Did you also had it like me, when you were little, that you simply just loved to look for different records, great stories and all sorts of strange things in the Guinness Book of Records? For Christmas I always wished for record-book (the yearly edition were always released very strategically around Christmas). And then almost the entire holiday season went with my nose in the book. I just got a remnant of that feeling, when I started collecting material for this post about geographical facts in Turkey. It was like in the “record-days” pretty exciting, fun and quite useless knowledge, that you do not need to do anything.
As you surely already know, Turkey is a huge country, ranging very, very wide – not least geographically, but also historically, culturally and everything else. It also means that there is an untold amount of facts to collect. Are you ready?
Europe – it may in some places be a little confusing, whether Turkey belongs to Europe or not, but no, they don’t. About 5% of the country is in the EU. It meansthat a good chunk of Istanbul and north of Istanbul is technically on the European continent (as do Greece and Bulgaria, and the region is collectively called Thrace).
Istanbul – the largest city in Turkey and the most populated. Approximately 14.8 million live there legally (as are all the illegals, tourists and non-registered residents). In 2014, Istanbul the sixth most visited city in the world – overtaken by ex. Rome, New York and Paris.
Geography – There are approximately 20 million hectares of forests / parks in the country and around 27 mountain ranges. the Taurus Mountains are amongst them are surrounding Antalya (it would be a perfect place for example. hiking).
Natural resources – Turkey is one of the few countries in the world that is practically self-sufficient. There are many natural resources in the country among others. carbon, copper, iron ore, gold and mercury.
The subsoil – has often been used for homes and entire communities. There are numerous examples scattered throughout Turkey in these small communities, that were used as defense and hideaways for invading armies. 37 underground cities have been excavated, while many more are probably waiting. Many of these cities are open to the public. The most famous city is Derinkuyu, located in Cappadocia – not tremendously far from Antalya.
Antalya – is the second most visited city in Turkey. It is mainly Russians and Germans who come here, even though the Israelis also through the ages have come here much.
Beaches – Turkey has entire 7,200 km² sparkling, delicious sandy beaches around the three coasts of the north, west and south. In Turkey, more than 400 beaches has the internationally recognized blue flag that ensures good beach experiences and clean water. The most beautiful and best beaches are on the south coast. Especially the beaches Patara, Kaputas, Ölü Deniz, Lara, Konyaalti and Cleopatra is extremely popular and well attended.
The largest lake – is named Van Gölü. It is situated near the town of Van in eastern Turkey. It is officially the country’s largest lake and is 119 km wide at its widest point. The lake has no outlet, as it was blocked by a volcano in antiquity. Although the lake is at 1,640 meters altitude it never freezes over the winter due to the high salt content.
Glaciers – are also to be located in the country at the famous Ararat- mountain to the east (Mount Ararat is famous for – according to legend – that place where Noah’s ark rests). Unfortunately, glaciers shrunk by more than 30% since 1976 – probably due to global warming.
Climate – Turkey has three climate zones. Subtropical Mediterranean climate to the south and west, temperate north and continental climate in Central Anatolia and east. Antalya belongs to the sub-tropical climate-belt, that is characterized by very hot and dry summers, mild and rainy winters. It’s one of the reasons, that you might experience something completely unique in the spring. You can ski at Saklikent and Tahtali mountain in the morning and swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon. That’s kinda charming. You can read more about skiing at Saklikent here and the weather in Antalya.
A little fun with all these geographical facts. Did you know them already ??