Rivers and lakes
According to topschoolsintheusa.com, almost all the rivers in Turkey are fast and this makes them unfit for navigation; a large part of them are dry during the summer; however, most of Turkey’s rivers are important sources of hydroelectric power and irrigation water. The Kizil Irmak (1,150 km long) flows into the Black Sea and is the longest river that flows through Turkish territory. The Büyükmenderes drains into the Aegean Sea, near western Anatolia; It is known for its many curves or meanders. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow from eastern Turkey to their mouths in the Persian Gulf.
The largest lake in Turkey is Lake Van; its waters are salty like those of Lake Tuz. The freshwater lakes are the Beyşehir, the Eğridir and the Burdur, all of them to the southwest.
Climate and flora
The coasts of the Mediterranean and the Aegean constitute a vast region of Turkey, its summers are hot and humid and the winters are rainy. Istanbul, located in this area, has a temperature ranging between 3 and 9 ° C in January and between 19 and 28 ° C in July; the average annual rainfall is 697 mm. The main crops are olives, citrus fruits, grapes, cotton and vegetables.
The depopulated forests alternate with herbaceous formations. The central Anatolian plateau enjoys a continental climate with hot summers and colder winters than the coastal area. Ankara is located in this region and has an average annual temperature of 12 ° C, which ranges between -3 ° C and 4 ° C in the month of January and 15 and 30 ° C in July; the average annual rainfall is 413 mm. Along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, almost half of the annual rainfall (710 mm) occurs in Izmir during the months of December and January; the plateau receives no more than half of the total rainfall. The meadows and cultivated fields are abundant along with some forests distributed mainly by the highest slopes.
The eastern highlands have the longest and coldest winters and are a region where grazing is prevalent as a way of life. Some of the forests that are scattered around the area are characterized by their alpine vegetation at the highest altitudes.
Both moist deciduous forests and scrubland occur throughout the Aegean for their predominantly rainy and temperate climate. Southeastern Anatolia has the highest summer temperatures in Turkey (with an average exceeding 30 ºC during the months of July and August). It is a region where cultivation predominates, although in the drier areas they are more dedicated to grazing. At higher altitudes the forests are similar to those of the eastern highlands.
The most abundant animal species in the forests is the wild boar, which is, on the other hand, a coveted game. The wolf, the fox, the Wildcat, the hyena, the jackal, the deer, the bear, the marten and the mountain goat live in the most remote areas of the populations. As domesticated species are the camel, the buffalo and the Angora goat. In addition, it is worth highlighting a large number of local birds such as the goose, the partridge, the quail and several types of birds of prey such as the spotted eagle, the buzzard, the sparrowhawk, the kestrel and the hawk of the Bosphorus. The trout is abundant in mountain rivers; Bonito, mackerel and all kinds of blue fish are caught in the straits area, while anchovies occur mainly in the Black Sea.
In addition to large deposits of coal and iron ore, Turkey has a small, but no less significant number of deposits of chrome ore near Guleman and Fethoye, and of magnetite near Divrigi, in addition to lead and zinc. scattered throughout the country. Copper and silver have been found in Boron, and petroleum in smaller quantities in the southeastern zone.
Situated at the meeting point of three major biogeographic regions, Turkey is home to 2,400 endemic plant species. The areas with lakes, coastal lagoons and other wetlands are numerous. Approximately 13.1% (2005) of the land is covered with forests and land for agricultural use constitutes 34.6% (2005) of the country. Turkey’s network of protected areas includes 21 national parks and 36 national forests as well as numerous nature reserves, special protection zones and other designated sites, totaling 3.9% (2007) of the territory. However, protected areas are threatened by poor legal protection. There are very many areas dedicated to hunting and breeding for hunting purposes.
The expansion and modernization of agriculture constitute a major environmental threat in Turkey. Pesticides and fertilizers frequently pollute waterways and natural areas, especially wetlands, which are used for crops and as grazing land. Other problems are the unbridled development on the coast, where there is the highest concentration of the population, the hunting of threatened and endangered species, the pressure on protected places by incessant tourism, and the reduction of the flow of the rivers. due to the construction of dams, such as the gigantic Ataturk, which could reduce the flow of the Euphrates by up to 90% and is part of the GAP, a large hydroelectric project in Anatolia.
Turkey has ratified international environmental agreements regarding air pollution, hazardous waste, nuclear test ban, ozone layer, naval pollution, wetlands and whaling. There are two natural areas that have been declared a World Heritage Site. At the regional level, Turkey participates in the conservation of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea through the Mediterranean Action Plan. In addition, three special protection zones have been recognized under the Barcelona Convention. According to the Council of Europe (EC) protocol, Turkey has three zones designated as biogenetic reserves and one place has been awarded the European Diploma. The country has a cross-border park, shared with Greece.