Turkey on the world map. Map of Turkey
Map of Turkey with cities. Where Turkey is on the world map. The main geographical facts about Turkey - population, country area, capital, official language, religions, industry and culture.
Turkey Fact File
Official name Republic of Turkey
Form of government Republic with single legislative body (Grand National Assembly of Turkey)
Area 780,580 sq km (301,382 sq miles)
Time zone GMT + 2 hours
Projected population 2015 79,004,000
Population density 86.2 per sq km (223.3 per sq mile)
Life expectancy 71.5
Infant mortality (per 1,000) 45.8
Official language Turkish
Other languages Kurdish, Arabic
Literacy rate 85 %
Religions Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2%
Ethnic groups Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20%
Currency Turkish lira
Economy Agriculture 50%, services 35%, industry 15%
GNP per capita US$ 7,000
Climate Temperate, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers; arid in the interior
Highest point Agn Dagi (Mt Ararat) 5,166 m (16,949 ft)
Map reference Page 224
Asia Minor, a large mountainous plateau lying between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, forms the main part of Turkey. A much smaller part, European Turkey or Thrace, lies across the narrow straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Early in the twentieth century Turkey's leader Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) attempted to create a modern Islamic state that was willing and able to be a part of Europe. At the end of the twentieth century, with Islamic fundamentalism a growing internal force and no end in sight to the repression of the Kurds, his legacy is uncertain. Full integration with Europe may become an object of concrete negotiations if the inspection due at the end of 2004 demonstrate that Turkey is fulfilling all preconditions. Apart from economic and human rights questions this includes the solution of the situation of the Turkish Kurds as well as the status of the island of Cyprus. Turkey has occupied the Muslim north of Cyprus since 1974, but their claim is not recognized internationally. The Kurds in southeastern Turkey are demanding an independent homeland. Opposed by the state, this conflict has resulted in an estimated 19,000 deaths so far.
Historically, Asia Minor or Anatolia was the stage on which some famous scenes have been enacted. The legendary city of Troy stood on the shore of the Aegean. Ephesus and its ruins can still be visited today. Astride the Bosphorus, Constantinople (now Istanbul) was the capital of the Byzantine Empire from the fourth century ad until it fell to the Seljuk Turks in 1453-Later, during the height of its expansion in the sixteenth century, the empire of the Ottoman Turks spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, carrying Islam through the Balkans to Vienna. From this time the Ottoman Empire steadily declined (becoming known as "the sick man of Europe") until it was finally dismantled at the end of the First World War. The boundaries of the present Turkish state were set in 1923.
European Turkey has fertile rolling plains surrounded by low mountains. The main feature of the Asian provinces is the largely semiarid Central Anatolian Plateau (1,000 to 2,000 m; 3,300 to 6,600 ft) much of which is used for grazing sheep. On its southern flank the three main ranges of the Taurus Mountains lie inland from the Mediterranean coast. In addition to timber, the uplands provide summer grazing for the flocks of the plateau. The Pontic Mountains stretching west to east along the Black Sea boundary of the plateau are more densely wooded, and have fertile plains. A number of other ranges further east culminate in the volcanic cone of Agn Dagi (Mt Ararat) (5,166 m; 16,949 ft). Important minerals found in the thinly populated eastern regions include chrome, copper, oil, and gold. Tobacco and figs are grown in two fertile valleys that lead westward down from the plateau to the Aegean Sea. Cotton is produced on the plain near the southern city of Adana.
The Turkish economy combines modern industry and commerce with village agriculture and crafts. Though still of importance, agriculture has been overtaken by manufacturing. A busy industrial sector produces textiles, processed foods, steel, petroleum, construction materials, lumber, and paper, while coal, chromite, and copper are mined. Energy for industry comes in part from oil that is imported, but also from domestic coal and from the country's abundant hydroelectric power.
During the 1980s growth averaged more than seven percent a year. In 1994 an outbreak of triple-digit inflation led to a period during which public debt, money supply, and the current account deficit were simultaneously out of control. Severe austerity measures and structural reforms were required in order to correct the situation. Shifting political coalitions and economic instability present a challenge for Turkey today.