Lying partly in the region of eastern Thrace in Europe, but mostly in Asia, Turkey’s position gives it significant influence in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, and the Middle East.
Geography: Asian Turkey (Anatolia) is dominated by two mountain ranges, separated by a high, semi-desert plateau.Coastal regions are fertile.
Climate: Coast has a Mediterranean climate. Interior has cold, snowy winters and hot,
People and Society: Despite racial diversity, Turkey has a strong sense of national identity, and close links with other Turkic states. Kurds, the largest minority, based in the southeast, have waged a violent campaign for greater autonomy intermittently since 1984. Islamist parties are challenging Turkey’s cherished identity as a secular state. It has applied to join the EU, though progress will be slow.
The Economy: Liberalized economy, boosted by self-sufficient agriculture, and textiles, tourism, and manufacturing sectors. Route of Asian oil pipelines to Europe.
Insight: Turkey had two of the seven wonders of the ancient world: the tomb of King Mausolus at Halicarnassus (now Bodrum), and the temple of Artemis at Ephesus
Official Name: Republic of Turkey
Date of Formation: 1923
Population: 74.8 million
Total Area: 301,382 sq. miles (780,580 sq. km)
Density: 252 people per sq. mile
Languages: Turkish*, Kurdish, Arabic, Circassian, Armenian, Greek, other
Religions: Muslim (mainly Sunni) 99%, other 1%
Ethnic Mix: Turkish 70%, Kurdish 20%, other 8%, Arab 2%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: New Turkish lira = 100 kurus