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PERSIA - TURKEY Cultural Experience Box

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Merhaba, Salaam (“Hello”),

Turkey is a transcontinental country in Europe-Asia, which is bordered, by eight countries and three seas; and has the world’s 17th largest GDP by purchasing power parity. Turkey is also a charter member of the UN, and a founding member of the OECD and G-20. Turkey’s history dates back several centuries, starting with the conquests of Alexander the Great, followed by the Byzantine Empire during which Emperor Constantine I (one) went about setting up Constantinople as the capital city. In 1453, the Ottomans captured Constantinople to setup the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the region until the First World War. The capital of present-day Turkey is Ankara, which is the second biggest city after Istanbul. Tourism is one of the strongest suits for Turkey, with it hosting two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman (which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still continues today.


Persia (modernly known as Iran) is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC and reaching its greatest extent during the Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC when it stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley. Persia is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC. It has large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth-largest proven oil reserves. The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the third-largest number in Asia and eleventh-largest in the world. Persia is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians (61%), Azeris (16%), Kurds (10%), and Lurs (6%).

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