Cultural Info: Turkey

Did You Know...

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is the father of modern Turkey. The 1921 efforts to "Europeanize" included lifting the ban on alcohol, adopting the Gregorian calendar, changing the Turkish alphabet from Arabic letters to Roman, and mandating that the call to prayer be in Turkish. 

Turkey is the highest per-capita consumption of tea in the world, at nearly 7 lbs. per person per year. Most of the population drinks tea every day. Turkey is in the top 5 tea producing countries in the world.

Istanbul’s Kapalçar, or Grand Bazaar, is one of the largest outdoor market in the world, built in the 15th century by Ottoman Sultan Mehmed the Conquer. There are 64 streets, 4,000 shops, and 25,000 workers.

Tulips were introduced to Europe through Dutch traders by the Turks in the 17th century. The word “tulip” comes from the Turkish word for turban, tülbent.


Most of the Turkish population is Muslim, however, Turkey is not officially a Muslim country. Turkey has officially been a secular nation since 1927.

Turkish Delight, or lokum, is one of the oldest sweets in world history, dating back 500 years. The most popular flavors are with pistachio filling, but there are other flavors including almond, cinnamon and coconut.

Hear From A Student

After reading all of these facts, you still have questions and want to hear from a former study abroad student what they experienced in Turkey? Check out this video of our partnership university!

Page last modified January 24, 2020