Turkey

Map of Turkey
Map of Turkey

Turkey is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia and Thrace in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north.

Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, WEOG, OSCE and the G-20 major economies.

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey (made up largely of Anatolia), which includes 97% of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles (which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea). European Turkey (eastern Thrace or Rumelia in the Balkan peninsula) comprises 3% of the country.

Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for about 25% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, and while the state remains a major participant in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication, this role has been diminishing as Turkey's privatization program continues. The largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for one-third of industrial employment; it faces stiff competition in international markets with the end of the global quota system. However, other sectors, notably the automotive and electronics industries, are rising in importance and have surpassed textiles within Turkey's export mix.

Oil began to flow through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2006, marking a major milestone that will bring up to 1 million barrels per day from the Caspian to market. Several gas pipelines also are being planned to help move Central Asian gas to Europe via Turkey.

Running from Zonguldak in the west to Rize in the east, the narrow Black Sea coastal strip widens at several places into fertile, intensely cultivated deltas. The Samsun area, close to the midpoint, is a major tobacco-growing region; east of it are numerous citrus groves. East of Samsun, the area around Trabzon is world-renowned for the production of hazelnuts, and farther east the Rize region has numerous tea plantations. All cultivable areas, including mountain slopes wherever they are not too steep, are sown or used as pasture. The mild, damp climate of the Black Sea coast makes commercial farming profitable. The western part of the Black Sea region, especially the Zonguldak area, is a center of coal mining and heavy industry.

The fishing industry as well is concentrated on the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.