Regions of Turkey
 
Anatolia is divided into 7 geographical regions:
 
The Black Sea Region
The Black Sea Region is a mountainous area in the north. This region is approximately 1/6 of Turkey’s total land mass. It has a steep and rocky coast and rivers cascade through the gorges of the coastal ranges. As the Northern Anatolian Mountains run parallel to the coastline access inland from the coast is limited to a few narrow valleys, so the coast therefore has always been isolated from inland areas. It is densely wooded, comprising more than one-fourth of Turkey’s forested areas. The region is mainly agricultural, corn being the dominant field crop. Tea is grown in the eastern coastal strip, hazelnuts around Giresun and Ordu and tobacco in Samsun and Trabzon.
The Marmara Region
The Marmara Region covers the European part as well as the northwest of the Anatolian plain. It comprises a central plain of rolling terrain surrounded by mountains of moderate height. Although it is the smallest region after Southeastern Anatolia, it has the highest population density. The Marmara region is economically the most developed area of Turkey. Its agriculture is varied, including tobacco, wheat, rice, sunflower, corn, olives, grapes and natural silk. On the straits and coasts of the Marmara Sea fishing is well developed. The name of The Marmara Sea comes from the Marmara Island which is known for the high grade of marble from its quarries.
The Aegean Region
The Aegean Region extends from the Aegean coast to the inner parts of Western Anatolia. Forest lands and fertile plains carrying the same names as its rivers are dominant. The lowlands of the Aegean and Marmara Regions contain about half of the country’s agricultural wealth in the broad, cultivated valleys, the most important of which are the Izmit Valley, the Bursa Plains and the Plains of Troy. Its wealth rests on the production of several export crops, including tobacco (more than 50% of Turkey’s total production), cotton (30% of the total), high-quality grapes suitable for drying, olives (more than 50% of the Turkish output) and figs.
The Mediterranean Region
The Mediterranean Region is located in the south of Anatolia. The western and central Taurus Mountains suddenly rise up behind the coastline. Forest lands are dominant here like the Aegean and the Black Sea regions. The region has several subregions: the sparsely populated limestone plateaus of Taseli in the middle; the lake district in the west with its continental climate, where grain is grown; and the intensively cultivated, densely populated coastal plains. The coastal areas produce cotton (60 percent of Turkey’s output), sesame, citrus fruits (more than 90 percent of the country’s production), early vegetables and bananas. The higher elevations have relatively little arable land; grain and livestock are produced and there is pastoral nomadism among the Yoruks.
The Central Anatolia Region
The Central Anatolia Region is exactly in the middle of Turkey and is less mountainous when compared to the other regions. This region varies in altitude from 600-1,200 m (1,970-3,940 ft) west to east. Steppes are common. Geologically young volcanic features characterize the landscape. For the most part, the region is bare and monotonous and is used for grazing. But overgrazing has caused soil erosion on the plateau and during frequent summer dust storms a fine yellow powder blows across the plains. One-third of Turkey’s sheep and three-quarters of its Angora goats are raised there.
The Eastern Anatolia Region
The Eastern Anatolia Region is Anatolia's largest and highest region. Nearly all of the area has an average altitude of 1,500-2,000 m / 4,920-6,560 ft. Anatolia’s highest peak Mount Ararat is located in this region. This is the most thinly populated region of the country. Farming is difficult because of the long, severe winters, steep slopes and eroded soil. Grain, chiefly summer wheat and barley, is the dominant crop. In the humid northeast, beef and dairy cattle are raised whilst in the south there are pastoral nomads who raise sheep and goats.
The Southeastern Anatolia Region
The Southeastern Anatolia Region is notable for the uniformity of its landscape. Vast stretches of this region consist only of wild or barren wasteland. Agriculture is confined mainly to irrigated valleys and basins (wheat, rice, vegetables, grapes). Much of the population is nomadic or seminomadic. Turkey’s principal oil fields are here.
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