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Flags of Turkey

The flags that represent the nation of Turkey are direct descendants of the Ottoman Empire's flags. Turkey flags display a white star and crescent on a solid red field, a design that dates back at least as far as the 18th century. The flag's long history makes it one of the only national flags to be used by more than one country without any significant changes.

The Star and Crescent on Turkey Flags

The star and crescent first came to represent the Ottoman Empire in the middle of the 18th century, when it was adopted by order of Sultan Mustafa III, although it did not find a place on their flags until slightly after his reign ended. The crescent dates back much farther than the star. Legends say that the empire's founder, Osman, saw a vision of a crescent moon rising from a man's heart when he was trying to marry that man's daughter. Historian have noted that the symbol is even older than that, and that it has been associated with Turkish people throughout the vast majority of their history. 

The Modern Flag of Turkey

The Ottoman Empire abolished the individuals standards of its provincial governors as part of a set of reforms during the 19th century, and it adopted the familiar red and white flag of modern Turkey at the same time. The red color was chosen specifically to mark it as a civil flag, in contrast to the green flags that were used to represent Islamic organizations. The Ottoman Empire broke apart less than a century later after the first world war, but Turkey kept the flag as it took the old empire's place. The precise shade of red and measurements to be used in Turkey flags was established by law in 1936, and they have remained the same to this day.

  • Capital of Turkey: Ankara
  • Area of Turkey:770,760 sq. km
  • Languages used in Turkey: Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
  • Religions in Turkey: Muslim