Portal:Turkey

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Istanbul in the morning

Introduction

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Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcije dʒumˈhuːɾijeti] (About this soundlisten)), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, the part of Turkey in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous and the Dardanelles (collectively called the Turkish Straits). Turkey is bordered by Greece and Bulgaria to its northwest, the Black Sea to its north, Georgia to its northeast, Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to its east, Iraq and Syria to its southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to its south, and the Aegean Sea to its west. Across the Black Sea lie Romania, Ukraine and Russia, and across the Mediterranean Sea lie Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, the Gaza Strip (Palestinian territories), Egypt and Libya, although none of these share a land border with Turkey. Istanbul is the largest city in the country while Ankara is the capital. Approximately 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish, while Kurds are the largest minority at anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the population.

At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilisations including the Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians, and Armenians. Hellenization started during the era of Alexander the Great and continued into the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, and their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolises the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkmen principalities. Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens.


Featured article

Relief with the twelve gods of the underworld

Yazılıkaya (literally "written rock") was a sanctuary of Hattusa, the capital city of the Hittite Empire, today in the Çorum, Turkey.

This was a holy site for the Hittites living in the nearby city of Hattusa. Most impressive today are the rock-cut reliefs portraying the gods from the Hittite pantheon. There were also shrines built adjacent to the rocks. It is believed that New Year's celebrations took place at the site. The sanctuaries were used from the fifteenth century BC, but most of the rock carvings date to the reign of the Hittite kings Tudhaliya IV and Suppiluliuma II in the late 13th century BC.

The most impressive Chamber is Chamber A, which contains rock-cut relief of 64 deities in procession. The left wall shows a procession of male deities, wearing the traditional kilts, pointed shoes and horned hats. Mountain gods are also shown with scaled skirts to symbolise the rocky mountains. The right wall shows a procession of female deities wearing crowns and long skirts. The only exception to this divide is the goddess of love and war, Shaushka (Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar/Inanna) who is shown on the male procession with two female attendants. This is likely to be because of her male attributes as the goddess of war. The processions lead to a central scene of the supreme couple of the pantheon; the storm-god Teshub and the sun-goddess Hebat. Teshub stands on two mountain gods whilst Hebat stands on a panther. Behind Hebat are shown their son Sharruma, daughter Alanzu and a granddaughter.

It is intriguing to note how the Hittite practise of assimilating other cultures' gods into their own pantheon is in evidence at Yazilikaya. The Mesopotamian god of wisdom, Ea (Enki) is shown in the male procession and the god Teshub was a Hurrian god who replaced the Hittite storm god. Hebat's original consort is changed into her and Teshub's son (Sharruma) and she is later synchronized with the Hurrian sun goddess of Arinna. Much of this is attributed to the wife of Hattusili III, Puduhepa, who was the daughter of a Hurrian priestess.

Recently featured: YazılıkayaTurkish language

Featured picture

Lake Abant 1.JPG
The ancient Lake Abant Nature Park in Bolu
The lake lies at an altitude of 1,328 m at a distance of 32 km from the provincial seat of Bolu city. It is a favorite vacation and excursion spot for both Turkish and foreign travellers thanks to the natural beauty of its surroundings, which are covered with dense forests, and easy access by car (it is served by a 21 km road leaving from the İstanbul-Ankara E 80 highway at the level of Mount Bolu, three hours' drive from these two largest cities of Turkey). Lake Abant is a natural park.

History, people, places

Seljuk Empire locator map.svg

The Great Seljuq Empire (Modern Turkish: Büyük Selçuklu Devleti; Persian: دولت سلجوقیان‎) was a medieval Turkish empire, originating from the Qynyq branch of Oghuz Turks.

The Seljuq Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to eastern Anatolia and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. From their homelands near the Aral sea, the Seljuqs advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia.

The Seljuq empire was founded by Tughril Beg in 1037 after the efforts by the founder of the Seljuq dynasty, Seljuq Beg, back in the first quarter of the eleventh century. Seljuq Beg's father was in a higher position in the Oghuz Yabgu State, and gave his name both to the state and the dynasty. The Seljuqs united the fractured political scene of the Eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Read more...

Art

Kazakh rug chain stitch embroidery.jpg

Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins.

A characteristic of embroidery is that the basic techniques or stitches of the earliest work—chain stitch, buttonhole or blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, cross stitch—remain the fundamental techniques of hand embroidery today.

Machine embroidery, arising in the early stages of the Industrial Revolution, mimics hand embroidery, especially in the use of chain stitches, but the "satin stitch" and hemming stitches of machine work rely on the use of multiple threads and resemble hand work in their appearance, not their construction. Read more...

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Selected biography

Burak Yılmaz 2012 (1).JPG

Burak Yılmaz (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈbuɾak jɯɫˈmaz], born 15 July 1985) is a Turkish international footballer who plays for Galatasaray in the Super Lig as a striker. After Sergen Yalçın, he is the second footballer to have played for each of the most successful four clubs in Turkey, having previously played for Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Trabzonspor before joining Galatasaray.

In the 2011–12 season he was the Super Lig top scorer, with 33 goals in 34 games, one of the highest totals in Turkish Super Lig history. He finished the group stages of the UEFA Champions League 2012-13 as co-top scorer with 8 goals. He was again the top scorer in Super Lig in the 2012-2013 season, playing for Galatasaray.

Featured video

Paragliding in Ölüdeniz area, Muğla.

Selected place

Amasra

Amasra (from Greek Amastris Ἄμαστρις, gen. Ἀμάστριδος) is a small Black Sea port town in the Bartın Province, Turkey. The town is today much appreciated for its beaches and natural setting, which has made tourism the most important activity for its inhabitants. As of 2010, the population was some 6,500.

Amasra has two islands: the bigger one is called Büyük ada (Great Island) while the smaller one is called Tavşan adası (Rabbit Island).
More to read about Amasra

Culture, arts, cuisine

Karagoz theatre 06315.JPG

Karagöz (meaning blackeye in Turkish) and Hacivat (shortened in time from "Hacı İvaz" meaning "İvaz the Pilgrim", and also sometimes written as Hacivad) are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish shadow play, popularized during the Ottoman period and then spread to most nation states that comprised the Ottoman Empire and most prominently in Turkey and Greece.

The central theme of the plays are the contrasting interaction between the two main characters. They are perfect foils of each other: In the Turkish version Karagöz represents the illiterate but straightforward public, whereas Hacivat belongs to the educated class, speaking Ottoman Turkish and using a poetical and literary language. Although Karagöz has definitely been intended to be the more popular character with the Turkish peasantry, Hacivat is always the one with a level head. Though Karagöz always outdoes Hacivat’s superior education with his “native wit,” he is also very impulsive and his never-ending deluge of get-rich-quick schemes always results in failure. In the Greek version Hacivat (Hatziavatis) is the more educated Turk who works for the Ottoman state, and often represents the Pasha, or simply law and order, whereas Karagöz (Karagiozis) is the poor peasant Greek, nowadays with Greek-specific attributes of the raya.

(more about Karagöz and Hacivat)

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