Near East

The Near East[lower-alpha 1] is a geographical term which roughly encompasses a transcontinental region in Western Asia, that was once the historical Fertile Crescent, and later the Levant region. It also comprises Turkey (both Anatolia and East Thrace) and Egypt (mostly located in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula being in Asia). Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was originally applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire.

Near East topographic map

According to the National Geographic Society, the terms Near East and Middle East denote the same territories and are "generally accepted as comprising the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian territories, Syria, and Turkey".[1] In 1997, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations defined the region similarly, but also included Afghanistan.[2] The region is "now commonly referred to as West Asia."[3]


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