Turkey is situated between Europe and Asia. In the north, Turkey has a 610- kilometer border with the former Soviet Union, including Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and is further bounded by the Black Sea; in the east, it has a 454-kilometer border with the Islamic Republic of Iran; in the south, it has a 331-kilometer border with Iraq and an 877-kilometer border with Syria, plus the northeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea; in the west it is bounded by the Aegean Sea.
Turkey has an area of 814,578 square kilometers. It occupies the whole of Asia Minor (Anatolia), which has an area of 790,200 square kilometers, and a relatively small portion of Thrace in southeastern Europe (24,378 square kilometers). In Europe, Turkey has a 269-kilometer border with Bulgaria and a 212- kilometer border with Greece. The shores of Anatolia total 6,480 kilometers, whereas the shores of Thrace are only 786 kilometers. The Turkish Islands, on the other hand, have a total of 1,067 kilometers of seashores. The Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea, and the Dardanelles separate the two continents upon which Turkey is located.
The population of Turkey has increased greatly since 1980, when it was 44,737,000. By 1990 it had reached 56,969,000 ( State Institute of Statistics, 1991). According to the census taken in 1985, 23,798,701 people (46.97 percent) were rural, and 26,865,757 people (53.03 percent) were urban ( State Institute of Statistics, 1989b).
As table 18.1 indicates, Turkey has a rather young population, with almost half of the population under age twenty-five. According to 1985 statistics, the male population made up 50.57 percent of the general population, leaving the