This guide was written by Francine Carrel, Assistant Editor of Guides.Global (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It was written on 28 August 2015. The law and practice in Turkey change all the time. Our guides are updated as frequently as possible - typically every three years - but may be out of date.
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Turkey is a huge country, straddling Europe, Asia and several climate zones. As such, it's impossible to specify climate or weather conditions for Turkey. Some parts of Turkey are arid, some perpetually damp. Some can be scorching hot and some can find you wading through snow!
So, instead, we'll take a look at the seven regions of Turkey. Truth be told, even the regions are large enough and varied enough in weather and climate to make it worth your while to check out the average climate in specific cities - but this guide should give you some idea of what you'll experience.
Marmara has a moderate, mediterranean/sub-tropical climate. The summer climate is hot, sometimes humid, but not scorching. Winter weather is chilly and wet, with occasionally heavy snowfall. Winter can also bring violent storms from the sea, often disrupting travel and damaging property on the coast.
The Central Anatolia Region has reasonably hot weather in the summer and cold winters. The region has low levels of precipitation and crops can be badly affected during drought years - which happen often due to both natural climate and over-exploitation of water.
The coastal areas of the Aegean regions are very mild - the summers are hot and dry while the winter weather is warm with light rainfall. The region is verdant and pleasant all year round. Further inland, winter can bring more chilly spells - and, with them, snowfall.
As you may have guessed, the the Turkish Mediterranean region boasts the typical Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot, dry and often cloudless. Winter brings rain, wind and storms - especially on the coast - but temperatures rarely drop below 5°C. The sea is perfect for a dip between May and October, when the water temperature is around 28°C.
The Black Sea region is the only region of Turkey with a consistently high level of rainfall. The summers are humid and the winters are damp. This has led to a rich abundance of flora and fauna which send people flocking to the mountains of the region. Snowfall is a fairly common occurence between December and March - and it can get quite heavy. The sea is cool (with temperatures of between 8°C and 20°C).
The Southeastern Anatolia region's long, hot, dry summers lead into cold, wet winters with occasional snowfall. Although the temperatures at the height of summer can often reach 40°C, the low humidity ensures the hottest months stay bearable.
Eastern Anatolia - mainly landlocked and with mountains and plateaus galore - has the harshest climate of Turkey's regions. The winters are long and very cold, with a lot of snowfall. Summers are short and mild, with the warmest temperatures found on the lowlands.
Turkey's history is dotted with destructive earthquakes (the most ferocious, the infamous Antioch earthquake, happened in 526AD, killing around 250,000 people). Building damage has often been more extensive than it might have been, due to substandard architectural materials - but the Turkish government is pressing for more earthquake-resistant buildings.
Istanbul is one of the areas at greatest risk for a powerful earthquake. The probability of a major earthquake hitting the city is about 2% annually - putting it on about the same level as Tokyo or San Francisco.
Heavy flooding hits Turkey several times a year. Flash floods strike urban areas with worrying regularity due to heavy rainfall, inadequate drainage and ill-advised (and often illegal) construction on floodplains.
Forest fires are a real threat in the wooded areas of Turkey. The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs released figures showing 3,755 forest fires in 2013, destroying 55km2 of forest.
Response times, warning systems and intervention measures in Turkey have been improving. But government response is still often criticised as slow and some communities have even accused the government of deliberate lack of assistance.
Useful sources of further information:
|Turkish State Meterological Service|
I hope you have found this guide useful. If you need any further help, please contact me.Francine Carrel 28 August 2015
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