Map of Turkey

Geography and population

Turkey, with a total area of 779 45 km², lies between Europe and Asia and is surrounded by the Black Sea, Bulgaria and Greece in the north, the Aegean Sea in the west, the Mediterranean Sea, Syria and Iraq in the south, Iran in the east and Armenia and Georgia in the north-east.

About 28 million ha, or 36% of the total area, are classified as cultivable. In 1991, the total cultivated area was estimated at 20.5 million ha, of which 17.5 million ha consisted of annual crops and 3.0 million ha consisted of permanent crops, mainly vineyards, fruit trees and olives.

The total population is about 61.9 million (1995), of which 31% is rural, with an annual demographic growth estimated at 2%. Agriculture employed 44.5% of the total labour force in 1994 and accounted for nearly 16% of GDP in 1993. In 1992, agriculture provided 14.9% of the total export revenue.

Climate and water resources


Turkey has a subtropical, semi-arid climate with extremes in temperatures. In the east, summers are hot and dry, winters are cold, rainy and snowy Along the coastal area, a Mediterranean climate is dominant with long, hot, dry summers and short, mild, rainy winters. Rainfall shows great differences from one region to another. Average annual rainfall is 643 mm, ranging from 250 mm in the southeast to over 3 000 mm in the north-east Black Sea area. About 70% of the rain falls in the winter and spring seasons. Average runoff is about 37%.

Surface water resources

Of the total surface runoff of the country, estimated at 192.8 km³/year, almost one-fourth comes from the Euphrates (Firat) and the Tigris (Dicle) rivers, that both have their sources in the eastern part of the country. Turkey contributes about 90% of the total annual flow of the Euphrates, while the remaining part originates in Syria and nothing is added further downstream in Iraq. Turkey contributes 38% directly to the main Tigris river and another 11 % to its tributaries, that join the main stream of the Tigris further downstream in Iraq. In general, the streams vary greatly in their flow from season to season and year to year. For example, the Euphrates' annual flow at the border with Syria ranged from 15.3 km³ in 1961 to 42.7 km in 1963.

Average annual surface runoff entering Turkey from other countries is estimated at about 1.8 km³ (the Orontes, the Tunca). Another 5.8 km³/year comes from Bulgaria through the Meric river which forms the border between Turkey and Greece. Average annual surface runoff leaving the country is estimated at 60.4 km³, while almost 8 km³ flows in the interior basins.

Ecological zones

The map below shows the ecological zones, as shown on the FAO global map of ecological zones produced as part of the FRA 2000. Please refer to FRA Working Paper 20 for further information on the Global Ecological Zone map.



AQUASTAT - FAO's Information System on Water and Agriculture, Rome 2002 


A concept and strategy for ecological zoning for the global forest resources assessment 2000

Forestry Resources Assessment Programme – Working Paper 20, Rome 1999

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