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Edirne is a city in Thrace, the westernmost part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. The area around Edirne has been the site of no fewer than 16 major battles or sieges, from the days of the ancient Greeks. Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of Istanbul, was born in Edirne.
Edirne is a gateway of Turkey opening to western world, the first stopover for newcomers from Europe. Situated on the Greek (7 km) and Bulgarian (20 km) borders, this beautiful city is famed for its many mosques, the elegant domes and minarets, which dominate the panoramic appearance of the province.
One of the most important monuments in this ancient province is the Selimiye Mosque, built in 1575 and designed by Turkey's greatest master architect, Mimar Sinan, which has the highest minarets in Turkey, at 70.9 meters. Carrying the name of the then reigning the Ottoman Sultan Selim II, this mosque magnificently represents Turkish marble handicrafts and it is covered with valuable tiles and fine paintings.
Also needing mention are the Trakya University Bayezid II Külliye Health Museum, a great monument with its complex construction comprising many facilities used in those times.
Every year in June there is an oil-wrestling festival called Kırkpınar, said to be the oldest active sport organization after the Olympic Games.