Countries That Border Türkiye – Understanding The Geography Of Turkey

Chasing the Donkey may include affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. Disclaimer & privacy policy.
Post author Mehmet

Written by our local expert Mehmet

Mehmet is digital nomad who was born in Istanbul, Türkiye and now calls the Balkans region his home-office.

Türkiye is located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. Turkey shares borders with eight countries. These countries are:

  1. Greece to the West
  2. From the northwestern part of Turkey, one can travel to Bulgaria
  3. Georgia to the northeast
  4. Armenia is located to the east of the Republic of Turkey, in the southeastern part of the country
  5. Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan exclave) to the East
  6. Iran to the East
  7. Iraq to the south
  8. Syria to the south

These neighboring countries play a significant role in Türkiye’s geopolitical and cultural interactions.

Turkey Travel Blog_Countries That Border The Turkey

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.

From the bustling markets of Istanbul to the ancient ruins of Ephesus, Turkey’s diverse landscapes and vibrant cities have long been a magnet for travelers seeking adventure and culture.

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.

What Water Borders Does Türkiye Have

Turkey is surrounded by several bodies of water, contributing to its unique geography of Turkey given its position as a transcontinental country bridging Europe and Asia. The significant bodies of water that border Turkey include:

  1. The Mediterranean Sea: Türkiye has a long coastline along the Mediterranean Sea to its south
  2. The Aegean Sea: The western coast of Turkey is along the Aegean Sea
  3. The Black Sea: Turkey’s northern coastline is along the Black Sea
  4. The Sea of Marmara: This inland sea connects the Aegean Sea to the Black Sea Coast and is entirely within Turkey’s borders
  5. The Bosporus Strait: The Bosporus, part of Turkey, is a narrow, natural strait that connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and separates the European and Asian and European sides of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city
  6. 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 (especially the history of the Ottoman Empire), commerce, and transportation, making the country a key player in regional and international affairs.

8 Countries That Have Turkish Borders

Turkey on a map, showing the countries near Turkey.


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, off the southeastern part of modern-day Turkey. 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 is located in Northwestern Turkey and 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, a neighboring country of the Republic of Turkey, you can drive across the land border or take a bus from Istanbul, a bustling city in Northwestern Turkey, or other Turkish cities.


Georgia, nestled in the scenic Caucasus Mountains, is a hidden gem. Its capital, Tbilisi, is a fusion of modernity and old-world charm.

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 between the Republic of Turkey and Armenia are strained, and the border is currently closed. However, you can reach Armenia, situated to the east of Anatolia, by flying from Istanbul to Yerevan via various airlines or exploring alternative routes.

Azerbaijan (Nakhchivan Exclave)

Nakhchivan, an Azerbaijani exclave, is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by Armenia.

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.

Brands We Use And Trust


Distance From Turkey Borders

Geographic map of Turkey with important cities and Black sea close

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.

Map showing turkey and its seven neighboring countries, each highlighted in different colors and labeled with their respective alphabets, emphasizing the uniqueness of their scripts.


What is the location of Türkiye?

Turkey is located at the intersection of Europe and Asia.

How many provinces does Turkey have?

Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces.

Which countries border Türkiye?

Eight countries border Turkey: Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria, as well as  Greece, and Bulgaria.

Why is Turkey considered an important trading route?

Due to its central location, Turkey has served as an important trading route between East and West for centuries.

What is the cultural heritage of Turkey?

Türkiye has a rich cultural heritage influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures.

What are the main attractions of Turkey?

Turkey is known for its beautiful coastline, bustling cities, vibrant nightlife, and eclectic cuisine.

Why is Turkey a popular tourist destination?

Türkiye offers a combination of natural beauty and historical sites, making it an attractive destination for tourists.

What bodies of water border Turkey?

Turkey is bordered by three significant bodies of water: the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea.

What makes the Aegean Sea special?

The Aegean Sea is known for its crystal clear waters, stunning views, and major cities such as Izmir, Antalya, Konya, Adana, and Bursa. It offers excellent swimming, beach activities, sailing trips, and fishing opportunities.

What are the highlights of the Mediterranean Sea?

The Mediterranean Sea, bordering southern regions of Turkey, features idyllic climates, picturesque islands like Rhodes, Kos, and Santorini, and beautiful coastal cities including Izmir, Antalya, and Konya. It offers calm waters and white sand beaches and is ideal for sailing, fishing trips, and exploration.

What can visitors expect at the Black Sea?

The Black Sea, located on the Northern coast of Türkiye, offers picturesque shorelines, a rich culture traced back to the Ottoman Empire, and opportunities to learn more about the history of Turkey, well, primarily Anatolia. It is an excellent spot for exploring the coastlines and angling, with various fish species to be found.

What activities can be enjoyed in these bodies of water?

Visitors can engage in various activities such as swimming, sailing, fishing, and beach-related activities. Each body of water in various regions of Turkey provides unique opportunities for exploration and stunning views of coastal landscapes.

Which cities and islands should I visit in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas?

Explore ancient cities like Izmir, Antalya, Konya, Adana, and Bursa in the Aegean Sea. Visit coastal cities such as Izmir, Antalya, and Konya in the Mediterranean Sea, and explore beautiful islands like Rhodes, Kos, and Santorini.

What kind of marine life can be found in the Aegean and Black Seas?

The Aegean and Black Seas are home to diverse fish species, making them popular destinations for anglers looking for big catches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!