Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 27 >> 58 Political Parties to Or The Ottoman Em >> or the Ottoman Em_P1

or the Ottoman Em Pire Memalik Turkey

asia, sea, south, river, european, minor and near

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TURKEY, or THE OTTOMAN EM PIRE (MEMALIK I OsUANIE), an empire con sisting of territory in the peninsula of Asia Minor and southwestern Asia, and also a portion of southeastern Europe in the vila yets of Adrianople, Chatalja and Constan tinople, and in Asia, Arabia, Syria, Pales tine, Mesopotamia and Kurdistan (qq.v.). The end of the first Balkan War in November 1913 saw Turkey's European territory consider ably curtailed, its former holdings being in part divided between Bulgaria, Greece, Monte negro and Serbia. This loss of territory was inconsiderable compared with that which was ordered by the Paris Peace Conference after Turkish arms had gone down to defeat in Octo ber 1918. For these territorial changes see WAR, EUROPEAN - PEACE TREATIES. The Egean Islands are in possession of Greece and Italy. Cyprus and Egypt, which until recently were under the suzerainty of the Sultan, are now under the British flag— the former being an nexed in November 1914 and the latter made a British Protectorate in January 1915. The total area of Turkey's present dominions may be estimated at about 613,700 square miles with a total population of about 20,975,000. Yemen and Hedjaz, became independent states during the war.

At the time Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers in 1914 her area and population were as shown in table on pre ceding page.

Former European Turkey formed a peninsula bordered by the Black and Marmora seas, the Bosporus and Dardanelles on the east and south, on the southwest it was bounded by the iEgean Sea, of which the only important indentation in this region is the Gulf of Saros. Its northwestern boundary is the Maritza River and its northern the frontier of, Bulgaria. There are no great elevations in this region. Near the Bosporus De vonian formations are in evidence but away from the coastal hills stretches a plain of com paratively recent formation, the principal part of which is the valley of the Maritza in which there are few points over 600 feet above sea level Asiatic Turkey is bounded on the north by the Black Sea, on the east by Persia, south by Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean and west by the /Egean Sea. The coast line is regular except in the vilayets of Bigha and Brussa, which have numerous indentations and are fringed with thousands of islands. The

Taurus and Anti-Taurus ranges extend through Turkey from Persia to the lEgean Sea, and in many places send out short spurs which on the south slope to the plains, but end abruptly on the north.

The chief river of Turkey in Europe is the Maritza (the ancient Hebrus), which enters the tEgean Sea near Enos. Adrianople is situated on its banks. It was on the bank of this river, near Adrianople, that, in 1364 occurred the battle between the Chris tians and the Turks, which resulted most dis astrously for the Christians. The Kizal-Irmak (Red River), the largest stream in Asia Minor, is about 600 miles long. It flows in a north by east direction into the Black Sea. The Men dere (the ancient Mmander) flows into the iEgean.

Geology and The south eastern part of European Turkey belongs geologically to Asia. Devonian rocks are found on both sides of the Bosporus, and the similarities are multiplied by the fossils, the rock layer, the appearance of the river beds, and the nature of the soil and stone. Lava of considerable depth covers a large portion of the plains of Asia Minor. The marks of violent upheaval and of volcanic action abound. The mountains of Turkey are rich in minerals, but mining is yet in a crude condition. Meerschaum is found at Eskisheh, in Asia Minor, and copper, lead, coal, anti mony, rock salt, emery, alum, nitre, iron ore and chalk abound in places. A valuable lithographic stone is quarried near, Brussa. A royalty of from 5 to 15 per cent is paid on all minerals which are exported from Turkey.

The climate of Turkey in Eu rope is about the same as that of the countries in Europe which border on the Mediterranean; but radical changes occur frequently. The cold northeast winds which sweep down from the frigid regions of Russia modify greatly the cli mate of the north and south valleys. In the northern portions of Asiatic Turkey the winters are cold and humid; in the sheltered valleys the climate is comparatively uniform and warm. The rainless season is from April to Septem ber but the heavy dews furnish a large amount of moisture The highest peaks of the Tau rus Mountains are covered with snow all the year.

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