Term Paper: Geography of Turkey and Cyprus

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Geography of Turkey and Cyprus

The republic of Turkey is quite young and it is located on a land which is very ancient. Right through the ages many miraculous events have taken place on the land which is now known as Turkey. The most consequential of these is perhaps the Neolithic revolution. Catalhyuk situated in central Turkey is the largest Neolithic settlement known to mankind, which had a population of almost 10,000 during the 6th millennium B.C. Turkey's total area, is slightly larger than that of Texas and is around 814,578 km2. Around 97% of the country is in Asia and is called Anatolia, whereas the remaining 3% is in Europe and is known as Thrace. From east to west it is approximately 1,600 km and from north to south it is around 550 km. It is located between 39? latitude and 35? longitude. In the east Turkey has borders with Iran, the Nahcevan region of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, in the west with Bulgaria and Greece and with Syria and Iraq in the southeast. The topography in the European part of Turkey is hilly and fertile. In the Asian part, there are inner high plateaus which are bounded by steep mountains ranges on the north and south. These mountain ranges are part of the Alpine-Himalayan system. Turkey is surrounded by seas in the north, west and south consisting of the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea respectively. Thrace and Anatolia are separated by straits and by the Sea of Marmara which is situated between these straits. These straits are located in the provinces of Canakkale and Istanbul and are called Dardanelles and Bosporus respectively. As per the census of 2000, the population of Turkey is 67 million and is expected to reach in 2025 to around 88 million and in 2050 it is expected to stabilize at 95 million. The population density in Turkey is 83 people per square kilometer. (Ergener; Ergener, 2002)

Located in the Mediterranean Sea's north eastern corner is an independent country, the island of Cyprus. It is the 3rd biggest island of the Mediterranean Sea constituting an area of 9,251 km2. It has a coastline of around 648 km2. 64 km to the north from Cyprus is Turkey, 97 km to the east is Syria, 174 km to the south-east is Lebanon and 370 km south of Cyprus is Egypt. It lies between 34° 33 and 35° 41 north latitudes and 32° 15 and 34° 35 east longitudes. Since 1974 Cyprus has been separated into two parts- North and south Cyprus; the southern part is occupied by the Greek Cypriots while the remainder of the one-third northern part is inhabited by the Turkish Cypriots. Nicosia is the capital of both the parts and the "Green Line," a boundary, separates both the states. The population of Cyprus was 784,301. (Cyprus Geography, Weather and Climate Mountains, Landscapes, Beaches in Cyprus," 2008) There are four distinct topographical areas in Cyprus- (a) the Troodos range which has the highest point at Chionistra, Olympusis of about 1,951m is located in the island's central western part; (b) the Pentadactylos or Kyrenia range is a narrow ridge which stretches from east to west is situated near the island's extreme north; its highest peak is 1,024m; - the Central or Mesaoria plain stretches between the Troodos and the Kyrenia ranges, and in the west from Morphou Bay to the Famagusta Bay in the east; (d) the coasts of Cyprus are generally low and without sea cliffs and slopes. They are often stony and rocky but have sandy bays in between. Near the coastal belt there are many fertile areas which are cultivated till almost the border of the sea. (Bennett; International Workshops on the Genetic R; Cocks, 1999)

There are different climates in the diverse regions of Turkey; the weather which prevails in the interiors is contrasting to that of the coasts. The coasts of Mediterranean and Aegean have rainy, cool winters and moderately dry and hot summers. The annual precipitation varies between 580 to 1,300 millimeters in those areas, depending on the location. Generally there is relatively less rainfall in the east and the highest rainfall is received by the Black Sea coast, whose eastern coast is the only area which gets rainfall throughout the year. Compared to the coastal areas the Anatolian Plateau is subjected to extreme conditions as it has a steppe climate; winters are quite harsh in the plateaus. The Malatya Plateau and the Konya Plateau are the driest regions and they receive rainfall less than 300 millimeters annually. The wettest month is May and the driest months are July and August. In the Black Sea area, the climate is wet, humid and warm; the area around the Sea of Marmara and Istanbul has a moderate climate. ("Turkish Climate," n. d.)

Cyprus has got hot dry summers from mid-May to mid-September and mild wet winters from the month of November to mid-March. In the higher districts, sharp frosts also crop up. These areas are generally covered with snow during the initial months of the year. The areas of the higher mountains are moister and cooler as compared to the remainder of the island and they get the heaviest rainfall, going up to almost 1,000 millimeters annually. Mesaoria receives the least amount of rainfall; around 300-400 millimeters annually. An important characteristic of the island is the variability in the yearly rainfall; droughts are also a regular feature and at times they are quite severe. In Cyprus, during the last 30 years statistical analysis of rainfall shows a declining trend in the amount of rainfall. Earthquakes also occur occasionally, though not of the destructive nature. ("Climate and Weather in North Cyprus," 2006)

In 2005 the World Bank made classification of economies based on income and region and has put Turkey as a lower-middle income country in the Asian and European region. The landmark of Turkey's economic success is the rapidly growing and strong private sector. For the year 2004 the GNI atlas method of Turkey is calculated to be 269 billion in terms of the current U.S.$ and it has a per-capita GNI of 3,750 at the current U.S.$. The GDP --Gross Domestic Product was $302.8 billion in 2004 with 8.9% annual growth rate. The service sector plays a vital role as compared to the other sectors of the economy and its share in the GDP of the country in 2004 was 64.7%. Agricultural sector's percentage share in the total GDP has been declining in the recent years. A path of stagnancy is being followed by the manufacturing sector's contribution to the total GDP; it was 13.9% in 2004 as compared to 13.3% in the previous year (Exhibit 1). ("Turkey Economy," n. d.) the civilian labor force of Turkey was 24.3 million people at end of 2004, of which almost one-third is employed by the agricultural sector. Turkey has unemployment rate of almost 9.7%. In 2004 the current account deficit was USD 15.6 billion and the deficit of foreign trade was USD 23.9 billion. The factor contributing to the current account deficit increase was the deteriorating trade balance and an increasing rate of imports as compared to the increase in exports. In the beginning of 2005 the new Turkish Lira was launched which is estimated to contribute towards the monetary stability of the country. ("Climate and Weather in North Cyprus," 2006)

The economy of Cyprus is very small; it has around 320,000 people in its working population and is one of the smallest countries of Europe. The economy of Cyprus until the 1970s was characterized by the dominance of small family-based enterprises, a prevalent unskilled workforce and production of primary commodities. The business decisions main focus was on the product and was "supplier driven." A number of factors have led to vital economic development of Cyprus in the past 20 years; increased competition due to gradual liberalization, a thriving tourism industry, huge number of offshore companies attracted to Cyprus due to the legislation factors in addition to the suitability of the island as a regional hub. (Dew, 2004) in the Republic of Cyprus, which is a market economy, the service sector dominates and accounts for 78% of the GDP. Financial services and tourism are the most vital sectors. In May 2005, Cyprus joined the ERM2 -- European Exchange Rate Mechanism and on 1st January, 2008 it accepted Euro as its national currency. An aggressive austerity program was initiated by the government which resulted in bringing the budget deficit well below 3% of the GDP. Around 30% of the south's per capita GDP is encompassed by the Turkish Cypriot economy. The economic growth has a tendency to be volatile due to the relative isolation of the north, distended public sector, small market size and dependence on the Turkish lira. More than 50% of the workforce is employed by services and agriculture. The Turkish Cypriots are dependent to a large extent on the transfers from the Government of Turkey. Around… [END OF PREVIEW]

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