Turkey Facts for Kids

Interesting Facts for Kids

Here are some interesting Turkey Facts which were chosen and researched by kids especially for kids.

Turkey Facts on Kids World Travel Guide - Hagia Sophia, Ankara, Cappadocia

Turkey Facts

  • Population: 82 million people live in Turkey (2021)
  • Capital: Ankara, with 5 million inhabitants
Turkey flagTurkey flag
  • Name: Republic of Turkey
  • Government: presidential republic
  • Official Language: Turkish
  • Literacy: More than 96% can read and write.
  • Religion: mainly Muslims 99 % (Sunni)
  • Currency: 1 turkish lira = 100 kurus
  • National Symbols: crescent moon with white star and the national colours: red and white 
  • National AnthemIstiklal Marsi (Independence march)
  • History: Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal in 1923. Mustafa Kemal is referred to as 'Ataturk' or 'Father of the Turks'.
  • National Day: 29 October 

Where is Turkey? - Turkey Map

Turkey lies in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which is a region to the east of the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey is located between the European and Asian continents and thus called a transcontinental country. Only 3% of the land area lie in Europe, 97% of the country lie on the Asian continent.

Turkey map for kidsTurkey map

Turkey is slightly larger than the land area of Texas/ USA or than the land area of Chile. Turkey is about same the size as the UK and France combined.

A flight to Ankara takes roughly 4.5 hours from London/England or 14 hours from New York/USA.

Turkey Facts | Geography

Turkey is the largest and most populous country of the Eastern Mediterranean countries. Turkey borders eight countries: Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Irak and Syria. 

Often Turkey is named among the countries of the Middle East.

The Bosporus strait separates Turkey into an Eastern part (Asian continent) and a Western part (European continent).

Bosphorus in TurkeyBosporus in Turkey

Turkey is bordering water bodies on three sides of the country: the Black Sea to the North, the Sea of Marmara to the Northwest and the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea to the West and South. 

The capital city is Ankara but Istanbul is the largest city of the country and also the financial and economic hub of the region. Istanbul is located at the Bosporus strait which divides the city into Asian and European parts.

Turkey Facts | 10 Turkey Geo Superlatives

1. Longest river: The 'Red River' (Kizirlimak) with 1355 km/ 842 miles is the longest river that is entirely in Turkey. However, the Euphrates River is the longest river of the region that passes through Turkey.

2. Largest dam of Turkey: Ataturk Dam which is 169 m/ 554 ft high

3. Largest region of the seven regions in Turkey: Eastern Anatolia covers over 20% of the country, this is the mountainous and rugged part in Eastern Turkey, there also the highest mountains are located. 

4. Longest border: Turkey's longest border is shared with Syria over 900 km/ 565 miles

5. Highest mountain of Turkey: Mount Ararat with 5,137 m/ 16,854 ft. is located in Eastern Anatolia.

Mount Ararat - highest mountain in TurkeyMount Ararat

6. Largest natural lake in Turkey: Lake Van, a saline mountain lake, is also the deepest lake in Turkey.

7. Largest cities in Turkey: Istanbul with almost 17 million inhabitants, Ankara with 5 million and Izmir with 3 million inhabitants

8. Longest coastline: along the Aegan Sea. The total coastline is longer than that of India!

9. Largest population: over 25 million people live in the Marmara Region. The Marmara region is the smallest of the seven regions, but most people live here. The largest region is the least populated region Eastern Anatolia.

10. Largest city: Istanbul 

Turkey Landmarks
Attractions for Kids

  • Istanbul: Turkey's largest city is known for the scenic location at the Bosporus strait that connects the Marmara Sea with the Black Sea. The Hagia Sophia mosque, which for many years was also used as a church, is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. 
Hagia Sophia in IstanbulHagia Sophia in Istanbul
  • Ankara: The country's second largest city and capital city has various fascinating landmarks including the Ankara Castle, the Atakule Tower with the huge globe on top or the Kocatepe Mosque which is the cities largest mosque.
Turkey's capital city AnkaraTurkey's capital city Ankara
  • Izmir: From the excitement at the local bazaar or market to the Atatürk Museum to the Agora Open-Air Museum that houses the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Smyrna, there are plenty of attractions in Izmir for families with children. The city at the Aegean Sea also has over fifty beaches that are blue flag beaches known for clear waters and safe swimming.
Ancient ruins of Smyrna in IzmirAncient ruins of Smyrna
  • Antalya: This city at the Aegean Sea is the most popular tourist hub of Turkey. Antalya once was a major port city for the ancient Romans. The remaining ruins such as the Arapsu Bridge, an ancient Roman footbridge, the old city walls or the Hadrian's Gate ruins are fascinating sites to visit.
  • Cappadocia: The region in the centre of Turkey is known for its surrealistic landscape with cave houses and scenic rock formations. The fantastic landscape can best be admired from taking a hot-air-balloon tour above the region.
Cappadocia in TurkeyCappadocia

Turkey Facts | Turkish People

More than 80 million people live in Turkey. About one fifth of the Turkish people live in and around the country's biggest city Istanbul.

Most people in Turkey live along the Bosporus strait and the Mediterranean coastline. 

Turkey's Antalya harbourAntalya harbour

The vast majority of people are Turks, while the Kurdish population makes up to around 20% of the population. The Kurds are the largest minority group in Turkey.

Turkish is one Turkic languages with about 80 million native speakers. Turkish is the official language in Turkey as well as one of the national languages of Cyprus. 

Turkey Facts | Animals in Turkey

In Turkey we still can find a variety of wild cats, boar, foxes, caracals and grey wolves. There are Eurasian lynxes and brown bears as well, but only very few Anatolian leopards left.

Bear near Savsat in north eastern TurkeyBear near Savsat in north eastern Turkey

Unique endemic water mammals include Mediterranean monk seals and the caretta caretta sea turtles.

Turkey Facts | Turkey Economy

Turkey is one of the 20 largest economies in the world. One of the ten leading producers of agricultural products, Turkey grows many vegetables, hazelnuts, tobacco, grapes, apricots and figs.

Turkish figs in wooden bowlTurkish figs

Among the main export products are: cars, trucks and automobile parts, refined petroleum, clothing and jewellery.

Germany, China, UK, UAE and the USA are the main trading partners of Turkey.

Turkey Facts | Turkish Food

The Turkish cuisine is mainly a mix of Mediterranean dishes, Middle Eastern and Eastern Balkan dishes. Olive oil, onions, garlic, lamb and seafood and fresh fruits and vegetables as well as spices such as allspice, anise or cinnamon are predominantly used in the Turkish cuisine.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful in the country. Grapes, raisins and figs are among the most common fruits while nuts such as hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds are used in many dishes too. Yoghurt is also used widely.

Typical dishes in the Turkish cuisine: Turkish pizza, meat kebab, pita, bulgur, fried meatballs, hummus and turkish meze set.Typical Turkish dishes

Here are some typical Turkish dishes:

  • Pilav: typical rice dish which is served with almost all meals
  • Köfte: meatballs or meat loaf made with chicken, lamb or mutton and beef
  • Dolma and sarma: stuffed and wrapped vegetables
  • Kebab: all kinds of meat, grilled, on skewers, in stews, with Döner kebab being the most well-known specialty overseas as the slices of meat are shaved thinly from a rotisserie stick
Doner kebabDoner kebab
  • Börek: salted phyllo pastry pockets filled with sheep's milk cheese, meat, potatoes or spinach
  • Meze: a variety of appetizers
  • Ayran: a yoghurt drink 

Turkey Facts for Kids | Resources

  • Central Intelligence Agency. "Turkey". World Factbook. Last updated 23 August 2021. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • Turkey Official Tourism Info. "Türkiye Destinations". GoTurkiye. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • GoTurkey Tourism. "7 Unique Wild animals of Turkey." GoTurkey. Last accessed 27 August 2021
  • Visit Turkey Official Tourism Info. "Turkish Cuisine". VisitTurkey.In Last accessed 27 August 2021

Images on Turkey Facts for Kids: shutterstock, sxc.hu, wikicommons and own images.

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