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Turkish flag is one of the most beloved and devoted symbols in Turkish culture today. Turkish Republic of today inherited this design from earlier Ottoman Empire.
Early Versions of the Turkish Flag
Red has always been the dominant color in Ottoman flags. I use the word flags because the Ottoman Empire of Medieval times was using more than one flag. There were many banners and seal which symbolized Ottoman sovereignty.
The Legend About Turkish Flag
The legend says that following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, Sultan Murad saw the reflection of the Moon and a star on the blood puddles of the battlefield. He decided to turn this picture into a banner to remember fallen comrades. This early flag had an eight cornered star. The octagonal star was the symbol of victory.
Modern Turkish Flag
This early flag became the official flag of the Turkish Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Selim the Third in 1789. There was an octagonal star on the Ottoman flag for about another century but later during the rule of Sultan Abdulmecid the octagonal star was replaced with a common five cornered star. This new symbol represents humanity.
Using crescent in Turkish culture goes even before the pre-Islamic era. Early Turks living in Central Asia believed in Shamanism and used crescent as an important symbol. We believe after the Islamisation of Turkish tribes, they kept the same symbol in the flag. Cresent is the common symbol in the Islamic world today.
Dimensions and colors of the Turkish flag are regulated by the Turkish Constitution’s article of flag law. Flags of Turkey cannot be humiliated, ripped, or littered by anyone. Also, the use of the Turkish flag by political parties or private institutions is not allowed.
Tour Guide in Turkey
Contact your Turkish tour guide to learn more about the Turkish flag. See you soon, Hasan Gülday.