Turkey is a country with its foot in two continents. Roughly 97% of it lies in Asia and the remaining 3% in Europe with a few offshore islands scattered in the Aegean Sea. It shares borders with eight countries and three bodies of water. Europe and Asia are separated by the Turkish Straits, and the mountains to the country’s east are the source of Tigris, Euphrates and Aras river systems. Mount Ararat is the highest point of the country.
Today’s Turkey enjoys a mostly developed economy with a fast growing private sector. The country is a tourist heaven because the dollar carries a lot of buying power. Nearly 30 million foreigners flock to the country, making tourism a vital part of its economy. Majority of the tourists are from UK, Russia, Japan, Germany and Ukraine.
Along with culture and health tourism, major focus of the visitors is on historical sites like the Temple of Artemis, Troy and Pamukkale and the beach resorts. Shopping is another major attraction for tourists, starting with street bazaars all the way up to Cevahir Mall, the 7th largest shopping centre on the planet and the largest in Europe.
Area: 783,562 sq km (302,535 sq miles)
Government: Republic since 1923
People: Turks, Kurds 18.
Language: Turkish. Kurdish is also spoken by a minority in the southeast.
Religion: Muslim, mostly Sunni, with a very small Christian minority. Turkey is a secular state which guarantees complete freedom of worship to all religions,
Monetary Unit: Yeni Turk Lirası (New Turkish Lira; YTL)
Country code: +90
Border countries: Iraq, Syria, Greece, Bulgaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.
Climate: summers are hot and dry, and the winters mild but quite wet.