Comenius 2008-2010 Multilateral Project

This site is an outcome of the Comenius 2008-2010 multilateral project "European Journey Through Legends".

"Becoming more European does not mean forgetting our national cultural heritage, but sharing it with other European nation".

The Story of Turkish Flag

The current design of the Turkish flag is directly derived from the late Ottoman flag, which had acquired its final form in 1844. It is known that the Ottomans used red flags of triangular shape at least since 1383, which came to be rectangular over the course of history. Ottomans used several different designs, most of them featuring one or more crescents, for different purposes, such as the flag with green background signifying the caliphate. During the late imperial period, the distinctive use of the color red for secular and green for religious institutions became an established practice.

In 1844, the eight-pointed star was replaced with a five-pointed star and the flag reached the form of the present Turkish flag; Red was the colour of Umar I, the Caliph who ruled from AD 634 to 644 and was known as a great consolidator of the Islamic Empire. In the 14th century red became the colour of the Ottoman Empire. The crescent and star is the symbol of Turks.

A legend says that in 1071, after the Battle of Manzikert and the defeat of the Byzantine army, the Seljuk Khan, Alp Arslan was roaming the battlefield where he saw the reflection of the crescent moon and the star on a pool of blood of Turkish warriors. After he saw this image, he decided that this would be the flag representing the Turks.       

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