Being like a bridge between east and west Turkey is the country where three continents comes the closest –Asia-Europe-Africa.
The surface area of Turkey including the lakes is 814,578 km² / 314,503 sq miles. Out of the total land, 97% is in Asia and this part is called Anatolia or Asia Minor; 3% is in Europe which is called Thrace. Turkey is rectangular in shape with a length of 1,660 km / 1,031 miles and a width of 550 km / 341 miles. The neighbor countries are Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria in east and Greece and Bulgaria in west.
It is a big peninsula surrounded with Black Sea in north, The Aegean Sea in west and The Mediterranean Sea in south.
The altitude in Turkey goes higher from west to east. In coastline and in west it starts with the sea level and only couple of hundred meters higher than the sea level, in central part it is about 1000 meters higher than the sea level and in east nearly about 2000 meters. The highest point in Turkey is Mount Ağrı -5137m (known as Ararat where the Noah’s Ark was supposed to be landed).
Because of its location there are different types of climates in Turkey. In coast line winters are mild and summers are moderately hot, the inland areas experience extremes of temperature. The hot summers have high daytime temperatures with generally cool nights and the cold winters have limited precipitation with frost occurring on more than 100 days during the year.
In the Mediterranean, Aegean and Southern Marmara regions, the general Mediterranean climate is dominant; summers are hot and dry, winters are mild and rainy. Frosts are rare and snowfall is almost unknown. On the Northern coast of the Marmara Sea, the temperatures are lower. The Black Sea Region, enjoys mild winters and a fair amount of rainfall throughout the year. In Central Anatolia, a typical plateau climate prevails where the summers are hot with minimum precipitation, and winters are cold with heavy and lasting snows. Eastern Anatolia summers are hot and extremely dry, winters are bitterly cold. Spring and autumn are both subject to sudden hot and cold spells.
Anatolia has always been invaded and migrated because of its location, climate and fertile land. As people moved in Anatolia they moved their culture as well that is the reason why it is called “the cradle of civilization”.
The Paleolithic Age (600000-10000 BC)
This is the time when people were just hunters and collectors. They used flint to make hand-axes, scrapers, cutters and chisels. People lived in caves. The most known settlements from this period in Anatolia are Yarımburgaz near Istanbul and Karain near Antalya.
The Neolithic Age (8000-5500 BC)
People started to cultivate plants and domesticate animals. The figure of mother goddess was seen. Since people started agriculture the town life also started. People made tools for farming, made clay pottery and textile products. The most known settlements for this period are Hacılar near Burdur and Çatalhöyük near Konya.
The Chalcolithic Age (5500-3000 BC)
People started to use copper, made brick houses, vessels of clay, stone, wood, weapon of bone or flint. The figure of mother goddess continued. People made sculptures and paintings. Canhasan, Beycesultan, Alişar, Alacahöyük are the settlements from this period.
The Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC)
People started to use copper which was the mixture of copper and tin. Gold, silver and electron (gold and silver) used for tools. Hittites (1750-1200 BC) and Assyrian Traders were in Anatolia during this age. Jewelry, bull and stag statuettes, ritual standards, sun dials, musical instruments were found in Alacahöyük which a popular settlement in this age.
Iron Age (1200-700 BC)
Iron started to be used to make weapons and tools. Neo-Hittites, Urartians, Phyrigians and Ionians were in Anatolia in this age.
The Dark Age (700-490 BC)
This is a dark age for eastern Anatolia because civilization passed from east to west. Lydians, Carians, Ionians were in western Anatolia during this period.
In 5th century BC Persians (554-383 BC) invaded Anatolia and divided it into satrapies which are like the states in US. It was Alexander The Great (356-323 BC) who defeated the Persians and the Hellenistic Age (300 -133 BC) started in Anatolia. In 1st century BC Roman Age (133- 395 AD) started and especially the cities on the western corner lived their golden ages during the reign of Romans. As Roman Empire divided into two parts Anatolia was the eastern Rome (Byzantine Age 395-1071 AD). In 1071 with the MAzkiert War the first Turkish nation Seljuks invaded the land. The Crusades (first 1096-1099/ fourth 1202/1204) also affected the land. The Ottomans (1299-1922) ruled the land for about seven hundred years, but after the WW1 they lost big part of their land and the country was under the control of different nations (British, Greek, French) Then in 1919 Atatürk sstarted an independence war for the people living on the land. It went on till 1922. In the same year the Ottoman Empire ended. In 1923 Atatürk declared the country as The republic of Türkiye.
More than 90% of the population in Turkey is muslim people. Even islam is the official religion in Turkey it is a secular and a democratic country so people are free to decide their religion.
Normally in islam women have to get covered but in Turkey since 1926 it is their own choice. So as you travel around Turkey you can see both covered and uncovered women.
There are also non-muslim people like Christians, Jewish living in Turkey and have right to perform their religions since there are many churches and synagogues.
The population of Turkey is estimated around 75 million. Density of the population lives in western part of the country because of higher employment. Cities like Istanbul (15 mil), Ankara (6 mil), Izmir (3,5 mil) are the biggest. Turkey has a very young population: nearly half of the population is under the age of 30 and the life expectancy is 70.
Turkish language belongs to the Ural-Altaic group. The letters are in Latin. There are 29 letters 21 consonants 8 vowels. Letters like x, w, q does not exist in Turkish alphabet but there are ö, ü, ç, ş, ğ which are different.
Turkish is the 7th most spoken language in the world about 200 mil people speak Turkish in 70 different dialects.
Agriculture: The most important income for Turkey is agriculture. 27% of national income is out of this industry. The main crops are wheat, olive, cereals, rice, cotton, tea, tobacco and fruit. Turkey is the one of the major cotton and wool producer.
Tourism: Because of its landscape, historical sights and natural beauties Turkey attracts many people in the world. 15-20 % of external commerce income is out of tourism.
Natural Sources: Iron, coal, chrome, copper, sulphur, bauxite, marble are the main natural sources in Turkey.
Textile: Turkey produces big amount of cotton and sheep are the most important livestock. Since there is enough material and labor is low in Turkey it becomes attractive for many big textile companies.