Turkey is a Land Like No Other
A Destination of Intrigue for World Travelers

Turkey 2017
Provinces – 81
Population – 79,766,000 (CAGR 1%)
Urban Population – 70%
Rural Population – 30%
Administrative Districts – 970
Capital Cities – 81
Population Capital Cities – 47,268,300
Non-Capital Cities – 88
Population Non-Capital Cities – 9,100,500
Fertility Rate – 2.0
Rural Towns/Villages – 5,845
Population Rural Towns/Villages – 23,613,600
Registered Immigrants – 2,934,775

The vast and diverse land of Turkey is one of the most intriguing places on earth. Even the most experienced world travelers marvel at the manifold contrasts of old and new in this land that bridges Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Because of its strategic location, famous trade routes, ancient civilizations, and extensive biblical heritage, it is a land like no other.

Host to Ancient Civilizations

Turkey has long served as a crossroads for many ancient peoples. Its system of welltrod overland routes—replete with abandoned caravan hotels, shelters and marketplaces—has become part of its natural landscape.  At one time these famed routes featured continuous caravans carrying silk from China and spices from India.  They were also used to spread new messages about gods and goddesses from one place to another. 

However, the land of Anatolia was much more than a convenient crossroads. Many of her invaders came to stay. As a result, Anatolia became the homeland of a long series of ancient civilizations that are stacked upon one another. Scholars marvel at the number and variety of civilizations—the Hatti, Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Selçuks, Ottomans and Byzantines—that once ruled this land. It is on top of these successive layers of civilizations that the Turkish people now live. 

A Land of Seven Regions and Eighty-One Provinces

As a landform, Turkey is a large peninsula roughly shaped like a rectangle. It measures approximately 1000 miles (1610 km) long and 350 miles (563 km) wide. One of the best ways to visualize its shape is to look at the palm of your right hand with your thumb pressed down against your index finger. 

The land of Turkey—which is also known as Anatolia and Asia Minor—has seven official regions, each with its own history, characteristics, and climate. These seven regions are Marmara Turkey, Aegean Turkey, Mediterranean Turkey, Central Turkey, Black Sea Turkey, Southeast Turkey, and Eastern Turkey.

In the past, these seven official regions of Turkey were divided into a number of different configurations from Persian satraps to Roman provinces. Today, Turkey’s seven regions are organized into 81 provinces of various shapes and sizes. These 81 provinces are administered through 970 administrative districts as of 2017, and the largest city of each province usually serves as its capital city.

The Lost Land of the Bible provides you with prayer pilgrimage itineraries through İstanbul and Turkey’s seven regions and 81 provinces.

A Glimpse of the Turkish People

In 2017, Turkey’s population numbered 80 million people. With a fertility rate of 2.0, its population growth rate is static. Because of past intermarriage between the numerous ethnic groups within the borders of the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish people have emerged as a mixture of ethnic nationalities.

As a result, on the streets of Turkey you see men and women with black hair and dark complexions as well as those with light hair and fair complexions. Travelers to Turkey will find the majority of Turkish people hardworking, friendly, and hospitable. Hospitality is at the heart of Turkish culture and usually involves a cup of tea (chai) or coffee.

The Turks are also extremely nationalistic. Over the years Islam has at times been integrated into their proud nationalism and has resulted in two popular sayings: “To be a Turk is to be a Muslim,” and “Our language, our religion, and our flag are one.”