A glance at a topographical map of Turkey eveals that this is a country of mountains. Rising from all four directions, mountains encircle the peninsula of Anatolia. A part of the Alpine-Himalayan Mountain range, Turkey has mountainous regions with different geological formations.The North Anatolian range skirts the Mediterranean shore.
Turkey's magnificient mountains and forests are mostly undeveloped, existing as wonderful natural preserves for an extraordinary variety of wild life, flora and fauna.
Two of Turkey's most famous peaks are volcanos, both inactive, Mt. Erciyes in Kayseri in Central Anatolia (3917 m) and Mt. Agri; (mt. Ararat 5137 m) in the east. Other mountain ranges are the Rize Kaçkar (3932 m) in the eastern Black Sea region, Nigde Aladag; (3756 m) in the central Taurus range and the Cilo and Sat mountains (4136 m) near Hakkari in the eastern Taurus.
The mountainous nature of the country has inflounced its cultural evolution. For centuries, nomads and semi-nomadic peoples have moved yearly to the fresh pastures of the higher elevations in the summer. These alpine medows, called yayla, house nomadic people whose traditional culture is still preserved.
For climbers and those interested in the geography of mountains, Turkey offers a wealth of exploration. Glaciers, volcanos, and peculiar geological formations such as karst prove irresistable to researchers and students of the geology. The challenging terrain offers opportunities to aficionados of outdoor sports, who find the most interesting experiences on the mountains of eastern, central and southern Turkey.