Turkey (Türkiye), known officially as the Republic of Turkey (About this sound Türkiye Cumhuriyeti), is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in Western Asia and Thrace (Rumelia) in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north.
Separating Anatolia and Thrace are the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits (the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles), which are commonly reckoned to delineate the boundary between Europe and Asia, thereby making Turkey a country of significant geostrategic importance. Ethnic Turks form the majority of the population, followed by the Kurds. The predominant religion in Turkey is Islam. The official language is Turkish.
Turkey is the successor state to the Ottoman Empire. It is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic, whose political system was established in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. Since then, Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, WEOG, OSCE and the G-20 major economies.
Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the EEC since 1963, and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the Eastern world, particularly with the rest of the Middle East and states of Central Asia, through membership in organizations such as the OIC and ECO. Turkey is classified as a developed country by the CIA and as a regional power by political scientists and economists worldwide.
39°55′N 32°50′E / 39.917°N 32.833°E / 39.917; 32.833
Largest city : Istanbul
Official languages : Turkish
Demonym : Turkish
Government Parliamentary republic
Succession to the Ottoman Empire
- Total 783,562 km2 (37th)
302,535 sq mi
- Water (%) 1.3
Time zone : EET (UTC+2)
Drives on the right