The Marmara Region occupies the northwest corner of the country and represents 8.5% of the total area of Turkey with its 67.000 square kilometers (25.870 square miles) of land. Being a point of juncture between Europe and Asia, this area has seen thousands of tribes and their civilizations passing through, from one continent to the other.
As the core of this background, the famous city of Istanbul stands, with all its magnificence and signs from its far-reaching past. It has such a location that it constitutes not only a city of history, but also one of natural beauty beyond example. Extending on the two sides of the Bosphorus bordered by green groves, it also possesses beautiful shores along the internal Marmara Sea. Facing the city there exists small, pretty islands, adorning this big sea, lying in the middle of the region. The sea features the land in that the climatic characteristics of the Black Sea influencing the north of it, is separated from the typical Mediterranean climate prevailing in its south. Rainfall is high enough to facilitate growing a variety of fruits, while snowfall enlivens the winter holidays.
Uludag, one of the main peaks of Turkey, is the most prominent mountain in this region, and one of the most popular ski-resorts with every kind of convenience provided. At the foot of Mount Uludag, "Green" Bursa is located, with its dense forests covering the mountains and wide meadows, which give it its title. It is another center of historical importance, its rich past being kept alive in its mosques and tombs of wonderful architectural design. Ancient Iznik (Nicea) is the same, as is the charming city of Edirne which is on Thrace, the European side of Turkey.
There aren't much altitudes in Marmara region so low altitude valleys and plateaus occupy a great percentage of the area. There are some important rivers and lakes within the region. Bordering Greece and Bulgaria, the land in Thrace is covered by wide fields of sunflowers and vineyards, while olive groves are found extending all over the region, like the gardens in Balikesir on the Anatolian side. Amongst agricultural products growing in the region we can count wheat, sunflower, corn, sugar beads, rice, olives and vineyards. About 73% of sunflower production and 30% of corn production of Turkey comes from Marmara region. In the same district there is a special spot nearby a broad lake: the National Park of "Kus Cenneti" (Birds Paradise) which is a bird sanctuary sheltering birds of over two hundred species.
Because of its close location to Europe, being on the Trans-European motorway (TEM), existence of Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits as a passage from Black Sea to Aegean Sea, ports on the Black Sea and Aegean Seas, and many other advantageous factors make this region heavily advanced in industry, commerce, tourism and transportation. Main industrial establishments are on the Istanbul - Bursa - Kocaeli triangle producing especially processed food, textile, cement, paper, petrochemical products, automotive, house furniture, leather and ship construction.