Destination Turkey, a Nations Online country profile of the Turkish nation located between Europe and Asia.
Turkey has a coastline on the Mediterranean Sea in the south and east and on the Black Sea in the north. It borders Armenia, Iran, and Azerbaijan (at the exclave of Nakhchivan) in the east, Georgia in the northeast, Bulgaria and Greece in the northwest, and Iraq and Syria in the southeast.
Turkey has a population of 83.2 million people (in 2020), the largest city is Istanbul, the national capital is Ankara.
Spoken languages are Turkish (official), Kurdish by Kurdish people, and Arabic by Turkish Arabs.
What is Turkey famous for?
Turkey is famous for the Blue Mosque, the New Mosque, and the Hagia Sophia (now a mosque again) in Istanbul; the Bosporus Bridge, which connects Asia with Europe; the Galata Bridge in Istanbul spans the Golden Horn; the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; Döner kebab, İskender kebap, Baklava and Turkish coffee and tea; the Evil eye (nazar); Tulips, Turkish carpets; the Turkish bath (hammam); whirling dervishes (Sufi dance moves); the amazing travertine terraces of Pamukkale; the cave houses of Cappadocia, Mount Ararat, the resting place of Noah’s Ark; Troy, the setting of the Trojan War; the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the world.
Republic of Turkey
The Anatolian peninsula is often called “the cradle of civilization,” as it has been home to a wide variety of tribes and nations of people since at least 10,000 B.C.
On the site of Göbekli Tepe, there is the oldest known man-made structure, the collection of the oldest known megaliths in the world, dating back to around 10,000 B.C.
From about 1200 B.C., the coast of Anatolia was heavily populated by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks. Numerous important cities were founded by the Greek colonists, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Smyrna (today İzmir), and Byzantium (that later became Constantinople, now Istanbul).
In the second half of the 11th century the Seljuk Turks began to invade medieval Armenia and the eastern regions of Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, thus initiating the process of Turkization in the region; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced into Armenia and Anatolia.
The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, replacing the dynastic and theocratic Ottoman system with its Sultanates and Caliphates. The new republic was based on a secular democratic, pluralist, and parliamentary system.
In 1945 Turkey joined the UN and became a member of NATO in 1952.
Turkey occupied the northern portion of Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island; relations between the two countries remain strained.
Periodic military offensives against Kurdish separatists have displaced part of the population in southeastern Turkey and provoked international condemnation.
In recent years, Turkey has become a major tourist destination in Europe.
local short form: Türkiye
Int’l long form: Republic of Turkey
Int’l short form: Turkey
Country Calling Code: +90
Capital City: Ankara (pop. 3.7 million)
Political System of Turkey
Turkey is a republic since 1923. According to Article 2 of the constitution, Turkey is a democratic, secular, and social constitutional state. The current president is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The president is directly elected by absolute majority popular vote. He is both chief of state and head of government.
In the April 2017 referendum, voters voted by a narrow majority to transform the parliamentary government system that has existed since 1920 into a presidential system.
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Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaskanligi
Presidency of the Republic Of Turkey.
Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi
The website of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
T.C. Dışişleri Bakanlığı
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides comprehensive information on Turkey and Turkish culture.
Mission of Turkey to the United Nations
Site of the Turkish Mission to the UN.
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in the U.S.
Türkische Botschaft Berlin
Embassy of Turkey in Germany.
List of Turkish Diplomatic Missions in the World
Addresses of Turkish Missions Abroad.
Diplomatic Missions in Turkey
Foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited in Turkey.
Government Bodies and Ministries of the Republic of Turkey
List of links to Government Agencies and Ministries.
Turkish Statistical Institute
The Turkish government agency that produces the official statistics for the country.
Map of Turkey
Google Earth Map Turkey
Searchable map and satellite view of Turkey.
Google Earth Map Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque
Satellite view with information about Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) and
Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul.
Google Earth Mount Ararat
Satellite view and information about Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in Turkey.
Map of the Mediterranean
Political Map of the Mediterranean Sea region.
Map of the Balkan Peninsula
Political Map of the Balkans.
Map of Countries of Western Asia and the Middle East
Political map of the countries of Western Asia and the Middle East.
Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
Map of Europe
Political Map of Europe.
News of Turkey
Turkey has hundreds of private TV and radio stations that compete with the state broadcaster TRT.
Online News from Turkey
Anadolu Ajansi, the state-run Turkish news agency, is headquartered in Ankara.
Dünya is a Turkish Newspaper with mainly business news.
Hürriyet is a major Turkish newspaper since 1948.
Milliyet is a Turkish daily newspaper published in Istanbul.
A daily published in Turkey (in English).
Hürriyet Daily News
Oldest current English-language daily in Turkey.
US-based website that features Turkish daily news and information about Turkey.
Conservative Turkish daily newspaper (in Turkish, English, and Arabic).
List of Turkish national and local newspapers and news agencies.
Turkish Radio Television Corporation – TRT World
Provides national and international news in all major languages.
Turkish TV online (in Turkish)
Arts & Culture of Turkey
Arts & Culture
Ephesus Archaeological Museum (Efes Müzesi)
The museum in Selçuk displays finds from the nearby Ephesus excavation site. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of the Anatolian peninsula and the location of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums
Information about the three archaeological museums located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul.
Contemporary art exhibition held every two years in Istanbul; organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV).
The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art is a museum of contemporary art in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The museum, also known as the Hittite Museum, is the most important archaeological museum in Turkey, located next to the Archäologische Museum in Istanbul.
The Topkapi Palace Museum
Home of almost all the Ottoman sultans.
Turkish Arts & Culture
Turkey’s culture information by the Ministry of Culture.
Extensive information about Turkish Cuisine, including food history, a food dictionary, and recipes.
Turkish Cultural Foundation
Turkish Cultural Foundation promotes Turkish culture and heritage.
Business & Economy of Turkey
The Economy of Turkey is based on agriculture, industry, and services. Turkey maintains a mostly free-market economy, which is driven by the industry and the service sector. Turkey’s traditional agricultural sector still accounts for about 25 % of employment but contributes just 6.4% of the country’s GDP, while industry accounts for 28% and services for 56%.
The country is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural products, textiles, motor vehicles, transport equipment, building materials, consumer electronics, and household appliances.
Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankasi
Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
Istanbul Stock Exchange
The official web site of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE)
Turkish Standards Institution
Official website of the Turkish Standards Institution, Ankara.
This site is created for information about Turkey and about companies
that imports and/or exports goods, make booking and charters.
Foreign Economic Relations Board – DEIK
The site provides information about doing business in Turkey.
Turkish Airlines is the national airline of Turkey; it is based in İstanbul.
The Turkish low-cost carrier is based in Istanbul and operates holiday charter flights to Turkish resorts from around 100 destinations in 17 countries.
The Turkish-German airline is based in Antalya; it operates scheduled and charter flights to destinations in Europe.
TUI flies from more than 21 UK airports, direct to over 70 worldwide destinations, including 4 turkish airports.
TAV Airports Holding is a Turkish airport services company and one of the world’s largest airport operators.
Istanbul Airport (IATA: IST) is since April 2019 Istanbul’s main international airport. All scheduled commercial passenger flights were transferred from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport.
Atatürk International Airport
(IATA: ISL) The former main international airport in Istanbul is now an airport for general aviation and cargo traffic. AIA is located in Yeşilköy on the European side of the city. The airport is named after Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and the first president of the Republic of Turkey.
Sabiha gokcen international airport is the low cost carriers airport located in the Asian side of istanbul.
(IATA: AYT) Antalya, Turkey’s primary holiday destination on the Mediterranean coast.
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollar – TCDD
Turkish State Railways.
Turkey has four major container ports, Haydarpaşa (Istanbul), Ambarliv (Istanbul), Izmir (Port of Alsancak), and Mersin; the Port of Mersin is Turkey’s main gateway to the Mediterranean Sea.
Tourism in Turkey
Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Palace (the core of Ottoman power), Galata Tower, İstiklal Avenue (shopping), Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Süleymaniye Mosque, Topkapı Palace (residence of Ottoman sultans);
Bodrum, Bodrum Castle, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Tomb of Mausolus);
Göreme National Park (Cappadocia); Library of Celsus (Ephesus);
Pamukkale (white travertine terraces);
Mount Nemrut (2,134 m high summit with large statues from the 1st century BC.)
Turkey’s official Tourism Portal.
Go Turkey Tourism
Another Turkish Tourism Portal.
Tourist and travel information by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Turkey in Pictures
Images of Turkish regions, cities and landmarks.
A comprehensive site about Turkey by a licensed tour guide 🙂
Official website of the Turkish capital city (in Turkish).
Istanbul Convention & Visitors Bureau
A portal to the world’s only city on two continents.
The Official City Guide.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey
There are 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey, 16 cultural and two mixed sites. Additionally, not less than 83 properties are listed in UNESCO’s Tentative List for Turkey (see the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey).
Numerous well-preserved ruins make Aphrodisias one of the most important archaeological sites of the Eastern Mediterranean from Greco-Roman times. The remains of the still visible temple of Aphrodite date back to the 1st century BC.
On Mount Nemrut (Nemrut Dağ), one of the highest peaks of the eastern Taurus Mountains, is the Mausoleum of Antiochus. The Greco-Persian King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 BC) had built the temple tomb to himself. The sanctuary was meant to be the center of a new religion that united Persian and Greek mythology. The site is famous for its monumental statues.
Pergamon and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape
The citadel of Pergamon was the capital of the Hellenistic Attalide dynasty and an important center of knowledge in ancient times. The ancient Greek city was surrounded by a wall and contained monumental temples, theaters, roofed colonnades, a gymnasium, an altar, and a library. According to an ancient legend, the parchment named after Pergamon was invented in this city.
Archaeological Site of Troy
With its 4000 years of history, the city of Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The first excavations were carried out there in 1870 by the renowned archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. The remains of the city are the most important scientific evidence of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. The siege of Troy by Spartan and Aegean warriors from Greece in the 13th or 12th century B.C. – described by Homer in the Iliad – has been a great inspiration for artists all over the world.
Bursa and Cumalıkızık: the Birth of the Ottoman Empire
Bursa is located on the slopes of the mountain Uludağ; it was the first capital of the Ottoman Empire and the seat of Sultan Bayezid I from 1326–1402. The new Ottoman capital featured Hanes (caravanserai), mosques and other religious institutions, public baths, a soup kitchen, and the tomb of Orhan Gazi, the conqueror of Anatolia.
Education in Turkey
Ankara University was the first higher education institution established in Turkey after the formation of the republic in 1923. It was formerly the Faculty of Political Science in Ankara, founded in Istanbul in 1859 and moved to Ankara in 1936.
Bilkent is a top-ranked private university in Ankara.
Istanbul Technical University
ITU is one of the world’s oldest technical universities, founded by Sultan Mustafa III in 1773. ITU is among the most prominent educational institutions in the country.
The Istanbul University was established in 1453 by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. It is the oldest and largest university in Turkey.
The Marmara University is a public university in the Fatih district of Istanbul.
The Turkish National Library was founded in 1946 by the Turkish Ministry of Education in Ankara. It is a member of the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL).
Turkish Academy of Science (TÜBA)
TÜBA is a Turkish research institution; the autonomous scholarly association was founded in 1993.
Turkish Council of Higher Education
The CoHE is the central state control body of Turkish universities.
List of universities in Turkey
Wikipedia list of universities in Turkey
Environment & Nature
Turkish Foundation for Combating Erosion, for Reforestation, and the Protection of Natural Habitats
Official website of TEMA with information about the work and goals of the foundation. (in Turkish)
The foundation for the protection and promotion of environmental and cultural values has its head office in İstanbul.
Foundation for the evaluation of environmental protection and packaging waste.
Environment Foundation of Turkey
Official website of the foundation with information about the activities of EFT.
Turkish Marine Research Foundation
The institution for marine environment protection and preservation conducts research on marine life and habitat.
National Parks of Turkey
Wikipedia page with information about Turkish National Parks and preserved areas.
History of Anatolia
Page about the history of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor.
A Brief Outline of Turkish History.
The Ottoman Empire
The history, military, culture and arts of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkish National Archives
(until now only in Turkish)
Turkey – History
Encyclopædia Britannica entry about the history of modern Turkey from its formation in the aftermath of the Ottoman defeat in World War I (1914–18) until the 21st century.
Selected country profiles of Turkey published by international organizations.
Turkey ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.
Worldbank Data: Turkey
World Development Indicators database.