Is Turkey in Europe or Asia?

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey.

The Republic of Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian nation located between Europe and Asia. Turkey is a secular state, and practices a democratic legislative form of government. The country has a rich cultural and ancient heritage and is believed to be the final resting place of the Biblical Noah’s Ark. The Republic of Turkey boasts of rich textile, food processing, mining, agricultural, steel, and petroleum industries. The country borders Bulgaria and Greece to the Northwest, Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the East, Syria to the South and Georgia to the Northeast. Turkey is circled by the Mediterranean Sea to the South, Black Sea to the North and the Aegean Sea to the West.

Europe Or Asia : Where Is Turkey?

Turkey, by land mass, is positioned 95% in Asia and 5% in Europe. The Anatolia section covers the 95% while the 5% represents Thrace in the Balkan Peninsula located in Southeast Europe. Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asiatic Turkey, or Anatolian Plateau, is a vast, rectangular peninsula between Europe and Asia. Anatolia has a mixed climate of fertile and semi-arid and the region is full of hills and mountains.Thrace is home to more than 10% of Turkey’s inhabitants, and Istanbul is its largest city while the capital, Ankara is in Asia. Istanbul is the third most densely settled city in Europe after Moscow and Paris. The Turkish Straits linking the Aegean Sea with the Black Sea separates Thrace in Europe and Anatolia in Asia. These Straits include the Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles.

Geo-politics Of Turkey

There is a clear line of preference and support between Asia and the West when it comes to international politics and development. While the West is pro-democracy and capitalist, many Asian States have traditionally leaned towards socialism and communism ideologies. Turkey, with a foot in each of the continents, has had a difficult time balancing the two different ideologies. In most cases, Turkey has supported the West and joined regional bodies in Europe. Turkey is a NATO member and supported the 1990 and 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Turkey has the second largest standing military force in NATO and shares a nuclear policy with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and Italy. The country has expressed interests to join the European Union, but the process has not been smooth. Recently, Turkey has played a significant role in support of Syrian rebels and shot down a Russian fighter jet that was in its airspace on a mission that was designed to support the Syrian government. The West has stood firm and vowed to retaliate if any country invades Turkey. Turkey is a founding member of the UN and has been a long-time member of the UN Security Council. Recently, Turkey’s global policy seems to be shifting towards the Middle East.

Impact Of Turkey's Geographical Location On The Country's Culture

The Turkish population of Ethnic Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, Circassians, Albanians, Bosnians, Georgians among others reflect its continental state. The development of Turkey reflects that of a State keen to follow Western civilization, culture, and systems, despite 95% of it being in Asia. Turkey’s close association with the West has significantly contributed to its development and strengthening of key Government Institutions. This close partnership placed Turkey as a key ally of the West in global campaigns against the many Asian States.


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