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The region and the name "Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi" were first defined at the First Geography Congress in 1941. It has the highest average altitude, largest geographical area, and lowest population density of all regions of Turkey. Most of the region was formerly called the Armenian Highlands or, simply, Armenia.
Eastern Anatolia Region is located in the easternmost part of Turkey. It is bounded by Turkey’s Central Anatolia Region on the west, its Black Sea Region on the north, its Southeast Anatolia Region and Iraq on the south, and with Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on the east.
The area of the region is 171.061 km², 21% of the total area of Turkey
The total population of the region is 6,100,000 (2000 census). The region has the second most rural population of Turkey after the Black Sea region. The migration level (to the other regions, especially to Marmara Region) is high and population density (35 person/km²) is lower than the average for Turkey
The average altitude is 2200 m. Major geographic features include plains, plateaus and massifs. There is some volcanic activity today.
Massifs and mountains
* There are three massif lines running north-south:
o To the north, the Çimen Dağı, Kop Dağıand Yalnızçam mountains
o In the centre, the Munzur, Karasu Dağı, Aras Dağı mountains
o To the south, Southeast Tauros, Bitlis, Hakkari, and Buzul mountains.
* The volcanic mountains Nemrut, Süphan, Tendürek and Ararat are in the region.
Plateaus and plains
* The largest plateau in the region is Erzurum-Kars Plato.
* The region includes the Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl, Muş plains and the Van Lake basin.
* Van Gölü is the largest lake in Turkey.
Since most of the region is far from the sea, and has high altitude, it has a long winter and short summer periods. During the winter, it is very cold and snowy, during summer the weather is cool in the highlands and warm in the lowlands. The region has the lowest average temperature of all Turkish regions.(-25°C). Although it can get below -40°C. The summer average is about 20°C.
The region’s annual temperature difference is the highest in Turkey.
Some areas in the region have different microclimates. As an example Iğdır (near Mount Ararat) has a milder climate.
The region contains 11% percent of the total forested area of Turkey. Oak and yellow pine trees form the majority of the forests. It is rich in native plants and animals.
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