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Tuesday 25th June
Turkey Facts
Mount Agri is the highest peak (5,166 m) in Turkey.

Mount Agri, also known as Mount Ararat, is said to be the place where Noah's Ark came to rest.

Lake Van is Turkey's largest lake.

Gobekli is an ancient temple in southern Turkey dated between 10000 BC and 9000 BC. A number of stone monoliths are engraved with a variety of animals.

Hacilar, a Neolithic farming village in southwestern Turkey, may have been inhabited as early as 8000 BC.

Catalhoyuk was an urban centre dated around 7000 BC. The site was first excavated in the early 1960s.

The city of Troy was first excavated in 1871. The siege of Troy by the Greek armies, led by Agamemnon of Mycenae and Menelaus of Sparta, inspired Homer's Iliad, the story of the Trojan War, and The Odyssey, the story of the legendary travels of Odysseus after the Trojan War.

Turkey (Asia Minor or Anatolia) was settled by Greeks from Attica (Ionians) and is the home of the Classical Greek Ionic column.

The Temple of Artemis (Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built at Ephesus which was part of the Greek Empire.

The Ancient Greek Temple of Apollo was built in Didyma near Miletus.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, built around 353 BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Zeugma 2000, an archaeological project, investigated the Roman frontier city of Zeugma on the Euphrates river.

St Paul (Saul) was born in Tarsus, east of Mersin.

Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, was an important capital city for many hundreds of years. Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire expanded in the early sixteenth century under Sultan Selim I (1512-1520) but the greatest expansion of the Empire took place during the rule of Sultan Suleyman (1520-1566).

The Ottoman Empire ended in 1922 and the Republic of Turkey was founded. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk became the President of the Republic.

Turkey has a history of earthquakes. In 1999 earthquakes left over seventeen thousand people dead and many thousands homeless.

Turkey has had ambitions to join the EU since 2005.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, opened in 2006, ends at a marine terminal at Ceyhan on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. The pipeline brings oil from the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, through Georgia to Turkey's port.

In October 2009 Turkey and Armenia signed a peace agreement in a move to normalise relations after a century of animosity.

In January 2010 investigative journalists unearthed details of the alleged "Sledgehammer" plot of 2003 to destabilise the country and justify a coup. In February nearly 70 members of the military were arrested and 33 officers charged with conspiring to overthrow the government as part of the alleged plot, although the military claimed the scenarios were hypothetical war games.

In September 2010 a referendum backed amendments to increase parliamentary control over the judiciary and army amid accusations that the Islamist ruling party was seeking to appoint sympathetic judges.

In November 2010 confidential cables were published by Wikileaks that revealed moves by France and Austria to block Turkey’s EU membership.

In October 2019 Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against Kurdish held areas in Syria.

On 6th February 2023 a series of earthquakes and hundreds of after shocks hit Turkey and Syria; the first was magnitude 7.8 followed by a quake of 7.6.

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