Treat your soul with a trip to Turkey…
Let these endearing facts about Turkey surprise you !
1. It has one of the world’s oldest and biggest malls.
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, or Kapalı Çarşı, dates to 1455 and was established shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople. Over the centuries it has grown into a warren of 61 streets lined by more than 3,000 shops and currently occupies a nearly incomprehensible 333,000 square feet. You’ll never possibly be able to explore it all, but that doesn’t keep people from trying — according to Travel + Leisure, the Grand Bazaar was the world’s #1 attraction in 2014, drawing over 91 million people.
2.You might find chicken in your dessert
The signature Ottoman treat is tavuk göğsü, or chicken breast pudding. It’s a strange blend of boiled chicken, milk, and sugar, dusted with cinnamon. And it’s delicious. Look for it on menus across the country.
3. Turkey is packed with cultural heritage
In fact, there are 13 spots in Turkey inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and a whopping 62 on the tentative list. They range from a Mesolithic temple (Göbekli Tepe) to a Biblical city (Ephesus) to a World War One battlefield (Gallipoli), and help make Turkey the sixth most-visited tourist destination in the world.
4. Oil wrestling is the national sport.
The spectacle of two bulky men stripped to the waist, doused with olive oil, and grappling under the hot Thracian sun is a 654-year-old sporting tradition and sight to behold. Camel wrestling tournaments, held throughout the Aegean region in the winter, and bull wrestling near the Black Sea, are also popular.
5. Turkey’s film industry is booming.
When director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, it crowned a decade-long revival in Turkish cinema that’s seen productions rise five-fold to about 100 films per year. Turkey is one of the few countries where domestic films rake in more at the box office than Hollywood’s offerings, and its movies and television series are a major soft-power export in the Middle East.