Turkey is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in
Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to
the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides with the Aegean Sea to the west,
the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide
Thrace and Anatolia and separate Europe and Asia. Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre, classified as a
leading global city.
Approximately 70–80% of the country's citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks.
Kurds are the largest minority at about 20% of the population; other ethnic minorities include Circassians, Albanians, Arabs, Bosniaks, and Laz people. The official language
is Turkish, which is the most widely spoken Turkic language in the world. Minority languages spoken today in Turkey include Kurmanji, Bosnian, Arabic, Zaza, Kabardian, and
The area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age by various ancient
Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians, and Armenians. After Alexander the Great conquered these lands, the area was
Hellenized, a process which continued under the Roman Empire and its transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th
century, and their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia
until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities.