Geography and climate
Geography of Turkey and Environmental issues in Turkey
Resort town of Fethiye in the Muğla Province, on the Mediterranean coastline
The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 kilometers (1,000 mi) long and 800 km (500 mi) wide, giving it a roughly rectangular shape. Turkey's area, inclusive of lakes, occupies 779,452 square kilometers (km²) (300,948 mi²), of which 755,688 km² (291,773 mi²) are in Southwest Asia and 23,764 km² (9,174 mi²) in Europe, thus making Turkey a transcontinental country. Turkey's size makes it the world's 37th-largest country (after Mozambique). It is somewhat bigger than Chile or the U.S. state of Texas. Turkey is encircled by seas on three sides: Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest.
The European section of Turkey, in the northwest, is Eastern Thrace, and forms the borders of Turkey with Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the country, Anatolia (also called the Asia Minor), consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, in between the Köroğlu and East-Black Sea mountain range to the north and the Taurus Mountains to the south. Eastern Turkey has a more mountainous landscape, and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and Aras, and contains Lake Van and Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point at 5,165 m (16,946 ft).
Turkey is geographically divided into seven regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately one-sixth of Turkey's total land area. As a general trend, the inland Anatolian plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward.
Mount Ararat is the highest peak in Turkey at 5,165 m and is located in the Iğdır Province in the Eastern Anatolia region
Turkey's varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. The Bosporus and the Dardanelles owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey that led to the creation of the Black Sea. There is an earthquake fault line across the north of the country from west to east.
The climate is a Mediterranean temperate climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet and cold winters, though conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the interior of Turkey a continental climate with distinct seasons. The central Anatolian Plateau is much more subject to extremes than are the coastal areas. Winters on the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 °C to −40 °C (−22 °F to -40 °F) can occur in the mountainous areas in the east, and snow may lie on the ground 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 °C (34 °F). Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F). Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimeters (mm) (15 inches (in), with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 mm (12 in). May is generally the wettest month whereas July and August are the most dry.