Turkey forms a natural bridge between Europe and Asia, laying between 35-42° north latitude and 25-44° east longitude with a total land area of 779,452 km2 and a population of 73 million1.

In fact this country consists of the large, roughly rectangular peninsula of Anatolia (Anadolu) in western Asia and the Eastern Thrace region (Trakya) in the southeastern Europe, accounting respectively for 97% and 3% of the total area and physically separated by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles.

Source: http://www.turchia.it/ilpaese.htm

This particular location makes Turkey a country of significant geostrategic importance, with land borders with other eight countries: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan (exclave of Nakhchivan), Greece and Bulgaria.

It is protected by high mountains along its eastern border and surrounded by the sea - Black Sea (north), Marmara Sea (north-west), Aegean Sea (south-west) and Mediterranean Sea (south)- on three sides.

Its capital city is Ankara, while its biggest city Istanbul represents the financial, economic and cultural heart of the country. Its territory is subdivided into 81 provinces for administrative purposes, each of them is also organised into 7 regions, that have only census proposes and therefore are not part of the administrative structure.

The predominant religion in Turkey is Islam with small minorities of Christianity and Judaism and the country's official language is Turkish, whereas Kurdish and Zazaki languages are also spoken. The monetary unit is the Turkish Lira (TL), divided to 100 Kurus.

1. 2009, World Bank.