TURKEY IN BRIEF

GEOGRAPHY

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.

 

HISTORY

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."

 

POPULATION

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).

 

LANGUAGE

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.

 

RELIGION

Although Turkey is 99%. Moslem, it is a secular state that Guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Moslems.

 

ECONOMY

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 machinery.

 

POLITICAL STRUCTURE

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 Union.

 

   


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