Researching the country of Turkey was an enlightening experience. We relied greatly on the CIA’s library and the WorldBank website. We worked our way down the list of guidelines and the first topic we researched was the population.
Turkey’s population is 81,619,392, which ranks 17th in the world, much higher than expected. Turkey is only 783,562 square kilometers and has a population density of 104.16 people per square kilometers. Turkey is deceivingly large, but also has a high population. Of the population, 71.5% is urbanized. The major urban areas include Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Bursa, Adana and Gaziantep. All of those cities have over 1 million citizens.
Transportation infrastructure was the next focus. The numbers we found really showed the transportation of people and goods in the country. Turkey has 98 airports, which is relatively low, coming in at 58th in the world. However, there are 12,008 kilometer of railways and 385,748 kilometers of roadways, ranking at 20th and 17th respectively. This shows that Turkey has a good transportation infrastructure in their country. There are only 1,200 kilometers of waterways, which is a blemish on the transportation numbers, ranking at 60th in the world. However, Turkey has a huge advantage with their sea transport. Turkey has 629 total merchant ships, which is 18th in the world, which is able to compete with some of the bigger countries. Turkey also has a great disadvantage by having the Turkish Strait, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, allowing Turkey to have access to waters that connect to Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. Major Seaports are Aliaga, Ambarli, Diliskelesi, Eregli, Izmir, Kocaeli, Mersin, Limani, and Yarimca. This includes 7,200 kilometers of coastline, making sea trade one of Turkey’s strongest assets.
Communication infrastructure was another big topic, showing just how connected Turkey is to the rest of the world. There are 13.86 million phone lines, which is 18th in the world, 67.68 million mobile phone lines, which is 20th in the world, 7.09 million internet hosts, which is 16th in the world, and 27.23 million internet users, which is 15th in the world. These numbers show that Turkey is capable of high communication within the country and the rest of the world. Media is also decent, having 300 private regional and local TV stations; multi-channel cable TV subscriptions; more than 1,000 private radio broadcast stations.
Natural features are where Turkey is a rare find. Not only does Turkey have the Turkish Straits, but they also have a diverse ecosystem divided into seven regions. The first region is the Aegean Region, which has a Mediterranean climate and contains mostly forests and woodlands. To the north is the Black Sea region, which has an Oceanic climate with high rainfall, perfect for mining and farming. In the center of Turkey is the Central Anatolia Region, which has a temperate climate with forests, grasslands and savannas, excellent conditions for numerous ideas. On the eastern border lies the Eastern Anatolia Region, this is a region that contains the mountains and many water ways, which has the highest potential for hydroelectric power. To the northwest border is the Marmara Region, which contains the most densely populated cities situated around the Turkish Straits. The southwest border along the Mediterranean rests the Mediterranean Region, which has a high potential for mining and tourism with its high coastal mountains. The last region is to the southeast, the Southeastern Anatolia Region, which is in close proximity to the Middle East and has a setting already established with some tourism.
The land of Turkey has great potential. 26.21% of land is arable, perfect for many uses. 3.94% are for permanent crops, while 69.84% is listed as other land. Natural resources are also abundant in Turkey that include: Natural resources include: coal, iron, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, strontium, emery, feldspar, limestone, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, hydropower. However, there are issues that could arise in Turkey from its geography. Natural hazards are possible. Earthquake could occur since Turkey sits on areas close to fault lines. Volcanic activity is less of a risk, but the active volcanos of Turkey have not erupted since the 19th century. Water pollution could also be an issue in the more urbanized areas.
After much research, our group found that Turkey is very diverse and has much potential in regards to geography. Mining and tourism seem to be the primary focus with much of the trade out of the country being through the waterways. Turkey consistently ranked in the top 20 by country on the CIA’s website in all but a few categories, proving that Turkey is a country that has great potential for the future.