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turkey fauna and flora

Turkey is a vast peninsula, covering an area of 780,000 sq.+km and linking Asia to Europe through the Sea of Marmara an the Straits of Istanbul and Çanakkale. Across the Sea of Marmara, the triangular shaped Thrace is the continuation of Turkey on the European continent. Anatolia is rectangular in outline,1600 kilometers long and 600 kilometers wide. It is characterized by a central plateau surrounded by chains of mountains on the north, west and south and a rugged mountainous region in the east with an average elevation of 1050 meters. The northern Anatolia mountain range, and the Taurus range in the south, stretch like arcs, becoming ever denser in the east. In the west, however, the mountains descent gently towards the sea.

turkey fauna and flora

Turkey is like a mosaic made up of many different relieves and formations: parallel mountain ranges, extinct volcanoes, plateaus fissured by valleys and plains. Surrounded on its three sides by warm seas, it falls in the temperate climate zone. The climate varies considerably however from region to region: a temperate climate in the Black sea region, a Mediterranean climate on the southern coast and the Aegean, a continental and arid climate on the central plateau and a harsh mountain climate in eastern Turkey. Because of these variations in climate, the fauna and flora are some of the richest in Europe and the Middle East.

There are more than 10,000 species of plants in Turkey, 20% of which are found only in these lands. The abundant rainfall in the black sea region allows the growth of rich forest vegetation, including oak, beech, maple, alder, chestnut and walnut trees. The Dardanelles forms a transition between the Black Sea and the Aegean regions and therefore has a mixture of temperate and Mediterranean type of vegetation. Thrace has fine forests which are subject to the continental influence of the Balkans. The coast of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, from the Dardanelles to the gulf of Iskenderun, have a typically Mediterranean vegetation which extends to the plains and western slopes of mountains as high as 1,000 meters. The southern coast has very hot and dry summers and the vegetation in some places in subtropical with banana trees and date palms. In the Taurus mountains, the vegetation consists of pine and cedar forests, with even junipers at higher altitudes.

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