12 Comments Add yours

  1. Vano says:

    Dear Veronica
    Forgive me for writing this email, but after reading your page 10 Things you never knew about Turkey I thought I must bring to your attention number 1 on the list to begin with.

    1)The Turks invented money. The first coins ever made were minted in Turkey at Sardis, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, at the end of the seventh century B.C. The coins featured a lion’s head.

    The above false claim just adds to the list of many false claims Turkey is making to create an image of an ancient nation in Anatolia and rewrite history, are you aware of the Turkish claims that they are the true anatolians and decandents of Hittites?

    Turks never invented money, Lydia (known as Sparta by the Achaemenids) was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, with no known historical links with Turks, or Mongols or Central Asian tribes

    Furthermore The Lydian language was an Indo-European language in the Anatolian language family, related to Luwian and Hittite and along with Armenian & Greek form now the new Anatolian branch of Indo-European languages).

    I am not sure why you would list the Invention of Coins/Money to Turks but you do great damage to the extensive works of ancient historians and the continued falsifications of history by successive Turkish governments.

    Please rectify this mistake as it does harm to thosuands of years of recorded history and the nations & cultures who contributed, not those who destroyed them and now claim their ancient heritage.

    Much Respect

    1. You obviously know the history of this region much better than I do!
      My post was really just intended as a selection of “fun facts” rather than a proper history article and, as another commentator pointed out, I seem to have fallen for several of the reinventions of history that are splattered all over the internet.
      I have altered the article to say “coins were invented in Turkey” so that it only refers to the location rather than discussing exactly how did the inventing.

  2. Kaitlan says:

    Hi Veronica, my name is Kaitlan. I have a question I need to know the answer to. Do key necklaces have anything to do with the evil eye?? Please email me!!

    1. There are some modern necklaces with a pendant that looks like a key and has a blue “eye” symbol, like the one traditional in Turkey and the Middle East, in the middle of the key to ward off the evil eye.
      These “keys” are not traditional charms against the evil eye.
      The only use of keys to ward off the evil eye that I know of is used by some of the shamans/fatucchere/whatever you want to call them who use olive oil with prayers to cleanse people believed to be cursed by the evil eye. One of their rituals uses a key dipped in the olive oil. For Christians this may be because the key is the symbol of St. Peter who guards the entrance to heaven and only lets in good people and pure souls.
      However this is a very rare and obscure use of keys, most of the people who use olive oil against the evil eye do NOT use keys, and as a charm it is definitely just a new thing and a fashion item.
      I hope that helps!

  3. Hi Veronica – Hope all is well with you and hope to be reading your blog soon.

    1. Hi!
      All is going well…. I will be making a big announcement soon! 😀

  4. I must have clairvoyance because I know what you are going to announce.

    1. He he heee!! I’ll be ready to announce it soon!

  5. Rosemary Engelmann says:

    Hi Veronica

    I wonder if you could help me with this thought – how did the Arabs, who introduced ice-cream/sorbet into Sicily, keep it cold?

    Many thanks

    frequent Sicilian traveller

    1. VH says:

      They sometimes went into the mountains and brought down ice blocks to shave into sorbet the same day…. I did see a street seller in Sicily making sorbets this way last summer. A single massive ice block will take ages to melt, meantime the vendor grates soft ice off the surface and adds syrup to flavour it.
      The medieval Arabs also made deep underground chambers to store ice and other foods. The Sicilians nowadays call them Camere dello Scirocco, referring to the hot north African wind that blows up, as there is a popular belief that people would go into them when the weather got too hot! But they were actually never used for that. You can see them in some of the historic villas, notably Villa Sant Isidoro in Aspra.

      1. Rosemary Engelmann says:

        Thank you very much for this interesting response. By the way, loved your “Sicilian housewife” book – very funny! I wonder if you mother-in-law has read it (or a translation)!

      2. VH says:

        It must never be translated! She might have me assassinated!

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