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Turkey is a huge, geographically and culturally diverse country, sharing borders with Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Nakhitchevan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. It has almost 8,400 km of coastline and several mountain ranges, the highest peak being 5165m (Mount Ararat). Due to its size, Turkey enjoys a variety of climates, changing from the temperate climate of the Black Sea Region, to the continental climate of the interior, to the Mediterranean climate of the Aegean and Mediterranean coastal regions. With its large range of mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, flora and fauna, Turkey is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise. The opportunities for activities such as cycling, trekking, horse-riding, skiing and white water rafting are endless in this uncrowded country covering 814.578 square kilometers, and between the lush greenery of the Black Sea Coast and the hot, dry Mediterranean coast, there are a multitude of landscapes to choose from. With more than 10, 000 years of history, Turkey is also rich in culture and ancient sites, which together with its natural beauty make this country a fascinating place to explore. A country as old as history, a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes. Turkey has a magnificent past, and is a land full of historic treasures.
Turkey's landmass is 814.578 sq. km. The European and Asian sides are divided by the Istanbul Bogazi (Bosphorus) and the Canakkale Bogazi (Dardanelles).

Anatolia is a high plateau region rising progressively towards the east, broken by the valleys of about 15 rivers, including the Dicle (Tigris) and the Firat (Euphrates). There are numerous lakes and some, such as Lake Van, are as large as inland seas. 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 along the Turkish Riviera, following the ancient Lycian and Pamphylian coasts.
Anatolia has been called 'the cradle of civilisation' and by travelling through this historic land, one would discover what exactly is meant by this phrase. The world's first town, a Neolithic city at Catalhoyuk, dates back to 6500 B.C. From the Neolithic days up to the present, Turkey boasts a rich culture that has made an everlasting impression on modern civilisations through the centuries. The heir to many centuries of cultures makes Turkey a paradise of information and cultural wealth. Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, Lycians, Lydians, Ionians, Greeks, Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantinians, Seljuks, and Ottomans have all made important contributions to Anatolian and Turkish histories, and ancient sites and ruins scattered throughout the country give proof of each civilisation's unique distinction.

Recent History : Upon the decline of the Ottoman empire, Mustafa Kemal took the defeat of W.W.I and turned it into a victory by liberating Turkey of all foreign invaders. Mustafa Kemal ATATURK founded the Republic of Turkey on October 29th, 1923.

Population : According to a 1990 census, Turkey has 57 million inhabitants, 41% of whom live in the countryside. The major cities are Istanbul (7.4 m); Ankara, the capital (3.2 m); Izmir (2.7 m); Adana (1.9 m); Bursa (1.6 m); and Antalya (1.1 m).

Language : The Turkish language belongs to the Ural-Altaic group, and has an affinity with the Finno-Hungarian languages. Turkish is written in the Latin Alphabet and is spoken by some 150 million people around the World.

Religion :
Although 98% of the whole population are Moslems, the secular form of the state guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Moslems.


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