Terrain shapes and bedrock
Most of Turkey belongs to a protruding peninsula between
the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. In general, it
is a highland with an average height of 1,100 m above sea
level, divided into streams and plateaus and surrounded by
high mountain ranges. Earthquakes often occur. These are
most numerous in the eastern and western parts as well as in
an elongated zone just inside the Black Sea coast.
COUNTRYAAH, European Turkey is located on the southeastern
part of the Balkan Peninsula. Along the Black Sea coast, the
Istranc Mountains extend, and in the interior is the most
land covered by loose soil. The border with Asian Turkey is
made up of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus and the Marmara
Sea in between.
The Anatolian Plateau (see Minor Asia) is the
main part of Turkey and mostly divided into streams and
drainless sinks with salt lakes and swamps, among others.
the shallow Tuz Göl邦, separated by raised horrors. The
bedrock has a core of older crystalline rocks that are
covered by tertiary deposits, shattered by faults and folds.
Large lava fields and young volcanoes occur, among other
things. Erciyes at 3,917 m asl, which has a glacier on top.
The coastal zone along the Aegean Sea has a
strongly lined coastline and many islands, most of which
belong to Greece. Inland stretches wide valleys with
meandering rivers, e.g. B邦y邦k Menderes and Gediz. Rivers
that flow into the Black Sea are Sakarya and Kızılırmak.
The long mountain ranges surrounding the
Anatolian plateau are to the north of the Pontic Mountains
with the top Kaçkar dağı (3,932 m asl). Along the south
coast of the peninsula and east to the Iranian border,
Taurus extends many mountain ranges. The highest is Cilo
dağı, 4 135 m above sea level. in the outer eastern Taurus.
The eastern parts of Turkey have mountain ranges
and volcanoes, e.g. Ararat, which is highest in Turkey with
5 123 m above sea level, but also lowers, among others. with
the large, salt lake Van Göl邦. This part is dewatered to the
Caspian Sea, i.a. through the river Aras and to the Indian
Ocean through the Euphrates and Tigris.
The soils of Turkey vary in humidity with gray desert
soil in the interior and red pod oil soils in the outer
Most of Turkey has a warm temperate Mediterranean climate
with a dry season in the summer, while the inner, eastern
and northeastern parts have a cold temperate climate.
Climate variations are thus considerable in the country.
The coastal regions towards the Black Sea, the Aegean and
the Mediterranean have more rainy and milder winters than
inland, while the latter have less annual rainfall and cold
or very cold winters.
The mountain peaks around the Anatolian plateau and to
the east can have snow all year round. With the exception of
these, summers inland are hot or hot with precipitation in
the form of showers. The winter precipitation falls there
mainly as snow and in the eastern parts the snow can last
for up to four months.
The Black Sea coast has rains all year round, mostly
during the winter. The eastern half of the country has heavy
rainfall during the summer and autumn, when the air is warm
and humid and the weather varies. The country in general has
a generally sunny weather, even in winter. The driest part
borders Syria in the southeast, with a humid climate more
similar to that in the Middle East, resulting in dry steppe
The annual average temperature reaches 20 ～ C along the
Mediterranean coast and the southern border with Syria,
while in most of the inland it is about 10 ～ C and drops to
about 5 ～ C at the highest altitudes in the eastern half of
the country. The south and west coasts have an average
temperature in January of 11 ～ C and in July 29 ～ C, the
Black Sea coast 7 ～ C and 23 ～ C, the inner highlands 0 ～ C
and 23 ～ C respectively, while the high plateau in the east
has -12 ～ C respectively. 18 ～ C. The continental winter
cold is thus becoming more pronounced to the east, while the
distribution of summer temperatures is more even.
The inner parts of Turkey have an annual rainfall of
250-350 mm, the high outer areas over 700 mm and the eastern
Black Sea region up to 2 400 mm per year with a pronounced
rainfall maximum on the coast around the city of Rize.
Plant-and animal life
Turkey is a meeting place for plants and animals with
different residences and development histories - from
western Asia in the south-east, from the Caucasus region in
the north-east, from the Mediterranean in the west and
southwest and from Europe in the north-west - which has led
to a rare rich nature. To safeguard this wealth, more than
30 national parks and many reserves have been set up,
several with a focus on historical remains.
The inner parts of Turkey (Anatolia) are dominated by a
haystack with agricultural countryside, river valleys and
several large salt lakes, where the latter are especially
important for nature. The country is bounded by mountains -
to the north of the Pontic Mountains with an almost
subtropical climate, to the east of the Caucasus with hot
summers and cold winters, to the south by the Taurus
Mountains that extend along the Mediterranean Sea and to the
west of the mountainous coast towards the Aegean Sea.
Actual lowlands are found only in the European part of
the country, in the border areas towards Syria and around
the Seyhan River outlet in the southeastern part of the
Mediterranean coast. These lowland areas show great
differences in the presence of plants and animals but are
heavily cultivated. Turkey's many rivers and streams have
largely been dammed for irrigation and electricity
production, with few remaining more pristine distances.
In the middle of Anatolia lies Konyabäckenet with
Turkey's most valuable bird lakes. Largest is the salt water
lake Tuz Göl邦 with the largest colony of nesting flamingos.
Among Other nesting species include white pelican (see
pelicans), Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola),
Caspian tern, Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius
leschenaultii), Crane, Great Bustard and the Little
Bustard, steppe eagle, imperial eagle and Pallid Harrier and
Montagu's Harrier. During the winter, there are large flocks
of goose, gray goose and red-necked goose. Here are also the
most undisturbed, remaining salt steppes with typical
plants, e.g. a species of the genus gladioles (Gladiolus
halophilus). Other lakes in the region such as Gol Göl邦
and Mogan Göl邦 exhibit a similar fauna but on a more modest
In Konyabäckenets southernmost part lies Eregli Sazligi
freshwater lakes, reed beds and salt steppes with a rich
bird fauna with nesting species Rostand, marbled duck,
Red-crested Pochard, Ruddy, flamingo, spoonbill, white
pelican, lesser kestrel and Greater Sand Plover.
In the western parts of the Konya Basin, around Bozdag,
there is the only remaining population of the subspecies of
Turkish mufflon sheep (Ovis gmelinii anatolica) of
1,000-1,500 animals. Turkish mufflon sheep were previously
scattered in the western part of the country. In eastern
Turkey on the border with Armenia/Iran there are Armenian
mufflon sheep (Ovis gmelinii gmelinii) with
The Pontic Mountains along the Turkish Black Sea coast
are mainly forested with trees such as silver fir, spruce,
pine, Lebanese cedar, beech, linden, and avenbook. In the
almost subtropical climate - especially in the eastern parts
- there are several species of rhododendrons (eg
Rhododendron ponticum, Rhododendron luteum,
Rhododendron caucasicum and Rhododendron
ungernii). The K邦reberg National Park in the central
parts of the mountain range is one of the best examples of
more unspoilt nature with forests, cliffs, rivers and bush
vegetation. Here are species like brown bear, wolf, golden
shawl and wild boar.
In the Ilgazberg National Park north of Ankara, you will
find a mountain section with especially rich bird life -
lambs, dwarven, white-throated nightingale, Kr邦per's nut
awake (Sitta krueperi) and red- tailed yellow hemp
(Serinus pusillus). Just west of the town of Samsun
is Kızılırmakdeltat, the most intact delta along the entire
Turkish Black Sea coast, with a number of breeding species:
ferruginous duck, black stork, spoonbill, bittern, purple
hen, cranes, stilt, stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)
and lesser spotted eagle. Species likeblack, copper duck,
Mediterranean lira (Puffinus yelkouan), silk heron,
bronze sibis and dwarf gull overwinter or appear in large
numbers during the move.
The southeastern parts of Turkey on the border with Syria
and Iran are something very special in nature. In the
district of the city of Urfa, steppes and semi-deserts are
still spreading with a unique plant and animal world.
Demanding gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa)
and streaky hyena occur together with jungle cat in more
humid areas, often overgrown with tamarisk. Specific species
of birds here are pale dwarf (Otus brucei), whisker
(Ammoperdix griseogularis), white-bellied flying
hen, stone desert larch (Ammomanes deserti),
tamarisk (Passer moabiticus) and pale stone sparrow
In the eastern part is also Turkey's largest lake Van
with an endemic carp fish (Alburnus tarichi), which
is now threatened by excessive fishing. Caspian tiger (Panthera
tigris virgata) was reported in the border areas
against Iran (Kurdistan) as late as the 1970s.
The Taurus Mountains along the southern Mediterranean
coast houses many important natural areas. In its eastern
part lies the Aladağlar National Park with mountains of over
3,000 m. Deep canyons, waterfalls and wooded slopes create
an attractive environment. Trees such as beech, German
clone, turquoise and Lebanese cedar are common. Flora is
rich with, among other things, various species of snowdrops,
hyacinths, narcissus and cyclamen. The bird fauna includes
lamb, goose, king eagle, perch, alpine quay, masonry
crawler, black-chested singer (Sylvia rueppelli),
Kr邦per's nut awake, alpine sparrow and snowflakeand a few
specialties for this part of Turkey - Caspian snow chicken (Tetraogallus
caspius) and black-crowned iron sparrow (Prunella
ocularis). There is also a species of tree sleepers
(Dryomus langier) that live only in the Taurus
Mountains. The mountain range provided a long life for the
subspecies Anatolian leopard (Panthera pardus tulliana),
which is now in all probability eradicated. The last known
individual was shot outside Ankara in 1974 after attacking a
woman. Nowadays, leopard occurs only in the border mountains
of Iran, where a strain of the subspecies Panthera
pardus saxicolor is found.
From the southeastern Taurus Mountains, the river Göksu
flows south towards the Mediterranean and forms a valuable
delta with lagoons and wetlands where, among other things.
Purple hen and smyrnak kingfishers nest and illegitimate bay
turtles lay eggs along the sandy beaches. Neglected bay
turtles can be found on another 15 beaches along the coast.
Most famous is Dalyan, where the campaign for their
protection started in the 1980s. The Akyatan lagoon in the
easternmost part of Turkey's Mediterranean coast, south of
the city of Adana, houses Turkey's only known egg turtle egg
At the far south-west you will find Menderes delta and
Lake Bafa Göl邦 with nesting crested pelicans, red-winged
swallows and slopes, as well as numerous flaming flames,
ducks, waders and cormorants.
Around Istanbul, the Bosphorus and Lake Marmara there are
a series of lakes, islands, mountains, forests and coastal
sections with valuable nature, the Uludag mountain, the
Iznik Göl邦 and Ulubat Göl邦 lakes, lower mountains and
forests in Strandzha near the border with Bulgaria and the
Bospora itself, which exhibits one of the Europe's most
important migratory bird concentrations with 100,000's of
storks and birds of prey every fall.
In 2012, Turkey had 33 national parks, including the
large freshwater lake Beyşehir Göl邦 in the southwest, Ulu
Dağı mountain in the northwest, and Samsun Dağı on the
mountainous Dilek Peninsula in the Ionian Sea. About 2% of
the area is protected by nature, mainly on land.