16 Facts About Iran You Don’t Come Across in the News


Iran was in my travel wishlist for quite a while. I had listened to many things about Iran, its people and its culture from my friends who had visited, worked and lived there. Finally, last May I got the chance to visit Iran for a touristic trip. Turkey and Iran have many common things such as vocabularies, literature, religion and Ottoman-Persian Empires’ long lasting wars. While I was in Iran and after my trip I found out many interesting things that people usually have no idea about. Today I want to share some of them. I hope you enjoy it!

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It Couldn’t Sail Even A Single Mile – Story of Vasa, The Ship

On August 10th, 1628, the 64-gun warship Vasa left the port of Stockholm while the excited crowd were watching her departure. After a few minutes the ship encountered a strong wind and it was heeled over to the port. The gunports were open to make farewell shots and this caused the water to rush into the ship. Vasa sank after a single mile of sailing. The crew were allowed to take their families and guests along for the first part of the passage so there were around 150 people on the ship. 30 of them died onboard. Her valuable bronze cannons were salvaged.

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Less Known Facts About Mosques

I live in Istanbul which is known for its marvelous mosques. I can name many but these are the first ones that come into my mind;  Süleymaniye, Rüstem Paşa, Mihrimah Sultan, Sultan Ahmet, Pertevniyal Valide Sultan, Büyük Mecidiye (Ortaköy), Şakirin and Sokullu Mehmet Paşa. Architecturally and artistically considered, each one of these mosques by itself is one of a kind. I have been seeing and visiting these great structures for all my life. I sometimes like to sit in a mosque, watch the prayers, listen to Azan (call to prayer), scan the artworks there and think.

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Kadıköy, or as King Byzas used to call it, The Land Of The Blind

I always wonder where the names of settlements come from. Some of the names are very easy to predict but some are not. Today I want to share the story of Kadıköy’s names. Kadıköy is one of the largest and most populous cosmopolitan neighborhoods of Istanbul. “Kadı” means judge, in Turkish and “köy” means village, so it translates to “village of the judge”. After the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet conquered Istanbul, Kadıköy was given to Hıdır Bey who was the first Ottoman judge (Kadı). Since then this neighborhood was called Kadıköy.

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