Turkey is situated at the crossroads of the Balkans, Caucasus, Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. It is bordered on the north by the Black Sea, on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia, on the east by Azerbaijan and Iran, on the southeast by the Iraq and Syria, on the southwest and west by the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, and on the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria.
Its land area is greater than that of any European state. Nearly all of the country is in Asia, with a tiny remainder lying in the Southeastern part of Europe. However, in terms of the variety of terrain & diversity of plant life, Turkey exhibits the characteristics of a small continent. For example, there are some 10,000 plant species in the country compared to 13,000 in all of Europe. While many people know of Turkey’s rich archaeological heritage, it possesses an equally valuable array of ecosystems –heathlands, steppes & coastal plains. Half of the country is a semi-natural landscape that has not been entirely remodeled by man.
The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Today, despite it being a predominantly muslim country, Turkey is officially a secular nation with no declared state religion and most Turks subscribing to a liberal form of Islam. It is a democratic & social state governed by the rule of law. An interesting blend of the East & West, Turkey represents both the modern & ancient, and has a rich variety of cultures & traditions.
The capital of Turkey is Ankara, and its largest city and seaport is Istanbul.
Besides the capital Ankara & Istanbul, other city-tourist attraction destinations include Antalya, Izmir, Edirne, Eskisehir, Bursa, Mardin, Canakkale & Trabzon.
Turkey has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures & a limited amount of rainfall. The interiors are harsher. The climate is heavily influenced by the presence of the sea to the North, South & West and by the mountains that cover much of the country, producing a contrast in the climate between the interior & the coastal fringes.
The following four seasons exist in Turkey:
- Spring (March – May) : The ideal time to visit Turkey when temperatures are mild & could range between 5℃ – 20℃
- Summer (June – August) : It is quite hot during this time in five of the seven distinct climate regions with temperatures ranging from 20℃ – 31℃
- Autumn (September – November) : The most popular season for tourists, since temperatures are mild and range between 6℃ – 25℃.
- Winter (December – February) : It can be rainy, chilly & snowy during this period, with temperatures ranging from -12℃ – 11℃.
Since 1923, Turkey has had a mixed economy, in which both private & public sectors have contributed to economic development. Today, the economy has transformed from being a predominantly agricultural to one in which industry & services are the most productive & expanding sectors. The service sector now constitutes about half of the workforce, while agriculture & industry each about one-fourth. It is the world’s 16th largest economy. Inspite of the tumultuous period between 2016 & 2018, the government has managed to steady the ship. The current outlook is bright, which is evident from the fact that FDI rose by 14% in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Healthcare in Turkey consists of both public & private health services. Turkey has a “Universal Health System” wherein all residents registered with the Social Security Institution (SGK) can receive medical treatment free of charge in hospitals contracted to the SGK. There is also a substantial medical tourism business in Turkey, with almost 178,000 tourists visiting for health purposes in the first 6 months of 2018
Under the Turkish Education System, everyone has the right to receive education. Education is compulsory from the ages of 6 to 14 & free in state schools.
- Also Known as: Republic of Turkey
- Government is Unitary Presidential Constitutional Republic
- Capital: Ankara
- Main cities: Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Bodrum, Bursa, Gaziantep & Adana
- Area: 783,356 sq. km (302,455 sq. miles)
- Population: Approx.82 million (2018 estimate)
- Religion : Predominantly Muslim
- Official Language: Turkish, with Kurdish also commonly spoken
- National Holiday : 29th October (Republic Day)
- Legal System : Civil Law System based on various European legal systems, notably the swiss civil code
- Main Industries : Textiles, Food Processing, Automobiles, Electronics, tourism, mining, coal, chromite, copper, steel, petroleum, construction, lumber & paper
- Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
- Main Airport: Istanbul International Airport
- Time Zone: GMT+ 3 hours
- Calling Code: +90
- Member of United Nations (UN) and NATO