Provinces:Ankara,Aksaray,Cankırı,Eskişehir,Karaman,Kayseri,Kirikkale,Kirsehir, KONYA,Nevsehir,Nigde,Sivas,Yozgat..Sights:Cappadocia,TuzLake,Catakhoyuk,Gordion,Hattusas,Alacahoyuk,Yazilikaya,Phrygia and the Phrygians…See also:Galatia, Ankara museums, Interactive Central Anatolia Map
Central Anatolian Region / The Anatolian PlateauAlthough termed a plateau, this region is actually quite diverse.Stretching inland from the Aegean, it occupies the area between thetwo zones of folded mountains, extending east to the point wherethe two mountain ranges converge. Central Anatolian regionoccupies 19% of the total area of Turkey with its 151.000 squarekilometers of land, its the second largest regionof Turkey after Eastern Anatolia.The plateau-like, arid highlands of Anatolia are considered theheartland of the country. Akin to the steppes of the Soviet Union, theregion varies in altitude from 600 to 1,200 meters west toeast, averaging 500 meters in elevation. The two largest basins onthe plateau are the Konya Ovasi and the basin occupied by TuzGölü (Salt Lake). Both are characterized by inland drainage.Wooded areas are confined to the northwest and northeast, andcultivation is restricted to the areas surrounding theneighboring rivers where the valleys are sufficiently wide. Irrigationis practiced wherever water is available; the deeply entrenched rivercourses make it difficult to raise water to thesurrounding agricultural land, however. For the most part, the regionis bare and monotonous and is used for grazing.
Rainfall is limited and in Ankara amounts to less than 25 centimetersannually. Wheat and barley are the most important crops, but theyields are irregular, and crops fail in years of drought. 1/3 of the totalwheat of Turkey comes from this region. Other important crops in theregion are potatoes, beans, chickpeas and lentils.Stock raising also is important, but overgrazing has caused soilerosion in the plateau, and during the frequent summer dust storms afine yellow powder blows across the plains. In bad years, stock lossesare severe, and locusts occasionally ravage the eastern area in Apriland May. An area of extreme heat and virtually no rainfall insummer, the Anatolian plateau Continental climate is cold in winterand receives heavy, lasting snows. Villages may be isolated bysevere snow storms.Carpet weaving is another important income for smallvillagers, especially in Cappadocia and Konya.
Central Anatolia’s uplands and plateau region is austerecompared to the mountainous or forested Turkishregions or the more relaxed coastal plains. The land ischaracterised by flat, fertile steppes and gentle rollinghills, broken by occasional mountains such as thesnowcapped Mount Erciyes, an extinct volcano rising3,917m (12,926ft) above sea level. The broad plainsmake ideal agricultural land, and central Anatolia servedas a granary to both the Roman and Byzantine empires.Its capture by the Turks in the 11th century deprived theByzantine Empire of its agricultural wealth and musthave contributed to its decline.
Black Sea region has an oceanic climate (Köppen climateclassification: Cfb); with high and evenly distributed rainfallthe year round. At the coast, summers are warm andhumid, and winters are cool and damp. The Black Seacoast receives the greatest amount of precipitation and isthe only region of Turkey that receives high precipitationthroughout the year. The eastern part of that coastaverages 2,500 millimeters annually which is the highestprecipitation in the country. Snowfall is quite commonbetween the months of December and March, snowing fora week or two, and it can be heavy once it snows.The water temperature in the whole Turkish Black Seacoast is always cool and fluctuates between 8° and 20°Cthroughout the year
• Since most of the region is far from the sea, and has high altitude, it has a harsh continental climate with long winters and short summers. During the winter, it is very cold and snowy, during summer the weather is cool in the highlands and warm in the lowlands. The region has the lowest average temperature of all Turkish regions, with -25°C. Although it can get below -40°C. The summer average is about 20°C.• The regions annual temperature difference is the highest in Turkey.• Some areas in the region have different microclimates. As an example Iğdır (near Mount Ararat) has a milder climate.• The region contains 11% percent of the total forested area of Turkey. Oak and yellow pine trees form the majority of the forests. It is rich in native plants and animals.• The region has high potential for hydroelectric power.
• Southeastern Anatolia Region has an area of 75.358 km² and is the second smallest region of Turkey. Southeastern Anatolia Region has asemi-arid continental climate with very hot and dry summers and cold and often snowy winters.
The MediterraneanRegion• The Mediterranean Region has a Mediterranean climate at the coast, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters and a semi-aridcontinental climate in the interior with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters.
Aegean Region• The climate of the Aegean Region has a Mediterranean climate at the coast, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters and a semi- arid continental climate in the interior with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters.
Marmara Region• The Marmara region has a hybrid mediterranean climate/humid subtropical climate on the Aegean Sea coast and the south Marmara Sea coast, an oceanic climate on the Black Sea coast and a humid continental climate in the interior. Summers are warm to hot, humid and moderately dry whereas winters are cold and wet and sometimes snowy.
Turkeys flora• Anatolia is one of the foremost world sources of plants which have been cultivated for food, and the wild ancestors of many plants which now provide staples for mankind still grow here.• Wild forms develop defense mechanisms against predators, extremes of temperature, flooding, frost and drought. Moreover, they are resistant to the diseases so prevalent among cultivated plants. In addition, they preserve the taste, fragrance, color, hardness and other original characteristics which tend to be lost in the course of cultivation. Today thanks to strides made in biotechnology it is possible to transmit useful qualities of this kind to their cultivars. Moreover, wild forms are a fundamental reference source for the development of new cultivars. To put it metaphorically, wild forms of cultivated species are like the national archive of a country, or the core memory of a computer.
• According to the principal international organizations active in wildlife research and conservation-the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (I-UCN), the International Plant Genetic Resource Institute (IPGRI) and the World Wildlife Found, there are four gene centers in the world for cultivated plants used in agriculture. Two of these are in the American continent and two in Asia. In America, Mexico is the gene centre for maize and tomatoes, and Peru for potatoes and beans, while in Asia China is the gene centre for rice and millet, and the region of southwest Asia covering most of Turkey and parts of Iran, Iraq. Syria and Azerbaijan for wheat and barley. The most important of these strategic agricultural plants is undoubtedly wheat, of which over thirty wild species still grow in Turkey. The transmission of a disease-resistant gene from a wild wheat form in Turkey to the American cultivar has meant a saving of 50 million dollars a year for the US economy alone
Turkeys flora• Turkey is also the home of many other cultivated plants, such as chickpeas, lentils, apricots, almonds, figs, hazeln uts, cherries and sour cherries. Their origin is recorded in the Latin names for some of these species, such as Ficus caria, meaning "fig of Caria". Caria was an archaic civilization of Anatolia in the southernAegean region. Similarly the cherrys scientific name Cerasus comes from the ancient name of its place of origin, today the province of Giresun on Turkeys Black Sea coast.• Off the large number of ornamental flowers cultivated from Turkish wild forms, we can cite
Turkeys flora• As the flora, Turkey is divided into 3 main division and 5 subdivisions, these are;• I) Euro-Siberian Flora Area a) Kolsik Provence: includes central and western parts of the Black Sea Region and some of Marmara Region. b) Oksin Provence: includes eastern part of the Black Sea Region.• II) Mediterranean Flora Area a) Western Anatolia: includes Thrace, southern part of Marmara Region and Aegean Region. b) Taurus Mountains c) Amanos Mountains• III) Irano-Tranian Flora Area includes the rest of the country
Turkeys Fauna• The diversity of fauna in Turkey is even greater than that of wild plants. While the number of species throughout Europe as a whole is around 60,000, in Turkeythey number over 80,000. If subspecies are also counted, then this number rises to over a hundred thousand.• As in the case of plants, Anatolia is the original homeland of several species. For instance, the fallow deer now common in Europe was introduced from Turkeyin the 17th century. This species comes from the foothills of the Taurus Mountains between Antalya and Adana. Another example is the pheasant which comes from Samsun on Turkeys Black Sea coast. The scientific name of this beautiful bird is Phasianus colchicus, "Phasianus" being the ancient name for the Kizilirmak river, and "colchicus" deriving from Colhia, an ancient kingdom which stretched along the Black Sea coast to the Caucasus.
• The domestic sheep is a descendant of the wild sheep, Ovis musimon anatolica, which as the scientific name indicates was a native of Anatolia. Few people are aware that the Anatolia leopard is one of the largest of these graceful cats, and that it was the species used in gladiator fights by the Romans constructed as traps for these creatures can still be seen scattered in the Taurus Mountains, and are known locally as tiger-traps. Indeed, the tiger is another creature whose original homeland was Anatolia, a little known fact reflected in the name tiger itself , which comes from the Latin name Felis Tigris, or Tigris cat after the Tigris river. The lions which survive only in Hittite statues today were once another member of the Anatolian fauna.
• Birds have taken advantage of Turkeys strategic position as a bridge connecting Europe to Asia and Africa for thousands of years. Two of the four main migration routes in the bio-geographic region known as the year, in spring and autumn. In spring migratory birds fly northwards from Africa to Asia and Europe, and in autumn they leave their breeding grounds to fly south to Africa again. One of these migration routes leads south from Hopa in northeast Turkey along the Çoruh river valley into Eastern Anatolia, passing through Kahramanmaras and Antakya in Southeast Turkey. Most of the birds which take this route through the Çoruh River valley are birds of prey, and at around 250,000 they from the largest migratory group of birds of prey in the world. However, the most spectacular migration in the world is the flight of storks down the Bosphorus in Istanbul in spring and autumn. Over a quarter million storks fly in clouds over the city in the course of a few weeks. Some species of birds of prey also migrate along the Bosphorus, a waterway which is not only migratory route for birds but also for fish making their way between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea. It is this phenomenon which results in unusually high catches, delighting fishermen and their customers alike.
• Despite the fact that Turkey is an ancient land, crossed, exploited and sought over by a succession of peoples for millennia, there are still many areas which have remained virtually untouched, enabling many rare species of wildlife which have become endangered or extinct elsewhere to maintain viable colonies here.Turkeys Aegean and Mediterranean shores provide a refuge for monk seals and loggerhead turtles, while is wetlands house colonies of numerous endangered species, such as the Dalmatian pelican, pygmy cormorant and the slender billed curlew, as well as flamingoes, wild ducks and geese.• Under the auspices of the Ministry of the Environment a program is underway to project the last surviving colonies of monk seal along Turkeys Mediterraneanand Aegean coasts, and in addition an international project is being conducted within the framework of the Bern and Barcelona conventions. Apart from a small colony of monk seals on the shores of the Western Sahara on the Atlantic Ocean, the only remaining colonies of this species are the eastern Mediterranean, the species having been wiped out in the western areas. The fact that the species has survived along Turkeys shores is due to the preservation of the natural environment in many areas and low pollution levels.
• Further evidence that environmental conservation along Turkeys coast is succeeding is the continued existence of pine forest and long un- spoilt beaches despite extensive construction in recent years. Seals are seen to a lesser extent in the Marmara and Black Sea, but they are most common around Foça, near Izmir, on the Aegean coast, a town whose name derives from the ancient Phoenician for seal. A local SealCommittee has beer set up in the town, followed by another at Yalikavak near Bodrum further to the south.
• The total number of monk seals in the world is between 300- 400, fifty of which live in Turkish waters.• Other endangered species include turtles which lay their eggs in the long sandy beaches of the Mediterranean. Two species breed in Turkey, where efforts to protect them have been extremely successful. A tourism development project at Köycegiz has been scrapped to preserve the breeding grounds of Caretta Caretta, and the lake and marshes of Köycegiz declared an Specially Protected Area. These measures were received with a standing ovation by the Standing Committee of Bern Convention of the Council of Europe in 1989, and cited as an example for other countries to follow. Studies of the turtles along all Turkeys shores have been launched, and seventeen sand beaches of foremost importance as breeding grounds for turtles are kept under constant observation by the Turtle Preservation Committee. The Ministry of the Environments Authority of Specially Protected Areas is in charge of protecting the Belek area, and the Ministry of Forestry is responsible for the Yumurtalik and Akyatan wetlands.