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Bulgaria:
Geography

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Background
Definition
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.
Location
Definition
Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates
Definition
43 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references
Definition
Europe
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 110,910 sq km
land: 110,550 sq km
water: 360 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than Tennessee
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 1,808 km
border countries: Greece 494 km, Macedonia 148 km, Romania 608 km, Serbia 318 km, Turkey 240 km
Coastline
Definition
354 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain
Definition
mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Musala 2,925 m
Natural resources
Definition
bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 29.94%
permanent crops: 1.9%
other: 68.16% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
5,880 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
19.4 cu km (2005)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 6.92 cu km/yr (3%/78%/19%)
per capita: 895 cu m/yr (2003)
Natural hazards
Definition
earthquakes, landslides
Environment - current issues
Definition
air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wastes
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
strategic location near Turkish Straits; controls key land routes from Europe to Middle East and Asia


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