The total area of Turkey is 779,452 sq km (300,948 sq mi). Anatolia, the eastern portion of Turkey, forms about 97 percent of the country’s area. Most of Anatolia is mountainous and arid, with the exception of the narrow plains along the Aegean, Black, and Mediterranean coasts. Eastern (or Turkish) Thrace in southwestern Europe makes up the remainder of the country. This area is characterized by rolling plains surrounded by low mountains. Many of Turkey’s mountains are of volcanic origin. Earthquakes are frequent and occasionally severe, giving evidence that the region remains seismically active. Devastating earthquakes struck Turkey several times during the 20th century. In 1939 an earthquake struck the northeastern city of Erzincan and killed an estimated 30,000 people; a 1999 earthquake near the northwestern city of İzmit killed more than 15,000 people.
Turkey can be divided into seven geographic regions: Thrace and the borderlands of the Sea of Marmara; the Aegean and Mediterranean region; the Black Sea region; western Anatolia; the central Anatolian Plateau; the eastern highlands; and southeastern Anatolia.
Thrace and the borderlands of the Sea of Marmara in northeastern Turkey encompass a central plain of gently rolling hills with few changes in elevation. About one-quarter of this fertile, well-watered area is farmed. The eastern portion of this region is more mountainous, reaching its highest point of 2,543 m (8,343 ft) at Uludağ (ancient Mount Olympus of Mysia), a popular area for skiing. The coastlands of the Aegean and Mediterranean region in the west and south are narrow and hilly. Near the Mediterranean coast, peaks of the Taurus Mountains reach 3,700 m (12,000 ft).
Along the Aegean coast, a series of low ridges generally rise toward the east to an average elevation of 1,500 to 1,850 m (5,000 to 6,000 ft); a few peaks approach 3,050 m (10,000 ft). The broad, flat valleys between the ridges provide some of the most productive soils in Turkey. To the north, the Anatolian coastlands of the Black Sea region rise directly from the water to the heights of the Kuzey Anadolu Dağları (Northern Anatolian Mountains). Western Anatolia, in the west central part of the country, consists of irregular ranges and interior valleys that separate the Aegean coast from the Anatolian Plateau, the largest geographic region in Turkey. Turks consider this centrally located plateau, which is actually composed of several interconnected basins, as the heartland of their nation. These basins are surrounded on all sides by mountains, which reach their highest point at the summit of Mount Erciyes (3,916 m/12,848 ft). The plateau itself has a general elevation of 900 to 1,500 m (3,000 to 5,000 ft) above sea level.
The eastern highlands region is the most mountainous and rugged portion of Turkey; Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is the highest peak in the country at 5,165 m (16,945 ft). Many Christians and Jews believe it to be the same Mount Ararat mentioned in the Bible as the place where Noah’s ark came to rest. The eastern highlands are the source for both the Tigris (Dicle) and Euphrates (Firāt)—two of southwestern Asia’s principal rivers. Southeastern Anatolia is a rolling plateau enclosed on the north, east, and west by mountains. A part of the so-called Fertile Crescent, this region has been an important agricultural center since antiquity. About 19 percent of southeastern Anatolia’s area is farmed. "Turkey" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
Photos of European countries to visit
Photos of Asian countries to visit
Photos of America