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Republic of Turkey
Location of Turkey
|Legislature||Grand National Assembly|
|Succession to the Ottoman Empire |
to the Ottoman Empire
|24 July 1923|
• Declaration of Republic
|29 October 1923|
|783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi) (37th)|
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
• 2000 census
|97/km2 (251.2/sq mi) (108th)|
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 has a strong economy. Its warm climate lets many kinds of food crops grow, and livestock and forestry are important industries. Turkey is one of the countries in the world that makes enough food to feed itself. There is a strong manufacturing sector making airplanes, electronics, cars, clothing and textiles for home and for other countries.
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 Persian Achaemenid, 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, 1,500,000 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") 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 other countries in the world said they were terrorists. In 2013 the PKK stopped fighting.
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, kebap, iskender kebap, Turkish dessert, baklava, çiğ börek, içli köfte, and other foods.
Much of the population in Turkey is made up of teenagers and young adults.
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 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.
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.
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.
Many of the young adults can also speak English, which is taught throughout Middle and High school.
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.
Majority and Minorities
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.
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.
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