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National Symbols
National Flag

'Ay Yildiz'( Turkish moon and star) is the name of Turkish flag consists of a white crescent and star on a red background. Red is a prominent color in Turkish history, especially regarding the bloody battles of the Turkish Wad of Independence. The crescent and star, while generally regarded as Islamic symbols today.
There are various legends about the flag, the most popular of which include:

A reflection of the moon occulting a star, appearing in pools of blood after the Battle of Kosovo, led to the adoption of the Turkish flag by Sultan Murad I;

A dream of the first Ottoman Emperor and a crescent and star were spotted on the night of the fall of Constantinople to Mehmet II in 1453;

The most widely believed, however, tells of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, walking on a battlefield one night after a victorious battle in the Turkish War of Independence, and seeing the reflection of the star and crescent formation in a large pool of blood on the rocky hill terrain of Sakarya.

National Flower


The national flower is a tulip, the name of which derives from the turkish word 'tulbend' or 'turban' which the flower resembles. Everybody thinks that tulips come from Holland. Actually, tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. In the 16th Century they were brought to Holland from Turkey, and quickly became widely popular.

Tulips played an interesting role in Turkish history - the period between 1718-1730 is called the "Tulip Era", under the reign of sultan Ahmed III. This period is also expressed as an era of peace and enjoyment. Tulips became and important style of life within the arts, folklore and daily life. Many embroidery and textile clothing handmade by women, carpets, tiles, miniatures etc. had tulip designs or shapes.

Large tulip gardens around the Golden Horn were frequented by upscale people, and so on. Also, the first printing house was founded by Ibrahim Müteferrika in Istanbul. The Tulip Era was brought to an end after the Patrona Halil revolt in 1730, ending with the de-thronation of the Sultan.

National Anthem

The "istiklal Marsi" (Independence March) is the Turkish National Anthem, officially adopted on March 12, 1921. A total of 724 poems were submitted to a nation-wide competition organized to find and select the most suitable original composition for this National March, and a 10-verse poem written by the renowned poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy was adopted unanimously by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

Twenty-four composers participated in another competition arranged for the selection of a musical composition that would suit the elected National Anthem best.

The Council, which was only able to convene in 1924 due to the Turkish War of Independence, adopted the music composed by Ali Rifat Cagatay. The words of the National Anthem were sung to this music until 1930. Thereafter, the music of the National Anthem was changed to an arrangement written by Osman Zeki Ungor, conductor of the Presidential Symphonic Orchestra, and the words have been sung to this musical accompaniment ever since.

It should be noted however, that only the first two verses are sung. This song is also used as the National Anthem by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

National Symbols
very interesting Craig.
There is an old Turkish legend which tells about a Gray Wolf who led the Turkish tribes out of their Eden home in Central Asia when the rains failed..and from there they fanned out and brought civilization to China, Middle East and Europe.

The MHP (Millliyetçi Hareket Partisi) a main opposition political party (nationalist) uses a hand symbol for the Wolf ..you can see this when supporters put the thumb and middle and ringfinger together ...with the index and little finger pointing up like ears.
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National Symbols
Thanks Craig. I love reading all these little gems and nuggets of information.

Was talking to someone a few weeks ago about tulips and they would not accept it when I said they came to Holland from Turkey. I'll show them your post and hopefully it will settle the argument.

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