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Getting to know Turkey

Geography of Turkey

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. 97 percent of Turkey is located in Asia and 3 percent of it is located in Europe. These parts are separated by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Dardanelles.

Turkey’s land area is about 800,000 square kilometers (about 300,000 square miles). According to the land area, Turkey is the 37th-largest country in the world. Three seas are surrounding this country: The Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest.

Turkey is bordered by the Black Sea to its north, Greece, and Bulgaria to its northwest, Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to its east, Iraq, and Syria to its southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to its south, the Aegean Sea to its west, and Georgia to its northeast.

Istanbul is the largest city in the country while Ankara is the capital.

Turkey is divided into seven geographical regions: Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia, Mediterranean, Marmara, Aegean, and the Black Sea.

Population of Turkey

In 2018, Turkey’s population was 80.8 million people, which the most populated city was Istanbul having 15 million people.

Language and Race of Turkey

The national language of Turkey is Turkish.

Approximately 70-80 percent of the country’s citizens identify as Turkish, and Kurds are the largest minority 15-20 percent of the population.

Religion in Turkey

Turkey is a secular country with no official religion. However, all public schools hold mandatory religious classes that mostly focus on the Sunni sect of Islam.

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About 80.5 percent of Turkish people are Sunni Muslims and about 16.5 percent are Shia Muslims. Other religions have lower percentages.

Economy of Turkey

Turkey has the world’s 13th largest GDP. In 2019, Turkey’s exports were $180.4 billion and its imports were $210.4 billion.

The major export goods of Turkey are Ships, Home Appliances, Electronics, Textiles, Iron, and Steel.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey was $12.4 billion in 2019.

In 2005, because of high inflation, a new currency was launched the name Turkish new lira. One Turkish new lira (TRY) equals 1,000,000 Turkish old lira (TRL). In 2009, the Turkish new lira was renamed back to the Turkish lira with the introduction of new banknotes and coins, but the code of the Turkish new lira (TRY) remains in use for the current Turkish lira in the foreign exchange market.

Tourism in Turkey is an important part of the economy. Turkey is one of the world’s top ten destination countries. Germany and Russia send the most tourists to Turkey.

Politics of Turkey

Turkey is a secular, formerly parliamentary republic that adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. The new system came into effect with the presidential election in 2018. Turkey’s current administration, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Administrative Divisions of Turkey

Turkey is divided into 81 provinces (il/vilayet). Each province is divided into districts (ilçe). In total there are 923 districts.

The government representatives are province governors (vali), town governors (kaymakam), and mayors (belediye başkanı). Turkish municipalities have local legislative bodies (belediye meclisi) for decision-making on municipal issues.

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The name of Turkey’s provinces is listed below:

  1. Adana
  2. Adıyaman
  3. Afyonkarahisar
  4. Ağrı
  5. Aksaray
  6. Amasya
  7. Ankara
  8. Antalya
  9. Ardahan
  10. Artvin
  11. Aydın
  12. Balıkesir
  13. Bartın
  14. Batman
  15. Bayburt
  16. Bilecik
  17. Bingöl
  18. Bitlis
  19. Bolu
  20. Burdur
  21. Bursa
  22. Çanakkale
  23. Çankırı
  24. Çorum
  25. Denizli
  26. Diyarbakır
  27. Düzce
  28. Edirne
  29. Elâzığ
  30. Erzincan
  31. Erzurum
  32. Eskişehir
  33. Gaziantep
  34. Giresun
  35. Gümüşhane
  36. Hakkâri
  37. Hatay
  38. Iğdır
  39. Isparta
  40. İstanbul
  41. İzmir
  42. Kahramanmaraş
  43. Karabük
  44. Karaman
  45. Kars
  46. Kastamonu
  47. Kayseri
  48. Kilis
  49. Kırıkkale
  50. Kırklareli
  51. Kırşehir
  52. Kocaeli
  53. Konya
  54. Kütahya
  55. Malatya
  56. Manisa
  57. Mardin
  58. Mersin
  59. Muğla
  60. Muş
  61. Nevşehir
  62. Niğde
  63. Ordu
  64. Osmaniye
  65. Rize
  66. Sakarya
  67. Samsun
  68. Şanlıurfa
  69. Siirt
  70. Sinop
  71. Şırnak
  72. Sivas
  73. Tekirdağ
  74. Tokat
  75. Trabzon
  76. Tunceli
  77. Uşak
  78. Van
  79. Yalova
  80. Yozgat
  81. Zonguldak

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