Coordinates: 41°9′13″N 27°22′0″E / 41.15361°N
27.36667°E / 41.15361; 27.36667
"European Turkey" redirects here. For the Ottoman lands historically
known as "
Turkey in Europe", see Rumelia.
Thrace (blue) within Thrace
Thrace (blue) within the
Marmara Region of Turkey
Thrace landscape in
Edirne Province, Turkey.
East Thrace, or Eastern
Thrace (Turkish: Doğu Trakya or simply
Trakya; Greek: Ανατολική Θράκη, Anatoliki Thraki;
Bulgarian: Източна Тракия, Iztochna Trakiya), also known
Thrace or European Turkey, is the part of the modern
Turkey that is geographically part of Southeast Europe. It
accounts for 3% of Turkey's land area and comprises 14% of Turkey's
total population. The rest of the country is located on the
Anatolian peninsula, geographically in Western Asia. East
Thrace is of
historic importance as it is next to a major sea-based trade corridor.
It is currently also of specific geostrategic importance because the
sea corridor, that includes two narrow straits, provides access to the
Mediterranean from the
Black Sea for the navies of five countries:
Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, and Georgia. The region also
serves as a future connector of existing Turkish and European high
speed rail networks.
5 See also
Thrace includes all in the eastern part of the historical region
of Thrace. The area includes all the territories of the Turkish
provinces of Edirne,
Tekirdağ and Kırklareli, as well as those
territories on the European Continent of the provinces of Çanakkale
Due to the moderating effect of the surrounding seas, the climate
tends to be Mediterranean in character. It can descend down to about
12°C and can rise to about 32°C, similar to Asian Turkey.
Thrace has an area of 23,764 km2 (3 percent of the country)
and a population of about 11 million people or about 14 percent of the
total population (in 2015); the population density is around 430
people/km2, compared to about 80 people/km2 for Asiatic Turkey, which
is also called
Anatolia or Asia Minor. However, densities are skewed
by the metropolis of Istanbul. The two are separated by the
Bosphorus (collectively known as the Turkish Straits)
and the Sea of Marmara, a route of about 361 km. The southernmost
part of Eastern
Thrace is called the
Gallipoli peninsula. European
Turkey is bordered on the west by
Greece for 212 km and on the
Bulgaria for 269 km, with the
Aegean Sea to the
south-west and the
Black Sea to the north-east.
Maritsa (Turkish: Meriç), which forms the land border between
Greece and Turkey, also forms the natural border between West Thrace
and East Thrace.
Population (2009 Est)
Density (2012C pop/km2)
Population (2015 Est)
Istanbul Province (European)
% of national
** Disclaimer: Sources may modify and/or release updated data, this
will not be automatically reflected in these tables, additionally the
refugee crisis' vast floating migrants have seriously complicated data
collection, especially since 2013. Estimates and Census use different
methodology and are not directly comparable. Source: Citypopulation.de
mirroring data from: State Institute of Statistics, Republic of Turkey
See also: History of
Thrace and History of Western Thrace
Thrace was the setting for several important events in history
The Greek myth of
Hero and Leander
Hero and Leander takes place in the ancient city of
Aeneas founded the city of Aenus while trying to find new lands during
his mythological conquests.
After the death of Alexander the Great, in the period called the
Diadochi, Alexander's general
Lysimachus (360-281 BC) became king of
Thrace and established his capital in Lysimachia.
Çimpe Castle was the first European territory held by the Ottoman
Edirne was the second capital of the
Ottoman Empire after Bursa.
Gallipoli Campaign, one of the most important campaigns of the
First World War, was fought on the
Hero and Leander
Coin of Lysimachus
Selimiye Mosque, Edirne
Cape Helles during the
The mass killings and displacement of
Thracian Bulgarians in 1913 and
the 1923 population exchange between
cleansed the Orthodox populations, although the Muslims were the
dominant group at that moment.
Prior to that the distribution of ethnoreligious groups in the local
sanjaks was as follows:
Ottoman Official Statistics, 1910
Ecumenical Patriarchate Statistics, 1912
The Muslim millet was recorded as Turkish, while the church members of
the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Greek.
In the past century modern East
Thrace was the main component of the
territory of the Adrianople Vilayet, which excluded the Constantinople
Vilayet, but included West
Thrace and parts of the
Rhodopes and Sakar.
A publication from December 21, 1912 in the Belgian magazine Ons Volk
Ontwaakt (‘Our Nation Awakes’) estimated 1,006,500 inhabitants in
Muslim Turks - 250,000
Muslim Bulgarians - 115,000
Roma people - 15,000
Armenians - 30,000
Greeks - 220,000
Bulgarians - 370,000
Albanians - 3,500
Orthodox Turks - 3,000
Geography of Turkey
Upper Thracian Plain
^ Zdanowski, Jerzy (2014). Middle Eastern Societies in the 20th
Century. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 11.
^ "Inland fisheries of Europe".
Turkey - Geography".
^ "Turkish Statistical Institute. Registered population as of 2012".
Archived from the original on 2012-10-10.
^ Pentzopoulos, Dimitri (2002). The Balkan exchange of minorities and
its impact on Greece. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 31–32.
^ Published on December 21, 1912 in the Belgian magazine Ons Volk
Ontwaakt (Our Nation Awakes) - view the table of Vilajet Manastir:
Peninsulas of Turkey
Peninsulas in Thrace
Peninsulas in Anatolia
Related geographical features
Capes of Turkey