Turkey is a nation straddling eastern Europe and western Asia with cultural connections to ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Cosmopolitan Istanbul, on the Bosphorus Strait, is home to the iconic Hagia Sophia, with its soaring dome and Christian mosaics, the massive 17th-century Blue Mosque and the circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, former home of sultans. Ankara is Turkey’s modern capital.
Turkey is at the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. To the north is the Black Sea and to the west is the Aegean Sea. Its neighbors are Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania to the north and northwest (through the Black Sea), Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east, and Syria and Iraq to the south. The Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus divide the country. Turkey in Europe comprises an area about equal to the state of Massachusetts. Turkey in Asia is about the size of Texas. Its center is a treeless plateau rimmed by mountains.
Land Area: 297,591 sq mi (770,761 sq km); Total Area:301,382 sq mi (780,580 sq km)
Population (July 2014 est.): 81,619,392 (growth rate: 1.12%); birth rate: 16.86/1000; infant mortality rate: 21.43/1000; life expectancy: 73.29
Capital (2011 est.): Ankara, 4.194 million
Other Largest Cities: Istanbul, 11.253 million; Izmir, 2.927 million; Bursa, 1.713 million; Adana, 1.468 million, Gaziantep 1.198 million.
Monetary Unit: Turkish lira (YTL)