Climate of Turkey
Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate. There is hardly a drop of rain during the sunny and hot summer (May to October). Winters are mild and rainy in these regions, and it very rarely snows at coastal areas, with the exception of mountainous areas higher than 2000 metres of these regions, which are very snowy and are frequently not passable. The water temperature in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas is warm during the long summer season (May to October) which constitutes the swimming season and fluctuates between 23° and 28°C from north to south.
The region around the Sea of Marmara, including Istanbul, has a transitional climate between an oceanic climate and a semi-Mediterranean climate, but it does rain, albeit not a lot, during the very warm summer (as showers which tend to last for 15-30 minutes). Its winters are colder than those of the western and southern coasts. Snow is common at coastal areas, although it doesn’t stay on the ground for long and is limited to only a few days every winter. The water temperature in the Sea of Marmara is also colder than the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, with the water temperature reaching only between 20° and 24°C during the summer (June, July and August) and the swimming season is restricted to those summer months.
The Black Sea region has an oceanic climate (thanks to the protective shield effect of Caucasus mountains) with the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part of that coast averages 2,500 millimeters annually which is the highest precipitation in the country. Summers are warm and humid while the winters are cool and damp. Snow is common at coastal areas, although it doesn’t stay on the ground for long and is limited to only a few days every winter, though mountains are very snowy as it is expected to be and are frequently not passable, there are glaciers around the year in the highest zones. The water temperature in the whole Turkish Black Sea coast is always cool and fluctuates between 10° and 20°C throughout the year, and is even less suitable for swimming during the summer than in the Sea of Marmara.
Most of the coastal areas have a high level of relative humidity during most of the year which makes hot weather feel hotter and cold weather feel colder than it actually is.
Interior areas like Ankara, generally have hot summers (though the nights are cool enough to make someone who is wearing only a thin t-shirt uncomfortable outdoors) and cold and snowy winters. The more easterly the location is, the colder the winters are and the heavier the snow is. The northeastern part (around Erzurum and Kars) is the only inland area which has cool and rainy summers.
The southeastern region near the Syrian border has a desert-like climate, temperature is frequently above 40°C during summers with no rain. Snowfall is occasional in winter.
Climate - Turkey
In Turkey, there is a noticeable variety of climates, with considerable differences between the areas, and also with some microclimates due to the different exposure of slopes and coasts.
The coastal areas have generally a mild climate, but the coast of the Black Sea is colder than that of the Mediterranean. The interior has a continental climate, with cold, snowy winters and hot, dry summers, though nights remain usually cool.
Summer is dry and sunny throughout the country, except on the north-east coast. In all the inland and south-central regions, the driest months are July, August and September.
The map below shows the climate zones of Turkey.
Almost the whole of Turkey, except the north-eastern coast, enjoys a dry and sunny summer, but it can be hot, even on the coast. So, in general it is preferable to visit the country in spring and autumn: already in April along the west coast (see Izmir); in May, June and September in Istanbul; in May, June and September in the Anatolian Plateau and Ankara (with a preference for the month of May, and remembering that nights can be a bit cold); in April, May and the first half of October along the southern coast and in the semi-desert areas of the south-east; in June and September in the eastern highlands; in July and August in high mountains.
The best months for a beach holiday are July and August along the north and north-east coast, but remember that the summer to the east of Istanbul is not very sunny and can be rainy, especially in the areas most exposed to the westerlies (while bays such as that of Samsun are relatively sheltered). In the easternmost part of the coast, it goes even worse and the rain may be abundant even in summer.
Along the west coast, the bathing season runs from June to September, the temperature is high and the sun shines. However, as previously mentioned, the sea in this area is slightly cooler, and sometimes the Meltem, the northern wind, blows.
Along the southern coast, summer is very hot, so you may prefer the months of June and September in order to avoid the period of the most intense heat, which beyond a certain level, can be felt even at the beach.
What to pack
In winter, on the north and west coast (Izmir and Trabzon), and in the south on the border with Syria, pack warm clothes, such as a sweater, a jacket, and a raincoat or umbrella. In Istanbul, pack warm clothes, such as a down jacket, and a scarf and a hat for cold spells. In Antalya and the south coast, spring/autumn clothes, a sweater, a jacket, and a raincoat or umbrella. In Ankara and the plateau, very warm clothes, such as a down jacket, a hat, a scarf, and gloves.
In summer: on the west and south coast (Izmir, Antalya), pack light clothes, a light sweatshirt for the evening, and a scarf for the breeze. On the north coast (Istanbul, Trabzon), you can bring a sweatshirt or sweater for safety; in the eastern part of the Black Sea coast, you can ass a raincoat or umbrella. In Ankara and the plateau, bring light clothes for the day, a sun hat, and a sweatshirt or sweater for the evening; in the eastern part of the plateau, you can add a jacket for the evening. In the south, on the border with Syria, bring lightweight clothing of natural fibers, a desert turban, and possibly a sweatshirt for outdoor overnight stays.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.
When visiting mosques, you must have your shoulders and legs covered, and take off your shoes.
It’s better for women to avoid shorts and miniskirts in rural and non-tourist areas.
Seasons and Weather, Climate in Turkey
Turkey is situated in large Mediterranean geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, result in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall. Turkey’s diverse regions have different climates because of irregular topography. Taurus Mountains are close to the coast and rain clouds cannot penetrate to the interior part of the country.
Weather and Climate in Turkey
Turkey is well known to be the cultural meeting point between east and west. The weather in Turkey is also a meeting point for a number of distinct climates and weather patterns. The coastal areas along the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas enjoy Mediterranean climates, characterised by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. These coastal regions are popular with tourists during the summer period from the end of May to September. The climate in the Aegean region of Turkey is great throughout the year, even during European winter. The climate in Turkey along the eastern part of the country is best enjoyed in late spring (from April to May) or early autumn (September to early October). Turkey’s climate and weather along the coast of the Black Sea is a continental climate. The fours seasons are very distinct and in summer the cities and towns bordering the Black Sea are inundated with tourists and holidaymakers eager to enjoy the summer weather. The climate of the Anatolian Plateau is a steppe climate (there is a great temperature difference between day and night). Rainfall is low and there is more snow.
In Western Anatolia, there is a mild Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of 9 °C in winter and 29 °C in summer. On the southern coast of Anatolia the similar climatic condition are observed.
The climate of the Anatolian Plateau is a steppe climate.
There is a great temperature difference between day and night. Rainfall is low but it usually in form of snow. The average temperature is 23 °C in summer and -2 °C in winter.
The climate in the Black Sea area is wet, and humid (summer 23 °C, winter 7 °C). In the Eastern Anatolia region there is a long winter, and snow remains on the ground from November until the end of April (the average temperature in winter is -13 °C and in summer 17 °C). In the South-Eastern Anatolia region, summers are hot and dry, with temperatures above 30 °C. Spring and autumn are generally mild, but during both seasons sudden hot and cold spells frequently occur in the region.
Summer in Turkey
Summer is the highest season for visiting Turkey to experience warm summer temperatures, swimming, sun bathing, seaside restaurants, summer garden terraces and rich nightlife. Summer season in Turkey (June, July, August) is quite hot in five of Turkey’s seven distinct climatic regions, though usually rainless, and cool inland in the evenings. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have cool, rainy winters and hot, moderately dry summers.
Winter in Turkey
Winter season is one of the best times to visit Turkey, to experience authentic local life, skiing and other winter sports. Winter season in Turkey (December, January, February) can be chill, rainy and snowy, with occasional cold but sunny days, everywhere except the southeast, which remains temperate, but lower prices and fewer tourists are compensations. Turkey receives most of the rainfall in the winter season.
Spring in Turkey
Spring season is very well for visiting Turkey to experience beautiful nature, local life, mild temperatures and smaller crowds. Spring in Turkey (March, April, May) is prime because the weather is moderate throughout the country and the days are long. Average daytime temperatures
Autumn in Turkey
Autumn season (September, October, November) is very good for visiting Turkey with mostly mild weather to experience discovering historical sites, comfortable temperatures, local life and unique nature. The days are shorter, and rain may begin again in October in Turkey.
Topographic Regions of Turkey
About 3 percent of the territory in Turkey belongs to the European region known as Thrace. This region shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria. It is separated from the Asian portion of Turkey by a series of waterways that connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea. The rest of the country is located in Asia, mostly on the peninsula of Asia Minor, which is the westernmost extension of the continent. This region is also called Anatolia, or simply Asiatic Turkey.
Turkey’s terrain is structurally complex and divides into five regions: the Black Sea region in the north; the Sea of Marmara region in the northwest; the Aegean Sea region in the far west; the Mediterranean Sea region in the south; and the Anatolian Plateau region in the country’s center. All of the regions share a generally mountainous terrain, and many large lakes and rivers appear throughout the Turkey.
- Coastline of Turkey
- Beaches in Turkey
- Tourism in Turkey
- Winter Sports Tourism Centers Of Turkey
Distinctions of the regions
The Aegean Region has:
- the longest coastline
The Black Sea Region has:
- highest annual precipitation
- largest forest area
- fewest sunshine hours
- most landslides
The Central Anatolia Region has:
lowest annual precipitation,
The Eastern Anatolia Region has:
- largest area
- highest altitude
- lowest annual temperature
- coldest winters
- highest temperature difference between seasons
- most volcanic activity
- smallest population
- highest[vague] mineral resources
The Marmara Region has:
- smallest area
- lowest altitude
- most climate diversity
- highest energy consumption,
- coolest summers,
- largest population
The Mediterranean Region has:
- highest annual temperature
- mildest winters
- wettest winters,
- most greenhouse farming
The Southeastern Anatolia Region has:
- hottest summers
- driest summers
- smallest forest area
- most sunshine hours