Hagiya Sofiya Istanbul Turkey Capital hillside apartments


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 authoritarian 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 more than 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.
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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

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

Area Comparative
slightly larger than Texas

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

7,200 km

Maritime Claims
territorial sea: 6 nm in the Aegean Sea; 12 nm in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea; exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR

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

high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges

Elevation Extremes
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)

Irrigated Land
42,000 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van

Environment – Current Issues
water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah’s Ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country

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70,413,958 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 25.5% (male 9,133,226/female 8,800,070); 15-64 years: 67.7% (male 24,218,277/female 23,456,761); 65 years and over: 6.8% (male 2,198,073/female 2,607,551) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 28.1 years; male: 27.9 years; female: 28.3 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.06% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
16.62 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female; total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 39.69 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 43.27 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 35.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 72.62 years; male: 70.18 years; female: 75.18 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.92 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% – note – no country specific models provided (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS – Deaths

noun: Turk(s); adjective: Turkish

Ethnic Groups
Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20% (estimated)

Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian; note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the Europe part of Turkey

definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 86.5%; male: 94.3%; female: 78.7% (2003 est.)

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Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Turkey; conventional short form: Turkey; local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti; local short form: Turkiye

Government Type
republican parliamentary democracy


Administrative Divisions
81 provinces (iller, singular – il); 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, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)

National Holiday
Republic Day, 29 October (1923)


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

18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Ahmet Necdet SEZER (since 16 May 2000); head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister; elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a seven-year term; election last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held May 2007); prime minister appointed by the president from among members of parliament; election results: Ahmed Necdet SEZER elected president on the third ballot; percent of National Assembly vote – 60%; note: president 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 3 November 2002 (next to be held in 2007); note – a special rerun of the General Election in the province of Siirt on 9 March 2003 resulted in the election of Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN to a seat in parliament, a prerequisite for becoming prime minister, on 14 March 2003; election results: percent of vote by party – AKP 34.3%, CHP 19.4%, DYP 9.6%, MHP 8.3%, Anavatan 5.1%, DSP 1.1%, and other; seats by party – AKP 363, CHP 178, independents 9; note – parties surpassing the 10% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; seats by party as of 1 December 2005 – AKP 357, CHP 154, ANAVATAN 22, DYP 4, SHP 4, HYP 1, independents 4, vacant 4

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

Political Parties and Leaders
Anavatan Partisi (once was Motherland Party) or ANAVATAN [Erkan MUMCU]; Democratic Left Party or DSP [Mehmet Zeki SEZER]; Democratic People’s Party or DEHAP [Tuncer BAKIRHAN]; Felicity Party (sometimes translated as Contentment Party) or SP [Necmettin ERBAKAN]; Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Emin SIRIN]; Nationalist Action Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]; People’s Rise Party (Halkin Yukselisi Partisi) or HYP [Yasr Nuri OZTURK]; Republican People’s Party or CHP [Deniz BAYKAL]; Social Democratic People’s Party or SHP [Murat KARAYALCIN]; True Path Party (sometimes translated as Correct Way Party) or DYP [Mehmet AGAR]; note: the parties listed above are some of the more significant of the 49 parties that Turkey had on 1 December 2004

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Confederation of Public Sector Unions or KESK [Sami EVREN]; Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Suleyman CELEBI]; Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association or MUSIAD [Omer BOLAT]; Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Salim USLU]; Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions or TISK [Refik BAYDUR]; Turkish Confederation of Labor or Turk-Is [Salih KILIC]; Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen or TESK [Dervis GUNDAY]; Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association or TUSIAD [Omer SABANCI]; Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [M. Rifat HISARCIKLIOGLU]

International Organization Participation

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Nabi SENSOY; chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700; FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744; consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Ross WILSON; embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara; mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823; telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555; FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019; consulate(s) general: Istanbul; consulate(s): Adana; note – there is a Consular Agent in Izmir

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

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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%. Inflation fell to 7.7% in 2005 – a 30-year low. Despite the strong economic gains in 2002-05, 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 debt. The public sector fiscal deficit exceeds 6% of GDP – due in large part to high interest payments, which accounted for about 37% of central government spending in 2004. Prior to 2005, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey averaged less than $1 billion annually, but further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost FDI. Privatization sales are currently approaching $21 billion.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$552.7 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$336.4 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
5.1% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$7,900 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 11.7%; industry: 29.8%; services: 58.5% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
24.7 million; note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 35.9%, industry 22.8%, services 41.2% (3rd quarter, 2004)

Unemployment Rate
10% plus underemployment of 4% (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
20% (2002)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 2.3%; highest 10%: 30.7% (2000)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
42 (2003)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
7.7% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
19.3% of GDP (2005 est.)

revenues: $93.58 billion; expenditures: $115.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
67.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

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

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

Industrial Production Growth Rate
5.5% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
133.6 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
140.3 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity – Exports
600 million kWh (2002)

Electricity – Imports
1.2 billion kWh (2002)

Oil – Production
50,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
715,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Exports
46,110 bbl/day (2001)

Oil – Imports
616,500 bbl/day (2001)

Oil – Proved Reserves
288.4 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural Gas – Production
560 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
22.6 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
15.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current Account Balance
$-22 billion (2005 est.)

$72.49 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

Exports – Partners
Germany 13.9%, UK 8.8%, US 7.7%, Italy 7.3%, France 5.8%, Spain 4.2% (2004)

$101.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

Imports – Partners
Germany 12.9%, Russia 9.3%, Italy 7.1%, France 6.4%, US 4.8%, China 4.6%, UK 4.4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$46.5 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$161.8 billion (30 June 2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
ODA, $635.8 million (2002)

Currency (Code)
Turkish lira (YTL); old Turkish lira (TRL) before 1 January 2005

Exchange Rates
Turkish liras per US dollar – 1.3436 (2005), 1.4255 (2004), 1.5009 (2003), 1.5072 (2002), 1.2256 (2001); note: on 1 January 2005 the old Turkish Lira (TRL) was converted to new Turkish Lira (YTL) at a rate of 1,000,000 old to 1 new Turkish Lira

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Telephones – Main Lines in Use
19,125,200 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
34,707,500 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially with cellular telephones; domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; the number of subscribers to mobile cellular telephone service is growing rapidly; international: country code – 90; international service is provided by three submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linking Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; also by 12 Intelsat earth stations, and by 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2002)

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 16, FM 107, shortwave 6 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations
635 (plus 2,934 repeaters) (1995)

Internet Country Code

Internet Hosts
753,394 (2005)

Internet Users
5.5 million (2003)

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120 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 88; over 3,047 m: 15; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 32; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 19; 914 to 1,523 m: 18; under 914 m: 4 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 32; over 3,047 m: 1; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; 914 to 1,523 m: 8; under 914 m: 20 (2005)

16 (2005)

gas 3,177 km; oil 3,562 km (2004)

total: 8,697 km; standard gauge: 8,697 km 1.435-m gauge (2,122 km electrified) (2004)

total: 354,421 km; paved: 147,404 km (including 1,886 km of expressways); unpaved: 207,017 km (2003)

1,200 km (2005)

Merchant Marine
total: 538 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,745,132 GRT/7,261,125 DWT; by type: bulk carrier 109, cargo 235, chemical tanker 45, combination ore/oil 1, container 26, liquefied gas 5, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 36, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 23, specialized tanker 2; foreign-owned: 10 (Cyprus 3, Italy 3, South Korea 1, Monaco 1, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 1); registered in other countries: 344 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 5, The Bahamas 10, Belize 8, Cambodia 17, Comoros 10, Dominica 1, France 1, Georgia 24, Honduras 1, Isle of Man 3, North Korea 4, Liberia 2, Libya 2, Malta 101, Marshall Islands 24, Netherlands Antilles 8, Panama 31, Russia 54, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23, Slovakia 8, UK 1, unknown 3) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Aliaga, Ambarli, Eregli, Haydarpasa, Istanbul, Kocaeli (Izmit), Skhira, Toros

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Military Branches
Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Land Forces, Naval Forces (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry), Air Force

Military Service Age and Obligation
20 years of age (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 20-49: 16,756,323 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 20-49: 13,905,901 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 679,734 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$12.155 billion (2003)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
5.3% (2003)

in the early 1990s, the Turkish Land Force was a large but badly equipped infantry force; there were 14 infantry divisions, but only one was mechanized, and out of 16 infantry brigades, only six were mechanized; the overhaul that has taken place since has produced highly mobile forces with greatly enhanced firepower in accordance with NATO’s new strategic concept (2005)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Syria and Iraq protest Turkish hydrological projects to control upper Euphrates waters; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; border with Armenia remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
IDPs: 350,000-1,000,000 (fighting from 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and – to a far lesser extent the US – via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish, Iranian, and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin are in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls

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