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Türkiye Cumhuriyeti{{#if:{{{conventional_long_name|}}}|
Image:Flag of Turkey.svg Image:Turkey coat of arms.png
Flag [[{{{symbol_type_article|{{{symbol_type|Coat of arms}}}}}} of Turkey|{{{symbol_type|Coat of arms}}}]]
Motto: Turkish: Yurtta Sulh, Cihanda Sulh
(English: "Peace at Home, Peace in the World")
Anthem: İstiklâl Marşı
Capital Ankara
Template:Coor dm
{{{largest_settlement_type|Largest city}}} Istanbul}}}
Official language(s) Turkish
Government Republic
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
National Day
 - Formation of Parliament
 - Start of War of Independence
 - Victory Day
 - Declaration of Republic

23 April 1920
19 May 1919
30 August 1922
29 October 1923
 - Total
 - Water (%)
780,580 km² (36th)
301,384 sq mi 
 - 2006 est.{{#if:{{{population_census|}}}|
 - 2000 census}}
 - Density
90/km² (82th 1)
230/sq mi 
 - Total
 - Per capita
2006 estimate
611.6 billion (18th)
8,393 (73nd)
HDI (2003) 0.750 (94th) – medium
Currency New Turkish Lira2 (YTL)
Time zone
 - Summer (DST)
CEST (UTC+2)}}}
Internet TLD .tr
Calling code +90 {{#if:{{{footnotes|}}}|<tr><td colspan="2">{{{footnotes|}}}

Coordinates: Template:Coor dm
The Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)Template:Audio or simply Turkey (Türkiye) is a Eurasian country located mainly in the Anatolian peninsula in Asia, with a small portion of its territory located in the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia, Armenia and the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan to the northeast; Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Republic of Turkey is a democratic laic constitutional republic, whose political system was established in 1923. Turkey is a member state of the United Nations, NATO, OSCE, OECD, OIC and the Council of Europe. In October 2005, the European Union opened accession negotiations with Ankara. Due to its strategic location straddling Europe and Asia and between three seas, Turkey has been a historical crossroads and economic centre, the homeland of and battleground between several great civilizations.



Template:Main, History of the Turkish people Template:History of Republic of Turkey The Turkish Republic was established on 29 October 1923 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. The origins of modern Turkey can be traced back to the arrival of Turkish tribes in Anatolia in the 11th century, under the Seljuks. Following the defeat of the Seljuk Turks by the Mongols, a power vacuum allowed for the new Ottoman dynasty to establish itself as a powerful force in the region. In the 16th century, at the height of its power, the Ottoman Empire grew to cover Anatolia, North Africa, the Middle East, South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Following its defeat in World War I, Western powers sought to partition the empire through the Treaty of Sevres. With the support of the Allies, Greece had occupied Izmir as provided for in the Treaty. On 19 May 1919 this prompted the beginning of a nationalist movement under the command of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself in the Battle of Gallipoli. Kemal Pasha sought to revoke the terms of treaty which had been signed by the Sultan in Istanbul, this involved mobilizing every available part of Turkish society in what would become the Turkish War of Independence (Turkish: Kurtuluş Savaşı).

By 18 September 1922 the occupying Entente (Britain and France) armies were repelled and the country was liberated. This was followed by the abolition of the Sultan's office by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 1 November 1922, thus ending 631 years of Ottoman rule. In 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne recognized the sovereignty of a new Turkish Republic, Kemal was granted the name Atatürk (meaning father of Turks) by the National Assembly and would become the Republic's first President. Atatürk instituted a wide-range of far reaching reforms with the aim of modernizing the new Republic from the remnants of its Ottoman past.

Turkey entered World War II on the Allied side in the latter stages of the war and became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after World War II in quelling a communist rebellion and demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece and resulted in large scale U.S. military and economic support. After participating with United Nations forces in the Korean conflict, Turkey in 1952 joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey intervened militarily in Cyprus in 1974 in response to a Greek coup by the militant nationalist group EOKA-B, backed by DISY. the Democratic Rally, which is the current opposition in the Greek Cypriot dominated Republic of Cyprus. The breakaway de-facto independent Northern Cyprus is not officially recognised by any country except Turkey itself. Turkey is currently in accession talks with the European Union.

There are many different ways of classifying the history of Turkey. The least disputed classification is based on three global periods: The war of independence, the single-party period and the multi-party period. Even if these periods have distinct characteristics, some issues do repeat in every period with subtle differences.


Main Articles: Politics of Turkey, Constitution of Turkey Turkey's political system is based on separation of powers. Its constitution is called 'Anayasa' (Main Law).

Head of State - The function of Head of State is performed by the President "Cumhurbaşkanı". A president is elected every seven years by the Grand National Assembly. The President does not have to be a member of parliament.

Executive power - Executive power rests in the Prime Minister "Başbakan" and the Council of Ministers "Bakanlar Kurulu". The Ministers have to be parliamentarians, however; the Prime Minister is no longer required to be a parliamentarian. The Prime Minister is elected by the parliament with a vote of trust to his government.

Parliament - Legislative power rests in the 550-seat Grand National Assembly "Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi", representing 81 provinces. The Grand National Assembly is elected every five years. To be represented in Parliament, a party must win at least 10% of the national vote in a national parliamentary election. Independent candidates may run. To be elected, they must win at least 10% of the vote in the province from which they are running.

Legal System

Template:Main The freedom and independence of the Judicial System is protected within the constitution. There is no organization, person, or institution which can interfere in the running of the courts, and the executive and legislative structures must obey the courts' decisions. The courts, which are independent in discharging their duties, must explain each ruling on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution, the laws, jurisprudence, and their personal convictions.

The Judicial system is highly structured. Turkish courts have no jury system; judges render decisions after establishing the facts in each case based on evidence presented by lawyers and prosecutors. For minor civil complaints and offenses, justices of the peace take the case. This court has a single judge. It has jurisdiction over misdemeanors and petty crimes, with penalties ranging from small fines to brief prison sentences. Three-judge courts of first instance have jurisdiction over major civil suits and serious crimes. Any conviction in a criminal case can be taken to a court of Appeals for judicial review.

All courts are open to the public. When a case is closed to the public, the court has to publish the reason. Judge and prosecution structures are secured by the constitution. Except with their own consent, no judge or prosecutor can be dismissed, have his/her powers restricted, or be forced to retire. However, the retirement age restrictions do apply. The child courts have their own structure.

A judge can be audited for misconduct only with the Ministry of Justice's permission, in which case a special task force of justice experts and senior judges is formed.

The High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors is the principal body charged with responsibility for ensuring judicial integrity, and determines professional judges acceptance and court assignments. Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is still in head of the High Council.

Turkey is adapting a new national "Judicial Networking System" (UYAP). The court decisions and documents (case info, expert reports, etc) will be accessible via the Internet.

Turkey accepts the European Court of Human Rights' decisions as a higher court decision. Turkey also accepts as legally binding any decisions on international agreements.

Foreign Relations

Template:Main The modern Turkish Republic, which emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, is pursuing peaceful policies in a region that has many conflicts. Some of these conflicts are result of the complications that arose at the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and some are as old as Anatolian history. In this geopolitical region, the determining factor of Turkey's policies is its democratic and secular political system, its choice of a robust, free, market economy (Customs Union with the EU) and a social tradition of reconciling the modern society with cultural identity, and guided through the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's policy of "Peace at Home and Peace Abroad".

As detailed in the article "foreign relations of Turkey", Turkey pursues its stated objective by following a principled and proactive foreign policy that employs a broad spectrum of peaceful means. These entail, inter-alia, membership in the NATO Alliance and full integration with the European Union, taking the lead in regional cooperation processes, promoting good neighbourly relations and economic cooperation, extending humanitarian aid and assistance to the less fortunate, participating in peace-keeping operations and contributing to the resolution of disputes as well as post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction efforts.


Template:Main Turkish Armed Forces (Turkish: Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri TSK) consists of the Army, Navy (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry) and Air Force. The Gendarmerie and Coast Guard operate as the parts of Dept. of Internal Affairs in peacetime and are subordinate to the Army and Navy Commands respectively. In wartime, both have law enforcement and military functions. The Commander-in-Chief is Chief General Staff General Hilmi Özkök.

After becoming a member of the NATO Alliance on February 18, 1952, the Turkish Republic initiated a comprehensive modernization program for its Armed Forces. Towards the end of the 1980s, a restructuring process was initiated in the Turkish Armed Forces.

The Turkish Armed forces, with a combined troop strength of 680,000 people, is the second largest standing force in NATO after the United States. Currently, 45,000 troops are stationed in Turkish-recognised Northern Cyprus. Every fit male Turkish citizen has to serve military service for varying time periods ranging between 1 month to 15 months depending on their education, job location, and occasional paid options. Recently, the picture of Atatürk was removed from the logo of the Turkish Armed Forces following a modernization procedure. This action led to significant debate in the TBMM Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi. However, the picture of Atatürk was placed back in because of public pressure.

The Armed forces have traditionally been a political powerful institution, and have on several occasions intervened directly in political affairs. The role of the military in Turkish politics, mainly through the National Security Council, is however declining, as Turkey undergoes democratization reforms in order to comply with EU's Copenhagen criteria.


Main article: Geography of Turkey

Image:Anatolia composite NASA.png The territory of Turkey extends from 36° to 42° N and from 26° to 45° E in Eurasia. It is roughly rectangular in shape and is 1,660 kilometers (1,031 mi) wide. Turkey's area inclusive of lakes is 814,578 square kilometres (314,510 sq mi), of which 790,200 square kilometres (305,098 sq mi) occupies the Anatolian peninsula in Asia, and 3% or 24,378 square kilometres (9,412 sq mi) are located in Europe. Many geographers consider Turkey politically and culturally in Europe, although it is a transcontinental country between Asia and Europe. The land borders of Turkey total 2,573 kilometres (1,599 mi), and the coastlines (including islands) total another 8,333 kilometres (5,178 mi).

Turkey is generally divided into seven regions: the Marmara, the Aegean, the Mediterranean, Central Anatolia, East Anatolia, Southeast Anatolia and the Black Sea region. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately a of Turkey's total land area.

Turkey forms a bridge between Europe and Asia, with the division between the two running from the Black Sea (Karadeniz) to the north down along the Bosporus (Istanbul Boğazı) strait through the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi) and the Dardanelles (Çanakkale Boğazı) strait to the Aegean Sea (Ege Denizi) and the larger Mediterranean Sea (Akdeniz) to the south. The Anatolian peninsula or Anatolia (Anadolu) consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, in between the Köroğlu and East-Black Sea mountain range to the north and the Taurus Mountains (Toros Dağları) to the south. To the east is found a more mountainous landscape, home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates (Fırat), Tigris (Dicle) and the Araks (Aras), as well as Lake Van (Van Gölü) and Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı), Turkey's highest point at 5,137 metres (16,853 ft).

Image:Slip-dist.png Turkey is also prone to very severe earthquakes. The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey, leading to the creation of the Black Sea. There is an earthquake fault line across the north of the country from west to east. Within the last century there were many earthquakes along this fault line, the sizes and locations of these earthquakes can be seen on the Fault lines & Earthquakes image. This image also includes a small scaled map that shows other fault lines in Turkey.

The climate is a Mediterranean temperate climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet and cold winters, though conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior.

Average Temp High Temp Low Temp Average Hum. Average Rain
Marmara Region 13.5°C 56.3°F 44.6°C 112.3°F -27.8°C -18.0°F 71.2 % 564.3 mm   22.2 in
Aegean Region 15.4°C 59.7°F 48.5°C 119.3°F -45.6°C -50.1°F 60.9 % 706.0 mm   27.8 in
Mediteranian Region 16.4°C 61.5°F 45.6°C 114.1°F -33.5°C -28.3°F 63.9 % 706.0 mm   27.8 in
Black Sea Region 12.3°C 54.1°F 44.2°C 111.6°F -32.8°C -27.0°F 70.9 % 828.5 mm   32.6 in
Central Anatolia 10.6°C 51.1°F 41.8°C 107.2°F -36.2°C -33.2°F 62.6 % 392.0 mm   15.4 in
East Anatolia 9.7°C 49.5°F 44.4°C 111.9°F -45.6°C -50.1°F 60.9 % 569.0 mm   22.4 in
Southeast Anatolia 16.5°C 61.7°F 48.4°C 119.1°F -24.3°C -11.7°F 53.4 % 584.5 mm   23.0 in

Administrative Divisions

Main article: Provinces of Turkey

Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces (iller in Turkish; singular il). Each province is divided into subprovinces (ilçeler; singular ilçe). The province usually bears the same name as the provincial capital, also called the central subprovince; exceptions are Hatay (capital: Antakya), Kocaeli (capital: İzmit) and Sakarya (capital: Adapazarı). Major provinces include: Istanbul 11 million, Ankara 4 million, Izmir 3.5 million, Bursa 2.1 million, Konya 2.2 million, Adana 1.8 million.

The capital of Turkey is the city of Ankara, but the largest city is İstanbul. Other important cities include İzmir, Bursa, Adana, Trabzon, Malatya, Gaziantep, Erzurum, Kayseri, İzmit (Kocaeli), Konya, Mersin, Diyarbakır, Antalya and Samsun. See the list of cities in Turkey.


Image:IstanbulLevent.jpg {{Infobox Country Economy |country=Republic of Turkey |image= |caption= |Fiscal_year=calendar year |Trade_organisations= BSEC, OECD, OID, WTO, customs union with the EU |Pop_poverty=20%(2002) |GDP_by_sector= |Inflation=7.7% (2005) |Labour_force=25,900,000 |Labour_force_by_occupation= |Unemployment=10% (plus underemployment of 4.0%) (2005 est.) |Main_industries= |Exports=$82bn |export_partners=Germany 13.9%, UK 8.8%,
U.S. 7.7%, Italy 7.4%, France 5.8%,
Spain 4.2% |Imports=$137bn |import_partners=Germany 12.9%, Russia 9.3%, Italy 7.1%,
France 6.4%, U.S. 4.8%,
China 4.6%, UK 4.4% |Public_debt=57.8% of GDP (2005) |External_debt= $145B |Revenues= $190B |Expenses= $210B }} Template:Main Template:See also Turkey's economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that in 2004 still accounted for 35% of employment. Turkey has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communications. In recent years, the Turkish economy has expanded particularly strongly, registering growth rates of 8.2% and 7.6% for the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years respectively.

Agricultural sector

Turkey has been self-sufficient in food production since the 1980s. The agricultural output has been growing at a respectable rate. However, since the 1980's agriculture has been in a state of decline in comparison to the total economy. Agricultural loans are issued with negative interest rates. Today, many of the institutions established between 1930 and 1980 continue to play important roles in the practices of farmers. Many old agricultural attitudes remain widespread, but these traditions are expected to change with the EU accession process. Turkey is continuously improving the process of dismantling the incentive system; fertiliser and pesticide subsidies have been curtailed, and remaining price supports have been gradually converted to floor prices. The government has also initiated many planned projects, such as the G.A.P project (Southeastern Anatolia Project). The advent of the G.A.P promises a very prosperous future for the southeastern agriculture.

Given all the efforts of the government, agricultural extension and research services are in relative terms, inadequately organised in Turkey. This has been attributed to shortages of qualified advisers, transportation, and equipment. Agricultural research is distributed among nearly 100 government institutions and universities. The inability to spread the use of new technologies has been attributed to a reluctance of trained personnel to work in the field. The pay disparity in this sector is traditionally very high and incentives to train people do not cover this gap. Research is organised by commodity, with independent units for such major crops as cotton, tobacco, and citrus fruit. Observers note that coordination of the efforts of different research units and links between extension services are inadequate.

The livestock industry, compared to initial years of the republic showed little improvement in productivity, and the later years of the decade saw stagnation. However livestock products, including meat, milk, wool, and eggs, contributed to more than 1/3 of the value of agricultural output.

Industrial sector

The largest industry - and largest exporter - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands, next to petroleum refineries (Izmir, Istanbul, Adana, and Kayseri), Iron and Steel Mill at Karabuk and Eregli Iron and Steel works. Also, brick, tile, glass, leather, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, white goods, metalworking, cordage, flour milling, vegetable oil, sugar beet, paper, plastic production and rubber processing are counted amongst important branches of industry.

The automotive industry, which is the seventh largest in Europe, is also an important part of the economy, since 1970s. Most of the production of machines, consumer goods, and tools take place in hundreds of small machine shops. Large factories of international firms such as Mercedes, FIAT, and Toyota are providing jobs for thousands of people.

Service sector

The road network was an estimated 382,397 km in 1999, including 95,599 km of paved roads and 1,749 km of motorways. The rail network was 8,682 km in 1999, including 2,133 km of electrified track. There are 1,200 km of navigable waterways. There were 118 airports in 1999, including six international airports in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Trabzon, Dalaman and Antalya. Template:Details Telecommunications were liberalised in 2004 after the creation of the Telecommunication Authority. Private sector companies operate in mobile telephony and Internet access. There were 19 million fixed phone lines, 36 million mobile phones, and 12 million Internet users by the August, 2005. Template:Details

Tourism sector

Tourism is one of the most dynamic and fast developing sectors in Turkey. According to the travel agencies TUI and Thomas Cook, 31 hotels out of 100 best hotels of the world are located in Turkey.

In the year 2005 Turkey, 21,122,798 tourists vacationed in Turkey. The total revenue was $18.2 billion and with an average expenditure of $679 per tourist. Over the years, Turkey has emerged as a popular tourist destination for many Europeans, often competing with Greece, Italy and Spain. Turkish destinations such as Antalya and Muğla (sometimes called the Turkish Riviera) have become very popular among European tourists.

Financial sector

"The Central Bank of Republic of Turkey" was founded in 1930, as a privileged joint-stock company. It possesses the sole right to issue notes. It also has the obligation to provide for the monetary requirements of the state agricultural and commercial enterprises. All foreign exchange transfers are exclusively handled by the central bank. The bank has 25 domestic branches, as well as branches in New York, London, Frankfurt, and Zurich.

In 1998 there were 72 banks. In late 2000 and early 2001 a growing trade deficit and weaknesses in the banking sector plunged the economy into crisis. There was a recession followed by the floating of the lira. This financial breakdown brought the number of banks to 31. Currently more then 34% of the assets are concentrated in the Agricultural Bank (Ziraat Bankasi), Housing Bank (Yapi Kredi Bankasi), IsBank and Akbank. There are also Middle Eastern Trading Banks, which practice an Islamic type of trading. The five big state-owned banks restructured during 2001. Political involvement was minimized and loaning policies were changed. However, over-staffing remains a problem.

The Istanbul Stock Exchange opened in 1985 and Istanbul Gold Exchange in 1995.

Government regulations passed in 1929 required all insurance companies to reinsure 30% of each policy with National Reinsurance Corp. In 1954, life insurance was exempted from this requirement. The insurance market is officially regulated through the Ministery of Commerce.

Foreign direct investment in Turkey remained low - less than USD 1 billion annually, up to 2004. 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. As of 2005, foreign direct investment has exceeded US$3 billion, and the foreign investment in the first quarter of 2006 has already exceeded this amount.

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. Since 2003, the inflation has lowered to single digits, and the economy is showing an average growth of 6.2%, between 2003-2005. Fiscal deficit is benefiting (though in small amount) from large industry privatizations.

For a time, the lira was synonymous with an low-valued currency. Recently, the "New Turkish lira" was introduced, worth 1 million old lira. (In essence, they "slashed off some zeroes".) This was meant to be a symbol of a stronger currency, after a long period of high inflation that had devalued the currency so greatly.

Natural resources

Template:Main Turkey is an oil producer, but the level of production isn't enough to make the country self sufficient. As a result, it is a net oil and gas importer.

The pipeline network in Turkey included 1,738 km for crude oil, 2,321 km for petroleum products, and 708 km for natural gas in 1999. Several major new pipelines are planned, especially the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline for Caspian oilfields, the longest one in the world, which recently opened in 2005.

According to the CIA World Factbook, other natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower.

Boron, found abundant in the ore borax, is very rich in Turkey. The country is a very big producer of boron, alongside the United States.

Also, with 127,000 tonnes, Turkey has the world's largest osmium reserves, followed by Bulgaria whose reserves reach about 2,500 tonnes.


To cover the increasing energy needs of its population and ensure the continued raising of its living standard, Turkey plans several nuclear power plants. Nuclear power proposals were presented as early as in the 1960s, but plans were repeatedly canceled even after bids were made by interested manufacturers because of high costs and safety concerns. Turkey has always chosen Candu nuclear reactors because they burn natural uranium which is cheap and available locally and because they can be refueled online. This has caused uneasy feelings to Turkey's neighbors because the complexity of such reactors makes them less safe and because they are suitable for producing weapons grade plutonium.


Turkey's workforce is flexible, with a wide spectrum of skills from the unskilled to highly qualified. Turkey is obliged to apply EU (European Union) employment and social laws to qualify for membership.


With the establishment of the Turkish Environment Ministry in 1991, Turkey began to make significant progress addressing some of its most pressing environmental problems. The most dramatic improvements were significant reductions of air pollution in Istanbul and Ankara. The most pressing needs are for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities, solid waste management and conservation of biodiversity. On average, the environmental performance of private corporations is much better than the large number of state owned enterprises.



{{Infobox Country Demographics |country=Republic of Turkey |image=Image:Turkey-demography.png |caption=1961-2005 |size_of_population=70,413,958
(2006 est.) |growth=1.06% (2006 est.) |birth=16.62 births/1,000
population (2006 est.) |death=5.97 deaths/1,000
population (2006 est.) |life=72.62 years (2006 est.) |life_male=70.18 years |life_female=75.18 years |fertility=1.92 children born/woman (2006 est.) |age_0-14_years=25.5% (male 9,133,226; female 8,800,070) |age_15-64_years= 67.7% (male 24,218,277; female 23,456,761) |age_65_years=6.8% (male 2,198,073; female 2,607,551) (2006 est.) |sr_total_mf_ratio=1.02 male(s)/female |sr_at_birth=1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.) |sr_under_15=1.04 male(s)/female |sr_15-64_years=1.03 male(s)/female |sr_65_years=0.84 male(s)/female |nation=noun: Turk(s) adjective: Turkish |major_ethnic=Turks |minor_ethnic=Abkhazians, Albanians, Arabs, Bosniaks, Chechens, Circassians, Georgians, Kurds, Laz and Zazas. |minorities= Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Hamshenis, Jews, Levantines, Ossetians, Pomaks and Roma |official=Turkish |spoken=Turkish, Kurdish, Azeri, Kabardian }} Template:Main

The legal use of term "Turkish" (a citizen of Turkey) is different than the ethnic definition (an ethnic Turk). However, the majority of the Turkish population are of Turkish ethnicity. The ethnic minorities include, besides the legally defined minorities, Abkhazians, Albanians, Arabs, Bosniaks, Chechens, Circassians, Georgians, Ingushetians, Kabardins, Kurds, Laz, Molokans and Zazas.

The term "minority" itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey, since the Turkish State only considers the communities mentioned in the text of Treaty of Lausanne. Minorities include Armenians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Hamshenis, Jews, Levantines, Ossetians, Pomaks and Roma (Roma is a name for Gypsies).

The largest group of non-Turkic ethnicity are the Kurds, a distinct ethnic group concentrated in the east. The 1965 census determined that 7.1% of the population used Kurdish as their primary language and the knowledge of the language was stated by the 12.7% of the population in total, but there are many Turkish-speaking Kurds. According to the CIA fact book <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>, 20% of the population are estimated to be ethnic Kurds. However, there are no hard figures for the Kurdish population available.

Due to a demand for an increased labour force in Western Europe between 1960 and 1980 many Turkish citizens, emigrated to West Germany, the Netherlands, France and other Western European countries, forming a significant overseas population.


Template:Main Education is compulsory and free from ages 7 to 15. There are around 820 higher education institutes including universities, with a total student enrollment of over 1 million. The 15 main universities are in Istanbul and Ankara. Tertiary education is the responsibility of the Higher Education Council, and funding is provided by the state. From 1998 the universities were given greater autonomy, and were encouraged to raise funds from partnerships with industry.

There are approximately 85 universities in Turkey. There are two types of universities, state and (private) foundational. State universities charge very low fees and foundationals are highly expensive with fees up to $15 000 or sometimes even more. The capacity in total of Turkish universities is approximately 300.000. Some universities can compete with the best world universities whereas some are unable to provide the necessary educational standards due to financial problems and underfunding. However, university students are a lucky minority in Turkey. Universities provide either two or four years of education for undergraduate studies. For graduate studies, two further years is necessary, as is typical throughout the world.

The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey coordinates basic and applied research and development. There are 64 research institutes and organisations. R&D strengths include agriculture, forestry, health, biotechnology, nuclear technologies, minerals, materials, IT, and defence.


Template:Main Turkey has a very diverse culture derived from various elements of the Ottoman Empire, European, and the Islamic traditions. As Turkey successfully transformed from the religion-driven former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation of state and religion, the increase in the methods of artistic expression followed. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into the fine arts, such as paintings, sculptures and architecture amongst other things. This was done as both a process of modernisation and of creating a cultural identity. Today the Turkish economy is diverse enough to subsidise individual artists with great freedom.

Culture of Republic of Turkey
Music Cinema Poetry Prose Turkish Cuisine History of Turkish Literature


Template:Main Nominally, 98%-99% of the population is Muslim. 80-85 % belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. About 15-20% of the population are Alevi Muslims (Shiite). There is also a small but significant Twelver Shi'a minority, mainly of Azeri descent. The remaining 1%-2% of the population are of other religions, mostly Christian (Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic (Gregorian), Syriac Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Protestants), Jewish, Bahá'ís, Yezidis. Atheistic and Agnostic beliefs are widely held amongst the populace.

Unlike other Muslim-majority countries, there is a strong tradition of separation of church and state in Turkey. Even though the state does not have any/or promote any religion, it actively monitors the area between the religions. The constitutional rule that prohibits discrimination on religious grounds is taken very seriously. The Turkish constitution recognises freedom of religion for individuals, and the religious communities are placed under the protection of state, but the constitution explicitly states that they cannot become involved in the political process, by forming a religious party for example. No party can claim that it represents a form of religious belief. However, the religious sensibilities are generally represented through conservative parties.

The mainstream Hanafite school of Sunni Islam is largely organised by the state, through Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (Department of Religious Affairs). The Diyanet is the main Islamic framework established after abolition of the Ulama and Seyh-ul-Islam of the old régime. As a consequence, they control all mosques and Muslim clerics. Imams are trained in Imam vocational schools and at theology departments at universities. The department supports Sunni Islam and has commissions authorised to give Fatwa judgements on Islamic issues. The department is criticised by some Alevi Muslims for not supporting their beliefs.

The Orthodox Patriarch (Patrik) governs the Greek-Orthodox Church in Turkey and acts as the spiritual leader of all Orthodox churches throughout the world, the Armenian Patrik the Armenian Church, while the Jewish community is lead by the Hahambasi, Turkey's Chief Rabbi, all based in Istanbul. The Jewish population in Turkey is one of the largest and most prominent outside of Israel. (See Jews of Turkey for more)

Because of different historical factors playing an important role in defining a Turkish identity, the culture of Turkey is an interesting combination of clear efforts to be "modern" and Western, combined with the necessity felt to maintain traditional religious and historical values.

See also: Judaism in Turkey, Roman Catholicism in Turkey

Images of Turkey

See also


  1. Template:Note Atreya, Navita, McDowall, David, Ozbolat, "Asylum Seekers from Turkey: the Dangers They Flee", (Report of a mission to Turkey), Perihan, 28 February 2001)


External links


Official Web Pages

Public Offices

General Information

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Other Web Pages

Image:Provinces of Turkey1.png Provinces of Turkey Image:Flag of Turkey.svg

Adana | Adıyaman | Afyonkarahisar | Ağrı | Aksaray | Amasya | Ankara | Antalya | Ardahan | Artvin | Aydın | Balıkesir | Bartın | Batman | Bayburt | Bilecik | Bingöl | Bitlis | Bolu | Burdur | Bursa | Çanakkale | Çankırı | Çorum | Denizli | Diyarbakır | Düzce | Edirne | Elazığ | Erzincan | Erzurum | Eskişehir | Gaziantep | Giresun | Gümüşhane | Hakkari | Hatay | Iğdır | Isparta | İçel | İstanbul | İzmir | Kahramanmaraş | Karabük | Karaman | Kars | Kastamonu | Kayseri | Kilis | Kırıkkale | Kırklareli | Kırşehir | Kocaeli | Konya | Kütahya | Malatya | Manisa | Mardin | Muğla | Muş | Nevşehir | Niğde | Ordu | Osmaniye | Rize | Sakarya | Samsun | Şanlıurfa | Siirt | Sinop | Şırnak | Sivas | Tekirdağ | Tokat | Trabzon | Tunceli | Uşak | Van | Yalova | Yozgat | Zonguldak

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Image:Flag of NATO.svg
Belgium | Bulgaria | Canada | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | The Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Turkey | United Kingdom | United States of America
Candidate Countries: Albania | Croatia | Republic of Macedonia

Image:European flag.svg European Union members and candidates Image:European flag.svg
Austria | Belgium | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | United Kingdom
Acceding countries on January 1, 2007: Bulgaria | Romania
Candidate countries: Croatia | Republic of Macedonia | Turkey

Template:Black Sea Template:History of TurksTemplate:Link FA

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