Anatolia

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Coordinates: 39°N 32°E / 39°N 32°E / 39; 32

Anatolia (Turkish: Anadolu, from Greek Aνατολή Anatolē — "East" or "(sun)rise"; also Asia Minor, from Greek: Μικρά Ασία Mikrá Asía "small Asia") is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, Georgia to the northeast, the Armenian Highland to the east, Mesopotamia to the southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the Aegean Sea to the west. Anatolia has been home to many civilizations throughout history, such as the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Persians, Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians, Romans, Byzantines, Anatolian Seljuks and Ottomans. As a result, Anatolia is one of the archeologically richest areas in the world.

Most of the interior of Anatolia consists of a high-altitude plateau that becomes increasingly mountainous as one moves east. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland. Anatolia is separated from the Armenian Highland to the east by the Euphrates river, and from Syria by the Orontes river.

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. Albanians, Arabs, Armenians, Bosnians, Circassians, Georgians, Greeks, Jews, Laz and a number of other ethnic groups also live in Anatolia in smaller numbers.

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