Top 10 Turkey factsTurkey quiz
In which country are the following surnames very common: "unbeatable", "rock", "iron", "falcon", "steel" and "thunderbolt"?
Turkey. These warrior-like surnames are at positions 2-7. The most common surname in Turkey is Öztürk, meaning "pure Turk".
What is a falaka?
Foot whipping. This criminal is being prepared to falaka, a type of punishment used in the Ottoman Empire and Middle East. Foot whipping is effective due to the clustering of nerve endings in the feet and the structure of the foot, with its numerous small bones and tendons. The wounds inflicted are particularly painful and take a long time to heal. Falaka was used for centuries as a way of torture and punishment.
Who was recruited for the Janissaries, Ottoman Sultan's household troops and bodyguards?
Christian children. When a Christian boy was recruited, first he would be sent to selected Turkish families to learn to speak Turkish and culture of Ottoman society. Later they were trained in tough Enderun school, eventually converting to Islam. The more talented ones received a higher standard of education to become engineers, architects, physicians and scientists. Janissaries belonged to the Sultan, carrying the title kapıkulu "slaves of the Porte".
Whose heads lie on the slopes of Mount Nemrut, a major tourist attraction in Turkey?
Various Greek and Iranian gods. Mount Nemrut is a 2,134 m (7,001 ft) high mountain in southeastern Turkey. Near the summit, a number of large statues of Greek and Iranian gods are erected around the royal tomb, which King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene built for himself in 62 BC. The heads of the statues have at some stage been removed from their bodies, and they are now scattered throughout the site.
Which empire did the privateer and admiral Barbarossa fight for?
The Ottoman Empire. Hayreddin Barbarossa was an Ottoman admiral of the fleet, whose naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century. He became known as "Barbarossa" ("Redbeard" in Italian) in Europe, a name he inherited from his elder brother (also a capitain) Oruç Reis, who indeed had a red beard (unlike Hayreddin himself).
What's the origin of the word "turquoise"?
Turkey as a country. The name Turquoise was established in the seventeenth century and came from the name of Turkey (turquoise is French for "Turkish"), because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey. Ancient Romans called this rock Kalalit.
What was the first name of Istanbul?
Byzantium. In 660 BC, the city was founded as the colony of Megara and named to honour its king Byzas. In 324 AD, Constantine the Great made it an eastern capital of Roman Empire. The city was then renamed Nea Roma; however, most simply called it Constantinople.
Where is fez from?
Morocco. The name of fez comes from the city of Fes, Morocco, where it became fashionable among Andalusian Arabs in the 17th century. The fez got widely popular in the Ottoman Empire after 1829, when Sultan Mahmud II ordered his civil officials to wear the plain fez, and also banned the wearing of turbans.
What kind of script is this 'graffiti', carved in Hagia Sophia in Constantinople around 9th century?
Viking runes. Constantinople, called Miklagard by Vikings, hosted thousands of Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, who served as mercenaries of the Varangian Guard. They were famed for their battlefield skills and fierce, loyalty and drinking. They often fought for the Byzantine Empire, including fights with Arabs.
Which country is famous for these cave houses?
Turkey. Through millennia, people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region have carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. Most of these houses have collapsed over time, but some are still inhabited.