Turkey is a country located in parts of both Asia and Europe. Throughout its history, Turkey has acted as both a bridge and barrier between the two continents. The national flag of Turkey consists of a red field with a white crescent moon and a white five-pointed in the center. The history of the flag dates back to the Ottoman era and includes several flags that incorporate the crescent and star. The current Turkish flag, referred to as the red banner in the national anthem, was adopted in 1844 from the Ottoman Empire. The flag has been modified occasionally, the most recent being a reduction in the number of star points from eight to five in 1936.
The history behind the Turkish flag is based on various theories. The oldest theory is linked to the first Ottoman Emperor, Osman I, who reported seeing a crescent moon appear from the chest of a Sharia judge, whose daughter he pursued for a hand in marriage, before exploding. The explosion was construed as the dynasty of Constantinople (Istanbul). The most popular theory is associated with the Battle of Kosovo, which led to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and ruled until the 19th century. The image is believed to be part of this historic event that established Turkey after the end of the Ottoman rule.
Meaning and Symbolism
The red field of the Turkish flag represents the blood shed by soldiers who lost their lives during Turkey’s War of Independence against the colonial powers of France, England, Greece, and Russia. It is estimated that over 40,000 Turkish soldiers were killed during the battle. At night when the crescent moon appeared, it reflected on the red pool of blood on the battlefield together with the planet Venus, which was considered a star at the time. The image is a reflection of the sacrifices made for the country's independence. The red color was adopted from the imperial standard color of the Ottomans, which represented the domains of the Empire as the successor of the Romans, whose official color was red.
The crescent and star are also symbols of the religious beliefs of the Turkish people. The crescent and star were popular during the Ottoman Empire. The traditional star had eight points which represented each of the eight states of the empire. The crescent is currently used by the Turkish government in honor of the religious affiliations of the nation and its people, while the white star represents the diversity of Turkish cultures.