Turkey a.k.a……Anatolia. Home of the ancient Hittite kingdom. The Eastern Mediterranean or Middle East is the Cradle of Civilization, the Fertile Crescent and the Crucible of History. The interesting thing about Turkey is that it’s people seem to feel a special affinity toward the Koreans and vice versa. People have puzzled over this when Turkish and Korean soccer teams cheered for each other in the 2002 World Cup. Some say it’s because the Turks came to help South Korea during the Korean war. The two countries refer to each other as ‘blood brothers’ presumably because the Turks shed their blood on Korea’s behalf. Many Asian countries, Turkey being one of them, have admiration for Korea because of their miraculous recovery from wartime devastation to the point where they are in the top 20 most developed countries on Earth. But some say this bond goes beyond the Korean War back to their common root languages. The Turkish and Korean languages are part of the Ural Altai language group. Finnish and Hungarian also belong to this language group. The Ural-Altai language group also has such extinct languages as Sumerian, Elamite, Cretan, Etruscan, among others. All are languages originating in and around Mesopotamia. The western branch of the Ural-Altai language tree includes the Turkic and Mongolian languages. The eastern branch has Korean, Japanese and Ainu. So we seem to have a connection of these people back to Mesopotamia. Which is no surprise since as said earlier, Mesopotamia was the Cradle of Civilization. If we go right back to the beginning of the human race, that’s where Turkey plays the main setting.
We don’t know where the original Eden was located, but we do know where Noah’s Ark rested. The Turkish government has designated the site of the Ark as a national park. We know from the book of Genesis that Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. The Table of Nations, in the 10th chapter of Genesis, outlines the various people groups descending from these three men. From south-eastern Turkey people went out to the east and to the west. The people groups which have inhabited Turkey are varied: the Hittites, the Phrygians, Aegeans (Greeks), then the Persians, again the Greeks, the Celts or Gauls came in and settled in the area named Galatia, Anataloia becomes a province of Rome with its capital as Ephesus, Seljuk Turks, next the Ottoman Empire, finally we have the Turkish republic. The Scythians, Hittites, Huns, Turks, Mongols and Manchu were all peoples who rose along the Caspian and Black Seas and went out into northern Asia. The Mongols and the Manchus have influenced the Korean peninsula very much. I think this special bond between Turkey and Korea is cool. It’s a testament to the fact we are all one big family. Our many greats grandfather was Noah.
What does all of this have to do with herbs? Well, Turkey’s number one export is the poppy plant. The poppy plant is sometimes said to symbolize death or blood. It symbolizes the blood shed by the Turks in Korea. Turkey and Korea: ‘Blood Brothers’.
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