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.
According to 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.e. 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 areas.
According to BRIDGAT, 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 vegetation.
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 scale.
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 different appearance.
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 (Petronia brachydactyla).
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 laying beaches.
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.