Turkey is a transcontinental country in Eurasia, mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, parliamentary republic with a diverse cultural heritage. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran to the east; Iraq and Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form the Turkish Straits, divide Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia. Ankara is the capital while Istanbul is the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the country's citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks. Other ethnic groups include legally recognised[II] (Armenians, Greeks, Jews) and unrecognised (Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, Albanians, Bosniaks, Georgians, etc.) minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population.
The area of Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic by various ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as Assyrians, Greeks, Thracians, Phrygians, Urartians and Armenians. After Alexander the Great's conquest, the area was Hellenized, a process which continued under the Roman Empire and its transition into the Byzantine Empire. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, starting the process of Turkification, which was accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish beyliks.