The Mediterranean and Aegean shores of Turkey have a dry subtropical climate, similar to that of Greece and southern Italy. Summers are long and warm and winters are mild. İstanbul, located on the Bosporus, has an average temperature range in January of 3° to 9°C (37° to 48°F). In July the average range is 19° to 28°C (65° to 83°F). Precipitation averages 700 mm (27 in) annually and is heaviest between October and March.
The Anatolian Plateau in central Turkey has a continental climate with hotter summers and colder winters than those along the shore. Ankara, located on the plateau, has an average temperature range of -3° to 4°C (26° to 39°F) in January and 15° to 30°C (60° to 86°F) in July. The average annual precipitation is 410 mm (16 in).
The Anatolian Plateau receives only about half as much precipitation as coastal areas, almost all of which falls between October and April, much of it as snow. The eastern highlands experience even longer and colder winters. Southeastern Anatolia records the country’s hottest summer temperatures, averaging about 30°C (86°F) in July and August.
Except in the more isolated highlands, the natural vegetation of Turkey has suffered centuries of destruction and change as a result of human habitation. Present vegetation types are often hybrids of indigenous types. Plant life varies according to region, depending on soil type, climate, and elevation.
Along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts and parts of the Marmara region, the characteristic plant cover at low elevations is of the Mediterranean type. It includes stunted trees, bushes, and a variety of thorny, flowering, and bulbous plants. Trees include evergreen oak, pine, laurel, and myrtle. Evergreen scrub forests are found at higher elevations where precipitation is greater. The forests of the Kuzey Anadolu Dağları (Northern Anatolian Mountains) in the northeast, where rainfall is heavy, are the densest and most commercially valuable in Turkey. Eastward from Sinop on the central Black Sea coast, where the Mediterranean type of vegetation ends, the forests are composed of deciduous hardwoods such as maple, walnut, oak, and hazelnut.
Grasslands and grain fields are abundant on the dry Anatolian Plateau, with sparse alpine forests restricted to higher slopes. Various types of grasses, including alpine species, are common. Trees and shrubs grow mainly along stream courses. On the lower slopes of mountains surrounding the plateau, trees such as juniper, carob, and oak are interspersed with grasslands and low bushes.
Asian animal species generally predominate in Turkey, although some European animal species are also found because the land has long served as a passage between the two continents. The lynx, wolf, bear, fox, and jackal are the major carnivorous types; the gazelle, deer, and wild boar are the principal herbivorous types. Many varieties of rodent are also found. Of Turkey’s larger animals, only boar remain abundant in forested areas. Wolf, fox, wildcat, hyena, jackal, deer, bear, marten, and mountain goat inhabit more remote areas. Domesticated animals in Turkey include the camel, Asian water buffalo, and Angora goat. Numerous local species of birds include the wild goose, partridge, and quail. In addition, several birds of prey—including the lesser spotted eagle, buzzard, hawk, kestrel, and falcon—follow a migratory route along the Bosporus. Trout are abundant in the mountain streams, and bonito, mackerel, and bluefish are plentiful in the Turkish Straits. Anchovies are caught in the Black Sea. Encarta "Turkey" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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