Turkey is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and shares its borders with eight countries. These countries are:
- Greece to the West
- Bulgaria to the northwest
- Georgia to the northeast
- Armenia to the East
- Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan exclave) to the East
- Iran to the East
- Iraq to the south
- Syria to the south
These neighboring countries play a significant role in Türkiye’s geopolitical and cultural interactions.
Welcome to the enchanting world of Turkey, where East meets West, and the past seamlessly intertwines with the present. This transcontinental gem boasts a rich tapestry of cultures, a history that stretches back millennia, and a geography that’s nothing short of spectacular.
Today, we’re embarking on a journey to explore the eight countries that border Turkey and the stunning bodies of water that embrace its shores.
But what truly sets this nation apart is its unique position on the map. With Europe to the West and Asia to the East, Turkey is a mesmerizing bridge between two continents.
I’ll introduce you to each of Türkiye’s neighbors, offering insights on what to see, the historical ties that bind, and the geopolitical relations that shape this dynamic region. Whether you’re a history buff, an intrepid traveler, or simply someone curious about the world, our journey through Turkey’s borders and its surrounding waters promises to be an informative and engaging experience.
So, pack your bags, grab your map, and let’s embark on an adventure to discover the wonders that unfold at the crossroads of Türkiye, where ancient history, modernity, and nature’s beauty converge.
From the shores of the Mediterranean to the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains, there’s a world waiting to be explored just beyond Turkey’s borders.
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What Water Borders Does Turkey Have
Turkey is surrounded by several bodies of water, contributing to its unique geographical position as a transcontinental country bridging Europe and Asia. The significant bodies of water that border Turkey include:
- The Mediterranean Sea: Türkiye has a long coastline along the Mediterranean Sea to its south
- The Aegean Sea: The western coast of Turkey is along the Aegean Sea
- The Black Sea: Turkey’s northern coastline is along the Black Sea
- The Sea of Marmara: This inland sea connects the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea and is entirely within Turkey’s borders
- The Bosporus Strait: The Bosporus is a narrow, natural strait that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and separates the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city
- The Dardanelles Strait: Also known as the Çanakkale Strait, it connects the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean Sea and is another important waterway for Turkey
These bodies of water have played a crucial role in Turkey’s history, commerce, and transportation, making the country a key player in regional and international affairs.
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8 Countries That Border Türkiye
Greece, just a stone’s throw across the Aegean Sea from Turkey’s western coast, offers a delightful mix of history, culture, and natural beauty.
Explore the ancient ruins of Athens, including the Acropolis and the Parthenon, or relax on the idyllic beaches of the Greek islands. Historical ties between Greece and Turkey have had their ups and downs, but both nations are members of NATO, striving for peaceful coexistence.
To get there from Turkey, you can take a ferry from coastal cities like Izmir to various Greek islands or cross the land border.
Neighboring Bulgaria beckons with its charming towns, like Plovdiv and Sofia, both boasting a rich historical heritage and vibrant contemporary scenes. The two countries share a long history, with periods of both cooperation and conflict.
Today, they maintain peaceful relations as both are part of the EU.
To visit Bulgaria, you can drive across the land border or take a bus from Istanbul or other Turkish cities.
The historical connection between Türkiye and Georgia traces back centuries, often characterized by cooperation. Today, these neighbors maintain diplomatic relations.
To reach Georgia, consider taking a flight from Istanbul to Tbilisi or driving through the land border at Sarp.
Armenia offers a glimpse into a rich cultural heritage with its ancient monasteries and stunning landscapes.
The history between Turkey and Armenia is complex, mainly due to the Armenian Genocide.
Diplomatic relations are strained, and the border is currently closed. However, you can reach Armenia by flying from Istanbul to Yerevan via various airlines or exploring alternative routes.
Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan Exclave)
The historical connection with Türkiye is strong, and both nations share linguistic and cultural ties.
However, due to political complexities in the region, direct travel between Nakhchivan and Turkey can be challenging. It often involves flights from Istanbul to the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, and then on to Nakhchivan.
Iran offers a tapestry of ancient history and modern culture. The two nations, Turkey and Iran, share a complex history marked by cooperation and rivalry.
Today, they maintain diplomatic relations. To travel from Turkey to Iran, you can take a flight from Istanbul to Tehran or drive through the land border crossings, such as Gurbulak-Bazargan.
Iraq’s historical sites, including the ancient city of Babylon and the bustling markets of Baghdad, offer a unique travel experience.
Turkey and Iraq maintain diplomatic ties, and there are land borders that you can cross.
Consider flying to Istanbul and then taking a domestic flight to destinations in Iraq or using a bus service.
Syria boasts millennia of history and cultural richness, with iconic sites like Palmyra and the old city of Damascus.
The relationship between Türkiye and Syria has been strained in recent years due to the Syrian Civil War. The border is currently closed, and travel to Syria is not recommended. Historically, though, these two nations have shared deep cultural connections.
Please note that geopolitical relations and travel options can change over time, so checking for the latest information and travel advisories before planning any trips to these neighboring countries is essential.
Distance From Turkey To The Borders
The distances from Ankara, Turkey, to the borders are roughly:
- Ankara to Greece (to the West): Approximately 576 kilometers
- Ankara to Bulgaria (to the northwest): Approximately 862 kilometers
- Ankara to Georgia (to the northeast): Approximately 1,210 kilometers
- Ankara to Armenia (to the East): Approximately 1,451 kilometers
- Ankara to Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan exclave) (to the East): Approximately 1,132 kilometers
- Ankara to Iran (to the East): Approximately 1,431 kilometers
- Ankara to Iraq (to the south): Approximately 1,061 kilometers
- Ankara to Syria (to the south): Approximately 664 kilometers.
Of course, these distances are approximate and vary depending on your specific routes taken.