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Republic of Turkey
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)
|Ethnic groups |
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Legislature||Grand National Assembly|
|19 May 1919|
|23 April 1920|
|24 July 1923|
|29 October 1923|
|9 November 1982|
|783,356 km2 (302,455 sq mi) (36th)|
• Water (%)
|2.03 (as of 2015)|
• 31-12-2020 estimate
|109/km2 (282.3/sq mi) (107th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2021 estimate|
|$2.749 trillion (11th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2021 estimate|
|$794.530 billion (20th)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2017)||▲ 43.0|
medium · 56th
|HDI (2019)|| 0.820|
very high · 54th
|Currency||Turkish lira (₺) (TRY)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (TRT)|
|Date format||dd.mm.yyyy (CE)|
|Mains electricity||230 V–50 Hz|
|ISO 3166 code||TR|
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.
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
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
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.
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. 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.
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.
Majority and minorities
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.
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.
Many of the young adults can also speak English, which is taught throughout Primary, Middle and High school.
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.
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.
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.
Some people have wanted Turkey to join the European Union (EU) since the 1990s. Negotiations to join began in 2005.
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.
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