Turkey ( ( listen); Turkish: Türkiye, pronounced [tyrkije]), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, pronounced [tyrkije d͡ʒumhurijeti] ( listen)), is a contiguous transcontinental parliamentary republic, largely located in Western Asia, with the smaller portion of Eastern Thrace in Southeastern Europe (i.e. the Balkans and Anatolia, respectively). Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea is to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea to the north. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles (which together form the Turkish Straits) demarcate the boundary between Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia.
Turkey has been inhabited since the paleolithic age, including various Ancient Anatolian civilizations, Aeolian and Ionian Greeks, Thracians and Persians. After Alexander the Great's conquest, the area was Hellenized, which continued with the Roman rule and the transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, starting the process of Turkification, which was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, upon which it disintegrated into several small Turkish beyliks.
Starting from the late 13th century, the Ottomans united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa, becoming a major power in Europe and Asia and Africa during the early modern period. The empire reached the peak of its power between the 15th and 17th centuries, especially during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (r. 1520–1566). After the second Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683 and the end of the Great Turkish War in 1699, the Ottoman Empire entered a long period of decline. The Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century, which aimed to modernize the Ottoman state, proved to be inadequate in most fields, and failed to stop the dissolution of the empire. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I (1914–1918) on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. During the war, major atrocities were committed by the Ottoman government against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. Following WWI, the huge conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new states. The Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922), initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues in Anatolia, resulted in the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage. The country's official language is Turkish, a Turkic language spoken as native by approximately 90% of the population. About three quarters of the population are ethnic Turks and rests are such as Kurds, Circassian, Albanians, Greeks etc. The vast majority of the population is Muslim. Turkey is a member state of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having joined the EU Customs Union in 1995. Turkey is also a member of the Turkic Council, Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organization. Turkey's growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power.
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.
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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
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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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
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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