Territory and Resources
The calcareous tuff terraces of Pamukkale (Turkey) constitute one of the most attractive landscapes in western Anatolia. The healing effects of its springs were already known in ancient times.
The main area of Turkey, known as Anatolia, is located in Asia, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. Turkish Thrace in Europe covers about 3% of the country’s land area. Turkey is relatively rich in agricultural resources and has significant deposits of coal, lignite, iron and chromium, in addition to some oil deposits found to the southeast. Turkey’s border areas are subject to high seismic activity, making the country subject to frequent earthquakes. It has 779,452 km² of total area.
Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi), located in the eastern mountains of Turkey, has two peaks: the highest is Great Ararat, which reaches 5,137 m in altitude and has perpetual snow. According to the Old Testament, Noah’s ark landed on the top of this mountain.
Turkey can be divided into seven geographical regions: Thrace and the areas bordering the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean and Mediterranean region, the Black Sea region, western Anatolia, the central Anatolian plateau, the eastern highlands and lastly southeastern Anatolia.
Thrace and the areas bordering the Sea of Marmara form a central plateau with slightly rolling hills. It is a fertile and well-drained area, of which almost more than a quarter is arable. The eastern part of this region has its highest point on the summit of Mount Ulu (Olympus).
The lands near the Aegean and the Mediterranean are made up of mountains and gorges, and only a fifth of the land is arable; to the east, specifically in Cukurova, most of the cotton produced in Turkey is grown. It is a plain connected to the Taurus Mountains through a pass known since ancient times as the ‘Cilicia Gates’ (Külek Boğazi).
The Northern Anatolian Mountains (Kuzey Anadolu Daglari), also known as the Pontic Mountains, stretch across much of northern Turkey and form a climatic boundary between the Inner Anatolian Plateau and the narrow coastal plain of the Black Sea.
The areas of Anatolia near the Black Sea rise from sea level to altitudes that find their highest point in the Northern Anatolian Mountains (Kuzey Anadolu Daglari). The slopes are very steep and only 16% of the soil is arable. Western Anatolia is made up of ridged ridges and inland valleys that separate the Aegean coast from the central Anatolian plateau; here cultivation is limited to just under 20% of the total arable area. The Central Anatolian Plateau is one of the largest geographic regions in Turkey and is completely surrounded by mountains; the highest point is at the top of Mount Erciyas (3,916 m), and 28% of the region is arable.
The eastern highlands region is the most mountainous and rugged part of Turkey; here is Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi), mentioned in the Bible as the place where Noah’s ark stopped, and the highest peak with 5,165 m of altitude. Less than 10% of the area is suitable for cultivation. In the eastern highlands the Tigris (Dicle) and the Euphrates (Firat) are born. Southeastern Anatolia is a plateau of gentle relief, with mountains that frame it to the north, east and west. About 19% of its area is arable, which makes Anatolia known since ancient times as the ‘fertile crescent’.
According to oxfordastronomy, Turkey has a population (2008) of 71,892,807 residents, made up of several groups with totally different ethnic and cultural characteristics: from the Hittites, Phrygians and Assyrians to the Greeks, Persians, Romans, Arabs and Kurds.
The territory of Turkey has hosted various groups with totally different ethnic and cultural characteristics: from the Hittites, Phrygians and Assyrians to the Greeks, Persians, Romans and Arabs. The nomadic ancestors of the present-day Turks left Central Asia in the 11th century AD and conquered the territories of the Arabs and Byzantines. His arrival led to the establishment of the Turkish language and culture among the subject populations, favoring Islam to replace Christianity throughout this area. However, at the end of the decade of 1980, more than 10% of the population belonged to different ethnic groups that still retained their individual identity, especially Greeks, Kurds, Arabs, Armenians and Jews.
In 2008 the estimated population was 71,892,807 residents. The population density that same year was 93 residents / km². Life expectancy was 73.1 years. 67% lived in urban areas, compared with 25% in 1945. The highest concentration of population occurred in Istanbul and the coastal regions.