According to Prof. P.H. Davis of Edinburgh University, who spent 50 years authoring “The Flora of Turkey and East Aegean Islands”: Turkey is the only country in the world under the influence of 3 botanical geographical regions.

Famous bioclimatist Kopen, Walter and Emberger concurred that: Turkey is the only country in the world subject to three main climates: Euro-Sib; Med: Iran-Turan

Turkey is the center of origin for more that 30 species of fruits and also Turkey is a centre for world`s most important plant genetic sources especially for grains and legumes.

In the Black Sea Region:Tea, kiwi and hazelnut

In the Mediterrenean Region: Bananas, avocados, olives and citrus fruits

In Central and Eastern Anatolia: Grapes, apricots, walnuts and pomegranates grow.

The average altitude for EU is around: 200m. Turkey`s average altitude is over 1100m.

Among high mountains, plateaus are ares without trees but a habitat to large varieties of grass and steppe communities.

Fed by hundreds of streams, over 10 large rivers, including Euphrates and Tigris, originate from Anatolia mountains and flow to five seas.

Special climates and habitats exist also in and around numerous wetlands and lakes. Around Tuz Golu (Salt Lake), more than 30 endemic species of plants grow.

As grounds become saltier, attention given to salt resistant plants are becoming more pronounced.

As first emphasised by Dioscorides in fomous work “De Materia Medica” written in the 1st century A.D. : Turkey is also endowed with a diverse richness of medical and aromatic plants.

Istanbul covers 5220km2, yet supports a remarkably high diversity of plant species with approximately 2000 species, which exceeds 1850 of the total flora of Holland and 1600 of UK.

Forests cover 26% of the homeland. Totally 564 species of trees, 76 of them being endemic.

The ratio of natural forests to total forest area is 93% in Turkey where this ratio is 1% in EU.

40.000 animal species found in Turkey are estimated to be over 80% of the ones found in the whole continent of Europe.

The total number of bird species in Europe is 560

The total number of bird species in Turkey is 456

Undiscovered the treasures of  northeastern Turkey at


In Turkey, where the most important bird migration routes pass through, the total number of migratory and local bird species are 456. If we consider the fact that the total number of bird species in whole Europe is 560, we can understand better why Turkey is an important country for birds.

Besides the diversity of species, Turkey is also an important habitat for breeding birds like, White-headed Duck, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Spur-winged Plover and Black Francolin that are under the threat of extinction.

In a three week bird watching expedition that took place in 2005, 274 different species of birds have been recorded which can be considered as a world record.

Bird Watching

The Urban Birder in Istanbul