Turkey Guide

Turkey Guide

Turkey – country information

Country name Turkey
Official name Republic of Turkey
Capital Ankara
Continent Asia, Europe
Area 783,562 km2
Population 76,667,864 (2013)
Foundation of a state 29/10/1923
The highest mountains Ararat 5165 m
Longest rivers Kizil Irmak 1180 km, Euphrates 1260 km
The largest lakes Van 3675 km 2
State system a pluralist republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Istanbul 7,650,000, Ankara (Capital) 2,950,000, Izmir 2,050,000
Official language Turkish
Ethnicity/National Composition Turks 87%, Kurds 10%, Arabs 1.5%, others 1.5%
Religious affiliation Sunni Muslims 90%, Shiites 9.5%, others 0.5%
Currency 1 Turkish Lira (TRL) = 100 Kurus
gross domestic product (GDP) US$14,812 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 72.62 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture and fishing 16.7%, mining 1.8%, industry 22%, construction 6.5%, services 53%

Turkey – neighboring states

State Capital Area Population
Armenia Yerevan 29,800 km2 3,017,400
Azerbaijan Baku 86,600 km2 9,477,100
Bulgaria Sofia 110,912 km2 7,282,041
Georgia Tbilisi 69,700 km2 4,483,800
Iraq Baghdad 438,317 km2 34,035,000
Iran Tehran 1,648,200 km2 77,288,000
Greece Athens 131,957 km2 10,815,197
Syria Damascus 185,180 km2 21,898,000

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, Turkey is located on the Asia Minor peninsula and a smaller part (3% of the country’s area) also lies in Europe. It controls two strategically important straits – the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles connecting the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. The European part, Thrace, lies north of the Sea of ​​Marmara and borders Bulgaria and Greece. The Asian part is surrounded by the Black Sea in the north, the indented coast is washed by the Aegean Sea in the west, and the Mediterranean Sea in the south. In the east, Turkey borders with Georgia, Armenia and in Kurdistan with Iran and Iraq, and in the south with Syria.

Country data

Location: Southeast Europe and Southwest Asia (Turkey is on both continents)

Time zone: CET + 1

Total area: 783,562 km²

Land area: 769,632 km²

Water area: 13,930 km²

Length of the state border: 2,656 km

Bordering countries:
Armenia: 268 km
Azerbaijan: 17 km
Bulgaria: 240 km
Georgia: 252 km
Greece: 206 km
Iran: 499 km
Iraq: 352 km
Syria: 822 km

Coastline: 7,200 km

Capital: Ankara

Provinces: 81
Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon (Trebizond), Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 90 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m


Population: approx. 81.6 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: 1.1% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 104

Life expectancy: 71 (male), 75 (female)

Official language: Turkish


  • 99.5% Muslim
  • 0.5% other


Due to the geographic location and the prevailing air currents, Turkey does not have a uniform climate.


South of the country:

  • subtropical climate almost all year round
  • in summer around 30 ° C
  • in winter around 10-15 ° C


  • temperate climate zone
  • in summer up to 30 ° C
  • in winter between 0 and 10 ° C
  • Rain can fall all year round
  • constant wind from the sea makes the climate bearable


  • continental climate zone
  • very hot summer months (up to 40 ° C)
  • very cold winter months (up to – 30 ° C)
  • a lot of snowfall in winter

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Turkish Lira (TRY)

Division: 1 lira = 100 kurus

ATMs: Available in many cities and tourist areas.

International credit cards: These are accepted by many larger hotels and shops.

Regulations: Foreign and national currencies can be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

If amounts in the local currency are to be exported over the equivalent of 5,000 US dollars, these must have already been declared upon import.

Before using ATMs, you should inspect them carefully as tampering is common.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 400 cigarettes and 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages over 22% alcohol
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages below 22% alcohol
  • small amounts of perfume

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

All valuable things should be declared upon entry to ensure problem-free export.

The export of various souvenirs (e.g. carpets) from Turkey is subject to special customs regulations.

Antiques, minerals and objects of cultural history may not be exported.

Important: The attempted export of collected stones, broken glass and sand is severely punished. Long-term detention (pre-trial detention) and high bail payments are the rule.

Travel advice

Travel to the border areas with Syria and Iraq is not recommended.

Antiques of all kinds (e.g. old-looking or hewn stones) are not allowed. Possession of such is also punishable by long prison sentences.

After the attacks in Istanbul, the already high security measures were tightened even further. You have to expect constant police checks.

Behavioral advice

Photographing military installations and people is prohibited.

Possession and trafficking in drugs are punishable by long prison terms.


The most important economic sectors in Turkey include the automotive industry, textile industry, tourism and the electronics industry.

Most of the residents are employed in agriculture, which mainly exports tobacco and cotton.

The tourism industry has grown rapidly in recent years, bringing much-needed foreign currency into the country.

Industries: mining, vehicle manufacturing, food manufacturing, paper manufacturing, textiles, tourism

Natural resources: boron, chromium, iron ore, coal, copper, agricultural land, hydropower

Land use:

  • Usable land: 32%
  • Grain cultivation: 4%
  • Pasture area: 16%
  • Forests: 26%
  • other: 22%


In the vicinity of the Mediterranean Sea and in the west of the country, the vegetation is still quite well preserved. There are many species of trees and dense bushes.

Inland, the flora changes into steppe vegetation that only houses individual trees and bushes.


In the forest areas and poorly populated regions there are still bears, mountain pullers, foxes, red deer and wolves. There are also a large number of smaller animal species.

The native bird world is also well represented. Many species of eagles, hawks, partridge and quail are included.

Anchovies, perch, mackerel and tuna are mainly caught in the seas.

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