Population (2006) : 72 520 000
Area : 783 562 km²
Located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Turkey has a rich cultural and ethnic diversity. Its history stretches through ancient civilisations, from the Hittites, to the Greek and Roman periods (when St Paul spread Christianity there) to Byzantium and then to the Ottoman Empire. The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 as a western-style secular state.