Turkey Explorer

Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a smaller portion in Southeastern Europe known as East Thrace. It is bordered by eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east, and Iraq and Syria to the south. To the west, Turkey is bounded by the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the north.



Turkey’s climate varies widely due to its diverse geography. Along the coastlines, the climate is typically Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Inland areas experience a more continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Eastern Turkey has a harsher climate, with cold winters and hot summers, while the Black Sea region receives abundant rainfall and has a temperate climate.


Turkey is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including mammals such as brown bears, wolves, wild boars, and foxes. The country’s birdlife is also rich, with species such as eagles, vultures, and storks. Reptiles such as turtles and snakes are common, and the country’s rivers and lakes support various fish species.

Longest Rivers

The longest river in Turkey is the Kizilirmak, which flows approximately 1,355 kilometers (842 miles) from its source in eastern Anatolia to the Black Sea. Other major rivers include the Euphrates, Tigris, Sakarya, and the Meric.

Highest Mountains

Turkey is home to numerous mountain ranges, including the Eastern Taurus, Western Taurus, and Pontic Mountains. Mount Ararat, located in eastern Turkey near the border with Iran, is the country’s highest peak, rising to an elevation of approximately 5,137 meters (16,854 feet) above sea level.



The territory of present-day Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period, with evidence of human settlement dating back tens of thousands of years. The region was home to several ancient civilizations, including the Hittites, Phrygians, and Urartians.

Classical Antiquity

Anatolia, the heartland of modern Turkey, was part of several ancient empires, including the Greek, Persian, and Roman civilizations. The city of Troy, immortalized in Homer’s epic poems, is located in western Turkey. The region was also a center of early Christianity, with sites such as Ephesus and Antioch playing significant roles in the spread of the faith.

Byzantine and Ottoman Empires

In the 4th century CE, Anatolia became part of the Byzantine Empire, which endured for over a millennium until the arrival of the Seljuk Turks in the 11th century. The Seljuks were succeeded by the Ottoman Empire, which reached its zenith in the 16th century under Suleiman the Magnificent. The Ottomans ruled over a vast and diverse empire, encompassing territories in Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Modern Turkey

The Ottoman Empire collapsed after World War I, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk implemented sweeping reforms aimed at modernizing and secularizing Turkish society, including the adoption of a Latin alphabet and the introduction of secular education. Turkey has since emerged as a democratic republic with a mixed economy and a diverse cultural heritage.


Turkey has a population of approximately 84 million people, making it the most populous country in the Middle East and the 19th most populous country in the world. The population is ethnically diverse, with Turks comprising the largest ethnic group, followed by Kurds, Arabs, and others. The majority of Turks are Muslims, predominantly Sunni, although there are also significant Alevi and Shia Muslim communities.

Administrative Divisions

Turkey is divided into 81 provinces (il), each with its own governor appointed by the central government. These provinces are further subdivided into districts (ilçe) and municipalities. Here are the administrative divisions along with their respective populations:

  1. Istanbul – Population: 15.5 million
  2. Ankara – Population: 5.6 million
  3. Izmir – Population: 4.3 million
  4. Bursa – Population: 3.1 million
  5. Antalya – Population: 2.5 million
  6. Adana – Population: 2.3 million
  7. Konya – Population: 2.2 million
  8. Gaziantep – Population: 2.1 million
  9. Mersin – Population: 1.9 million
  10. Diyarbakir – Population: 1.8 million

10 Largest Cities by Population

The largest cities in Turkey by population are:

  1. Istanbul
  2. Ankara
  3. Izmir
  4. Bursa
  5. Antalya
  6. Adana
  7. Konya
  8. Gaziantep
  9. Mersin
  10. Diyarbakir

Education Systems

Education in Turkey is free and compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 14. The country has a well-developed education system, with both public and private schools at all levels. Turkey is also home to several prestigious universities, including Bogazici University, Istanbul Technical University, and Middle East Technical University.



Turkey has numerous airports, with Istanbul Airport being the busiest and most important. Other major airports include Ankara Esenboga Airport, Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, Antalya Airport, and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.


Turkey has a well-developed railway network operated by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD). The total length of railways in Turkey is approximately 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), connecting major cities and regions across the country.


Turkey has an extensive network of highways, with a total length of approximately 67,000 kilometers (41,630 miles). The Trans-European Motorway (TEM) and the E80 are two major highways that traverse the country, linking Europe with Asia.


Turkey has several major ports, including the Port of Istanbul, the Port of Izmir, and the Port of Mersin. These ports play a crucial role in facilitating maritime trade and commerce, handling a wide range of goods and commodities.

Country Facts

  • Population: 84 million
  • Capital: Ankara
  • Language: Turkish
  • Religion: Islam (predominantly Sunni)
  • Race: Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, others
  • Currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
  • ISO Country Codes: TR, TUR
  • International Calling Code: +90
  • Top-Level Domain: .tr