Turkey's land mass is 814,578
sq km. The European and Asian sides are divided by the Istanbul Bogazi
(Bosphorus), the Sea of Marmara, and the Canakkale Bogazi (Dardanelles).
Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east,
broken up by the valleys of about 15 rivers, including the Dicle (Tigris)
and the Firat (Euphrates). There are numerous lakes and some, such as Like
Van, are as large as inland seas. In the north, the eastern Black Sea Mountain
chain runs parallel to the Black Sea; in the south, the Taurus Mountains
sweep clown almost to the narrow, fertile coastal plain along the coast.
Turkey enjoys a variety of climates, ranging from the temperate climate
of the Black Sea region, to the continental climate of the interior, then,
to the Mediterranean climate of the Aegean and Mediterranean. coastal regions.
The coastline of Turkey's four seas is more than 8,333 km long.
Turkey has been called "the
cradle of civilization" and by traveling through this historic land, tourists
will discover exactly what is meant by this phrase. The world's first town,
a Neolithic city at Catalhoyuk, dates back to 6,500 BC From the days of
Catalhöyük Up to the present, Turkey boasts a rich culture that
through the centuries has made a lasting impression on modern civilization.
The heir to many centuries of cultures makes Turkey a paradise of information
and cultural wealth. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians, Lydians,
lonians, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomins
have all made important contributions to Turkish history, and ancient sites
and ruins scattered throughout the country give proof of each civilization's
unique distinction. Turkey also has a very fascinating recent history.
Upon the decline of the Ottoman Empire, a young man named Mustafa
Kemal, who was a soldier by occupation but in character, a great visionary,
took the defeat of World War I and turned it into a shining victory by
liberating Turkey from all foreign invaders. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded
the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923. He led his country into peace
and stability, with tremendous economic growth and complete, modernization.
Through decades of change and growth, Turkey still boasts this success,
living by its adopted motto of "Peace at Home, Peace in the World."
According to the 1990 census,
Turkey has 57 million inhabitants, 41% of whom live in the countryside.
The major cities are: Istanbul (7.4 mil); Ankara, the capital (3.2 mil);
Izmir (2.7 mil); Adana (1.9 mil); Antalya (I.I mil); and Bursa (1.6 mil).
The Turkish language belongs to the
Ural-Altaic ,group and has an affinity with the Finno-Hungarian languages.
Turkish is written with the Latin alphabet and is spoken by some 150 million
people around the world.
Although Turkey is 99%. Moslem, it
is a secular state that Guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Moslems.
Tourism : In recent years,
Turkey has become a major tourist destination in Europe. With the rapid
development of both summer and winter resorts, more and more people from
around the world are able to enjoy the history, culture, and beautiful
sites of Turkey. From swimming in the Mediterranean to skiing in Uludag,
Turkey has something to offer every tourist.
Agriculture : This plays a
very important role in the Turkish economy. The main crops are wheat, rice,
cotton, tea, tobacco, hazelnuts, and fruit. Sheep are Turkey's most important
livestock, and Turkey is one of the major cotton and wool producers.
Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP)
GAP is a multi-purpose, integrated
development project comprising dams, hydroelectric power plants and irrigation
facilities that are being built on the Firat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris)
rivers. It will affect agriculture, transportation, education, tourism,
health and other sectors. ATATURK DAM, included in the project, is amongst
the 10 largest dams in the world. For the tours related GAP region, please
check our special tour page
Natural resources: The principal
minerals extracted are coal, chrome (an important export), iron, copper,
bauxite, marble and sulphur.
Industry: Industry is developing
rapidly, and is directed mainly towards the processing agricultural products,
metallurgy, textiles, and the manufacture of automobiles and agricultural
The Turkish Republic is based on
a secular, democratic, pluralistic and parliamentary system where human
rights are protected by law and social justice. The National Assembly is
elected by popular vote and the nation is governed by the Council of Ministers
headed by the Prime Minister. Turkey is a founding member of OECD, the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, a member of NATO, the European
Council and the European Parliament, and an associate member of the European