Turkey straddles two continents. In geographical terms, only 3 percent of the country Turkish Thrace is European. The vast majority of Turkey, known as Anatolia, lies in Asia between the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Turkey is a relatively big country: it’s some 1700km between the Bulgarian and Armenian borders, for instance, and about 1000km from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.
Turkey may be divided into seven geographic and climatic regions. The Marmara region, including Istanbul, Thrace and the Sea of Marmara borderlands, contains a plain of fertile, gently rolling hills. Mount Ulu (Olympus), at 2,543m, stands to watch over the eastern portion of this region. The Mediterranean region holds a narrow, mountainous coastline and, to the east, the fertile Cukurova plain, while the Aegean coast has large valleys and a hilly shoreline. Along the eastern portion of Turkey’s Black Sea coast mountains seem to rise up from the sea itself. Central Anatolia, Turkey’s largest geographic region, is a high plateau broken by mountain ranges. Southeast Anatolia is a rolling plateau with occasional outcrops of rock. Eastern Anatolia holds Turkey’s most mountainous and rugged terrain; its highest peak, Mount Ararat, soars to 5,137m.
Most of Turkey’s rivers are unnavigable but some are important sources of hydroelectric power. The Kizilirmak, emptying into the Black Sea, is at 1.150km, the longest river entirely within Turkey’s borders. The important Tigris and Euphrates rivers both have their source in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. Turkey’s largest lake, the saltwater Lake Van, is in Southeast Anatolia, while freshwater lakes are scattered throughout the southwest.
Anatolia, while freshwater lakes are scattered throughout the southwest.
In Istanbul, January temperatures range from 3° to 9°C (37° to 48°F) while July temperatures range from 19° to 28°C (65° to 83°F). Rain is heaviest during the winter months. Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean shores enjoy long, hot summers and mild but wet winters. Most of the winter rain falls in December and January. Central Anatolia has a more continental climate; winters are cold and often damp, summers hot and dry. Rain can fall year round, however. Ankara, located in Central Anatolia, has a temperature range of -3° to 4°C (26° to 39°F) in January and 15° to 30°C (60° to 86°F) in July. Year round rain is more or less guaranteed along the Black Sea shore; temperatures are mild. Southeastern Anatolia records Turkey’s hottest summer temperatures and the region’s winters force the mercury in the other direction. The most extreme winter conditions may be found in Eastern Anatolia, where it’s quite cold (as low as -43C) all year except June to September.
You can read the second chapter: Life and Time in Turkey Chapter 2