Unveiling Turkey’s Geography: A Journey Through Maps and Facts

Embark on a captivating journey through the diverse landscapes and fascinating facts of Turkey, a nation straddling two continents and boasting a rich tapestry of history and culture.

Where is Turkey?

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, occupies a unique position on the world map, bridging the continents of Europe and Asia. The majority of its territory, encompassing around 97%, lies within the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, while a smaller portion, roughly 3%, resides in the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe. The Turkish Straits, comprising the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, along with the Sea of Marmara, serve as a natural boundary separating these two distinct regions.

Exploring Turkey’s Terrain:

Turkey’s landscape is a breathtaking mosaic of mountains, plateaus, fertile plains, and stunning coastlines. The European side, known as Eastern Thrace, features rolling hills, while the Asian portion, predominantly the Anatolian Plateau, presents a dramatic elevation change. This plateau, surrounded by rugged mountain ranges like the Taurus, Koroglu, and Pontic, rises from the central plains, offering a majestic panorama.

The highest peaks of Turkey reside within the Eastern Taurus Mountains, with Mount Ararat, soaring at an impressive 16,948 ft (5,166m), claiming the title of the nation’s highest point. Along the Black Sea and Mediterranean coastlines, the terrain softens, revealing fertile plains ideal for agriculture.

Navigating Turkey’s Administrative Landscape:

For administrative purposes, Turkey is divided into 81 provinces (iller), further subdivided into 937 districts Each province boasts its own unique character and charm. Konya, with an area of 40,81352 sq. km, takes the crown as the largest province, while Istanbul, a bustling metropolis, reigns as the most populous.

Ankara, the capital city, occupies a central position within the Anatolian Peninsula, serving as the nation’s political and administrative heart.

A Glimpse into Turkey’s Key Facts:

  • Official Name: Republic of Türkiye
  • Capital City: Ankara
  • Total Area: 783,562.00 sq. km
  • Land Area: 769,632.00 sq. km
  • Water Area: 13,930.00 sq. km
  • Population: 83,429,615

Major Cities:

  • Istanbul (15,847,768)
  • Ankara (5,397,098)
  • Izmir (3,088,414)
  • Bursa (2,086,325)
  • Adana (1,835,895)
  • Gaziantep (1,804,704)
  • Konya (1,407,632)
  • Antalya (1,347,240)
  • Diyarbakir (1,096,937)
  • Mersin (1,069,402)

Currency: Turkish liras (TRY)

GDP: $754.41 Billion

GDP Per Capita: $9,042.49

Bordering Countries:

  • Greece
  • Iraq
  • Georgia
  • Syria
  • Bulgaria
  • Iran
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan

A Land of Diverse Regions:

Turkey’s diverse geography gives rise to seven distinct regions, each with its unique cultural and historical significance.

  • Marmara Region: Located in the northwest, straddling both Europe and Asia, this region is home to Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and boasts a rich historical legacy.
  • Black Sea Region: This mountainous region along the Black Sea is known for its rural charm and traditional lifestyle.
  • Aegean Region: Sharing a rich history with ancient Greece, this region is home to iconic cities like Ephesus and Miletus, and serves as a popular tourist destination.
  • Mediterranean Region: This mountainous strip along the Mediterranean Sea is renowned for its stunning coastline and ancient ruins.
  • Central Anatolia: The heartland of Turkey, this region is home to the capital, Ankara, and the historical region of Cappadocia, famous for its unique rock formations.
  • Southeast Anatolia: This mountainous region, also known as Turkish Kurdistan, is steeped in history and boasts ancient Mesopotamian sites.
  • Eastern Anatolia: The easternmost region of Turkey, this area is known for its low population density and agricultural focus.

Unveiling Turkey’s Cities:

Turkey is dotted with vibrant cities, each offering a unique blend of history, culture, and modern life.

  • Istanbul: This bustling metropolis, once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is a cultural and economic powerhouse, renowned for its iconic landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
  • Ankara: The capital city, Ankara, is a hub of government and administration, offering a blend of modern architecture and historical sites.
  • Izmir: This coastal city, known for its ancient Greek heritage, is a major port and a popular tourist destination.
  • Bursa: Once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa is a center for industry and agriculture, known for its silk production and historical landmarks.
  • Adana: This southern city is a major agricultural center, renowned for its cuisine and historical sites.
  • Gaziantep: This ancient city, known for its rich culinary traditions, is a hub for trade and industry.
  • Konya: This industrial city is a center for agriculture and is known for its historical significance as the capital of the Seljuk Empire.
  • Antalya: This coastal city is a renowned tourist destination, offering stunning beaches, historical sites, and a vibrant nightlife.

A Journey Through Maps and Facts:

This exploration of Turkey’s geography and facts provides a glimpse into the nation’s diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cities. From the towering mountains of the Eastern Taurus to the fertile plains of the Aegean Region, Turkey offers a captivating journey for those seeking to experience its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern life.

Provinces of Turkey Map

Turkey is divided into 81 provinces (iller, singular – ili) for the sake of proper administration. These provinces are further subdivided into 937 districts and smaller subdivisions. The 81 provinces in alphabetical order are as follows: Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon (Trebizond), Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, and Zonguldak

With an area of 40,813. 52 sq. km, Konya is the biggest province of Turkey by area and Istanbul is the most populous one.

Situated in the center of the Anatolian peninsula is Ankara, the capital and second-largest city of Turkey.

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. The majority of the nation is found in Western Asia’s Anatolian Plateau, with a smaller portion situated on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. The European portion of Turkey known as East Thrace is divided from Anatolia by the Turkish Straits (the Bosphorus and Dardanelles) and the Sea of Marmara. Turkey is located in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres of the Earth. Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia and Iran to the east, Iraq to the southeast, and Syria to the south are its seven bordering nations. Nakhchivan, an exclave of Azerbaijan also borders Turkey to the east. The nation is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Black Sea to the north, and the Aegean Sea to the west.

Turkey Bordering Countries: Greece, Iraq, Georgia, Syria, Bulgaria, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan.

Regional Maps: Map of Europe

Physical Geography of Turkey


What country does Turkey belong to?

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, is a country mainly in Anatolia in West Asia, with a smaller part called East Thrace in Southeast Europe.

What is the famous in Turkey?

The answer to the question of “what is Turkey famous for”, comes with the lunar-like landscapes of Cappadocia to the pristine beaches of the Turquoise Coast, Turkey’s natural beauty captivates visitors. Pamukkale’s terraces of thermal pools and the otherworldly fairy chimneys of Cappadocia are awe-inspiring marvels.

Which country is so close to Turkey?

Türkiye, officially known as the Republic of Türkiye, is both a European and an Asian country. It’s neighbour to the northwest is Bulgaria; Greece to the west; Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; Georgia to the northeast; Syria to the south; and Iraq to the southeast.

Is Turkey in the Middle East or Europe?

Turkey, country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents. Turkey is situated at the crossroads of the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East, and eastern Mediterranean.

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