Western Asia (also Middle East or Southwest Asia) is a summary term for a region in the southwest of the continent Asia. The three terms are interchangeable, with the Middle East including a European perspective. There are different ideas about the exact delimitation.
It includes Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey), the Caucasus region, the Arabian Peninsula and Iran.
Definitions of West Asia
According to the definition prevailing today, the Middle East is bounded in the west by the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, in the north by the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea, in the east by the outskirts of Iran and in the south by the Indian Ocean.
The Middle East is connected to Africa via the Sinai peninsula; the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and the Bosporus form only a narrow separation from Europe.
Western Asia includes Asia Minor, the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, the Arab and Sinai Peninsula, the Armenian Highlands and the Iranian Highlands.
Afghanistan is in the transition area to Central Asia. Iran, which is always part of the Near East, is not included in the division of the UNSD, but South Asia. This is done for statistical purposes only and this term does not assume or imply any relationship or association between the countries concerned.
Countries in West Asia
- Egypt (Sinai Peninsula only)
- Palestinian Territories
- Saudi Arabia
- Turkey (Asian part, i.e. Anatolia)
- United Arab Emirates
- Yemen (without Socotra)