦ Turkey is an extension and homeland of many great civilizations of the world heritage, such as Hattians, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lydians, Ionians, Carians, Lycians, Persians, Hellenistic people, Romans, Seljuks, Ottomans and finally the people of the modern republic.
♠ The Neolithic culture had its origin in Turkey and the peoples of Anatolia played a leading part in the Neolithic Revolution.
♣ The first recorded international treaty in the world was the Treaty of Kadesh between the Hittite and Egyptian Empires, Hattusilis III and Ramses II, in 1284 BC.
♥ Homer's birthplace Izmir (Smyrna) and his mythological city Troy are located in Anatolia.
The world's first beauty contest was held on Mount Ida (Kaz Dagi). The contestants were Aphrodite, Hera and Athena under the judgment of Paris.
♦ Many city names in different parts of the world such as Philadelphia, Paris, Antioch, Troy or the continental name "Europe" originate in Anatolia
♦The oldest known shipwreck on earth was excavated by a team headed by Don Frey in Ulu Burun near Kas.
♣ In 640 BC, for the first time in history, coins made of electrum (a natural mixture of gold and silver) were used by the Lydians in Sardis (Sart). They used coins to facilitate and regulate commerce.
♠ The Persian Royal Road of the 6C BC ran from Sardis, western Anatolia, to Susa.
♥ King Midas was an Anatolian.
♦ Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot near Ankara.
♣ Alexander's tutor, Aristotle, virtually invented the life sciences while he stayed in Assos (Behramkale) for three years.
♠ Between 7 and 5C BC, Miletus was the home of Thales (one of the Seven Sages), of Anaximander and Anaximenes (natural philosophers), Hippodamus (philosopher and the earliest town planner) and Hecataeus (geographer).
♥ Historian Herodotus, physician Galen, mathematician Apollonius, philosophers Anaxagoras, Scopelianus, Cleanthes and many more were all Anatolians.
♦ Two of the Seven Wonders of the World stood in Anatolia: the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The others are the Pyramids of Egypt, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Colossus of Rhodes and, the Pharos of Alexandria
♠ The words of Julius Caesar "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)" were said in Amasya, east of Ankara when he went to Anatolia in 47 BC.
♥ When the Egyptians prohibited the export of papyrus, the King of Pergamum ordered that a new material be found. The new discovery was "parchment", a fine material from sheep or goat skin, which is highly polished with pumice stone and slit into sheets. The name, Pergamum, has been perpetuated and seen as synonymous with the word "parchment".
♦ Anatolia was the first major stronghold of Christianity.
♣ The Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis was said to be watered by a river which separated into four streams as it left the garden; two of them the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Firat) rise in the mountains of eastern Turkey.
♠ Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) is in Anatolia. According to tradition, Ararat is the place where Noah's Ark landed. Ararat is the Hebrew form for Urartu, the Assyrian name for a kingdom that existed in the region from the 11C to the 7C BC.
♥ St. Paul was born in Tarsus (southern Turkey). He undertook most of his missionary journeys and wrote most of his biblical epistles to early Christians in Anatolia.
♦ St. Nicholas, known as Santa Claus today was born and lived as bishop of Myra in Demre. According to legend, he secretly bestowed dowries upon the daughters of a poor citizen. This originated the custom of giving presents on the eve of the feast of St. Nicholas, a tradition later transferred to Christmas Day.
♣ The Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the Revelation of John are all located in Anatolia; Ephesus (Efes), Smyrna (Izmir), Laodicea ad Lycum (Denizli, Goncali), Sardis (Sart), Pergamum (Bergama), Philadelphia (Alasehir) and Thyatira (Akhisar).
♠ All of the 7 Ecumenical Councils which are accepted by both the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches were held in Anatolia.
♥ Istanbul houses the Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fener and the Armenian Patriarchate in Kumkapi.
♦ For the first time in history, Seljuks created state insurance for the losses of tradesmen.
♣ Tulips were introduced to Holland from Anatolia by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, He was ambassador of Charles V to Suleyman the Magnificent in 1554.
♠ The first man ever to fly was Turkish. Using two wings Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi flew from the Galata Tower over the Bosphorus to land in Uskudar in the 17C
♥ Indo-European languages derive from Anatolia not the Russian Plains.
♦ Many words in English language such as angora, bulgur, byzantine, caique, divan, kiosk, mausoleum, meander, parchment, sherbet, turban, turquoise and yoghurt derive from Anatolia.
♣ Turkish women were far ahead of many European women when they obtained the right to vote at municipal level in 1930.
♠ The number of species of flowers in Turkey is approximately 9,000, of which 3,000 are endemic. In Europe for instance there are 11,500 species.
♥ Turkey is one of only 8 countries in the world which consistently produces surplus food and cattle for export.