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    Marmara Region

    Black Sea Region

    Aegean Region

    Central Anatolian Region

    Mediterranean Region

    East and Southeast Anatolian Region

    Marmara Region

Hills of all sizes with vineyards and sunflower fields as far as the eye can see. This is the region of Turkey known as Trakya. It is separated from the rest of Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardenelle Straits. The first thing a visitor coming from Europe into Edirne would see is the Selimiye mosque, a masterpiece of the architect Sinan. It seems as though this city boasts proudly of hosting the structures most characteristic of Ottoman architecture.

The cities found in this region are Balıkesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Çanakkale, Edirne, İstanbul, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Sakarya,Tekirdağ and Yalova.


The region of Marmara has a turbulent past. 481 years before the birth of Jesus, during the II Persian War, the Persian King Xerxes made a bridge of boats over the Dardanelle Straits between Abydos and Sestos. In the same place we have the renowned love affair of Leander and Hera, who were buried in the waters of the strait. And, it was here that Mustafa Kemal won the first big victory against enemy forces in World War I.

The lively city of Izmit with its fruit orchards and vegetable gardens is now an industrial center. Nearby is Hereke famous for its carpets.


The city of Gebze, on the north of the Marmara Sea, has a very rich historical past and the city of Iznik, renowned during Ottoman times for its glazed tiles, is worth paying a visit.

The land of silk, Bursa was the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire. In this city, which has come to be identified with lush green, places worth visiting are as follows: The Green Mosque (Yesil Cami), The Green Tomb (Yesil Turbe) and its splendid gardens, The Magnificent Mosque (Ulu Cami), Emir Sultan and Yildirim Mosques and the Ethnographic Museum.


The country's first ski resort was built on Uludag Mountain, which soars into the air just south of the city.

Tekirdag, which has beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture and broad beaches, is known for its vineyards and wine festivals.

Balikesir is the center of a broad and important region. To the north is Gonen with its famous thermal springs and the commercial port of Bandırma. After Istanbul this port is the biggest in the Marmara Sea. On the shores of Lake Manyas near Barindirma is the Bird Heaven (Kuşcenneti) National Park.

One the shores of the Marmara Sea are a whole host of beautiful beaches and holiday resorts. Among them are Cinarcik, Armutlu, Gemlik, Mudanya, Erdek, the Marmara and Avsa Islands, Denizkent, Sarköy, Silivri and lastly Yalova, a site famous for its thermal springs.

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    Aegean Region

If one were to claim that the most scenic vistas in Anatolia can be found on the coasts of the Aegean, he could not be accused of exaggerating. In the words of Heredotus, the Aegean coasts "have the most beautiful sky and the best climate in the world." The bays and peninsulas, coves and golden beaches stretch the length of these beautiful shores. In this region where the countless events of mythology took place, you will encounter the theaters, temples and agoras of ancient cities at almost every turn. The city of Troy immortalized by Homer and Pergamum, the art and cultural center and capital city of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the day, are both located on Aegean soil.
The provinces located in the Aegean region are Afyon, Aydın, Denizli, İzmir, Kütahya, Manisa, Muğla and Uşak.
Situated in Edremit Bay, at the meeting point of beautiful sea, the health-giving springs of Akçay and a pine forest, the scenic Ayvalık has been called the "Olive-grove Riviera." As you leave the shores of the bay and head south past a countless number of splendid holiday resort areas, you come to Foça, famous for the heroic Turkish sailors based here. If you want to see Sardis, the capital of the wealthy Lydian king, Croesus, you will have to detour inland a bit.


Located on the bay of the same name, Izmir is a modern city brimming with life. It is also a bustling commercial center and shopping in its busy markets is sure to be a pleasurable experience. The peninsula of Çeşme with its brilliant waters, superb beaches and thermal springs lies to the west of Izmir.



Among the most famous cities of the ancient world, Ephesus was one of the biggest cities of the Roman era. A treasury of all the riches of Ionian culture, Ephesus had a reputation for philosophy and critical thinking. The Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as countless statues, theaters, libraries, markets and smaller temples were all architectural symbols of the city's fame. Further to the south you will see the ancient city of Priene, built according to a geometric plan designed by the great architect of Milet, Hippodamos. Milet was a great center of commerce and thought in the ancient world and important developments, scientific and otherwise, took place here. The nearby Didim, though not one of the ancient cities, is still famous for its magnificent temple dedicated to Apollo.


On the Izmir-Antalya road, Aphrodisias (Geyre) was an important cultural and art center famous for its training in sculpture. On the same road is found the world-famous Pamakkale. Passing this way without stopping and taking a look is unthinkable. The plentiful calcium-rich thermal waters flowing out of the mountain have, over time, created an extraordinary masterpiece. Here one may bath in the health-giving waters while gazing at this natural phenomenon, which is unparalleled in world geography. The ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis lie behind this calcium terraced mountain.
When it comes to holiday resorts the first places that come to mind in the southern part of the Aegean region are Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Köyceğiz and Fethiye.


Bodrum (ancient Halikarnas) is the birthplace of the great historian Heredotus. The mausoleum of King Mausolos was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Marmaris, with its modern marina surrounded by its lush mountains and hills, is an alluring vacation getaway with clean crystal clear waters. Nearby is Datça adorned with flowers and a little further on Köyceğiz with its pristine highlands, then it is the Lycian Graves, the Dead Sea (Ölü Deniz) and Fethiye. Mamaris is an absolute paradise of endless sand and eternal blue sea.


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    Mediterranean Region

South of the majestic Taurus Mountains, lie the shores of the Mediterranean Sea with its beaches of fine sand, its vistas of uncommon beauty, its many ancient ruins, its hidden coves and alluring vacation getaways. Here history and mythology are inseparably intertwined and there are many legendary stories that prove this fact. Let us briefly share two of them. The monster Chimera, who spews fire out of his mouth, is supposed to have lived in the mountains west of Antalya. The Lydian hero, Bellerofontes, cut the monsters head of with his sword. Today, the fire which rises out of the ground on the southeastern slopes of Mount Olympus (Tahtalı Dağ) is still said to be coming from the mouth of Chimera. The second legend is related to one of the unlucky love affairs of Apollo, the god of all the fine arts. Apollo falls in love with a beautiful girl named Daphne, but the girl is unresponsive to his overtures. One day while chasing Daphne in an area close to Antakya, Daphne's feet turn into tree roots and her hands and arms become branches and limbs and she turns into a laurel tree, which is called 'defne' in Turkish.
According to early sources, Saint Paul was born in Tarsus and the mythological Santa Claus was actually born in the town of Patara and lived and died in what is today Kale.
The shores of the Mediterranean are just as full of antique artifacts as are the shores of the Aegean. In the ancient Lycian region west of Antalya, one may see the matchless beauty of the mountain cities, Termessos and Arikand, as well as the coastal towns such as Olimpos, Kale, Kekova and Kaş.
The ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos and Side are located on the coastal plain east of Antalya, which was called 'Pamphylia'.


Antalya is one of the Mediterranean's most important cities and is Turkey's hottest vacation spot, with the Konyaltı beaches on the west and the Lara beaches to the east lying at the foot of Antalya's massive mountain range. It is an attractive holiday getaway with palm-lined streets, beautiful parks, plentiful accommodation, restaurants, lots of night-time entertainment and a cozy marina. The symbol of this city, founded in the 2nd century BC is the Yivli Minaret, which dates back to the Selçuk era. The Asağı Düden Waterfall to the east of Antalya flows over huge boulders into the sea. West of Antalya is the cute little holiday town of Kemer, famous for its sandy beaches surrounded by pine forests and mountains.
The next big town east of Antalya is Alanya, a panoramic port city on the southern slopes of the majestic Taurus Mountains surrounded with orange, lemon and banana groves. Used by the Selçuk Sultan, Alaaddin Keykubat as a winter residence, Alanya has a shipyard that dates back to the same era and was one of the most advanced in the world at that time. It is also famous for its 9th century castle and its charming beaches.
Near Anamur is a castle from the Middle Ages. It is situated between two beaches and is certainly as magnificent as any of the castles along the coast. The road from Anamur to Silifke with its endless curves and bends follows a route studded with breathtaking coastal vistas.


The dilapidated caves near Narlıkuyu are called "Heaven and Hell" (Cennet ve Cehennem). The "Heaven" cave, which is quite large, also has a small church inside it. The castle of 'Kızkalesi', which is situated in the water across from the medieval castle of Korykos, seems to rise out of the sea itself.

Two of the surprises which lie on the road to Mersin are Kanlıdivane and Viranşehir, two old Roman cities. With is charming parks, its beach boulevards, commercial port and free trade zone, Mersin is ones of the most modern cities on the Mediterranean.
East of Tarsus, the 'Çukurova' plain is a fertile agricultural region known especially for raising cotton. In the middle of this plain is found the city of Adana, a rich city with a large textile industry. East of this region is the Dörtyol (Issos) Plain where Alexander the Great defeated the Persian king Darius. As a result of his victory, a port city bearing his name was established and thus we have modern day Iskenderun.


Leaving Iskenderun to the southeast, the road goes through the Belen Pass to Antakya (Antioch). This first Christian community founded by Saint Peter has given Antakya a special religious significance. The first sermons were preached in a cave outside the city. It is visited today by many as a site of pilgrimage. Antakya also has a mosaic exhibit of unusual beauty in its museum.



Kahramanmaras is another province of the Mediterranean waiting "to be discovered." Though its cuisine resembles in some ways the cuisine of the surrounding regions, the peculiar and often subtle tastes of the Kahramanmaras cuisine with its specially made orchid drink (salep), its world famous ice-cream of goat and cows milk and its various peppers, along with its gilded silver, leather and copper works, which were famous throughout the Ottoman empire, are still alive and offer a unique experience to visitors.


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Black Sea Region

Beaches that seem to go on forever, mountains covered with verdant green and picturesque valley and plains. Fields of tea, hazelnuts, tobacco and corn. The winding blacktop road following the near strip of beach bounded by steep mountains falling, it would seem, straight into the sea. Bays, fishing villages and beaches. This is the Black Sea region.
The following cities are all located in the Black Sea region: Amasya, Artvin, Bolu, Çorum, Düzce, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Kastamonu, Ordu, Rize, Samsun, Sinop, Tokat, Trabzon Zonguldak, Bartın and Karabük.


You can begin your trip in this charming luxuriantly green little region of ours from the endless hazelnut orchards and foaming sea of Akcakoca. Let us not neglect, however, to mention the industrial cities of Eregli, Zonguldak, Karabuk and two cities of the interior one, Safranbolu, which is full of examples of Turkish architecture of unrivaled beauty, the other city being Devek, famous for its intricately carved walking canes. Along the coast you will come to the delightful recreational sites such as Inkum, Amasra and Cakraz. As you pass through Cide and Inebolu and approach Sinop, you might begin to wonder if there are still traces of the Amazons in the forests. As far as can be determined from mythological evidence the women warriors called Amazons lived in the region. The name of Sinop, one of the country's province, comes from a queen of the Amazons named Sinope. The birthplace of the philosopher Diyojen, this city, with its natural bays protected from the winds, is one of the Black Seas best holiday spots.


Samsun is one of the Black Sea biggest ports and is a industrial and commercial center. The first rays of light that would eventually lead to the birth of the Turkish Republic broke through the darkness here.
The characteristic feature of the coast between Samsun and Trabzon are the extensive hazelnut orchards. The cities of Unye and Fatsa east of Samsun are popular holiday resorts with natural scenic beauty, beaches, accommodations, camping and restaurants. Ordu is a charming Black Sea city with hazelnut orchards stretching out for miles in every direction. The Castle of Giresun, perched upon a steep rocky slope, is like a crown upon the city. From the castle, the beaches of Giresun, stretching out like cords of gold are unforgettable. The Roman general Lucullus saw cherries for the first time in Giresun and liked them so much we had them introduced into Europe.


Another important commercial port on the Black Sea is Trabzon. As the beginning of Iran's transit road, it connections with the ports of the other countries on the shores of the Black Sea. The Trabzon Castle was founded on an area shaped like a table and the architecture which has grown up around the castle reflects Byzantine, Commagene and Ottoman styles. The most important structure in Trabzon is the Ayasofya Museum. The interior is decorated with frescoes and on the exterior are a number of reliefs. The panoramic birds-eye view of the city which can be had from Boztepe Park and the Ataturk Mansion are splendid indeed. Near Macka inside the Altindere National Park is the Sumela Monastery. The Sumela Monastery, which is perched on high cliffs overlooking the Altindere valley, was founded in the 14th century by Alexius III. Inside the monastery is a church, a library, various other rooms and a sacred spring.


The area around Rize is the part of the country which receives the most precipitation. In this region where every conceivable hue of green can be see, tea is grown on terraced fields set into the mountainsides. It is the center of tea production in Turkey and the view from the Agricultural Park is as much like heaven as anyone could imagine. Hopa is the last Turkish port before reaching the Russian border. South of Hopa is the province of Artvin. Artvin was established on the terraced heights overlooking the Çoruh River valley. Artvin's highlands are very famous and there are still Georgian museum and churches in the area. Çoruh , an area full of wild beauty, is ideal for river sports of all kinds.


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Central Anatolian Region

This central region of the country hosts a number of interesting sites. Currently the center of modern Turkey's political life, it has been the center of a number of important culture and civilizations in the past.

The cities located in this region are Ankara, Çankırı, Eskişehir, Kayseri, Kırşehir, Konya, Nevşehir, Niğde, Sivas, Yozgat, Aksaray, Karaman and Kırıkkale.

The capital city of Ankara is located squarely in the middle of Central Anatolia. The most visually impressive structure in the city is the Anitkabir mausoleum built for Ataturk. Ataturk founded the modern Republic of Turkey by winning the War for Independence and then made Ankara its capital.

Ankara is a city planned and developed for the modern world. The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations located in Ankara is among the best museums in the country. In the museum are exhibits from Anatolian civilizations starting from 50,000 BC and moving forward according to eras until the 2nd century AD.


In the area surrounding Ankara can be found important settlements of early Anatolian civilizations. The Hittites migrated to the Anatolian plateau from the Caucus Mountains and set up the first kingdom in history to encompass the whole of Anatolia from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and from the Aegean Sea stretching east. The capital of the Hittite Empire Hattushash (now Bogazkale) and the second largest city Shapinuva are both located northeast of Ankara in the province of Çorum. Hattushash with its massive walls was a city of temples. Reliefs of all of the gods and goddesses of the Hittites can be seen in the open air temple in Yazilikaya near the Hattushash. Yazılıkaya was an important pantheon of the Hittites. Alacahoyuk is another important Hittite settlement found near Hattushash. Alacahöyük is known for the sphinxes which can be seen at the city gates.


Sometime in the 1200's BC, the Phrygians came to the Anatolian Plateau from Europe. The Phrygian capital, Gordion, was established near Polatli west of Ankara. Alexander the Great is supposed to have become the ruler of Asia by virtue of 'undoing' Gordion's knot with his sword. The tomb of the Phrygian king Midas, who according to legend turned everything he touched into gold, is located near Gordion. Near Eskişehir and Afyon there are a number of Phrygian cities and worship centers.

Now let's head down to vast fertile Konya Plain on the northern slopes of the Taurus Mountains. Catalhöyük, one of the worlds oldest cities is located here. This city, located southeast of Konya, belongs to the Neolithic Era and was an important cultural center with many temples decorated with frescoes by city artisans. Konya and the surrounding regions would later be ruled during the Chalcolithic, Bronze, Hittite, Phrygian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. It became the capital city of the Selçuk in the 12th century AD and consequently experienced the most important "Renaissance" period of its long history. In the 13th century, Konya was completely redecorated with Selçuk architecture. The great Turkish philosopher Mevlana, who built his philosophy on human love and believed that mystical unity with God could be reached by means of the 'Sema', a whirling dance to music performed by the dervishes, lived in Konya and developed a following here.


Every year in the month of December, there is a 'Mevlana Week' in Konya, which includes performances of the 'Sema'. Mevlana is buried with his father Bahaeddin Veled in the Green Tomb (Yesil Turbe), which has become the city symbol. The Dervish Lodge and Mevlana Museum adjacent to the tomb are open to the public.

To the southwest of Konya is Beysehir Lake, a still undiscovered paradise full of natural beauty. To the southwest of the lake, Kubad Abad, the summer home of the Selçuk rulers, and the castle found on Kızkalesi Island are both sites worth visiting. The Esrefoğlu Mosque and Tomb, located in Beysehir, have an important place among the timber architectural structures of the Selçuk period.


As you leave Konya and head towards Aksehir you will probably notice that there is a smile playing at the corners of your mouth. This is undoubtedly due to the fact that you are approaching the home of Nasreddin Hoca, the famous folk philosopher and master comedian (13th c.), whose brilliant wit, quick retorts and stories with ever so subtle moral points have attracted audiences far beyond the borders of Turkey. This much-loved folk figure died in 1284 and his tomb in Aksehir is the city's most symbolic structure.

As you travel through the region of Eskişehir, your lips will undoubtedly be reciting lines from the poetry of Yunus Emre. This eminent pioneer of Turkish poetry used the language, idioms and concepts of the ordinary man in such an unpretentious fashion to convey such meaningful ideas regarding divine justice, love and friendship that to not visiting his grave, located in the village bearing his name (Yunus Emre Köyü), would be a huge loss.


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East and Southeast Anatolian Region

With its high mountain ranges, plateaus, plains and lakes, its creek and river beds splashed with hues of purple, brown, gray, yellow and red, and some of the best Turkish architecture anywhere, this region of Anatolia is like a historical documentary on ancient life. Sivas, Divriği, Erzurum, Battalgazi, Harput, and Ahlat, all cities situated in this region, were important centers of Selçuk art.

In Eastern Anatolia are the cities of Ağrı, Bingöl, Bitlis, Elazığ, Erzincan, Erzurum, Hakkari, Kars, Malatya, Muş, Tunceli, Van, Ardahan and Iğdır, while in Southeaster Anatolia the larger cities are Adıyaman, Diyarbakır, Gaziantep, Mardin, Siirt, Şanlıurfa, Batman, Şırnak and Kilis.

Erzurum is located on a large plain at an altitude of 1950 meters. In the city, there are many religious schools, tombs and mosques from both the Selçuk and Ottoman period which are well-worth seeing. The city of Kars in the northeast is famous for its castle and nearby Ocaklı (Ani) is a historical city with rich architecture from the 10th and 11th centuries.


Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağ), whose peak soars up 5165 meters is important for a number of different faiths. It is believed that after the Flood, in which all humanity was destroyed, the ark of Noah came to rest on Mount Ararat and as the waters receded Noah and his family settled on the nearby Plain of Iğdır. As their numbers increased, they eventually spread along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to other parts of Anatolia. Accordingly, Iğdır is seen as the center from which the second generation of humanity multiplied and again spread over the world. The magnificent palace complex of Ishak Paşa, which looks down upon Dogubeyazit, was built in the later part of the 17th century by the Ottoman governor, Ishak Paşa. The site of the castle is superb and it is made up of a kitchen unit, a mosque and separate women's and men's quarters.

Lake Van is Anatolia's beauty center. In order to see all of this beauty, it is absolutely essential that a tour of the entire lake be made, during which time the beautiful mountain silhouettes, bays, beaches, islands and important Turkish cultural and art centers may be seen. The city of Van, which lies on the southeastern shores of the lake, was the capital city of the Urartu empire. The Van Castle, which was built by the Urartus around 1000 BC, is a dynamic example of the age in which it was built and is definitely worth seeing.

South of Van, the city of Edremit is a poplar vacation getaway famous for its beaches, camping spots and restaurants. On the island of Akdamar is located the Akdamar Museum, which was originally a 10th century church.

As the Tigris and Euphrates flow towards the plains of Mesopotamia, they pass through an important region of Anatolia. Some of the bigger cities in this region are Diyarbakir, Mardin, Adiyaman, Şanlı Urfa and Gazi Antep. The region is the oldest cultural settlement center in Anatolia. North of Diyarbakır is Cayonu, the most important Neolithic settlement of the area. The basalt walls of Diyarbakır, which are more than 5 kilometers in length, have the distinction of being the longest city walls in the country.
Mardin is one of the few cities in the country which has actually preserved its traditional aesthetic architecture. It is a unique site not only because of its well-maintained state but also because of its unusual location on top of a hill.

The prophet Abraham, who is the father of 3 different faiths, is believed to have lived in Şanlı Urfa and Harran and so they are considered holy places. The Ataturk Dam, built in the town of Bozova near Şanlı Urfa is the biggest in Turkey and 4th largest in the world. The lake is surrounded with beautiful scenic sites. The Plain of Harran with its vast farmland will be the most productive agricultural region of the country. Gazi Antep is the most important industrial and agricultural area in southeastern Anatolia. We doubt that any visitor who has come all the way to Gazi Antep will leave without first having tasted the famous local varieties of kebap, lahmacun and baklava or without buying a few packages of Antep pistachios for friends and relatives.

To the northeast of Adıyaman, on top of Mount Nemrut (Nemrut Dağ) is the mausoleum made for the Commagene King, Antiochus I. On the east and west of the memorial grave site are ritual terraces and on these terraces are gigantic statues of the gods. The best time to see Mount Nemrut is at sunset.

Malatya is an important industrial and agricultural region on the lower Euphrates. It is famous for its apricots and the 13th century Ulu Cami mosque in Battalgazi with its beautiful glazed tiles.


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    Geographical Formations
 Because of the location, Turkey is not only a passageway from which the ancient Asian Turkish culture is transmitted to the Europe, but also counted as a window of Western Culture opening to meet the Eastern Culture. Turkey is surrounded by Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and Aegean Sea brings the country to the neighborhood of the whole world, not only to the neighborhood of the nearby regions. Because of these long coastal borders and being a bridge between the continents of Asia and Europe, Turkey had been the center of the major commerce and immigration roads.

Turkey is located between Europe and Asia continents and displays the view of a rectangle generally. The region with the size of 790 thousand and 200 km2 are located at the Anatolian Peninsula which could be called as Little Asia, and the remaining region with the size of 24 thousand and 378 km2 is located at Thrace, which is located at the east of Balkan peninsula. The total surface area covered is 814 thousand and 578 km2. With its shores, which are at the length of 8 thousand and 272 kilometers, Turkey is a naval country located at the middle of the most ancient main continents of the world.

The First Geography Summit gathered in Ankara at 1941 has separated Turkey into seven major geographic regions after a long and hard study. The first four of this seven pre - determined regions are named by the neighboring seas (Black Sea Region, Marmara Region, Aegean Region and Mediterranean Region). The remaining three regions are named in accordance with their geographic locations inside the total Anatolia (Central Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolia Region and Southeastern Anatolia Region).
Geographical Formations
 Turkey is counted as a high country as the mountains cover the majority of the surface, however various plains such as lowlands, plateaus and sediment areas also cover a high ratio. This property diversifies the encountered climate types and also effects the order of the settlements and the economic conditions. Turkey had been separated into seven major geographic regions in accordance with the factors like climate, natural plantation and the distribution of the agricultural activities. These seven major geographic regions are as follows: Mediterranean Region, Aegean Region, Marmara Region, Black Sea Region, Central Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolia Region and Southeastern Anatolia Region.

As the majority of Turkey is covered with mountains, the major mountain chains present at the northern and southern regions generally draws wide arches, which are parallel to the shore. The mountains at the north are the Northern Anatolia Mountains and the mountains at the south are the Toros (Taurus) Mountains . These mountain chains are separated from each other by the wide plain areas, which are at the central parts of Anatolia. The mountain chains become frequented at the eastern parts of the country and form high altitude peaks. The altitude at the Western part decreases. Mountain chains are uncommon in Aegean and Marmara Regions, this regions mostly display the property of being hollow. There are wide plains in Southeastern Anatolia, as displayed in the central parts of the country, because this region is far from the reach of the expansions of the Toros (Taurus) Mountain chain. The highest mountain of Turkey is Great Ağrı Mountain (5137 meters) and Süphan Mountain which is an extinct volcano is located inside the borders of Eastern Anatolia Region. Karacadağ, Raman and Sof Mountains are the major mountains of Southeastern Anatolian Region.

There are numerous rivers in Turkey. The majority of the rivers are used in the energy production processes. Fırat and Dicle rivers flowing in Eastern Anatolia reaches and joins with the Basra Gulf, Yeşilırmak, Kızılırmak and Sakarya rivers flowing in Central Anatolia reaches and joins with Black Sea, Susurluk Creek in west and Biga and Gönen creeks reach and join with Marmara Sea; Gediz, Big and Small Menderes rivers reaches and joins with Aegean Sea.

The total surface area of the lakes in Turkey reaches up to 9200 km2 . Eastern Anatolia Region is the richest region of Turkey when the number of lakes are taken into consideration. The biggest lake of Turkey, Van Lake (3713 km2) and Erçek, Çıldır and Hazar lakes are located inside this region. The biggest lakes of Central Anatolia Region are mostly shallow and contain salt in high amounts. The second biggest lake of the country, Tuzgölü (Salt lake) (1500 km2) and Akşehir and Eber lakes are inside the borders of this region. The ferry transportation is executed on Van lake.

Marmara and the Straits are the most important water passages connecting Black Sea to the outer world. Marmara Sea, which is located totally inside the national borders is connected to the Black Sea by Istanbul Bosphorus and is connected to Aegean Sea and Mediterranean by Çanakkale Strait. The Aegean and Western Mediterranean shores of Turkey are generally intended and there are numerous gulfs on these shores.

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Turkey is located at the south of the medium climate zone when the geographical location is taken into consideration and is under the effect of "Mediterranean Climate", which is a type of subtropical climate in which the summer season passes dry.
Mediterranean Region
The Mediterranean climate is encountered among the shoreline in which the summer season is hot and dry and winter season is warm and precipitant. Burdur and Isparta provinces behind the Toros (Taurus) Mountains to the west are the transition region between the Mediterranean climate and terrestrial climate. It is possible to swim in Mediterranean Region for the duration of 7 months ( Starting from the beginning of May until the end of October.)
Aegean Region
The Mediterranean climate is encountered among the shoreline. The climate hardens when moved towards the inner regions. At these regions, the terrestrial climate starts. The swimming season in Aegean Sea is 4-5 months (Between June and end of October)
Marmara Region
The winter season is extremely cold. The frost events and snow precipitation is frequently encountered. The drought situation of summer season is lesser when compared with Mediterranean. The swimming season in Marmara Sea is 3 months (Between June and end of August). Sometimes it is possible to swim in sea in September
Black Sea Region
The Black Sea climate, which is precipitant in all seasons is separated into three types. In Eastern Black Sea Region (Trabzon, Rize) the precipitation is at the highest value, the summer season temperature is high and the winter season temperature is warm. In Central Black Sea Region, (Ordu) the precipitation is respectively in lesser values. It resembles the Mediterranean climate. The Western Black Sea Region (Zonguldak, Sinop) has low precipitation and the moisture ratio in summer season is low. The season for swimming in Black Sea is between the end of June until the middle of August.
Central Anatolia Region
The winter season is cold and the summer season is slightly warmer than the drought encountered in the Mediterranean climate type. The precipitation occurs in spring and autumn.
Eastern Anatolia Region
The severe terrestrial climate is encountered in Eastern Anatolia and the winter season continues for a long period with snow and frequent frost events. Summer seasons are chilly in respect to Southeastern Anatolia Region.
Southeastern Anatolia Region
The steppe climate type is encountered and in the summer season, very high temperatures are encountered. The drought is extremely severe. The evaporation is dense and might reach to 1000-2000 mm. or more yearly.

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Three sides of Turkey are surrounded by seas. The three seas out of the four, Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea opens to Atlantic Ocean. Marmara Sea, connecting Black Sea to Mediterranean is located inside the borders of Turkey.
Black Sea
Having the aspect of closed sea, the total length of the shores of Black Sea is 1695 Kilometers, the deepest point is 2244 meters, and the surface area is 424.000 Km2 . As Black Sea displays " longitudinally shore type", the shelf area is too steep and the depth can reach to 1500 meters at short distances. As the evaporation is less and the joining rivers are numerous, the ratio of salinity is less.

Average Salinity Ratio: 18 %, at the river entrances: 15 - 16 %

Marmara Sea
Marmara Sea is a small inner sea between Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The length of the shores are 1189 Km, and the depth is 760m-3500 m. Marmara Sea connects Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea to each other.

Average Salinity Ratio: 26 %

Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea is the sea having the longest and most indented shores of Turkey. The length of the shoreline is 2805 km, and the deepest point is 1000 m.

Average Salinity Ratio: 38 % in North, 39 % in South


Mediterranean Sea
It is the eastern part of actual Mediterranean Sea located at the southern part of Turkey. The length of the shoreline is 1577 Km, the surface area is 2.890.000 km2.

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    From Prehistoric Times to Ottoman Period
    History of The Republic
   From Prehistoric Times to Ottoman Period
Paleolithic Age ( 600.000 - 8000 B.C)
In this first civilization age, mankind began to take progress and had been overlapped by the Glacier Period. During this long period which nearly exceeds half million years, the mankind had not started the production process yet and they are at the primitive stage feeding by the natural sources, sheltering in the caves and tree trunks and construct primitive hunting tools from the natural stones. It is possible to find the traces of the Glacier Period in Anatolia. The Karain, Beldibi and Belbaşı Caves, which are located in the vicinity of Antalya, were used by mankind during the end of this period (BC 20.000 - 8000). Some of the remnants and ancient works discovered in Karain, Beldibi and Belbaşı Caves are displayed in the Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum and Karain Museum.

Neolithic Age ( 8000 - 5000 B.C)

Although mankind has learned to start fire and began to reach the physical capacities of their descendants 40 thousand years ago, they had attained the status which could be called civilized only twelve thousand years ago after the beginning of the foundation of the permanent settlements. The fact of permanent settlements had granted mankind the possibility of storing properties and provisions. Numerous small settlements founded in this age were discovered and brought into light at numerous locations around the world. The two most advanced settlements among these small settlements were the Hacılar and Çatalhöyük settlements located in Central Anatolia, in the neighborhood of Konya Province. In Çatalhöyük settlement, mankind was accommodating in adobe huts whose walls were decorated by illustrations and colorfully embossed designs in BC 7th and 6th thousands and adorn their rooms with colorful vases and miniatures constructed from cooked soil. The majority of the miniatures resembled a naked female goddess, the mother earth.. The stonemasons and other various professionals were using tools made of obsidian, and the farmers had cultivated wheat, barley and lentil at the crop fields plough by oxen. The businessmen owned seals made from the cooked soil and the women had owned mirrors made of polished obsidian.

The meal of the inhabitants of Çatalhöyük settlement was not only composed of bread, vegetables and fruits, but also goat and sheep meat was present. Domesticated and trained dogs protected their houses. An exploding volcano was depicted on one the walls of a house, and this volcano was probably Hasan Mountain. This illustration is the most ancient landscape painting known in the history of art and is exhibited with the other above mentioned foundlings in Ankara Anatolian Civilizations Museum. The museum also hosts one of the rooms founded in Çatalhöyük, which is exhibited at the original state and is known as "cult room".

Calcolithic Age (5000 - 3000 B.C)

The Calcolithic Age, which is also known as mine - Stone Age, Anatolia encounters a standstill period. Although beautiful ceramic samples are produced in this two thousand-year period, Anatolia had fallen behind in development when compared with the civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Bronze Age (3000 - 2000 B.C)

In this age period, bronze products obtained from the composition of copper, zinc and tin have been produced and the civilization in Anatolia begin to improve again respective to the previous age. The Troia I settlement is the brightest and most advanced center of the early Bronze Age (3000 - 2500 B.C) in Anatolia; but as the discovery of writing in Egypt and Mesopotamia, Anatolia is accepted to be still behind the civilization advances.

The development in Anatolia accelerates again in the Intermediate Bronze Age (2500 - 2000 B.C) after a standstill period which reaches nearly 2500 years. Although writing is not still in use, the Hatti Civilization founded in Central and Southeast Anatolia and the Troia II settlement in Northwest Anatolia are among the exceptional civilizations in the scope of the world civilizations.


The remnants of the Hatti language, which we encounter in the texts of Hittite Civilization, has its own special structure and do not display any similarity with other language used at the very same age period.

Although the Hatti Civilization displays the effects of Mesopotamia culture and civilizations, they represent a strong originality in the fields of art and especially physical culture. The effects of Hatti Civilization had influenced Anatolia for approximately two thousand years which had demonstrated major riches in religion, tradition, mythology and art. Therefore, Anatolia was called as the land of Hatti by the neighboring civilizations reigning between BC 2500 - 700 years. Again because of the same fact, the Hittites originated from Indo - Europe had mentioned Anatolia as The land of Hatti in their written sources during their history. The meaning of Cheta in the Old Testament was understood to be the folk accommodating in Anatolia after the discovery and study of the Boğazköy tablets in the beginning of the century.

The Hatti Civilization was composed of small governmental states. These minor kings also bear the high priest title and assisted the creation of very original works of art in their states. The samples of these works of art were discovered in the region located in the curve of Kızılırmak River like Alacahöyük, Horoztepe and Mahmatlar and resembled gods in the shape of animals; the bulls depict god of storm, the deer depict his wife, the goddess Vurushemu and the banners of the kings represent the Universium. This universe symbol which generally stands at the tip of the horns of two oxen is the source of the folk tale "the world stands at the tips of the horns of an ox, and if the ox shakes his head, earthquake happens" which is still told in the villages.


The second major culture center of the Intermediate Bronze Age in Anatolia is the above-mentioned Troia II settlement located in the borders of Çanakkale. Schliemann executed the first excavation in Troia and he had accidentally discovered a treasure composed of golden household objects and various jewelry, which he named as the Treasure of Priamos. This unique and wonderful treasure was taken to the Berlin Museum but unfortunately this unique treasure was lost forever in the World War II. Today, only a small but very important part of this famous treasure remained in the Istanbul Museum. However, only beautiful galvanize copies of the lost golden bowls are present in the museum.

Although H. Schliemann had greatly ruined and damaged the city of Troia II at the excavation studies, today the entrance ramp, the city walls and some sections of the large megarons are still standing at the excavation site.


The Hittites have reached Anatolia among Caucasia by the end of 3000 B.C during the great migration of the Indo - Europe nations travelling towards the warmer countries from the Northern Europe. But this migration of the Hittite tribes had occurred in the way of infiltration more than invasion. The Hatti city-states were dominating Anatolia Region during the period of the first quarter of BC second thousand while the Indo - European originated city-states begin to be founded suddenly. The number of the Hittite cities states begin to increase and by the 1750 B.Cthe Hittites invaded Anatolia totally and founded the Hittite State.

HITTITE STATE (1750 - 1200 B.C)

As mentioned above, the Indo - Europe originated Hittite tribes had entered Anatolia about 2000 B.C years had founded their first kingdom near 1750 B.C and in the mids of 2000 B.C , they have founded The Great Hittite Kingdom (Hittite Empire).

The Hittites founded one of the greatest states of Near East in 15th and 14th Centuries B.C. In 13th Century B.C, they share the dominance of the world with Egypt.

In 1875 B.C, there was a great battle between Hittites and Egyptians at Kadesh, where the King of Hittites Muvattalli had used 3500 chariots which was the most powerful strike weapon of the age and defeated the rival army. The text of the treaty which is written in the Hittite Language signed between Hattuşili IV and Rhamsesis II is exhibited in the Istanbul Archeological Museum. This document is the first political treaty signed between the two major states in the history of the world.

The pin writing was in use in the city of Kanesh (Kültepe in the vicinity of Kayseri) in 18th century B.C, which was one of the first settlement centers of Hittites. The Hittite civilization also used hieroglyphics (painted language), which was their invention for the understanding of the common folk. Therefore, the historic age in Anatolia had started with Hittites initially, 1000 years after Egypt and Mesopotamia.

We have mentioned above in the Hatti section that the Hittites had mentioned Anatolia as "the Land of Hatti" like Mesopotamians and the Chetans stated in the Old Testament have been originated from the Hatti language. During the decryption of the Hittite language, the philologists had accidentally named this Indo - Europe originated nation as Hittites instead of Nesi because they encounter the name Hatti frequently and they are also inspired from the Old Testament. The Hittites are called "Hititler" in Turkish, "die Hethister" in German, "Les Hitites" in French and " Gli ititi " in Italian. In Turkish, the Hittites were used to be called with the word "Eti".

The Hittites were influenced from the Hatti civilization in all aspects of the culture and civilization. Their religion, mythology, tradition, costoms and in all fields of culture and art were influenced from Hatti and they have obtained the names of gods, rivers and cities from Hatti civilization. For example, the name of the Hittite capital Hattuşa is originally from Hatti language and is derived from Hattuş. Hattuşili, which is the name of the 4 major kings of Hittites are originated from the same root.

Although being mainly influenced from the cultures of Hatti and Mesopotamia civilizations, the Hittite culture displays interesting characteristics. The temples display original properties and the city walls are unique in the world with the characteristic of possibility to counter attack the enemy while protecting the defense position. Although the figurative art of the Hittites display the influence of Mesopotamian culture from the iconographic view, they have created an original and interesting style.

The Hittite State was the only state in Near East in which the women had important social rights and the human rights were under the protection of the laws.


This civilization was founded nearly in the same period with the Hittites in the Eastern Anatolia Region and is reigned by a royal Indian family. Mitannis used the language of Hurri. This language forms a unique language group and is used by the Urartus (900 - 600 B.C) which are encountered in the first period of 13th century. The Hittites were mainly effected by the Hurri civilization in the 13th century.

Troia VI Civilization (1800 - 1275 B.C )

A kingdom had founded and developed the advanced Troia VI Civilization in Çanakkale, which was in the same period with the Great Hittite Kingdom. The nation forming this civilization was relatives of Mykens, and the settlement was the city of Illion stated in the epic of Ilias by Homer. The city walls and the megarons of the Troia VI was well preserved and forms one of the most valuable place of visit of Turkey. The important ceramic remnants discovered in the excavations of Troia are exhibited in Istanbul Archeological Museum.

As a result of the "Aegean Migration" occurred in 1200 B.C, the Indo - European nations from Balkans had primarily destroyed Troia VI and later Hattuşa and caused the removal of this two original cultured states from history. After 1200 B.C, because of the destruction of the two advanced civilizations, the usage of writing had ceased existence and Anatolia had regionally retreated to the poorly cultured level for 300 - 400 years. The hand made rude ceramic works discovered in the Troia 7b1 section and the Buckelceramic obtained from the Troia 7b 2 section belong to the above mentioned Balkan nations and are exhibited in Istanbul Archeological Museum.

At the first period of the 1000 B.C, in the Iron Age (1200 - 700 B.C), Anatolia peninsula was under the reign of various sized city states of various nations as is was in the first quarter of 2000 B.C. The Southeast Anatolia and some regions of Syria was dominated by Late Hittites, Eastern Anatolia was under the dominance of Urartus who are the continuance of Hurri state, Central Anatolia was under the dominance of Phrygia, Lydians and The Southwestern Anatolia was under the dominance of Karians and Lykians.


The late Hittites have settled in Southeast Anatolia and North Syria of the present day and had majorly continued the Anatolian Hittite culture. The Late Hittites were influenced from the Babylonians, Assurians, Arabians and Phoenician in time and had especially played an important role in the development of the young Hellenistic art in the 8th and 7th Centuries.


The Urartu Civilization was founded in the regions of Van Region of the Eastern Anatolia, Iran and Russia of the present day. The language spoken in the Urartu civilization was a dialect of Hurri language, which was different than the languages of Sami, Indo - Europe and Hatti language. The Urartus had expanded their kingdom to the shores of Syria in 8th century for a short period and they had advanced mining and metalworking techniques. The bronze works of Urartus were found in the provinces of Phrygia and Etrüsk civilizations.


The Phrygians are one of the Balkan originated nations entering Anatolia after the destruction of Troia VI. But they had firstly appeared as a political community after 750 B.C and had reached to the level of a strong kingdom dominating Central and Southeast Anatolia in the period of Midas (725 - 675 B.C). Phrygians had become a nation of Anatolia in a respectively short period and had been majorly influenced from the late Hittite and Hellenistic cultures, but they were able to develop an original culture understanding. The metal and wood works and the textile products were used as models in the Hellenistic world. The Phrygians are the inspiration source of Hellens in the field of music.


The language of the Lydians is originated from the Indo - Europe origin but displays the elements of the native Anatolian languages before 2000 B.C . Although they had occasionally conquered the Ion provinces in 7th century B.C, they were mainly influenced from the Hellenistic culture. But their structure skills had been approved and used by the Hellenistic culture.


The Karian and Lykians display similar language properties with the Lydians and speak a dialect originated from the Indo - Europe origin but displays the elements of the native Anatolian languages. We have very limited information about Karians. Besides, the wonderful and beautiful stone tombs of Lykians standing in the Southwest Anatolia Region are among the breath taking monuments of Turkey.


As former İzmir excavation exposes, the Ion provinces are founded around 1050 B.C. Ions had formed primitive agricultural communities for 300 years, in the second half of the 8th century, the Ion nation began to develop with the influence of Egypt, Phoenicia, Assur and Hittite centers and lived their most advanced period between 650 - 545 B.C.

The major importance of the Ion civilization in the history of the world is that the primary rising of the free intellect and free scientific researches were experienced in the cities founded by Ion civilization. Especially the philosophers from the city of Miletos had researched the nature and the natural events in a manner freed from the religious rules and superstitious beliefs of the period. The nature philosopher Thales, whose father was Karian Hexamies and mother was Helen and thinkers like Anaximondros and Anaximenes had laid the first foundations of the positive sciences like philosophy, mathematics, geometry and astronomy based on the information they had gathered from Egypt and Mesopotamia with a new free attitude. Thales, who had visited Egypt and Mesopotamia, had calculated the date of a nature event, the eclipse of the sun in May 28,585 B.C for the very first time in the world depending on the information he had gathered from the countries he had visited. This scientific determination was the first step: the developments occurred in the Islam world by Arabs, Persians and Turks between 9th and 12th centuries A.D and that had been the first Renaissance movement. This was the first step of the scientific researches that leaded to the conquest of moon by mankind founded in the Renaissance age in Europe and later in the l9th and 20th century.

The Ionia was also the most important center of poetry and art fields in the world at that age. The Arthemis Temple in Ephesos with the dimensions of 55 x 110 meters had been totally constructed from marble for the first time in the world and the Ion architecture structure had been carried to Athens and had survived until the beginning of the 20th century as an architectural structure which Europe and America found pleasure in repetition of the style.

The beautiful and well preserved ruins of the Ion architecture are standing in ancient cities of Bergama, Sardis, Ephesos, Priene, Miletos, Didyma, Aphrodisiacs and Aizanoi. The statues of the Ion art are under preservation in the Turkish Museum. Although the Ion vase artistry is at the second place when compared to the creations of Greek culture, they are unique with their lovely humor style.


Anatolia was under the dominance of Persia until the invasion of Anatolia by Alexander the Great in 6th century and the defeat of Dara in 333 at Issos. After the total invasion of Anatolia by Persians, the leadership of the Ion civilization in the world had ended. However as some of the Persian governors acted like independent kings, worldwide art works were created especially in Karia, Lykia and Propontis by the end of 5th century B.C and in the 4th century. Among these, the Nereidler monument in Xanthos and the Mausoleum in Bodrum could be counted. The architectural and statue works of these two monuments are mainly exhibited in the British Museum and some ruins and finding are present in Bodrum.


As Alexander the Great had wiped the Persian invasion from Anatolia and freed the Hellenic provinces from dominance, the Peninsula once again become the leading place of the world art.. The cities like Assos, Bergama, Magnesia, Ephesos, Tralleis ( Aydın ), Miletos and Didyma had gained power again and the architectural works produced in these cities had effected the Roman art.

THE ROMAN AGE ( 30 B.C- 395 A.D )

As the Romans had invented and developed the method of joining the bricks with plaster and constructed wide volume structures as aqueducts, vaults and domes and therefore created the first major engineering works among the world. Although the primary major works were constructed inside the country of Rome, Anatolia had become the country in which this new construction technique had been successfully employed. Cities developed not only at the Western and Southern Anatolian Regions, but also in various locations inside the peninsula. There are monumental buildings like Agora, Government Building, Gymnasium, Stadium, Theatre, Baths and Fountains inside all of the cities and most of these buildings were constructed from marble. Marble plaques covered the roads and there were caravansaries with pillars on each side of the road. Therefore, the citizens were protected from sun and dust in summer seasons and from cold and mud in winter seasons. Strong and well-maintained roads and stone bridges connected all regions of the peninsula to each other. There were milestones on the sides of the roads to display the distances for the first time in the world. Especially during the 2nd century A.D, Anatolia was one of the most advanced states of the world and the wealth, comfort and the beauty of its cities had reached to a level which can challenge the cities of Rome itself. There are numerous picnics sites preserved at a state of Roman age in West and South Anatolia and are open for the visit of tourists.


The Byzantium art was born in Anatolia at the end of the Roman Period. At the end of the 3rd century A.D, as the Roman art had entered in a period of degeneration in the fields of sculpture and architectural ornamentation in the cities of the peninsula, the artisans of the early Christianity period had granted a rebirth and a new meaning to these fields of art. We can tell that, the early Christianity and Byzantium Period art works are the expressionist interpretation of the late Roman art. The early Christianity and Byzantium art is the new stage and development in the Architecture field in the history of the World.

This new art style appearing in the cities of Anatolia like Sardis, Ephesos, Aphrodisiacs, Hierapolis, Side, Perge, Antakya had developed and reached to its cultured stage in the city of Constantinopolis, which was founded by Emperor Constantine in 330 B.C, which is currently known as Istanbul. The city of Constantinopolis had become the most important culture and art center of the world for nearly two and a half century between 330 - 565 B.C. The early Christianity civilization had encountered its most advanced period during the reign of Emperor Justinian ( 527 - 565 B.C). Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) (532 - 539 A.D) which is a Central Domed Basilica is the most important wonder of the Byzantium art and is one of the most important and most famous art works of the World.

The Church of Aya İrini (6th and 8th century B.C), the St. John basilica in Ephesos (Justinian Period) and the Church of Maria (4th and 6th century B.C), the Alahan church in South Anatolia ( 5th and 6th century A.D) are among the most important and well preserved religious structures of Byzantium period. The Fethiye Mosque which was St. Mari Pammakaristos Church (1310 A.D) and Kariye Mosque which was Chora church in Istanbul are among the most important and well preserved religious structures of the late Byzantium period. The walls joined with the multi-domed cover and the three layered archways display a very harmonious sight.

The still standing ruins of the Tekfur and Laskaris palaces and partially preserved city walls in Istanbul represents a breath-taking spectacle with the multi colored brick works.

The ground tiles of the great Palace in Sultan Ahmet, the wall mosaics of Aya Sofya, Fethiye and Chora churches are in high quality and have unmatched beauty. The silver bowls discovered in the vicinity of Finike in Southern Anatolia and other silver and gold embroidered objects are the proofs of the advanced Byzantium jewelry.


The first nation to settle and inhabit in the entire Anatolia had been the Turks. Hittites, Frigs and the Greeks had been able to settle in particular sections of the peninsula as the preceding nations. The Persians (543 - 333 B.C) and later the Romans (30 B.C 395 A.D) had succeeded in conquest of the entire Anatolia but they did not settle in entire Anatolia, instead they hold the political control of the entire land.

The Turks had reached Anatolia by continuos raids from Central Asia and by migration. The Turks had gained the sympathy of the Anatolian nations, the majority of which are of Indo - European origin by their administration based on tolerance. The citizens accepting the Islam Religion had become Turks, so the native nations and the Turks began to fuse with each other starting from 1071. Therefore, Turks have accepted the ancient civilizations as the heritage of all humanity, not only as their national riches.

The Seljuks had developed a high-level tolerance culture in accordance with the boundaries of the above-mentioned first Renaissance movement developed in the Islam world in 9th -12th centuries A.Din the Ion civilization section. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumî was teaching and writing about a humanist point of view with a modern expression in 13th Century in the Province of Konya and the value of his teachings is appreciated especially in the current century. Medical studies and researches were executed at the major hospitals founded in every Seljuk province and astronomic studies were executed at the observatories.

As in the Roman Period, The Seljuks had connected various regions of Anatolia which are separated from each other by mountain chains and different climates by strong, well-maintained roads and stone bridges. And the trade caravans could stay at the beautifully crafted and constructed caravansaries, which are the bright artworks of architecture.

Although the Seljuks are greatly influenced from the Arabic and Persian art and culture, they had developed an original civilization. The originality of the Seljuk art is formed from the elements, which they had carried together from their motherland, Central Asia. The mausoleums are the monumental interpretations of Turkish tents transformed into stone buildings. The tile crafting, metal and woodworking, art of miniature greatly demonstrate the effects of Central Asia. The method of curved carving is an original method used in Central Asia originating to Turkish clan of İskit.

The Seljuks had granted appropriate volumes and adobes to the structures of caravansaries, mosques, mausoleums and theological schools relevant with the Anatolian climate. The Persian originated monumental entrance gates are adorned with the beautiful representations of Turkish art.

Either these high entrance gates or their adornment elements resemble the Gothic churches. The Gothic architecture structures constructed with bricks in North Europe are of Seljuk origin and carried among that distance after the Crusades. There are unpaired and unique Seljuk structures in the cities Konya, Kayseri, Niğde, Sivas, Divriği, Amasya, Urfa and Malatya. The art of the Seljuk civilization is present in Anatolia with the selected samples of original tiles, metal and wood works.

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (1299 - 1923)

Anatolia had been the power source of the great Ottoman Empire, which had leaded the Islam world for six centuries. The Ottomans had improved the culture and art of the Seljuk Turks and adapted new dimensions to these facts. The Ottomans were inspired from the Byzantium architecture and combined this inspiration with new progress and stages and therefore granted one of the most authentic architecture styles to the history of art.

The Turkish art of construction had encountered a development from the disorganized volumes of Seljukian Period towards an assembled residence. In fact, the Turkish architecture had undergo a stage by stage evolution of 300 years towards the assembled and gathered under a dome cover construction style. The Seljuk theology schools in Konya, Karatay and the Şehzade (prince) and Selimiye mosques represent this evolution.

The Yeşil Mosque in Bursa (1424) is also assembled under two relatively large domes. However, the presence of a heavy wall between two domes had definitely separated the interior section into two parts. Despite this fact, this solution was the fist step for the space integrity. As a matter of fact, the south dome of the Rumî Mehmet Paşa Mosque (1471) in Istanbul and the Atik Ali Paşa Mosque (1497) in the vicinity of Çemberlitaş had been transformed into semi - domes in order to remove the walls encountered in the Yeşil Mosque and therefore instead of two separate rooms, a single interior section was obtained. In fact, the two domed interior sections had been decreased into a one and a half domed interior section, meaning that the volume had been shrinked though the space integrity had been obtained. This is the second major step.

When Sinan was in charge, he had found the Turkish art of construction following this development line and he had carried this evolution to its final stage. Besides the two semi - domes of Bayezit Mosque, one is located in the south, and other is located in the north, we see four semi domes in Şehzade Mosque (1548) one of each in the either direction. Therefore, the sections excluded from the space integrity in the west and east directions until that day had been assembled under the same space integrity.

If we consider the style of the mosques of the Turkish architects following Sinan, we should say that these architects consider Şehzade Mosque as the most important artwork of Sinan. Because, the works like Sultan Ahmet Mosque (1616), Yeni Mosque (1663) and Fatih Mosque (1771) are the reproductions of the Şehzade Mosque from the point of plan and style. Therefore the apprenticeship work of Sinan had become the classical sample of the Turkish Architecture. However Süleymaniye and Selimiye are so unique and one-time monuments that no architect had dared to copy these artworks and therefore preferred to employ the Şehzade Mosque as the sample to obtain the space integrity objective.

Sinan had exposed the most successful and most harmonious sample of central construction style in the world with Selimiye Mosque. The increasing of the number of the supporting pillars from four to eight and therefore shaping the structure in a way that it could be seen exactly the same from each direction faced is an unmatched success of Architect Sinan. Architect Sinan could not materialized this will in Şehzade and Süleymaniye mosques. The four minaret of the mosque support this harmony of masses. The excellence of the harmony of the inner and exterior view and the beautiful and effective silhouette reaching up to the sky grants Selimiye Mosque to be among the wonders of the world.

The architects of the Ottoman Empire produced marvelous works of architecture and engineering with the construction of mausoleums, theology schools, libraries, mansions, palaces, baths, commercial buildings and especially aqueducts and bridges. The mansions are counted among the most attractive structures of the world art.
The Ottoman art of miniature carries a different meaning from the other eastern miniature by the embroidered daily and historic subjects.

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    History of The Republic

At the end of the World War I, the empires were scattered and instead new nation - states were founded. After the collapsing of the Ottoman Empire, The Republic of Turkey was founded as a nation - state. At the presidency of Atatürk, The Government of Great National Assembly had saved the land from the invasion of foreign forces with the Independence War and with the Lozan Treaty the existence of the new Turkish Republic was approved by the nations of the world.

The months following the Lozan Treaty had passed with the preparations of a new political formation. In order to take the leadership, the Cumhuriyet Halk Fırkası (Partisi) (National Republic Party) had been founded ( September 9,1923). Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was appointed for the presidency of the party. The military personnel who were in charge at the Independence War and the senior bureaucrats were appointed for the administration staff of the party. The party was defending the subjects like continuance of the national strife in a civilian medium, the modernization of the country and execution of the Western system, institutions and life style which was chosen as a model. In order to shape the government according to the democratic and modern facts declaration of Republic was realized in September 29,1923. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who was the great and successful leader of the national strife was elected to become the first President of the Turkish Republic by a unanimous vote. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had appointed İsmet İnönü as the first Prime Minister. Four months later, the caliphate organization, which was not concordant with the principle of republicanism, was removed and the members of the Ottoman Dynasty were deported from the country. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was fully aware that for the foundation of a modern community, the religious and the governmental tasks should be separated from each other, so he had realized the most important social deviation by the principle of "secularism". As the caliphate organization was removed, a series of severe reforms were realized at the associations bounded to this organization. Major steps in the subject of the Women Rights were realized. The marriage with several women was prohibited and the necessity of legal marriage was obliged. The law for divorcement right by the court is issued. Before most of the European countries, the women had attained the rights of election and electing for the municipalities in 1930, village elder committees in 1933 and TBMM in 1934. One of the major steps realized in the path of modernization was executed in the field of Turkish language. A new Turkish alphabet was prepared by the Ministry of National Education and the law suggesting the usage of Latin letters was approved by TBMM in November 1,1928. The former weight and length measures were changed in 1931.

The "Law of Surnames" was issued in June 21,1934, and the founder of the Turkish Government and Republic Mustafa Kemal had been granted the surname "Atatürk" by TBMM. He was now the ancestor of the entire Turks.

The endeavors for creating a modern country on the basis of secularism was reflected to the constitution level and with a modification in 1928, the "the religion of the Turkish Republic is Islam" verdict was removed from the constitution. In 1937, the verdict stating that the Turkey is a secular government was inscribed in the constitution. Atatürk has executed the evolutions under the leadership of the National Republic Party, which was founded as a party representing the entire nation, and he had inspired this evolutions and principles to the entire nation.

The Government of the Republic had adopted a model primarily based on private enterprises in order to develop the collapsed economy taken as a heritage but obliged to apply state control policy growing in time.

A foreign policy depending on peace and the borders of Milli Misak (National Borders) during the period of Atatürk. With the application of a successful diplomacy, Istanbul and Çanakkale Straits remained inside the national defense system (Montreux Treaty, 1936). With the Balkan (1934) and Sadabad (1937) pacts, the amity policy displayed towards the entire neighboring nations were widespread. Peaceful policies directed towards Europe and the utilization of the international conditions had allowed the reunification of Hatay, which was abandoned to the French before, with the motherland.

With all of his dynamism, strong intuitions, ability to truly calculate the power balances, the true evaluation of the inner and foreign conditions, Atatürk had passed away in November 10,1938 leaving big traces in the direction of the Western model behind. His descendant country had adopted his principles.

After the death of Atatürk, İsmet İnönü was elected to become the second President of the Turkish Republic. He was the "single chief" of his period as the President of the Government and the political party. He was in the service during the most depressed period of the world and Turkey. During his Prime Minister service, he tried to resist to the economic crisis of the world with the policy of state control. He attempted to improve the industry by the assistance of Public Financial Enterprises (KİT) and executed major reforms in this fact.

The most important achievement of İsmet İnönü was the success to exclude Turkey from the World War II. His policies concerning this fact were being executed in the ways of obtaining the balance between various powers at the same time and the securing this situation of the country in some directions. Turkey was invited to San Francisco Summit in March 5,1945 and was located among the countries founding the United Nations. Turkey had not participated to the World Wear II but was affected in negative way.

İnönü was a farsighted man of politics, so he could not be a mere spectator either to the winds of freedom and democracy starting to blow in the world after the World War II or to the social reactions aroused from the depressions of war. As a matter of fact, he talked about the necessity of the "liberalization of the regime" in 1945. And later, he vocalized "the necessity for an opposition party". From this path he cleared he tolerantly watched the foundation of Demokrat Parti (Democrat Party) from the CHP, and in 1950 DP had gained the governmental power as a result of the countrywide elections.

DP who speaks in the favor of democracy and a liberal economy had developed rapidly, managed to participate to the General Assembly in1946 and to attain the power of government alone in the elections of May 14,1950. Thus the period of the single party in Turkey was ended and the first change of power by the vote of nation was realized. DP had increased the number of the votes in the 1954 elections, therefore riveted its status of power. Although the votes of the party had greatly decreased in 1957, the party had attained the status of power until 27 May 1960.

During his ten-year period of rulership, DP had brought a significant vigor to the economy and the daily life of the community. The economy expanded, the income of the people had increased and numerous villages had attained the services like roads, infrastructure and electricity. New cultivation fields were arranged, the mechanization in agriculture field was initiated, there was a significant increase in trade and major steps were taken in the field of Industry. The process of transference of foreign and commerce capital to industry had started.

After 1954, the public support to the DP government began to weaken and because of the political and economic factors in Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces had seized the power in the morning of May 27,1960.

The Adalet Partisi (Justice Party) which effected the political life of Turkey between 1960 and 1970 was founded in February 11,1961. The retired full general Ragıp Gümüşpala was elected as the first general chairman of the party. After the death of Gümüşpala in 1964, The Government Water Processes Former General Director Süleyman Demirel was elected to the position of the General Chairman. The government period of AP between the years 1965 - 1971 was one of the brightest periods of Turkey in economic, social and political aspects.

The student actions and movements initiated in France in 1968 and spread throughout the world had entered to the agenda of Turkey from the first place by the end of 1960's. These student actions initially had the characteristics of revolt against the education and examination system in universities but would gain the political and ideological content afterwards. The freedom medium of the 1960's ended with the March 12,1971 memorandum. At the 1972 General Assembly, Ecevit and friends had stated their candidacy for the party administration against the group of İnönü. After the succession of the list of Ecevit, İnönü had resigned from the general director position, deputy position and CHP membership. At the urgent assembly of the extraordinary General Assembly, Ecevit was elected for the position of General Chairman. A new period was started for CHP. In the 1973 elections, CHP had gathered the highest vote amount. After long negotiations CHP General Chairman Ecevit had established a coalition government with the Milli Selamet Partisi (National Security Party) (MSP) displaying the Islamic movements. Although this extraordinary coalition had resulted in some positive outcomes, the effects of petroleum crisis occurring throughout the world had been reflected to Turkey.

After the stroke of ENOSIS against the Makarios government in Cyprus in 1974 June, Turkey was forced to use its rights of guarantorship arising from the London Treaty and 1960 Cyprus Constitution and had executed a military intervention against the island. In this period, the economic problems become much heavier. The basic nutriment materials, petroleum and gas were out of stock. The queues and the black market begin to exist. Although the January 24,Decisions issued by the Demirel government had positive consequences in the short term, the terror actions continued. In order to continue the liberation and economic stability programs initiated with the 24 January Decisions, the Anavatan Parti (Motherland Party) (ANAP) was founded by the demand of power. The parties to participate the 6 November 1983 elections was ANAP, MDP and HP and ANAP was elected with the vote ratio of 45.1 percent and attained the power alone. The first ANAP government was founded in 13 December at the presidency of Turgut Özal.

ANAP had attained the power alone in the 1983 elections under the presidency of Turgut Özal and continued the succession of being in power in the 1987 elections. The most important characteristic of the Özal Period was the transformation of the economy into a brand new direction with the brave and resolute reforms. Özal had described this liberal transformation as "Big Transformation", and in this transformation the Law of Preserving The Value of the Turkish Money and the foreign exchange regime was totally altered, the import and export policies become free, the "free exchange rate system" in foreign exchange was adopted. A new economic model granting priority to exportation replaced the "import establishment" model, which is an economic model closed to the foreign countries. The most important development in the foreign policy was the relative improvement of the relations with the European countries. As a matter of fact, the European Committee Consultation Council had accepted the participation of Turkish parliamentary to this committee in May 1984. In addition, Turkey had attained a neutral policy during the war of Iran and Iraq and therefore the trade relations with these countries had improved in positive way. The income obtained from export and tourism processes had greatly increased in this period as a result of the increasing interaction of Turkey with the countries of Middle East and Europe.

After the separation of the Soviet United Nations in 1991, Turkey had improved its relations with the recent Independent Central Asian Republics as a result of the enterprises executed by President Özal and the government. Therefore, the new horizons for Turkey of being a "Regional government" had been set. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation, which became an institution by a summit meeting in June1992 and including the total area of Black Sea Basin as the Caucasia and Balkans had increased the importance of Turkey in the Region. Turkey had also played an important and active role in the subjects of Bosnia - Herzigova and Somali.

After the death of Turgut Özal in April 17,1993, Süleyman Demirel was elected to the position of the President of the Turkish Republic. As a result of the power of the coalition governments of various political parties between the years 1993 - 2000 the political structure had gained a new multi dimensional structure. After the formation of this particular new political intellect assisting the settlement of democracy culture in the country, Turkey had taken major steps among the path leading to the European Community.

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Population, Language,  Religion


According to the results of the General Population Determination executed in November 1997, the population of Turkey is 62.8 millions. There is a tendency for decreasing in the population growth rate in recent years. The annual population growth rate between years 1990-1997 had been determined to be 15.1 in one thousand. If the population growth rate is assumed to be stable, the calculated and expected population of Turkey in the midst of the year 2000 would reach to 65,3 millions. The most important characteristic of the population in Turkey is the amount of young population. Turkey is among the fastest urbanizing countries of the world. The general sexuality ratio in Turkey is 103 men for each 100 women. This result is obtained from the 1990 Population Count. Marmara Region, which is the most rapidly developing region of Turkey in the fields of commerce and industry has the most concentrated and dense population. Furthermore, the population is concentrated among the river banks and plains suitable for agriculture.

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Turkish is the native tongue of 90 percent of the population in Turkey. Turks had used numerous written tongues since 8th century but the most common alphabets used by the Turks are the Kök Turk, Uygur, Arabic and Latin alphabets.

After the declaration of republic and the completion of the national unification, especially between 1923-1928 years, the problem of the alphabet is discussed and debated. In order to carry the new Turkish Republic to the modern civilization level, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic had believed to use the Western Culture and Civilization and therefore with this aim Latin letters which are rearranged in a manner that they are convenient to the vocal structure of the Turkish language are accepted instead of the Arabic alphabet which was currently in use in 1928.

The Historic development of Turkish Language as a written tongue:

Ancient Turkish (VI - X Century) : The language used in Uygur tongue written documents with the Orhon and Yenisey Inscriptions.

Intermediate Turkish (XI - XV Century) : This language certifies the period between the first Islamic written document and completion of the formation of the new written Turkish dialects. (Anatolian Turkish - Azerbaijani Turkish - Turkoman Turkish)

New Turkish (XV - XX Century) : (Uzbek language - Kipchak Language)

In Anatolia, a written language called Ottoman language which was developed from Oğuz language was used during this period.

Modern Turkish (XX Century) : The modern Turkish includes the Turkish dialects used in various locations all around the world in XX. Century. In this century, Turkey Turkish language is used in Anatolia.

Turkish is located among the ending languages in the world tongue classification. The root of the words are not altered while the word structure and declination. The declinations and building of the words are executed by the affixes. The order of the words and affixes are as "root + building affix + declination affix" .

There are 29 letters in Turkish language in the Republic period Latin letters. ç,ğ,ı,ö,ş letters are peculiar only to Turkish alphabet.



99 % of the Turkish population is Muslims. Turkey is a secular government and therefore the members of other religions are free to realize their religious activities and ceremonies.


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