Turkey, known officially as the Republic of Turkey, is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and Thrace (Rumelia) in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic whose political system was established in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Turkey has a population of 71,892,808 as on 2008.


Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhichevan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea and Archipelago are to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. Separating Anatolia and Thrace are the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and the Dardanelles), which are commonly reckoned to delineate the border between Asia and Europe, thereby making Turkey transcontinental.


The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 km long and 800 km wide, with a roughly rectangular shape. Turkey's area, inclusive of lakes, occupies 783,562 sq km, of which 755,688 sq km are in Southwest Asia and 23,764 sq km in Europe. Turkey is world's 37th-largest country.

Turkey's varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Mt. Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey at 5,165 m.




The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet and cold winters. Conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau of the interior of Turkey a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons. Winters on the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of -30 C to -40 C can occur in the mountainous areas in the east, and snow may lie on the ground 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 C. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 C in the day. Annual precipitation averages about 400 mm, with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 mm. May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the most dry.



Monetary Unit

Turkish lira (TRY)

Largest Cities

Istanbul (largest), Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Konya, Antalya, Mersin, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa.

Principal rivers

Ankara River, Aras River, Bartin, Biga, Cadmus, Delice, Euphrates, Meles, Tigris, Lycus, Murat, Pinarus, Veleka, Zab

Places to Visit

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Air Ports

Turkey has 117 airports. The main International airports are at Ankara, Kayseri and Istanbul. The other domestic airports are at Adana, Antalya, Gaziantep, Kastamonu, Konya, Sivas, Malatya, Kayseri, Denizli, Nevsehir, Canakkale, Izmir, Usak, Bursa, Erzincan, Kars, Trabzon, Van, Batman,Mus, Siirt, Kahramanmaras, Agri, Adiyaman, Mardin, Isparta, Balikesir, Milas, Samsun.

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