Sunday, July 10, 2011

DID YOU KNOW?.... TRIVIA on Istanbul & Turkey

Dear Readers,

It has been exactly one week today since I started preparing my blog! I can't believe how quicky the time has passed. I would once again like to thank everyone for their support and I am happy with the numbers, but I realized one thing - preparing a blog is like taking drugs! Once addicted, you want more! I want to write more - have more time to write and have more readers!

Unfortunately, I have to work for a living! Being a freelancer, you never know when the next project will come and most of the time - they come in clusters! Since I ventured into the freelance world at the beginning of this year, I have been fortunate and have been very busy with back to back projects. Just last week, I finally had a week off and finally had time to start my blog.

But thank god - the work keeps coming! I just prepared a short article for a client in Antalya - the Turkish Riviera and have a couple of major projects coming up.. once they have been approved, I will be sharing the info with you. Of course, this will eat into my time on the blog -but one way or the other - I will keep posting!

This article will include some "did you know" info on Istanbul, Turkey and since I just did a write up on Antalya, some facts on this lovely city and some of its environs... so... here goes! Some of this info might be redundant for those very familiar with Turkey - but look at it as a refresher course :))

Let's start with Antalya and its environs... did you know...
  • That Antalya has a population of approximately 1 million residents and is the 8th largest city in Turkey?
  • That Antalya has 300 days of sunshine annually?
  • That the Antalya International Airport (international and domestic) handled 22 million passengers and has a capacity to handle up to 35 million passengers?
  • That the province of Belek is considered the capital of golf in Turkey?
  • That the ancient city Side was the place where Mark Anthony and Cleopatre had a romantic tryst?
  • That the ruins in Perge are rated 2nd after the magnificient Ephesus ruins? It includes the Temple of Artemis, 2 churches and more.
  • The roman amphitheater in Aspendos is the best preserved amphitheatre from antiquity and still used for events and festivals? There does seem to be some discrepancy in articles about how many spectators it can hold - varying from 7,000 to up to 20,000 depending on which website you are looking at! I believe the "real" number is 10,000, but need to confirm.
About Istanbul and Turkey... did you know...
  • That according to an article that appeared in today's Habertürk newspaper, based on data supplied by the Turkey's Statistics Board, the total population in Turkey - at the end of 2010 - was 73 million 722 thousand and that 50.2% is comprised of men and 49.8% is comprised of women... BUT... according to a report recently released  by the CIA... the population of Turkey is 78,785,548! So, who's correct? I have no idea! Based on these stats, Turkey is in 17th place worldwide with the highest population. Other data released by the CIA, shows Frances's population at 65 million, the UK at 63 millon and Italy at 61 million. The top contenders on the list are China with a population of 1,4 billion, India close behind with 1,2 billion and the USA at 313 million!
  • That according to another article in Habertürk newspaper - also today - reported on a survey conducted last year in Germany by the German rental company Holiday Autos and recently released. According to their stats, Italians are the worst drivers in Europe and the Turks came in  2nd place! Of course, this caused a major debate.
  • That THY (Turkish Airlines) - Turkey's WONDERFUL national carrier was the recipient of 3 awards from Skytrax. The world reknowned organization conducted a 10 month survey with 18.8 million airline passengers from 100 nationalites in 2010 and according to the results, THY was named "THE BEST AIRLINE IN EUROPE", "BEST PREMIUM ECONOMY SEATS" and "BEST AIRLINE SOUTHERN EUROPE". Kudos to THY... If you still haven't had a chance to fly with THY yet, I suggest that you do! (
  • That for the very 1st time - the Atatürk International Airport broke its own record and on July 8th... 1,003 planes landed and departed in a 24 hour period from the airport? Another record was broken on July 1 when 123,780 passengers passed through the airport.
  • That a new metro stop - along the metro line that runs from Şişhane and Taksim the city center to eventually Sariyer along the Bosphorus waterfront, was just opened: the Hacıosman stop? Now the stops along the route are Şişhane - Taksim - Osmanbey - Şişli/Mecidiyeköy -Gayrettepe - Levent - 4. Levent - Sanayi Mahallesi - ITU Ayazağa, Atatürk Oto Sanayi - Daruşşafaka - Hacıosman.  A one-way full fare ticket is 1,75 TL.
  • That Bon Jovi held his first concert in Istanbul in over 18 years on July 8th to an audience of 35,000 fans at the Türk Telekom Arena?
  • That 18% of Turkey's total population lives in Istanbul? This amounts to roughly 13.2 million people according to the Turkish Stats Bureau and 14.1 million people according to the CIA's stats.
  • That there are 2 bridges - the Bosphorus Bridge and the Fatih Sultan Bridge - that connects Europe to Asia in Istanbul? And the construciton of a tunnel running under the Bosphorus connecting the two continents is underway and should be completed in 36 months.
  • That approximately more than 1/2 of the population of Istanbul has never seen the Bosphorus Strait or Marmara Sea?
  • That Turks live and die for their soccer teams? After eating and drinking - I think this is considered the most important pastime!
  • That the Swissôtel, The Bosphorus Istanbul Hotel just celebrated their 20th anniversary with a great party a few weeks ago?
  • That there are over 60 shopping malls and outlet centers in Istanbul - not counting the historic Grand Bazaar and Eygptian Bazaar... and more are on their way in the coming year

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