Türkei / Türkei

Türkei is a valley in Carinthia, Austria. The Türkeistraße is a transport connection and at the same time a hamlet and a hiking trail in the valley. The name “Türkei” recalls the Turkish invasions in the second half of the 15th century.

The Turks invaded Carinthia several times in the second half of the 15th century. When they approached the southern border of Carinthia for the third time in 1478, the Carinthian Farmers’ Union occupied the Predil Pass and the valley below. The Turks went around these defenses, fell in the back of the peasants and set up an army camp in the small valley north of Lake Faak. From there they looted the area and planned an attack on the neighboring town of Villach. According to legend, a Villach citizen, who understood Turkish due to a prolonged imprisonment, has learned details about the attack plan. As a defense measure began at the time of the attack, the church bells of Maria Gail to ring. Allegedly this caused a confusion, so that the attackers put the church on fire, but otherwise withdrew. As a thank you for the defense against the Turkish attack on the city of Villach, the church bells ring every Saturday at 3 pm in Maria Gail. The valley between Faaker See and Maria Gail, where the Turkish camp was, was named “Türkei” in memory of this event.

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