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Want to know which is the biggest city in Turkey? Here’s an updated list of the largest cities in Turkey by population and size in 2019.

Turkey has long been the place where West and East meets and its history goes back for thousands of years. Even today, it remains one of the major powers in the world and the country has a total population of 80.8 million people.

Most of the major Turkish cities are located in the western and central parts of the country. 

Istanbul

Istanbul is the most populated city in Turkey with a total population of 14,967,667 residents. The majority of the city’s population resides in the European part of the city, which also makes it one of the largest cities in Europe. 

Throughout history, the city has been known as Konstantinopel and it features some of the most famous buildings in the world. About 20% of the Turkish population lives in Istanbul, and although it’s not the capital, it’s definitely the cultural and economic center of the country.

Istanbul is also one of the most popular places to visit in Turkey, and in the nearby future, the new Istanbul airport is likely to break the record of being the busiest airport in the world. The new airport is the base of Turkish Airlines and offers connections all over the world.

Largest city in Turkey

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Ankara

Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the second-largest city with a total population of 5,445,026 residents.

It was founded in 1920 and became the capital in 1923. Since then it has grown from just 35 000 inhabitants into one of the most populated cities in Turkey.

Ankara

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Izmir

Izmir is the third-largest city in Turkey both by population and size. The city is home to 2,947,000 in its urban area, and 4,3 million people in the Metropolitan municipality. 

It’s located in the western Anatolia and used to be known as Smyrna during classical antiquity. Human settlement in Izmir goes back at least 8500 years in history to the Neolithic period.

Izmir

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Konya

Konya is located between Ankara and Antalya and has a total population of 2,161,303 residents. It was known as Iconium during classical antiquity and has since been ruled by various civilizations, including Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Seljuk Turks.

Even today, it continues to hold its status as an economically important center. Furthermore, it’s the biggest city in Turkey by size with a total area of 38,873 km2 (15,009 sq mi). 

Konya

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Bursa

Bursa has a population of 1,854,285 people. The city is located in northwestern Anatolia in the Marmara region. Bursa is one of the greenest cities in Turkey, and it’s also known for having one of the country’s highest levels of education.

Bursa

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Adana

Adana is the birthplace of Turkish kebab and one of the major cities in southern Turkey. The region surrounding the city is known as Çukurova and is considered to be one of the most fertile lands in the country.

Just like many other Turkish cities, Adana holds a lot of history that goes back for thousands of years. It’s even possible that the city of Adana is mentioned in the Epic of Gilgamesh, although scholars haven’t been able to decipher if it’s the same Adana that is mentioned in the Sumerian epic. 

Adana

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Gaziantep

Gaziantep, also known as Antep is located in the western part of the Southeastern Anatolia region. The city is home to 1,556,381 people. 

Gaziantep

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Antalya

Antalya is the gateway to resort towns such as Side, Alanya, and Belek. The city is home to 1,203,994 people in the urban area, and 2,222,562 in the metro area.

It was founded as Attaleia during the Hellenistic period about 150 years BC. There are lots of historic sites in the city center, especially in the walled city of Kaleiçi.

Antalya

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List of the most populated cities in Turkey

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey by population with just under 15 million residents. 

RankingCityPopulation
1Istanbul14,967,667
2Ankara5,445,026
3Izmir2,947,000
4Konya2,161,303
5Bursa1,854,285
6Adana1,747,567
7Gaziantep1,556,381
8Antalya1,203,994
9Kayseri1,061,942
10Mersin955,106
11Diyarbakir930,266
12Eskişehir844,842
13Samsun605,319
14Denizli557,300
 
Major cities in Turkey

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List of the biggest cities in Turkey by area

Below is a list of the largest cities in Turkey by size. What’s interesting is that it differs quite much compared to the most populated cities, and Istanbul, for example, is in 4th place and Ankara is just the 10th biggest city in Turkey, despite being the capital. 

RankingCityArea in km2
1Konya38873
2Mardin8891
3Izmir7340
4Istanbul5461
5Trabzon4685
6Fethiye3059
7Kahramanma3017
8Sivas2768
9Eskişehir2678
10Ankara2516
 
Biggest city in Turkey

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Turkish cities in the future

Istanbul is one of the fastest-growing cities and has an annual growth rate of 3.45%. Just like in many other countries, there is a trend where people are moving into the major cities in Turkey because of education and job opportunities. 

Additionally, in recent years, there has been an influx of refugees, mainly from Syria. This has led to rapid population growth and it’s uncertain whether they will be able to move back to Syria in the future, or if Turkey will be their new permanent home. 

Turkish cities in the future

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How many cities are there in Turkey?

There are 580 official cities in Turkey, which are divided into 81 provinces, whereof 30 provinces are designated the status as a Metropolitan area. 


How many of the largest cities in Turkey did you know about? Leave a comment below!