Turkey in Brief

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa Kemal, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - now known as the People's Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention and claimed over 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased.

Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.

Location
Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria

Geographic Coordinates
39 00 N, 35 00 E

Area
total: 780,580 sq km 
land: 770,760 sq km 
water: 9,820 sq km

Geographic Divisions
Marmara Region
Black Sea Region
Eagean Region
Mediterranean Region
Central Anatolia Region
Eastern Anatolia Region
Southeastern Anatolia Region

Administrative Divisions
81 provinces (iller, singular - ili); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Icel (Mersin), Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

Land Boundaries
total: 2,648 km 
border countries: Armenia 268 km, Azerbaijan 9 km, Bulgaria 240 km, Georgia 252 km, Greece 206 km, Iran 499 km, Iraq 352 km, Syria 822 km

Coastline
7,200 km

Climate
temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

Terrain
high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m 
highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m

Natural Resources
coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower

Land Use
arable land: 29.81% 
permanent crops: 3.39% 
other: 66.8% (2005)

Population
71,892,807 (July 2008 est.)

Median Age
total: 29 years 
male: 28.8 years 
female: 29.2 years (2008 est.)

Population Growth
1.013% (2008 est.)

Life Expectancy
total population: 73.14 years 
male: 70.67 years 
female: 75.73 years (2008 est.)

Religion
Muslim 99% (mostly Sunni), other 1 % (mostly Christians and Jews)

Government Name
Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)
Turkey (Türkiye)

Goverenment Type
republican parliamentary democracy

Capital
name: Ankara
Geographic Coordinates: 39 56 N, 32 52 E
Time Difference: UTC+2
Daylight Saving Time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Foundation of the Republic (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)
29 October 1923 (National Holiday)

Flag Description
red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening

Legal System
civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems; note - member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), although Turkey claims limited derogations on the ratified European Convention on Human Rights; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
Chief of state: President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (since 28 August 2014) 
Head of government: Prime Minister Binali YILDIRIM (since 24 May 2016)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister 
Elections: president elected by the National Assembly for one seven-year term; prime minister appointed by the president from among members of parliament 
Note: president-elect must have a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on the first two ballots and a simple majority on the third ballot

Legislative Branch
Unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) 
Elections: last held on 22 July 2007 (next to be held on November 2012) 
Election results: percent of vote by party - AKP 46.7%, CHP 20.8%, MHP 14.3%, independents 5.2%, and other 13.0%; seats by party - AKP 341, CHP 112, MHP 71, independents 26; note - seats by party as of 17 December 2007 - AKP 340, CHP 87, MHP 70, DTP 20, DSP 13, independents 6, other 12, vacant 2 (DTP entered parliament as independents; DSP entered parliament on CHP's party list); only parties surpassing the 10% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats

Judicial Branch
Constitutional Court; High Court of Appeals (Yargitay); Council of State (Danistay); Court of Accounts (Sayistay); Military High Court of Appeals; Military High Administrative Court

International Organization Participation
ADB (nonregional members), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CERN (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Economic Overview
Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for more than 35% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for one-third of industrial employment; it faces stiff competition in international markets with the end of the global quota system. However, other sectors, notably the automotive and electronics industries, are rising in importance within Turkey's export mix. Real GNP growth has exceeded 6% in many years, but this strong expansion has been interrupted by sharp declines in output in 1994, 1999, and 2001. The economy is turning around with the implementation of economic reforms, and 2004 GDP growth reached 9%, followed by roughly 5% annual growth from 2005-07. Inflation fell to 7.7% in 2005 - a 30-year low - but climbed back to 8.5% in 2007. Despite the strong economic gains from 2002-07, which were largely due to renewed investor interest in emerging markets, IMF backing, and tighter fiscal policy, the economy is still burdened by a high current account deficit and high external debt. Further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost foreign direct investment. The stock value of FDI currently stands at about $85 billion. Privatization sales are currently approaching $21 billion. Oil began to flow through the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2006, marking a major milestone that will bring up to 1 million barrels per day from the Caspian to market. Economic fundamentals are sound, marked by strong economic growth and foreign direct investment. Turkey's high current account deficit leaves the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence, however.

Agricultural Products
tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock

Industries
textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

Airports
117 (2007)

Roadways
total: 426,906 km 
paved: 177,550 km (includes 1,892 km of expressways)
unpaved: 249,356 km (2004)



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