Turkey is a fascinating country because it spans so many cultures, languages, religions and political views. Geographically, it spans close to 1,100 miles across and it borders eight countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria,
Georgia, Greece, Iran,
Iraq, Syria. I suppose Turkey could be viewed like a condensed Russia…Right, that probably needs some explaining. Turkey and Russia, when you compare them on a map look vaguely similar because they are both oblong countries, bordering many other nations and serving as a bridge between the East and West. For example, Western Russia abuts the EU and Eastern Russia shares borders with China. (Amazingly, during the deep winter, Russia also shares a border with Alaska because the sea freezes right across to the Aleutian islands!) Similarly, Turkey provides a bridge between the EU and countries such as Iran. So Turkey, due to the nature of its geography, is forced to contend with huge socio-religious, and socio-political differences, for example Western Turkey is generally more understanding of Western Christianity, but Eastern Turkey is more Islamic.
On a separate note, its worth considering the Turkish proposal to join the European Union. Turkey will have to show that it can balance between their economic, cultural and business interests in the Middle East and the Western values of the old established democracies of the EU. Once Turkey has managed to fully comply with the Universal declaration of human rights as proposed by the UN, it will be a model for diplomacy and its unique position may even help broker peace deals between the East and the West.
Who knows, in the future, Turkey might
even be a valuable asset to the EU?
Until next time,
The Geography Duo