Is Turkey part of Europe or Asia? We think that the answer is “both,” and here is why.
Is Turkey Part of Europe or Asia?
Istanbul is a bridge connecting Europe and Asia. As such, it makes Turkey a part of both continents. The distribution of land, political climate and history of the country all come together to support our belief that Turkey, much like Russia, is part of both Europe and Asia simultaneously.
The capital of Turkey, Ankara is in Asia. Likewise, most of its land is as well. 95% of Turkey is located on the continent of Asia. Physically speaking it is Eurasian with a larger population living in Asia.
This unique geography is part of the cultural influence of Turkey’s inhabitants. The culture draws from its surroundings and is very diverse. Turkish inhabitants include Ethnic Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, Circassians, Albanians, Bosnians, and Georgians. In essence, Turkey is not one or the other, but a fluid mix of both.
Additionally, the definition of where Turkey resides is also determined by politics. It isn’t just where the land is that matters, but who is in control of it. Turkey lies between the democratic West and the communist or socialist East.
Although most of Turkey’s land mass resides in Asia, their political identity is most aligned with the West. Turkey is a member of NATO and as such has aided the West by shooting down Syrian rebels and performing as an ally.
The country is ruled by a president as a republic. Again, yet another nod to the West’s style of rule. Yet, there are strict laws against speaking against the current leader in power which are more reminiscent of a socialist mentality. This intermingling of beliefs and practices is a result of the dynamic culture and position of the country within the context of the world.
The history of Turkey offers much insight but little concrete resolution. It only further proves that Turkey is a part of both continents. In the beginning of its rise to power, Turkey took the surrounding countries by force through the reign of the Ottoman Empire. This dictatorship flagged in the 1900’s and was taken over by a form of Democracy.
This Western style of government was soon abandoned in the first World War when Turkey aligned with Germany, Austria and Hungary.
Over the course of the last 100 years there have been multiple military and guerilla coups to flip the ruling system to that of a European and Asian style.
So, what’s the verdict? Is Turkey in Asia or Europe? The answer is both! And they are not the only transcontinental countries out there. Want to learn more? Check out the links below!
And now that you know more about Turkey’s boundaries, test your skills in the Turkey Borders quiz below!