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Turkey

CAPITAL Ankara

Turkey (Türkiye) is located on the Mediterranean, in southwestern Asia, with a small section in Europe separated by the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles). With the the Black Sea to the north and the Aegean Sea in the west and Mediterranean Sea to the southwest, Turkey is surrounded by Bulgaria and Greece to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia to the northeast, Syria, Iraq and Iran to the southeast.

CURRENCY

Yeni Türk Lirası (YTL)

AREA

780,580 km2

POPULATION

67,308,928 (July 2002 est.)

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian

RELIGION

Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

There is evidence that the bed of the Black Sea was once an inhabited plain, before it was flooded in prehistoric times by rising sea levels. The biblical flood may be an account of this event. Mount Ağrı, at 5,165 m, is the country's highest point and the legendary landing place of Noah's Ark, lies in the mountains on the far eastern edge of the country.

Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO.

GET IN

Visitors from New Zealand and many EU countries do not need a visa for entry.

Citizens of the following countries need visas, and can get a sticker-type entry visa at the point of entry into Turkey, valid for three months, for a fee:

  • UK (cost: £10)
  • US (cost: US$26)
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands (cost: 10 euros)
  • Russia (cost: US$20)

German visitors can enter even with their identity card (Personalausweis) unless they arrive at the non-European land border crossings (i.e. to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria).

More information can be found at the website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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