country W Asia & SE Europe between Mediterranean & Black seas; formerly center of an empire (∗ Constantinople), since 1923 a republic ∗ Ankara area 301,380 square miles (780,574 square kilometers), pop 70,586,256 — see ottoman empire
Either of two species of birds assigned to either of two families, Phasianidae or Meleagrididae. The North American common turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) has been domesticated since pre-Columbian times. The adult male has a featherless bright-red head, a fleshy red ornament (snood) growing over the bill, and a similar wattle on the throat. The male (gobbler or tom) may be 50 in. (1.3 m) long and may weigh over 20 lb (10 kg). Wild turkeys inhabit woodlands near water, eating seeds, insects, and an occasional frog or lizard. Males assemble a harem, and each hen lays 8–15 eggs in a hollow in the ground. An excellent source of meat and easily shot, the wild turkey was practically exterminated by European settlers; conservation efforts have reestablished it in much of its former range. The ocellated turkey (Agriocharis, or Meleagris, ocellata) of Central America has never been domesticated.