Çorum, a small city in central Turkey mainly known for roasted chickpeas, is the center of the earth, according to its residents who take their cue from Google Maps.
As social media revived a report from a 2003 calculation of the geographical center of the earth by scientists, locals rushed to verify whether the coordinates by scientists designating Çorum as center of the earth were true and were surprised to see the coordinates they entered on Google Maps corresponded to their humble city that was once the seat of the Hittite civilization.
The city's Mayor Muzaffer Külcü downplayed the importance of the discovery though he found time to hold a press conference on the matter in the city's Hürriyet Square yesterday. He joked that they already knew their city was "the center of the earth." "We even invited people to make the measurement by themselves to see whether it is the center of the earth or not. Finally, someone took up the challenge and proved it," he said. More seriously, he said Çorum has been the settlement of choice for civilizations throughout history dating back to the time of the Hittites and the Hatti people before 2000 B.C. "We have the wealth of at least eight civilizations and we are not surprised that the center of the earth was indeed Çorum," he said. The mayor, however, was keen on tourist dollars for the revived interest in the city of 280,000 that is also famous for roasted chickpeas, Hittite ruins and pretty much nothing else. "We have rich resources for culture and faith tourism but we failed to promote our city enough and we remained a city known mostly for roasted chickpeas. This discovery will make us recognized more in the world and certainly will help us in tourism revenues," he said.