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Climate and Weather

Turkey - Climate and Weather

Due to Turkey’s geographical location, it is hard to state the country’s climate as a whole. There are seven regions within the country with different climates. They are the Black Sea coast, Marmara, Aegean, Mediterranean, Eastern, Southeastern, and Central Anatolia. The regions’ distance from the mountains ranges and water bodies determine their climates.

North West Turkey / Marmara Region

This region is the home of the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul. Together with its neighboring regions, Istanbul experiences a temperate continental climate. The dry summer runs from June to September, with July recording the highest temperatures of up to 28 degrees. The highest recorded temperature was 37 degrees during summer. Compared to the other regions, this area is not as dry.

During winter, which begins late in December, the city records low temperatures between 5 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit. January and February record the lowest temperatures in winter. In March, the temperature ranges between 3 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit. Just like other coastal regions, Istanbul experiences wet and mild winters. This is different from other parts of Turkey.

Istanbul is a windy region with 2 prevailing winds, “Poyraz” and “lodoz”, blowing through it. These two winds bring cool and rainy (Poyraz) as well as warm conditions (lodoz). Weather conditions change gradually as you move towards Izmit and Bursa. Here, the winter seasons are warmer. During the summer, Bursa records temperatures of up to 40 degrees. The highest temperatures ever recorded in Izmit is 41.6 degrees Fahrenheit on August 11, 1970.

The severity of winter conditions depends on how far you are from the North and South of the Marmara region. Weather and climate in this region are determined by the Uldaga Mountains located behind Bursa City. The city is a popular destination for skiing and other winter sports. During winter, the weather in Bursa city is usually cooler than other regions with the same type of climate. The weather becomes cooler as you move east. However, the area experiences less frequent snowfalls averaging to 1-2 weeks throughout the season. Snow falls heavily through 5-7 days.

Both Istanbul and Izmit record average temperatures of 5.6 degrees Fahrenheit. In 1960, the two cities recorded the lowest temperature of 8 degrees. In 1978, harsh conditions in the area caused the closure of its airport for about three days.

Autumn is the longest season. Spring is short with cold and rainy conditions in March that resemble those of winter. Spring usually begins in April or May. Rainfall and snowy conditions in the country vary and often decrease as you move towards the South West. The Black Sea coast receives 1000mm of rain annually. In Izmit and Bursa, average rainfall reduces to 800mm and 668mm respectively.

Northern Turkey: Black Sea Coast

The Black Sea Cast is a popular destination for tourists because of its good weather and amazing coastline. Samsun, the largest city in the Province of Samsun, is located between deltas with rivers that run into the Black Sea. The city is cloudy and rainy throughout the year. This makes the city a good place for rearing cattle. The Black Sea coast experiences 72% humidity per year.

Trabzon, south of Samsun, has a similar climate to the rest of the Black Sea coast. The winters are cool (with January being the coldest), and the summers are warm and humid (temperatures move up to 10-20 degrees annually).

Tourists often flood to the Black Sea coast during summer. Swimmers can enjoy the coast better during autumn and spring when there are fewer people. However, pack a jacket if you plan to visit during this period.

Central Turkey / Central Anatolia

The weather becomes relatively harsh as you move towards Central Turkey. These inland areas experience steppe climates with hotter summers and cold winters. Within this region is Ankara, which is the second largest city in the country. It experiences harsh, hot, dry conditions during summer, and cold and snowy winters. Rain falls during autumn and spring only. The region experiences 382mm of rainfall annually. Snow falls extensively. There is less rain from July to September. The temperature rises up to 26-31 degrees between July and August.

Eastern / South Eastern Turkey

These areas experience cold winters and substantial snow falls. There are average temperatures of 17 degrees during the summer. There are extreme temperatures around the mountain regions. Summers are hot and dry and winters are cold and snowy. The average annual temperature is 9 degrees. During summer, temperatures rise up to 38 degrees. During winter, heavy snowfall causes seclusion of the mountainous villages. In Southeastern Anatolia, summers are hot and winters are mild. The area experiences an annual rainfall of up to 576mm.

Mediterranean Coast

A Mediterranean climate is prevalent in this area. The summers are hot while winters are tranquil. Mountains along the coast influence the region’s climate. For instance, Eastern Aegean and to the North of the Mediterranean have different climates because of the mountains. This region does not have extreme temperatures. However, conditions begin to change as you move towards the North West.

Aegean Region (Western Turkey)

This region, located north of Antalya, has very mild weather conditions. Summers are hot, autumns are sunny, and winters are mild. However, rain falls occasionally during winter. Compared to other regions, winter conditions are favorable even in January and February. The area experiences 645mm of rainfall and temperatures range between 8-43 degrees annually. Western Taurus Mountains and the Aegean Sea influence the region’s climate.

Turkish Dress Code

During summer, tourists wear shorts and T-shirts. However, do not wear such attire while visiting a mosque. Ensure you observe mosque etiquette. For Turkish people, smart and casual clothes are the norm. Women will wear a sleeved dress, or a skirt and top with sleeves. Men, on the other hand, will be in trousers and a short-sleeved shirt. You can wear shoes or sandals.

If you are dressing for a dinner party, be smart and casual. Women should wear a jacket and a dress, while visiting fancy hotels. While at the beach, Turks and foreigners wear flip-flops or walk barefoot. Women put on bikini tops for swimming. Shorts and t-shirts are acceptable on the beaches. While on a yacht, wear shorts, sleeveless tops, bikinis, t-shirts, and Speedos. In addition, bring a hat, soft-soled shoes, sunblock, bathing towels and flip-flops. Do not go into the yacht with heavy luggage.

During spring and autumn, carry a jacket and sweater because of the cold nights. If you are visiting Northeastern and Eastern Turkey, bring a warm jacket because of the winter-like conditions experienced in these regions. You will experience warm weather and little rainfall if you are visiting Southeastern Turkey.

Clothes for the summer include a hat, sun block, and cool cotton clothing. In addition, bring a light sweater for cold evenings. If you are visiting the Black Sea Coast and the East, you may experience some rain, so carry warm clothes. Bring clothes for the hot weather in the Southeast.

Read more about this country

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