Turkey gets a new president

On August 28, Abdullah Gul was elected as the president of Turkey. The election process has taken quite some time (4 months!). Even though almost all Turkish people are Muslim, there are strong demands for a secular government (in other words, one that does not support or oppose any religion). Gul’s Islamic political background delayed his victory.

Turkey is one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in the world – people have been living there since the Stone Age! Turkey lives in two continents (Asia & Europe) and has been a home to many great civilizations (Byzantine, Ottoman). Turkey has also created some of the greatest architectural marvels in the world, and is a gold mine of historical artifacts. Two of the original “Seven Wonders of the World” (the Mausoleum of Maussollos and the Temple of Artemis) were located in present-day Turkey.

There is in fact a connection between the country Turkey, and the bird of the same name. When Europeans first encountered the bird in North America, they confused it with a kind of bird that was found in Turkey. That mistaken identity led to the name “turkey” for the bird which has stuck.