Turkey Travel Information

Photo Turkey (country), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish Türkiye Cumhuriyeti), country in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, bordered on the northwest by Bulgaria and Greece; on the north by the Black Sea; on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia; on the east by Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxçivan; on the south by Iraq, Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea; and on the west by the Aegean Sea. The total area of Turkey is 779,452 sq km (300,948 sq mi). The capital is Ankara; Istanbul is the largest city.

The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal (later Atatürk) from a portion of the Ottoman Empire, following the empire's collapse as a result of World War I (1914-1918). Turkey has a dynamic economy that is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with traditional village agriculture and crafts. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. Its most important industry - and largest exporter - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands.

Modern Turkish cultural life dates from the 1923 founding of the republic and early efforts to Westernize Turkish society. As a result, the arts, literature, drama, and classical and contemporary music have flourished. State support of cultural activities is extensive and encompasses a national network of theaters, orchestras, opera and ballet companies, university fine arts academies, and various conservatories. Public funds also are used to provide partial support for private theater groups and for major art exhibits and festivals.

Unauthorized purchase or removal from Turkey of antiquities or other important cultural artifacts is strictly forbidden. Violation of this law may result in imprisonment. At the time of departure, travelers who purchase such items may be asked to present a receipt from the seller as well as the official museum export certificate required by law.

Important: Travel to Turkey may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Turkey visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Republic of Turkey
Capital city: Ankara
Area: 783,562 sq km
Population: 79,749,461
Ethnic groups: Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 18%, other minorities 7-12%
Languages: Turkish
Religions: Muslim 99.8%
Government: republican parliamentary democracy
Chief of State: President Abdullah GUL
Head of Government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN
GDP: 1.075 trillion
GDP per captia: 14,400
Annual growth rate: 8.5%
Inflation: 6.5%
Agriculture: tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, hazelnuts, pulses, citrus
Major industries: textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, mining
Natural resources: coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite
Location: Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia
Trade Partners - exports: Germany 10.3%, Iraq 6.2%, UK 6%, Italy 5.8%, France 5%, Russia 4.4%
Trade Partners - imports: Russia 9.9%, Germany 9.5%, China 9%, US 6.7%, Italy 5.6%, Iran 5.2%