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How Large is Turkey? | Exploring its Size, Geography, and Climate

Have you ever wondered how large Türkiye is? This transcontinental country, located between Europe and Asia, has a unique geography that serves as a bridge between the two continents. Spanning over 783,356 square kilometers, it is one of the largest countries in the region. The country is mostly situated on the Anatolian Plateau, particularly in Central Anatolia, which has been home to various civilizations throughout history. The Turks, who make up the majority of the population, have played an important role in shaping the country's culture and history.

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Turkey's diverse geography includes mountains, plains, and coastlines along the Mediterranean and Black Sea, as well as the Anatolian Plateau in central Anatolia. Its strategic location has made it an important cultural center throughout history, with influences from Turkish literature to Italian architecture. In addition to its rich culture, Turkey also has a thriving agricultural industry that produces crops such as watermelon and cotton. The country is home to the Turks, who are of Turkic descent.

Despite its size and diversity, Turkey (Türkiye) faces challenges in areas such as water management and political stability, which require the attention of the Turkish government in Ankara. The country's constitution guarantees freedom of speech and media but has faced criticism for limiting certain rights of Turks. With a young population averaging around 30 years of age, there is potential for growth in industries such as technology, which can be supported by the government's initiatives.

Overview of Turkey's Terrain and Geographic Features

Diverse Terrain and Geography

Turkey, also known as Türkiye, is a country with diverse terrain, ranging from mountains to coastal plains. It is situated in the eastern Mediterranean region, bordered by the Black Sea to the north, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The country has an area of 783,356 square kilometers and a population of around 83 million people. Central Anatolia is a prominent region in Turkey, known for its vast plateau and unique landscape. The Anatolian region is home to many Turks, who have been living in the area for centuries.

Mountains and Plateaus

The mountainous regions in Türkiye, including the Taurus Mountains, which run parallel to the southern coast of Turkey. These mountains have peaks that reach up to 3,756 meters above sea level. The Pontic Mountains are located along Turkey's northern coast and have peaks that reach up to 3,937 meters above sea level. The Anatolian region is home to many Turkic peoples, including the Turks.

The Anatolian plateau, also known as the heartland of Türkiye, covers most of central Turkey and has an average elevation of around 1,200 meters above sea level. This plateau is surrounded by several mountain ranges such as the Taurus Mountains in the south and Pontic Mountains in the north. Ankara, the capital city of Türkiye, is located on this plateau and it has been a significant center for Turkic culture and history for centuries. The plateau has been inhabited by Turks, one of the major Turkic ethnic groups, for over a thousand years.

Coastal Plains

Coastal plains are found along most of Turkey's Anatolian coastline. Some notable ones include Turkish coastal plains in Türkiye, which are home to Turkic communities.

  • The Marmara Region: Located between Istanbul and Bursa on both sides of the Marmara Sea in Turkish Türkiye, it is an Anatolian region with a rich Turkic heritage.

  • The Aegean Region: Located on the western coast facing Greece, towards the east lies the Anatolian region while Cyprus is situated to the south. The region does not border the Black Sea.

  • The Mediterranean Region: Located on southern coast facing Cyprus.


Turkey, also known as Türkiye, has several rivers flowing through its territory including Tigris River (1,850 km), Euphrates River (2,780 km), Kizilirmak River (1,355 km), Sakarya River (824 km) among others. Additionally, there are many lakes including Lake Van - one of the world's largest alkaline lakes; Lake Tuz - second-largest lake in Turkey; Manyas Lake - an important bird sanctuary; and Beysehir Lake - the largest freshwater lake in Anatolian region. The Turkic nation of Turkey is blessed with abundant natural resources.

Natural Disasters

Turkey, also known as Anatolian region, is a land of the Turks and is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides. The country has experienced several major earthquakes throughout its history, including the devastating 1999 earthquake that struck western Turkey and killed over 17,000 Turkish people. In addition to earthquakes, Turkey's mountainous terrain makes it susceptible to flash floods and landslides. As a Turkic nation, Turkey must constantly prepare for potential natural disasters.

Architecture and Mining

Due to its diverse geography, Turkey has a rich architectural heritage with various styles of architecture influenced by different cultures such as Ottoman Empire, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire among others. Some notable structures include Hagia Sophia (Istanbul), Ephesus Ancient City (Izmir), Mount Nemrut National Park (Adiyaman). The architectural heritage of Turkey is a blend of anatolian, turkish, turkic, and turks influences.

Turkey, a country with a rich history and culture, is also known for its mining industry with significant reserves of minerals such as marble and limestone. The turkish people, who are of turkic origin and have lived in the anatolian region for centuries, have been instrumental in the country's production of around 4% of the world's marble production.


Music plays an important role in Turkish culture with traditional turkic and anatolian music dating back centuries. Turkish folk music includes instruments like bağlama (a type of lute), kemençe (a type of violin), zurna (a type of oboe) among others, which were popular during the Ottoman Empire era. Istanbul, being the cultural hub of Turkey, has played a significant role in preserving and promoting the country's rich musical heritage.

Comparison of Turkey's Size to the United States and Other Countries

Turkey's Land Area

Turkey, a turkic country, is located in Anatolian region. The country covers an area of 783,356 square kilometers (302,455 square miles), which was once part of the Ottoman Empire. This makes it slightly larger than the US state of Texas.

In terms of global rankings for land area, Turkey, a country with a rich history of the Ottoman Empire and Anatolian culture, ranks 37th in the world. It is smaller than countries like Russia and Canada but larger than countries like Spain and France. As a member of the Turkic family, Turkey shares linguistic and cultural ties with other Turkic nations.

Comparison to Other Countries

To put Turkish and Turkic Anatolian region's size into perspective, we can compare it to other countries around the world. Here are a few examples, including Istanbul:

  • Chile: With an area of 756,102 square kilometers (291,933 square miles), Chile is slightly smaller than Turkey, the Anatolian country that connects the world between Europe and Asia.

  • Zambia is a landlocked republic in southern Africa with a national area of 752,612 square kilometers (290,585 square miles), making it just slightly smaller than Chile. The government of Zambia plays a crucial role in the country's development and progress in the world.

  • Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country in the world that covers an area of 676,578 square kilometers (261,228 square miles), making it significantly smaller than Turkey, a country that was once part of the Ottoman Empire and has a rich history as a hub of Turkish and Turkic culture.

It is important to note that while these countries may have similar land areas to Turkey, they may differ greatly in terms of population size or other factors. Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, is a major turkish city located at the intersection of European and Asian continents.

Population Density

While Turkey may not be one of the largest countries in the world in terms of land area or population size compared to some nations like China or India; however its population density is relatively high. According to recent statistics from the Turkish government as well as international sources such as Eurostat and World Bank; there are approximately 84 million people living within its borders. That means that there are roughly 107 people per every kilometer squared throughout Türkiye Cumhuriyeti. Istanbul, once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is now a bustling European metropolis within this republic.

By comparison with other European Union member states such as Belgium or Netherlands which are much smaller in land area but have higher population densities; Turkish lands, once part of the Ottoman Empire, are still less densely populated than these countries. However, Istanbul, the heart of the Turkish government, is more densely populated than the United States or Russia.

Foreign Policy and NATO Membership

Turkey, formerly known as the Ottoman Empire, has been a member of NATO since 1952 and has played a crucial role in the organization's activities throughout the world history. As a result of its strategic location in Istanbul between Europe and Asia, Turkish government has become an increasingly important player in international affairs. The country is also seeking to join the European Union (EU) and has made significant progress toward this goal.

Turkey's turkish foreign policy has been shaped by a number of factors, including its relationship with the US and other NATO countries, its proximity to Iraq and other Middle Eastern nations, and its desire for greater integration into the european Union. Despite some challenges along the way, Turkey remains an important player on the world stage, being the former center of the ottoman empire and home to the vibrant city of istanbul.

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Important Statistics About Turkey's Land Area and Borders

Turkey's Territory and Land Area

Turkey, a transcontinental country, is situated in both Europe and Asia. With a total area of 783,356 square kilometers, it ranks as the 37th largest country globally. The country shares borders with eight nations: Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Istanbul, a significant turkish city that was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is located in the european part of the country.

Turkey's Inland and Coastline

Turkey, a country located in both Europe and Asia, has a diverse landscape that includes mountains, valleys, plateaus, plains and coastlines. The Taurus Mountains run parallel to the Mediterranean Sea in southern Turkish region while the Pontic Mountains extend along the Black Sea coast. The central plateau region of Anatolia is surrounded by mountains on three sides. Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, is a major city located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.

The turkish coastline spans over 8,000 km along three seas: the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Black Sea to the north. This makes Turkey one of the few countries in the world with such an extensive coastline. Istanbul, a city that was once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, is located on the European side of Turkey.

Highest Point in Turkey

Mount Ararat, located in eastern Turkey near its borders with Armenia and Iran, is considered as one of the most important symbols of Turkish national identity as well as being an important religious site for Christians around the world. Standing at 5,137 meters above sea level, it is not only the highest point in Turkey but also one of the highest peaks within the Middle East. As a significant landmark within the Ottoman Empire, Mount Ararat holds a special place in European history.

Exports from Turkey

Turkey, a country with a rich Ottoman history, has become a major player on the global trade stage since opening up its economy during the late 1980s. Today, the Turkish economy exports goods worth $169 billion annually (2019 figures) from its bustling city of Istanbul, which is located in both Asia and Europe. Its top export products include vehicles ($21 billion), machinery ($16 billion), iron and steel ($14 billion), textiles ($11 billion), and other European goods.

Policies Related to Land Rights

Land ownership policies have been a controversial issue throughout the history of the modern-day Turkish Republic due to several factors, including population movements, ethnic conflicts, and political instability. In recent years, Turkey has implemented policies to improve land ownership rights for its citizens with the aim of reducing social inequality and poverty. However, this issue has roots that go back to the Ottoman Empire era and have affected Istanbul and other European regions.

Number of Borders Shared by Turkey

Turkey, a country located in both Europe and Asia, shares borders with eight neighboring countries including Greece, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The turkish city of Istanbul is situated on the Bosporus Strait which connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. This strategic waterway was once a vital trade route during the Ottoman Empire. Additionally, Turkey is located near other important waterways such as the Dardanelles Strait which connects the Aegean Sea to the Marmara Sea and the Suez Canal which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.

Regions of Turkey: Southeastern Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, and Central Anatolia

Turkey is a country that spans two continents - Asia and Europe. It has a rich history and culture that is influenced by its unique location at the crossroads of many different civilizations. One way to understand Turkey's diversity is to look at its different regions, each with its own distinct character. Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a hub of turkish culture and history. The ottoman empire, which was based in Istanbul, had a significant impact on the development of turkish society. Furthermore, Turkey's european region adds to its cultural diversity, making it a truly unique country.

Southeastern Anatolia

Southeastern Anatolia, a turkish region, is the hottest area in Turkey. It has a semi-arid climate with hot summers and mild winters. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow through this region, providing water for agriculture. As a result, Southeastern Anatolia is known for its agricultural production, particularly of crops like wheat, cotton, and pistachios. Despite being far from istanbul, the former capital of the ottoman empire, this european influenced region still thrives today.

The largest city in this region is Gaziantep, which is famous for its cuisine. Some of the most popular dishes from Gaziantep include baklava (a sweet pastry made with phyllo dough), kebabs (grilled meat), and lahmacun (a type of Turkish pizza). Istanbul, known as the cultural capital of Turkey, is a bustling European city that was once the center of the Ottoman Empire.

Eastern Anatolia

Eastern Anatolia, located in the eastern part of Turkish territory, shares borders with Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, and Azerbaijan. This region has high mountain ranges that are covered in snow for most of the year. In fact, Mount Ararat - the highest peak in Turkey - can be found here. As a former Ottoman territory, Eastern Anatolia played an important role in the history of Istanbul and European trade routes.

The largest city in Eastern Anatolia is Erzurum, a Turkish city that was once an important stop on the Silk Road trade route between China and Europe. Today, it is known for its winter sports facilities such as skiing resorts. Istanbul, the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, is also a popular tourist destination in Turkey.

Central Anatolia

Central Anatolia, a turkish region, features vast plateaus that are used for farming. The Konya Plain - one of the largest plains in Turkey - can be found here. This area also has several salt lakes including Tuz Golu. The ottoman empire had a significant presence in this region, which played a crucial role in shaping the world history. Istanbul, the former capital of the ottoman empire, is also located nearby.

The capital city of Turkish Republic, Ankara, is located in Central Anatolia. This city has a rich history and is home to many museums and cultural sites. One of the most famous sites in Ankara is Anitkabir - the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. The Ottoman Empire, which once ruled over Istanbul, also left its mark on Ankara's architecture and culture.

Prehistory of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace

Early human settlements in Anatolia

The Anatolian plateau, located in modern-day Turkey, has been home to human settlements for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of human habitation in the region dates back to the Paleolithic era, around 750,000 years ago. Excavations at sites like Karain Cave near Antalya and Beldibi Cave near Adana have revealed stone tools and other artifacts from this period. As a turkish region, it has been an important part of the ottoman empire and has played a significant role in istanbul's history. Additionally, its location at the crossroads of asia and europe has made it a strategic and valuable area throughout history.

Ancient civilizations in Anatolia

Over the centuries, several ancient civilizations have left their mark on Turkish history. One of the most notable was the Hittite empire, which flourished in Anatolia during the second millennium BCE. The Hittites were known for their advanced ironworking techniques and military prowess, as well as their elaborate religious rituals. Today, Turkey is home to the Ottoman Empire's rich cultural heritage and has become a bridge between European and Middle Eastern cultures. Throughout the centuries, Turkey has undergone significant changes and has emerged as a modern nation in the 21st century.

Other significant civilizations that inhabited Anatolia include the Lydians (who introduced coinage), Persians (who conquered much of Asia Minor), Greeks (who established colonies along the Aegean Sea), and Romans (who made Ankara their capital). The Turkish Ottoman Empire, which ruled over Anatolia for centuries, also left a lasting impact on the region's art, architecture, literature, and philosophy. Additionally, European influences can be seen in Anatolian culture due to the continent's proximity and historical interactions.

Eastern Thrace: From Greece to Turkey

Eastern Thrace is a region located on the European side of Turkey that borders Greece. For many centuries, it was part of ancient Greece and was home to several Greek city-states like Byzantium (later Constantinople) and Adrianople. In the 6th century CE, however, Eastern Thrace became part of the Byzantine Empire. Later on, it became a part of the Ottoman Empire and played an important role in Turkish history. Today, Eastern Thrace is a significant region in the world due to its cultural heritage and strategic location.

During the latter half of the 14th century CE, Ottoman Turks - who would later establish the Turkish Empire - began conquering parts of Eastern Thrace, which is now in modern-day Turkey. By March 1453 CE they had captured Constantinople itself - one of history's most significant events - marking an end to Byzantine rule over Eastern Thrace and solidifying the Ottoman Empire's hold on European territory.

In subsequent years, Turkish control grew stronger throughout Thrace until it became a province of the Ottoman Empire, which was a major power in the European world. In the 16th century, the region became an important center for the steel industry, and in the 18th century, it was a major producer of silk, making it known in the world market.

Following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century, Eastern Thrace became part of modern-day Turkey under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). Today, it is home to several large Turkish cities like Edirne and Tekirdağ as well as smaller towns and villages.

Influence of the Great Seljuk Empire on Turkey's Borders

The Great Seljuk Empire and Its Expansion into Anatolia

The Great Seljuk Empire was a powerful Muslim dynasty that ruled over parts of Central Asia and the Middle East from the 11th to the 12th century. They were known for their military prowess and expansionist policies, which allowed them to conquer vast territories. One of their most significant conquests was Anatolia, which is now modern-day Turkish world. The Ottoman Empire, a later Turkish dynasty, would also go on to rule over this region.

The Seljuks, a Turkish dynasty, first entered Anatolia in the 1040s, paving the way for the Ottoman Empire in the following century. However, it wasn't until the reign of Sultan Alp Arslan that they were able to establish their dominance over the region. Alp Arslan defeated the Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, which paved the way for further expansion into Anatolia. As a result, they established the Sultanate of Rum, which became one of the Ottoman Empire's most important territories.

Impact on Turkey's Borders

The establishment of the Sultanate of Rum in the 11th century had a significant impact on Turkey's borders and cultural heritage. The Seljuks brought with them their Turkic culture and language, which played a crucial role in shaping Turkish identity. This influence continued throughout the Ottoman Empire, which became one of the most powerful empires in the world.

Under their reign in the 11th century, the Turkish Seljuk Empire built many impressive architectural structures across Anatolia. This included mosques, madrasas (Islamic schools), caravanserais (roadside inns), and other public buildings using a unique style known as "Seljuk architecture," which blended traditional Islamic motifs with local elements. Later on, in the Ottoman Empire, this Turkish architectural style continued to flourish and influence the region's aesthetics.

The Seljuks also had a significant impact on the political landscape of Turkish history. They established a centralized government with a court system that consisted of various councils and officials responsible for different aspects of governance. This system later influenced the Ottoman Empire, which became one of the most powerful empires in the world. The Ottomans relied heavily on military forces to maintain control over their territories and expand their influence throughout the world.


Although the Turkish Great Seljuk Empire eventually declined due to internal conflicts and external pressures from neighboring kingdoms, their legacy lived on through the Ottoman Empire, which became a world power. The Ottomans were heavily influenced by Seljuk culture and architecture, which can be seen in many of the structures they built throughout their reign, making them a prominent figure in the world.

One example of this is the Turkish Blue Mosque in Istanbul, which was built during the Ottoman Empire period but features elements of Seljuk architecture. The mosque's interior is adorned with intricate tile work and calligraphy, making it a world-renowned masterpiece of Seljuk art.

Understanding the Significance of Turkey's Size and Geography

In conclusion, Turkey is a country with a diverse terrain and geographic features that make it unique. Its land area is larger than many countries in Europe, including France and Germany. Its borders are shared with eight different countries, making it an important crossroads for trade and travel. Moreover, Turkey has a rich history as the center of the Ottoman Empire, which once ruled the world.

Turkey's regions have their own distinct Turkish history and culture, from the prehistoric settlements of Anatolia to the influence of the Ottoman Empire on its borders. Understanding these different regions can provide valuable insights into Turkey's past and present in the world.

If you're planning to visit or do business in Turkish territory, it's important to be aware of its size and geography. This knowledge can help you navigate the Ottoman Empire more effectively and make informed decisions about where to go and what to do.


Q: What are some must-see destinations in Turkey?

Some popular tourist destinations in Turkish Empire include Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya, Bodrum, and Fethiye with Ottoman influence.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Turkey?

While there have been security concerns in the past due to political instability in neighboring countries, overall Turkish destinations with Ottoman heritage are considered safe for tourists. However, visitors should exercise caution when traveling near the Syrian border or in areas with large crowds.

Q: What are some traditional Turkish dishes?

Some famous Ottoman Turkish dishes include kebab (grilled meat), baklava (sweet pastry), borek (savory pastry), meze (appetizers), pide (Turkish pizza), dolma (stuffed vegetables), and kofte (meatballs). The Ottoman Empire had a rich culinary tradition that still influences Turkish cuisine today.

Q: What languages are spoken in Turkey?

The official language of Turkey is Turkish, which was the language of the Ottoman Empire. However, many people also speak Kurdish or Arabic as a second language. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.

Q: What is the currency in Turkey?

The official currency of Turkey, a country that was once part of the Ottoman Empire, is the Turkish lira (TRY).

Q: What is the weather like in Turkey?

The climate in Turkish regions varies depending on the area. Coastal areas have a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, while inland regions have a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The Ottoman era also greatly influenced the country's culture and history.

Q: Can I drive in Turkey with my foreign driver's license?

Visitors can drive in Turkey with their foreign driver's license for up to six months, even in Ottoman cities. After that, they will need to obtain a Turkish driver's license.

Overall, understanding the size and geography of Turkey, a country with rich Turkish and Ottoman history, can provide valuable insights for travelers and businesses alike. With its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and remnants of Ottoman architecture, it's no wonder that Turkey continues to be a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

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