Officially REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, Turkish TÜRKIYE CUMHURIYETI, country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Through its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents.
Turkey is among the larger countries of the Middle East, in terms of territory and population, and its land area of 300,948 square miles (779,452 square kilometres) is greater than that of any European state. Nearly all of the country is in Asia, comprising the oblong peninsula of Asia Minor, known also as Anatolia (Anadolu). The remainder--Turkish Thrace (Trakya)--lies in the extreme southeastern part of Europe, a tiny remnant of an empire that once extended over much of the Balkans.