- Turkey’s total area is a vast 814,578 sq km (97 percent in Asia, 3 percent in Europe). A 8333-kilometre coastline is lapped by four seas: the Mediterranean, the Aegean, the Marmara and the Black Sea. Numerous peaks exceed 3000m, the highest being 5165-metre Ararat (Ağrı Dağı). Largest of many lakes is Lake Van (3713 sq km) in the far southeast. The three longest rivers wholly in Turkey – the Kızılırmak, Yeşilırmak and Sakarya – flow into the Black Sea.
- The population of over 70 million is 98 percent Muslim (Sunni or Alevî), with dwindling religious minorities of the Armenian Apostolic or Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox and Jewish faiths. Besides standard Turkish, two dialects of Kurdish are widely spoken; other languages heard include Arabic, Laz, Circassian, Albanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Romany and Greek. Well over half the inhabitants live in cities; the four largest are İstanbul, Ankara (the capital), İzmir and Adana.
- Since 1922 Turkey has been a republic. The single-chamber Grand National Assembly (Büyük Meclis) in Ankara has 550 seats, and the president is elected by this parliament. Both, however, are answerable to a National Security Council dominated by elements of the armed forces.
- Since 1950 the Turkish economy has often been in crisis, with inflation devaluing the currency. The most important foreign-exchange earners are tourism, clothing and food.