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Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye, is a country in Southeast Europe and West Asia. It is mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in West Asia, with a small portion called East Thrace on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcije dʒumˈhuːɾijeti] ), is a country in Southeast Europe and West Asia. It is mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in West Asia, with a small portion called East Thrace on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; ArmeniaAzerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Cyprus is off the south coast. Most of the country’s citizens are ethnic Turks, while Kurds are the largest ethnic minority.[4] Ankara is Turkey’s capital and second-largest city, while Istanbul is its largest city and economic and financial centre, as well as the largest city in Europe.

One of the world’s earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey is home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe and was inhabited by ancient civilizations including the HattiansHittitesAnatolian peoplesGreeksAssyrians, and Persians.[11][12][13][14] Following the conquests of Alexander the Great which started the Hellenistic period, most of the ancient Anatolian regions were culturally Hellenized, and this continued during the Byzantine era.[12][15] The Seljuk Turks began migrating to Anatolia in the 11th century, which started the Turkification process. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities.[16] Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans united the principalities and conquered the Balkans. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power.

From the late 18th century onwards, the empire’s power and territory declined.[19] Mahmud II started a period of modernization in the early 19th century.[20] The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 restricted the authority of the sultan and restored the Ottoman Parliament.[21][22] The Three Pashas took control with the 1913 coup d’état, and the Ottoman Empire entered World War I as one of the Central Powers in 1914. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its ArmenianGreek and Assyrian subjects.[23][24][25] After its defeat in the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned.[26] The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the sultanate on 1 November 1922, the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923 and the proclamation of a republic on 29 October 1923, modelled on the reforms initiated by the country’s first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Good to Know

Visa Requirements
Online visa
Languages spoken
Predominantly Turkish ,Kurdish, Zaza ,Arabic, Circassian ,Laz ,Greek ,Armenian ,Albanian ,Bosnian ,Bulgarian
Largest city
Area (km2)
783,562 km2


Istanbul[b] (Turkishİstanbul,[c]) is the largest city in Turkey, serving as the country’s economic, cultural and historic hub. The city straddles the Bosporus Strait, lying in both Europe and Asia, and has a population of over 15 million residents, comprising 19% of the population of Turkey.[4] Istanbul is the most populous European city[d] and the world’s 15th-largest city.

The city was founded as Byzantium (GreekΒυζάντιονByzantion) in the 7th century BCE by Greek settlers from Megara.[10] In 330 CE, the Roman emperor Constantine the Great made it his imperial capital, renaming it first as New Rome (GreekΝέα ῬώμηNea RhomēLatinNova Roma)[11] and then as Constantinople (Constantinopolis) after himself.[11][12] In 1930, the city’s name was officially changed to Istanbul, the Turkish rendering of εἰς τὴν Πόλιν (romanized: eis tḕn Pólin; ‘to the City’), the appellation Greek speakers used since the 11th century to colloquially refer to the city.[11]