Turkey, officially the Republic of Turkey, is a Eurasian country located mainly in the Anatolian peninsula in Southwestern Asia, with a small portion of its territory located in the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia, Armenia and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan to the northeast; Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. In addition, it borders the Black Sea to the north; Aegean Sea and Marmara Sea to the west and Mediterranean Sea to the south.
The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular, constitutional, republic whose political system was established in 1923. Turkey is a member state of the United Nations, NATO, OSCE, OECD, OIC and the Council of Europe. In October 2005, the European Union opened accession negotiations with Ankara and thus Turkey is a candidate country to join the European Union. Due to its strategic location straddling Europe and Asia and between three seas, Turkey has been a historical crossroads and economic centre, the homeland of and battleground between several great civilizations.