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I came back from Turkey several weeks ago and now I am eager to share my impressions about this country. During my trip, I visited Istambul, Bursa, Antalya, and several other cities and towns. My traveling was extremely exciting and filled with the color of the Muslim world combined with modern European traditions because Turkey is located both on the European and Asian continents. Thus, it has the features of culture and traditions from both continents.

The TurkishRepublic is the state located generally in the south-western part of Asia and partially in Southern Europe. It was formed in 1923 as the result of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the overthrow of a monarchy, and territory transformation with the prevalence of Turkish ethnos to the Turkish national state. The main part of the country’s territory is located at the Anatolian peninsula and the Armenian uplands; the minor part - on the Balkan Peninsula between the Black and Mediterranean seas. The latitude and longitude coordinates of Istambul (Turkey) compose 41° 0' 49 / 28° 56' 58 C.

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Turkey is located in the eastern hemisphere. Its area (including internal reservoirs) takes 779 452 square kilometers. The larger part of the territory of Turkey - 97 % - is located in Asia, while the second part - 3 % - belongs to Europe. The geographical feature of Turkey is the intersection of crucial ways, from antiquity of the connecting Europe with Asia, the Black Sea countries, and the people - with the Mediterranean. Nowadays, the territory of Turkey has highway and railway main lines connecting Europe with the majority of Asian countries.

The maximum extent of the Turkish territory from the West to the East composed of 1600 km; from the North to the South - 600 km. It is washed by seas from three sides: in the north - by the Black Sea, in the West – by the Aegean sea, in the south – by the Mediterranean sea. The European and Asian parts of Turkey are separated from each other by the water system forming a sea pass of the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea and including the Sea of Marmara, Bosporus, and Dardanelless straights. One of the most beautiful world cities, historically significant especially due to its location, and the biggest city of Turkey - Istanbul (the former Constantinople) - is located in the southern part of Bosporus and the Bay of the Golden Horn (the Sea of Marmara).

The seas and lands divide the geography of Istanbul, reminding a graceful lace, into 4 parts. There is the Old Istambul and Galata District on the bank of the gulf Haliç (the Golden Horn; both sides of Bosporus are the populated territories merging among themselves, each of which was a separate village in the past. The residential areas are located along the whole coast of the Sea of Marmara, the smallest sea on the Earth. The old city is located on 7 hills, a triangle surrounded by the 22-kilometer fortification.

Istanbul is situated in the center of the Old World and is the megalopolis combining historical monuments and magnificent nature. It is the unique world city located on two continents, on the place where Europe and Asia are divided only by a narrow strait passing through the heart of Istanbul. Due to its strategic location of the merge of the land and the seas, and to its 2500-year old history, Istanbul became an important center of trade. Historical Istanbul is located on the peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus strait and the gulf Haliç. Owning to own location of the junction of two continents, Istambul is the connecting link of the Great Silk Road; the city had a rather strategic meaning for the whole world.    I spent in Istambul two weeks and can surely say that it captured me by its beautiful landscapes, wonderful culture and very friendly and pleasant people. This city is worth visiting.

Turkey is a mountainous country. Therefore, the climate of the country has both an alpine character and a continental climate. Summers are hot and droughty in internal continental regions of Turkey, and winters are snowy and cold. The weather was hot and sunny during my stay in Turkey. The Aegean and Mediterranean Seas have a Mediterranean climate with softer winters. The Black Sea is characterized by a moderate climate with warm summers and cool winters. The average temperature in winter (in January) makes about +5 °C, in summer (in July) - about +23 °C. The precipitation composes about 1000 - 2500 mm a year. In summer, the daily average temperature can exceed 30 and (occasionally) 35 °C, and the heat can exceed +40 °C, but it happens rather seldom, mostly on the southern coast of Turkey. The southeast of Turkey has features of the tropical desert climate: the humidity is low, unlike a high humidity on the shores of the Black Sea.

Turkey is the country of highlands: its average height above the sea level is about 1000 m. Almost the whole territory is occupied by uplands of the Asianic highland which includes the Pontic Mountains and are located between the Anatolian plateaus. The average height of the Pontic Mountains composes of about 2500 m. m.

The Pontic Mountains were stretched parallel to the coast of the Black Sea more than by 1000 kilometers. In the east, they reach the border with Georgia and Armenia, in the west - the plain in the lowlands of Sakarya. The PonticMountains do not represent an incessant chain and are divided by deep valleys chains of hollows into some ridges which go parallel with a coastline. In the north, the Pontic Mountains abruptly go down to the Black Sea leaving a narrow coastal strip which composes of 5 - 10 kilometers.

A complex mountain system called TorosMountains is stretched in the south of Turkey. Owing to big internal divergences, it is divided into three parts: Western, Central, and Eastern Toros. The Western Toros is a mountain system that covers Antalya. The highest peaks (Bedag, 3086 m, Elmali, 3073 m) are divided by deep valleys, cut with canyons.

The area between the mountains of the Anatolean plateau is divided into the Internal Anatoly and the Eastern Anatoly. The first of them represents a lower part of the plateau. It consists of a row of hollows. The heights increase from the West to the East from 800 - 1200 m to 1500 m. The capital of Turkey – Ankara - is located on one of such plateaus, at the height of 850 m. In the southern part of the plateau, a number of ancient volcanoes rise. There are numerous lakes and bogs, usually salty and with changeable outlines in the center and in the south of the Internal Anatoly.

There is a mountain area that includes coastal parts of the Aegean and Marmara Seas in Western Anatolia. The Anatolian Plate is a continental tectonic plate, which is located on the territory of Turkey. Its area composes 0, 01418 steradian.   

The eastern edge borders on the Arabian plate, East Anatolian fracture. In the south and the southwest, it has a convergent border with the African plate which is shown in features of the compression of an oceanic cover near the Mediterranean Sea, and also within a continental cover of Anatoly, and also in subduction zones along the Greek and Cyprian arches. Its western edge has a divergent border with a plate of the Aegean Sea. These subduction zones led to the appearance of such big volcanos of Turkey as Suphan, Nemrut, and Ergias. About 4 % of the whole territory of the country is located in zones of destructive earthquakes. The majority of earthquakes have a magnitude (M) of about 7 points. In total, about 800 earthquakes, 80 of which were catastrophic, were registered during the historical period. In 1953, a destructive earthquake took place in the Aegean Sea; as a result, the fracture as long as 90 km was fromed and there was a horizontal amplitude of 2-3 m dislocation. In this area, over 600 pushes were registered within 2 months. Almost all strongest earthquakes belong to average and low-deep. There were some main seismic zones.

The northern region on the border with the Euroasian plate forms the North Anatolian zone of a fracture of 500 miles. There is an underwater volcanic North Aegean fracture in its westernmost tip. The break zone is also located under Greece and Ionic and Adriatic Seas. As a result of active interaction and movement along with these main fractures, hundreds of earthquakes of different capacities are annually registered in this region. The Anatolian plate moves to the west (2-2.5 cm per year) as the Euroasian plate presses on it from the North and the African plate and the Arabian plate - from the South.

The highest peak of Turkey is the extinct volcano Mount Ararat (5165 m) on the Armenian uplands. It is famous for being the resting place of Noah’s Ark. According to the Bible legend, Noah constructed a huge vessel to rescue all living beings from the terrible Flood. Hoah headed the Ark, which also had males and females of all animal species. When the ark was ready, God sent the Flood to the earth as the punishment for the sins of people. This catastrophe lasted for a year and when water began to stop, Noah stuck to Mount Ararat, left the ark and became the new primogenitor of mankind.

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The formations of the mountain are located in 11 kilometers from each other; the distance between their tops makes 25 km. The extinct volcanoes are divided by the Sardar-Bulaksky saddle. The basis of both tops has an extent about 130 km in a circle. The slopes are desert, formed by the removed lava streams. The Big Ararat is covered with eternal snow. However, while I was visiting the most typical mountain of the Eatern part of Turkey, I noticed that there was a snow only on the highest 400 meters. Despite the fact that the weather can be unpredictable and rather severe in this mountaneous area, the sun was shining for the whole day and was very severe. The heat exhausted me, but I was captivated by the beauty of the landscape.

The main population of the country is composed by Turks. The people were called Ottomans at the time of the Ottoman Empire. At the moment of formation of the Turkish Republic, its population was 12 532 000 people. In total, 12 population censuses were carried out in the country. Since 1927, the population of Turkey grew by 4.4 times and only from 1950 to 1985 – by 2.5 times. A rapid growth of the Turkish population, which exceeded in 2005 and composed 70 million people, remains one of the most crucial problems of the country. The population density composes 88 people/; a share of urban population is 75.5 %, the share of the educated population is 88.1 %. The concentration of the population of the country increases in main cities: in 1990 Istanbul and Ankara focused 18.4 %, in 2010 – 24.4 % of the Turkish population. At the same time, there is a population reduction in the east, and especially in the northeast of the country. The population of the Northeast Anatoly made 235 thousand people in 1990 and 220 thousand people in 2009.

The distribution of inhabitants is extremely uneven on the territory of Turkey. The coasts of the Marmara and Black seas, and also areas adjacent to the Aegean Sea are the most densely populated. The most densely populated city is Istanbul; the least densely populated area is Hakkyari.

One of the most distinctive features of our century is the fast urbanization of the population of a planet. Turkey is not an exception. The urban saturation occurs much quicker than the industrialization level in the country. An internal migration from agricultural areas in the city is the main reason for the emergence of the existing requirement for housing in the country. As a result of a big deficiency between the annual requirements and housing construction, the uncontrollable squatters compose the main way of houses construction for families of a low income.

In this regard, the main objective of the government is the improvement of construction for the low-income population. The other tasks are: the use of the process of urbanization in interests of industrialization and modernization of the country and the creation of new forms of the city settlement, stimulation of the development of available small and average cities located in the mother country and other areas, the balanced economic, social and physical development of all regions of the country, improvement of conditions of accommodation, both in the city and in agricultural areas and the reduction of distinctions in levels of accommodation in the city conditions and in rural areas, carrying out the effective ground policy and implementation of housing programs under the state control.

“The most basic problem of the cities in Turkey is that not any proper policies have been produced on urban problems. Since the policies made on the cities in Turkey are not the result of a detailed investigation, it has become not being able to meet the needs in ten-fifteen years period.  Urban  planning  is  not  an  ordinary  affair;  hence,  planning  has  to  be  considered  carefully  before  it  is  performed  and  planning  should  be  performed  by  predicting  the  future status of the city”.

The urbanization leads to unhealthy swelling of a services’ sector. In Istanbul, for example, only 40 out of 100 workers are occupied in the industry; and other 60 make the army of service workers including not only government officials, but also street dealers, porters, cleaners of footwear, house servants, waiters, etc. In the capital, in the service sector concentrates 70 % of the population.

The urbanization leading to the migration of the population from the East to the West aggravates the problem of a regional development of Turkey: the western areas progress and the eastern ones lag behind. Moreover, the urbanization increases the income gap between the rural dwellers and citizens. This social phenomenon means a loss of the youngest, vigorous and competent population for the village.

Despite the fact that about 35 % of the Turkish population lives in rural areas, the urbanization process continues. The biggest cities are Istanbul (10 033 thousand people), the former Constantinople, in the past the capital of the Ottoman Empire, being on the European coast of Bosporus; Ankara (4 007), the present capital of Turkey located on the Anatolian plateau; Izmir (3 387), a crucial port on the coast of the Aegean Sea.

“Apart from the large cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, other places which attract the people and which form the centers withdense population are as follows: along valleys with east and west direction such as Büyük Menderes and Küçük Menderes’ valley in the Main Aegean Section; Adana and its environment which industrybased on agriculture, caused them to develop; and Zonguldak and itsenvironment which were developed as a result of mining activitiesand industry based on them”.

At present, the population of Turkey makes about 70.7 million people, and the most part of them are Turks by nationality. Except the Turks, about one million of Arabs (along the Syrian border) live in Turkey, some tens of thousands of Armenians and Jews, in Istanbul - about 100 thousand of Greeks. The population of Turkey consists mainly of men, the number of whom increases the number of women by 1.9%. The national population is composed of Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, Greeks, Armenians, Georgians and Jewish.

The economic basis of the majority of cities is the trade in agriculture and animal production, and also the small-scale industrial production connected with the processing of agricultural production. Agriculture is the main source of the existence of inhabitants of the small cities.

When I visited Turkey, I paid attention to the fact that there are a lot of slums called “hedgekondu” (it means “built at night”). This social phenomenon, characteristic for the urbanization in capitalist countries, got a special sharpness after the Second World War in Turkey. About 65 % of the whole population of Ankara lives in such buildings, 45 % - in Istambul. However, I would like to admit that a new construction changes the image of cities. Wide prospects and modern many-storeyd buildings appear every day.

In conclusion, I would like to say that Turkey impressed me greately by its strategic geographical location, its customs and traditions, combining the conservative Muslim religion with the European democracy, and by its wonderful and very hospitable people.

Code: writers15

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