When considering what to include in this category I had to ask myself what countries actually comprise the Middle East? Certainly, Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, but what about Turkey?
A quick scan of Wikipedia confirms that Turkey is indeed part of the ‘Middle East’, even though a small portion of the country sits on the European side of the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe from Asia. The Bosphorus runs through the center of Istanbul, a city that certainly feels more European than Middle Eastern. The bulk of Turkey’s land mass, however, occupies the westernmost peninsula of Asia, what was commonly known as ‘Asia Minor.’
From this standpoint then, Turkey seems a proper fit for the Middle East so I’ve included it in this category. (…more…)