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Introduction Turkey
Background:
Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian 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 authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of 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. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey, mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased. 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; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy, enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.
Geography Turkey
Location:
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
Area:
total: 780,580 sq km
land: 770,760 sq km
water: 9,820 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: 29.81%
permanent crops: 3.39%
other: 66.8% (2005)
Irrigated land:
52,150 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
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, Climate Change, 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
People Turkey
Population:
70,413,958 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.5% (male 9,133,226/female 8,800,070)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 24,218,277/female 23,456,761)
65 years and over: 6.8% (male 2,198,073/female 2,607,551) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 28.1 years
male: 27.9 years
female: 28.3 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.06% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
16.62 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 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: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 39.69 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 43.27 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 35.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.62 years
male: 70.18 years
female: 75.18 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.92 children born/woman (2006 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
Nationality:
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, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian
note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the Europe part of Turkey
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.5%
male: 94.3%
female: 78.7% (2003 est.)
Government Turkey
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:
name: Ankara
geographic coordinates: 39 56 N, 32 52 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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, Icel (Mersin), Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, 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; 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)
head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a single seven-year term; election last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held May 2007); prime minister appointed by the president from among members of parliament
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 in 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%, Anavatan 5.1%, DSP 1.1%, and other; 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 2005 - AKP 357, CHP 154, ANAVATAN 22, DYP 4, SHP 4, HYP 1, independents 4, vacant 4
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:
Anavatan Partisi (once was Motherland Party) or ANAVATAN [Erkan MUMCU]; Democratic Left Party or DSP [Mehmet Zeki SEZER]; Democratic People's Party or DEHAP [Tuncer BAKIRHAN]; Felicity Party (sometimes translated as Contentment Party) or SP [Necmettin ERBAKAN]; Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP; Nationalist Action Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]; People's Rise Party (Halkin Yukselisi Partisi) or HYP [Yasr Nuri OZTURK]; Republican People's Party or CHP [Deniz BAYKAL]; Social Democratic People's Party or SHP [Murat KARAYALCIN]; True Path Party (sometimes translated as Correct Way Party) or DYP [Mehmet AGAR]
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 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 Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or TUSIAD [Omer SABANCI]; 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, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Nabi SENSOY
chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Ross WILSON
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 Turkey
Economy - overview:
Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for more than 35% 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 largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for one-third of industrial employment; it faces stiff competition in international markets with the end of the global quota system. However, other sectors, notably the automotive and electronics industries, are rising in importance within Turkey's export mix. 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. The economy is turning around with the implementation of economic reforms, and 2004 GDP growth reached 9%. Inflation fell to 7.7% in 2005 - a 30-year low. Despite the strong economic gains in 2002-05, which were largely due to renewed investor interest in emerging markets, IMF backing, and tighter fiscal policy, the economy is still burdened by a high current account deficit and high debt. The public sector fiscal deficit exceeds 6% of GDP - due in large part to high interest payments, which accounted for about 37% of central government spending in 2004. Prior to 2005, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey averaged less than $1 billion annually, but further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost FDI. Privatization sales are currently approaching $21 billion.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$572 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$332.5 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.6% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$8,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11.7%
industry: 29.8%
services: 58.5% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
24.7 million
note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 35.9%
industry: 22.8%
services: 41.2% (3rd qtr. 2004)
Unemployment rate:
10.2% plus underemployment of 4% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
20% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 30.7% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
42 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.2% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
19.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $93.58 billion
expenditures: $115.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
68% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock
Industries:
textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper
Industrial production growth rate:
5.9% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
133.6 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 79.3%
hydro: 20.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0.3% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
140.3 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
600 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
1.2 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
50,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
715,100 bbl/day (2005 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:
560 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
22.6 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
15.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
-$23.08 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$72.49 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment
Exports - partners:
Germany 13%, UK 8.2%, Italy 7%, US 6.9%, France 5.1%, Spain 4.2% (2005)
Imports:
$101.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment
Imports - partners:
Germany 13.9%, Russia 10.5%, Italy 7%, France 5.6%, China 4.4%, US 4.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$52.49 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$170.1 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $635.8 million (2002)
Currency (code):
Turkish lira (YTL); old Turkish lira (TRL) before 1 January 2005
Currency code:
TRL, YTL
Exchange rates:
Turkish liras per US dollar - 1.3436 (2005), 1.4255 (2004), 1.5009 (2003), 1.5072 (2002), 1.2256 (2001)
note: on 1 January 2005 the old Turkish Lira (TRL) was converted to new Turkish Lira (YTL) at a rate of 1,000,000 old to 1 new Turkish Lira
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Turkey
Telephones - main lines in use:
19,125,200 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
34,707,500 (2004)
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:
753,394 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
50 (2001)
Internet users:
5.5 million (2003)
Transportation Turkey
Airports:
117 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 89
over 3,047 m: 15
2,438 to 3,047 m: 33
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 28
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 17 (2006)
Heliports:
18 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 3,177 km; oil 3,562 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 8,697 km
standard gauge: 8,697 km 1.435-m gauge (2,122 km electrified) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 347,553 km
paved: 154,807 km (including 1,886 km of expressways)
unpaved: 192,747 km (2004)
Waterways:
1,200 km (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 538 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,745,132 GRT/7,261,125 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 109, cargo 235, chemical tanker 45, combination ore/oil 1, container 26, liquefied gas 5, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 36, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 23, specialized tanker 2
foreign-owned: 10 (Cyprus 3, Italy 3, South Korea 1, Monaco 1, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 1)
registered in other countries: 344 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 5, The Bahamas 10, Belize 8, Cambodia 17, Comoros 10, Dominica 1, France 1, Georgia 24, Honduras 1, Isle of Man 3, North Korea 4, Liberia 2, Libya 2, Malta 101, Marshall Islands 24, Netherlands Antilles 8, Panama 31, Russia 54, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23, Slovakia 8, UK 1, unknown 3) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Aliaga, Ambarli, Eregli, Haydarpasa, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Toros
Military Turkey
Military branches:
Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Land Forces, Naval Forces (includes naval air and naval infantry), Turkish Air Force (Turk Hava Kuvvetleri) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
20 years of age (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 20-49: 16,756,323
females age 20-49: 16,051,706 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 20-49: 13,905,901
females age 20-49: 13,335,812 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 679,734
females age 20-49: 659,090 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$12.155 billion (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.3% (2003)
Military - note:
in the early 1990s, the Turkish Land Force was a large but badly equipped infantry force; there were 14 infantry divisions, but only one was mechanized, and out of 16 infantry brigades, only six were mechanized; the overhaul that has taken place since has produced highly mobile forces with greatly enhanced firepower in accordance with NATO's new strategic concept (2005)
Transnational Issues Turkey
Disputes - international:
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; 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 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces) (2005)
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 and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006