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Surface Morphology When a colored map of the surface morphology is examined, it immediately becomes conspicuous that Turkey is generally a high country and that the surface morphologies are also quite varied. The mountains in Turkey cover an extensive area, but in contrast to this, there are also many areas where there are various plains, plateaus and depressions.

This characteristic varies the climate on the one hand, and influences settlements and economic life, on the other. Turkey has been separated into seven large geographical regions by taking into consideration the factors such as climate, natural plant cover and distribution of types of agriculture: the Mediterranean Region, Aegean Region, Marmara Region, Black Sea Region, Central Anatolia Region, Eastern Anatolia Region and Southeastern Anatolia Region.

The main mountain ranges in Turkey, which is a mountainous country, generally extend parallel to the coasts to the north and to the south. The mountains to the north are the North Anatolia Mountains and to the south are the Taurus Mountains. These mountain ranges are separated from each other by large plains in the central sections of Anatolia. The mountain ranges are concentrated in the eastern sections of Turkey and form high peaks.

The elevation decreases in the western section. There are few mountain ranges in the Aegean and the Marmara Regions. These regions are mostly depressions. There are also extensive plains in Southeastern Anatolia as in the central sections of Turkey, which remain outside the extensions of the Taurus Mountains. The Kackar Peak is the highest point of the Northern Anatolia Mountains in the Black Sea Region. This is followed by the Ilgaz and Koroglu Mountains.

The Bafra, Carsamba and Merzifon Plains form the arable plains in the region suitable for agriculture. The Samanli Mountains, Uludag, Istranca Mountains and Tekirdag are located in the Marmara Region. The Kozak, Yunt and Aydin Mountains are the main mountain ranges in the Aegean Region. The Bakircay, Gediz, Large and Small Menderes Plains form the low-lying regions. The Taurus Mountains extend in ranges along the length of the Mediterranean coasts. The most important peaks in the Central Anatolia Region are Kizildag Mountain, Hasan Mountain, Idris, Elma and Ayas Mountains. The Great Agri (Ararat) Mountain (5,137 meters), which is the highest mountain in Turkey and the Suphan Mountain, which is an inactive volcanic mountain near Agri, are located in the Eastern Anatolia Region. The Karacadag, Raman and Sof Mountains are the main mountains in the Southeastern Anatolia Region.

There are many rivers and streams in Turkey. A large portion of these rivers are used for energy production. These rivers generally empty into the seas which surround Turkey. Some of these rivers reach other seas after leaving Turkey's borders. The Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, the main rivers in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia, flow into the Persian Gulf; the Yesilirmak, Kizilirmak and Sakarya Rivers in Central Anatolia flow into the Black Sea; the Susurluk, Biga and Gonen Streams in the west flow into the Marmara Sea; and the Gediz, Buyuk and Kucuk Menderes Rivers flow into the Aegean Sea. The main waters that flow into the Mediterranean Sea are the Seyhan, Ceyhan and Goksu Rivers, and the Dalaman and Esen Streams. The longest river within the borders of Turkey is the Kizilirmak (1,355 km).

The total area of Turkey's lakes is around 9,200 km2. Eastern Anatolia is the most abundant region from the aspect of the number of lakes. Lake Van (3,713 km2), Turkey's largest lake, and Ercek, Cildir and Hazar Lakes are in this region. Lake Van was formed in a depression and its source was closed with the piling up of the lava erupting from the Nemrut Volcano. There are many lakes in the Goller Bolgesi (Lake Regions) in the Western Taurus Mountains. These are the Beysehir, Egridir Lakes and the Burdur and Acigol Lakes with brackish water. The lakes around the Marmara Sea are the Sapanca, Iznik, Ulubat, Manyas, Ter-kos, Kucuk Cekmece and Buyuk Cekmece. Central Anatolia's largest lakes are shallow and very salty. The Salt Lake (1,500 km2) which is the second largest lake in Turkey, the Aksehir and Eber Lakes are in this region. The freshwater lakes are used for irrigation and many lakes for fishing. Steamship transportation is common on Lake Van. Fairly large reservoirs have been made in the past thirty years as the result of the dam construction activities.

Three sides of Turkey are surrounded by seas. For that reason, Turkey is connected to the oceans with the seaways in spite of the fact that the country is at the center of several continental masses. The Marmara Sea and the Straits are very important water passages which open the Black Sea to the outside world. The Marmara Sea, which is located completely within the national borders, opens to the Black Sea via the Istanbul Straits and to the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea via the Canakkale (Dardanelles) Straits. Especially, the Aegean and Western Mediterranean shores in Turkey are indented and numerous bays are located in these places. This attribute of the coasts decreases towards the east of the Mediterranean.