Turkey is located in Western Asia, mostly in the Anatolian peninsula, and in East Thrace in south-eastern Europe. The country has a borderline with eight countries: Bulgaria in the north-west; Greece in the west; Georgia in the north-east; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the Nakhchivan region) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south-east.
The Mediterranean Sea is located in the South while the Aegean Sea is in the west and the Black Sea is located to the north side of Turkey. The Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles separate the boundary between East Thrace and Anatolia and also separate Europe and Asia.
Turkey is divided into seven regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia and South-Eastern Anatolia. Turkey has the main source of Euphrates, Tigris and Aras rivers and the nation’s biggest lakes are Lake Van and Lake Tuz (Salt). Turkey’s highest point is Mount Ararat, which measures 5,137 metres above sea level.
The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 kilometers long and 800 wide. Surrounded by four different seas, Turkey is a beach paradise with over 8,000 kilometres of sunny strips of sand. It also has an abundance of plant and wildlife species that can be enjoyed while camping or trekking in the many national parks which are dotted around the country.
Historically, more than 20 different civilizations reigned in today’s lands of Turkey. The country’s rich history is adorned with temples, ancient theatres, churches, mosques, tombs, statues of Gods, palaces and fortresses, and of course the many detailed and fascinating museums which bring the past to life.
The Mediterranean and Aegean regions of the country have a full of antique artifacts and places. In the Mediterranean region, the ancient Lycian region, west of Antalya, there are located the mountain cities of Termessos and Arikand, as well as the coastal towns such as Olimpos, Kale, Kekova and Kas. The ancient cities of Perge, Aspendos and Side are also located on the coastal plain east of Antalya, originally called Pamphylia. In Aegean there are many holiday resorts such as Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca, Koycegiz and has a lot of historical places as well as the Mediterranean for example Ephesus, The Temple of Virgin Mary and The Temple of Artemis.
In the Black Sea region, most of the lands are lush and green throughout the year and there are rocky mountains, the cool waters of the coast. Tea, hazelnuts, tobacco and corn are most known products of this region.
The Marmara which is classified for the lush rolling fields, filled with vineyards and sunflowers grown for their seeds and oil, has also the biggest population of the country with around 30 per cent. The heart of the industry in the country is also located in this region. Marmara hosts the most populated city in Turkey, which is Istanbul.
Football in Turkey
It is known that the game of football was first played in the last quarter of the 19th century in Turkey. It all started in Thessaloniki during the Ottoman period and spread down to the meadows of Bornova.
The first football club was formed by a group of English people in Izmir. The Turkish Football Federation was established in 1923, and Yusuf Ziya Öniş was the first President. Following the Federation's establishment, Turkey applied for FIFA for membership and became FIFA's 26th member on 21 May 1923.
The following decades can be summarized as the continuous development of Turkish football. Upon recognition of professional football in 1952, first qualification of Turkish National Team for the FIFA World Cup held in Switzerland in 1954. In 1996, Turkey achieved a first in their history and qualified for the UEFA European Championship, which was to be held in England. After that, Tukrey qualified for and reached the quarter-finals at UEFA EURO 1996.
Turkish football enjoyed its most remarkable days in the summer of 2002. Turkey finished third at that year’s FIFA World Cup™ and repeated the feat at EURO 2008, where they lost to Germany in the last four.
At club level, Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup in 2000 against Arsenal in Copenhagen. Three months later the club won the UEFA Super Cup in Monaco against Real Madrid.