Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Turkey

Turkey

Overview
Turkey known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n country located in Western Asia (mostly in the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n peninsula) and in East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

 in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 to the northwest; Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 to the west; Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 to the northeast; Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to the east; and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the southeast.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Turkey'
Start a new discussion about 'Turkey'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Timeline

526   A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000.

1509   The Battle of Diu takes place near Diu, India, between Portugal and Turkey.

1565   The Knights of Malta lift the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1826   French philhellene Charles Nicolas Fabvier forces his way through the Turkish cordon and ascends the Acropolis of Athens, which had been under siege.

1831   Great Bosnian uprising: Bosniak rebel against Turkey.

1853   Crimean War: Battle of Sinop — The Imperial Russian Navy under Pavel Nakhimov destroys the Ottoman fleet under Osman Pasha at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey.

1863   Robert College of Istanbul-Turkey, the first American educational institution outside the United States, is founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1878   Greece declares war on Turkey.

1903   Fall of the Ottoman Empire: an unsuccessful uprising led by the Internal Macedonian-Adrianople Revolutionary Organization against Ottoman Turkey, also known as the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising, takes place.

1911   First use of aircraft in war: An Italian pilot takes off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines during the Turco-Italian War.

 
Encyclopedia
Turkey known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasia
Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

n country located in Western Asia (mostly in the Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n peninsula) and in East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

 in Southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 to the northwest; Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 to the west; Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 to the northeast; Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 (the exclave of Nakhchivan) and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to the east; and Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 are to the south; the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 to the west; and the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 is to the north. The Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 (which together form the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
The term Turkish Straits refers to the two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, that connect the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea on one side and the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the...

) demarcate the boundary between East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

 and Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

; they also separate Europe and Asia.

Turkey is one of the six independent Turkic states. The vast majority of the population are Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

s. The country's official language is Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, whereas Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

 and Zazaki language
Zazaki language
Zazaki is an Indo-European language spoken primarily in eastern Turkey. According to Ethnologue, the language is a part of the northwestern group of the Iranian section of the Indo-European family. Zazaki shares many features, structures, and vocabulary with Gorani, Talyshi and other Caspian...

s are spoken by Kurds
Kurdish people
The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

 and Zazas
Zaza people
The Zazas, Kird, Kirmanc or Dimilis are an ethnic Iranic people whose native language is Zazaki spoken in eastern Anatolia. They primarily live in the eastern Anatolian provinces, such as Adıyaman, Aksaray, Batman, Bingöl, Diyarbakır, Elazığ, Erzurum, Erzincan , Gumushane, Kars, Malatya, Mus,...

, who constitute 18% of the population.

Oghuz Turks
Oghuz Turks
The Turkomen also known as Oghuz Turks were a historical Turkic tribal confederation in Central Asia during the early medieval Turkic expansion....

 began migrating into the area now called Turkey (derived from the Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 Turchia, i.e. "Land of the Turks") in the 11th century. The process was greatly accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 at the Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert , was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert...

. Several small beyliks and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm
Sultanate of Rûm
The Sultanate of Rum , also known as the Anatolian Seljuk State , was a Turkic state centered in in Anatolia, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. Since the court of the sultanate was highly mobile, cities like Kayseri and Sivas also functioned at times as capitals...

 ruled Anatolia until the Mongol
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

 invasion. Starting from the 13th century, the Ottoman beylik united Anatolia and created an empire encompassing much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. After the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 collapsed following its defeat in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

. A cadre of young military officers, led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 and his colleagues, organized a successful resistance to the Allies; in 1923, they would establish the modern Republic of Turkey with Atatürk as its first president.

Turkey is a democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, secular
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

, unitary
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

, constitutional republic
Constitutional republic
A constitutional republic is a state in which the head of state and other officials are representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over all of its citizens...

 with an ancient cultural heritage. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

, NATO, OECD, OSCE and the G-20 major economies
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

. Turkey began full membership negotiations
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963...

 with the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 in 2005, having been an associate member
Ankara Agreement
The Agreement Creating An Association Between The Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community , made in 1963, is an agreement aiming towards the accession of Turkey into the European Economic Community ....

 of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 since 1963 and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Turkey has also fostered close cultural, political, economic and industrial relations with the Middle East, the Turkic states of Central Asia and the African countries through membership in organizations such as the Turkic Council
Turkic Council
The Turkic Council is an international organization comprising Turkic countries. It was founded on 3 October 2009 in Nakhchivan. The General Secretariat is in İstanbul, Turkey. The member countries are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. The remaining two Turkic states, Turkmenistan and...

, Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture
Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture
The Joint Administration of Turkic Arts and Culture is an international cultural organization of countries with Turkic populations, speaking languages belonging to the Turkic language family....

, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Economic Cooperation Organization
Economic Cooperation Organization
The Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc...

.

Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance. Given its strategic location, large economy and military strength, Turkey is a major regional power
Regional power
In international relations, a regional power is a state that has power within a geographic region. States which wield unrivaled power and influence within a region of the world possess regional hegemony.-Characteristics:...

.

Etymology


The name of Turkey, Türkiye in the Turkish language
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

, can be divided into two components: the ethnonym
Ethnonym
An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms and autonyms or endonyms .As an example, the ethnonym for...

 Türk
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

and the abstract suffix –iye meaning "owner", "land of" or "related to" (derived from the Arabic suffix –iyya, which is similar to the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 and Latin suffixes –ia). The first recorded use of the term "Türk" or "Türük" as an autonym
Exonym and endonym
In ethnolinguistics, an endonym or autonym is a local name for a geographical feature, and an exonym or xenonym is a foreign language name for it...

 is contained in the Orkhon inscriptions
Orkhon script
The Old Turkic script is the alphabet used by the Göktürk and other early Turkic Khanates from at least the 7th century to record the Old Turkic language. It was later used by the Uyghur Empire...

 of the Göktürks
Göktürks
The Göktürks or Kök Türks, were a nomadic confederation of peoples in medieval Inner Asia. Known in Chinese sources as 突厥 , the Göktürks under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan The Göktürks or Kök Türks, (Old Turkic: Türük or Kök Türük or Türük; Celestial Turks) were a nomadic confederation of...

 (Celestial Turks) of Central Asia (c. 8th century CE). The English word "Turkey" is derived from the Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin
Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in the Middle Ages, primarily as a medium of scholarly exchange and as the liturgical language of the medieval Roman Catholic Church, but also as a language of science, literature, law, and administration. Despite the clerical origin of many of its authors,...

 Turchia (c. 1369). The Greek cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 of this name, Tourkia
Tourkia
Tourkia may be:*the modern Greek name of Turkey*in medieval Greek , the name of the Khazar Khaganate and of the Hungary...

was originally used by the Byzantines
Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines is a conventional term used by modern historians to refer to the medieval Greek or Hellenised citizens of the Byzantine Empire, centered mainly in Constantinople, the southern Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor , Cyprus and the large urban centres of the Near East...

 to describe medieval HungaryOn the right side of the Corona Græca in the Holy Crown of Hungary, there is a picture of the Hungarian King Géza I (1074–1077), with the Byzantine Greek inscription: "ΓΕΩΒΙΤZΑC ΠΙΣΤΟC ΚΡΑΛΗC ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑC" (Geōvitzas pistós králēs Tourkías, meaning "Géza I, faithful kralj
Kralj
Kralj is a South Slavic surname and title. It literally means "king" and is derived from Charles the Great in the same sense as Tsar is to Caesar...

 of the land of the Turks
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

"). The contemporary Byzantine name for the Hungarians was "Turks".
(since pre-Magyar Hungary
History of Hungary
Hungary is a country in central Europe. Its history under this name dates to the early Middle Ages, when the Pannonian Basin was colonized by the Magyars, a semi-nomadic people from what is now central-northern Russia...

 was occupied by proto-Turkic and Turkic tribes, such as the Huns
Huns
The Huns were a group of nomadic people who, appearing from east of the Volga River, migrated into Europe c. AD 370 and established the vast Hunnic Empire there. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns,...

, Avars
Eurasian Avars
The Eurasian Avars or Ancient Avars were a highly organized nomadic confederacy of mixed origins. They were ruled by a khagan, who was surrounded by a tight-knit entourage of nomad warriors, an organization characteristic of Turko-Mongol groups...

, Bulgars
Bulgars
The Bulgars were a semi-nomadic who flourished in the Pontic Steppe and the Volga basin in the 7th century.The Bulgars emerge after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire in the 5th century....

, Kabars
Kabar
The Khavars or erroneously Kabars were Khazarians, therefore Turkic people who joined to the Magyars  in the 8th century.- History :...

, Pechenegs and Cumans.) Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire
Khazars
The Khazars were semi-nomadic Turkic people who established one of the largest polities of medieval Eurasia, with the capital of Atil and territory comprising much of modern-day European Russia, western Kazakhstan, eastern Ukraine, Azerbaijan, large portions of the northern Caucasus , parts of...

, a Turkic state on the northern shores of the Black
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and Caspian
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 seas, was referred to as Tourkia
Tourkia
Tourkia may be:*the modern Greek name of Turkey*in medieval Greek , the name of the Khazar Khaganate and of the Hungary...

(Land of the Turks) in Byzantine sources. However, the Byzantines later began using this name to define the Seljuk
Sultanate of Rûm
The Sultanate of Rum , also known as the Anatolian Seljuk State , was a Turkic state centered in in Anatolia, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. Since the court of the sultanate was highly mobile, cities like Kayseri and Sivas also functioned at times as capitals...

-controlled parts of Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 in the centuries that followed the Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert , was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert...

 in 1071.

Antiquity


The Anatolian peninsula
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions in the world. The earliest Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 settlements such as Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 5700 BCE...

 (Pottery Neolithic), Çayönü
Çayönü
Çayönü is a Neolithic settlement in southern Turkey inhabited around 7200 to 6600 BC. It is located forty kilometres north-west of Diyarbakır, at the foot of the Taurus mountains...

 (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A denotes the first stage in early Levantine Neolithic culture, dating around 9500 to 8500 BC. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent...

 to Pottery Neolithic), Nevalı Çori
Nevali Cori
Nevalı Çori was an early Neolithic settlement on the middle Euphrates, in the province of Şanlıurfa , eastern Turkey. The site is famous for having revealed some of the world's most ancient known temples and monumental sculpture...

 (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
Pre-Pottery Neolithic B is a division of the Neolithic developed by Dame Kathleen Kenyon during her archaeological excavations at Jericho in the southern Levant region....

), Hacılar
Hacilar
Hacilar is an early human settlement in southwestern Turkey, 25 km southwest of present day Burdur. It has been dated back 7040 BC at its earliest stage of development. Archaeological remains indicate that the site was abandoned and reoccupied on more than one occasion in its...

 (Pottery Neolithic), Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe
Göbekli Tepe [ɡøbe̞kli te̞pɛ] is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge in southeastern Turkey, some northeast of the town of Şanlıurfa . It is the oldest human-made religious structure yet discovered...

 (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and Mersin
Mersin
-Mersin today:Today, Mersin is a large city spreading out along the coast, with Turkey's second tallest skyscraper , huge hotels, an opera house, expensive real estate near the sea or up in the hills, and many other modern urban...

 (Yumuktepe
Yumuktepe
Yumuktepe is a tumulus at within the city borders of Mersin, Turkey. In 1936 the tumulus was at the outskirts of Mersin. But after the rapid increase of population, now the tumulus is in the Toroslar municipality of Mersin....

) are considered to be among the earliest human settlements in the world.

The settlement of Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

 started in the Neolithic and continued into the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

. Through recorded history, Anatolians have spoken Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, Semitic
Semitic languages
The Semitic languages are a group of related languages whose living representatives are spoken by more than 270 million people across much of the Middle East, North Africa and the Horn of Africa...

 and Kartvelian languages, as well as many languages of uncertain affiliation. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite
Hittite language
Hittite is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia...

 and Luwian
Luwian language
Luwian is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian is closely related to Hittite, and was among the languages spoken during the second and first millennia BC by population groups in central and western Anatolia and northern Syria...

 languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The Hattians
Hattians
The Hattians were an ancient people who inhabited the land of Hatti in present-day central part of Anatolia, Turkey, noted at least as early as the empire of Sargon of Akkad , until they were gradually displaced and absorbed ca...

 were an ancient people who inhabited the Central Anatolia, noted at least as early as ca. 2300. Indo-European Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed Hattians ca. 2000–1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

, from the eighteenth through the 13th century BC. The Assyria
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

ns colonized parts of southeastern Turkey as far back as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC, when the Assyrian Empire was conquered by the Chaldean dynasty
Chaldea
Chaldea or Chaldaea , from Greek , Chaldaia; Akkadian ; Hebrew כשדים, Kaśdim; Aramaic: ܟܐܠܕܘ, Kaldo) was a marshy land located in modern-day southern Iraq which came to briefly rule Babylon...

 in Babylon
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

. Following the Hittite collapse, the Phrygia
Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

ns, an Indo-European people, achieved ascendancy until their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians
Cimmerians
The Cimmerians or Kimmerians were ancient equestrian nomads of Indo-European origin.According to the Greek historian Herodotus, of the 5th century BC, the Cimmerians inhabited the region north of the Caucasus and the Black Sea during the 8th and 7th centuries BC, in what is now Ukraine and Russia...

 in the 7th century BC. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

, Caria
Caria
Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there...

 and Lycia
Lycia
Lycia Lycian: Trm̃mis; ) was a region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey. It was a federation of ancient cities in the region and later a province of the Roman Empire...

. The Lydians and Lycians spoke languages that were fundamentally Indo-European, but both languages had acquired non-Indo-European elements prior to the Hittite and Hellenistic
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 periods.

Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 was heavily settled by Aeolian
Aeolians
The Aeolians were one of the four major ancient Greek tribes comprising Ancient Greeks. Their name derives from Aeolus, the mythical ancestor of the Aeolic branch and son of Hellen, the mythical patriarch of the Greek nation...

 and Ionian
Ionians
The Ionians were one of the four major tribes into which the Classical Greeks considered the population of Hellenes to have been divided...

 Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

. Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus
Miletus
Miletus was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Anatolia , near the mouth of the Maeander River in ancient Caria...

, Ephesus
Ephesus
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor, near present-day Selçuk, Izmir Province, Turkey. It was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the Classical Greek era...

, Smyrna
Smyrna
Smyrna was an ancient city located at a central and strategic point on the Aegean coast of Anatolia. Thanks to its advantageous port conditions, its ease of defence and its good inland connections, Smyrna rose to prominence. The ancient city is located at two sites within modern İzmir, Turkey...

 (modern İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

), and Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 (later Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

). The first state established in Anatolia that was called Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

 by neighboring peoples (Hecataeus of Miletus and Behistun Inscription
Behistun Inscription
The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون...

) was the state of the Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 Orontid dynasty
Orontid Dynasty
The Orontid Dynasty The Orontid Dynasty The Orontid Dynasty (also known by their native name, Yervanduni was a hereditary Armenian dynasty and the rulers of the successor state to the Iron Age kingdom of Ararat...

. Anatolia was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

 during the 6th and 5th centuries BC and later fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Anatolia was subsequently divided into a number of small Hellenistic kingdoms
Hellenistic civilization
Hellenistic civilization represents the zenith of Greek influence in the ancient world from 323 BCE to about 146 BCE...

 (including Bithynia
Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

, Cappadocia
Cappadocia
Cappadocia is a historical region in Central Anatolia, largely in Nevşehir Province.In the time of Herodotus, the Cappadocians were reported as occupying the whole region from Mount Taurus to the vicinity of the Euxine...

, Pergamum
Pergamon
Pergamon , or Pergamum, was an ancient Greek city in modern-day Turkey, in Mysia, today located from the Aegean Sea on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus , that became the capital of the Kingdom of Pergamon during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281–133 BC...

, and Pontus
Pontus
Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

), all of which had succumbed to the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 by the mid-1st century BC.

In 324, the Roman emperor Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 chose Byzantium
Byzantium
Byzantium was an ancient Greek city, founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 667 BC and named after their king Byzas . The name Byzantium is a Latinization of the original name Byzantion...

 to be the new capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, renaming it New Rome
New Rome
The term "New Rome" has been used in the following contexts:* "Nova Roma" is traditionally reported to be the Latin name given by emperor Constantine the Great to the new imperial capital he founded in 324 at the city on the European coast of the Bosporus strait, known as Byzantium until then and...

 (later Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 and Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

). After the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

, it became the capital of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 (Eastern Roman Empire).

Turks and the Ottoman Empire


The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks
Oghuz Turks
The Turkomen also known as Oghuz Turks were a historical Turkic tribal confederation in Central Asia during the early medieval Turkic expansion....

 who resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian
Caspian Sea
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of and a volume of...

 and Aral Sea
Aral Sea
The Aral Sea was a lake that lay between Kazakhstan in the north and Karakalpakstan, an autonomous region of Uzbekistan, in the south...

s in the Yabghu Khagan
Khagan
Khagan or qagan , alternatively spelled kagan, khaghan, qaghan, or chagan, is a title of imperial rank in the Mongolian and Turkic languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate...

ate of the Oğuz confederacy in the 10th century. In the 11th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland of Oghuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert
Battle of Manzikert
The Battle of Manzikert , was fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks led by Alp Arslan on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert...

 in 1071.

The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts of Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia and Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

.

In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols
Mongol Empire
The Mongol Empire , initially named as Greater Mongol State was a great empire during the 13th and 14th centuries...

, causing the Seljuk empire's power to slowly disintegrate. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I
Osman I
Osman I or Othman I or El-Gazi Sultan Osman Ghazi, or Osman Bey or I. Osman, Osman Gazi Han), nicknamed "Kara" for his courage, was the leader of the Ottoman Turks, and the founder of the dynasty that established and ruled the Ottoman Empire...

 would, over the next 200 years, evolve into the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, expanding throughout Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 and the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

. In 1453, the Ottomans completed their conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

.

The Ottoman Empire's power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman the Magnificent
Suleiman I was the tenth and longest-reigning Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, from 1520 to his death in 1566. He is known in the West as Suleiman the Magnificent and in the East, as "The Lawgiver" , for his complete reconstruction of the Ottoman legal system...

. The empire was often at odds with the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

 in its steady advance towards Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. At sea, the empire contended with the Holy Leagues, composed of Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

, the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 and the Knights of St. John, for control of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. In the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, the Ottoman navy frequently confronted Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 fleets in order to defend its traditional monopoly over the maritime trade routes between East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 and Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

; these routes faced new competition with the Portuguese discovery of the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 in 1488. In addition, the Ottomans were occasionally at war with Persia over territorial disputes or caused by religious differences between 16th and 18th centuries.

During nearly two centuries of decline
Decline of the Ottoman Empire
The Decline of the Ottoman Empire is the period that followed after the Stagnation of the Ottoman Empire in which the empire experienced several economic and political setbacks. Directly affecting the Empire at this time was Russian imperialism...

, the Ottoman Empire gradually shrank in size, military power, and wealth. It entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 and was ultimately defeated. During the war, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 were deported and exterminated in the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

. The Turkish government denies that there was an Armenian genocide
Genocide
Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

 and claims that Armenians were only relocated
Population transfer
Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

 from the eastern war zone. Large scale massacres were also committed against the empire's other minority groups such as the Greeks
Ottoman Greeks
Ottoman Greeks were ethnic Greeks who lived in the Ottoman Empire , the Republic of Turkey's predecessor...

 and Assyrians. Following the Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros
The Armistice of Moudros , concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I...

 on October 30, 1918, the victorious Allied Powers
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 sought to partition the Ottoman state
Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
The Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire was a political event that occurred after World War I. The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples formerly ruled by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new nations.The partitioning was planned from the early days of the war,...

 through the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres
Treaty of Sèvres
The Treaty of Sèvres was the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany before this treaty to annul the German concessions including the economic rights and enterprises. Also, France, Great Britain and Italy...

.

Republic era



The occupation of Constantinople and Smyrna by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 Pasha
Pasha
Pasha or pascha, formerly bashaw, was a high rank in the Ottoman Empire political system, typically granted to governors, generals and dignitaries. As an honorary title, Pasha, in one of its various ranks, is equivalent to the British title of Lord, and was also one of the highest titles in...

, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

, the Turkish War of Independence
Turkish War of Independence
The Turkish War of Independence was a war of independence waged by Turkish nationalists against the Allies, after the country was partitioned by the Allies following the Ottoman Empire's defeat in World War I...

 was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.

By September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were expelled, and the new Turkish state was established. On November 1, the newly founded parliament
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

 formally abolished the Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

ate, thus ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

 of July 24, 1923, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of Turkey" as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923, in the new capital of Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

.

Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first President
President of Turkey
The President of Turkey is the head of state of the Republic of Turkey. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office but has some important functions...

 and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of founding a new secular republic from the remnants of its Ottoman past. With the Surname Law
Surname Law (Turkey)
The Surname Law of the Republic of Turkey was adopted on June 21, 1934. The law required all citizens of Turkey to adopt the use of surnames. Turkey's Christian and Jewish citizens were already using surnames, but Muslims generally did not use Western-style surnames...

 of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Mustafa Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father of the Turks.)

Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II but entered on the side of the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 on February 23, 1945, as a ceremonial gesture and in 1945 became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
The term Turkish Straits refers to the two narrow straits in northwestern Turkey, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, that connect the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea on one side and the Aegean arm of the Mediterranean Sea on the other. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the...

, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine
Truman Doctrine
The Truman Doctrine was a policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S Truman in a speech on March 12, 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere...

 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
Turkey-United States relations
Turkey – United States relationsIn the post-World War II period evolved from the Second Cairo Conference in December 1943 and Turkey's entrance into World War II on the side of the Allies in February 1955, as a result of which Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations...

.

After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

. Following a decade of Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence
Cypriot intercommunal violence refers to periods of sectarian conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus from 1963 to 1974.-Background:...

 and the Greek military coup of 15 July 1974
EOKA B
EOKA-B was a Greek Cypriot paramilitary organisation formed in 1971. It followed a right-wing nationalistic ideology and had the ultimate goal of achieving the enosis of Cyprus with Greece...

, overthrowing President Makarios
Makarios III
Makarios III , born Andreas Christodolou Mouskos , was the archbishop and primate of the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church and the first President of the Republic of Cyprus ....

 and installing Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson
Nikos Sampson was the de facto president of Cyprus who succeeded Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus, in 1974. Sampson was a journalist and a member of EOKA, which rose against the British colonial administration, seeking Enosis of the island of Cyprus with Greece...

 as dictator, Turkey invaded the island Republic of Cyprus
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

 on 20 July. Nine years later the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

 which is only recognised by Turkey was established.

The single-party period
Single-Party Period of Republic of Turkey
The single-party period of the Republic of Turkey begins with the Republican People's Party being the only party between 1925 and 1945. It ends with the establishment of National Development Party . End of single party period marked with Republican People's Party leaving the majority to Democratic...

 ended in 1945. It was followed by a tumultuous transition to multiparty democracy over the next few decades, which was interrupted by military coups d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

 in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. In 1984, the PKK
Kurdistan Workers' Party
The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

 began an insurgency against the Turkish government; the conflict, which has claimed over 40,000 lives, continues today. Since the liberalization of the Turkish economy during the 1980s, the country has enjoyed stronger economic growth and greater political stability.

Politics



Turkey is a parliamentary
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong tradition of secularism
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

. Turkey's constitution
Constitution of Turkey
This article relates to a current event. See also the Turkish constitutional referendum, 2010The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey is Turkey's fundamental law. It establishes the organization of the government and sets out the principles and rules of the state's conduct along with its...

 governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state.

The President of the Republic is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a five-year term by direct elections. Abdullah Gül
Abdullah Gül
Dr. Abdullah Gül, GCB is the 11th and current President of the Republic of Turkey, serving in that office since 28 August 2007. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002-03, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003-07....

 was elected as president on August 28, 2007, by a popular parliament round of votes, succeeding Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
- External links :* , Presidency of the Republic of Turkey...

.

Executive power
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers which make up the government, while the legislative
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey , usually referred to simply as the Meclis , is the unicameral Turkish legislature. It is the sole body given the legislative prerogatives by the Turkish Constitution. It was founded in Ankara on 23 April 1920 in the midst of the Turkish War of Independence...

. The judiciary
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 is independent of the executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees
Legal System in the Republic of Turkey
The basics of the legal system in the Republic of Turkey are laid out in Articles 138 to 160 of the 1982 Constitution. Civilian and military jurisdiction is separated...

 with the constitution. The Council of State
Turkish Council of State
The Turkish Council of State is the highest administrative court in the Republic of Turkey and is based in Ankara. Its role and tasks are prescribed by the Constitution of Turkey within the articles on the supreme courts....

 is the tribunal of last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court of Appeals for all others.

The prime minister is elected by the parliament through a vote of confidence in the government and is most often the head of the party having the most seats in parliament. The current prime minister is the former mayor of İstanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

, whose conservative Justice and Development Party
Justice and Development Party (Turkey)
The Justice and Development Party , abbreviated JDP in English and AK PARTİ or AKP in Turkish, is a centre-right political party in Turkey. The party is the largest in Turkey, with 327 members of parliament...

 won an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections
Turkish general election, 2002
Turkey's 15th general election was held on November 3, 2002 following the collapse of the DSP-MHP-ANAP coalition led by Bülent Ecevit. It was won by the Justice and Development Party , led by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, producing a crushing majority in spite of their winning just 34.3% of the national vote...

, organized in the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2001, with 34% of the suffrage.

In the 2007 general elections
Turkish general election, 2007
Turkey's 16th general election was held on July 22, 2007 and resulted in a resounding victory for the incumbent Justice and Development Party...

, the AKP received 46.6% of the votes and could defend its majority in parliament. Although the ministers do not have to be members of the parliament, ministers with parliament membership are common in Turkish politics.
In 2007, a series of events regarding state secularism and the role of the judiciary in the legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 has occurred. These included the controversial presidential election
Turkish presidential election, 2007
The 2007 Turkish presidential election refers to two attempts to elect the country's 11th president, to succeed Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The most likely candidate for president was Abdullah Gül...

 of Abdullah Gül, who in the past had been involved with Islamist parties; and the government's proposal to lift the headscarf ban
Headscarf controversy in Turkey
Turkey has been a secular state since it was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. He introduced the secularization of the state in the Turkish Constitution of 1924, alongside Atatürk's Reforms. These were in accordance with the Kemalist Ideology, with a strict appliance of laicite in the...

 in universities, which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, leading to a fine and a near ban of the ruling party.

Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

 for both sexes has been applied throughout Turkey since 1933, and every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 years of age has the right to vote. As of 2004, there were 50 registered political parties in the country. The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secular or separatist
Separatism
Separatism is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it often refers to full political secession, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy...

, or ban their existence altogether.

There are 550 members of parliament who are elected for a four-year term by a party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are elected...

 system from 85 electoral districts which represent the 81 administrative provinces of Turkey
Provinces of Turkey
Turkey is divided into 81 provinces, called il in Turkish .A province is administered by an appointed governor , and was formerly termed a "governorate" ....

 (İstanbul is divided into three electoral districts, whereas Ankara and İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

 are divided into two each because of their large populations). To avoid a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

 and its excessive political fragmentation, only parties winning at least 10% of the votes
Election threshold
In party-list proportional representation systems, an election threshold is a clause that stipulates that a party must receive a minimum percentage of votes, either nationally or within a particular district, to obtain any seats in the parliament...

 cast in a national parliamentary election gain the right to representation in the parliament. Because of this threshold, in the 2007 elections only three parties formally entered the parliament (compared to two in 2002).

Human rights in Turkey
Human rights in Turkey
Human rights in Turkey are theoretically protected by a variety of international law treaties, which take precedence over domestic legislation, according to Article 90 of the 1982 Constitution....

 have been the subject of much controversy and international condemnation. Between 1998 and 2008 the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 made more than 1,600 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations, particularly the right to life and freedom from torture. Other issues such as Kurdish rights, women's rights and press freedom have also attracted controversy. Turkey's human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to future membership of the EU. The Turkish Journalists Association says that 58 of the country's journalists have been imprisoned. A former U.S. State Department
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 spokesman, Philip J. Crowley
Philip J. Crowley
Philip J. “P.J.” Crowley is the former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, having been sworn into office on May 26, 2009. He resigned on March 13, 2011, following comments he made about the treatment of Bradley Manning. Crowley was named the 2011-2012 recipient of the...

, said that the United States had "broad concerns about trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey."

Foreign relations


Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 (1945), the OECD (1961), the OIC (1969), the OSCE (1973), the ECO
Economic Cooperation Organization
The Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental organization involving seven Asian and three Eurasian nations, part of the South-central Asian Union. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade, and investment opportunities. The ECO is an ad hoc...

 (1985), the BSEC (1992) and the G-20 major economies
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

 (1999). On October 17, 2008, Turkey was elected as a non-permanent member
United Nations Security Council election, 2008
The 2008 United Nations Security Council election was held on 17 October 2008 during the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York City...

 of the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

. Turkey's membership of the council effectively began on January 1, 2009. Turkey had previously been a member of the U.N. Security Council in 1951–1952, 1954–1955 and 1961.

In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey became a founding member of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 in 1949, applied for associate membership of the EEC
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (predecessor of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

) in 1959 and became an associate member
Ankara Agreement
The Agreement Creating An Association Between The Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community , made in 1963, is an agreement aiming towards the accession of Turkey into the European Economic Community ....

 in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, became an associate member of the Western European Union
Western European Union
The Western European Union was an international organisation tasked with implementing the Modified Treaty of Brussels , an amended version of the original 1948 Treaty of Brussels...

 in 1992, reached a Customs Union agreement with the EU in 1995 and has been in formal accession negotiations
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963...

 with the EU since 2005.

Since 1974, Turkey has not recognized the (essentially Greek Cypriot) Republic of Cyprus as the sole authority on the island, but instead supports the Turkish Cypriot community
Turkish Cypriots
Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

 in the form of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus , officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus...

 which is recognized only by Turkey.

The other defining aspect of Turkey's foreign relations has been its ties with the United States. Based on the common threat posed by the Soviet Union, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with Washington throughout the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

. In the post–Cold War environment, Turkey's geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East, the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 and the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

. In return, Turkey has benefited from the United States' political, economic and diplomatic support, including in key issues such as the country's bid to join the European Union.

The independence of the Turkic states of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 in 1991, with which Turkey shares a common cultural and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, thus enabling the completion of a multi-billion-dollar oil and natural gas pipeline
Pipeline transport
Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. Most commonly, liquids and gases are sent, but pneumatic tubes that transport solid capsules using compressed air are also used....

 from Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

 in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 to the port of Ceyhan
Ceyhan
Ceyhan is a city in southeast Turkey and with 105,000 inhabitants it is the second largest city of Adana Province after the capital Adana. Ceyhan is the transportation hub for Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Russian oil and natural gas. It is situated on the Ceyhan River, from which it takes...

 in Turkey. The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline forms part of Turkey's foreign policy strategy to become an energy conduit to the West. However, Turkey's border with Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, a state in the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, remains closed following its occupation of Azerbaijani territory during the Nagorno-Karabakh War
Nagorno-Karabakh War
The Nagorno-Karabakh War was an armed conflict that took place from February 1988 to May 1994, in the small enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in southwestern Azerbaijan, between the majority ethnic Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh backed by the Republic of Armenia, and the Republic of Azerbaijan...

.

Military



The Turkish Armed Forces
Turkish Armed Forces
The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy , and the Air Force...

 consists of the Army
Turkish Army
The Turkish Army or Turkish Land Forces is the main branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The modern history of the army began with its formation after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire...

, the Navy
Turkish Navy
The Turkish Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces.- Ottoman fleet after Mudros :Following the demise of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, on November 3, 1918, the fleet commander of the Ottoman Navy, Liva Amiral Arif Pasha, ordered all flags to be...

 and the Air Force
Turkish Air Force
The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

. The Gendarmerie
Turkish Gendarmerie
The Turkish Gendarmerie is a branch of the Turkish Armed Forces and it is responsible for the maintenance of the public order in areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of police forces , as well as assuring internal security and general border control along with carrying out other specific...

 and the Coast Guard
Turkish Coast Guard
The Turkish Coast Guard is a branch of the Turkish Armed Forces and was established in 1859.-Organization:...

 operate as parts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in peacetime, although they are subordinated to the Army and Navy Commands respectively in wartime, during which they have both internal law enforcement and military functions.

The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest standing armed force
Armed forces
The armed forces of a country are its government-sponsored defense, fighting forces, and organizations. They exist to further the foreign and domestic policies of their governing body, and to defend that body and the nation it represents from external aggressors. In some countries paramilitary...

 in NATO, after the U.S. Armed Forces
Military of the United States
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, with a combined strength of just over a million uniformed personnel serving in its five branches. Turkey is considered to be the strongest military power of the Middle East region besides Israel.

Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military
Conscription in Turkey
In Turkey, compulsory military service applies to all male citizens from twenty to forty one years of age. Those who are engaged in higher education or vocational training programs prior to their military drafting are allowed to delay service until they have completed the programs or reach a...

 for a period ranging from three weeks to fifteen months, dependent on education and job location. Turkey does not recognise conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service.

Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing
Nuclear sharing
Nuclear sharing is a concept in NATO's policy of nuclear deterrence, which involves member countries without nuclear weapons of their own in the planning for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO, and in particular provides for the armed forces of these countries to be involved in delivering these...

 policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany
Germany and weapons of mass destruction
Though Germany is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, since World War II it has generally refrained from using this technology to outfit its own armed forces with weapons of mass destruction , although it participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and...

, Italy, and the Netherlands
Netherlands and weapons of mass destruction
Although the Netherlands does not have weapons of mass destruction made by itself, the country participates in the NATO nuclear weapons sharing arrangements and trains for delivering U.S...

. A total of 90 B61 nuclear bomb
B61 nuclear bomb
The B61 nuclear bomb is the primary thermonuclear weapon in the U.S. Enduring Stockpile following the end of the Cold War. It is an intermediate yield strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design....

s are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base
Incirlik Air Base
The Incirlik Air Base is located in İncirlik, five miles east of Adana, Turkey's fifth largest city, and from the Mediterranean Sea.The U.S...

, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force
Turkish Air Force
The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. It ranks 3rd in NATO in terms of fleet size behind the USAF and Royal Air Force with a current inventory of 798 aircraft .-Initial stages:...

.

In 1998, Turkey announced a program of modernization worth US$160 billion over a twenty year period in various projects including tank
Tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

s, fighter jets, helicopter
Helicopter
A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft in which lift and thrust are supplied by one or more engine-driven rotors. This allows the helicopter to take off and land vertically, to hover, and to fly forwards, backwards, and laterally...

s, submarine
Submarine
A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

s, warship
Warship
A warship is a ship that is built and primarily intended for combat. Warships are usually built in a completely different way from merchant ships. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually faster and more maneuvrable than merchant ships...

s and assault rifle
Assault rifle
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles are the standard infantry weapons in most modern armies...

s. Turkey is a Level 3 contributor to the Joint Strike Fighter
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 (JSF) program.

Turkey has maintained forces in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since 1950, including peacekeeping
Peacekeeping
Peacekeeping is an activity that aims to create the conditions for lasting peace. It is distinguished from both peacebuilding and peacemaking....

 missions in Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 and former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, and support to coalition forces in the First Gulf War. Turkey maintains 36,000 troops in northern Cyprus; their presence is supported and approved by the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

local government, but the Republic of Cyprus and the international community regard it as an illegal occupation force, and its presence has also been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions. Turkey has had troops deployed in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 as part of the U.S. stabilization force
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 and the UN-authorized, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 (ISAF) since 2001. In 2006, the Turkish parliament deployed a peacekeeping force of Navy patrol vessels and around 700 ground troops as part of an expanded United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, was created by the United Nations, with the adoption of Security Council Resolution 425 and 426 on 19 March 1978, to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon which Israel had invaded five days prior, restore international peace and security,...

 (UNIFIL) in the wake of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

.

The Chief of the General Staff
Chief of the Turkish General Staff
The General Staff of the Republic of Turkey presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force...

 is appointed by the president and is responsible to the prime minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to parliament for matters of national security and the adequate preparation of the armed forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare war and to deploy the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or to allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey rests solely with the parliament. The actual commander of the armed forces is the Chief of the General Staff General Necdet Özel
Necdet Özel
Necdet Özel is the 28th Chief of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey. He was appointed to the post on 4 August 2011. He was described by Turkish media as "army man with strong democratic credentials" .- References :...

 since August 4, 2011.

Administrative divisions


The capital city
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of Turkey is Ankara
Ankara
Ankara is the capital of Turkey and the country's second largest city after Istanbul. The city has a mean elevation of , and as of 2010 the metropolitan area in the entire Ankara Province had a population of 4.4 million....

. The territory of Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces for administrative purposes. The provinces are organized into 7 regions
Regions of Turkey
The provinces of Turkey are organized into 7 census-defined regions , which were originally defined at the First Geography Congress in 1941. Regions as defined in this context is merely for statistical purposes and do not refer to an administrative division. Each region is listed below, with...

 for census purposes; however, they do not represent an administrative structure. Each province is divided into districts, for a total of 923 districts.

Provinces usually bear the same name as their provincial capitals, also called the central district; exceptions to this custom are the provinces of Hatay
Hatay Province
Hatay Province is a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast. It is bordered by Syria to the south and east and the Turkish provinces of Adana and Osmaniye to the north. The province is part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of...

 (capital: Antakya
Antakya
Antakya is the seat of the Hatay Province in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. The mayor is Lütfü Savaş.Known as Antioch in ancient times, the city has historical significance for Christianity, as it was the place where the followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians for the first...

), Kocaeli
Kocaeli Province
Kocaeli Province is a province of Turkey. Its capital is İzmit, which is sometimes referred to as Kocaeli itself. The largest town in the province is now Gebze. The traffic code is 41. The province is located at the easternmost end of the Marmara Sea, especially on the Gulf of İzmit. Because of...

 (capital: İzmit
Izmit
İzmit is a city in Turkey, administrative center of Kocaeli Province as well as the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality. It is located at the Gulf of İzmit in the Sea of Marmara, about east of Istanbul, on the northwestern part of Anatolia. The city center has a population of 294.875...

) and Sakarya
Sakarya Province
Sakarya Province is a province in Turkey, located on the coast of Black Sea. The river Sakarya creates a webbing of estuaries in the province....

 (capital: Adapazarı
Adapazari
Adapazarı is a city in northwestern Turkey and the capital of Sakarya Province. The province itself was originally named Adapazarı as well. Adapazarı is a part of the densely populated region of the country, known as the Marmara Region. As of 2010, the city has a population of 560,876 ...

). Provinces with the largest populations are Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 (13 million), Ankara
Ankara Province
Ankara Province in central Turkey is the location of the country's capital, the city of Ankara.Ankara also gave its name to the Ottoman Empire's Ankara Province which covered a larger area than the current province.- Geography :...

 (5 million), İzmir
Izmir Province
İzmir Province is a province of Turkey in western Anatolia on the Aegean coast, whose capital is the city of İzmir. On the west it is surrounded by the Aegean sea, and it encloses the Gulf of İzmir. Its area is 11,973 km.2, population 3.948.848 . The population was 3,370,866 in 2000...

 (4 million), Bursa
Bursa Province
Bursa Province is a province in western Turkey, along the Sea of Marmara. Its adjacent provinces are Balıkesir to the west, Kütahya to the south, Bilecik and Sakarya to the east, Kocaeli to the northeast and Yalova to the north. The province has an area of 11,043 km2 and a population of 3,187,000...

 (3 million) and Adana
Adana Province
Adana Province is a province of Turkey located in south-central Anatolia. With a population of 2,085,225, it is the fifth most populous province in Turkey. The administrative seat of the province is the city of Adana, home to 78% of the residents of the province...

 (2 million).

The biggest city and the pre-Republican capital Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 is the financial, economic and cultural heart of the country. An estimated 75.5% of Turkey's population live in urban centers. In all, 19 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 20 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000.

Geography



Turkey is a transcontinental
Transcontinental country
This is a list of countries spanning more than one continent, known as transcontinental states. While there are many countries with non-contiguous overseas territories fitting this definition, only a limited number of countries have territory spanning an overland continental...

 Eurasian country. Asian Turkey (made up largely of Anatolia), which includes 97% of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

, and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 (which together form a water link between the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 and the Mediterranean). European Turkey
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

 (eastern Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 or Rumelia
Rumelia
Rumelia was an historical region comprising the territories of the Ottoman Empire in Europe...

 in the Balkan
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 peninsula) comprises 3% of the country.

The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) long and 800 km (500 mi) wide, with a roughly rectangular shape. It lies between latitudes 35°
35th parallel north
The 35th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 35 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 43° N
43rd parallel north
The 43rd parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 43 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 25°
25th meridian east
The meridian 25° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 45° E
45th meridian east
The meridian 45° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. Turkey's area, including lakes, occupies 783,562 square kilometres (300,948 sq mi), of which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 sq mi) are in Southwest Asia
Southwest Asia
Western Asia, West Asia, Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia are terms that describe the westernmost portion of Asia. The terms are partly coterminous with the Middle East, which describes a geographical position in relation to Western Europe rather than its location within Asia...

 and 23,764 square kilometres (9,174 sq mi) in Europe. Turkey is the world's 37th-largest country in terms of area. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
The Aegean Sea[p] is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus...

 to the west, the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

 to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
The Sea of Marmara , also known as the Sea of Marmora or the Marmara Sea, and in the context of classical antiquity as the Propontis , is the inland sea that connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, thus separating Turkey's Asian and European parts. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Black...

 in the northwest.

The European section of Turkey, East Thrace
East Thrace
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace , also known as Turkish Thrace, is the part of the modern republic of Turkey that is geographically part of Europe, all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; most of Turkey is in Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor. Turkish Thrace is also called...

, forms the borders of Turkey with Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the country, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, between the Köroğlu and Pontic
Pontic Mountains
The Pontic Mountains form a mountain range in Northern Turkey, also known as the Parhar mountains in the local Turkish and Pontic Greek languages. The term "Parhar" originates from the Hittite word meaning "high" or "summit"....

 mountain ranges to the north and the Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, dividing the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east...

 to the south. Eastern Turkey has a more mountainous landscape and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates
Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

, Tigris
Tigris
The Tigris River is the eastern member of the two great rivers that define Mesopotamia, the other being the Euphrates. The river flows south from the mountains of southeastern Turkey through Iraq.-Geography:...

 and Aras, and contains Lake Van
Lake Van
Lake Van is the largest lake in Turkey, located in the far east of the country in Van district. It is a saline and soda lake, receiving water from numerous small streams that descend from the surrounding mountains. Lake Van is one of the world's largest endorheic lakes . The original outlet from...

 and Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone in Turkey. It has two peaks: Greater Ararat and Lesser Ararat .The Ararat massif is about in diameter...

, Turkey's highest point at 5,165 metres (16,946 ft). Lake Tuz
Lake Tuz
Lake Tuz is the second largest lake in Turkey with its surface area and one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world. It is located in the Central Anatolia Region, northeast of Konya, south-southeast of Ankara and northwest of Aksaray.-Geography:...

, Turkey's third-largest lake, is a macroscopically visible feature in the middle of the country.

Turkey is divided into seven census regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately one-sixth of Turkey's total land area. As a general trend, the inland Anatolian plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward.

Turkey's varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s and occasional volcanic
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 eruptions. The Bosporus
Bosporus
The Bosphorus or Bosporus , also known as the Istanbul Strait , is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with the Dardanelles...

 and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

 owe their existence to the fault lines
Geologic fault
In geology, a fault is a planar fracture or discontinuity in a volume of rock, across which there has been significant displacement along the fractures as a result of earth movement. Large faults within the Earth's crust result from the action of tectonic forces...

 running through Turkey that led to the creation of the Black Sea. There is an earthquake fault line across the north of the country from west to east, which caused a major earthquake
1999 Izmit earthquake
The 1999 İzmit earthquake was a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that struck northwestern Turkey on August 17, 1999, at about 3:02am local time. The event lasted for 37 seconds, killing around 17,000 people and leaving approximately half a million people homeless...

 in 1999.

Climate


The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate
Temperate
In geography, temperate or tepid latitudes of the globe lie between the tropics and the polar circles. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally relatively moderate, rather than extreme hot or cold...

 Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Black Sea have a temperate Oceanic climate
Oceanic climate
An oceanic climate, also called marine west coast climate, maritime climate, Cascadian climate and British climate for Köppen climate classification Cfb and subtropical highland for Köppen Cfb or Cwb, is a type of climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of some of the...

 with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters. The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part of that coast averages 2,500 millimeters annually which is the highest precipitation in the country.

The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Sea of Marmara (including Istanbul), which connects the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, have a transitional climate between a temperate Mediterranean climate and a temperate Oceanic climate with warm to hot, moderately dry summers and cool to cold, wet winters. Snow does occur on the coastal areas of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter, but it usually lies no more than a few days. Snow on the other hand is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.

Conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau of the interior of Turkey a continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

 with sharply contrasting season
Season
A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight.Seasons result from the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of revolution...

s.

Winters on the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 °C
Celsius
Celsius is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature. It is named after the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius , who developed a similar temperature scale two years before his death...

 to −40 °C (−22 °F
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

 to −40 °F) can occur in eastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground at least 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 °C (34 °F). Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 °C (86 °F) in the day. Annual precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 averages about 400 millimetres (15 in
Inch
An inch is the name of a unit of length in a number of different systems, including Imperial units, and United States customary units. There are 36 inches in a yard and 12 inches in a foot...

), with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 millimetres (12 in). May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the driest.

Economy




Turkey has the world's 15th largest GDP-PPP and 17th largest Nominal GDP. The country is a founding member of the OECD and the G-20 major economies
G-20 major economies
The Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors is a group of finance ministers and central bank governors from 20 major economies: 19 countries plus the European Union, which is represented by the President of the European Council and by the European Central Bank...

. During the first six decades of the republic, between 1923 and 1983, Turkey has mostly adhered to a quasi-statist
Statism
Statism is a term usually describing a political philosophy, whether of the right or the left, that emphasises the role of the state in politics or supports the use of the state to achieve economic, military or social goals...

 approach with strict government planning of the budget and government-imposed limitations over private sector participation, foreign trade, flow of foreign currency, and foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

. However in 1983 Prime Minister Turgut Özal
Turgut Özal
Halil Turgut Özal was Prime Minister of Turkey and President of Turkey . As Prime Minister, he transformed the economy of Turkey by paving the way for the privatization of many state enterprises.-Early life and career:...

 initiated a series of reforms designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market
Market economy
A market economy is an economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. This is often contrasted with a state-directed or planned economy. Market economies can range from hypothetically pure laissez-faire variants to an assortment of real-world mixed...

-based model.

The reforms spurred rapid growth, but this growth was punctuated by sharp recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

s and financial crises in 1994, 1999 (following the earthquake of that year), and 2001, resulting in an average of 4% GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 growth per annum between 1981 and 2003. Lack of additional fiscal reforms, combined with large and growing public sector
Public sector
The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector, is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.Examples of public sector activity range...

 deficits and widespread corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, resulted in high inflation
Inflation
In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services. Consequently, inflation also reflects an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a...

, a weak banking sector and increased macroeconomic
Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of the whole economy. This includes a national, regional, or global economy...

 volatility. Since the economic crisis of 2001 and the reforms initiated by the finance minister of the time, Kemal Derviş
Kemal Dervis
Kemal Derviş is a Turkish economist and politician, and former head of the United Nations Development Programme. He was honored by the government of Japan for having "contributed to mainstreaming Japan's development assistance policy through the United Nations." In 2005, he was ranked 67th in the...

, inflation has fallen to single-digit numbers, investor confidence and foreign investment have soared, and unemployment has fallen. The International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 forecasts a 6% inflation rate for Turkey in 2008.

Turkey has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment and the privatisation
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of publicly owned industries, and the liberalisation of many sectors to private and foreign participation has continued amid political debate. The public debt to GDP ratio, while well below its levels during the recession of 2001, reached 46% in 2010 Q3. The GDP growth rate from 2002 to 2007 averaged 7%, which made Turkey one of the fastest growing economies in the world during that period. However, growth slowed to 1% in 2008, and in 2009 the Turkish economy was affected by the global financial crisis
Late-2000s financial crisis
The late-2000s financial crisis is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s...

, with a recession of 5%. The economy was estimated to have returned to 8% growth in 2010.

In the early years of this century the chronically high inflation was brought under control and this led to the launch of a new currency, the Turkish new lira, on January 1, 2005, to cement the acquisition of the economic reforms and erase the vestiges of an unstable economy. On January 1, 2009, the new Turkish lira was renamed once again as the Turkish lira
Turkish lira
The Turkish lira is the currency of Turkey and the de facto independent state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The lira is subdivided into 100 kuruş...

, with the introduction of new banknotes and coins. As a result of continuing economic reforms, inflation dropped to 8% in 2005, and the unemployment rate to 10%.
Tourism in Turkey
Tourism in Turkey
Tourism in Turkey is focused largely on a variety of historical sites, and on seaside resorts along its Aegean and Mediterranean Sea coasts. In the recent years, Turkey has also become a popular destination for culture, spa, and health care tourism...

 has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part of the economy. In 2008 there were 31 million visitors to the country, who contributed $22 billion to Turkey's revenues. Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, machine industry and automotive. Turkey has a large and growing automotive industry
Automotive industry in Turkey
The automotive industry in Turkey plays an important role in the manufacturing sector of the Turkish economy. The companies operating in the Turkish automotive sector are mainly located in the Marmara Region...

, which produced 1,147,110 motor vehicles in 2008, ranking as the 6th largest producer in Europe (behind the United Kingdom and above Italy) and the 15th largest producer in the world. Turkey is also one of the leading shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding is the construction of ships and floating vessels. It normally takes place in a specialized facility known as a shipyard. Shipbuilders, also called shipwrights, follow a specialized occupation that traces its roots to before recorded history.Shipbuilding and ship repairs, both...

 nations; in 2007 the country ranked 4th in the world (behind China, South Korea and Japan) in terms of the number of ordered ships, and also 4th in the world (behind Italy, USA and Canada) in terms of the number of ordered mega yachts
Luxury yacht
The term luxury yacht, “Superyacht” and "Large Yacht" refers to very expensive, privately owned yachts which are professionally crewed. Also known as a Super Yacht, a luxury yacht may be either a sailing or motor yacht.-History:...

.

Turkey's economy is becoming more dependent on industry in major cities, mostly concentrated in the western provinces of the country, and less on agriculture. However, traditional agriculture is still a major pillar of the Turkish economy. In 2010, the agricultural sector accounted for 9% of GDP, while the industrial sector accounted for 26% and the services sector 65%. However, agriculture still accounted for 27% of employment. In 2004, it was estimated that 46% of total disposable income was received by the top of 20% income earners, while the lowest 20% received 6%. According to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

 data, Turkish PPS GDP per capita stood at 45 per cent of the EU average in 2008.
Turkey has taken advantage of the European Union – Turkey Customs Union, signed in 1995, to increase its industrial production destined for exports, while at the same time benefiting from EU-origin foreign investment into the country. Turkey now has also opportunity of a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU) – without full membership – that allows it to manufacture for tarif-free sale throughout the EU market.

By 2009 exports were $110 bn and in 2010 it was $117 bn (main export partners in 2009: Germany 10%, France 6%, UK 6%, Italy 6%, Iraq 5%). However larger imports, which amounted to $166 billion in 2010, threatened the balance of trade (main import partners in 2009: Russia 14%, Germany 10%, China 9%, US 6%, Italy 5%, France 5%).

After years of low levels of foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 (FDI), Turkey succeeded in attracting $22 billion in FDI in 2007 and is expected to attract a higher figure in following years. A series of large privatizations, the stability fostered by the start of Turkey's EU accession negotiations
Accession of Turkey to the European Union
Turkey's application to accede to the European Union was made on 14 April 1987. Turkey has been an associate member of the European Union and its predecessors since 1963...

, strong and stable growth, and structural changes in the banking, retail, and telecommunications sectors have all contributed to a rise in foreign investment.

Demographics


The last official census was in 2000 and recorded a total country population of 67,803,927 inhabitants. According to the Address-Based Birth Recording System of Turkey, the country's population was 73.7 million people in 2010, nearly three-quarters of whom lived in towns and cities
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

. According to the 2009 estimate, the population is increasing by 1.5% each year. Turkey has an average population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 of 92 people per km². People within the 15–64 age group constitute 67% of the total population; the 0–14 age group corresponds to 26%; while senior citizens aged 65 years or older make up 7%. In 1927, when the first official census was recorded in the Republic of Turkey, the population was 13.6 million.

Life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 stands at 71.1 years for men and 75.3 years for women, with an overall average of 73.2 years for the populace as a whole. Education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 is compulsory and free from ages 6 to 15. The literacy rate is 96% for men and 80.4% for women, with an overall average of 88.1%. The low figures for women are mainly due to the traditional customs of the Arabs
Arabs in Turkey
The Arabs in Turkey are a Semitic people.Arabs in Turkey are mostly Muslims living along the southeastern border with Syria in the provinces such as Batman, Bitlis, Gaziantep, Hatay, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak and Şanlıurfa. The Arabs in this part of the border consist of many Bedouin tribes...

 and Kurds
Kurds in Turkey
Ethnic Kurds compose a significant portion of the population in Turkey . Unlike the Turks, the Kurds speak an Indo-European language...

 who live in the southeastern provinces of the country.

Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution defines a "Turk" as "anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship"; therefore, the legal use of the term "Turkish" as a citizen of Turkey is different from the ethnic definition. However, the majority of the Turkish population are of Turkish ethnicity
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

. They are estimated at 70–75% by the CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 and at 76.0% by a survey of Milliyet
Milliyet
Milliyet is a major Turkish daily newspaper founded in 1950.-History:Milliyet came to publishing life at the Nuri Akça press in Babıali, Istanbul as a daily private newspaper on 3 May 1950...

 in 2007.

The Kurds
Kurds in Turkey
Ethnic Kurds compose a significant portion of the population in Turkey . Unlike the Turks, the Kurds speak an Indo-European language...

, a distinct ethnic group concentrated mainly in the southeastern provinces of the country, are the largest non-Turkic ethnicity, estimated at about 18% of the population according to the CIA and at 15.7% according to a survey by the Milliyet daily newspaper. Minorities other than the three officially recognized ones do not have any special group privileges, while the term "minority
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

" itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey. Reliable data on the ethnic mix of the population is not available, because Turkish census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity.

The three officially recognized major minorities ethnic groups (per the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

), i.e. are: Armenians
Armenians in Turkey
Armenians in Turkey have an estimated population of 40,000 to 70,000 . Most are concentrated around Istanbul. The Armenians support their own newspapers and schools...

, Greeks
Greeks in Turkey
The Greeks in Turkey constitute a population of Greek and Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbul, including its district Princes' Islands, as well as on the two islands of the western entrance to the Dardanelles: Imbros and Tenedos .They are the remnants of the...

 and Jews. Signed on January 30, 1923, a bilateral accord of population exchange between Greece and Turkey
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

 took effect in the 1920s, with close to 1.5 million Greeks
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 moving from Turkey and some 500,000 Turks coming from Greece. Other ethnic groups include Abkhazians, Albanians
Albanians
Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

, Arabs
Arabs in Turkey
The Arabs in Turkey are a Semitic people.Arabs in Turkey are mostly Muslims living along the southeastern border with Syria in the provinces such as Batman, Bitlis, Gaziantep, Hatay, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak and Şanlıurfa. The Arabs in this part of the border consist of many Bedouin tribes...

, Assyrians, Bosniaks
Bosniaks
The Bosniaks or Bosniacs are a South Slavic ethnic group, living mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a smaller minority also present in other lands of the Balkan Peninsula especially in Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia...

, Circassians, Georgians
Georgians
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

, Hamshenis
Hamshenis
The Hemshin Peoples or Hemshinli are a diverse group of people who in the past history or present have been affiliated with the Hemşin district in the province of Rize, Turkey. They are called as Hemshinli , Hamshenis, Homshentsi meaning resident of Hemshin in the relevant language...

, Laz
Laz people
The Laz are an ethnic group native to the Black Sea coastal regions of Turkey and Georgia...

, Pomaks
Pomaks
Pomaks is a term used for a Slavic Muslim population native to some parts of Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. The Pomaks speak Bulgarian as their native language, also referred to in Greece and Turkey as Pomak language, and some are fluent in Turkish,...

 (Bulgarians
Bulgarians
The Bulgarians are a South Slavic nation and ethnic group native to Bulgaria and neighbouring regions. Emigration has resulted in immigrant communities in a number of other countries.-History and ethnogenesis:...

), Roma.

Minorities of West European
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 origin include the Levantines (or Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

er
, mostly of French, Genoese
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

 and Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 descent) who have been present in the country (particularly in Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 and İzmir
Izmir
Izmir is a large metropolis in the western extremity of Anatolia. The metropolitan area in the entire Izmir Province had a population of 3.35 million as of 2010, making the city third most populous in Turkey...

) since the medieval period
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

.

Urbanization


An estimated 71% of the population live in urban centers. In all, 18 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 21 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000.

Language


Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

 is the sole official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 throughout Turkey. Reliable figures for the linguistic breakdown of the populace are not available for reasons similar to those cited above. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Turkish language is spoken by about 70–75% of Turkey's population, while the Kurdish language is spoken by approximately 18%. The public broadcaster TRT
Turkish Radio and Television Corporation
The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, also known as TRT , is the national public broadcaster of Turkey and was founded in 1964. Around 70% of TRT's funding comes from a tax levied on electricity bills and a sales tax on television and radio receivers...

 broadcasts programmes in the local languages and dialects of Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Bosnian
Bosnian language
Bosnian is a South Slavic language, spoken by Bosniaks. As a standardized form of the Shtokavian dialect, it is one of the three official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina....

, Circassian
Adyghe language
Adyghe language , also known as West Circassian , is one of the two official languages of the Republic of Adygea in the Russian Federation, the other being Russian. It is spoken by various tribes of the Adyghe people: Abzekh, Adamey, Bzhedugh; Hatukuay, Kemirgoy, Makhosh; Natekuay, Shapsigh; Zhane,...

 and Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

 a few hours a week. A public television channel, TRT 6
TRT 6
TRT 6, part of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, is Turkey's first national Kurdish language television station.It broadcasts in the Kurmanji and Sorani dialects of the Kurdish language and in the Zaza language, offering programs aimed at all ages and promoting the perspective of the...

, which airs programs of Kurdish-language most of the time, was opened in early 2009.

Religion


Turkey is a secular state
Secular state
A secular state is a concept of secularism, whereby a state or country purports to be officially neutral in matters of religion, supporting neither religion nor irreligion. A secular state also claims to treat all its citizens equally regardless of religion, and claims to avoid preferential...

 with no official state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

; the Turkish Constitution provides for freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

 and conscience. Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the dominant religion of Turkey, it exceeds 99% if secular people of Muslim background are included. Research firms suggest the actual Muslim figure is around 98%, or 97%.

There are about 120,000 people of different Christian denominations, including an estimated 80,000 Oriental Orthodox, 35,000 Roman Catholics, 5,000 Orthodox (of them 3,000–4,000 being Greeks
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is the body of several churches within the larger communion of Eastern Orthodox Christianity sharing a common cultural tradition whose liturgy is also traditionally conducted in Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament...

) and smaller numbers of Protestants. Today there are 236 churches open for worship in Turkey. The Orthodox Church has been headquartered in Istanbul
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , part of the wider Orthodox Church, is one of the fourteen autocephalous churches within the communion of Orthodox Christianity...

 since the 4th century AD. Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 represent less than 0.2% of Turkey's population, according to the CIA World Factbook.

There are about 26,000 people who are Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, the vast majority of whom are Sephardi.

The Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 in Turkey has roots in Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh
Bahá'u'lláh , born ' , was the founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He claimed to be the prophetic fulfilment of Bábism, a 19th-century outgrowth of Shí‘ism, but in a broader sense claimed to be a messenger from God referring to the fulfilment of the eschatological expectations of Islam, Christianity, and...

's, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

, being exiled to Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, current-day Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, by the Ottoman authorities
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. Bahá'ís cannot register with the government officially but there are probably 10 to 20 thousand Bahá'ís, and around a hundred Bahá'í Local Spiritual Assemblies in Turkey.

Though academics suggest the Alevi population may be from 15 to 20 million. According to Aksiyon magazine, the number of Shiite Twelvers (excluding Alevis) is 3 million (4.2%), and they live in Istanbul, Iğdır, Kars, Ankara, İzmir, Manisa, Çorum, Muğla, Ağrı and Aydın. There are also some Sufi
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 practitioners. The highest Islamic religious authority is the Presidency of Religious Affairs , it interprets the Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

 school of law, and is responsible for regulating the operation of the country's 80,000 registered mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s and employing local and provincial imam
Imam
An imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the worship leader of a mosque and the Muslim community. Similar to spiritual leaders, the imam is the one who leads Islamic worship services. More often, the community turns to the mosque imam if they have a religious question...

s. The role of religion has been controversial debate over the years since the formation of Islamist parties. Turkey was founded upon a strict secular constitution which forbids the influence of any religion, including Islam. There are sensitive issues, such as the fact that the wearing of the Hijab
Hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

 is banned
Headscarf controversy in Turkey
Turkey has been a secular state since it was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923. He introduced the secularization of the state in the Turkish Constitution of 1924, alongside Atatürk's Reforms. These were in accordance with the Kemalist Ideology, with a strict appliance of laicite in the...

 in universities and public or government buildings as some view it as a symbol of Islam – though there have been efforts to lift the ban.
The vast majority of the present-day Turkish people are Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 and the most popular sect is the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

, which was officially espoused by the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

; according to the KONDA Research and Consultancy survey carried out throughout Turkey on 2007: 52.8% defined themselves as "a religious person who strives to fulfill religious obligations" (religious); 34.3 % defined themselves as "a believer who does not fulfill religious obligations" (believer); 9.7% defined themselves as "a fully devout person fulfilling all religious obligations" (fully devout); 2.3% defined themselves as "someone who does not believe in religious obligations" (non-believer/agnostic); and 0.9% defined themselves as "someone with no religious conviction" (atheist).

Culture



Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Oğuz Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n, Ottoman
Culture of the Ottoman Empire
The culture of the Ottoman Empire evolved over several centuries as the ruling administration of the Turks absorbed, adapted and modified the cultures of conquered lands and their peoples...

 (which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 and traditions, which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 and still continues today. This mix originally began as a result of the encounter of Turks and their culture with those of the peoples who were in their path during their migration
Turkic migration
The Turkic migration as defined in this article was the expansion of the Turkic peoples across most of Central Asia into Europe and the Middle East between the 6th and 11th centuries AD . Tribes less certainly identified as Turkic began their expansion centuries earlier as the predominant element...

 from Central Asia to the West.

As Turkey successfully transformed from the religion-based former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation of state and religion, an increase in the modes of artistic expression followed. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts; such as museums, theatres, opera houses and architecture. Diverse historical factors play important roles in defining the modern Turkish identity. Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be a "modern" Western state, while maintaining traditional religious and historical values.


Turkish music
Music of Turkey
The music of Turkey includes diverse elements ranging from Central Asian folk music and has many copies and references of Byzantine music, Greek music, Ottoman music, Persian music, Balkan music, as well as more modern European and American popular music influences...

 and literature
Turkish literature
Turkish literature comprises both oral compositions and written texts in the Turkish language, either in its Ottoman form or in less exclusively literary forms, such as that spoken in the Republic of Turkey today...

 form great examples of such a mix of cultural influences, which were a result of the interaction between the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world along with Europe, thus contributing to a blend of Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music and literary arts. Turkish literature was heavily influenced by Persian
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

 and Arabic literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 during most of the Ottoman era, though towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, particularly after the Tanzimat
Tanzimat
The Tanzimât , meaning reorganization of the Ottoman Empire, was a period of reformation that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876. The Tanzimât reform era was characterized by various attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, to secure its territorial integrity against...

 period, the effect of both Turkish folk and European literary traditions became increasingly felt. The mix of cultural influences is dramatized, for example, in the form of the "new symbols [of] the clash and interlacing of cultures" enacted in the works of Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk
Ferit Orhan Pamuk , generally known simply as Orhan Pamuk, is a Turkish novelist. He is also the Robert Yik-Fong Tam Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, where he teaches comparative literature and writing....

, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

. According to Konda public opinion researchers, 70% of Turkish citizens never read books.

Architectural elements found in Turkey are also testaments to the unique mix of traditions that have influenced the region over the centuries. In addition to the traditional Byzantine elements
Byzantine architecture
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire. The empire gradually emerged as a distinct artistic and cultural entity from what is today referred to as the Roman Empire after AD 330, when the Roman Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire east from Rome to...

 present in numerous parts of Turkey, many artifacts of the later Ottoman architecture, with its exquisite blend of local and Islamic traditions, are to be found throughout the country, as well as in many former territories of the Ottoman Empire. Mimar Sinan is widely regarded as the greatest architect of the classical period in Ottoman architecture. Since the 18th century, Turkish architecture has been increasingly influenced by Western styles, and this can be particularly seen in Istanbul where buildings like Dolmabahçe
Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait, served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1922, apart from a 22-year interval in which Yıldız Palace was used.- History :Dolmabahçe Palace...

 and Çırağan Palace
Çiragan Palace
Çırağan Palace , a former Ottoman palace, is now a five-star hotel of the Kempinski Hotels chain. It is located on the European shore of the Bosporus between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy in Istanbul, Turkey.- History :...

s are juxtaposed next to numerous modern skyscrapers, all of them representing different traditions.

Sports


The most popular sport in Turkey is Association football. Turkey's top teams include Galatasaray
Galatasaray S.K.
Galatasaray Spor Kulübü is a Turkish sports club based in Istanbul, most notable for its football section, also known as Galatasaray S.K.. It also fields teams in Athletics, Basketball, Wheelchair basketball, Volleyball, Water polo, Swimming, Rowing, Sailing, Judo, Bridge, Equestrian, Handball,...

, Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor
Trabzonspor
Trabzonspor is a professional Turkish football club located in the city of Trabzon, Turkey. Formed in 1967 through a merger of several local clubs, Trabzonspor won six championships in Turkish Super League. The Club won their first Championship title in 1975 which is also the Club's initiation year...

 and Beşiktaş
Besiktas J.K.
Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü , or simply Beşiktaş , is a Turkish sports club. The club's football team is one of the major teams in Turkey. The professional sports club, founded in 1903, is based in the Beşiktaş district in Istanbul, Turkey...

. In 2000, Galatasaray cemented its role as a major European club by winning the UEFA Cup
UEFA Cup
The UEFA Europa League is an annual association football cup competition organised by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. It is the second most prestigious European club football contest after the UEFA Champions League...

 and UEFA Super Cup. Two years later the Turkish national team finished third in the 2002 World Cup
2002 World Cup
2002 World Cup may refer to:*Alpine skiing – 2002 Alpine Skiing World Cup*Athletics – 2002 IAAF World Cup*Field Hockey:** 2002 Men's World Hockey Cup** 2002 Women's World Hockey Cup...

 Finals in Japan and South Korea, while in 2008 the national team reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Euro 2008 competition. The Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul hosted the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final
2005 UEFA Champions League Final
The 2005 UEFA Champions League Final was the final match of the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, Europe's primary club football competition. The showpiece event was contested between Liverpool of England and Milan of Italy at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005...

, while the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium
Sükrü Saracoglu Stadium
Fenerbahçe Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium is a football stadium in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey, and is the home venue of Fenerbahçe S.K.. It was inaugurated in 1908 and renovated between 1999 and 2006...

 in Istanbul hosted the 2009 UEFA Cup Final
2009 UEFA Cup Final
The 2009 UEFA Cup Final was the final match of the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, the 38th season of the UEFA Cup, UEFA's second-tier club football tournament. It was also the last final to be held under the UEFA Cup name, as the competition was rebranded as the UEFA Europa League from the 2009–10 season...

.

Other mainstream sports such as basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 and volleyball
Volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 are also popular. Turkey hosted the finals of EuroBasket 2001
EuroBasket 2001
The EuroBasket 2001 was the 32nd EuroBasket, the biennial regional basketball championship contested by European nations and held by FIBA Europe. The tournament, which was hosted by Turkey, began on 31 August 2001 and concluded with the final on 9 September 2001. Yugoslavia won the gold medal,...

 and the finals of the 2010 FIBA World Championship
2010 FIBA World Championship
The 2010 FIBA World Championship, hosted by Turkey, was the international basketball competition contested by the men's national teams. The tournament ran from August 28 to September 12, 2010. It was co-organized by the International Basketball Federation , Turkish Basketball Federation and the...

, winning second place on both occasions; while Efes Pilsen S.K. won the Korać Cup
Korac Cup
The Korać Cup was an annual basketball club competition held by FIBA between the 1971-72 and 2001-02 seasons. It was the third-tier level club competition in European basketball, after the European Champions' Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup...

 in 1996, finished second in the Saporta Cup
Saporta Cup
Saporta Cup was the name of the second-tier level European professional club basketball competition, where the National Cup winners from all over Europe played against each other. The competition was organized by FIBA Europe...

 of 1993, and made it to the Final Four of Euroleague
Euroleague
Euroleague Basketball, commonly known as the Euroleague, is the highest level tier and most important professional club basketball competition in Europe, with teams from up to 18 different countries, members of FIBA Europe. For sponsorship reasons, for five seasons starting with 2010–2011, it is...

 and Suproleague
Suproleague
FIBA SuproLeague was the FIBA professional club basketball Champions' Cup for the 2000-01 season. Up until that season, there was one cup, the FIBA European Champions' Cup , though in this season of 2000-01, the leading European teams split into two competitions: the FIBA SuproLeague and the ULEB's...

 in 2000 and 2001. Turkish basketball players such as Mehmet Okur
Mehmet Okur
Mehmet Murat Okur is a Turkish professional basketball player who currently plays for Türk Telekom B.K.. He is also under contract with the Utah Jazz of the NBA, and can return to that team when the 2011 NBA lockout ends...

 and Hedo Turkoglu
Hidayet Türkoglu
Hidayet "Hedo" Türkoğlu is a Turkish professional basketball player in the NBA currently playing for the Orlando Magic. He plays the small forward position, although he has played four positions in his career...

 have also been successful in the NBA
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

. Women's volleyball teams, namely Eczacıbaşı
Eczacibasi Istanbul
Eczacıbaşı Istanbul is a Turkish volleyball club which is playing their home matches at the Eczacıbaşı Spor Salonu hall in Istanbul. The team participated in the Women's CEV Champions League 2007-08...

, Vakıfbank Güneş Sigorta and Fenerbahçe Acıbadem, have won numerous European championship titles and medals.

The traditional Turkish national sport has been yağlı güreş
Yagli güres
Oil wrestling , also called grease wrestling, is the Turkish national sport. It is so called because the wrestlers douse themselves with olive oil. It is related to the Uzbeki kurash, Tuvan khuresh and Tatar köräş...

 (oiled wrestling) since Ottoman times. Edirne
Edirne
Edirne is a city in Eastern Thrace, the northwestern part of Turkey, close to the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire from 1365 to 1453, before Constantinople became the empire's new capital. At present, Edirne is the capital of the Edirne...

 has hosted the annual Kırkpınar
Kirkpinar
Kırkpınar is a Turkish oil-wrestling tournament. It is held annually, usually in late June, near Edirne, Turkey since 1346.- Description :Before each bout, the wrestlers pour olive oil over their entire bodies, and the matches take place in an open, grassy field, with the contestants naked except...

 oiled wrestling tournament since 1361. International wrestling styles governed by FILA
International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, also known in French as Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées , is an international wrestling federation that holds events around the world. It is the governing body of international amateur wrestling...

 such as Freestyle wrestling
Freestyle wrestling
Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practised throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic games. It is, along with track and field, one of the oldest organized sports in history...

 and Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling
Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of wrestling that is practised worldwide. It was contested at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been included in every edition of the summer Olympics held since 1908. Two wrestlers are scored for their performance in three two-minute periods, which can...

 are also popular, with many European, World and Olympic championship titles won by Turkish wrestlers both individually and as a national team.

Weightlifting has been a successful Turkish sport. Turkish weightlifters, both male and female, have broken numerous world records and won several European, World and Olympic championship titles. Naim Süleymanoğlu
Naim Süleymanoglu
Naim Süleymanoğlu , formerly known as Naim Suleimanov , is a Turkish World and Olympic Champion in weightlifting...

 and Halil Mutlu
Halil Mutlu
Halil Mutlu is a professional Turkish weightlifter with several World and Olympic championships. Mutlu is one of the four weightlifters achieving three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games...

 have achieved legendary status as one of the few weightlifters to have won three gold medals in three Olympics.

Motorsport
Motorsport
Motorsport or motorsports is the group of sports which primarily involve the use of motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competition...

s are also popular in Turkey. The Rally of Turkey
Rally of Turkey
The Rally of Turkey is a rally competition on the FIA World Rally Championship schedule.-History:First international rally in Turkey was held in 1972, starting and finishing in İstanbul. In 1999, the idea of creating an all-new event as a WRC candidate was conceived. The next year in 2000, the...

 was included in the FIA World Rally Championship
World Rally Championship
The World Rally Championship is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver and manufacturer. The driver's world championship and manufacturer's world championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. The series currently consists of 13...

 calendar in 2003, while Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 race weekends held at the Istanbul Park
Istanbul Park
Istanbul Park , also known as the Istanbul Racing Circuit or initially Istanbul Otodrom, is a motor sports race track in Akfırat County east of Istanbul, Turkey. It was inaugurated on 21 August 2005...

 racing circuit occurred annually between the 2005
2005 Turkish Grand Prix
The 2005 Turkish Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on August 21 at Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. This was the first Formula One race to take place in Turkey.-Friday Drivers:-Qualifying:...

 and 2011 Formula One
2011 Turkish Grand Prix
The 2011 Turkish Grand Prix, formally the 2011 Formula 1 DHL Turkish Grand Prix, was a Formula One motor race held on 8 May 2011 at Istanbul Park in Istanbul, Turkey. It was the fourth round of the 2011 Formula One season. The race, contested over 58 laps, was won by the championship leader,...

 seasons. The Turkish Grand Prix
Turkish Grand Prix
The Turkish Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race that was first held on August 21, 2005 as part of the 2005 Formula One season. It is held at the newly built Istanbul Park Circuit, constructed by famous German civil engineer Hermann Tilke...

 was, however, not included in the 2012 Formula One season
2012 Formula One season
The 2012 Formula One season will be the 63rd FIA Formula One season. 2012 will be the penultimate year of the current 2.4 litre V8 engine configuration, before being replaced by more environmentally friendly 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines in 2014...

's calendar. Other important annual motorsports events which are held at the Istanbul Park racing circuit include the MotoGP Grand Prix of Turkey
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier championship of motorcycle road racing currently divided into three distinct classes: 125cc, Moto2 and MotoGP. The 125cc class uses a two-stroke engine while Moto2 and MotoGP use four-stroke engines. In 2010 the 250cc two-stroke was replaced...

, the FIA World Touring Car Championship
World Touring Car Championship
For the video game, known as World Touring Car Championship in Japan, see TOCA World Touring CarsThe FIA World Touring Car Championship is an international Touring Car championship sanctioned by the FIA.-History:...

, the GP2 Series
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

 and the Le Mans Series
Le Mans Series
The Le Mans Series is a European sports car racing endurance series based around the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and run by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest . The series was originally named the Le Mans Endurance Series, but changed its name prior to the 2006 season...

. From time to time Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

 and Antalya
Antalya
Antalya is a city on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. With a population 1,001,318 as of 2010. It is the eighth most populous city in Turkey and country's biggest international sea resort.- History :...

 also host the Turkish leg of the F1 Powerboat Racing
F1 Powerboat Racing
F1 Powerboat World Championship is a competition of powerboats with rules similar to Formula One car racing. Each F1 powerboat race lasts approximately 45 minutes following a circuit marked out in a selected stretch of water, usually a lake, river, or sheltered bay.Qualifying periods decide the...

 championship; while the Turkish leg of the Red Bull Air Race World Series
Red Bull Air Race World Series
The Red Bull Air Race, established in 2003 and created by Red Bull, is an international series of air races in which competitors have to navigate a challenging obstacle course in the fastest time. Pilots fly individually against the clock and have to complete tight turns through a slalom course...

, an air racing
Air racing
- History :The first ever air race was held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1908. The participants piloted the only 4 airships in the U.S. around a course located at Forest Park...

 competition, takes place above the Golden Horn
Golden Horn
The Golden Horn is a historic inlet of the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbor that has sheltered Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and other ships for thousands of...

 in Istanbul. Surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, paragliding and other extreme sports are becoming more popular every year.

See also



  • List of Turkish people
  • List of twin towns and sister cities in Turkey
  • Public holidays in Turkey
    Public holidays in Turkey
    The official holidays in Turkey are established by the Act 2429 of March 19, 1981 that replaced the Act 2739 of May 27, 1935. These holidays can be grouped in national religious holidays.Public HolidaysDateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarksJanuary 1...

  • Timeline of Turkish history
    Timeline of Turkish history
    This series of articles presents a detailed timeline summarizing the history of the Turkish people, the people who presently live in, or are from, Turkey.* Timeline of Turks * Sultanate of Rûm : Timeline of the Sultanate of Rûm...


Further reading


  • Bozarslan, Hamit 'Turkey: Postcolonial discourse in a non-colonised state', in Prem Poddar et al., Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures—Continental Europe and its Colonies, Edinburgh University Press, 2008
  • Roxburgh, David J. (ed.) (2005). Turks: A Journey of a Thousand Years, 600–1600. Royal Academy of Arts. ISBN 1-903973-56-2.
  • Turkey: A Country Study (1996). Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. ISBN 0-8444-0864-6.


External links