• Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian
Turkey (Anatolia mostly) which includes 97% of the
country, is separated from European Turks by the
Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles
(which together form a water link between the Black Sea
and Mediterranean Sea). European Turkey comprises 3%
of the country.
The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 km
long and 800 km wide, with a roughly
rectangular shape. Turkey's area, including
lakes, occupies almost 800 000 km square.
Turkey is the 37th biggest country of the world.
In the European part, Turkish borders are with
Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the
country, Anatolia, consists of a high central plateau
with narrow coastal plains, between Koroglu and
Pontic mountain which stretches to the north and
Mount Taurus in South Turkey has several
mountainous landscapes and rivers as the
Euphrates, Tigris and Aras, and contains Lake Van
and Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point is
Turkey is divided into seven regions: Marmara,
Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, East Anatolia,
South East Anatolia and the Mediterranean. North
Anatolian terrain along the Black Sea resembles a
long, narrow belt. This region comprises
approximately one-sixth of Turkey's total territory.
Turkey's varied landscapes are the product of
complex movements that shaped this region of
the world and yet here, quite frequent
earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur
sometimes. In 1999 Turkey was comprised of an
The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean
Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate
Mediterranean climate, with heat, dry summers and
cool, wet winters. The coastal areas of Turkey
bordering the Black Sea have temperate oceanic
heat, humid summers, wet winters.
Republic of Turkey is a
democratic, secular, constitutional whose
political system was established in 1923.
Turkey is a member of the
UN, NATO, OSCE, OECD, OIC and the
Council of Europe. In October 2005 the EU
opened accession negotiations with Ankara.
Ottoman Empire collapsed after the defeat in
World War I, parts of it were occupied by the
victorious Allies. Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk, organized a successful resistance for the
Allies, and in 1923 they established the modern
Republic of Turkey with Atatürk as the first
Having a single geographic location where
East and West meet, Turkey was the
essential glue mixing oriental cultures,
Islamic and Mediterranean throughout
history. Anatolia, one of the first areas
inhabited by humans, possesses a rare
cultural diversity due to the influence masses
of people-who lived here.
Rich culture is reflected in music and there is even a
legend that tells how the Turkish people did the
music, returning from hunting: one of the hunters heard
a sound very unique and beautiful. When he looked
more closely to see where it came from, he saw a horse
skull. Some highlights of the ridge were wrapped
around the skull to vibrate in the breeze. Hunter took
the skull and tried to emulate the sound, tapping with
his fingers in the rhythm. Music from the skull was
beautiful and melodic, so based on this principle, he
made the first stringed instrument.
Traditional music includes songs basically
anonymous that are created following a certain
pattern, which is then sung in public places in
the region where they were composed, surviving
until today. This type of music can be divided
into a) subdivision of folk music and b) Ottoman
In 2006, Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel Prize
for Literature. He was the first champion in the
Islamic world. The writer Salman Rushdie was
condemned to death for Satanic Verses.
Mi'mâr Koca Sinan was a chief architect of the
Ottoman (Turkish: "Mimar") and civil engineer of Sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murad III. He
was responsible for the construction of more than
three hundred major structures and other more
modest, such as Islamic primary schools (mektebs
sibyan). His disciples would later design the Sultan
Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul .
ELIF SHAFAK Writer of Turkish origin. His debute in literature was in
1994, with Anadolu Gozlere Kem story, but he achieved
success and public recognition with the first Turkish
novel, Sufis, published in 1997. The second novel, Mirrors
city, published in 1999 and awarded in 2000 by the Turkish
Writers Union, imposed a definitive Turkish literature.
Traditions of Turkey
In Turkish legends, heroes used to eat
peanuts and raisins before fighting with
dragons and giants. The fact that nowadays
some mothers give their babies a bag of
peanuts and raisins shows that Turkish
cuisine is probably a very long tradition.
Stereotypes and prejudices about Turkey
At the table you can not eat sitting crosslegged, it means disrespect and it is believed
to bring famine in the house.
• A broken mirror can bring seven years of bad
• The 13th day of the month is considered to
bring bad luck.
• You can not go through the front of the car.
It is considered a bad sign if a rabbit passes in front of
• If in a year were made several quinces, then the
coming winter will go hard.
• It’s a sign of death if an owl sings on the roof.
• It is said that if you repeat something 40 times, then
that thing can happen.
• Do not wash Saturday and Tuesday.
• When the tree has too many cones, winter will go
• You mustn’t jump over a child, or they will stay short.
• If the baby's clothes remain outside until it gets dark, it
may fall under the influence of curses.
• It is considered a deadly sign, if during EZAN the
In Romania they say – “are you Turkish?”
when a person doesn’t understand what
Women do not go alone on the street only if
accompanied by their husbands, fathers, or other
Avoid showing your soles (being considered
disrespect) and do not use your left
hand to eat or interact with others
Men usually walk separated by