Turkey links the continents of Europe and Asia. Thrace, which borders Greece and Bulgaria to the west, is the European portion of Turkey. Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia, is the Asian part of Turkey. Anatolia borders the former Soviet Republics of Georgia and Armenia to the northeast, Iran to the east, and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. North of Turkey is the Black Sea and south is the Mediterranean. Between Thrace and Anatolia is a narrow body of water that joins the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, made up of the Bosphorus Strait, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles.
Much of Turkey is mountainous. The mountain range parallel to the Black Sea coast is called the Black Sea Mountains and the southern range near the Mediterranean is called the Taurus Mountains. Turkey's tallest mountain, Mount Agri (Ararat), is close to the border with Armenia and Iran. Legend has it that this is the mountain where Noah's Ark landed after the flood.

Central Anatolia is a high plateau, good for growing wheat and grazing sheep. The capital, Ankara, is in central Anatolia. There are lowland areas in some of the coastal regions and near the border with Syria. Along the Black Sea coast are cherry orchards, hazelnut groves and tobacco fields. Thrace is a region of rolling hills, with fertile agricultural land where fruits such as apricots and grapes grow. Some of the larger rivers in Turkey include the Euphrates, Tigris, Sakarya, Gediz, Ceyhan, Kizilirmak, Yesilirmak and Menderes.

The climate varies from region to region. In the coastal areas, the weather is humid, summers are hot, and winters are generally warm. On the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, the rainy season starts in the fall and continues until late spring. On the coast of the Black Sea, there is heavy rainfall throughout the year. In the mountains, particularly in eastern Anatolia, winters are very cold and snowy, and spring is cool and rainy. Summers, however, are usually dry and hot.
 Did you know?
Istanbul is the only city in the world that lies across two continents. The larger part of Istanbul lies in Europe, while Istanbul's suburbs are in Asia, across the Bosphorus Straits.

   Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name: Republic of Turkey (Türkiye)
Capital: Ankara
Type of Government: Representative democracy
Population: 61 million
Area: 780,000 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups: Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Jews, Armenians, Greeks
Languages: Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Ladino
Religion: Islam
Unit of Currency: Turkish lira
National Flag: Red with a white crescent and a white five-pointed star
Date of Independence: October 29, 2021