Turkey's land mass is 774.815 sq km. The European and Asian sides are divided by the Istanbul Bogazl (Bosphorus), the Sea of Marmara, and the ,Canakkale Bogazi (Dardanelles). Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east, and is broken by the valleys of about fifteen rivers, including the Dicle (Tigris) and the Flrat (Euphrates). There are numerous lakes and some, such as Lake 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 down almost to the narrow, fertile coastal plain along the sea coast. Turkey enjoys a variety of climates, changing 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 8333 km long.
Turkey has been called "the cradle of civilization" and by travelling through this his toric land the tourist 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 Catalhoyuk up to the present time Turkey boasts of a rich culture that through the centuries has made a lasting impression on modern civilization. The heir 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 Ottomans have all held important places in Turkey's history, and ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give proof to 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 a great visionary in character, took the defeat of World War I and turned it into a shining victory by liberating Turkey of all foreign invaders. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the Republic of Turkey on the 29th of October, 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 of this success by affectively living by their adopted motto of "Peace at Home, Peace in the World."
According to 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 (1.1 mil); and Bursa (1.6 mil).
The Turkish language belongs to the Ural Altaic group and has an affinity to the Finno Hungarian languages. Turkish is written in the Latin alphabet and is spoken by some 150 million people around the world. If you want to take Turkish lessons you can apply to Turkce Ogretim Merkezi (Tur kish Learning Centre) Ziya Gokalp Cad., No :18/1, 06650 Klzllay/Ankara/Turkey, Tel: (0312) 4343090-93, Fax: 4438190
The Turkish population is 99% Moslem. Turkey is a secular state and 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 all over 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 some thing to offer each 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 European wool and cotton producer. Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP) GAP is a multipurpose, integrated development project comprising of dams, hydroelectric power plants and irrigation facilities, that are to be built on the Firat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) rivers. It will affect agriculture, transportation, education, tourism, health and other sectors. Included in the project ATATURK DAM is among the First 10 dams in the world.
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 of agricultural products, metallurgy, textiles, and the manufacture of automobiles and agricultural machinery.
The Turkish Republic is based on secular democratic, pluralist 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 Organisation, a member of NATO, the European Council and the European Parliament, and an associate member of the European Community.