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Turkey

Geography Fun Facts for Kids on Turkey - Image of the Turkey Peninsula - Turkey Worksheet
Geography Fun Facts for Kids on Turkey - Image of the Turkey Peninsula

Would you like to visit an ancient country that has been settled for more than 8,000 years? You might like to visit Turkey or officially known as the Republic of Turkey. Here, you’ll find ancient Roman ruins, huge cathedrals, and castles from the days of the knights and Crusaders. There’s an ancient underground civilization of tunnels and rooms. The country’s tallest point, Mount Ararat is believed to be the place where Noah’s boat landed after the flood.

Turkey Facts for Kids

  • Turkey spans two continents.
  • Turkish is the main language.
  • Ankara is the capital city.
  • It’s home to fairy chimneys.
  • Lots of ancient ruins!
  • They invented Santa Claus.
  • Turkish delight sweets yum!
  • Has beaches and mountains.
  • Cats are loved and common.
  • Birthplace of tulips.

Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city, captivates children with its unique position across two continents, Europe and Asia, divided by the renowned Bosphorus Strait. Once known as Byzantium and Constantinople, the city currently houses over 15 million residents and stands as a global hub.

Its rich historical tapestry is woven with landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, an architectural wonder that transitioned from a cathedral to a mosque, and now functions as a museum. Istanbul’s vibrant marketplace life is epitomized by the Grand Bazaar, a historic covered market with more than 4,000 shops, making it one of the world’s largest.

Additionally, the city’s parks are frequented by the redwing, Turkey’s national bird, adding a touch of natural beauty to this bustling metropolis.

Bosphorus Strait

The Bosphorus Strait, a compelling geographical feature that might intrigue children, holds significant importance in Turkey, uniquely positioning it as one of the sparse countries globally straddling two continents, Europe and Asia. Serving as a natural divider, this strait stretches around 31 kilometers, fluctuating in width from 700 meters to 3.7 kilometers, and creates a connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

Besides being an essential international navigation pathway, the Bosphorus Strait accentuates Turkey’s stunning geography, embellished with majestic palaces, fortresses, and bridges. Notably, the iconic Bosphorus Bridge, standing as a symbol of Turkey’s distinctive cultural fusion, enhances its charm.

Anatolia

Anatolia, also recognized as Asia Minor, constitutes the bulk of present-day Turkey and serves as a historical and cultural goldmine that provides a captivating peek into the bygone civilizations that prospered there. Young learners may find it intriguing that Anatolia acts as a geographical conduit between Asia and Europe, its unique geographical position fostering a distinctive amalgamation of cultures.

It boasts the presence of two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, namely the Temple of Artemis and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The region has been a cradle to several ancient civilizations including the Hittites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. This expansive legacy renders Turkey, especially Anatolia, a repository brimming with historical and archaeological marvels.

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire, recognized as one of the world’s most influential powers during the 15th and 16th centuries, was situated in modern-day Turkey. Established by Osman I in 1299 and lasting until 1922, it is notable as one of history’s longest-standing dynasties.

The empire experienced its golden age under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, a period highlighted by substantial cultural, military, and political evolution. Known for its efficiently managed government, remarkable architecture, and progress in arts and science, the empire also transformed Istanbul, its capital, into a significant cultural, academic, and economic center.

This influential empire, the Ottoman Empire, profoundly influenced the history and culture of present-day Turkey.

Turkish cuisine

Children relish learning about the vibrant and varied Turkish cuisine, globally renowned for its delectable and distinctive tastes. In Turkey, meal times are not just about food but also serve as occasions for familial get-togethers and festivities.

Among the beloved foods, Kebabs, skewered and grilled meats, hold a special place in the hearts of both local and international children. Baklava, another preferred dish, is a scrumptious dessert composed of filo pastry layers, filled with finely chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey.

Traditional Turkish breakfast, often consisting of cheese, olives, tomatoes, eggs, and an assortment of breads, is also a hit among children. Moreover, Ayran, a customary chilled beverage made with yogurt, water, and a dash of salt, is a favorite among young ones. Turkish cuisine, while being full of flavor, also places significant emphasis on maintaining nutritional balance.

Atatürk (Mustafa Kemal)

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, often referred to simply as Atatürk, holds an esteemed position in the annals of Turkish history as the founder of the Republic of Turkey and its inaugural President from 1923 until his passing in 1938.

His tenure was marked with a flurry of progressive reforms that spurred modernization across various sectors such as law, education, and culture within the country. His notable contributions include promoting the use of the Turkish language and endorsing the Latin alphabet, a move that simplified reading and writing for Turkish citizens of all ages.

Atatürk’s transformative initiatives have profoundly influenced Turkey, with his enduring legacy continuing to mold the nation’s present-day identity. Every year on the 10th of November, a national moment of silence observed by children across the country stands as a poignant tribute to Atatürk’s invaluable contribution and commemorates his death.

Cappadocia

Cappadocia, a unique and fascinating region in Turkey, is sure to captivate children with its extraordinary geological features and intriguing history. Known for its distinctive fairy chimneys – tall, cone-shaped rock formations found mainly in Monks Valley, the region is a veritable geological wonderland.

Ancient civilizations have carved houses, churches, and even entire underground cities directly out of these rocks, creating a landscape like no other. Cappadocia’s famous hot air balloon rides offer breathtaking views of this unique region, adding to its allure.

Children would find it particularly amazing to discover that some of these ancient cave homes are still inhabited today, offering a living link to the region’s rich past.

Hagia Sophia

Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the Hagia Sophia is an extraordinary historical site of intrigue for children and adults alike.

The building’s rich timeline began in 537 AD when it was originally erected as a cathedral during the Byzantine Empire, boasting an impressive architectural feat of its time – a massive dome. For over 900 years, it served as a church until 1453 when the Ottoman Empire transformed it into a mosque, introducing intricate mosaics and calligraphy that beautifully illustrate a fusion of Christian and Islamic influences.

In 1935, it was repurposed into a museum to celebrate and showcase its historical and architectural significance. Despite being reconverted into a mosque in 2020, it continues to welcome tourists, standing as an enduring symbol of Turkey’s varied and rich history.

Whirling Dervishes

The Whirling Dervishes, originating from Turkey’s Sufi tradition of Islam since the 13th century, are a captivating aspect of the country’s vibrant cultural legacy that can pique children’s curiosity. This physically active form of meditation involves ‘dervishes’ or dancers spinning in rhythmic circles in a dance known as the Sema.

However, it’s more than just a dance; it’s a spiritual voyage aimed at expressing emotions and attaining divine wisdom and love. Thus, by learning about the Whirling Dervishes, children can gain a deeper understanding of the intricate blend of culture, history, and religion that shapes Turkey.

Turkish carpets

The significant role of Turkish carpets, also known as Anatolian rugs, in Turkish culture and history might intrigue young minds, particularly as these beautifully woven masterpieces serve not just as decorative elements but also convey narratives through their detailed designs and patterns.

These handcrafted carpets, each unique in style and reflective of the individual customs and traditions of various regions across Turkey, are the product of skills passed down through multiple generations. The crafting process, which can span several months to a year depending on the carpet’s size and complexity, begins with shearing wool from sheep, spinning it into yarn, dying it with natural colors, and finally weaving it into an exquisite carpet.

Turkish carpets, renowned globally for their superior quality and artistic worth, are a testament to the rich heritage and skilled craftsmanship of the Turkish people.

All about Turkey Fun Facts for Kids - Image of the Great Ararat in Turkey
All about Turkey Fun Facts for Kids – Image of the Great Ararat in Turkey

The country of Turkey lies on a peninsula that joins Europe and Asia. It is surrounded on three sides by water. Because of this, it’s an easy target for invaders. Over the centuries, it’s been conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines. Just in the last 100 years, it has seen several wars. The largest city, Istanbul, used to be known as Constantinople. This beautiful, old city lies in both Europe and Asia.

Geography Fun Facts for Kids on Turkey - the Turkey Peninsula
Geography Fun Facts for Kids on Turkey – the Turkey Peninsula

Turkey is one of the most earthquake-prone places on Earth. There have been 13 earthquakes just in the last 70 years. Turkey lies on a fault that moves about 8 inches each year.

Fun Facts about Turkey for Kids

  • Over 81 million people live in Turkey.
  • The President of Turkey is Recep Tayyip Erdogan (re-elected June 2018).
  • The capital is Ankara.
  • Turkey is larger than Texas with 779,452 square miles of land.
  • At 5,137 m Mount Ararat is the tallest mountain in Turkey.
  • Kilizirmak also known as the Red River is Turkey’s longest river that flows entirely within the country without flowing into other countries. It is 1,355 km in length.
  • Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey,
  • Turkey has active volcanoes and is also prone to earthquakes.
  • People in Turkey speak Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Greek and Armenian.
  • Most people in Turkey are Muslim.
  • The currency here is the Turkish Lira.
  • Turkey’s main exports are: machinery, transport equipment, textile and manufactured goods.
  • People in Turkey can expect to live 75 years.
  • 87 percent of adults can read.
  • Santa Claus my favorite person (also known to us as St. Nicholas) was born in Turkey in a place called “Patara” in the 3rd Century A.D.
All about Turkey Fun Facts for Kids - National Flag of Turkey
All about Turkey Fun Facts for Kids – National Flag of Turkey

Turkey Vocabulary

  1. Ancient: very old
  2. Ruins: remains of old homes and buildings
  3. Crusaders: soldiers who traveled to the Middle East and Eastern Europe with the purpose of restoring Christianity to those locations
  4. Peninsula: a piece of land connected to a larger land mass that is bordered by water on three sides

Turkey Video for Kids

Here’s a great video for kids on Turkey:

This is a video showcasing the different heritage, cultural sites and tourist destinations in Turkey.

Turkey Q&A

Question: How did the earliest people live?

Answer: We know that they made rows of mud houses that were connected. These houses had no streets or pathways between them. To get in and out of a house, the residents crawled through holes in the roof.

Map of Turkey

Here’s a map of the country of Turkey and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Turkey! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Turkey, as though you are actually there!

 

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