Turkey - related image preview

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On April 5, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite captured this remarkably cloud-free view of Turkey. The country is divided into several geographical regions, clearly visible in this image. In the northeast, the Kuzey Anadolu Mountains run along the shore of the Black Sea. In the northwest, the tiny Strait of Bosporus separates Europe’s Balkan peninsula from Asia Minor’s Anatolia peninsula. The strait is important because it connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, which leads to the Aegean Sea through the Strait of Dardanelles. The small grey area surrounding the Bosporus in this image is Istanbul.

A series of mountains and river plains form the region near the Aegean Sea. The rivers, the Gediz in the north, the Buyuk in the center, and the Menderes in the south, form tan stripes running from east to west across the western peninsula. The tan region in the center of the country is the Anatolia plain.

In the south, the Tarsus and the Amanos mountains line the Mediterranean coast. The Tarsus and the Kuzey Anadolu seem to run together in Eastern Turkey. This is the country’s highest region, with Mount Agri (Ararat) on the western edge. This area is also the source of the Euphrates River, the river that fed some of the earliest agricultural civilizations.

Located at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, and near the northern shores of Africa, Turkey has been a major center of commerce and civilization for thousands of years. The modern-day country was created in 1923 out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire.

Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Published April 8, 2004
Data acquired April 5, 2004

Terra > MODIS
Visible Earth