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The Valley





Turkey 147

Turkey is located at a point where the three continents of the old world (Asia, Africa, and Europe) are closest to each other and where Asia and Europe actually meet. Because of its geographical location Turkey has been important throughout history and is the birth place of many great civilizations.

Turkey is a truly spectacular country surrounded by sea on three sides, with more than 300 natural and 130 artificial lakes; almost 35% of its land area covered by forests and mountains.

Turkey is home to 120 species of mammals, 439 birds, and 345 fish and the wolf, fox, wildcat, lynx, marten, hyena, bear, deer, gazelle, boar and beaver. Endagered species such as turtles and tortoises still abound. Of the seven species of sea turtle, two which can be found in the Mediterranean basin are the “leather back” turtle (Caretta Caretta) and the green turtle (Chelonia Mydas), both of which are threatened with extinction.



Turkey has a land mass of 814,578 square kilometres of which 790,200 fall within Asia and 24,378 located in Europe. The European and Asian parts are divided by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles.

Anatolia is a high plateau rising progressively towards the east and broken up by the valleys of about 15 rivers, including the Tigris and the Euphrates. There are numerous lakes one of which is Lake Van which is as large as an inland sea. In the north the eastern Black Sea Mountain chain runs parallel to the Black Sea, in the south the Taurus Mountains sweep down almost to the narrow fertile coastal plain. Turkey enjoys a variety of climates ranging from the temperate climate of the Black Sea region, the continental climate of the interior and the Mediterranean climate of the Aegean/Mediterranean coastal regions.

The land borders of Turkey stretch for 2,573 kilometres and its coastlines (including islands) for a further 8,333 kilometres. Turkey shares its land borders with two European and four Asian countries. Its borders with Europe consist of a 212 kilometre frontier with Greece and a 269 kilometre border with Bulgaria. To the northeast lie Turkey’s 610 kilometre border with the Commonwealth of Independent States and its 454 kilometre border with Iran. To the south lies Turkey’s 877 kilometre border with Syria (which took its present form in 1939 when the Republic of Hatay joined Turkey) and its 331 kilometre border with Iraq.


Turkey’s Coastline

Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides. To the north lies the Black Sea, to the south lies the Mediterranean and in the west is the Aegean Sea. There is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, which lies between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus, important waterways that connect the Black Sea with the rest of the world.

Because the mountains in the Black Sea region run parallel to the coastline the coasts are fairly smooth without too many indentations or projections. The length of the Black Sea coastline in Turkey is 1,595 kilometres. The Mediterranean coastline runs for 1,577 kilometres and here too the mountain ranges run parallel to the coastline.

Although the Aegean coastline is a continuation of the Mediterranean coast it is quite irregular because the mountains in the area fall perpendicularly into the Aegean Sea. As a result the length of the Aegean Sea coast is over 2,800 kilometres facing out to many islands.

The Marmara Sea is located totally within Turkey’s boundaries and occupies an area of 11,350 square kilometres. The coastline of the Marmara Sea is over 1,000 kilometres long connected to the Black Sea by the Bosphorus and with the Mediterranean by the Dardanelles.



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Laatst bijgewerkt: 04 februari 2016