Turkey

Gloucester High School writers: Kaitlyn Cho, Jillian Larose, William Sanchez Osorio; editor: Money Deb

GENERAL

Next Stop… Turkey! This beautiful country has a population of 80 million, with approximately 5 million coming from the capital city of Ankara. Turkey covers 783,562 km2 but is split between Europe and Asia. 95% of the country is in Asia, but there’s still tons of representation of a variety of cultures within the country, a common trait shared between Turkey and Canada. In fact, you could probably fit Turkey into Canada approximately 12 times! Funny enough, Turkey’s government is also very similar to Canada’s. It runs as a Parliamentary Representative Democratic Republic. They have a Prime Minister who is currently Binali Yildirim. The official language of Turkey is Turkish…what a shocker! The currency is the Turkish lira which equals to 0.25 Canadian dollars, which is great news for the budget-friendly Canadians. Some of the bigger industries in Turkey include textiles, food processing and electronics.

TRAVEL

The first thing that’s pretty important to know is that you have to basically drive very defensively in Turkey. Drivers tend to ignore traffic regulations which include: not stopping at stop signs, red lights or crosswalks. A cell phone fine can cost up to 40$ but, people are rarely ticketed. In Turkey, any driving license is valid for up to 90 days but can be extended by attending Drivers School in Turkey. The 3 major highways in Turkey are Adana-Mersin Motorway, Tarsus-Ankara Motorway and İstanbul-Bursa-İzmir Motorway. These are probably the best routes to take, especially on a tight schedule. There are approximately 10,000 deaths every year because of road traffic crashes. That balances out to around 13 deaths per every 100,000 people. The distance to travel from one side to the other is 650km from North to South and 1,600 km from East-West. It will probably feel like many more kilometers than that since people don’t follow rules and regulations there. Some suggestions from the government of Canada are to stay at least 10 km away from Syria for your own safety and security. There is also lots of crime so travel with a high degree of caution. And again, make sure to drive safely on those dangerous streets.

Places of Interest

Istanbul: Istanbul, with a population of over 15 million, is the most populous city in Turkey. It is a transcontinental city straddling Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait and the country’s economic, cultural, and historic centre. It has been described as the magical meeting place of East and West. In 2010, Istanbul was named a European Capital of Culture. Historic, stunning sites that should not be missed include the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar, the Basilica Cistern, and the Dolmabahçe Palace.

The Blue Mosque

Cappadocia: Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, famous for its distinctive ‘fairy chimneys’, tall cone-shaped rock formations. It is a place of ancient cave dwellings, a number of which have now become cave houses for tourists. Hot air ballooning is very popular in this whimsical, fairy tale land of Cappadocia .

SPORTS AND LEISURE

Here’s a table that showcases 3 famous, Turkish athletes  

Ramil Guliyev

Ramil Guliyev is an Azerbaijani born short distance sprinter. He competes for Turkey in many international events. He is famous for his 100m and 200m sprints. He won Turkeys first ever gold medal at the 2017 World Championships in his 200m race.

Nevin Yanit Baltaci

Nevin Yanıt is a Turkish female sprinter specialising in high hurdling. She has won the European champion in the 100m hurdles twice and she is the current European indoor champion in the 60m hurdles.

Nurcan Taylan

Nurcan Taylan is a Turkish Olympic, world and European champion in weightlifting. She holds six European and one world record. She has also tied two more world records. She physical education and sports student and a member of the Yenimahalle Club in Ankara.

https://www.sabah.com.tr/nevin-yanit-baltaci-kimdir
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurcan_Taylan

This table displays Turkish singers and actors

Tarkan Tevetoğlu

Tarkan Tevetoğlu was actually born in West Germany, however, he is a successful World Music award-winning pop music singer in Turkey. He has released several platinum-selling albums during his career.

Here’s a link to one of his music videos titled “Yolla”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U66ixhdbxEI

Sezen Aksu

Sezen Aksu is a Turkish pop music singer, songwriter and producer. She has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. Her nicknames include the “Queen of Turkish Pop” and Minik Serçe (“Little Sparrow”).

This is one of her many songs called “Beni Unutma”:

Burak Ozcivit

This is a very famous male actor in the turkish scene. He starred in movies including “Magnificent Century” “Musallat” and “Calikusu.” In 2003, he was elected as the Top Model of Turkey. In 2005, he also was chosen as the second best model of the world and he took part in the very important fashion shows.

https://www.last.fm/music/Tarkan/+wiki

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0015574/bio

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2704629/

FOOD AND DINING

Some local produce from Turkey would include, grapes, figs, quinces and citrus fruits. They’re also famous for pome fruits and stone fruits. Grand Bazaar, as the name implies, it is a gigantic market in Istanbul. It has 250,00-400,000 visitors daily. You can probably find anything you need with 4,000+ shops located in the fully covered  market. Obviously, it’s very busy so be ready to fight through a crowd. Image:https://depositphotos.com/151858798/stock-photo-grand-bazaar-in-istanbul-turkey.

Some famous dishes in Turkey are, Lahmacun and Pido. Lahmacun is also known as Turkish Pizza and Pide is a flat bread that’s baked with some toppings. It’s commonly eaten for breakfast. Dining Etiquette is more or less the same as in Canada. Although in Turkey, chicken is commonly eaten with their hands. People are only supposed to use their right hand and if people see you using your left well… you might get some weird looks. Another thing is that you shouldn’t eat on the streets during Ramadan. Just to show respect. By the way, people in Turkey aren’t really the conversation type so when you’re eating at a restaurant, don’t try to start conversation with the people around you.

Image:https://www.chatelaine.com/recipe/breakfast/turkish-pide/

Image: https://www.themediterraneandish.com/easy-turkish-lahmacun-recipe/

CHALLENGES AND POSSIBLE DANGERS

One danger to be aware of while there is the fact that it borders Syria. It is highly recommended that you travel with caution and stay 10km away from the border. Also be very aware of the crazy road conditions and be extremely careful while driving since people there don’t seem to care about the road rules. Travel at your own risk to Turkey but be very aware of what’s around you and the people around you.