Turkey

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Republic of Turkey

Türkiye Cumhuriyeti  (Turkish)
National emblem of Turkey (de facto) of Turkey
National emblem of Turkey (de facto)
Anthem: 
İstiklal Marşı  (Turkish)
"The Independence March"
Location of Turkey
CapitalAnkara
39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°E / 39; 35Coordinates: 39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°E / 39; 35
Largest cityIstanbul
41°1′N 28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.950°E / 41.017; 28.950
Official languagesTurkish[1][2]
Spoken languages[3]
Ethnic groups
(2016)[4]
75% Turk
19% Kurd
Other 7%-12%
Demonym(s)
  • Turkish
  • Turk
GovernmentUnitary presidential constitutional republic
• President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Fuat Oktay
Mustafa Şentop
LegislatureGrand National Assembly
Establishment
19 May 1919
23 April 1920
24 July 1923
29 October 1923
9 November 1982[5]
Area
• Total
783,356 km2 (302,455 sq mi) (36th)
• Water (%)
2.03 (as of 2015)[6]
Population
• 31-12-2020 estimate
Increase 83,614,362[7] (19th)
• Density
109[7]/km2 (282.3/sq mi) (107th)
GDP (PPP)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $2.749 trillion[8] (11th)
• Per capita
Increase $32,278[8] (45th)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
Increase $794.530 billion[8] (20th)
• Per capita
Increase $9,327[8] (67th)
Gini (2017)Negative increase 43.0[9]
medium · 56th
HDI (2019)Increase 0.820[10]
very high · 54th
CurrencyTurkish lira (₺) (TRY)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Date formatdd.mm.yyyy (CE)
Mains electricity230 V–50 Hz
Driving sideright
Calling code+90
ISO 3166 codeTR
Internet TLD.tr

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye) is a country in both Europe and Asia. The area of Turkey is about 780,000 square kilometres (300,000 sq mi).

Turkey is a republic. There are 81 provinces in Turkey. The money of Turkey is called Turkish Lira. The capital city is Ankara, a city in the central region, called Anatolia. The cultural and economic center is in the European side of Istanbul. In the past Istanbul was called Constantinople. The republic was founded in 1923, after World War I and a war of independence (Kurtuluş Savaşı). Before that, Turkey was the core of the Ottoman Empire.

Many civilizations were in the area that is now Turkey, like the Hittites, the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. Many important events in the history of Christianity happened in places that are now in Turkey. Because it lies in both Europe and Asia, some people see Turkey as the "door" between them.

Modern Turkey's warm and varied climate lets many kinds of food crops grow, and livestock and forestry are important industries. Turkey makes enough food to feed itself. Turkish manufactures include airplanes, electronics, cars, clothing and textiles for home and for other countries.

Turkey is a popular place for tourists to visit. It has hundreds of kilometers of beautiful beaches on its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and many important historical places.

History[change | change source]

Ancient Anatolia[change | change source]

People have lived in Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey - also called Asia Minor) for over 10,000 years, longer than almost anywhere else in the world, except Africa.

The first major empire in the area was the Hittites (from the 18th century to the 13th century BCE). The Hittites, who spoke one of the Indo-European languages, developed a high culture in Central Anatolia. Their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BCE and the successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia.

From 1950 BCE, Greeks and Assyrians inhabited parts of southeastern Turkey. The Assyrian capital was named Tushhan (900-600 BCE). The Assyrians ruled over southeastern Turkey until their empire was conquered by Babylonia in 612 BCE. Then Anatolia became home for various kingdoms including the Achaemenid Empire, Hellenistic kingdoms, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire), Seljuk Empire, and Mongol Empire.

The Ottoman Empire[change | change source]

During the 14th century, after the fall of the Mongol Empire, Lord Osman built a new empire named after himself: the Ottoman Empire. It became one of the longest existing empires of all time. The Empire also stretched across the Balkans, (Yugoslavia and Bulgaria) in Europe. The Kingdom was ruled by Muslim law, but other religions had certain minority rights.

In World War I the Ottoman Empire was one of the Central Powers. During the war, 500,000 Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were massacred in the so-called Armenian Genocide. Turkey denies that the event was genocide. The Central Powers lost the war and the Ottoman Empire was destroyed, but after that Atatürk led the army to get rid of foreign enemies, like the Greeks.

Republic of Turkey[change | change source]

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was the first President of Turkey. He made many changes that made Turkey more modern. But some people did not like some of the changes that made life in Turkey more secular. Religious secondary schools were gotten rid of, for example. The opponents to Atatürk felt that he weakened Islam in the country. Later political disputes led to Coup d'état in 1960, 1971, and 1980, and several failed attempts.

For many years Kurdish guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (known as the PKK; Turkish: Kürdistan İşçi Partisi) have been fighting the Turkish government. The PKK is a terrorist organisation a nationalist and separatist movement led by Abdullah Öcalan. Their aim is for the Kurds in the southeast of Turkey to have autonomy, with a government of their own. Because they use armed conflict, the Turkish government calls them terrorists. The European Union and United States also call them terrorists.[11]

On 15 July 2016, a coup d'état was attempted.

People[change | change source]

Turkish women in Istanbul

About 80 million people live in Turkey. Most of them are ethnic Turks. About 15% are ethnic Kurds. Many refugees from Syria (over 3 million) live in Turkey because they have run away from the Syrian civil war. Many Romani people live in Istanbul and Edirne (European part of Turkey).

The biggest city in Turkey is Istanbul which has the biggest population of any city in Europe. Much of the population in Turkey is made up of young adults and adults.

According to religiosity poll conducted in Turkey in 2019 by OPTİMAR, 89.5% of the population identifies as Muslim, 4.5% believed in God but did not belong to an organized religion, 2.7% were agnostic, 1.7% were atheist, and 1.7% did not answer.[12][13] Another poll conducted by Gezici Araştırma in 2020 interviewed 1,062 people in 12 provinces and found that 28.5% of the Generation Z in Turkey identify as irreligious.[14][15]

Turkish people have many ethnic and famous foods, such as mantı (Turkish ravioli), döner, kebap, Turkish delight (lokum), baklava, börek, köfte, and other foods.

According to a study, Anatolia is genetically more closely related to the Balkan populations than to the Central Asian populations. The Turks of Anatolia (Asian part of Turkey) have only 13% of genes from populations from Central Asia.[16]

Majority and minorities[change | change source]

The majority of Turkey is made up of Turks. The largest minority is Kurds. Kurds live mostly in Southeastern and Eastern Turkey. The second largest minority are Arabs.

Economy[change | change source]

View of Levent financial district from Istanbul Sapphire

Turkey is in the OECD and the G-20 and is one of the 20 largest economies. The Turkish currency is called the Lira. The first coins were made in Turkey.

In the 1970s, many Turks moved to other countries, like Germany, to escape the bad economy at the time and to get better jobs. They often come back to Turkey for summer holidays. Today, many of the people who left in the 1970s want to move back to Turkey.

Until the 1980s the government owned most companies, but then Prime Minister Turgut Özal sold them. Before, foreigners were usually not allowed to buy companies, land or property. Turkey's international trade is mostly with the EU, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Japan. Turkey and the EU agreed not to put a lot of tax on what they buy and sell to each other. After that it was easier for Turkish factories to sell products to the EU and for business people in the EU to buy companies in Turkey.

Turkey's exports in 2010 were worth 117 billion United States dollars.

Earthquakes in 1994, 1999, and 2001 slowed economic growth a bit. Turkey has no petroleum or natural gas so it buys them from other countries, like Russia. In 2010, oil was found in the Turkish City of Diyarbakir, but there was not enough oil to extract. Turkey is searching for natural gas in Turkish Northern Cyprus.

Culture[change | change source]

Language[change | change source]

Most people in Turkey speak Turkish. It is written in Latin script and it belongs to the Turkic language group, which also includes many other languages spoken across Asia, such as Azerbaijani and Tatar. The Turkish language came from Central Asia, but now it is a bit different from the languages spoken in Central Asia. Turks living by the Mediterranean have southern, much thicker, and more masculine accents than western Turkey. Northerners, by the Black Sea have softer accents.

In Turkey there are also minorities who speak languages such as Arabic, Kurdish, Armenian, Greek or Ladino, and many others.

Many of the young adults can also speak English, which is taught throughout Primary, Middle and High school.

Lifestyle[change | change source]

Symphony orchestra in Eskişehir

Turkish culture is a modern Islamic culture, with some European influence.

Different parts of Turkey have similar but not exactly the same lifestyles. Central Turkey and Northern Turkey are somewhat more conservative and religious. Western Turkey and Southern Turkey, especially coastal cities are more liberal and secular. Eastern Turkey and Southeastern Turkey are made up of mostly Kurds–most of them are conservative and religious. Cosmopolitan neighbourhoods in major cities of Turkey are overwhelmingly liberal and secular. Cities like Hatay and Mardin, where different religions coexist, also have cosmopolitan characteristics.

Rich cities in Turkey include Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir, Konya, Mersin (also known as İçel), and Antalya.

Provinces[change | change source]

The capital and second-largest city of Turkey is Ankara. The largest and the most crowded city is Istanbul which is the only city in the world that has land on two different continents. The third largest city is the coastal city of İzmir which is the main port of the country. Turkey is divided into 81 provinces. Each province has its own little government but they can only make decisions about small things: the government in Ankara decides important issues. The provinces are in 7 regions. Each province is divided into districts. There are 973 districts altogether.

Education[change | change source]

A lab in Bilkent University Chemistry Department in Ankara

Turkey's literacy rate is currently 98.3%.[17] People in Turkey have to go to school for 12 years.

Istanbul University was the first university in Turkey. It was established in 1453. Ankara University was the first university that was started after Turkey became a republic. It was established in 1946.

There were 6065 high schools in Turkey in 2002 according to Ministry of National Education.[18] In 2011, there were 166 universities in Turkey.[19]

European Union[change | change source]

Some people have wanted Turkey to join the European Union (EU) since the 1990s. Negotiations to join began in 2005.

Earthquakes[change | change source]

The 1999 İzmit earthquake was an approximately 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on 17 August 1999, at about 3:02 am local time. 18.000 people died in the earthquake. Many people have been killed by earthquakes in Turkey.

The New York Times estimated that over 570 people died in the Erzincan earthquake of 13 March 1992.[20] The earthquake was a 6.8 on the Richter Scale.[21]

Other websites[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası" (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Archived from the original on 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020. 3. Madde: Devletin Bütünlüğü, Resmi Dili, Bayrağı, Milli Marşı ve Başkenti: Türkiye Devleti, ülkesi ve milletiyle bölünmez bir bütündür. Dili Türkçedir. Bayrağı, şekli kanununda belirtilen, beyaz ay yıldızlı al bayraktır. Milli marşı "İstiklal Marşı" dır. Başkenti Ankara'dır.
  2. "Mevzuat: Anayasa" (in Turkish). Ankara: Constitutional Court of Turkey. Archived from the original on 1 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. Ethnologue: Ethnologue Languages of the World – Turkey, Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  4. "Turkey". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  5. "The effective date of the Turkish Constitution is November 9, 1982".
  6. "Surface water and surface water change". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The Results of Address Based Population Registration System, 2020". Turkish Statistical Institute. 31 December 2020. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2021". IMF.org. International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  9. "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income - EU-SILC survey". ec.europa.eu/eurostat. Eurostat. Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  10. "2020 Human Development Report" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  11. "Who are Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels?". 4 November 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  12. Özkök, Ertuğrul. "Türkiye artık yüzde 99'u müslüman olan ülke değil". www.hurriyet.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  13. "Optimar'dan din-inanç anketi: Yüzde 89 Allah'ın varlığına ve birliğine inanıyor". T24.com.tr. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  14. "Gezici Araştırma Merkezi Başkanı Murat Gezici SÖZCÜ'ye açıkladı: Türkiye'nin kaderi Z kuşağının elinde". www.sozcu.com.tr.
  15. "Gezici Araştırma Merkezi Başkanı Murat Gezici: Türkiye'nin kaderi Z kuşağının elinde". www.gercekgundem.com.
  16. "Alu insertion polymorphisms and an assessment of the genetic contribution of Central Asia to Anatolia with respect to the Balkans". National Center for Biotechnology Information. Berkman CC1, Dinc H, Sekeryapan C, Togan I,. May 2008.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  17. Taeuber, Irene B. (April 1958). "Population and Modernization in Turkey". Population Index. Office of Population Research. 24 (2): 110. doi:10.2307/2731516. JSTOR 2731516. OCLC 41483131.
  18. [1] Archived 2011-11-25 at the Wayback Machine
  19. University numbers on the rise in Turkey (Hürriyet Daily News, 4 September 2011)
  20. "More Than 570 Die in Quake in Turkey", New York Times, retrieved 14 March 2010
  21. et al. Grosser, Helmut (October 1998). "The Erzincan (Turkey) Earthquake (Ms 6.8) of March 13, 1992 and its Aftershock Sequence". Pure and Applied Geophysics. Birkhäuser Basel. 152 (3): 465–505. Retrieved 13 March 2010.[permanent dead link]