» Turkey

The Country and the People

The Country

Geographical and Political Location

Being located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, makes Turkey one of the most geopolitically strategic countries of the world. Because of having the shortest intercontinental routes, it is where the Eastern and Western civilizations meet. The center of major trade and migration routes, Turkey has Georgia, Armenia, Nakhchivan and Iran to the east, Bulgaria and Greece to the west and Iraq and Syria to the south.


Turkey is surrounded by the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean. The Marmara Sea, the Bosporus, and the Dardanelles are distinctive features of the Turkish geography. Turkey is a member of a variety of international organizations such as the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and the Economic Cooperation Organization, and it is also continuing accession negotiations for full EU membership.

Göcek, Fethiye - MUĞLA

Area and Surface Formations

Located between 36 and 42 degrees north latitude and 26 and 45 degrees east longitude, with an area of 783,602 square kilometres, Turkey has a land surface area larger than all its neighbours except for Iran, and larger than all European countries except for the Russian Federation. 3% of the landmass is located in Europe and is called Thrace, the 97% in Asia is called Anatolia, and the total time difference between the eastern-most and westernmost points is 76 minutes. Turkey has total land borders of 2,875 km and a coastline of 8,333 km. Turkey, an elevated and mountainous country has all types and ages of geological formations, and with an average height of 1,132 meters it is even higher than Asia (1,010 meters), which is known as the highest continent. The North Anatolian Mountains in the north and the Taurus Mountains in the south set Turkeys high elevation characteristics. The Kaçkar Peak, the highest summit in the North Anatolian Mountains, is followed by the Ilgaz and Köroğlu mountains. The major mountains of Turkey include the Uludağ, Tekirdağ, Samanlı and Istranca mountains in the Marmara Region, the Kozak, Yunt and Aydın mountains in the Aegean Region, the Kızıldağ, İdris, Elma, Hasan and Ayaş mountains in the Central Anatolia Region, and in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, the Karacadağ, Raman and Sof mountains. Nemrut, Alacadağ, and the Great Ağrı Mountain, which at 5,137 meters has the highest peak in Turkey, along with the inactive volcano Mount Süphan, are located in Eastern Anatolia. In Turkey, there are many fertile plains. The most important ones are the Bafra, Çarşamba, and Merzifon plains in the Black Sea Region, the Konya Plain in the Central Anatolia Region, the Çukurova Plain in Southern Anatolia, the Muş Plain in the South-eastern Anatolia Region and the Bakırçay, Gediz, Büyük Menderes and Küçük Menderes plains in the Aegean Region. Turkey is located within the Alpine-Himalayan zone, one of the most prominent seismic belts in the world, and eight destructive earth-quakes have taken place along the North Anatolian Fault Line since 1939.

Streams and Lakes

Turkey is among the richest countries in terms of streams and lakes. The largest river basin towards which the rivers with highest energy production capabilities are headed is the Black Sea. The Sakarya, Filyos, Bartın, Yeşilırmak, Kızılırmak and Çoruh rivers flow into the Black Sea. The Susurluk and Gönen streams flow into the Marmara Sea; the Bakırçay, Gediz, Büyük Menderes, Küçük Menderes and Meriç rivers flow into the Aegean Sea; and the Dalaman, Manavgat, Aksu, Göksu, Seyhan, Ceyhan and Asi flow into the Mediterranean. The Aras, Kura, Arpaçay, Fırat (Euphrates), Dicle (Tigris), and Çoruh rivers originate in Turkey and flow into other countries before they reach the seas. 1,263 kilometres of the Euphrates and 523 kilometres of the Tigris are in Turkey. These two rivers have a longer course outside of Turkey, and they flow into the Persian Gulf. There are a large number of natural and artificial lakes of varying sizes in Turkey. Approximately 11% of its area consists of lakes and swamps. The majority of the lakes are concentrated in the Marmara, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, and Mediterranean regions. The biggest natural lake is Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia with a surface area of 3,800 km² and a depth of 451 meters. The Erçek, Çıldır and Hazar lakes are also in Eastern Anatolia, the richest region in terms of lakes. The major lakes in the "Lakes District" of the western Taurus zone are Lake Eğirdir and Lake Beyşehir, and the brackish Acıgöl and Burdur lakes. Around the Marmara Sea are the Sapanca, İznik, Ulubat, Manyas, Terkos, Küçükçekmece and Büyükçekmece lakes. The lakes in Central Anatolia are rather shallow and very salty. The Akşehir and Eber lakes, along with the Tuz (Salt) Lake, which is the second biggest lake in the country, are also in this region.


Turkey is located in a temperate climatic zone, and one can enjoy the four seasons and different climates simultaneously. Besides, Turkey is also affected by the Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot and arid summers. However, due to its location in the Eastern Mediterranean basin and its elevated landmass, which brings a more abundant precipitation, it differs from dry subtropical areas. Significant climatic differences are seen among the regions depending on various factors such as the distance to the sea and the height from the sea level, and the existence of mountain ranges. In the Mediterranean and Aegean regions and also in the southern parts of the Marmara Region, the Mediterranean climate is dominant with its hot and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. A more moderate and rainy maritime climate predominates in the Black Sea Region. In the central regions a steppe climate is observed, with dry and hot summers and cold and snowy winters. In Eastern Anatolia, the summers are cool and the winters are icy and snowy. In South-eastern Anatolia, while the summers are hot and dry, there is not too much cold weather during winter.

Cilo-Sat Dağları – HAKKÂRİ

The Population

With the announcement of the Population Services Law passed in 2006, a new system was put in place in Turkey, which also shapes the base for the census. Within this system, a "National Address Database" and Turkish Nationals living in the country were registered with their identity numbers and foreign nationals with their passport numbers. In this way, a transition was made to an "Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS)".

The majority of the population consists of young people.


According to the ABPRS results in 2009, the total population of Turkey was 72,561,312. The province with the highest concentration of population (17.8%) is İstanbul (12,915,158), the lowest being Bayburt (74,710). After İstanbul, the most populated of the 81 provinces are Ankara (6.4%), İzmir (5.3%), and Bursa (3.5%). 75.5% of the total population resides in urban areas. Of the total population, 49.7 million are female and, 50.3 million male, the 0-14 age group represents 26%, the 15-64 age group represents 67% and the over 65 age group has a 7% share.

The Language

The official language of the Republic of Turkey is Turkish. Turkish, which is an agglutinative tongue, together with Mongolian, Manchu-Tungusic, Korean and Japanese, forms the Altaic language family. In an area of 12 million square kilometres, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east, the North Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south, the Turkish language, along with its dialects, is the fifth most widely spoken language by 220 million people. The first written sources of the Turkish language are the Orkhun Inscriptions, erected in the 7th-8th century. Its development in Anatolia started in the 13th century. The Turkish of Turkey that is the most spoken form of Turkish among Turkish literary languages is used as a spoken, literary, and medium of instruction, scientific, cultural and artistic language by over 75 million people worldwide. Throughout history, Gokturk, Uighur and Arab alphabets were used and after the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, a transformation was made to the Turkish Alphabet, prepared according to the vowel structure of Turkish, with the Alphabet reform made by the great leader Atatürk, in 1928.

Turkish Linguistic Society meeting chaired by Atatürk - January 4th, 1933

Atatürk also spearheaded the foundation of the Turkish Language Research Association (July 12th, 1932). The Association, that was later named the Turkish Linguistic Society, has been carrying out the duty of developing, enriching and purifying Turkish. The Turkish Linguistic Society, today, is still active in forming the Turkish of the Science era, by publishing terminology dictionaries in each scientific field and by transferring the basic reference sources to the internet.

Geographical Regions

Since the "First Turkish Geography Congress" held in 1941, Turkey has been classified into 7 geographical regions in terms of natural, demographic and economic aspects, which are; the Central Anatolia Region (24.04% of land area), the Eastern Anatolia Region (19.18%), the Black Sea Region (14.81%), the Mediterranean Region (11.54%), the Aegean Region (11.50%), the South-eastern Anatolia Region (9.61%), and the Marmara Region (9.32%).

Yedigöller (Seven Lakes) National Park - BOLU

The Marmara Region

This region, which is located in the north-western corner of Turkey, covers 9.32% of the county's land with its 72,845 km² surface area. The region, neighbouring the Black Sea, the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea, links the European and Asian continents with the Bosporus and Dardanelles. The Bozcaada and Gökçeada (İmroz) islands in the Aegean are also parts of this region.


Haydarpaşa Station in İstanbul is one of the historical structures dating back to the Ottoman period.

The population of the region, which is constantly taking in migrants, according to the 2009 ABPRS results, has risen to 21,384,145. Of this population, 19,315,564 are residing in urban areas and 2,068,581 in rural areas. The Marmara Region is the industrial center of Turkey, comprising the İstanbul-Bursa-İzmit axis. Processed food, textiles, ready-to-wear clothing, cement, paper, petro-chemical products, automobiles and spare parts, metal and electrical goods, railway cars and ships are among the leading industrial goods produced in the region. Besides industry and trade, agriculture and tourism too are an important source of income.

İstanbul; A Universal Metropolis

With its historical monuments, museums, palaces, city walls, waterside mansions, beautiful scenery and places of worship, which are the heritage of an 8 thousand year old history, İstanbul is an elegant center of tolerance and displays a synthesis of the heritage of cultures and civilizations. This great city, which is a Capital of Empires, was founded by the Megaras in 658 B.C. and was known as Byzantium after their commander's name Byzas. İstanbul is the biggest city in Turkey in terms of its population, trade finances and cultural activities. With the biggest airport and the largest import/export harbor in the country, İstanbul is center for the national and international sea and airways.


Unique examples of historical waterside residences are located along the Bosporus.



The historical peninsula stretching between the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn is like an open-air museum of artefacts bearing traces of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, for each of which it served as capital. The Topkapı Palace, which was the political center of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years and now serves as a museum, attracts all kinds of people from different cultures with its world famous antiquities and sacred relics including the ones that belonged to Mohammad, the Prophet of Islam and to his era.

Dolmabahçe Sarayı - İSTANBUL

Another stately palace is the Dolmabahçe Palace, which was built by Sultan Abdülaziz. This Palace is encircled by 56 columns and the central hall is illuminated by a chandelier weighing 4.5 tons. The founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk passed away in this palace on November 10th, 1938. There are nearly 500 mosques in the city, the most famous of them being the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, with its six minarets. Sultan Ahmet Square, including the Mosque and the public fountain, is the main tourist attraction. The Süleymaniye Mosque, built by Master Architect Sinan, is another important mosque and part of the landscape of İstanbul. The Hagia Sophia Museum, building of which was initiated as a basilica (4th century) in the Emperor Constantine period, is the most magnificent work of architecture remaining from the Byzantine era. It ranks as the 4th biggest temple, in terms of surface area, after St. Peter's in Rome, St. Paul's in London and the Cathedral of Milan. It has a 55 meters high and 31 meters wide dome and is the oldest of these religious buildings. The Yerebatan Cistern, which was built in the 6th century by the Byzantines to meet the water requirements of the city and which contains 336 columns, and the Kariye Museum are among other magnificent historical buildings in the city.


The Yerebatan Cistern built to meet the city's water needs - İSTANBUL

Rumeli Fortress - İSTANBUL

The Istanbul archaeological museums, the Atatürk Museum, the Sadberk Hanım Museum, the Mosaic Museum, the Rumeli Fortress - İSTANBUL Industry Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Turkish Judaic Museum, the Tower of Leander, the Galata Tower, and the Rumelia and Anatolia fortresses, and the city walls of İstanbul are examples of other museums and monuments in the city. The 15th century Covered Bazaar is one of the places most visited by tourists; and here jewellery, antiques, carpets, silver and copper souvenirs, leather and suede garments, wood and mother of pearl carvings are sold in nearly 4 thousand shops. All kinds of spices are available in the Mısır Çarşısı (Egyptian Bazaar) built by Hatice Sultan in the 17th century. İstanbul is also the center of modern shopping. Besides giant malls like Carousel, Ataköy-Galleria, Akmerkez, Capitol, CarrefourSA, Profilo, Kule and the Kule Bazaar, Kanyon, İstinye Park, Ikea and Cevahir, there are many shopping areas, of which the İstiklal, Rumeli and Bağdat avenues are the most distinguished. İstanbul is also among the significant cultural centers in the world, with various film and music festivals, theatre, opera, ballet and concert activities, international symposia, conferences, and contests. The "International Culture and Art Festival" organized annually in June and July hosts famous artists from all over the world. Kilyos and Şile are holiday resorts around İstanbul known for their beaches. As for Polonezköy, it is a place where Polish immigrants settled in the 19th century, and is an ideal place of relaxation surrounded by woods. The Belgrade Forest, a National Park, is recognized as the "Lungs of İstanbul". In these woods, the Atatürk Arboretum and aqueducts remaining from the Ottoman era are also worth visiting. Silivri and Kemer, on the other hand, house expansive golf courses.



Cultural Developments: The proposal for İstanbul to become the European Capital of Culture (ECC) was voted in and officially approved by the EU ministers of culture who gathered in Brussels on November 13th, 2007. Besides İstanbul, which has introduced itself with the "The City of Four Elements" motto, other elected cities for "2010 ECC" are Pécs (Hungary) and Essen (Germany). Turkey so far has registered İstanbul, Safranbolu, Boğazköy, Mount Nemrut, Xanthas-Letoon, Divriği Ulu Mosque and Curing Dormitory and Archeological City of Troy as sites of cultural inheritance, and Pamukkale and Göreme-Cappadocia as areas of both cultural and natural inheritance in the World Inheritance List.

Kocaeli-Sakarya and Hannibal's Tomb: Kocaeli, an industrial city, is surrounded with orchards and vegetable gardens. The city, which was known as "Nicomedia" in the Roman area and its surroundings are full of historical works remaining from the Ottoman era. One of the counties of the city, Hereke, is famous for carpet weaving. As for Gebze, located on the northern shores of the Marmara Sea, it has rich historical assets, including the tomb of the famous Carthaginian commander Hannibal. Sakarya, with its extensive plains and fertile lands for agriculture, is an industrial center too.

Thrace: A Paradise of Sunflower Fields Vineyards: The fertile land of Thrace, which constitutes the European part of Turkey, is generally covered with sunflower fields and vineyards. Anyone arriving from Europe and entering Turkey from its western gate, Edirne, first comes across with the Selimiye Mosque, a masterpiece of Turkish architecture. The traditional Kırkpınar wrestling competitions are held here, annually as summer commences, in a wooded area in the city, called Sarayiçi. Tekirdağ, located in the west of Thrace, with its vast beaches and nice examples of Ottoman architecture, is well known for its vineyards and wine festivals. With its rich natural and historical assets, Kırklareli is the largest province in Turkey's European section. İğneada and Kıyıköy, on the other hand, are Black Sea resorts known for their fine sand beaches.

Southern Marmara

The Trojan Horse, the symbol of the ancient city of Troy

The territories of Çanakkale that lie on both the Asian and the European peninsula are Thrace, famous for its sunflower fields e other hand, are Black Sea resorts known for their fine sand beaches parted by the strait that carries its name. The Çimenlik and Kilitbahir citadels dating back to the 15th century adds to the exceptional beauty of the Dardanelles. The 42-meter high "Çanakkale Monument of the Fallen" at the southern end of the Gelibolu Peninsula Historical National Park was erected in memory of the nearly 80 thousand soldiers who fell in battle on the Çanakkale front during World War I. There are also British and French monuments in the vicinity. At Anzac Bay, on the Arıburnu coast where the Anzac soldiers first landed, the Anzac Monument on which Atatürk's speech on the Dardanelles campaign is inscribed is an important monument to mankind's ability to recognize shared humanity. To the northwest of Çanakkale, ancient cities extend from north to south. The archaic city of Troy, of the famed wooden horse, referred to in the Anatolian bard Homer's epic as the place where the Siege of Troy took place. Troy of the Iliad lies 30 km. southwest of Çanakkale. Neandreia, Alexandria, Troas, Chryse, and Behramkale historically known as Assos are lined up further south from Troy. The Temple of Athena constructed in the 6th century B.C. is at the Assos Acropolis, at an altitude of 248 meters. Balıkesir, an important province of the Marmara Region, has the Marmara Sea to its north and the Aegean Sea to its west. Bandırma, which lies on the Marmara coast of Balıkesir, is the second largest port city in the region following İstanbul. Northeast of Manyas Lake, which is located to the south of Bandırma, there is the Kuşcenneti (Birds' Paradise) National Park, visited annually by nearly 3 million birds from 239 species. The Aegean shores of Balıkesir consist of Edremit Bay and its environs. The Edremit Bay shores, replete with natural and historical riches, are covered with olive trees. Legend says the first beauty contest in the world was held on Ida Mountain, to the north of Edremit, currently a national park. Paris, the son of the king of Troy, used to live on this mountain. Akçay, Altınoluk, Ören and Ayvalık, in the vicinity of Edremit, are favourite holiday resorts with scenic wonders and extensive beaches. The Çamlık and Alibey (Cunda) islands are famed both for their natural beauty and for their restaurants, which serve rich menus containing distinctive seafood specialties for gourmets. Bilecik was founded on lands irrigated by the Sakarya River and was an important center in Ottoman history. This is where the Ottoman Empire was established in 1299. 30 km. east of Bilecik, Söğüt, renowned for its ceramics, was the first settlement of the Kayı, an old Turkish tribe.

Bursa: The "Divine City" Surrounded by Greenery

Lying in greenery at the foot of the Uludağ Mountain, Bursa, the 4th most populated province in Turkey, was defined by the French poet Henri de Regnier as a "Divine City". Bursa has been designated by UNESCO as the utmost originally preserved environment in Europe; its nature and history, vegetation and architecture blend harmoniously. Famous for its silk products, towels and thermal springs, Bursa is also an important industrial center. It has fully developed industries, especially in the automotive and textiles sectors. The southern quarters of the city are abundant in Ottoman works of art, and the Uludağ National Park, with modern facilities, is an ideal center for winter sports. Çekirge, the oldest neighborhood of Bursa, is the thermal spa center of the city. An important settlement during the Roman and Byzantine times, İznik preserved its prominence in the Ottoman era as well. Some of the world's best examples of ceramic art were produced in this town by Ottoman artists.


Uludağ Mountain - BURSA

The Aegean Region

The Aegean Region, which constitutes the western part of the Anatolian peninsula, gets its name from the adjoining Aegean Sea and with a surface area of 90,251 km²; it occupies 11.50% of Turkey's land. According to the 2009 ABPRS results, the total population of the region is 9,517,153. Of this, 6,882,805 live in urban areas and the remaining 2,634,348 in rural areas. The Aegean Region ranks 2nd after the Marmara Region, in terms of industrialization. Textiles, food and automotive industries being in the lead, machinery, spare parts and other industrial organizations are concentrated in İzmir, while the cooking oil industry is concentrated around Edremit and Ayvalık. There are sugar plants in Uşak and Afyonkarahisar, and sugar and nitrate factories in Kütahya. The cotton textile industry is widespread in İzmir, Uşak, Aydın, Nazilli and especially in Denizli. Denizli is the most important textile production and export center of the region. Meanwhile, the towns of Uşak, Kula, Gördes, Simav and Demirci are famous for handwoven carpets. Afyonkarahisar is renowned for its marble and marble production facilities. The Çamaltı salt flat in İzmir Bay is the most significant salt production center in Turkey. Considerable contribution is made to the electric power production in Turkey through the thermal power plants in Soma, Tunçbilek and Yatağan, and through hydroelectric power plants in Kemer and Demirköprü. There is also a large petroleum refinery in Aliağa, near İzmir. The famous historian Herodotus of Bodrum described the region as "having the most beautiful skies and the best climate in the world". "Beautiful İzmir", the birthplace of the noted epic bard Homer, is a momentous tourism, arts, culture, trade and industrial center. The very first settlement in İzmir is Bayraklı (3 thousand B.C.). The city came under the influence of the Hittite state after 1,500 B.C. Alexander the Great constructed a citadel, which still exists, in Kadifekale, and rearranged the city on the slopes of Kadifekale in the 4th century B.C.

Çeşme Kalesi, Çeşme - İZMİR

The city Çeşme Castle, Çeşme - İZMİR gained prominence during Roman times and came under Ottoman rule after the period of Byzantine domination. In İzmir, which is the 3rd most populated city, the İzmir International Fair is held every year. Çeşme is among İzmir's most beautiful and Turkey's most popular holiday resorts. The magnificent Çeşme Castle was constructed by the Ottomans in the 16th century. The Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent Caravanserai nearby, recently restored and converted into a hotel, also dates back to the 16th century. Close to Çeşme is Ilıca, a developed thermal spring center. The hot springs in the sea are unmatched anywhere in the world, more than 250 of them in Ilıca Bay alone. Sığacık in the south of the Çeşme Peninsula is an important yachting center. There are many beautiful bays around, each with distinct beauty. Close by Sığacık are the ancient cities of Teos, the faith center of the wine god Dionysus, and Claros, where the Temple of Apollo is located. Foça (Phocaea), an important trading center in ancient times, is another favorite holiday resort north of İzmir. The Phocaeans, who were noted for their seamanship, are known for having established trading colonies in various places around the Mediterranean. Among the counties of İzmir, Bergama (Pergamum) is well known not only in Turkey, but also all over the world. In the west of the town, a very important center of culture, arts and medicine in ancient times, is one of the oldest and largest hospitals in history, the Asclepion. At the entrance of the hospital, constructed in the name of Aesculapius, the god of health, there are reliefs of the snake, which symbolized the god and eventually became the symbol of medical science. Galen of Pergamum, the noted medical scientist, practiced in this hospital. The most important architectural monuments of the district where parchment paper was invented are to be found on the Acropolis. Here one may see the library, famed for its 200 thousand books, the temples of Athena and Trajan besides the steepest amphitheatre in the world, and the foundations of the Altar of Zeus, one of the artistic wonders of the world. (The altar itself is now in the Pergamum Museum in Berlin).


Pamukkale - DENİZLİ

İç Ege Bölgesi: There are 40 thousand looms in and around this city, which has accomplished great progress in the textile industry. Pamukkale has been a home for many cultures since the Roman era because of its wonderful appearance and healthgiving thermal springs. Around Denizli, there are many ancient cities such as Laodicea and Colossae. Among the counties of Denizli, Güney is famous for its wines and falls, Buldan for its looms and Çal for its vineyards. Manisa is a city that has high tourist potential in Western Anatolia with its contribution to historical and cultural values, natural richness, agricultural and industrial sectors. Manisa that ranks third in terms of agricultural production due to the fertile lands of Gediz plateau is also rich in healing waters. The "Mesir Festival" recalls some of the earliest mentions of Manisa. The history of this festival, which is held annually in March, dates back way into the past. Prepared as a blend of 41 types of spices, "Mesir Macunu" (Mesir Paste), which is believed to have cured Ayşe Hafsa Sultan, the mother of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, is flung to the people from the veranda of the Sultan Mosque throughout the festival. Sardis is the most imposing ancient city in Manisa. The capital city of the Lydian Kingdom, and located at the starting point of the famous "King's Road" which extends eastward, Sardis was an important trading center in history. Metal coins started to be used as a commercial asset in Sardis for the first time in the world. The Temple of Artemis and the restored Gymnasium (3rd century A.D.) are the most frequented sites in the city. Many important structures like Manisa Castle, Yoğurtçu Castle, a Dervish Lodge and Mt. Spil National Park are also located in the city. Kütahya has examples of Ottoman architecture and is particularly well known for its tiles. The house where the Hungarian folk hero Lajos Kossuth resided in the 19th century has been converted into the Kossuth Museum. At Uşak, famed for carpet making, there are many ancient cities and historic monuments. The world famous treasures of Croesus are on display at the Uşak Archaeological Museum. Afyonkarahisar is founded on the slopes of a hill with a castle on the top. Artifacts from the environs are exhibited in the Afyonkarahisar Museum. Artifacts belonging to the Phrygian period constitute the most important section of the museum. Aslankaya, Aslantaş, Maltaş and Yılantaş are Phrygian open-air temples of monumental dimensions located to the north of the city.

Eski Çağların Ünlü Kentleri: Antik dünyanın yedi harikasından ikisi Güney Ege Bölgesi’nde yer alır. Bunlar, Efes’te Selçuk yolu kenarında bulunan Artemis Mabedi ile Bodrum’da bulunan MÖ 4. yüzyılda yapılmış, Karya Kralı Mausolos’a ait Mausoleum Anıtı’dır. Anıtın günümüze sadece temel kalıntıları ulaşmıştır. Selçuk’taki Efes Arkeoloji Müzesi, Aziz John Bazilikası, Kale, İsa Bey Camisi ve Koca Camisi de turistlerin ilgisini çeken diğer yapıtlar arasındadır. Ege kıyılarında yer alan Aydın, antik kentlerle çevrilidir. Tralles, Alinda, Alabanda, Nysa, Magnesia,


Alabanda antik kenti AYDIN

The marble sculptures of this city are celebrated throughout the whole world. The Temple of Aphrodite, the Odeon, the Hadrian Baths, the Stadium, Agora, Theatre and the Theatre Baths are the most famous sites in this city. On the Aegean coast, located on the southern shores of a peninsula bearing its name, Bodrum is a prominent yachting center with white, Mediterranean-style architecture visible everywhere. The Gulet pattern schooner offered to yachting tourism and sought after in all Mediterranean countries is from Bodrum.

The Datça Peninsula is Turkey's narrowest and longest extension into the Aegean Sea. At the outermost tip of the peninsula is the antique city of Knidos, a center of culture and art in ancient times. Marmaris is a favorite holiday resort with its miles-long beach, boardwalk, cafes, restaurants and bars. Similarly, Fethiye is famous for its scenic beauties and Köyceğiz for a lake fit for water skiing and cycling as well as sailing and rowing. All these towns are among the well-known tourist destinations in the province of Muğla.

The Mediterranean Region

The Mediterranean Region, which extends along the Mediterranean Sea, from near Köyceğiz to Cape Basit, occupies approximately 11.54% of Turkey's land with a surface area of 90,348 km². According to the 2009 ABPRS results, the population of the region is 9,252,902, 6,499,564 of which are living in urban areas and 2,753,338 of which are living in the rural areas. Çukurova, which is one of the industrial centers of Turkey, is the most rapidly industrializing part of the region. In addition to the various industrial facilities (especially textiles) in Adana, the İskenderun superphosphate and iron and steel plants as well as the Antalya ferrochrome plant may be cited as some of the principal industrial facilities in the Mediterranean Region.

Antalya, "Paradise on Earth"

Antalya is one of the most important touristic cities in Turkey and in the world. It is sought out for its cultural and historical riches as well as for its scenic wonders. Thousands of tourists come to Antalya by land, sea and air. The number of Daily flights at


Manavgat Şelalesi - ANTALYA

gelmektedir. Antalya Havalimanı’nda turizm sezonunda günde


Karain Mağarası - ANTALYA

Antalya Airport exceeds the 500 mark during the high season. The historical evolution of the region extends to the present day from 50,000 B.C. Lara Beach to the east, and Konyaaltı Beach to the west of the city, reportedly founded by the King of Pergamum Attalus II in the 2nd century B.C., are ideal places for swimming. Among the interesting places in the vicinity of the city are the Manavgat Falls, the Upper and Lower Düden Falls, the Kurşunlu Falls, the yachting paradise Kekova, the winter sports center Saklıkent, the Güllük Mountain National Park, and also, within this park, the ancient city of Termessos and a Stone Age settlement, the Karain Cave. Kemer, one of the most beautiful holiday centers in the Mediterranean, is on the western coast of the city. The Kemer Carnival, held annually every April, is a special event adding a distinct hue to the region. To the south of Kemer, Phaselis is a historical harbour city with natural coves and surrounding forests. The ancient city of Olympos is located to the south of Phaselis. The ruins of the city are in the midst of a laurel forest. To the north of Olympos is a sacred area called Çıralı, at an altitude of 300 m. The natural gas leaking out from the rocks burns when it combines with the oxygen in the air. According to mythology, these flames emerge from the mouth of the dragon slain by the Lycian hero Bellerophon. Finike is a holiday resort known for its orange groves. To the west of Finike is Demre, known as Myra in ancient times. The sympathetic patron saint of children, St. Nicholas (Santa Claus), lived and died here. The church built on the location of his tomb was later converted into the St. Nicholas Museum. A Santa Claus Festival is held in Demre every year. Another holiday resort on the western coast of Antalya is Kalkan. The marina here is the haunt of the blue cruise ships. Near Kalkan, are Patara Beach, the longest in Europe, the ancient capital of Lycia, Xanthos and the holy center, Letoon. Further to the north are the ancient cities of Pınara and Tlos.

The Pamphylia Region and Aspendos

In old times, the east of Antalya was known as the Pamphylia region.


The ancient city of Perge - ANTALYA

The antique city of Perge, 18 km. to the east of Antalya, was founded by the Hittites. Most of the architectural works in the city, however, have survived from the Roman period.

There are large and modern holiday complexes along the Belek coast, 40 km. from Antalya. In Belek, which is covered with stone pines, there are expansive golf courses of international standard. The antique city of Aspendos, one of the most important cities in the Pamphylia Region in the past, is 50 km. from Antalya. The theater is the most important architectural work in the city. Constructed by the architect Zenon in the 2nd century A.D., it is one of the best-preserved structures in Anatolia. Aspendos was also a center for processing gold and cutting precious stones.

Side is one of the most prominent ancient cities in Turkey. It is located on a small peninsula 80 km. to the east of Antalya. Its 25 thousand-seat theatre is the largest one in the region. The remains of the bath constructed during the Roman period have been restored and converted into a museum. The Temple of Apollo, the agora, monumental fountains, city walls and the remains of the port are among the most frequented places in the city. The town of Manavgat is famous for its waterfalls. Located three kilometres north of Manavgat, the waterfalls are said to have 235 years of history and to have been formed by chance. While the existing place of the fall used to be a cave, following a tremor, the Manavgat River is said to have changed its course and formed the current waterfalls. Alanya, with its beautiful beaches, is the only urbanized holiday town in Turkey. Modern Alanya extends along the western and eastern shores. Ancient Alanya, on the other hand, is located right in the center of the city on a small peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea. There are many architectural works remaining from the Seljuk era in Alanya, the wintertime capital of the Seljuk State. The most famous of them are the Kale (Castle) and the Kızılkule (Red Tower). Featuring picturesque stalagmites and stalactites, Damlataş Cave is another attraction in Alanya.


Alanya Castle - ALANYA

The Lakes Region

The principal lakes of the Mediterranean Region are clustered in the Lakes Region. Isparta in the central part of this region is known for its exquisite rose gardens, attar of roses and worldfamous carpets. Located north of Lake Eğirdir, one of the most beautiful in Turkey, is the antique city of Pisidia. The Temple of Apollo, the Bath, St. Paul's Basilica, the Theater and the Aqueducts are among the important structures in this ancient city. Gölcük Lake, a crater lake southwest of the city, is accessible through rose gardens.

There are 14 lakes in the vicinity of Burdur, the lake province. Among the most frequented places in the city are the İnsuyu Cave with a length of 597 m. and 9 lakes inside, Salda Lake embellished with fine sand beaches and known for its natural beauty, the antique cities of Cibyra and Sagalassos, and the Kuruçay and Hacılar tumili.

The Great City of Cotton Land

Adana is the largest city in the Mediterranean Region. Most of the cotton, rice, sesame and peanuts in Turkey are produced in this city.


Historical Stone Bridge - ADANA

The province has a fairly well developed economy and is one of the important industrial centers of the country. The most notable structure in the city is the Stone Bridge, constructed by

Chasm of Heaven and Hell caverns, Silifke - MERSİN

Emperor Hadrian over the Seyhan River. Unmatched examples of Roman mosaic arts can be seen in the antique cities of Misis and Anavarza.

Where Nature and History Meet

Mersin is one of the most modern cities in the Mediterranean Region with a free trade zone, palm lined coast al boulevards, lovable parks, beautiful hotels, and commercial buildings. The Grand Mosque, where St. Paul was born, St. Paul's Well, the Cleopatra Gate and Tarsus Falls are among the interesting structures in Tarsus. There are antique cities such as Pompeipolis (Viranşehir), Kanytelis (Kanlı Divane) and Korykos (Kız Kalesi) on the Mersin-Silifke coastal strip. The scenery of the Korykos, built on a small island 200 meters offshore, is very impressive. Northwest of the Citadel are the tectonic caves known as Cennet (Heaven) and Cehennem (Hell), and the Narlıkuyu Cave with stalactites and stalagmites.

The East Mediterranean

Hatay, located in the east Mediterranean Region, is of great touristic value for its historical assets as well as the scenic beauty of its environs.


The "beaten" ice cream of Maraş

The city, founded in 307 B.C. by Antigonus, one of the generals of Alexander the Great, became a prominent center of trade, science and religion in Roman and Byzantine times.

İskenderun, the largest county of Hatay province, is a significant industrial and commercial port. Turkey's widest and longest coastal promenade is in İskenderun. 34 km. south of the city, Uluçınar (Arsuz) is a holiday resort known for its beaches.

Kahramanmaraş, a region rich in history, is surrounded by forests. Handicrafts such as copper and brass smithery, wood and mother-of-pearl carving are well developed in this city. The city is also famous for its gold and silver decorations and adornments. The Maraş ice cream, pounded in a large wooden mortar, is a taste specific to the city.

The Central Anatolia Region

The Central Anatolia Region, which covers 24.04% of Turkey with its surface area of 188,586 km², is the largest region of the country. According to the 2009 ABPRS results, the total population of the region is 11,647,168. Of this population, 9,539,237 live in urban areas and 2,107,931 live in rural areas. Small and medium-size industrial facilities are fairly common in Central Anatolia. Carpet weaving is concentrated in the provinces of Kayseri, Sivas and Konya. The principal industrial facilities in the region are clustered in centers such as Ankara, Eskişehir, Kayseri, Sivas, Konya, Kırıkkale and Çorum.

Ankara, the Capital


Museum of Ethnography - ANKARA

Ankara, the second largest city in Turkey and the heartland of the National War of Independence, was planned in a modern manner and developed in a short time. According to historical records, Ankara was first founded by the Celts. The Celts coming from Europe up to Central Anatolia via the Balkans and the Straits in the 3rd century B.C. founded the Galatian State, and Ankara was its first known capital. The city later experienced Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman domination before becoming the capital of the new Turkish State. The most eyecatching structure in Ankara is the Anıtkabir, a mausoleum built as an eternal resting place for Atatürk. Mighty Atatürk was moved from his temporary tomb in the Museum of Ethnography to the Anıtkabir on November 10th, 1953. It is presumed that the Ankara Citadel, rising on top of a hill dominating Ankara, was constructed during Galatian period, in the 2nd century B.C. The Temple of Augustus in the Ulus district was constructed in the 2nd century A.D. The deeds accomplished by the Roman Emperor Augustus are inscribed on the walls of this Temple. The Roman baths and theatre, and Julian's Column are among other works of the Roman era in the city.

The Aslanhane Mosque built in the 13th century and famed for its turquoise tiles in the prayer niche, the Hacı Bayram Mosque built in the 15th century and decorated with Kütahya tiles, and the Kocatepe Mosque, the largest mosque in Ankara, completed in 1987, is important treasures of the capital. The city is also famous for its monuments. Among these, the most notable are the Republic Monument in Ulus Square, the Victory Monument in the Yenişehir district and the Hittite Sun Disc Monument in Sıhhiye Square. Ankara is also rich in Republican period monumental architectural artefacts. Ankara, the administrative and political capital of Turkey, is also an important center for cultural and artistic activities.

The "White Gold" of Eskişehir

The very rarely found fine light claylike mineral, world famous meerschaum is like the symbol of Eskişehir. Meerschaum, when extracted from the ground, is rather soft and since it gets harder in time, it is referred to as "White Gold" in the region.


Pipes made from "White Gold" of Eskişehir

Eskişehir is virtually a student city with more than 250,000 students. Its university, called Anatolia University, is the largest university in the country and is among the 10 largest in the world. The city hosts intense cultural and art activities, including the annual "International Eskişehir Art Festival" in which world-famous artists participate. The tomb of Yunus Emre, a famous minstrel who lived in the 13th century, is in Sarıköy to the east of Eskişehir. Here, an International Yunus Emre Culture and Art Week is held annually.

Motherland of the Hittites

The administrative center being in the Black Sea Region, Çorum's lands encompass the antique cities of Hattuşaş (Boğazköy), the capital of the Hittites in 1600 B.C., and Alacahöyük, which are within the Central Anatolia Region. Hattuşaş, surrounded by city walls, is virtually a city of temples. At the Yazılıkaya Open Air Temple located in this area,

Hattuşaş - ÇORUM

Hattuşaş, surrounded by city walls, is virtually a city of temples. At the Yazılıkaya Open Air Temple located in this area, there are reliefs of all the Hittite gods and goddesses. Another important Hittite settlement close to Hattuşaş is Alacahöyük.

Çankırı and Ilgaz National Park: The history of Çankırı dates back to ancient times. The prominent historical and tourist sites of the city are the Çankırı Citadel, the Taş Masjid, the Grand Mosque, the caves in Beşdut Village, and the fortresses in Eskipazar. The Ilgaz Mountain has won Çankırı international fame. The Ilgaz National Park, on the other hand, is a winter sports center.

Created by the Republic : Kırıkkale, located in the central Kızılırmak section of the Central Anatolia Region, is one of the cities created and speedily developed by the Republic. The Machinery and Chemical Industry Organization (MKE) built a chain of factories manufacturing ammunition, guns, rifles and some electrical machines in this city during the first years of the Republic.

Sivas: Sivas, located on international trade routes, is quite rich in historical and touristic assets. The Grand Mosque dating back to the 12th century, the Twin Minarets, the Şifaiye, the Buruciye and the Gök madrasahs from the 13th century, the Güdük Minaret from the 14th century and the Sait Pasha Mosque, the Taşhan and the Kurşunlu baths from the 16th century are some of the structures, which display the historical riches of the province.


The famous Kangal (Shepherd) dogs of Sivas

The world-famous Balıklı Çermik Thermal Spring, is near Kangal County in Sivas. This spa is one of the most prominent spa centers in the world, known for the treatment of psoriasis.

Göreme National Park

The Göreme National Park, which displays some of the most interesting and beautiful land formations in Turkey, has a mystical beauty. Mounts Hasan and Erciyes, active in earlier geological periods but now dormant, are the two biggest volcanoes in Central Anatolia. In the fantastic Göreme National Park the fairy chimneys, caves and rock formations, each more beautiful than the other, make merry with splendid colours that roll over gray, yellow and green from an earlier pink and brown. The region, an official state of the Roman Empire, was named "Cappadocia", meaning "the country of white horses" in Persian. The volcanic, soft tufa structures easily carved for the first time by the Christians to build underground cities, monasteries and churches, have created all but a magnificent and mystical world.


Nevşehir, famous for its balloon tours

From Hacı Bektaş to Ahi Evran

The Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli Complex, visited as a museum, is in Hacı Bektaş County to the north of Nevşehir, encircled by the Göreme National Park. The famous Turkish philosopher Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli, who grew up here, enriched the Anatolians with his humanist thoughts. To the north of Hacı Bektaş is Kırşehir, which possesses a rich culture. Caca Bey, Aşık Pasha and Ahmet Bey have enlightened Turkish society with their writings. The most important recreational facility in the vicinity is the Hirfanlı Dam Lake. One of the largest parks in Turkey, the Mikasonmiya Commemorative Garden is close to Kaman County. There are a total of 16,500 trees of 33 different species in this park. Kayseri, located on the plains at the northern foot of Mount Erciyes, is one of the prominent industrial centers of the Central Anatolia Region. Textiles and food, carpet weaving, copper smithery and leather processing are among the principal industries. Kayseri in the mean time is among the centers of the Turkish furniture industry. The city is also rich in mineral deposits, and most of the minerals, such as iron, lignite and chromium that are extracted from its mines are exported.


Hacı Bektaş-ı Veli Complex - NEVŞEHİR

Konya, the Capital City of Tolerance

Konya is among the cities that incorporate the oldest and the most precious works of art of Turkish history. The city, which was the capital of the Anatolian Seljuks for more than 200 years, is unmatched for its architectural riches of that period. The famous Turkish poet and philosopher Mevlana Rumi lived and died in this city. The most humanistic philosopher of all times, and having stated that success begins with "Human Love", Mevlana Rumi's philosophy has an enlightening effect on thought, even in the 2000s. The Mevlana Rumi Museum is the most popular site in the city. Karaman is an important center in terms of Turkish history and language. The Turkish language was first adopted in Karaman as the official language of an Anatolian State (1277).


Mevlana Museum - KONYA

The Karaman Citadel was built by the Seljuks in the 12th century, and the Araboğlu Mosque, which attracts attention because of its dragonhead shaped gutter and novel arches, was built by the Karamanoğulları in the 14th century. There are numerous monasteries and churches dating back to the early Christian period in the environs and on top of Karadağ Mountain (2,288 m.). Christians in the past called this area as the "Land of 1,001 Churches".

The Black Sea Region

The Black Sea Region, which extends from the East of Adapazarı Plain to the border with Georgia, gets its name from the sea it borders. The region that covers 14.81% of Turkey with a surface area of 116,169 km² has the biggest time difference from one end to the other of all regions in the country. According to the 2009 ABPRS results, the population of the region is 7,535,299. Of this population, 4,309,277 live in urban areas and 3,226,022 live in rural areas. The principal industrial facilities in the Black Sea Region are the iron and steel factories in Karabük and Ereğli, the Çatalağzı Thermal Power Plant, the anthracite beds in the environs of Zonguldak, the Murgul Copper Production Complex and a number of factories in various parts of the region producing sugar, paper, sulphuric acid, vegetable oil, tea, hazelnut and its by-products, fish meal and cigarettes.


This is a lovely Western Black Sea city, with lofty mountains, thick forests, lakes and streams. The watery lands, expansive pastures and thick forests of the province have resulted in the development of agriculture, as well as animal husbandry and forestry. The environs of Bolu are also rich in flora. More than half of the 7,000 plant species existing in Turkey grow here. Abant Lake, 34 km. southwest of Bolu, has an altitude of 1,325 m. A tourism center on its own, Abant attracts thousands of people in the summer due to the clean waters of its lake and the fragrance of its pine forests. It is an ideal skiing center in wintertime. To the southwest of Bolu, Mudurnu and Göynük are among the prominent centers in Turkish cultural history. The Akşemsettin Turbeh (tomb), one of the most elegant works of art of the Ottoman era is also in Göynük. Mengen District, on the other hand, is famous for its cuisine and internationally praised chefs.

The Coal Basin of Turkey

The economic life in Zonguldak, the coal mining center of Turkey, is based on mining and industry. Devrek to the southeast of the city is known for its ornately carved canes. Ereğli, to the west of Zonguldak, is an industrial port.


Valla Canyon, Pınarbaşı - KASTAMONU

To the east of Ereğli, where the iron and steel works are located, is the Cehennem Ağzı Cave. According to mythology, this is the place in which Hercules killed the triple headed dog Cerberus. Bartın, in the east of Zonguldak, is a Western Black Sea town known for its old wooden houses and natural beauty. Located to the south of the city are the industrial towns of Karabük and Safranbolu counties, resembling an open-air museum with their historical houses. Kastamonu is a town whose economy is based on agriculture. There are also numerous curative springs. Kastamonu is a paradise on earth with its 170 km. long coastline, Küre Mountains, woods, world famous Valla Canyon, breezy plateaus, and curative mountain springs. The significant historical and artistic sites of Kastamonu are the Evkaya (Paphlagonia) Tombs, presumably dating back to the 7th century B.C., the Kastamonu Citadel built by the Byzantines on a rocky hill in the 12th century, the Kastamonu Museum with a historical building, the İbni Neccar Mosque built in the Çandaroğulları era and a bronze statue of Atatürk on Cumhuriyet Avenue, representing the Hat Reform. Sinop is located on a peninsula. Due to regular and abundant precipitation, the natural flora and the forest structure of the province are very rich. The city, named after the Amazon Queen Sinope, was founded by colonists from Miletus. The renowned philosopher Diogenes, known for his saying, "Don't cast a shadow, no other gift is needed", lived in Sinop in the 4th century B.C. Düzce, bordering the Marmara Region on the Western Black sea region, is one of the rare cities where cultural variety meets historical values and natural beauties. The history of the province dates back to the Hittites who ruled between 1300 and 800 B.C. Düzce has a great capacity for tourism and nature sports with its plateaus, lakes, rivers, forests and beaches. The history of Amasya dates back to the Hittites. Amasya gained substantial importance, especially in the Ottoman era, and became one of the five largest cultural centers of Anatolia where many scientists and Ottoman shahzadahs (sultans' sons) were raised in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was recognized as "the Oxford of Anatolia" by European tourists. Murat II and Yavuz Sultan Selim were born here. Amasya also played an important part in the history of the National War of Independence. Mustafa Kemal, after landing in Samsun on May 19th, 1919, reached Amasya on June 12th, 1919. Tokat province, preserves the natural beauty of the Black Sea Region, and is also rich in historical and cultural assets. In the province, there are a great many works belonging to the Roman, Seljuk and Ottoman eras. Domes, Gökmedrese (Gök Madrasah), Hıdırlık Bridge, the Clock Tower, Ulu Cami (Grand Mosque), Ali Pasha Mosque as well as many other madrasahs and Turkish baths adorn the city. The province earned its fame from hand printed scarves and copper smithery, leatherwork and weaving are also thrive here. The fertile Niksar and Erbaa plains, located on the Yeşilırmak where green and blue embrace each other River and its tributaries, produce abundant vegetable and fruit for the region. The Ballıca cave, 24 km. from Tokat, is a splendid natural phenomenon.


Giresun, a province in the Black Sea region

Giresun, having the only island of the Eastern Black Sea, is the region of myths where blue and green go hand in hand. The history of the city is based on its foundation as a port in the 8th century B.C. by Miletus. The name of the city, whose ancient name was "Kerasus", was derived from the cherry, as the province is the homeland of cherries. The hazelnut is the most important economic product of the region.

Samsun is a prominent harbor city in the Eastern Black Sea Region. In addition to its natural beauty, it is also an industrial city. It is recorded in history as the Anatolian town where Atatürk took the first step to launch the National War of Independence. The statue of Atatürk on a rearing horse is the most aweinspiring monument in the city. The Atatürk Museum and Library hosts a very lively exhibition of the National War of Independence.

Ordu is a typical Black Sea town with green hazelnut groves extending for kilometers. To the south of the city are the Çambaşı (1,250 m. high) and the Keyfalan (2 thousand m. high) plateaus.

A Historical Harbor City


Sumela Monastery - TRABZON

Trabzon is a large and prominent harbor city on the Black Sea coast. It is the starting point of the transit route to Iran and has connections with the ports of the other coastal countries of the Black Sea. The city was founded by colonists from Miletus in the 8th century B.C. A majority of the architectural works in the city dates back to the Byzantine, Comnenian and Ottoman eras. The historical houses on the back streets, the Kızlar Manastırı (Girls' Monastery) and the Irene Tower, dating back to the Comnenian era are worth visiting. In the Altındere National Park near Maçka, to the south of Trabzon, the magnificent Sumela Monastery is located. The monastery is built on the facade of a 270 meters high cliff. The vicinity of Trabzon is full of plateaus, such as Erikbeli, Hıdırnebi, Şolma, Kirazlı and Kadırga, each having distinct beauty. To the south of Hamsiköy, renowned for its meals, is the Zigana Passage, Turkey's longest mountain pass.

City on Green Ridges

Rize is one of the greenest provinces of Turkey. Agriculture ranks firstly in the economic life here. Mention agriculture and immediately tea comes to mind, since it is the symbol of Rize. The Kaçkar Mountains National Park located to the south is a heaven of natural beauties with its flowers and butterflies.


Rize that embodies all shades of green

Gümüşhane-Bayburt and Dede Korkut

Gümüşhane, located inland in the Eastern Black Sea Region, is named after the silver beds in its district. Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent contributed to the development of this place by building a mosque and 50 houses and named the settlement Gümüşhane (Silvertown). The Hagios Georgios Monastery Church built by Alexius Comnenus in the 14th century and the Kelkit Valley, through which the Kelkit Creek flows and which is famed for its scenic wonders, are among the most beautiful places in this province. The known history of Bayburt, is located on the banks of the Çoruh River, dates back to 3,000 B.C. As a result of its location on the historical Silk Road, it was mentioned in the works of many western and eastern travelers, such as Marco Polo and Evliya Çelebi. The tomb of Dede Korkut, one of the sages who migrated from Central Asia to Anatolia, is located here. Artvin, Famed for its Plateaus: Artvin, located along the Caucasian border of Turkey, has the most beautiful plateaus in the country. As summer commences, the residents of the region start preparations to migrate to the mountain pastures for animal husbandry. The "Migration to the Plateau" that became a tradition is carried out in a mood of veritable festivity. In the Çoruh River, which divides the city into two, water sports such as rafting and canoeing are enjoyed.

Artvin, Famed for its Plateaus

Artvin, located along the Caucasian border of Turkey, has the most beautiful plateaus in the country. As summer commences, the residents of the region start preparations to migrate to the mountain pastures for animal husbandry. The "Migration to the Plateau" that became a tradition is carried out in a mood of veritable festivity. In the Çoruh River, which divides the city into two, water sports such as rafting and canoeing are enjoyed.

The Eastern Anatolia Region

The Eastern Anatolia Region covers 19.18% of the country with a surface area of 150,210 km² and is the second largest geographical region in terms of surface area. It has borders with Georgia, Armenia, Nakhchivan, Iran and Iraq. In this region with an average altitude of around 2,000 m, the highest peak in Turkey, the Great Ağrı Mountain (5,137 m.), the Reşko Peak of Mount Cilo and Mount Süphan are located. According to the 2009 ABPRS results, the population of the region is 5,761,752. Of this population, 3,165,027 live in urban areas and 2,596,725 in rural areas.

The Fortress of Eastern Anatolia

Erzurum, founded at the foot of the Palandöken Mountains, at an altitude of 1,950 m, is the largest province and cultural center in Eastern Anatolia. Atatürk University, which is located in this city, is one of the most eligible higher education institutions in Turkey. The Twin Minaret Madrasah, the symbol of the city, dates back to the Seljuk era.


Aziziye Monument - ERZURUM

The Grand Mosque (12th century), and the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (16th century) and the Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai are among the most important historic places of the city. In the Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai, which is used as a shopping arcade and called as a Bazaar today, there are workshops processing Oltu stone, a semiprecious stone peculiar to this city, and galleries displaying these stones.

The Aziziye Monument, erected to represent the heroism displayed by the people of Erzurum during the 1878 Ottoman-Russian War, is one of the most significant monuments in the city. The bastions built to defend the city are located on the surrounding hills. The building in which the Erzurum Congress was held on July 23rd, 1919, has been converted into a museum. The Palandöken Skiing Center, 5 km. to the south of Erzurum, is among the longest and steepest ski courses in the world.


Mama Hatun Tomb, Tercan – ERZİNCAN

Mountains all around, Vineyards in the Middle

The description of the city of Erzincan, used by people since olden days, as the place with "mountains all around, vineyards in the middle", explains the landscape of the city beautifully. The lands of the province are surrounded by mountain ranges both to the north and to the south. Erzincan Plain between these mountains has been the cradle of great civilizations since the early ages of history. Black grapes known as the "cimin grape" of the Erzincan vineyards are famous. The traditional craft of copper smithery still preserved in Erzincan is quite significant. The Mama Hatun Tomb and Caravanserai in Tercan (13th century), Altıntepe, an important settlement of the Urartians (1,000 B.C.), the Kemah Citadel (12th-13th centuries), the Melik Gazi Tomb (12th-13th century) and the Gülabibey Mosque (15th century) may be cited among the historical sites found around the city.

The Caucasus Gate

Kars is a city named the "Caucasus Gate" of Eastern Anatolia. It was founded along the eastern banks of the Kars Stream, which flows into the Arpaçay Creek. There are many interesting buildings built by the Russians in the city. Kars, occupied three times by the Russians in 1828, 1855 and 1877, remained under Russian sovereignty for nearly 40 years. The historical Kars Citadel, which symbolizes the city, was built by Saltukoğlu İzzeddin Han in 1152. The Kümbet Mosque is located to the south of Kars Citadel. This mosque, a former church, was built in the 10th century and dedicated to the 12 apostles. The most prominent historical city in the vicinity of Kars is Ani. Ani, founded as a fortress city in ancient times, became the capital of the Bagratid Kingdom in the 10th century. Here, the city walls, the Ebul Menucehr Mosque, the Seljuk Caravanserai, Pictorial Church and the Seljuk Baths are worth visiting.


Kümbet Mosque - KARS

Ağrı and Noah's Ark

Ağrı is founded on the transit highway to Iran at an altitude of 1,640 m. The most interesting spot in the province is the Great Ağrı Mountain. It is of interest for both its imposing appearance and the worldwide fame it has thanks to the tale of Noah. This mountain, after which the city is named, is the highest mountain in Turkey and Europe with a height of 5,137 m.


İshak Pasha Palace - AĞRI

The most important county of Ağrı is Doğubayazıt. İshak Pasha Palace, the most imposing edifice in Eastern Anatolia, is here. The Doğubayazıt Citadel, first built by the Urartians, is across to the palace. The main fortress was built by Shahzadah Beyazıt in 1380 and was named after him. In Ağrı's Diyadin District are the Diyadin Thermal Springs, referred to as the Pamukkale of East Anatolia. The thermal spring at the foot of the 3,542 m. high, Tendürek Mountain is a natural beauty ideal for photography fans.

The City to Recall When Apricots Are Mentioned

Malatya, where there are many large and small streams, is located in the middle of fertile plains where various types of fruits are grown, particularly its world famous apricots. To the north of the city, Battalgazi is a prominent historical center. The citadel here was first built by the Roman Emperor Titus in the 1st century A.D., and restored by the Seljuks in the 12th century. Another building dating back to the Seljuk era is the Battalgazi Grand Mosque, the sole example in Anatolia of a mosque designed with a vaulted entrance.


The Dome of Ulu Mosque which is the only example of Iwan mosque plan in Anatolia - MALATYA

Elazığ, the City of Lakes and Rivers

Elazığ, in the heart of wide plains encircled by purple mountains, is a city of lakes and rivers replete with scenic wonders. Famous traveler Hommaire de Hell described Harput as "a genuine example of the cities in folktales". It is indeed a matchless recreation place with its scenery and its icecold waters in summer. With so many historical sites from the Artukid, Seljuk and Ottoman periods, it resembles an openair museum.

Tunceli, Clothed in Birch Trees

Tunceli has a distinctive beauty with its rich flora and fauna.


Named after the glacial lakes in the region, acquired a modern appearance with new buildings constructed after the disastrous 1971 earthquake. Mountains to the north of the province have glacial lakes formed by the melting of glaciers. There are also numerous curative thermal springs and baths in the province. The Bingöl Yolçatı Ski Center is a place much frequented place by ski enthusiasts.


Munzur Valley National Park - TUNCELİ

The Munzur Valley Natural Park in Tunceli is covered with birch trees, which are becoming increasingly rare in the world. In Tunceli, numerous citadels, monuments, mosques and columns dating back to the Assyrian, Seljuk and Ottoman periods attract attention. This city dates back to the Hittites.

The High Mountains and Green Plateaus of Muş

A province of substantial importance in Turkish history, is a very interesting corner of the country owing to its economic assets and scenic wonders. The citadel in Malazgirt County, where the Turks first stepped into Anatolia, has a magnificent appearance.


Bitlis, a significant tobacco growing center in Turkey, was founded among the mountains on an approximately 1, 550 m. high plateau. At the foot of Mount Süphan, the 2nd highest mountain inTurkey, there are beautiful forests and lakes, astounding all visitors. The Seljuk Cemetery in Ahlat, which is one of the oldest settlements in the province, is among the world's art wonders.

Van, Land of Beauty


Lake Van - VAN

Van, located on the south-eastern shores of Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey, used to be the capital city of the ancient Urartian State (1,000 B.C.), and was then called "Tushpa". Van Citadel, first built by the Urartian King Sardur I in the 9th century B.C., is 80 meters above the level of the lake and extends 1,800 meters from east to west, and 120 meters from north to south. This province is famed for its rugs colored with natural dyes as well as for silver smithery.

Van cats with eyes of two different colors and a thick white fur are also famous. There is abundant soda in the waters of the Lake Van, which stands at an altitude of 1,646 m, with 3,800 km² surface areas and a maximum depth of 451 m. The fish in the lake are lean and extremely tasty. The most beautiful island in the lake is Akdamar Island, the first place to welcome spring in the region.


Hakkari where four seasons are experienced simultaneously

Hakkâri’de Dört Mevsim

One can experience all four seasons simultaneously in Hakkari, Turkey's most mountainous province. There are various glacial lakes in the mountains whose glaciers do not melt even in high summer. The Cilo-Sat Mountains in the region are unique in Turkey for their spectacular scenery. The most important historical heritage is the Melikesat Madrasah, downtown, preserving the characteristics of 15th century architecture.

The Southeastern Anatolia Region

The Southeastern Anatolia Region, which covers 9.61% of Turkey with a surface area of 75,193 km², borders Syria and Iraq.The population of the region is 7,462,893 according to the 2009 ABPRS results. 5,095,745 of the population live in urban and 2,367,148 in rural areas. Within the scope of the Southeast Anatolia Project (GAP), which is the biggest investment program for the development of the region, irrigated agriculture has been adopted and the production of industrial crops has greatly increased on some plains. Petroleum is the most significant underground resource in the region. Some of the crude oil extracted in the environs of Raman, Garzan and Kahta is refined at the Batman Refinery, one of the most important industrial plants in the region.

Gaziantep, Conveying the Past to the Present


Batman Refinery is among the major industrial establishments in the Southeastern Anatolia Region


Yesemek Açık Hava Müzesi - GAZİANTEP

Gaziantep, founded on fertile land, is the most prominent industrial and cultural center of the region, besides having agricultural riches. The city downtown is adorned with architectural works, the products of a rich history. The Monument of the Fallen, erected in the name of those who fought against the French occupation during the National War of Independence and thereby earned the title "Gazi" (war veteran) for the city, is worth visiting. The Kendirli Catholic Church in the city center was first built 150 years ago. Located at the junction of the Syrian border and the Euphrates River, Karkamış is a prominent historical center, which served as the capital city of the Late Hittites. Yet another important Hittite city is Yesemek village, close to İslahiye. The city, used as an outdoor sculpture atelier between the years 1200 and 800 B.C., boasts some of the oldest stone quarries in Anatolia. Today there are 200 Hittite statues on the site. Zeugma Antique City, located at a distance of 10 km. from Nizip County, was an important Roman city in the past. The city, especially famed for its floor mosaics in the Roman buildings of that period, is worth touring.

History Dating Back 9 thousand Years

Şanlıurfa is a museum city with a history dating back 9 thousand years. According to Holy Scriptures, Şanlıurfa is the city where Abraham, the forefather Prophet of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was born; it is where the prophet Job lived; and a place which was blessed by Prophet Jesus. Lake Balıklı is one of the most important historical and touristy spots in Şanlıurfa. It is believed that King Nimrod had the prophet Abraham thrown into a big fire here, but the fire turned into water and spared Abraham. Legend has it that the water formed today's lake and the unburnt wood in the fire became the fish in the lake. In the vicinity of the lake, are the Halil Rahman and Rızvaniye mosques and also various recreational facilities? To the east of Balıklı Lake, the cave where the prophet Abraham was born is in the courtyard of the Mevlid Halil Mosque. The Şanlıurfa Citadel, extending in an east-west direction, is also located to the south of this sacred area. According to what is written in the holy books, the prophet Abraham stopped in Harran for a spell on his expedition from Şanlıurfa to the south. The father of the prophet Abraham, Terah, died here.

The City at the Foot of Mount Nemrut


Remains of the ancient university - HARRAN



Adıyaman, the cradle of the oldest civilizations in history, is one of the prominent tourist attractions in Turkey. Especially the graves, temples and statues of kings on Mount Nemrut (Nimrod) in the Kahta District, are very popular among tourists. King Antiochos I of the Commagene State (1st century B.C.) founded in Adıyaman, was known as an art lover, and he decided that his tomb should be located on the summit of Mount Nemrut. This monumental mausoleum is encircled by three terrace shaped sacred sites carved into the rock on the east, west and north. On the eastern terrace, there are the statues of the god of art Apollo, the goddess of abundance Tyche (Fortuna), the god of the heavens Zeus, the god of strength Hercules, King Antiochus and an eagle and a lion in sequence. Mount Nemrut is a place where visitors can enjoy the most magnificent sunrise and sunset in the world besides its gigantic sculptures and mausoleums.

Diyarbakır, A City Where the Old and New Meet

The historical city walls, the original construction date of which is not exactly known, were renovated by the Byzantine Emperor Constantinus. The Grand Mosque was originally the St. Thomas Church, later converted into a Moslem mosque. The Church of the Mother Mary in the city is a church dating back to the 3rd century A.D. The residences in which Cahit Sıtkı Tarancı, one of the famous poets of the Republic era and Ziya Gökalp, the great Turkish philosopher, were born, have also been turned into museums.


Historical city walls that are the symbol of Diyarbakır

A Treasure House of History

Mardin is a museum city replete with 12th and 13th century examples of Turkish architecture harmonized with nature. The facades of the houses in the city are embroidered like jewels. Midyat County is especially known for its historical houses and a traditional silver art process called "Telkari" (filigree) which spread throughout Turkey from here. Mardin Castle (10th century A.D.), the Grand Mosque (12th century), and the Latifi ye Mosque (14th century) and the Kasımiye Madrasah (15th century) in the city of Mardin, which is famous for its citadels, mosques and bridges, are worth visiting. The Deyruülzzafaran Monastery is also one of the interesting sites in the vicinity. The monastery, the religious center of Assyrian Christians, has a history of 1,600 years.

The Vein of Black Gold

Batman is prominent for Turkey for the extraction and processing of its oil. The most significant historical center in the vicinity is Hasankeyf. Hasankeyf, the capital of the Artukids in the 12th century, is replete with beautiful structures. The Hasankeyf Citadel, the remains of a large bridge over the Tigris River, the Hızır Bey Mosque and the Zeynel Bey Dome are the important historical richness of the town.


The dome of Zeynel Bey - BATMAN


One of the important centers of agriculture and animal husbandry in the region, Siirt is gradually growing into a modern city along with the GAP project. The tomb of İsmail Fakirullah Efendi, one of the most prominent Moslem saints in Anatolia, is in Aydınlar. Inside this large and domed tomb with an interesting architecture, there is also the tomb of İbrahim Hakkı Efendi, the noted Turkish astronomer.

Noah's City

Agriculture and animal husbandry are developed in the environs of Şırnak province lying at the foot of Mount Cudi (2,114 meters). The name of the city, meaning "Noah's city", was formed by the combination of the words "Şır" meaning city and "Nak" meaning Noah. In Cizre, 45 km. from Şırnak, is a prophet Noah Tomb.

Turkish Industry Opening to the World

Turkey's production industry for export has a wide scope and strong international relations. Global integration of Turkish industry started to develop with the acceptance of the production for exports concept in 1980 and with the Customs Union Agreement in 1996 and also restructured after 2001 crisis, and got stronger.

In Turkey, priority is placed on efforts to increase the productivity and international competitive capabilities of small and mediumsize enterprises as well as to improve their share in the added value. These enterprises enjoy a series of benefits such as low interest loans, tax exemption and VAT support. Also, the construction of Organized Industrial Regions (OIRs) and Small Industry Sites (SISs) is continuing to provide these SMEs with better production conditions and increasing competitiveness, also they enable planned industrialization and reduce the environmental effects of industry. In 2009, 11 OIR and 8 SIS projects were completed. In the investment program of 2010, there are 83 OIR and 48 SIS projects. From 1962 to the end of 2009, 131 OIRs of 25,846 hectares and 438 SISs consisting of 92,138 workshops were completed.


TÜPRAŞ İzmit Refinery - KOCAELİ

Initiatives made in the Turkish manufacturing industry that opens to the world, were most seen in foreign trade. In 2009, Turkey's total manufacturing industry exports were 95,4 billion USD. With this figure, the share of Turkey's industrial products rose to 93.4%. As of December 2009, manufacturing industry exports were 111 billion USD and made up 78.8% of total exports.Turkey continues to work on studies carried out for the integration of the industrial sector into the world also from the standpoint of regulations. Turkey joined 15 international agreements in the field of industrial property rights on "patents, industrial designs, trademarks and geographical signs". Besides, a Turkish Accreditation Agency (TÜRKAK) has been set up to deal with the accreditation of testing and certification institutions. By signing mutual recognition agreements with the European Accreditation Union as well as ILAC and IAF in all fields, TÜRKAK became one of the best accreditation institutions in the world.

The Food, Spirits and Tobacco Industry

In food sector, the general production structure is based on small enterprises and various types of products are produced and exported. In the spirit and tobacco industry on the other hand, there are mostly medium and large size establishments. During the last 5 years, Turkey has shown great progress in this sector, with exports exceeding 6 billion USD, with an average annual increase rate of around 12.5%, and trade volume approaching 10 billion USD. Over 30,000 companies in the country are engaged in production activities in a variety of subsectors such as meat and meat products, milk and dairy products, flour and flour products, sugar and sweets, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, processing of vegetables and fruit, vegetable oils, processing of water products and production of cigarettes. There is no public sector involvement in the food, spirits and tobacco industries, other than in the areas of sugar, tea, meat and meat products.


Over 30 thousand companies in various branches of production are operating in the country.

Textile and Ready-to-Wear Industry

Bugün Türkiye’de tekstil ve hazır giyim, sağladıkları istihdam imkânı, yarattıkları katma değer ve uluslararası ticaretteki yerleri ile ekonomik kalkınma sürecinde lokomotif görevi yapmaktadır.


Turkey ranks 7th in the world in terms of textile industry exports.

The textile and ready-to-wear industry are the driving force in the economic development process with the employment opportunities they provide, added-value they create and their place in trade. Turkey is the world's sixth major cotton producer and most of its textile and ready-to-wear exports are cotton fabrics. Almost half of the total out-put of the textile and ready-to-wear industry is exported. Turkey is the world's 7th largest textile exporter and the 4th largest ready-to-wear clothing exporter. As far as EU markets are concerned, Turkey is the 2nd largest textile and ready-to-wear clothing supplier. As being close to EU, relations Turkey has developed with Russian and Middle Eastern econo-mies offer important opportunities in this field. The main production facilities of this sector are concentrated in the provinces of İstanbul, Bursa, Denizli, Adana, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaraş and Kayseri. As a result of extensive modernization investments made since 1995 and the influence of the Customs Union with the EU, the textile and ready-to-wear sector has increased its competitive capability in foreign markets and maintained its exportoriented growth. However, in recent years the sector has faced difficulties in competition with countries such as China and India, which have cheap labor force, and the growth rate in this sector is continuously falling. Textile and read-to-wear clothing exports that constitute 18.8% of total exports, amounted to 19,2 billion USD in 2009.


Currently Turkey's textile, apparel and leather sectors play a very important role in the process of economic development, in view of the employment opportunities and the added value they create as well as the unique place they occupy in international trade. The production technology and the product quality of these sectors comply with contemporary world standards. Turkey's vicinity to the markets of the EU, Russia, the Turkic republics and the Middle East, as well as the economic relations that have developed with these nations, present very important opportunities. This sector is engaged in a series of initiatives in the direction of establishing a design culture, supporting the designer, increasing awareness regarding labels and trademarks, strengthening cooperation between universities and the industry, improving international marketing efforts, strengthening public relations activities, and emphasizing compliance with eurotex standards, which would direct its course in the future. In many parts of the country, led by İstanbul, numerous national and international fairs, design competitions and fashion shows are organized.

The Leather and Leather Products Industry

Leather and leather products have an important place in Turkish manufacturing industry with their 1% contribution to total employment and with their 0,5 billion USD to total exports as of 2009. Most of leather products are exported to the Russian Federation, Italy, Germany and France. In recent years the sector has faced difficulties in competition with countries such as China, Indonesia and Vietnam that have cheap labor force and production is affected negatively due to significant imports from these countries. The production of leather and leather products is concentrated in İstanbul, İzmir, Uşak, Manisa, Bursa, Denizli, Isparta, Bolu, Niğde, Gaziantep, Konya and Hatay.

The Chemical Industry

The Chemical industry is among the country's most important sectors opening to the world with its 8.1% share in the manufacturing industry and Pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in Turkey's economy. with a 5 billion USD contribution to total exports as of 2009. The pharmaceutical subsector that accounts for 10% of the total chemical industry exports and significantly contributes to the country's economy with its advanced production technology. International investments in the Turkish chemical industry developed rapidly in recent years and reached billions of dollars. There are around 300 companies in the country, 53 of which are foreign capital companies, that comply with the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards of the World Health Organization.


Pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in Turkey's economy.

The Automotive Industry

The automotive industry appeared in the country's economy in the 1950s when emphasis was placed on highways as a government policy. Automotive industry production in Turkey dates back to 1954, when assembly of military jeeps and pickup trucks began. Production continued with the assembly of commercial trucks and buses. The first serious manufacturing of automobiles took place in 1966. The automobile production that started with OTOSAN was followed by TOFAŞ and RENAULT in 1970, and investments by TOYOTA, HYUNDAI ASSAN and HONDA rapidly developed in the 1990s. In the main automotive industry of the country, there are 15 manufacturers, 5 of which are automobile producers. Total production in this sector was 869,605 vehicles in 2009, including 510,931 automobiles and 358,674 commercial vehicles. Also a total of 313,917 vehicles were imported by Turkey, including 243,542 automobiles. In the same year, the total automotive industry exports were 628,790, including 388.994 automobiles and 239,976 commercial vehicles. The share of vehicle exports per unit in production was 72.3%.


510,931 automobiles were manufactured in the country in 2009.

otomotiv sanayi ihracatı ise 388.994’ü otomobil, 239.976’sı ticari araç olmak üzere toplam 628.790 taşıt aracı düzeyinde gerçekleşmiştir. Adet olarak taşıt aracı ihracatının, üretim içindeki payı ise % 72.3 olarak gerçekleşmiştir.

The Electronics Industry

The electronics industry is one of the most rapidly developing sectors in Turkey. Significant achievements have been made during the last few years, particularly in the consumer electronics and telecommunications subsectors. In the electronics industry, total Domestic appliances sector is one of the most rapidly developing sectors in the country. exports in radio, television and communication equipment amounted to 1,9 billion USD in 2009. Color TV sets are the most important item in this sector's exports. There is a global tendency, as well as in Turkey, to transfer from cathode ray tubes to flat screen TVs. The export of flat screen TVs was 5.5 million in 2009.

Durable Consumer Goods


Domestic appliances sector is one of the most rapidly developing sectors in the country.

The white household goods sector is one of the most dynamic and rapidly developing industrial sectors in Turkey. The majority of white household goods manufactured here are exported, and Turkey is gradually becoming a production and exports base for the EU with regard to durable consumer goods. In 2009, the total production of the 4 main group products amounted to 16 million and 76% of these productions were exported, with the exports reaching 12.2 million. In the exporting sector, which has begun in 1999, exports were 3,67 billion USD and the imports were 811 million USD respectively, in 2009.


The Turkish jewellery industry, combining its rich cultural heritage with new and modern techniques, has attained justified acclaim across the world. Traditional techniques that are unique to Turkey such as filigree, niello and interwoven gold or silver also attract great attention. In 2009, the total value of exported goods in the jewellery industry was 1,167 billion USD.

The Iron and Steel Industry

Between 2001-2009, Turkey increased its raw steel production by 70% and became the second country after China in terms of increase in production. Turkey's production of molten steel rose to 25.3 million tons in 2009, taking its position as 10th largest producer in the world and 2nd in the EU. Turkey's expected volume of exports was 17.5 million tons and 9,1 billion USD in 2009, in long, sheet, special and high quality iron and steel products, excluding iron and steel goods and its imports were 11,4 million tons and 7,7 billion USD.

Education and Science

Education is one of the fundamental functions of the state and performed under state control and supervision. The Ministry of National Education is responsible for offering the educational services. The right to education is ensured by the Constitution.


The Turkish national education system, designed to meet the educational needs of individuals, is composed of two main divisions, formal and non-formal education which complement each other.


Over 26 million students were educated in the 2009-2010 school year


Higher Education: Higher education includes educational institutions training people, following at least two years of postsecondary education, at the highest level, and the staff required by scholarly research disciplines at associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral level degrees.


In 2009-2010 school year, there were a total of 139 universities in Turkey, 94 of them public and 45 foundation universities.

One needs to study at least four semesters after secondary education to receive an associate's degree, which aims to provide an intermediate work force for industry. In order to receive a bachelor's degree, it is necessary to study for at least eight semesters after secondary education. Master's degrees, on the other hand, require either at least two semesters of study after a bachelor's degree or 10 semesters of study after secondary education.

Master's degrees holders are regarded as specialists or experts in their field of study.

The total number of universities in Turkey during the 2009- 2010 academic year was 139, 94 of which were public and the remaining 45 being private universities affiliated with foundations. The number of students receiving higher education during the 2008-2009 academic year, including those attending the In 2009-2010 school year, there were a total of 139 universities in Turkey, 94 of them public and 45 foundation universities. Open University, was 2,889,070, and the number of academic staff and lecturers was 97,923.

As of the end of 2009, the number of students studying abroad with public or private scholarships to develop academic careers totaled 23,921. An overwhelming majority of the students of higher learning in Turkey receive loans from the Higher Education Credits and Hostels Institution (Yurt-Kur) for education and tuition fees. Yurt-Kur dormitories also meet the accommodation needs of a sizable portion of students. In the 2009-2010 academic year, 413,586 students receiving associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral education received education loans, 140,957 students received scholarships, and another 474,280 students studying at the associate's (pre-bachelor's) and bachelor's degrees levels received tuition fee loans. Furthermore, the institution provided accommodation services in 241 hostels in 80 provincial and 91 district centers with a bed capacity of 222,633. Students entering higher education institutions are selected and placed by a centrally administered examination system. The basis of this system is the Student Selection


Nearly 3 million students were educated in the Higher Education System in 2009-2010 school year.

Examination (ÖSS), and the organization responsible for its administration is the Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) which is affiliated with the Higher Education Council (YÖK). ÖSS is a twostage examination held every year. ÖSYM also organizes a separate examination each year for foreign students who wish to enroll in undergraduate programs in Turkey. The applicants do not have to speak Turkish, for this examination is available in both Turkish and English. Those who are successful at the Examination for Foreign Students (YÖS) are entitled to a two-semester leave to learn Turkish, if they wish to do so. The Turkish and Foreign Language Research and Application Center (TÖMER), affiliated with Ankara University, offers Turkish language courses for foreigners.

Higher Education System

All institutions of higher education, universities, higher technology institutes, faculties, institutes, higher education schools, conservatories, vocational higher education schools, and application and research centers in Turkey are under the authority of the Higher Education Council (YÖK).

Operating in line with the Higher Education Law which covers all higher education institutions and regulates their organization and functions, YÖK is an autonomous agency with a public legal entity. Apart from overseeing the cooperation and coordination among institutions of higher learning, the Council also prepares short and longterm plans for establishing or developing such institutions as well as educating the academic staff in Turkey or abroad, and monitors the implementation of these things.

Cooperation in Education

Education Abroad and Educational Relations with the Turkish-Speaking Republics

The Ministry of National Education has established various institutions abroad for organizing educational and training services in order to preserve, promote and spread Turkish culture. In order to monitor the latest developments and innovations in the fields of general, vocational and technical education of foreign countries; and in order to transfer these developments to Turkey, and to reflect Turkey's educational and scientific activities worldwide, 20 Education Consultancies and 18 Educational Attaches are active in various countries. In 2009, to educate the children of Turkish citizens living abroad, 1,210 teachers were commissioned in 16 different countries. With the cooperation of the Ministry of National Education, 257 teachers from various branches have been chosen and commissioned at educational institutions established in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Romania and Moldavia. Candidate lecturers who pass the lecturer examination are appointed to the Turcology desks and institutes established in foreign universities and to the Turkish Culture Centers


Astana Yunus Emre Turkish Culture Center opened with the contributions of President Abdullah Gül - KAZAKHSTAN

operating under the representatives of our country abroad (Embassies and Consulates), along with the demands presented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of 2009, 86 lecturers have been appointed and working.

International Cooperation

Turkey has educational, scientific and cultural agreements with 70 countries, and activities related to these agreements continue. Since 1993, Turkey has been participating in projects carried out under the main headings of "Democracy, Human Rights and the Rights of Minorities", that have been included in the European Council Cultural Cooperation Commission. Maintaining close cooperation with the OECD, the Ministry of National Education actively participates in Network A, Network B, Network C, the Technical Group, and the Program on Educational Building (PEB) activities concerning education, education and working life, educational environments, teachers and curricula, educational expenses, financing and indicators and statistical data on accessing education, within the framework of the OECD Education Committee, the Center for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Indicators of Education Systems (INES). Additionally, UNESCO Sister Schools Project, the "Southeastern Mediterranean Project (SEMEP)" that emphasizes enhancement of awareness of environment and the "Globe Program" are other projects being implemented.

European Union Lifetime Learning Program (LLP)

Turkey has been participating in Lifetime Learning Program in full, since 2004. The number of people who benefited from this program so far is over 65 thousand. Within the scope of this program, there are "Comenius (School Partner-ships)", "Erasmus (Higher education)", "Leonardo da Vinci (Vocational Education)", "Grundtvig (Adults' Training)" and "Mutual Subject Program" elements.

Science and Research

The primary institution responsible for national science and research policies in Turkey is the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). This agency was established in 1963. Meanwhile, the Higher Council of Science and Technology (BTYK) set up in 1983, is the highest policymaking and consultative body in the fields of science and technology. There are numerous institutions in the country support ing R&D efforts in their fields of speciality. The main aim of



TÜBİTAK is to develop, encourage, regulate and coordinate R&D work in line with national targets and priorities. 2,068 R&D personnel work in 11 different research institutes affiliated with TÜBİTAK. TÜBİTAK supports the government in the formation of scientific, technological and innovation policies, provides funds for R&D studies carried out by universities as well as the public and private sectors, implements a variety of projects in strategic fields through its institutes, publishes scientific journals and magazines, organizes social and scientific activities, signs international scientific and technological agreements and provides scholarships and awards for training scientists. On the other hand, the fundamental duty of the State Planning Organization (DPT) is to prepare, coordinate and monitor the 5-year development plans which include policies such as research, technology development and innovation. The DPT also extends financial support to those projects aiming to develop the R&D infrastructures of the universities. Other important public institutions engaged in R&D activities include the Ministry of Finance, Undersecretariat of the Treasury, Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (DTM), the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK), Small and Medium Sized Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB), Higher Education Council (YÖK), Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), the Turkish Technology Development Foundation (TTGV) and other public R&D Institutions.

The National Science, Technology and Innovation (BTY) Policies

The Higher Council of Science and Technology (BTYK) renewed its basic goals determined in 2004 regarding R&D expenses and R&D human resources, in its 17th meeting held in 2008. Accordingly it aims to;

  • increase the share of R&D in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 2% by 2013,
  • increase the number of full time-equivalent R&D Personnel to 150 thousand before 2013.

The strategic framework of developments recorded in line with these targets has been established with documents such as the National Science and Technology Policies Implementation Plan (2005-2010), the National Rehabilitation Strategy (2008-2010) and International Science and Technology High Strategy (2007-2010). With the National Science and Technology Human Resources Strategy and the Action Plan, it is aimed to better the number and the quality of the R&D personnel, the vocational and sectoral distribution and convert Turkey into a center of attraction from international researchers' point of view. For this purpose, the International Researchers' Coordination Committee which was established towards the end of 2008 and completed its mission at the end of 2009 has worked on quick solutions to issues such as work/residence permits, academical promotion, personnel rights, and benefiting from health and education facilities. Decisions that have not been finalized yet, have been conveyed to the Science and Technology Human Resources Coordination Committee.

Support for Technology & Innovation

TÜBİTAK supports R&D and innovation activities that will contribute to research and raising technological development ability, innovation culture and competitive power of industrial establishments with the aim of increasing the country's economic and social welfare. For that purpose, TÜBİTAK has formed support programs within the structure of the Directorate of Innovation Support Programs (TEYDEB). These are: Support Program for Industrial R&D Projects (R&D Assistance), Small & Medium Size Enterprises KOBI R&D Starting Support Program, International Support Program for Industrial R&D Projects, Support Program for Project Markets, Support Program for Technology and InnovationFocused Enterprises. In 2009, 412 million TL of non-repayable support was provided from the sources of TÜBİTAK-DTM, within the scope of the support programs for R&D projects implemented by companies in Turkey. The budget of these programs to be paid by TÜBİTAK for 2009 is approximately 345 million TL. In the 1995-2009 period, 4,752 companies made 10,161 applications for the support programs. It was decided to support 6,122 of these projects and 3,595 of the supported projects were concluded successfully. Support for 1,792 pro-jects and proposals for 553 projects are going through an evaluation process.

Research Support Programs

Within the body of the TÜBİTAK Research Support Programs Department (ARDEB) 10 Research Groups were formed to program, evaluate, direct, coordinate, support and to manage the academic R&D activities, in line with the general aims, principles and procedures of the Turkey's general science and technology policy. These research groups realize their project support through 8 support programs and obtain patent support through a Patent Application Promotion and Support Program.


Research projects in the country are supported by TÜBİTAK.

Religious Life

Almost 99% of the population of Turkey is Muslim, while the remainder is composed of the Jewish faith and the various Christian communities. Everyone enjoys freedom of religion and the right to practice his/her faith in the country as stated in the constitution. No one can be forced to worship and participate in religious rites and ceremonies or to reveal his/ her religious beliefs and convictions. In addition, one can neither be persecuted because of religious conviction, nor be prevented from worshipping. Turks have tolerant religious concepts based on the Holy Quran which promotes the idea that religion and convictions imply a personal choice known only by God and the individual. That means that there is nothing compulsory in religion. This tenet has led to a profound culture of tolerance and hospitality, deeply rooted throughout the centuries in Turkish people. At present there are 233 churches and 31 synagogues open to worship in the country. Throughout Turkey, it is possible to see houses of worship of the three major religions side by side, and in a manner rarely seen in any other country, owing to the multireligious texture of Turkish society.



Everyone in the country has freedom of religion and faith.

One of the basic principles of the Turkish Republic is laicism. Turkey is the only Islamic country which has enshrined laicism in its Constitution and put it into practice. Important steps were taken on March 3rd, 1924, on the path to laicism during the Republican era, such as the abolition of the Caliphate, the Ministry of Shariah (Islamic Law) and Foundations, and later on with unification in education and later in justice. The Hat Reform, the closure of dervish lodges and retreats, the changing of the weekly holiday from Friday to Sunday, and the adoption of the Latin script and the Gregorian calendar followed these and on February 5th, 1937 "laicism" was made a constitutional principle.

Presidency of Religious Affairs

All services related to the beliefs, worship and ethics of Islam as well as the activities of informing and enlightening the public regarding religious matters in Turkey are conducted by the Directorate of Religious Affairs, founded on March 3rd, 1924, attached to the Prime Minister's Office. This agency, employing a total of 94,207 personnel, seeks to help without discrimination all Muslim citizens fulfill their religious obligations, through its central and provincial offices as well as its bureaus abroad. Taking social conditions and demands into consideration, the PRA organizes national and international meetings in order to develop its existing religious services and enlighten society with sound religious knowledge and experience in the Islamic history in accordance with the fundamen tal sources of Islam and the basic requirements of modern science and reason.