Travel

Turkey Geography

Country overview

Where does Turkey belong? A controversial issue that is often polarizing, as only 3% of the country is on the European side. The Bosporus as a link to Asia? And what about the Mount Ararat, on which Noah’s ark, according to legend, was stranded? more

Geographic zones

According to areacodesexplorer, Turkey is divided into 7 geographical areas: 1. Marmara Region, 2. Central Anatolia, 3. Aegean Region, 4. Mediterranean Region, 5. Black Sea Region, 6. Southeast Anatolia, 7. East Anatolia. They differ in climate, landscape and land use.

The documentation describes the diverse flora and fauna from Istanbul to the Mediterranean Sea (1h35min) and from the Black Sea to Ararat (1h17min).

Mountains, rivers, lakes

The highest mountain is the Büyük Ağrı Dağı (Great Ararat) with a height of 5,137 m. According to legend, Noah’s Ark was stranded here after the end of the flood.

More 3000’s and 4000’s

  • Uludoruk Tepe: 4135m in the Taurus Mountains in Eastern Anatolia
  • Cilo Dagi: 4116m in the Taurus Mountains in Eastern Anatolia
  • Süphan Dagi: 4058m in Eastern Anatolia on the shores of Lake Van
  • Kackar: 3933m in the east Pontic mountains in the northeast of the country
  • Erciyes Dagi: 3917m in the province of Kayseri in Central Anatolia
  • Little Ararat: 3897m together with the Great Ararat part of the Ararat National Park

The longest river in the country, which flows exclusively in Turkey, is the Kizilirmak with a length of around 1,355 km. The river has its origin east of the provincial capital Sivas on the slopes of the Kızıl and Kumanlı Daglari – about 150 km west of the headwaters of the Euphrates. The Tigris and Euphrates also have their source in Turkey and flow on through Syria to Iraq. They form the Mesopotamia, the cradle of culture.

The largest lake is Lake Van with an area of around 3,755 km². In the lake are the uninhabited smaller islands Arter, Akdamar and Çarpanak Adası. The Tuz Gölü follows with an area of around 1500 km².

Ararat in Southeast Anatolia Turkey

Geology

Turkey is located in one of the most active earthquake zones in the world. The Istanbul region lies along the northern Anatolian fault line, so that between 1939 and 1999 nine major quakes took place. Anatolia is wedged between the Eurasian and African plates.

Turkey has a great variety of raw materials.

Due to the geographic location and the prevailing air currents, there is no uniform climate in Turkey.

In the south of the country there is a Mediterranean climate, with temperatures between 30 degrees and more in summer and between 10 and 15 degrees in winter.

The northwest on the Black Sea coast is in the temperate climate zone. In summer the maximum values reach 30 degrees, in winter they are between 0 and 10 degrees. Rain falls all year round and a constant wind blows from the sea.

In the interior and in the east of the country you are in the continental climate zone with very hot summer months up to 40 degrees and very cold winters down to -30 degrees. Snowfall in winter is not uncommon.

Flora

26.2% of the country is covered with forests (mixed forests in the north, steppes in the east, Mediterranean dry flora on the coasts). About a third (36.3%) is used for agriculture. Cotton, wine, tobacco, olives, citrus fruits and vegetables are grown in the fertile western part of the country and on the south coast.

9000 different plant species, many of them endemic, are evidence of the pronounced biodiversity and ecological diversity of the flora in Anatolia. This makes Turkey one of the most important suppliers of wild plants, such as cyclamen, winterling, ray anemones or wild snowdrops.

Fauna

Turkey is home to many animals. In the mountains you can find brown bears, wolves, lynxes, wild boars, foxes. Pelicans, spoonbills and storks can be observed in the bird paradise of Kuscenneti National Park near Lake Manya (Balikesir). Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea and the threatened monk seal lives in the Aegean. Over 37 different types of snakes are native to Turkey. Lizards, geckos, and chameleons, on the other hand, are more common.

The most famous animal of Turkey is the Van cat, which is related to the Persian cat. You can easily recognize them by their two-tone eyes. Also worth mentioning is the famous Kangal dog, originally from Sivas. This is a shepherd dog that can grow up to a meter tall and weigh up to 65 kilos. There are export bans for both animals.