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Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk, or "Father of the Turks." Under his leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of largely one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - now known as the People's Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention and claimed more than 30,000 lives, but since the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents have withdrawn from Turkey, mainly to northern Iraq. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community and is currently undertaking substantial legal and economic reforms in pursuit of full membership in the European Union.

southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria

Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 35 00 E

Map references: Middle East

  • total: 780,580 sq km
  • water: 9,820 sq km
  • land: 770,760 sq km

    Area - comparative: slightly larger than Texas

    Land boundaries:
  • total: 2,648 km
  • border countries: Armenia 268 km, Azerbaijan 9 km, Bulgaria 240 km, Georgia 252 km, Greece 206 km, Iran 499 km, Iraq 352 km, Syria 822 km

    Coastline: 7,200 km

    Maritime claims:
  • territorial sea: 6 nm in the Aegean Sea; 12 nm in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea
  • exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR

    Climate: temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

    Terrain: high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges

    Elevation extremes:
  • lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
  • highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m

    Natural resources: coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower

    Land use:
  • arable land: 30.93%
  • permanent crops: 3.31%
  • other: 65.76% (2001)

    Irrigated land: 42,000 sq km (1998 est.)

    Natural hazards: very severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van

    Environment - current issues: water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic

    Environment - international agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

    Geography - note: strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah's Ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country

    68,893,918 (July 2004 est.)

    Age structure:
  • 0-14 years: 26.6% (male 9,328,108; female 8,990,742)
  • 15-64 years: 66.8% (male 23,394,465; female 22,650,532)
  • 65 years and over: 6.6% (male 2,078,881; female 2,451,190) (2004 est.)

    Median age:
  • total: 27.3 years
  • male: 27.1 years
  • female: 27.5 years (2004 est.)

    Population growth rate: 1.13% (2004 est.)

    Birth rate: 17.22 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)

    Death rate: 5.95 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)

    Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)

    Sex ratio:
  • at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  • 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2004 est.)

    Infant mortality rate:
  • total: 42.62 deaths/1,000 live births
  • female: 38.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
  • male: 46.3 deaths/1,000 live births

    Life expectancy at birth:
  • total population: 72.08 years
  • male: 69.68 years
  • female: 74.61 years (2004 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 1.98 children born/woman (2004 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.1% - note: no country specific models provided (2001 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA

    HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA

  • noun: Turk(s)
  • adjective: Turkish

    Ethnic groups: Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20% (estimated)

    Religions: Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

    Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek

  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 86.5%
  • male: 94.3%
  • female: 78.7% (2003 est.)

    Country name:
  • conventional long form: Republic of Turkey
  • conventional short form: Turkey
  • local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti
  • local short form: Turkiye

    Government type: republican parliamentary democracy

    Capital: Ankara

    Administrative divisions: 81 provinces (iller, singular - il); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

    Independence: 29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)

    National holiday: Republic Day, 29 October (1923)

    Constitution: 7 November 1982

    Legal system: civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; note - member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), although Turkey claims limited derogations on the ratified European Convention on Human Rights

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch: chief of state: President Ahmet Necdet SEZER (since 16 May 2000)
  • elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a seven-year term; election last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2007); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
  • note: a National Security Council serves as an advisory body to the government composed of top military and cabinet officials and presided over by the president
  • cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
    head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003)
  • election results: Ahmed Necdet SEZER elected president on the third ballot; percent of National Assembly vote - 60%
  • note: president must have a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on the first two ballots and a simple majority on the third ballot

    Legislative branch: unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
  • elections: last held 3 November 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); note - a special rerun of the General Election in the province of Siirt on 9 March 2003 resulted in the election of Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN to a seat in parliament, a prerequisite for becoming prime minister on 14 March 2003
  • election results: percent of vote by party - AKP 34.3%, CHP 19.4%, DYP 9.6%, MHP 8.3%, ANAP 5.1%, DSP 1.1%, and others; seats by party - AKP 363, CHP 178, independents 9; note - parties surpassing the 10% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; seats by party as of 1 December 2004 - AKP 368, CHP 171, DYP 4, LDP 1, independents 5, vacant 1

    Judicial branch: Constitutional Court; High Court of Appeals (Yargitay); Council of State (Danistay); Court of Accounts (Sayistay); Military High Court of Appeals; Military High Administrative Court

    Political parties and leaders: Democratic Left Party or DSP [Mehmet Zeki SEZER]; Democratic People's Party or DEHAP [Tuncer BAKIRHAN]; Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayip ERDOGAN]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Emin SIRIN]; Motherland Party or ANAP [leader NA]; Nationalist Action Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]; Republican People's Party or CHP (includes the New Turkey Party) [Deniz BAYKAL]; Felicity Party (sometimes translated as Contentment Party) or SP [Necmettin ERBEKAN]; Social Democratic People's Party or SHP [Murat KARAYALCIN]; True Path Party (sometimes translated as Correct Way Party) or DYP [Mehmet AGAR]; Young Party or GP [Cem UZAN]
  • note: the parties listed above are some of the more significant of the 49 parties that Turkey had on 1 December 2004

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Confederation of Public Sector Unions or KESK [Sami EVREN]; Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Suleyman CELEBI]; Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or MUSIAD [Omer BOLAT]; Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Salim USLU]; Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or TUSIAD [Omer SABANCI]; Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions or TISK [Refik BAYDUR]; Turkish Confederation of Labor or Turk-Is [Salih KILIC]; Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen or TESK [Dervis GUNDAY]; Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [M. Rifat HISARCIKLIOGLU]

    International organization participation: AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CERN (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNMISET, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Osman Faruk LOGOGLU
    FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744
  • consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York
  • chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
  • telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
  • chief of mission: Ambassador Eric S. EDELMAN
  • embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
    mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823
    telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555
    FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019
  • consulate(s) general: Istanbul
  • consulate(s): Adana; note - there is a Consular Agent in Izmir

    Flag description: red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening

    Economy - overview:
    Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that in 2001 still accounted for 40% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The most important industry - and largest exporter - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands. 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 accounted for more than 40% of central government spending in 2003. Inflation, in recent years in the high double-digit range, fell to 11.3% in 2004. Perhaps because of these problems, foreign direct investment in Turkey remains low - less than $1 billion annually. Results in 2002-04 improved, because of strong financial support from the IMF and tighter fiscal policy. A major political and economic issue over the next decade is whether or not Turkey will become a member of the EU.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $458.2 billion (2003 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 5.8% (2003 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,700 (2003 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
  • agriculture: 11.7%
  • industry: 29.8%
  • services: 58.5% (2003 est.)

    Investment (gross fixed): 15.5% of GDP (2003)

    Population below poverty line: 18% (2001)

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
  • lowest 10%: 2.3%
  • highest 10%: 32.3% (1994)

    Distribution of family income - Gini index: 44 (2002)

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 25.3% (2003 est.)

    Labor force: 23.79 million
  • note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2003)

    Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 39.7%, industry 22.4%, services 37.9% (3rd quarter, 2001)

    Unemployment rate: 10.5% (plus underemployment of 6.1%) (2003 est.)

    Budget: revenues: $66.79 billion
    expenditures: $93.31 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)

    Public debt: 78.7% of GDP (2003)

    Agriculture - products: tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock

    Industries: textiles, food processing, autos, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

    Industrial production growth rate: 8.5% (2003 est.)

    Electricity - production: 116.6 billion kWh (2001)

    Electricity - consumption: 112.6 billion kWh (2001)

    Electricity - exports: 433 million kWh (2001)

    Electricity - imports: 4.579 billion kWh (2001)

    Oil - production: 48,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)

    Oil - consumption: 619,500 bbl/day (2001 est.)

    Oil - exports: 46,110 bbl/day (2001)

    Oil - imports: 616,500 bbl/day (2001)

    Oil - proved reserves: 288.4 million bbl (1 January 2002)

    Natural gas - production: 312 million cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - consumption: 15.94 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - imports: 15.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)

    Natural gas - proved reserves: 8.685 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

    Current account balance: $-6.806 billion (2003)

    Exports: $49.12 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

    Exports - commodities: apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

    Exports - partners: Germany 15.8%, US 8%, UK 7.8%, Italy 6.8%, France 6% (2003)

    Imports: $62.43 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)

    Imports - commodities: machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

    Imports - partners: Germany 13.6%, Italy 7.9%, Russia 7.8%, France 6%, UK 5%, US 5%, Switzerland 4.3% (2003)

    Reserves of foreign exchange & gold: $35.55 billion (2003)

    Debt - external: $147.3 billion (2003)

    Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $300 million (2000)

    Currency: Turkish lira (TRL)

    Currency code: TRL

    Exchange rates: Turkish liras per US dollar - NA (2003), 1,507,230 (2002), 1,225,590 (2001), 625,218 (2000), 418,783 (1999), 151,865 (1997)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Telephones - main lines in use:
    18,916,700 (2003)

    Telephones - mobile cellular: 27,887,500 (2003)

    Telephone system:
  • general assessment: undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially with cellular telephones
  • domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; the number of subscribers to mobile cellular telephone service is growing rapidly
  • international: country code - 90; international service is provided by three submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linking Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; also by 12 Intelsat earth stations, and by 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2002)

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 107, shortwave 6 (2001)

    Radios: 11.3 million (1997)

    Television broadcast stations: 635 (plus 2,934 repeaters) (1995)

    Televisions: 20.9 million (1997)

    Internet country code: .tr

    Internet hosts: 355,215 (2004)

    Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 50 (2001)
    Internet users: 5.5 million (2003)

  • total: 8,671 km
  • standard gauge: 8,671 km 1.435-m gauge (2,122 km electrified) (2003)

  • total: 385,960 km
  • paved: 131,226 km (including 1,749 km of expressways)
  • unpaved: 254,734 km (1999)

    Waterways: 1,200 km (2003)

    Pipelines: gas 3,177 km; oil 3,562 km (2004)

    Ports and harbors: Gemlik, Hopa, Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Icel (Mersin), Samsun, Trabzon

    Merchant marine:
  • total: 508 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,666,895 GRT/7,311,504 DWT
  • by type: bulk 111, cargo 229, chemical tanker 46, combination bulk 1, combination ore/oil 2, container 34, liquefied gas 6, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 36, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 26, short-sea/passenger 8, specialized tanker 3
  • foreign-owned: Belize 1, Cambodia 1, China 1, Cyprus 4, Greece 1, Italy 3, Liberia 1, Monaco 1, Switzerland 1, Thailand 1, United Kingdom 9
  • registered in other countries: 243 (2003 est.)

    Airports: 120 (2003 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
  • total: 87
  • over 3,047 m: 16
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 17
  • under 914 m: 4 (2004 est.)
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 20

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
  • total: 32
  • under 914 m: 20 (2004 est.)
  • over 3,047 m: 1
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 8
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2

    Heliports: 14 (2003 est.)

    Military branches:
    Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Land Forces, Naval Forces Command (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry), Air Force, Coast Guard Command, Gendarmerie (Jandarma)

    Military manpower - military age and obligation: 20 years of age (2004 est.)

    Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 19,828,702 (2004 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service: males age 15-49: 11,965,262 (2004 est.)

    Military manpower - reaching military age annually: males: 680,673 (2004 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $12.155 billion (2003)

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5.3% (2003)

    Transnational Issues
    Disputes - international:
    complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; Cyprus question remains with Greece; Syria and Iraq protest Turkish hydrological projects to control upper Euphrates waters; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; border with Armenia remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh
    Refugees and internally displaced persons: IDPs: 350,000-1,000,000 (fighting from 1984-1999 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces) (2004)
    Illicit drugs: key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and - to a far lesser extent the US - via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish, Iranian, and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin are in remote regions of Turkey as well as near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate

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