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"Turkey" (), known ficially as the "Republic Turkey" (), is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and Thrace in the Balkan region southeastern Europe. Turkey is one the six independent Turkic states. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan (the exclave Nakhchivan) and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. The Sea Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles (which together form the Turkish Straits) demarcate the boundary between Eastern Thrace and Anatolia; they also separate Europe and Asia. "Europe" (pp. 68–69); "Asia" (pp. 90–91): "A commonly accepted division between Asia and Europe ... is formed by the Ural Mountains, Ural River, Caspian Sea, Caucasus Mountains, and the Black Sea with its outlets, the Bosporus and Dardanelles." Turkey"s location at the crossroads Europe and Asia makes it a country significant geostrategic importance.

The predominant religion by number people is Islam--about 97% the population, the second by number people is Christianity--0,6%, according to the "World Christian Encyclopedia". The country"s ficial language is Turkish, whereas Kurdish and Zazaki languages are spoken by Kurds and Zazas, who comprise 18% the population.
The population Turkey according to the CIA World Factbook in 2010 is 77.8 million

Turks began migrating into the area now called Turkey ("land the Turks") in the 11th century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantine Empire at the Battle Manzikert. Several small beyliks and the Seljuk Sultanate Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol Empire"s invasion. Starting from the 13th century, the Ottoman beylik united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. After the Ottoman Empire collapsed following its defeat in World War I, parts it were occupied by the victorious Allies. A cadre young military ficers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, organized a successful resistance to the Allies; in 1923, they would establish the modern Republic Turkey with Atatürk as its first president.

Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic, with an ancient cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the , NATO, OECD, and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member the European Economic Community since 1963 and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the , the Turkic states Central Asia and the African countries through membership in organizations such as the and the . Given its strategic location, large as well as powerful economy and army, Turkey is classified as a major regional power. March 17, 2009.

The name Turkey, "Türkiye" in the Turkish language, can be divided into two components: "Türk", which might mean "human being" in old Turkic language and usually signifying the inhabitants Turkey or a member the Turkish or Turkic peoples, a later form "Tu–kin", a name given by the Chinese to the people living south the Altay Mountains Central Asia as early as 177 BCE; and the abstract suffix "–iye" meaning "owner", "land " or "related to" (derived from the Arabic suffix "–iyya", but also associated with the Medieval Latin suffix "–ia" in "Turchia").

The first recorded use the term "Türk" or "Türük" as an autonym is contained in the Orkhon inscriptions the Göktürks ("Celestial Turks") Central Asia (c. 8th century CE). The English word "Turkey" is derived from the Medieval Latin "Turchia" (c. 1369).

The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most modern Turkey, is one the oldest continuously inhabited regions in the world. The earliest Neolithic settlements such as Çatalhöyük (Pottery Neolithic), Çayönü (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A to Pottery Neolithic), Nevalı Çori (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B), Hacılar (Pottery Neolithic), Göbekli Tepe (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and Mersin are considered to be among the earliest human settlements in the world.

Troy (VII), identified as the site the Trojan War (ca. 1200 BCE)
The settlement Troy started in the Neolithic and continued into the Iron Age. Through recorded history, Anatolians have spoken Indo-European, Semitic and Kartvelian languages, as well as many languages uncertain affiliation. In fact, given the antiquity the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The Hattians were an ancient people who inhabited the southeastern part Anatolia, noted at least as early as ca. 2300. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed Hattians ca. 2000-1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the eighteenth through the 13th century BC. The Assyrians colonized parts southeastern Turkey as far back as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC, when the Assyrian Empire was conquered by the Chaldean dynasty in Babylon. Following the Hittite collapse, the Phrygians, an Indo-European people, achieved ascendancy until their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC. The most powerful Phrygia"s successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia. The Lydians and Lycians spoke languages that were fundamentally Indo-European, but both languages had acquired non-Indo-European elements prior to the Hittite and Hellenistic periods.

The Celsus Library in Ephesus, dating from 135 AD.

Starting around 1200 BC, the coast Anatolia was heavily settled by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks. Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Smyrna (modern Izmir), and Byzantium (later Constantinople and Istanbul). The first state established in Anatolia that was called Armenia by neighboring peoples (Hecataeus Miletus and Behistun Inscription) was the state the Orontid dynasty. Anatolia was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th and 5th centuries BC and later fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Anatolia was subsequently divided into a number small Hellenistic kingdoms (including Bithynia, Cappadocia, Pergamum, and Pontus), all which had succumbed to the Roman Republic by the mid-1st century BC. Arsacid Armenia, the first state to accept Christianity as ficial religion had lands in Anatolia.

In 324, the Roman emperor Constantine I chose Byzantium to be the new capital the Roman Empire, renaming it New Rome (later Constantinople and Istanbul). After the fall the Western Roman Empire, it became the capital the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire).
Turks and the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire at the height its power (ca. 1680)

The "House Seljuk" was a branch the "Kınık" Oğuz Turks who resided on the periphery the Muslim world, north the Caspian and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate the Oğuz confederacy in the 10th century. In the 11th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle Manzikert in 1071.

The victory the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia and Southwest Asia.

The Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is one the most famous architectural legacies the Ottoman Empire

In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols, causing the Seljuk empire"s power to slowly disintegrate. In its wake, one the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I would, over the next 200 years, evolve into the Ottoman Empire, expanding throughout Anatolia, the Balkans and the Levant. In 1453, the Ottomans completed their conquest the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople.

The Ottoman Empire"s power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign Suleiman the Magnificent. The empire was ten at odds with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. At sea, the empire contended with the Holy Leagues, composed Habsburg Spain, the Republic Venice and the Knights St. John, for control the Mediterranean. In the Indian Ocean, the Ottoman navy frequently confronted Portuguese fleets in order to defend its traditional monopoly over the maritime trade routes between East Asia and Western Europe; these routes faced new competition with the Portuguese discovery the Cape Good Hope in 1488. In addition, the Ottomans were occasionally at war with Persia over territorial disputes or caused by religious differences between 16th and 18th centuries.

During nearly two centuries decline, the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, military power, and wealth. It entered World War I on the side the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. During the war, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were deported and exterminated in the Armenian Genocide.Totten, Samuel, Paul Robert Bartrop, Steven L. Jacobs (eds.) "Dictionary Genocide". Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008, p. 19. ISBN 0-313-34642-9. Large scale massacres were also committed against the empire"s other Christian minorities, the Ottoman and Pontic Greeks and Assyrians.Bloxham. Levene (1998)Ferguson (2006), p. 180 Following the Armistice Mudros on October 30, 1918, the victorious Allied Powers partitioned the Ottoman state through the 1920 Treaty Sèvres.
Republic era

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first President the Republic Turkey

The occupation İstanbul and İzmir by the Allies in the aftermath World War I prompted the establishment the Turkish national movement. Under the leadership Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle Gallipoli, the Turkish War Independence was waged with the aim revoking the terms the Treaty Sèvres.

By September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were expelled, and the new Turkish state was established. On November 1, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years Ottoman rule. The Treaty Lausanne July 24, 1923, led to the international recognition the sovereignty the newly formed "Republic Turkey" as the successor state the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was ficially proclaimed on October 29, 1923, in the new capital Ankara.

Mustafa Kemal became the republic"s first President Turkey and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim founding a new secular republic from the remnants its Ottoman past. According to the Law on Family Names, the Turkish parliament presented Mustafa Kemal with the honorific surname "Atatürk" ("Father the Turks") in 1934.

Roosevelt, İnönü and Churchill at the Second Cairo Conference which was held between December 4–6, 1943

Turkey remained neutral during most World War II but entered on the side the Allies on February 23, 1945, as a ceremonial gesture and in 1945 became a charter member the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic support.

After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade intercommunal violence on the island Cyprus and the Greek military coup July 1974, overthrowing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as dictator, Turkey invaded the Republic Cyprus in 1974. Nine years later the Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus which is only recognised by Turkey was established.

The single-party period ended in 1945. It was followed by a tumultuous transition to multiparty democracy over the next few decades, which was interrupted by military coups d"état in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. In 1984, the PKK began an insurgency against the Turkish government; the conflict, which has claimed over 40,000 lives, continues today. Since the liberalization the Turkish economy during the 1980s, the country has enjoyed stronger economic growth and greater political stability.

Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, connecting Europe (left) and Asia (right)

Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey (made up largely Anatolia), which includes 97% the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea Marmara, and the Dardanelles (which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea). European Turkey (eastern Thrace or Rumelia in the Balkan peninsula) comprises 3% the country.

The territory Turkey is more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) long and 800 km (500 mi) wide, with a roughly rectangular shape. Turkey"s area, including lakes, occupies 783,562 square kilometres (300,948 sq mi), which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 sq mi) are in Southwest Asia and 23,764 square kilometres (9,174 sq mi) in Europe. Turkey is the world"s 37th-largest country in terms area. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea Marmara in the northwest.

Ölüdeniz Beach near Fethiye on the Turkish Riviera

The European section Turkey, Eastern Thrace, forms the borders Turkey with Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part the country, Anatolia, consists a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, between the Köroğlu and Pontic mountain ranges to the north and the Taurus Mountains to the south. Eastern Turkey has a more mountainous landscape and is home to the sources rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and Aras, and contains Lake Van and Mount Ararat, Turkey"s highest point at 5,165 metres (16,946 ft). Lake Tuz, Turkey"s third-largest lake, is a macroscopically visible feature in the middle the country that ironically happens to look like a turkey.

Turkey is divided into seven census regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately one-sixth Turkey"s total land area. As a general trend, the inland Anatolian plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward.

Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) is the highest peak in Turkey at 5,165 m (16,946 ft)

Turkey"s varied landscapes are the product complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. The Bosporus and the Dardanelles owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey that led to the creation the Black Sea. There is an earthquake fault line across the north the country from west to east, which caused a major earthquake in 1999.
Climate ===The coastal areas Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas Turkey bordering the Black Sea have a temperate Oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters. The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount precipitation and is the only region Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part that coast averages 2,500 millimeters annually which is the highest precipitation in the coun

The coastal areas Turkey bordering the Sea Marmara (including Istanbul), which connects the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, have a transitional climate between a temperate Mediterranean climate and a temperate Oceanic climate with warm to hot, moderately dry summers and cool to cold, wet winters. Snow does occur on the coastal areas the Sea Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter, but it usually lies no more than a few days. Snow on the other hand is rare in the coastal areas the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas the Mediterranean Sea.

Conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau the interior Turkey a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons.

Winters on the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures −30 °C to −40 °C (−22 °F to −40 °F) can occur in eastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground at least 120 days the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 °C (34 °F). Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 °C (86 °F) in the day. Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimetres (15 in), with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 millimetres (12 in). May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the driest.

The Grand Chamber the Grand National Assembly Turkey in Ankara

Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong tradition secularism. Turkey"s constitution governs the legal framework the country. It sets out the main principles government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state.

The President the Republic is the head state and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a five-year term by direct elections. Abdullah Gül was elected as president on August 28, 2007, by a popular parliament round votes, succeeding Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council Ministers which make up the government, while the legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly Turkey. The judiciary is independent the executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity laws and decrees with the constitution. The Council State is the tribunal last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court Appeals for all others.

The prime minister is elected by the parliament through a vote confidence in the government and is most ten the head the party having the most seats in parliament. The current prime minister is the former mayor İstanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose conservative AK party won an absolute majority parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections, organized in the aftermath the economic crisis 2001, with 34% the suffrage.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has twice been elected Prime Minister since 2002, and his party won 47% the votes in the 2007 general elections

In the 2007 general elections, the AKP received 46.6% the votes and could defend its majority in parliament. Although the ministers do not have to be members the parliament, ministers with parliament membership are common in Turkish politics.
In 2007, a series events regarding state secularism and the role the judiciary in the legislature has occurred. These included the controversial presidential election Abdullah Gül, who in the past had been involved with Islamist parties; BBC. (2007-08-28). Retrieved on 2009-09-22. and the government"s proposal to lift the headscarf ban in universities, which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, leading to a fine and a near ban the ruling party. BBC. (2007-06-05). Retrieved on 2009-09-22.

Universal suffrage for both sexes has been applied throughout Turkey since 1933, and every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 years age has the right to vote. As 2004, there were 50 registered political parties in the country. The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing political parties that it deems anti-secular or separatist, or ban their existence altogether.

There are 550 members parliament who are elected for a four-year term by a party-list proportional representation system from 85 electoral districts which represent the 81 administrative provinces Turkey (İstanbul is divided into three electoral districts, whereas Ankara and İzmir are divided into two each because their large populations). To avoid a hung parliament and its excessive political fragmentation, only parties winning at least 10% the votes cast in a national parliamentary election gain the right to representation in the parliament. Because this threshold, in the 2007 elections only three parties formally entered the parliament (compared to two in 2002).

Human rights in Turkey have been the subject much controversy and international condemnation. Between 1998 and 2008 the European Court Human Rights made more than 1,600 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations, particularly the right to life and freedom from torture. Other issues such as Kurdish rights, women"s rights and press freedom have also attracted controversy. Turkey"s human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to future membership the EU., European Parliament Human Rights committee, October 26, 2010. A Class Action has been filed by Tsimpedes Law in Washington DC against Turkey and Northern Cyprus for "the denial access to and enjoyment land and property held in the north" Cyprus. The Class Action lawsuit, originally initiated by Greek Cypriot refugees, from the Turkish invasion Cyprus in 1974, has been joined by Sandra Kocinski, Pat Clarke and Suz Latchford who paid for but have never been given legal title to the Cypriot villas that they purchased.
Foreign relations

EEC since 1963

Turkey is a founding member the OECD and the G-20 major economies

Turkey is a founding member the United Nations (1945), the OECD (1961), the OIC (1969), the (1973), the ECO (1985), the BSEC (1992) and the G-20 major economies (1999). On October 17, 2008, Turkey was elected as a non-permanent member the United Nations Security Council. Turkey"s membership the council effectively began on January 1, 2009. Turkey had previously been a member the U.N. Security Council in 1951–1952, 1954–1955 and 1961.

In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part Turkish foreign policy. Turkey became a founding member the in 1949, applied for associate membership the EEC (predecessor the European Union) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades political negotiations, Turkey applied for full membership the EEC in 1987, became an associate member the Western European Union in 1992, reached a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and has been in formal accession negotiations with the EU since 2005.

Since 1974 Turkey has not recognized the (essentially Greek Cypriot) Republic Cyprus as the sole authority on the island, but instead supports the Turkish Cypriot community in the form the de facto Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus which is recognized only by Turkey.

The other defining aspect Turkey"s foreign relations has been its ties with the United States. Based on the common threat posed by the Soviet Union, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with Washington throughout the Cold War. In the post-Cold War environment, Turkey"s geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the , the Caucasus and the Balkans. In return, Turkey has benefited from the United States" political, economic and diplomatic support, including in key issues such as the country"s bid to join the European Union.

The independence the Turkic states the Soviet Union in 1991, with which Turkey shares a common cultural and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia, thus enabling the completion a multi-billion-dollar oil and natural gas pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan to the port Ceyhan in Turkey. The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline forms part Turkey"s foreign policy strategy to become an energy conduit to the West. However, Turkey"s border with Armenia, a state in the Caucasus, remains closed following its occupation Azeri territory during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.
Turkey joined NATO in 1952

The Turkish Armed Forces consists the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard operate as parts the Ministry Internal Affairs in peacetime, although they are subordinated to the Army and Navy Commands respectively in wartime, during which they have both internal law enforcement and military functions.

The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest standing armed force in NATO, after the U.S. Armed Forces, with a combined strength just over a million uniformed personnel serving in its five branches.Economist Intelligence Unit:Turkey, p.23 (2005) Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military for a period ranging from three weeks to fifteen months, dependent on education and job location. Turkey does not recognise conscientious objection and does not fer a civilian alternative to military service.

KC-135R-CRAG Stratotanker the Turkish Air Force refueling four F-16 fighter jets built by TAI in Turkey

Turkey is one five NATO member states which are part the nuclear sharing policy the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. A total 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force.

In 1998, Turkey announced a program modernization worth US$160 billion over a twenty year period in various projects including tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, submarines, warships and assault rifles.Economist Intelligence Unit:Turkey, p.22 (2005) Turkey is a Level 3 contributor to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.

MEKO 200 TN type frigates the Turkish Navy in formation

Turkey has maintained forces in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since 1950, including peacekeeping missions in Somalia and former Yugoslavia, and support to coalition forces in the First Gulf War. Turkey maintains 36,000 troops in northern Cyprus; their presence is supported and approved by the "de facto" local government, but the Republic Cyprus and the international community regard it as an illegal occupation force, and its presence has also been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions.O.P. Richmond. "Mediating in Cyprus: the Cypriot communities and the United Nations." Psychology Press, 1998. p. 260 Turkey has had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part the U.S. stabilization force and the UN-authorized, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since 2001. In 2006, the Turkish parliament deployed a peacekeeping force Navy patrol vessels and around 700 ground troops as part an expanded United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the wake the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.

The Chief the General Staff is appointed by the president and is responsible to the prime minister. The Council Ministers is responsible to parliament for matters national security and the adequate preparation the armed forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare war and to deploy the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or to allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey rests solely with the parliament. The actual commander the armed forces is the Chief the General Staff General Işık Koşaner since August 30, 2010.
Administrative divisions

The capital city Turkey is Ankara. The territory Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces for administrative purposes. The provinces are organized into 7 regions for census purposes; however, they do not represent an administrative structure. Each province is divided into districts, for a total 923 districts.

Provinces usually bear the same name as their provincial capitals, also called the central district; exceptions to this custom are the provinces Hatay (capital: Antakya), Kocaeli (capital: İzmit) and Sakarya (capital: Adapazarı). Provinces with the largest populations are Istanbul (13 million), Ankara (5 million), İzmir (4 million), Bursa (3 million) and Adana (2 million).

The biggest city and the pre-Republican capital Istanbul is the financial, economic and cultural heart the country. An estimated 75.5% Turkey"s population live in urban centers. In all, 19 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 20 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000.

Maslak financial district in Istanbul

Turkey has the world"s 15th largest GDP-PPP Data for the year 2008. Last revised on July 1, 2009. and 17th largest Nominal GDP. Data for the year 2008. Last revised on July 1, 2009. The country is a founding member the OECD and the G-20 major economies. During the first six decades the republic, between 1923 and 1983, Turkey has mostly adhered to a quasi-statist approach with strict government planning the budget and government-imposed limitations over private sector participation, foreign trade, flow foreign currency, and foreign direct investment. However in 1983 Prime Minister Turgut Özal initiated a series reforms designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market-based model.

The reforms spurred rapid growth, but this growth was punctuated by sharp recessions and financial crises in 1994, 1999 (following the earthquake that year), and 2001, resulting in an average 4% GDP growth per annum between 1981 and 2003. Lack additional fiscal reforms, combined with large and growing public sector deficits and widespread corruption, resulted in high inflation, a weak banking sector and d macroeconomic volatility.

Since the economic crisis 2001 and the reforms initiated by the finance minister the time, Kemal Derviş, inflation has fallen to single-digit numbers, investor confidence and foreign investment have soared, and unemployment has fallen. The IMF forecasts a 6% inflation rate for Turkey in 2008. Inflation, end period consumer prices. Data for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Turkey has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment and the privatisation publicly owned industries, and the liberalisation many sectors to private and foreign participation has continued amid political debate. The public debt to GDP ratio, while well below its levels during the recession 2001, reached 46% in 2010 Q3.

TCDD high speed train

The GDP growth rate from 2002 to 2007 averaged 7.4%,Dilenschneider Group and Pangaeia Group, ", "Foreign Affairs", January/February 2008 which made Turkey one the fastest growing economies in the world during that period. However, GDP growth slowed down to 4.5% in 2008, and in early 2009 the Turkish economy was affected by the global financial crisis, with the IMF forecasting an overall recession 5.1% for the year, compared to the Turkish government estimate 3.6%.

Turkey"s economy is becoming more dependent on industry in major cities, mostly concentrated in the western provinces the country, and less on agriculture, however traditional agriculture is still a major pillar the Turkish economy. In 2007, the agricultural sector accounted for 9% GDP, while the industrial sector accounted for 31% and the services sector accounted for 59%. However, agriculture still accounted for 27% employment.

According to Eurostat data, Turkish PPS GDP per capita stood at 45 per cent the EU average in 2008.

The tourism sector has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part the economy. In 2008 there were 31 million visitors to the country, who contributed $22 billion to Turkey"s revenues.

BEKO and Vestel are among the largest producers consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe

Other key sectors the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, machine industry and automotive. Turkey has a large and growing automotive industry, which produced 1,147,110 motor vehicles in 2008, ranking as the 6th largest producer in Europe (behind the United Kingdom and above Italy) and the 15th largest producer in the world. Turkey is also one the leading shipbuilding nations; in 2007 the country ranked 4th in the world (behind China, South Korea and Japan) in terms the number ordered ships, and also 4th in the world (behind Italy, USA and Canada) in terms the number ordered mega yachts.

In the early years this century the chronically high inflation was brought under control and this led to the launch a new currency, the Turkish new lira, on January 1, 2005, to cement the acquisition the economic reforms and erase the vestiges an unstable economy. On January 1, 2009, the New Turkish Lira was renamed once again as the Turkish Lira, with the introduction new banknotes and coins. As a result continuing economic reforms, inflation dropped to 8.2% in 2005, and the unemployment rate to 10.3%. In 2004, it was estimated that 46% total disposable income was received by the top 20% income earners, while the lowest 20% received 6%.

Esenboğa International Airport in Ankara

Turkey has taken advantage a customs union with the European Union, signed in 1995, to its industrial production destined for exports, while at the same time benefiting from EU-origin foreign investment into the country. Turkey now has also opportunity a really decent free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) - without full membership - that allows it to manufacture for tarif-free sale throughout the EU market. By 2007 exports had reached $115 billion (main export partners: Germany 11%, UK 8%, Italy 7%, France 6%, Spain 4%, USA 4%; total EU exports 57%.) However larger imports, which amounted to $162 billion in 2007, threatened the balance trade (main import partners: Russia 14%, Germany 10%, China 8%, Italy 6%, USA 5%, France 5%, Iran 4%, UK 3%; total EU imports 40%; total Asia imports 27%). Turkey"s exports amounted to $142 billion in 2008, while imports amounted to $205 billion.

After years low levels foreign direct investment (FDI), Turkey succeeded in attracting $22 billion in FDI in 2007 and is expected to attract a higher figure in following years. A series large privatizations, the stability fostered by the start Turkey"s EU accession negotiations, strong and stable growth, and structural changes in the banking, retail, and telecommunications sectors have all contributed to a rise in foreign investment.

The historic İstiklal Avenue in Istanbul"s cosmopolitan Beyoğlu district

More than 77 million people live in Turkey, three quarters them in towns and cities, and the population is increasing by 1.5% each year (according to the 2009 census). In 1927 when the first census was taken in Turkey, the population was 13.6 million.". Library Congress Country Studies. It has an average population density 92 people per km². People within the 15–64 age group constitute 67% the total population, the 0–14 age group is 26% the population, and people 65 years old and above make up 7%.

Regions Turkey with the largest populations are İstanbul (+12 million), Ankara (+4.4 million), İzmir (+3.7 million), Bursa (+2.4 million), Adana (+2.0 million) and Konya (+1.9 million). An estimated 70.5% the population live in urban centers. In all, 18 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 21 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000.

Life expectancy stands at 71.1 years for men and 75.3 years for women, with an overall average 73.2 years for the populace as a whole. Education is compulsory and free from ages 6 to 15. The literacy rate is 96% for men and 80.4% for women, with an overall average 88.1%. The low figures for women are mainly due to the traditional customs the Arabs and Kurds who live in the southeastern provinces the country.

Article 66 the Turkish Constitution defines a "Turk" as "anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond citizenship"; therefore, the legal use the term "Turkish" as a citizen Turkey is different from the ethnic definition. However, the majority the Turkish population are Turkish ethnicity.

The Kurds, a distinct ethnic group concentrated mainly in the southeastern provinces the country, are the largest non-Turkic ethnicity, estimated at about 18% the population according to the CIA. Minorities other than the three ficially recognized ones do not have any special group privileges, while the term "minority" itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey. Reliable data on the ethnic mix the population is not available, because Turkish census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity.

Other major ethnic groups (large portions whom have been extensively Turkicized since the Seljuk and Ottoman periods) include the Abkhazians, Adjarians, Albanians, Arabs, Assyrians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Hamshenis, Laz, Pomaks (Bulgarians), Roma, Zazas and the three ficially recognized minorities (per the Treaty Lausanne), i.e. the Armenians, Greeks and Jews. Signed on January 30, 1923, a bilateral accord population exchange between Greece and Turkey took effect in the 1920s, with close to 1.5 million Greeks moving from Turkey and some 500,000 Turks coming from Greece.. Spiegel Online. November 28, 2006.

Minorities West European origin include the Levantines (or "Levanter", mostly French, Genoese and Venetian descent) who have been present in the country (particularly in Istanbul and İzmir) since the medieval period.
Language ===Turkish is the sole ficial language throughout Turkey. Reliable figures for the linguistic breakdown the populace are not available for reasons similar to those cited above. According to CIA the Turkish language is spoen by 70-75% and Kurdish language by 18%. The public broadcaster TRT broadcasts programmes in the local languages and dialects Arabic, Bosnian, Circassian and Kurdish a few hours a week. A completely Kurdish-language public television channel, TRT 6, was opened in early 20

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul

Turkey is a secular state with no ficial state religion; the Turkish Constitution provides for freedom religion and conscience. Islam is the dominant religion Turkey by number people with about 97% Muslims, with no religious Muslims the number is over 99%.From the introduction "Syncretistic Religious Communities in the Near East" edited by her, B. Kellner-Heinkele, & A. Otter-Beaujean. Leiden: Brill, 1997. Research firms suggest the actual Muslim figure is around 98%, Pew Forum. October 2009. Retrieved on 2010-09-13. or 97%. There are about 400,000 people, that follow Christianity, mostly Armenian Apostolic, Assyrian Church the East and Greek Orthodox, there are also group Jews, mainly Sephardi (26,000 people).

Though there are no exact figures on religious sects, according to a 2006 survey, 82% were identified as Sunni Hanafi, 9.1% Sunni Shafi"i, and 5.7% were Alevi. KONDA. p.28. Retrieved on 2010-09-16. Though academics suggest the Alevi population may be from 15 to 20 million. U.S. Department State. Retrieved on 2010-09-16. Feb 18, 2010. Retrieved on 2010-09-16 Alevi community is sometimes classified within Twelver Shi"a Islam. According to Aksiyon magazine, the number Twelvers (excluding Alevis) is 3 million (4.2%), and they live in Istanbul, Iğdır, Kars, Ankara, İzmir, Manisa, Çorum, Muğla, Ağrı and Aydın. There are also some Sufi practitioners. The highest Islamic religious authority is the Presidency Religious Affairs (), it interprets the Hanafi school law, and is responsible for regulating the operation the country"s 80,000 registered mosques and employing local and provincial imams. The role religion has been controversial debate over the years since the formation Islamist parties."Civil society, religion, and the nation: modernization in intercultural context : Russia, Japan, Turkey" Gerrit Steunebrink, Evert van der Zweerde. pp.175-184. Turkey was founded upon a strict secular constitution which forbids the influence any religion, including Islam. There are sensitive issues, such as the fact that the wearing the Hijab is banned in universities and public or government buildings as some view it as a symbol Islam - though there have been efforts to lift the ban. and

A nationwide survey in 2007 showed that 97% Turkish citizens have a religion, whilst 3% are irreligious and atheists. According to a 2009 survey on religion, even though 88% the population say they believe in basic Islamic principles, only 38% actually pray more than once a week. According to a Pew Research Center report in 2002, 65% the people believe religion is very important, while according to a Eurobarometer poll in 2005, 95% citizens responded that they believe there is a God.

The Orthodox Church has been headquartered in Istanbul since the 4th century AD.

The Bahá"í Faith in Turkey has roots in Bahá"u"lláh"s, the founder the Bahá"í Faith, being exiled to Constantinople, current-day Istanbul, by the Ottoman authorities. Bahá"ís cannot register with the government ficially but there are probably 10 to 20 thousand Bahá"ís, and around a hundred Bahá"í Local Spiritual Assemblies in Turkey.

Orhan Pamuk is one the leading contemporary Turkish novelists and the winner the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature

Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend various elements the Oğuz Turkic, Anatolian, Culture the Ottoman (which was itself a continuation both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernization the Ottoman Empire and still continues today. This mix originally began as a result the encounter Turks and their culture with those the peoples who were in their path during their migration from Central Asia to the West.

As Turkey successfully transformed from the religion-based former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation state and religion, an in the modes artistic expression followed. During the first years the republic, the government invested a large amount resources into fine arts; such as museums, theatres, opera houses and architecture. Diverse historical factors play important roles in defining the modern Turkish identity. Turkish culture is a product efforts to be a "modern" Western state, while maintaining traditional religious and historical values.

One the main entrance gates the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul
Turkish music and literature form great examples such a mix cultural influences, which were a result the interaction between the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world along with Europe, thus contributing to a blend Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music and literary arts. Turkish literature was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature during most the Ottoman era, though towards the end the Ottoman Empire, particularly after the Tanzimat period, the effect both Turkish folk and European literary traditions became increasingly felt. The mix cultural influences is dramatized, for example, in the form the "new symbols the clash and interlacing cultures" enacted in the works Orhan Pamuk, winner the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. According to Konda public opinion researchers, 70% Turkish citizens never read books.

Architectural elements found in Turkey are also testaments to the unique mix traditions that have influenced the region over the centuries. In addition to the traditional Byzantine elements present in numerous parts Turkey, many artifacts the later Ottoman architecture, with its exquisite blend local and Islamic traditions, are to be found throughout the country, as well as in many former territories the Ottoman Empire. Mimar Sinan is widely regarded as the greatest architect the classical period in Ottoman architecture. Since the 18th century, Turkish architecture has been increasingly influenced by Western styles, and this can be particularly seen in Istanbul where buildings like Dolmabahçe and Çırağan Palaces are juxtaposed next to numerous modern skyscrapers, all them representing different traditions.

Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final

The most popular sport in Turkey is football. Turkey"s top teams include Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. In 2000, Galatasaray cemented its role as a major European club by winning the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. Two years later the Turkish national team finished third in the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan and South Korea, while in 2008 the national team reached the semi-finals the UEFA Euro 2008 competition. The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final, while the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final.

Other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball are also popular. Turkey hosted the finals EuroBasket 2001 and the finals the 2010 FIBA World Championship, winning second place on both occasions; while Efes Pilsen S.K. won the Korac Cup in 1996, finished second in the Saporta Cup 1993, and made it to the Final Four Euroleague and Suproleague in 2000 and 2001. Turkish basketball players such as Mehmet Okur and Hidayet Türkoğlu have also been successful in the NBA. Women"s volleyball teams, namely Eczacıbaşı, Vakıfbank Güneş Sigorta and Fenerbahçe Acıbadem, have won numerous European championship titles and medals.

The traditional Turkish national sport has been yağlı güreş ("oiled wrestling") since Ottoman times. Edirne has hosted the annual Kırkpınar oiled wrestling tournament since 1361. International wrestling styles governed by FILA such as Freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling are also popular, with many European, World and Olympic championship titles won by Turkish wrestlers both individually and as a national team.

Weightlifting has been a successful Turkish sport. Turkish weightlifters, both male and female, have broken numerous world records and won several European, World and Olympic championship titles. Naim Süleymanoğlu and Halil Mutlu have achieved legendary status as one the few weightlifters to have won three gold medals in three Olympics.

Istanbul Park racing circuit a few hours before the F1 Turkish Grand Prix

Motorsport is another popular sport. Rally Turkey was included to the FIA World Rally Championship calendar in 2003, and the Turkish Grand Prix was included to the Formula One racing calendar in 2005. Other important annual motorsports events which are held at the Istanbul Park racing circuit include the MotoGP Grand Prix Turkey, the FIA World Touring Car Championship, the GP2 Series and the Le Mans Series. From time to time Istanbul and Antalya also host the Turkish leg the F1 Powerboat Racing championship; while the Turkish leg the Red Bull Air Race World Series, an air racing competition, takes place above the Golden Horn in Istanbul. Surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, paragliding and other extreme sports are becoming more popular every year.
See also
*Index Turkey-related articles
*Outline Turkey




;Foreign relations and military

;Geography and climate





Further reading
* Bozarslan, Hamit "Turkey: Postcolonial discourse in a non-colonised state", in Prem Poddar "et al." , Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures—Continental Europe and its Colonies, Edinburgh University Press, 2008
* Roxburgh, David J. (ed.) (2005). "Turks: A Journey a Thousand Years, 600–1600." Royal Academy Arts. ISBN 1-903973-56-2.
* "Turkey: A Country Study" (1996). Federal Research Division, Library Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0864-6.

External links



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| subdivision_type1 = Region| subdivision_name1 = Marmara| subdivision_type2 = Province| subdivision_name2 = İstanbul| parts_type = Districts| parts = 27| population_total = 12,697,164 (5th)| population_as_of = 2008 | population_footnotes = |
| subdivision_type1 = Region| subdivision_name1 = Marmara| subdivision_type2 = Province| subdivision_name2 = İstanbul| parts_type = Districts| parts = 27| population_total = 12,697,164 (5th)| population_as_of = 2008 | population_footnotes = |
istorHittite artifacts on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.The region"s history can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization, which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites, in the 10th century BC by the
istorHittite artifacts on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.The region"s history can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization, which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites, in the 10th century BC by the
istorHittite artifacts on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.The region"s history can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization, which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites, in the 10th century BC by the
istorHittite artifacts on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.The region"s history can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hatti civilization, which was succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites, in the 10th century BC by the
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A suicide bombing on Istanbul's main shopping street on Saturday killed five people, including the assailant, as Turkey reels from the second such attack this week, the latest blast hitting an area popular with tourists. Istanbul (dpa) - Among the
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave his approval Tuesday to legislation that will strip the legal immunity of more than 130 parliament members, in a move widely seen as targeting pro-Kurdish lawmakers. Istanbul (dpa) - Erdogan‘s approval,
Three suicide bombers struck different points at Istanbul's major international airport, killing 36 people and injuring about 150, in an attack being blamed on Islamic State, as the Turkish city reels from the latest act of terrorism. Istanbul (dpa)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's retribution against this weekend‘s coup-plotters picked up pace Monday as his EU allies warned him not to go too far, matching talk of reintroducing the death penalty with threats to suspend the path to EU membership. Istanbul
The failed coup of July 15 has cost Turkey at least 300 billion lira (99.9 billion dollars) in damages, Customs and Trade Minister Bulent Tufenkci was quoted as saying in Hurriyet daily on Tuesday. Istanbul (dpa) - The damages include destroyed
US President Donald Trump congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday for his victory in a referendum expanding presidential powers, as the US State Department urged Turkey to abide by its constitution and international agreements. Washington


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