Turkey is located in western Asia and eastern Europe, and is close to Africa. The Bosporus or Bosphorus is one of the Turkish Straits, which divides Europe from Asia. West of the Bosphorus is Europe, while east of the Bosphorus is Asia. Turkey’s location is considered to be highly strategic politically, as they have control of the straits between the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. Turkey borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. The modern Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923, which is now celebrated as Republic Day, Turkey’s national holiday. Mustafa Kemal was the first president of the Republic of Turkey, and took on the name Atatürk, meaning “father of the Turks.” Atatürk is considered a national hero, for his service helping Turkey undergo social, legal, and political reforms. Turkey major cities are Istanbul, Ankara (which is the capitol) Izmir, Bursa, and Adana. Turkish is the official language of Turkey, but Kurdish is spoken by Kurds, and Zazaki languages are spoken by the Zazas.Although Turkey doesn’t have an official religion, majority of the population speak Muslim, but mostly Sunni. The name of Turkish flag is Turkiye Cumhuriyeti. The Turkish Flag comprises of a red background on which there is the motif of the crescent moon and a star. The star in the flag of Turkey is said to represent the Morning Star as mentioned in the Holy Koran. The white crescent and the star are symbols of Islam. This motif is placed slightly on the left side of the red background in the Turkey flag. Anatolia (Turkey in Asia) was occupied in about 1900 B.C. by the Indo-European Hittites and, after the Hittite empire's collapse in 1200 B.C. , by Phrygians and Lydians. The Persian Empire occupied the area in the 6th century B.C. , giving way to the Roman Empire, then later the Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman Turks first appeared in the early 13th century, subjugating Turkish and Mongol bands pressing against...
• Turkey Country Book
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