Plan of Study
Explain how Turkey's location
affected its development and show how Turkey blends ancient and modern
Describe how Israel has developed its resources and note how the past affects
Compare the geography of Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Evaluate the impact of Islam and oil on the lives of the people of the
Summarize the major geographical features of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Chapter 16: Southwest Asia
The country of Turkey bridges the continents of Asia and Europe. The main
part of Turkey lies in Asia and is a broad plateau rimmed by mountains.
From the mountains low-lying plains curve on three sides along the Black
Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Turkish Straits. Turkey is becoming more
industrialized, particularly in the areas of textiles and clothing.
Israel is a small, narrow country at the eastern end of the Mediterranean
Sea. The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948 as a homeland for Jews.
Since that time there have been numerous violent conflicts with its Arab
neighbors. The city of Jerusalem is a holy place for people of three religions:
Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Today Israel is a democratic republic with
the most modern economy in Southwest Asia.
Some of the world's oldest civilizations developed in the areas of present
day Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Although large parts of Syria are desert,
farming is still the main economic activity. The country of Lebanon was
torn apart by a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1991. Today the Lebanese
are working to rebuild.
For most of its history, Saudi Arabia was a poor, desert country. The discovery
of oil in the twentieth century, however, has helped to boost the standard
of living. Several million Muslims travel to the city of Makkah every year
as part of a religious pilgrimage. The prophet Muhammad first preached
the religion of Islam in the cities of Arabia. Several small countries,
known as the Persian Gulf States, have strong economies based on oil.
The world's first known cities were built between the Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers in the present day country of Iraq. Oil is Iraq's major export.
Its people have suffered through several recent wars and an international
trade embargo. Oil rich Iran is ruled by Muslim religious leaders. Afghanistan
is a landlocked mountainous country. Throughout its history is has been
invaded by foreign armies.
Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia.
Highlands and plateaus make up most of Turkey's land area.
Most of Turkey's people live in cities and towns.
Israel is the only Jewish nation in the world.
Despite its small size, Israel has a well-developed economy.
Israel and its Arab neighbors are moving toward peace after a long period
of tension and warfare (maybe?).
Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan
Syria has a coastal plain, mountains, and deserts.
Lebanon is one of the smallest countries of Southwest Asia.
Jordan's farmers grow crops in the rich Jordan River valley.
The Arabian Peninsula
Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the largest country of Southwest Asia.
Most of Saudi Arabia's people live in coastal areas.
Persian Gulf countries have strong economies based on oil.
Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan
Iraq has recently fought wars to increase its power in Southwest Asia.
Iran is governed by Muslim religious leaders.
Afghanistan's land area is largely mountainous.