Turkey is truly a country where East meets West. The European side of Turkey is mostly rolling hills, while across the Bosphorus Strait into central Turkey, the land rises up to the Anatolian plateau, surrounded by high, rugged mountains, including the Taurus, Koroğlu and Pontic ranges. Many mountains in Turkey exceed 3000m. The tallest peak is Mt Ararat (4200m) in the far eastern part of the country close to the border of Iran and Armenia. Along the Black Sea and Mediterranean coastlines the land is lower and quite fertile. The Tigras, Kizilirmak, Sakarya and Euphrates are the most significant rivers, and Lake Van is the largest lake.
Turkey is a large country and home to a diverse range of wildlife, including deer, wild sheep, wolf, lynx, bear, leopard and many species of birds and reptiles. One the coast one finds endangered monk seals and a number of marine turtle species.
While many of these species are protected, they are threatened by water and air pollution, particularly in Istanbul, and by deforestation and potential oil spills from the thousands of ships passing through the Bosphorus Strait.