Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey tries to be a bridge between West and East. The portion of Turkey's land in Europe may be small (about 5 percent), but the country's largest city, Istanbul, is there. With nearly 13 million people, Istanbul is the third most populous European urban area, after Moscow and Paris.
The Asian part of Turkey is dominated by the dry plateau of Anatolia; the coastal areas of Anatolia consist of fertile lowlands. The country, especially northern Turkey, suffers from severe earthquakes. Mount Ararat, the highest point in Turkey at 5,137 metres (16,854 feet), is the biblical resting-place of Noah's ark.
Capital: Ankara; 3,428,000
Area: 779,452 square kilometres (300,948 square miles)
Language: Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
Religion: Muslim (mostly Sunni)
Currency: Turkish lira
Life Expectancy: 69
GDP per Capita: U.S. $7,300
Literacy Percent: 87
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