Ancient land with a modern history steeped in Christian blood.
Anatolia, also Asia Minor, from Greek, is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising about two-thirds of the modern Republic of Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Caucasus to the northeast, the Armenian highland and the Euphrates river to the east, the Mesopotamian plain and Orontes river to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Aegean Sea to the west. Though Anatolia lies entirely within Turkey, the two are not synonymous, as the borders of Turkey extend far to the east of Anatolia. Anatolia has been home to many civilizations throughout history, such as the Hittites, Phrygians, and Lydians, and Achaemenid, Greek, Armenian, Roman, Byzantine, Anatolian Seljuk and Ottoman states.
The interior of Anatolia consists of an arid, high-altitude plateau, with altitude increasing to the east. Steep ranges separate the plateau from the coastline to the north and south, while to the west the plateau slopes down gently to the broad Aegean coastal plain. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between Black and Aegean seas through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits, and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.
The vast majority of the people residing in Anatolia are Turks. Kurds, who constitute a major community in southeastern Anatolia, are the largest ethnic minority. Azerbaijanis, Albanians, Arabs, Armenians, Bosnians, Circassians, Georgians, Greeks, Jews, Lazs and a number of other ethnic groups also live in Anatolia in smaller numbers.