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Republic of Turkey
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti  (Turkish)
Flag National emblem[note 1]
Anthem: İstiklal Marşı
"Independence March"
Capital Ankara
39°55′N 32°50′E / 39.917°N 32.833°E / 39.917; 32.833
Largest city Istanbul
41°1′N 28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.95°E / 41.017; 28.95
Official languages Turkish
Ethnic groups No official estimates (see demographics section)
Demonym Turkish
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
 -  President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
 -  Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
 -  Speaker of the Parliament Deniz Baykal (interim)
Legislature Grand National Assembly
Succession to the Ottoman Empire[note 2]
 -  Government of the Grand National Assembly 23 April 1920 
 -  Treaty of Lausanne 24 July 1923 
 -  Declaration of Republic 29 October 1923 
 -  Current constitution 7 November 1982 
 -  Total 783,562 km2 (37th)
302,535 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 1.3
 -  2014 census 77,695,904 [1] (18th)
 -  Density 101 [1]/km2 (107th)
262/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $1.569 trillion[2] (17th)
 -  Per capita $20,188[2] (61st)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $752 billion[2] (18th)
 -  Per capita $9,680[2] (66th)
Gini (2013)  40.0[3]
medium · 56th
HDI (2013) Increase 0.759[4]
high · 69th
Currency Turkish lira (₺) (TRY)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Drives on the right
Calling code +90
Internet TLD .tr
Topographical map of Turkey
Turkey Regions

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

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 central Anatolia. The cultural and economic center is Istanbul, which is in Europe. 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 located 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 Turkey. Because it lies in both Europe and Asia, some people see Turkey as the "door" between Europe and Asia.

Modern Turkey's warm 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.

These days, 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]

People have been living in Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey - also called Asia Minor) longer than almost anywhere else in the world, except Africa.

The first major Empire in the area was the Hittites (during the 18th century to the 13th century BC). The Hittites, who spoke one of the Indo-European languages, developed a high culture from Central Anatolia. Their Kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC 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 BC). The Assyrians ruled over southeastern Turkey until the Assyrian Empire was conquered by Babylonia in the year 612 BC. Then Anatolia became home for various kingdoms including the Achaemenid Empire, Hellenistic kingdoms, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) and Mongol Empire.

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 even the Christian minorities had freedom of speech.[source?]

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 Armenian Genocide. Turkey denies that the event was genocide. The Central Powers lost the war and the Ottoman Empire was destroyed, but after that Ataturk led the army to get rid of foreign enemies, like the Greeks. 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 things he did because they thought they were against Islam. Religious secondary schools were gotten rid of, for example.

For many years Kurdish guerrillas (usually called the "PKK") led by Abdullah Öcalan fought the Turkish government. They said they were fighting so that the Kurds in the south east of Turkey could have autonomy and decide more things for themselves. But the government and most countries in the world called them terrorists.

People[change | change source]

Oil-wrestling at Kırkpınar

About 80 million people live in Turkey. Most of them are ethnic Turks. About 15% are ethnic Kurds. Many refugees from Syria (almost 2 million) live in Turkey because they have run away from the Syrian civil war.

Most Turks are Muslim. The biggest city in Turkey is Istanbul which has the biggest population of any city in Europe.

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

Much of the population in Turkey is made up of teenagers and young adults.

European Union[change | change source]

Turkey is trying to join the European Union (EU). The EU says that before Turkey can join, it must start trading with the Republic of Cyprus and improve human rights.

Economy[change | change source]

Turkey is in the OECD and the G-20, and is one of the 20 richest countries. 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 their 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. Earthquakes in 1994, 1999, and 2001 slowed economic growth a bit.

Turkey mostly buys and sells 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.

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 Northern Turkish Cyprus.

Provinces[change | change source]

The capital 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 Izmir 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 923 districts altogether.

Culture[change | change source]

Language[change | change source]

Most people in Turkey speak Turkish. 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.

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 Middle and High school.

Life Style[change | change source]

Turkey has a modern culture. The life style of the Turks is similar to that of the Europeans. Turkish Culture is a cross between Western countries and modern Islamic culture.

Different parts of Turkey have similar but not exactly the same lifestyles. The Lifestyle in the West, South West and North West is more modern. People living in that area have modern accents. Southern Turkey also has a modern life style but Turks living by the Mediterranean have southern, much thicker, and more masculine accents than western Turkey. Northerners, by the Black Sea have softer accents and also have modern lifestyles. Eastern and South Eastern Turkey is made up of mostly Kurds. They generally have less modern and more Islamic lifestyles.

Rich Cities in Turkey include Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Mersin (also known as Icel), and Antalya.

Majority and Minorities[change | change source]

The majority of Turkey is made up of Turks. The main minority is the Kurds. Kurds live mostly in South Eastern and Eastern Turkey and have poor financial situations.

Education[change | change source]

Turkey's literacy rate is currently 95%. People in Turkey are required to go to school for 12 years.

İstanbul 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.[1][dead link] In 2011, there were 166 universities in Turkey.[5]

Earthquakes[change | change source]

The 1999 İzmit earthquake was an approximately 7.4 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on August 17, 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 March 13 1992.[6] The earthquake was a 6.8 on the Richter Scale.[7]

Other websites[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Not specified by law, as appears on the Turkish passports, ID cards and diplomatic missions of Turkey.
  2. as stated in the Treaty of Lausanne

References[change | change source]