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Turkey

From open-encyclopedia.com - the free encyclopedia.

Turkey (officially the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Türkiye) is a country located in Southwest Asia with a small part in southeastern Europe. Until 1922 the country was the center of the Ottoman Empire. The Anatolian peninsula, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, forms the core of the country.

Turkey is bordered to the east by Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran; to the south by Iraq and Syria; and to the west by the Aegean Sea and its islands, Greece and Bulgaria.


<tr><td>National Day<td>Declaration of Republic October 29, 1923
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti
Flag of Turkey Turkey has no national coat of arms
(In Detail)
National motto (unofficial): Yurtta Sulh, Cihanda Sulh
(Turkish: "Peace at Home, Peace in the World")
image:LocationTurkey.png
Official language Turkish
Capital Ankara
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 36th
780,580 km?
1.3%
Population
 - Total (2003)
 - Density
Ranked 17th
68,109,469
86.2/km²
Currency Turkish Lira1
Time zone UTC +2
National anthem Istiklâl Marsi
Internet TLD .tr
Calling Code 90
(1) From January 1, 2005, the New Turkish Lira (Yeni Türk Lirası) will replace the old lira
Contents

History

Main article: History of Turkey

Anatolia (Asia Minor) had been a cradle to a wide variety of civilizations and kingdoms in antiquity. The Seljuk Turks were the first Turkic power to arrive in the 11th century as conquerors (earlier Turkic peoples such as the Pechenegs had become allies and subordinates of the Byzantine Empire), who proceeded to gradually conquer the existing Byzantine Empire.

Their Turkic successors, the Ottoman Empire, completed this in the 15th century with the fall of Constantinople, after which the empire expanded across the eastern Mediterranean. Rising nationalism in the 19th century and the First World War caused the embattled empire to crumble in the aftermath of the war.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Turkey

The Republic of Turkey was created in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who reformed Turkey into a modern, secular, and western-oriented republic. Fears of a shift from the secular and western oriented makeup of the country have led to several (three) military coups over the years, the last of which was in 1980. Democratic rule has since returned. Turkey became a member of NATO in 1952, and is seeking membership of the European Union. Issues such as the Turkish involvement in Cyprus and the increasing appeal of political Islam continue to fuel public debate in Turkey and influence its international relations.

Provinces

Main article: Provinces of Turkey

Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces (iller, singular - il):

Geography

Main article: Geography of Turkey

Map of Turkey
Map of Turkey

Turkey forms a bridge between Europe and Asia, with the division between the two running from the Black Sea to the north down along the Bosporus strait through the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles strait to the Aegean Sea and the larger Mediterranean Sea to the south.

The Anatolian peninsula consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, in between the Pontus range to the north and the Taurus Mountains to the south. To the east is found a more mountainous landscape, home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and the Araks, as well as Lake Van and Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point at 5,166 m.

The climate is a Mediterranean temperate climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, though conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Turkey is also prone to very severe earthquakes.

The capital city of Turkey is Ankara, but the largest city is Istanbul. Other important cities include Izmir, Bursa, Adana, Izmit (Kocaeli), Konya, Diyarbakir, Antalya, and Samsun. See the list of cities in Turkey.

Major regional schisms are based on ethnicity (mainly Kurdish-inhabited southeast), economy (industry, cash crops, and tourism in coastal regions), and rainfall (Black Sea littoral, where summer drought is unknown).

Economy

Main article: Economy of Turkey

Turkey'Agriculture" title ="Agriculture">agriculture sector that in 2001 still accounted for 40% 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 most important industry - and largest export - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands.

In recent years the economic situation has been marked by erratic economic growth and serious imbalances. 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.

Meanwhile the public sector fiscal deficit has regularly exceeded 10% of GDP - due in large part to the huge burden of interest payments, which in 2001 accounted for more than 50% of central government spending - while inflation has remained in the high double digit range.

Perhaps because of these problems, foreign direct investment in Turkey remains low - less than USD 1 billion annually. In late 2000 and early 2001 a growing trade deficit and serious weaknesses in the banking sector plunged the economy into crisis - forcing Ankara to float the lira and pushing the country into recession.

Results in 2002 were much better, because of strong financial support from the IMF and tighter fiscal policy. Continued slow global growth and serious political tensions in the Middle East cast a shadow over growth prospects in the future.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Turkey

The majority of the Turkish population (around 80%) is of Turkic ethnicity, who speak the only official language of the country, Turkish. The most significant ethnicity is that of the Kurds, who constitute up to about 10% of the population. Other smaller minorities include Zazas, Levantines, Georgians, Laz, Syriacs, Arabs, Greeks, Chaldeans, Jews, Roma, Hamshenis, Circassians, Abkhaz, Bosniaks, Pomaks, and Armenians. Before WWI Armenians and Greeks were a large minority, dating back before the Ottoman Empire.

Nominally, 99.8% of the population is Muslim. Most belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, but about 15-20 % are Alevi. There is also a negligible Shi'a minority, mainly of Azeri descent. Smaller Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox (Gregorian), Jewish, Roman Catholic and Protestant minorities are also present. Their numbers are said to be falling rapidly, mainly as a result of the growing Islamic infuence on society.

Although, unlike other majority Islamic nations, there is a strong tradition of separation of church and state in Turkey, in practice this means rather the subordination of religion to the state instead of what Westerners would consider separation. The Turkish constitution recognizes freedom of religion for individuals, but explicitly states that religious communities derive no rights at all from this. The mainstream Hanafi school of Sunni Islam is largely organized by the state, through Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (Department of Religious Affairs). Discrimination of non-Sunni groups appears quite significant: Sunni clerics receive state salaries, yet most other clerics do not; Sunni imams can be trained in officially recognised but mostly independent schools, whereas even the other and often older religious organisations such as the Alevis and the Greek Orthodox Church are, in practice if not in theory, not allowed to re-open schools for religious training.

Culture

Main article: Culture of Turkey

Miscellaneous topics

External links


 
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bg:Турция cs:Turecko cy:Twrci da:Tyrkiet de:Türkei et:Türgi el:Τουρκία es:Turquía eo:Turkio fr:Turquie is:Tyrkland it:Turchia he:תורכיה ku:Tirkiye la:Turcia lt:Turkija hu:Törökország ms:Turki nl:Turkije ja:トルコ no:Tyrkia nds:Törkei pl:Turcja pt:Turquia ro:Turcia ru:Турция simple:Turkey sl:Turčija fi:Turkki sv:Turkiet tt:Törkiä th:ประเทศตุรกี tr:Türkiye uk:Туреччина zh-cn:土耳其

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