Land and Resources, Climate and Vegetation
The Mediterranean and Aegean shores of Turkey experience long, hot summers and mild, rainy winters. Istanbul, located on the Bosporus, has an average temperature range in January of 3° to 9°C (37° to 48°F). In July the average range is 19° to 28°C (65° to 83°F). Precipitation averages 700 mm (27 in) annually and is heaviest between October and March. Olives, citrus fruit, figs, grapes, cotton, and early spring vegetables are raised. Scattered forests alternate with low herbaceous growth. The central Anatolian Plateau has a continental climate with hot summers and colder winters than those along the shore. Ankara, located here, has an average temperature range of -3° to 4°C (26° to 39°F) in January and 15° to 30°C (60° to 86°F) in July. The average annual precipitation is 410 mm (16 in). Along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, more than one-third of the yearly precipitation, which is about 650 mm (about 26 in) at Izmir, falls in December and January. The plateau receives only about half as much precipitation, but it is more evenly distributed over the course of the year. Grasslands and grain fields are abundant on the plateau, with sparse forests restricted to higher slopes. The eastern highlands experience even longer and colder winters. Pastoralism and grazing prevail. Some sparse forests are found, and alpine vegetation is common at higher elevations.
Humid deciduous forests as well as a thick brush cover are found along the Black Sea, and the climate is mild and rainy. Southeastern Anatolia records the hottest summer temperatures in Turkey (averaging more than 30°C/86°F in July and August); grain farming is dominant here, with grazing in its drier portions. Higher elevations have forests similar to those in the eastern highlands.
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