Turkey Overview

Turkey is a Middle Eastern country that lies both in Europe and in Asia. About 3 percent of Turkey lies in Thrace, at the eastern edge of southern Europe. To the east, the rest of Turkey covers a large, mountainous peninsula called Anatolia or Asia Minor.

Travellers to Turkey will do well to visit the capital city of Istanbul. Balanced on a thread of land linking Europe to the East, Istanbul offers sun, sea, mountains, lakes and a bounteous culture born of a 10,000 year-old civilisation.


The climate differs greatly from one region of Turkey to another. The south and west coasts of Anatolia have mild, rainy winters and hot dry summers. Summer temperatures along the Aegean often rise above 90 °F (32 °C). The Black Sea coast has cooler summers, with an average temperature of about 72 °F (22 °C). Northeastern Turkey has mild summers but bitterly cold winters. Temperatures sometimes fall to -40 °F (-40 °C). Southeastern Turkey and the interior of Anatolia have cold winters with heavy snowstorms. Summers are hot, windy, and extremely dry.


POPULATION: 71.8 million
LANGUAGE: Turkish, Kurdish, Dimli
CURRENCY: New Turkish Lira
ELECTRIC CURRENT: 220V, 50Hz. To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required.


There is a high threat from terrorism in Turkey and a number of terrorist groups remain active in the country. Terrorist attacks are regularly carried out against the security forces in the south east of the country by the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). We advise against all but essential travel in the provinces of Hakkari, Sirnak, Siirt and Tunceli and visitors should remain vigilant when travelling in other provinces in southeastern Turkey. Terrorist attacks have also taken place against both government and civilian targets in major cities such as Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, and tourist resorts on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts. Improvised explosive devices (IED’s) have been placed in crowded areas, restaurants, refuge bins, outside banks and hotels and on dolmus mini-buses and trains.

Al Qaida and other networks inspired by religious extremism have specifically targeted western interests in Turkey.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk