Turkey – amazing country
Turkey lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe. For centuries it was the heart of two great empires – the Christian Byzantine Empire and the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Most of Turkey is on Anatolian peninsula and its small part is in southeastern Europe. Narrow waterways and the Sea of Marmara separate the two parts of Turkey. Its official name is the Republic of Turkey. Its area is 780,580 square kilometers. Turkey borders Bulgaria, Greece, Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Georgia.
Humans have lived in the Asian part of Turkey, called Anatolia, since at least 7000 BC. Greeks and Persians later fought over the land. Romans took over Anatolia by about 30 BC. In AD 395 the Roman Empire was divided into western and eastern parts. The eastern part became known as the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople (now called Istanbul) was the capital. The Seljuk Turks invaded Anatolia in the 1040s.
In the late 1200s a group of Turks founded the great Ottoman Empire and in 1453 they captured Constantinople. By the mid-1500s the Ottoman Empire stretched across North Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Europe. At the end of World War I it collapsed. In 1923 Mustafa Kemal founded the new country of Turkey. Ankara became the new capital.
Most of Turkey’s people are Turks, who speak Turkish. Kurds live in eastern Turkey and have their own language.
Services (such as communications, transportation, and tourism) and manufacturing are the main parts of Turkey’s economy. Manufacturers produce fabrics, clothing, processed foods, iron and steel, chemicals, cars, and electronics.
Climate is dry with hot summers, but winters are cold in central Turkey and mild near the coasts.
The highest peak is Mount Ararat, which rises 5,137 meters.
The country’s longest river, the Kizil, flows through the peninsula.
Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and the only city in the world that sits on two continents. It is divided by the Bosporus Strait, that separates Europe from Asia. The city has been a gateway between Asia and Europe for centuries. A former church in Istanbul called the Hagia Sophia is considered one of the world’s greatest buildings. The church was built in the 500s and later became a mosque and then a museum. The Topkapi Palace was home to the rulers of the Islamic Ottoman Empire.