Geography of Asia
reviews geographical concepts of classifying Asia
, the central and eastern part of Eurasia
, comprising approximately fifty countries.
The geographical borders and ethnic content of Asia considered as a whole have remained approximately the same since the 18th century, with some local notable exceptions. For example, Armenia has contracted out of eastern Turkey, but both Armenians and Turks still reside in Asia at some locations they populated in the 18th century. The political subdivisions of Asia have changed a great deal. In the 18th century both the Turks and the Armenians were in the Ottoman Empire. That empire is defunct today. In its place are a number of independent republics.
The land mass of Asia is not the sum of the land masses of each of its regions, which have been defined independently of the whole. For example, the borders of Central Asia
and the Middle East
depend on who is defining them and for what purpose. These varying definitions are not generally reflected in the map of Asia as a whole; for example, Egypt
is typically included in the Middle East, but not in Asia, even though the Middle East is a division of Asia.
The demarcation between Asia and Africa
is the isthmus
and the Red Sea
.The border with Europe starts with the coast of the eastern Mediterranean, even though Turkey in the Near East
extends partly into the Aegean Islands
and includes Istanbul
on the European side of the Bosphorus
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