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Coordinates : 39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°E / 39; 35

Republic of Turkey _Türkiye Cumhuriyeti_ (Turkish )

Flag National emblem

ANTHEM:

* " İstiklâl Marşı " * "The Independence March" *

CAPITAL Ankara
Ankara
39°55′N 32°50′E / 39.917°N 32.833°E / 39.917; 32.833

LARGEST CITY Istanbul
Istanbul
41°1′N 28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.950°E / 41.017; 28.950

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES Turkish

DEMONYM

* Turkish

GOVERNMENT Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic

• PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

• PRIME MINISTER Binali Yıldırım

• SPEAKER OF THE GRAND NATIONAL ASSEMBLY İsmail Kahraman

LEGISLATURE Grand National Assembly

SUCCESSION TO THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

• WAR OF INDEPENDENCE 19 May 1919

• GOVERNMENT OF THE GNA 23 April 1920

• TREATY OF KARS 13 October 1921

• TREATY OF LAUSANNE 24 July 1923

• DECLARATION OF REPUBLIC 29 October 1923

AREA

• TOTAL 783,356 km2 (302,455 sq mi) (36th )

• WATER (%) 1.3

POPULATION

• 2017 CENSUS 79,814,871 (18th )

• DENSITY 102 /km2 (264.2/sq mi) (107th )

GDP (PPP ) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $2.082 trillion (13th )

• PER CAPITA $25,776 (45th )

GDP (NOMINAL) 2017 estimate

• TOTAL $861 billion (17th )

• PER CAPITA $11,014 (60th )

GINI (2013) 40.0 medium · 56th

HDI (2014) 0.761 high · 72nd

CURRENCY Turkish lira ₺ (TRY )

TIME ZONE FET (UTC +3)

DATE FORMAT dd/mm/yyyy (AD )

DRIVES ON THE right

CALLING CODE +90

ISO 3166 CODE TR

INTERNET TLD .tr

WEBSITE www.turkiye.gov .tr

TURKEY (/ˈtɜːrki/ (_ listen ); Turkish : Türkiye_ ), officially the REPUBLIC OF TURKEY (Turkish: _ Türkiye Cumhuriyeti_ (help ·info ); pronounced ), is a transcontinental country in Eurasia
Eurasia
, mainly in Anatolia
Anatolia
in Western Asia , with a smaller portion on the Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe . Turkey
Turkey
is a democratic , secular , unitary , parliamentary republic with a diverse cultural heritage . Turkey
Turkey
is bordered by eight countries: Greece
Greece
and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
to the northwest; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia
Armenia
, the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan and Iran
Iran
to the east; Iraq
Iraq
and Syria
Syria
to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea is to the west, the Black Sea
Black Sea
to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The Bosphorus , the Sea of Marmara , and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
, which together form the Turkish Straits , divide Thrace
Thrace
and Anatolia
Anatolia
; they also separate Europe
Europe
and Asia. Ankara
Ankara
is the capital while Istanbul
Istanbul
is the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the country's citizens identify themselves as ethnic Turks . Other ethnic groups include legally recognised ( Armenians
Armenians
, Greeks
Greeks
, Jews ) and unrecognised (Kurds , Arabs , Circassians , Albanians , Bosniaks , Georgians , etc.) minorities. Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population.

The area of Turkey
Turkey
has been inhabited since the Paleolithic
Paleolithic
by various ancient Anatolian civilisations , as well as Assyrians , Greeks
Greeks
, Thracians , Phrygians , Urartians and Armenians
Armenians
. After Alexander the Great 's conquest, the area was Hellenized , a process which continued under the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and its transition into the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
. The Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, starting the process of Turkification
Turkification
, which was accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia
Anatolia
until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish beyliks .

In the mid-14th century the Ottomans started uniting Anatolia
Anatolia
and created an empire encompassing much of Southeast Europe, West Asia
Asia
and North Africa
North Africa
, becoming a major power in Eurasia
Eurasia
and Africa during the early modern period . The empire reached the peak of its power in the 16th century, especially during the reign (1520–1566) of Suleiman the Magnificent . It remained powerful and influential for two more centuries, until important setbacks in the 17th and 18th century forced it to cede strategic territories in Europe, signalling the loss of its former military strength and wealth. After the 1913 Ottoman coup d\'état which effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas
Three Pashas
, the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
decided to join the Central Powers during World War I
World War I
which were ultimately defeated by the Allied Powers . During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian , Assyrian and Pontic Greek citizens.

Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
was partitioned into several new states . The Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922), initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against the occupying Allies , resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey
Turkey
in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president. Atatürk enacted numerous reforms , many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought, philosophy, and customs into the new form of Turkish government.

Turkey
Turkey
is a charter member of the UN , an early member of NATO
NATO
, and a founding member of the OECD
OECD
, OSCE , OIC and G-20 . After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005. Turkey's growing economy and diplomatic initiatives have led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.

Turkey's current administration headed by president Tayyip Erdoğan has reversed many of the country's earlier reforms which had been in place since the founding of the modern republic of Turkey, such as Freedom of the Press , a Legislative System of Checks and Balances , and a set of standards for secularism in government, as first enacted by Atatürk.

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology

* 2 History

* 2.1 Prehistory of Anatolia
Anatolia
and Eastern Thrace
Thrace
* 2.2 Antiquity and Byzantine period * 2.3 Seljuks
Seljuks
and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
* 2.4 Republic of Turkey
Turkey

* 3 Administrative divisions

* 4 Politics

* 4.1 Human rights * 4.2 Websites blocked * 4.3 Law * 4.4 Foreign relations * 4.5 Military

* 5 Geography

* 5.1 Biodiversity * 5.2 Climate

* 6 Economy
Economy

* 6.1 History * 6.2 Tourism * 6.3 Infrastructure * 6.4 Science and technology

* 7 Demographics

* 7.1 Languages

* 7.2 Religion

* 7.2.1 Islam
Islam
* 7.2.2 Christianity * 7.2.3 Judaism
Judaism
* 7.2.4 Agnosticism and atheism

* 7.3 Education
Education
* 7.4 Healthcare

* 8 Culture

* 8.1 Visual arts * 8.2 Literature and theatre * 8.3 Music and dance * 8.4 Architecture * 8.5 Cuisine * 8.6 Sports * 8.7 Media and cinema

* 9 See also * 10 Notes * 11 References * 12 Further reading * 13 External links

ETYMOLOGY

Main article: Name of Turkey

The name of Turkey
Turkey
(Turkish : _Türkiye_) is based on the ethnonym _Türk _. The first recorded use of the term "Türk" or "Türük" as an autonym is contained in the Old Turkic inscriptions of the Göktürks (_Celestial Turks_) of Central Asia (c. 8th century). The English name _ Turkey
Turkey
_ first appeared in the late 14th century and is derived from Medieval Latin _Turchia_.

The Greek cognate of this name, _Tourkia _ (Greek : Τουρκία) was used by the Byzantine emperor and scholar Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus in his book _ De Administrando Imperio _, though in his use, "Turks" always referred to Magyars
Magyars
. Similarly, the medieval Khazar Empire , a Turkic state on the northern shores of the Black and Caspian seas, was referred to as _Tourkia_ (_Land of the Turks_) in Byzantine sources. The medieval Arabs referred to the Mamluk Sultanate as _al-Dawla al-Turkiyya_ (_State of Turkey_). The Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as _Turkey_ or the _Turkish Empire_ among its European contemporaries.

HISTORY

Main article: History of Turkey See also: History of Anatolia
Anatolia
and History of Thrace
Thrace

PREHISTORY OF ANATOLIA AND EASTERN THRACE

Main articles: Prehistory of Anatolia
Anatolia
and Prehistory of Southeastern Europe
Europe
See also: Ancient Anatolians , Ancient kingdoms of Anatolia
Anatolia
, and Thracians Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 9600 BC , predating those of Stonehenge
Stonehenge
, England
England
, by over seven millennia. The Lion Gate in Hattusa
Hattusa
, capital of the Hittite Empire . The city's history dates back to the 6th millennium BC.

The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia
Anatolia
, from at least the Neolithic
Neolithic
period until the Hellenistic period . Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages , a branch of the larger Indo-European language family . In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia
Anatolia
as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace
Thrace
, has also been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, and is known to have been in the Neolithic
Neolithic
era by about 6000 BC.

Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a very large Neolithic
Neolithic
and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic
Neolithic
site found to date and in July 2012 was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site . The settlement of Troy
Troy
started in the Neolithic
Neolithic
Age and continued into the Iron Age
Iron Age
.

The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia
Anatolia
were the Hattians and Hurrians , non-Indo-European peoples who inhabited central and eastern Anatolia, respectively, as early as ca. 2300 BC. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia
Anatolia
and gradually absorbed the Hattians and Hurrians ca. 2000–1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th century BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey
Turkey
as early as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC. Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria.

Following the collapse of the Hittite empire c. 1180 BC, the Phrygians , an Indo-European people, achieved ascendancy in Anatolia until their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC. Starting from 714 BC, Urartu shared the same fate and dissolved in 590 BC, when it was conquered by the Medes . The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia
Lydia
, Caria and Lycia . _ The gymnasium of Sardis , capital of ancient Lydia
Lydia
(c. 1200 BC–546 BC), the successor state of ancient Arzawa (15th–13th centuries BC). Walls of the acropolis of Troy
Troy
VIIa , the site of the Trojan War (c. 1200 BC) that inspired Homer
Homer
's Iliad
Iliad
_.

ANTIQUITY AND BYZANTINE PERIOD

Main articles: Classical Anatolia
Anatolia
, Byzantine Anatolia
Anatolia
, and Hellenistic period See also: Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
, Successors of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
, and States in late medieval Anatolia
Anatolia
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus
Ephesus
was built by the Romans in 114–117 AD. The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, built by king Croesus of Lydia
Lydia
in the 6th century BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World . Originally a church, later a mosque, and now a museum, the Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
in Istanbul
Istanbul
was built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in 532–537 AD.

Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia
Anatolia
was heavily settled by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks
Greeks
. Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus , Ephesus
Ephesus
, Smyrna
Smyrna
(now İzmir ) and Byzantium
Byzantium
(now Istanbul
Istanbul
), the latter founded by Greek colonists from Megara in 657 BC. The first state that was called Armenia
Armenia
by neighbouring peoples was the state of the Armenian Orontid dynasty , which included parts of eastern Turkey
Turkey
beginning in the 6th century BC. In Northwest Turkey, the most significant tribal group in Thrace was the Odyrisians , founded by Teres I .

All of modern-day Turkey
Turkey
was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th century BC. The Greco-Persian Wars started when the Greek city states on the coast of Anatolia
Anatolia
rebelled against Persian rule in 499 BC. The territory of Turkey
Turkey
later fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC, which led to increasing cultural homogeneity and Hellenization in the area.

Following Alexander's death in 323 BC, Anatolia
Anatolia
was subsequently divided into a number of small Hellenistic kingdoms , all of which became part of the Roman Republic by the mid-1st century BC. The process of Hellenization that began with Alexander's conquest accelerated under Roman rule, and by the early centuries of the Christian Era , the local Anatolian languages and cultures had become extinct, being largely replaced by ancient Greek language
Greek language
and culture. From the 1st century BC up to the 3rd century CE, large parts of modern-day Turkey
Turkey
were contested between the Romans and neighbouring Parthians through the frequent Roman-Parthian Wars .

In 324, Constantine I
Constantine I
chose Byzantium
Byzantium
to be the new capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
, renaming it New Rome . Following the death of Theodosius I in 395 and the permanent division of the Roman Empire between his two sons, the city, which would popularly come to be known as Constantinople
Constantinople
, became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire
Roman Empire
. This empire, which would later be branded by historians as the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
, ruled most of the territory of present-day Turkey until the Late Middle Ages ; although the eastern regions remained in firm Sasanian
Sasanian
hands up to the first half of the seventh century. The frequent Byzantine-Sassanid Wars
Byzantine-Sassanid Wars
, as part of the centuries long-lasting Roman-Persian Wars , fought between the neighbouring rivalling Byzantines and Sasanians, took place in various parts of present-day Turkey
Turkey
and decided much of the latter's history from the fourth century up to the first half of the seventh century. Designed by Greek architect Zeno, a native of the city, the Aspendos amphitheatre was built during the Roman period in 161–169 CE. Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut
, built by the Armenian Antiochus I Theos of Commagene , is notable for its summit where a number of large statues are erected around what is assumed to be a royal tomb from the 1st century BC.

SELJUKS AND THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Main articles: Seljuk dynasty and Ottoman dynasty See also: Turkic migration , Mongol invasions of Anatolia
Anatolia
, Seljuk Empire , Sultanate of Rum , and Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
Mevlana Museum in Konya
Konya
was built by the Seljuk Turks in 1274. Konya
Konya
was the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum
Sultanate of Rum
(Anatolia).

The House of Seljuk was a branch of the _Kınık_ Oğuz Turks who resided on the periphery of the Muslim
Muslim
world , in the Yabgu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy, to the north of the Caspian and Aral Seas , in the 9th century. In the 10th century, the Seljuks
Seljuks
started migrating from their ancestral homeland into Persia
Persia
, which became the administrative core of the Great Seljuk Empire .

In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks began penetrating into medieval Armenia
Armenia
and the eastern regions of Anatolia . In 1071, the Seljuks
Seljuks
defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert , starting the Turkification
Turkification
process in the area; the Turkish language and Islam
Islam
were introduced to Armenia
Armenia
and Anatolia, gradually spreading throughout the region. The slow transition from a predominantly Christian
Christian
and Greek -speaking Anatolia
Anatolia
to a predominantly Muslim
Muslim
and Turkish -speaking one was underway. Alongside the Turkification
Turkification
of the territory, the culturally Persianized Seljuks
Seljuks
set the basis for a Turko-Persian principal culture in Anatolia, which their eventual successors, the Ottomans, would take over .

In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols , causing the Seljuk Empire's power to slowly disintegrate. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I would evolve over the next 200 years into the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
. In 1453, the Ottomans completed their conquest of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
by capturing its capital , Constantinople
Constantinople
. Topkapı and Dolmabahçe palaces were the primary residences of the Ottoman Sultans and the administrative centre of the empire between 1465 to 1856 and 1856 to 1922, respectively.

In 1514, Sultan Selim I (1512–1520) successfully expanded the empire's southern and eastern borders by defeating Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty in the Battle of Chaldiran
Battle of Chaldiran
. In 1517, Selim I expanded Ottoman rule into Algeria
Algeria
and Egypt
Egypt
, and created a naval presence in the Red Sea
Red Sea
. Subsequently, a contest started between the Ottoman and Portuguese empires to become the dominant sea power in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
, with a number of naval battles in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
and the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
. The Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
was perceived as a threat to the Ottoman monopoly over the ancient trade routes between East Asia
East Asia
and Western Europe
Western Europe
. Despite the increasingly prominent European presence, the Ottoman Empire's trade with the east continued to flourish until the second half of the 18th century.

The Ottoman Empire's power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent , who personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation and criminal law. The empire was often at odds with the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in its steady advance towards Central Europe
Europe
through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . At sea, the Ottoman Navy contended with several Holy Leagues, such as those in 1538 , 1571 , 1684 and 1717 (composed primarily of Habsburg Spain , the Republic of Genoa , the Republic of Venice , the Knights of St. John , the Papal States
Papal States
, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Savoy ), for the control of the Mediterranean Sea . In the east, the Ottomans were often at war with Safavid Persia
Persia
over conflicts stemming from territorial disputes or religious differences between the 16th and 18th centuries. The Ottoman wars with Persia
Persia
continued as the Zand , Afsharid , and Qajar dynasties succeeded the Safavids in Iran, until the first half of the 19th century . From the 16th to the early 20th centuries, the Ottoman Empire also fought many wars with the Russian Tsardom and Empire . These were initially about Ottoman territorial expansion and consolidation in southeastern and eastern Europe; but starting from the latter half of the 18th century , they became more about the survival of the Ottoman Empire, which had begun to lose its strategic territories on the northern Black Sea
Black Sea
coast to the advancing Russians. Between the 18th and the early 20th centuries, the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires were neighbouring rivals of each other. Visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Istanbul
Istanbul
in Oct. 1917 with Mehmed V
Mehmed V
and Enver Pasha
Pasha
. The Ottomans joined World War I
World War I
on the side of the Central Powers and suffered heavy losses. Overall, the total number of combatant casualties in the Ottoman forces amounts to just under half of all those mobilised to fight. Of these, more than 800,000 were killed. However, four out of every five Ottoman citizens who died were non-combatants.

From the second half of the 18th century onwards, the Ottoman Empire began to decline . The Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century, which had been instituted by Mahmud II
Mahmud II
, were aimed to modernise the Ottoman state in line with the progress that had been made in Western Europe. The efforts of Midhat Pasha during the late Tanzimat era led the Ottoman constitutional movement of 1876 , which introduced the First Constitutional Era , but these efforts proved to be inadequate in most fields, and failed to stop the dissolution of the empire . As the empire gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth, especially after the Ottoman economic crisis and default in 1875 which led to uprisings in the Balkan provinces that culminated into the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 , many Balkan Muslims migrated to the Empire's heartland in Anatolia, along with the Circassians fleeing the Russian conquest of the Caucasus . The decline of the Ottoman Empire led to a rise in nationalist sentiment among its various subject peoples , leading to increased ethnic tensions which occasionally burst into violence, such as the Hamidian massacres of Armenians
Armenians
.

The Young Turk Revolution
Young Turk Revolution
in 1908 restored the Ottoman constitution and parliament 30 years after their suspension by Sultan Abdülhamid II in 1878, which is known as the Second Constitutional Era , but the 1913 Ottoman coup d\'état effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas
Three Pashas
, making sultans Mehmed V
Mehmed V
and Mehmed VI largely symbolic figureheads with no real political power.

The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
entered World War I
World War I
on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. During the war, the empire's Armenians
Armenians
were deported to Syria
Syria
as part of the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
. As a result, an estimated 800,000 to 1,500,000 Armenians
Armenians
were killed. The Turkish government has refused to acknowledge the events as genocide and claims that Armenians
Armenians
were only relocated from the eastern war zone. Large-scale massacres were also committed against the empire's other minority groups such as the Assyrians and Greeks
Greeks
. Following the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918, the victorious Allied Powers sought to partition the Ottoman state through the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres .

REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

Main article: History of the Republic of Turkey See also: Atatürk\'s Reforms Mustafa Kemal Atatürk , founder and first President of the Turkish Republic, visiting Istanbul
Istanbul
University after its reorganization in 1933 as a mixed-gender institution of higher education with multiple faculties .

The occupation of Istanbul
Istanbul
and Izmir by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I
World War I
prompted the establishment of the Turkish National Movement . Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Pasha
, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli , the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.

By 18 September 1922 the occupying armies were expelled, and the Ankara-based Turkish regime , which had declared itself the legitimate government of the country on 23 April 1920 , started to formalise the legal transition from the old Ottoman into the new Republican political system. On 1 November 1922, the Turkish Parliament in Ankara formally abolished the Sultanate , thus ending 623 years of monarchical Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 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 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country's new capital. The Lausanne Convention stipulated a population exchange between Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
, whereby 1.1 million Greeks
Greeks
left Turkey
Turkey
for Greece
Greece
in exchange for 380,000 Muslims transferred from Greece
Greece
to Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first President and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming the old religion-based and multi-communal Ottoman state system (constitutional monarchy ) into an essentially Turkish nation state (parliamentary republic ) with a secular constitution . With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Mustafa Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (_Father of the Turks_). Eighteen female MPs joined the Turkish Parliament with the 1935 general elections . Turkish women gained the right to vote a decade or more before women in such Western European countries as France, Italy, and Belgium
Belgium
— a mark of Atatürk's far-reaching social changes.

İsmet İnönü became Turkey's second President following Atatürk's death on 10 November 1938. In 1939 Turkey
Turkey
annexed the Republic of Hatay . Turkey
Turkey
remained neutral during most of World War II
World War II
, but entered the closing stages of the war on the side of the Allies on 23 February 1945. On 26 June 1945, Turkey
Turkey
became a charter member of the United Nations. In the same year, the single-party period in Turkey came to an end, with the first multiparty elections in 1946 . The Truman Doctrine in 1947 enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey
Turkey
and Greece
Greece
during the Cold War , and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic support . In 1948 both countries were included in the Marshall Plan and the OEEC for rebuilding European economies. In 1949 Turkey
Turkey
became a member of the Council of Europe . The Democratic Party established by Celâl Bayar won the 1950 , 1954 and 1957 general elections and stayed in power for a decade, with Adnan Menderes
Adnan Menderes
as the Prime Minister and Bayar as the President. After participating with the United Nations
United Nations
forces in the Korean War , Turkey
Turkey
joined NATO
NATO
in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean . Turkey
Turkey
subsequently became a founding member of the OECD
OECD
in 1961, and an associate member of the EEC in 1963. During the politically unstable periods of the Turkish Republic, the military exercised power directly or through figures like Cemal Gürsel (far right).

The country's tumultuous transition to multiparty democracy was interrupted by military coups d\'état in 1960 , 1971 , and 1980 , as well as a military memorandum in 1997 . Between 1960 and the end of the 20th century, the prominent leaders in Turkish politics who achieved multiple election victories were Süleyman Demirel , Bülent Ecevit and Turgut Özal .

Following a decade of Cypriot intercommunal violence and the coup in Cyprus
Cyprus
on 15 July 1974 staged by the EOKA B paramilitary organisation, which overthrew President Makarios and installed the pro- Enosis
Enosis
(union with Greece) Nikos Sampson as dictator, Turkey
Turkey
invaded Cyprus
Cyprus
on 20 July 1974 by unilaterally exercising Article IV in the Treaty of Guarantee (1960) , but without restoring the status quo ante at the end of the military operation. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus , which is recognised only by Turkey, was established. As of 2017, negotiations for solving the Cyprus dispute are still ongoing between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political leaders.

In 1984 the PKK , a Kurdish separatist group (listed as a terrorist organization by NATO
NATO
, the United States
United States
and the European Union
European Union
), began an armed insurgency campaign against Turkey. The conflict has claimed over 40,000 lives to date.

Since the liberalisation of the Turkish economy in the 1980s, the country has enjoyed stronger economic growth and greater political stability. Turkey
Turkey
applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union
European Union
in 2005.

In 2013, widespread protests erupted in many Turkish provinces, sparked by a plan to demolish Gezi Park
Gezi Park
but soon growing into general anti-government dissent. On 15–16 July 2016, an unsuccessful coup attempt tried to oust the government. As a reaction to the failed coup d'état, the government is currently carrying out mass purges .

ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS

Main article: Administrative divisions of Turkey Further information: Regions of Turkey and NUTS of Turkey

Turkey
Turkey
has a unitary structure in terms of administration and this aspect is one of the most important factors shaping the Turkish public administration. When three powers (executive, legislative and judiciary) are taken into account as the main functions of the state, local administrations have little power. Turkey
Turkey
doesn't have a federal system, and the provinces are subordinate to the central government in Ankara. Local administrations were established to provide services in place and the government is represented by the province governors (_vali_) and town governors (_kaymakam_). Other senior public officials are also appointed by the central government instead of the mayors (_belediye başkanı_) or elected by constituents. Turkish municipalities have local legislative bodies (_belediye meclisi_) for decision-making on municipal issues.

Within this unitary framework, Turkey
Turkey
is subdivided into 81 provinces (_il_ or _vilayet_) for administrative purposes. Each province is divided into districts (_ilçe_), for a total of 923 districts. Turkey
Turkey
is also subdivided into 7 regions (_bölge_) and 21 subregions for geographic, demographic and economic purposes; this does not refer to an administrative division. The centralised structure of decision-making in Ankara
Ankara
is considered by some academicians as an impediment to good local governance, and occasionally causes resentment in the municipalities of urban centres that are inhabited largely by ethnic minority groups, such as the Kurds. Steps towards decentralisation since 2004 have proven to be a highly controversial topic in Turkey. The efforts to decentralise the administrative structure are also driven by the European Charter of Local Self-Government and with Chapter 22 ("Regional Policy float: none; clear: none; font-size: 85%; line-height: 1; text-align: center; background-color: #ffffff; position: relative; max-width: 100%; overflow-x: auto;"> Ankara
Ankara
Kırklareli Edirne Tekirdağ Çanakkale Balıkesir Bursa
Bursa
Yalova Istanbul
Istanbul
Kocaeli Sakarya Düzce Zonguldak Bolu Bilecik Eskişehir
Eskişehir
Kütahya Manisa İzmir Aydın Muğla Denizli
Denizli
Burdur Uşak Afyon Isparta Antalya Konya
Konya
Mersin Karaman Aksaray Kırşehir Kırıkkale Çankırı Karabük Bartın Kastamonu Sinop Çorum Yozgat Nevşehir Niğde Adana Hatay Osmaniye K. Maraş Kayseri
Kayseri
Sivas Tokat Amasya Samsun
Samsun
Ordu Giresun Erzincan Malatya
Malatya
Gaziantep Kilis Şanlıurfa Adıyaman Gümüşhane Trabzon Rize Bayburt Erzurum Artvin Ardahan Kars Ağrı Iğdır Tunceli Elâzığ Diyarbakır Mardin
Mardin
Batman Siirt Şırnak Bitlis Bingöl Muş Van Hakkâri

POLITICS

Main article: Politics of Turkey See also: Constitution of Turkey , Elections in Turkey , and Ministries of Turkey

Tayyip Erdoğan President Binali Yıldırım Prime Minister

Turkey
Turkey
is a parliamentary representative democracy . Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey
Turkey
has developed a strong tradition of secularism . Turkey\'s constitution governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of government and establishes Turkey
Turkey
as a unitary centralised state. The President of the Republic is the head of state and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a five-year term by direct elections and Tayyip Erdoğan is the first president elected by direct voting.

Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers which make up the government, while the legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Turkey
. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees with the constitution. The Council of State 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 prime minister is Binali Yıldırım , who replaced Ahmet Davutoğlu on 24 May 2016.

Universal suffrage 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. There are 550 members of parliament who are elected for a four-year term by a party-list proportional representation system from 85 electoral districts. The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secular or separatist , or ban their existence altogether. The electoral threshold is 10 percent of the votes.

Supporters of Atatürk\'s reforms are called Kemalists , as distinguished from Islamists , representing the two diverging views regarding the role of religion in legislation , education and public life . The Kemalist view supports a form of democracy with a laicist constitution and Westernised secular lifestyle , while maintaining the necessity of state intervention in the economy , education and other public services . Since the 1980s, issues such as income inequality and class distinction have given rise to Islamic populism , a movement that supports a larger role for religion in government policies, and in theory supports obligation to authority, communal solidarity and social justice; though what that entails in practice is often contested. Turkey
Turkey
under Tayyip Erdoğan and the AKP has been described as becoming increasingly authoritarian . Prior to the constitutional referendum in 2017 the Council of Europe saw Turkey drifting towards an autocracy , warning of a "dramatic regression of its democratic order".

The constitutional referendum was held in April 2017 to change the parliamentary system to a presidential system . Many elements in this constitutional reform package have increased concerns in Europe regarding democracy and separation of powers. The referendum ended in favor of change.

HUMAN RIGHTS

Main article: Human rights in Turkey See also: Racism in Turkey , Torture in Turkey , and Censorship in Turkey A view from the Gezi Park
Gezi Park
protests a view from Taksim
Taksim
, Istanbul
Istanbul
on 4th June 2013.

Human rights in Turkey have been the subject of some controversy and international condemnation. Between 1998 and 2008 the European Court of Human Rights made more than 1,600 judgements against Turkey
Turkey
for human rights violations, particularly regarding the right to life, and freedom from torture. Other issues, such as Kurdish rights, women's rights, LGBT 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.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists , the AKP government has waged one of the world's biggest crackdowns on media freedom . A large number of journalists have been arrested using charges of "terrorism" and "anti-state activities" such as the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases, while thousands have been investigated on charges such as "denigrating Turkishness" or "insulting Islam" in an effort to sow self-censorship. As of 2017, the CPJ identified 81 jailed journalists in Turkey
Turkey
(including the editorial staff of _ Cumhuriyet _, Turkey's oldest newspaper still in circulation), all directly held for their published work (ranking 1st in the world, more than in Iran, Eritrea or China); while Freemuse identified 9 musicians imprisoned for their work (ranking 3rd after Russia
Russia
and China). A former US State Department spokesman, Philip J. Crowley , said that the United States
United States
had "broad concerns about trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey." Turkey's media is rated as _not free_ by Freedom House
Freedom House
. In its resolution "The functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey" on 22 June 2016, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe warned that "recent developments in Turkey
Turkey
pertaining to freedom of the media and of expression, erosion of the rule of law and the human rights violations in relation to anti-terrorism security operations in south-east Turkey
Turkey
have (...) raised serious questions about the functioning of its democratic institutions."

On 20 May 2016, the Turkish parliament stripped almost a quarter of its members of immunity from prosecution, including 101 deputies from the pro-Kurdish HDP and the main opposition CHP party. In reaction to the failed coup d\'état on 15 July 2016, over 125,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants have been suspended or dismissed, 36,000 have been formally arrested, and 130 media organisations, including 16 television broadcasters and 45 newspapers, have been closed by the government of Turkey.

WEBSITES BLOCKED

On 29 April 2017, Turkish authorities blocked online access to in all languages across Turkey. The restrictions were imposed in the context of the 2016–17 purges following the 2016 Turkish _coup d\'état_ attempt , a few weeks after a significant constitutional referendum , and following more selective partial blocking of content in previous years. Following the ban, Jimmy Wales
Jimmy Wales
,'s founder, was disinvited from the World Cities Expo in Istanbul
Istanbul
from 15 to 18 May. Turkish law professor Yaman Akdeniz estimates that is one of about 127,000 websites blocked by Turkish authorities. An estimated 45 percent of Turks have circumvented the Internet blocks, at one time or another, by using a virtual private network (VPN).

LAW

Main articles: Judicial system of Turkey and Law enforcement in Turkey
Turkey
Bas-reliefs of the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great and Ottoman emperor Suleiman the Magnificent in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Some of their contributions to the world's judicial systems are still in effect today.

Turkey\'s judicial system has been wholly integrated with the system of continental Europe
Europe
. For instance, the Turkish Civil Code has been modified by incorporating elements mainly of the Swiss Civil Code and Code of Obligations , and the German Commercial Code . The Administrative Code bears similarities with its French counterpart , and the Penal Code with its Italian counterpart .

Turkey
Turkey
has adopted the principle of the separation of powers . In line with this principle, judicial power is exercised by independent courts on behalf of the Turkish nation. The independence and organisation of the courts, the security of the tenure of judges and public prosecutors, the profession of judges and prosecutors, the supervision of judges and public prosecutors, the military courts and their organisation, and the powers and duties of the high courts are regulated by the Turkish Constitution
Constitution
.

According to Article 142 of the Turkish Constitution, the organisation, duties and jurisdiction of the courts, their functions and the trial procedures are regulated by law. In line with the aforementioned article of the Turkish Constitution
Constitution
and related laws, the court system in Turkey
Turkey
can be classified under three main categories; which are the Judicial Courts, Administrative Courts and Military Courts. Each category includes first instance courts and high courts. In addition, the Court of Jurisdictional Disputes rules on cases that cannot be classified readily as falling within the purview of one court system.

Law enforcement in Turkey is carried out by several departments (such as the General Directorate of Security and Gendarmerie General Command ) and agencies, all acting under the command of the Prime Minister of Turkey
Turkey
or mostly the Minister of Internal Affairs . According to figures released by the Justice Ministry , there are 100,000 people in Turkish prisons as of November 2008, a doubling since 2000.

In the years of government by the AKP and Tayyip Erdoğan , particularly since 2013, the independence and integrity of the Turkish judiciary has increasingly been considered in doubt by institutions, parliamentarians and journalists both within and outside of Turkey; due to political interference in the promotion of judges and prosecutors, and in their pursuit of public duty. The _ Turkey
Turkey
2015 report_ of the European Commission stated that "the independence of the judiciary and respect of the principle of separation of powers have been undermined and judges and prosecutors have been under strong political pressure."

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Main article: Foreign relations of Turkey Leaders of the G-20 at the 2015 Antalya summit in Turkey.

Turkey
Turkey
is a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
(1945), the OECD (1961), the OIC (1969), the OSCE (1973), the ECO (1985), the BSEC (1992), the D-8 (1997) and the G-20 (1999). Turkey
Turkey
was a member of the United Nations
United Nations
Security Council in 1951–1952, 1954–1955, 1961 and 2009–2010. In 2012 Turkey
Turkey
became a dialogue member of the SCO and in 2013, became a member of the ACD . After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey
Turkey
became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005.

In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe
Europe
have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey
Turkey
became one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, applied for associate membership of the EEC (predecessor of the European Union
European Union
) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, Turkey
Turkey
applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, became an associate member of the Western European Union in 1992, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and has been in formal accession negotiations with the EU since 2005. Today, EU membership is considered as a state policy and a strategic target by Turkey. Turkey's support for Northern Cyprus in the Cyprus
Cyprus
dispute complicates Turkey's relations with the EU and remains a major stumbling block to the country's EU accession bid.

The other defining aspect of Turkey's foreign policy is the country's long-standing strategic alliance with the United States. The common threat posed by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
during the Cold War led to Turkey's membership of NATO
NATO
in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with Washington . Subsequently Turkey
Turkey
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. In the post– Cold War environment, Turkey's geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East
Middle East
, the Caucasus
Caucasus
and the Balkans . The Turkish Armed Forces collectively rank as the second largest standing military force in NATO
NATO
, after the US Armed Forces . Turkey
Turkey
joined the alliance in 1952 .

The independence of the Turkic states of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1991, with which Turkey
Turkey
shares a common cultural and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey
Turkey
to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia , thus enabling the completion of a multi-billion-dollar oil and natural gas pipeline from Baku
Baku
in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey. The Baku–Tbilisi– Ceyhan pipeline forms part of Turkey's foreign policy strategy to become an energy conduit from the Caspian Sea basin to Europe. However, in 1993, Turkey
Turkey
sealed its land border with Armenia in a gesture of support to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
(a Turkic state in the Caucasus region) during the Nagorno-Karabakh War , and it remains closed.

Under the AKP government, Turkey's influence has grown in the formerly Ottoman territories of the Middle East
Middle East
and the Balkans , based on the "strategic depth" doctrine (a terminology that was coined by Ahmet Davutoğlu for defining Turkey's increased engagement in regional foreign policy issues), also called Neo-Ottomanism . Following the Arab Spring in December 2010, the choices made by the AKP government for supporting certain political opposition groups in the affected countries have led to tensions with some Arab states, such as Turkey's neighbour Syria
Syria
since the start of the Syrian civil war , and Egypt
Egypt
after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi . As of 2016 , Turkey
Turkey
doesn't have an ambassador in Syria
Syria
and Egypt
Egypt
. Diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
were also severed after the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010, but were normalised following a deal in June 2016. These political rifts have left Turkey
Turkey
with few allies in the East Mediterranean , where rich natural gas fields have recently been discovered; in sharp contrast with the original goals that were set by the former Foreign Minister (later Prime Minister) Ahmet Davutoğlu in his "zero problems with neighbours" foreign policy doctrine. In 2015, Turkey, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
and Qatar
Qatar
formed a "strategic alliance" against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad . However, following the rapprochement with Russia
Russia
in 2016, Turkey
Turkey
revised its stance regarding the solution of the conflict in Syria.

MILITARY

Main article: Turkish Armed Forces See also: Defense industry of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey
Turkey
is one of nine partner states in the F-35 JSF program (left) and one of the eight participants in the Airbus A400M Atlas project (right).

The Turkish Armed Forces consists of the Land Forces , the Naval Forces and the Air Force . The Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard 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 Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President and is responsible to the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the 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
Turkey
rests solely with the Parliament. The MILGEM project aims to design and build locally a fleet of hi-tech stealth multipurpose corvettes and frigates. TCG Heybeliada is one of the warships built under the scope of this project.

Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military for a period ranging from three weeks to a year, dependent on education and job location. Turkey
Turkey
does not recognise conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service.

Turkey
Turkey
has the second largest standing military force in NATO
NATO
, after the US Armed Forces , with an estimated strength of 495,000 deployable forces, according to a 2011 NATO
NATO
estimate. Turkey
Turkey
is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany
Germany
, Italy, and the Netherlands . A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base , 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in case of a nuclear conflict, but their use requires the approval of NATO.

Turkey
Turkey
has maintained forces in international missions under the United Nations
United Nations
and NATO
NATO
since the Korean War , including peacekeeping missions in Somalia
Somalia
, Yugoslavia , Horn of Africa and supported the coalition forces in the First Gulf War . Turkey
Turkey
maintains a controversial 36,000 troop-strong force in Northern Cyprus , contributes military personnel to the International Security Assistance Force , Kosovo Force , Eurocorps and takes part in the EU Battlegroups while assisting Iraqi Kurdistan and Somalia
Somalia
with security. TAF has overseas military bases in Iraq
Iraq
, Qatar
Qatar
and in Somalia
Somalia
.

According to 2016 Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index
, Turkey
Turkey
ranked 145th out of 163 countries in the world, mainly because of its conflict with Kurdish insurgents and its military intervention in Syria
Syria
.

GEOGRAPHY

Main article: Geography of Turkey Topographic map of Turkey
Turkey

Turkey
Turkey
is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey, which includes 97 percent of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus , the Sea of Marmara , and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
. European Turkey
Turkey
comprises 3 percent of the country. The territory of Turkey
Turkey
is more than 1,600 kilometres (990 miles) long and 800 kilometres (500 miles) wide, with a roughly rectangular shape. It lies between latitudes 35° and 43° N , and longitudes 25° and 45° E . Turkey's land area, including lakes, occupies 783,562 square kilometres (302,535 square miles), of which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 square miles) are in Southwest Asia
Asia
and 23,764 square kilometres (9,175 square miles) in Europe. Turkey
Turkey
is the world's 37th-largest country in terms of area. The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea
Black Sea
to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Turkey
Turkey
also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest. A photograph of Lake Van
Lake Van
and the Armenian Church of Akhtamar
Akhtamar
. Van is the largest lake in the country and is located in eastern Anatolia.

The European section of Turkey, East Thrace (the easternmost region of the Balkan peninsula), forms the borders of Turkey
Turkey
with Greece
Greece
and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the country is comprised mostly by the peninsula of Anatolia
Anatolia
, which consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, between the Köroğlu and Pontic mountain ranges to the north and the Taurus Mountains
Taurus Mountains
to the south. Eastern Turkey
Turkey
, located within the western plateau of the Armenian Highlands , has a more mountainous landscape and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates
Euphrates
, Tigris
Tigris
and Aras , and contains Mount Ararat , Turkey's highest point at 5,137 metres (16,854 feet), and Lake Van
Lake Van
, the largest lake in the country. Southeastern Turkey
Turkey
is located within the northern plains of Upper Mesopotamia .

Turkey
Turkey
is divided into seven geographical regions : Marmara , Aegean , Black Sea
Black Sea
, Central Anatolia
Anatolia
, Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
, Southeastern Anatolia
Anatolia
and the Mediterranean . The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea
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 earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey
Turkey
that led to the creation of the Black Sea. The North Anatolian Fault Line runs across the north of the country from west to east, along which major earthquakes took place in history. The latest of those big earthquakes was the 1999 İzmit earthquake .

BIODIVERSITY

Main articles: Flora and vegetation of Turkey and Wildlife of Turkey See also: Environmental issues in Turkey Sümela Monastery on the Pontic Mountains
Pontic Mountains
. These mountains form an ecoregion with diverse temperate rainforest types , flora and fauna .

Turkey's extraordinary ecosystem and habitat diversity has produced considerable species diversity. Anatolia
Anatolia
is the homeland of many plants that have been cultivated for food since the advent of agriculture , and the wild ancestors of many plants that now provide staples for humankind still grow in Turkey. The diversity of Turkey's fauna is even greater than that of its flora . The number of animal species in the whole of Europe
Europe
is around 60,000, while in Turkey
Turkey
there are over 80,000 (over 100,000 counting the subspecies).

The Northern Anatolian conifer and deciduous forests is an ecoregion which covers most of the Pontic Mountains
Pontic Mountains
in northern Turkey, while the Caucasus
Caucasus
mixed forests extend across the eastern end of the range. The region is home to Eurasian wildlife such as the Eurasian sparrowhawk , golden eagle , eastern imperial eagle , lesser spotted eagle , Caucasian black grouse , red-fronted serin , and wallcreeper . The narrow coastal strip between the Pontic Mountains
Pontic Mountains
and the Black Sea is home to the Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests , which contain some of the world's few temperate rainforests . The Turkish pine is mostly found in Turkey
Turkey
and other east Mediterranean countries. Several wild species of tulip are native to Anatolia, and the flower was first introduced to Western Europe
Western Europe
with species taken from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.

There are 40 national parks , 189 nature parks, 31 nature preserve areas, 80 wildlife protection areas and 109 nature monuments in Turkey such as Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park , Mount Nemrut National Park , Ancient Troya National Park , Ölüdeniz Nature Park and Polonezköy Nature Park .

Ankara
Ankara
, the capital of Turkey, is renowned for the Angora cat , Angora rabbit and Angora goat . Another national cat breed of Turkey is the Van cat . The national dog breeds are the Anatolian Shepherd , Kangal , Malaklı and Akbaş .

The last confirmed death of an Anatolian leopard , closely related to the Persian (Caucasian) leopard and native to the western regions of Anatolia, took place in the Bağözü village of the Beypazarı district in Ankara
Ankara
Province on 17 January 1974. The Persian (Caucasian) leopard is still found in very small numbers in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Turkey. The Caspian tiger is an extinct tiger subspecies (closely related to the Siberian tiger ) which lived in the easternmost regions of Turkey
Turkey
until the latter half of the 20th century, with the last confirmed death in Uludere , February 1970. The Eurasian lynx and the European wildcat
European wildcat
are other felid species which are currently found in the forests of Turkey.

CLIMATE

Main article: Climate of Turkey Köppen climate types of Turkey Climate diagram of Turkey
Turkey

The coastal areas of Turkey
Turkey
bordering the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas have a temperate Mediterranean climate , with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas bordering the Black Sea have a temperate oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters . The Turkish Black Sea
Black Sea
coast receives the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey
Turkey
that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part of that coast averages 2,200 millimetres (87 in) annually which is the highest precipitation in the country.

The coastal areas bordering the Sea of Marmara , 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 falls on the coastal areas of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter, but usually melts in no more than a few days. However snow is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.

Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau of the interior of Turkey
Turkey
a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons .

Winters on the eastern part of the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 to −40 °C (−22 to −40 °F) can occur in eastern Anatolia. Snow may remain 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 often above 30 °C (86 °F) in the day. Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimetres (16 inches ), with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya
Konya
plain and the Malatya
Malatya
plain, where annual rainfall is often less than 300 millimetres (12 inches). May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the driest.

ECONOMY

Main article: Economy
Economy
of Turkey
Turkey
Skyscrapers of Levent business district in Istanbul
Istanbul
, Turkey's largest city and leading economic centre.

Turkey
Turkey
has the world's 13th largest GDP by PPP and 18th largest nominal GDP . The country is among the founding members of the OECD and the G-20 .

The EU – Turkey
Turkey
Customs Union in 1995 led to an extensive liberalisation of tariff rates, and forms one of the most important pillars of Turkey's foreign trade policy. Turkey's exports were $143.5 billion in 2011 and reached $163 billion in 2012 (main export partners in 2012: Germany
Germany
8.6%, Iraq
Iraq
7.1%, Iran
Iran
6.5%, UK 5.7%, UAE 5.4%). However, larger imports which amounted to $229 billion in 2012 threatened the balance of trade (main import partners in 2012: Russia 11.3%, Germany
Germany
9%, China
China
9%, US 6%, Italy
Italy
5.6%).

Turkey
Turkey
has a sizeable automotive industry , which produced over 1.3 million motor vehicles in 2015, ranking as the 14th largest producer in the world . Turkish shipbuilding exports were worth US$1.2 billion in 2011. The major export markets are Malta, Marshall Islands, Panama and the United Kingdom. Turkish shipyards have 15 floating docks of different sizes and one dry dock . Tuzla, Yalova, and İzmit have developed into dynamic shipbuilding centres. In 2011, there were 70 active shipyards in Turkey, with another 56 being built. Turkish shipyards are highly regarded both for the production of chemical and oil tankers up to 10,000 dwt and also for their mega yachts . Beko
Beko
and Vestel are among the largest producers of consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe.

Turkish brands like Beko
Beko
and Vestel are among the largest producers of consumer electronics and home appliances in Europe, and invest a substantial amount of funds for research and development in new technologies related to these fields.

Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, and machine industry . In 2010, the agricultural sector accounted for 9 percent of GDP, while the industrial sector accounted for 26 percent and the services sector for 65 percent. However, agriculture still accounted for a quarter of employment. In 2004, it was estimated that 46 percent of total disposable income was received by the top 20 percent of income earners, while the lowest 20 percent received only 6 percent. The rate of female employment in Turkey
Turkey
was 30 percent in 2012, the lowest among all OECD
OECD
countries.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) was $8.3 billion in 2012, a figure expected to rise to $15 billion in 2013. In 2012, Fitch Group upgraded Turkey's credit rating to investment grade after an 18-year gap; this was followed by a ratings upgrade by Moody\'s in May 2013, as the service lifted Turkey's government bond ratings to the lowest investment grade Baa3. In September 2016, Moody's cut Turkey's sovereign debt to junk status. In the economic crisis of 2016 it emerged that the huge debts incurred for investment during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002 had mostly been consumed in construction, rather than invested in sustainable economic growth. Private bank debts in Turkey
Turkey
were 6.6 billion TL in 2002 and had increased to 385 billion TL by the end of 2015.

HISTORY

Main article: Economic history of Turkey _ Atatürk (centre) accompanied by Bayar (to his left) and İnönü (to his right) at the Sümerbank Textile Factory in Nazilli , 9 October 1937. A view of Bankalar Caddesi (Banks Street_) in the early years of the Turkish Republic. Completed in 1892, the Ottoman Central Bank headquarters is seen at left. In 1995 the Istanbul
Istanbul
Stock Exchange moved to İstinye , while numerous Turkish banks moved their headquarters to the central business districts of Levent and Maslak .

In the early decades of the Turkish Republic, the government (or banks established and owned by the government, such as Türkiye İş Bankası (1924), Sanayi ve Maadin Bankası (1925), Emlak ve Eytam Bankası (1926), Central Bank of Turkey
Turkey
(1930), Sümerbank (1933), İller Bankası (1933), Etibank (1935), Denizbank (1937), Halk Bankası (1938), etc.) had to subsidise most of the industrial projects, due to the lack of a strong private sector . However, in the period between the 1920s and 1950s, a new generation of Turkish entrepreneurs such as Nuri Demirağ , Vehbi Koç , Hacı Ömer Sabancı and Nejat Eczacıbaşı began to establish privately owned factories, some of which evolved into the largest industrial conglomerates that dominate the Turkish economy today, such as Koç Holding , Sabancı Holding and Eczacıbaşı Holding .

During the first six decades of the republic, between 1923 and 1983, Turkey
Turkey
generally adhered to a quasi-statist approach with strict government planning of the budget and government-imposed limitations over foreign trade , flow of foreign currency , foreign direct investment and private sector participation in certain fields (such as broadcasting , telecommunications , energy , mining , etc.). However, in 1983, Prime Minister Turgut Özal initiated a series of reforms designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market -based model.

The reforms, combined with unprecedented amounts of funding from foreign loans, spurred rapid economic growth; but this growth was punctuated by sharp recessions and financial crises in 1994, 1999 (following the earthquake of that year), and 2001; resulting in an average of 4 percent GDP growth per annum between 1981 and 2003. Lack of additional fiscal reforms, combined with large and growing public sector deficits and widespread corruption, resulted in high inflation, a weak banking sector and increased macroeconomic volatility. Since the economic crisis of 2001 and the reforms initiated by the finance minister of the time, Kemal Derviş , inflation has dropped to single-digit figures for the first time in decades (8% in 2005), investor confidence and foreign investment have soared, and unemployment has fallen (10% in 2005).

Turkey
Turkey
has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment and the privatisation 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 peaked at 75.9 percent during the recession of 2001, falling to an estimated 26.9 percent by 2013.

The real GDP growth rate from 2002 to 2007 averaged 6.8 percent annually, which made Turkey
Turkey
one of the fastest growing economies in the world during that period. However, growth slowed to 1 percent in 2008, and in 2009 the Turkish economy was affected by the global financial crisis , with a recession of 5 percent. The economy was estimated to have returned to 8 percent growth in 2010. According to Eurostat data, Turkish GDP per capita adjusted by purchasing power standard stood at 52 percent of the EU average in 2011.

In the early years of the 21st century, the chronically high inflation was brought under control; this led to the launch of a new currency, the Turkish new lira (_Yeni Türk Lirası_) in 2005, to cement the acquisition of the economic reforms and erase the vestiges of an unstable economy. In 2009, after only four years in circulation, the _Turkish new lira_ was renamed back to the Turkish lira with the introduction of new banknotes and coins (and the withdrawal of the _Turkish new lira_ banknotes and coins that were introduced in 2005), but the ISO 4217 code of the _Turkish new lira_ (TRY) remains in use for the current _Turkish lira_ in the foreign exchange market .

TOURISM

Main article: Tourism in Turkey Most of the beach resorts in Turkey
Turkey
are located in the Turkish Riviera .

Tourism in Turkey has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part of the economy. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism currently promotes Turkish tourism under the Turkey Home name. At its height in 2014, Turkey
Turkey
attracted around 42 million foreign tourists, ranking as the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world. This number however declined to around 36 million in 2015, deteriorated to around 25 million in 2016 and still further in 2017, due to regional uncertanities, political tension with Russia, terrorist attacks and the unfavorable Erdogan regime image abroad. In 2012, 15 percent of the tourists were from Germany, 11 percent from Russia, 8 percent from the United Kingdom, 5 percent from Bulgaria
Bulgaria
, 4 percent each from Georgia , the Netherlands and Iran
Iran
, 3 percent from France, 2 percent each from the United States and Syria
Syria
, and 40 percent from other countries.

Turkey
Turkey
has 13 UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites , such as the "Historic Areas of Istanbul
Istanbul
", the "Rock Sites of Cappadocia ", the "Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük ", " Hattusa
Hattusa
: the Hittite Capital", the "Archaeological Site of Troy
Troy
", " Pergamon
Pergamon
and its Multi-Layered Cultural Landscape", " Hierapolis Pamukkale ", and " Mount Nemrut
Mount Nemrut
"; and 51 World Heritage Sites in tentative list , such as the archaeological sites or historic urban centres of Göbekli Tepe , Gordion , Ephesus
Ephesus
, Aphrodisias
Aphrodisias
, Perga , Lycia , Sagalassos
Sagalassos
, Aizanoi , Zeugma , Ani
Ani
, Harran , Mardin
Mardin
, Konya
Konya
and Alanya
Alanya
.

Turkey
Turkey
hosts two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World : the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus
Ephesus
. Cappadocia is a region created by the erosion of soft volcanic stone by the wind and rain for centuries. The area is a popular tourist destination, having many sites with unique geological, historic, and cultural features.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Main articles: Transport in Turkey , Communications in Turkey , Energy in Turkey , and Water supply and sanitation in Turkey Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
, flag carrier of Turkey, has been selected by Skytrax as Europe
Europe
's best airline for five years in a row (2011–2015). With destinations in 126 countries worldwide, Turkish Airlines is the largest carrier in the world by number of countries served as of 2016 .

In 2013 there were 98 airports in Turkey
Turkey
, including 22 international airports . As of 2015 , Istanbul
Istanbul
Atatürk Airport is the 11th busiest airport in the world , serving 31,833,324 passengers between January and July 2014, according to Airports Council International . The new (third) international airport of Istanbul
Istanbul
is planned to be the largest airport in the world, with a capacity to serve 150 million passengers per annum. Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
, flag carrier of Turkey
Turkey
since 1933, was selected by Skytrax as Europe
Europe
's best airline for five consecutive years in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. With 435 destinations (51 domestic and 384 international) in 126 countries worldwide, Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
is the largest carrier in the world by number of countries served as of 2016 . The Osman Gazi Bridge , located at the Gulf of İzmit , is the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world by the length of its central span.

As of 2014 , the country has a roadway network of 65,623 kilometres (40,776 miles). The total length of the rail network was 10,991 kilometres (6,829 miles) in 2008, including 2,133 kilometres (1,325 miles) of electrified and 457 kilometres (284 miles) of high-speed track. The Turkish State Railways started building high-speed rail lines in 2003. The Ankara- Konya
Konya
line became operational in 2011, while the Ankara- Istanbul
Istanbul
line entered service in 2014. Opened in 2013, the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosphorus connects the railway and metro lines of Istanbul's European and Asian sides; while the nearby Eurasia Tunnel (2016) provides an undersea road connection for motor vehicles. The Bosphorus Bridge (1973), Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge (1988) and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (2016) are the three suspension bridges connecting the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus strait. The Osman Gazi Bridge (2016) connects the northern and southern shores of the Gulf of İzmit . The planned Çanakkale Bridge will connect the European and Asian shores of the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
strait.

In 2008, 7,555 kilometres (4,694 mi) of natural gas pipelines and 3,636 kilometres (2,259 mi) of petroleum pipelines spanned the country's territory. The Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan pipeline , the second longest oil pipeline in the world, was inaugurated on 10 May 2005. The Blue Stream , a major trans- Black Sea
Black Sea
gas pipeline, delivers natural gas from Russia
Russia
to Turkey. A planned undersea pipeline, Turkish Stream , with an annual capacity around 63 billion cubic metres (2,200 billion cubic feet ), will allow Turkey
Turkey
to resell Russian gas to Europe
Europe
while planned Nabucco pipeline will reduce European dependence on Russian energy .

Turkey\'s internet , which has 42.3 million active users, holds a 'Not Free' ranking in Freedom House
Freedom House
's index. Turkish government has constantly blocked websites like Facebook
Facebook
, Twitter , Youtube
Youtube
and as of May 2017, is currently inaccessible . According to Twitter's transparency report, Turkey
Turkey
leads in social media censorship. The Atatürk Dam is the third-largest dam in the world by volume of fill/structure.

In 2013, the energy consumption was 240 billion kilowatt hours . As Turkey
Turkey
imported 72 percent of its energy in 2013, the government decided to invest in nuclear power to reduce imports. Three nuclear power stations are to be built by 2023. Turkey's first nuclear power plants are planned to be built in Mersin 's Akkuyu district on the Mediterranean coast; in Sinop 's İnceburun district on the Black Sea coast; and in Kırklareli 's İğneada district on the Black Sea coast. Turkey
Turkey
has the fifth highest direct utilisation and capacity of geothermal power in the world. Turkey
Turkey
is a partner country of the EU INOGATE energy programme, which has four key topics: enhancing energy security , convergence of member state energy markets on the basis of EU internal energy market principles, supporting sustainable energy development, and attracting investment for energy projects of common and regional interest.

Water supply and sanitation in Turkey is characterised by achievements and challenges. Over the past decades access to drinking water has become almost universal and access to adequate sanitation has also increased substantially. Autonomous utilities have been created in the 16 metropolitan cities of Turkey
Turkey
and cost recovery has been increased, thus providing the basis for the sustainability of service provision. Intermittent supply, which was common in many cities, has become less frequent. In 2004, 61% of the wastewater collected through sewers was being treated. Remaining challenges include the need to further increase wastewater treatment, to reduce the high level of non-revenue water hovering around 50% and to expand access to adequate sanitation in rural areas. The investment required to comply with EU standards in the sector, especially in wastewater treatment, is estimated to be in the order of €2 billion per year, more than double the current level of investment.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Main article: Science and technology in Turkey TAI ranks among the top 100 global players in the aerospace and defence sectors.

TÜBİTAK is the leading agency for developing science, technology and innovation policies in Turkey
Turkey
. TÜBA is an autonomous scholarly society acting to promote scientific activities in Turkey. TAEK is the official nuclear energy institution of Turkey. Its objectives include academic research in nuclear energy, and the development and implementation of peaceful nuclear tools.

Turkish government companies for research and development in military technologies include Turkish Aerospace Industries , Aselsan , Havelsan , Roketsan , MKE , among others. Turkish Satellite Assembly, Integration and Test Center (UMET) is a spacecraft production and testing facility owned by the Ministry of National Defence and operated by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). The Turkish Space Launch System (UFS) is a project to develop the satellite launch capability of Turkey. It consists of the construction of a spaceport , the development of satellite launch vehicles as well as the establishment of remote earth stations. Türksat is the sole communications satellite operator in Turkey
Turkey
and has launched the Türksat series of satellites into orbit. Göktürk-1 and Göktürk-2 are Turkey's earth observation satellites for reconnaissance , operated by the Ministry of National Defence. BILSAT-1 and RASAT are the scientific earth observation satellites operated by the TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute .

In 2015, Aziz Sancar , a Turkish professor at the University of North Carolina , won the Nobel Chemistry Prize along with Tomas Lindahl and Paul Modrich , for their work on how cells repair damaged DNA. Other notable Turkish scientists include physician Hulusi Behçet who discovered Behçet\'s disease , and mathematician Cahit Arf who defined the Arf invariant .

DEMOGRAPHICS

Main article: Demographics of Turkey See also: Turkish people , Minorities in Turkey , and Turkification
Turkification

HISTORICAL POPULATIONS

YEAR POP. ±% P.A.

1927 13,554,000 —

1930 14,440,000 +2.13%

1940 17,728,000 +2.07%

1950 20,807,000 +1.61%

1960 27,506,000 +2.83%

1970 35,321,000 +2.53%

1980 44,439,000 +2.32%

1990 55,120,000 +2.18%

2000 64,252,000 +1.54%

2010 73,003,000 +1.29%

2017 79,815,000 +1.28%

Source: Turkstat

According to the _Address-Based Population Recording System_ of Turkey, the country's population was 74.7 million people in 2011, nearly three-quarters of whom lived in towns and cities . According to the 2011 estimate, the population is increasing by 1.35 percent each year. Turkey
Turkey
has an average population density of 97 people per km². People within the 15–64 age group constitute 67.4 percent of the total population; the 0–14 age group corresponds to 25.3 percent; while senior citizens aged 65 years or older make up 7.3 percent. In 1927, when the first official census was recorded in the Republic of Turkey, the population was 13.6 million. The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul, is also the largest city in Europe
Europe
in population, and the third-largest city in Europe
Europe
in terms of size. Areas in Turkey with a Kurdish-majority population.

Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution
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 . They are estimated at 70–75 percent. Reliable data on the ethnic mix of the population is not available, because Turkish census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity. The three "Non- Muslim
Muslim
" minority groups officially recognised in the Treaty of Lausanne are Armenians
Armenians
, Greeks and Jews . Officially unrecognised ethnic groups include Albanians , Assyrians , Bosniaks , Circassians , Georgians , Lazs , Pomaks (Bulgarians) , Roma . The Kurds are the largest non-Turkic ethnicity, around 18–25 percent of the population. Kurds are concentrated in the east and southeast of the country, in what is also known as Turkish Kurdistan , making up a majority in the provinces of Tunceli , Bingöl , Muş , Ağrı , Iğdır , Elâzığ , Diyarbakır , Batman , Şırnak , Bitlis , Van , Mardin
Mardin
, Siirt and Hakkari , a near majority in Şanlıurfa province (47%), and a large minority in Kars province (20%). In addition, due to internal migration, Kurdish communities exist in all major cities in central and western Turkey, particularly in Istanbul, where there are an estimated 3 million Kurds, making Istanbul
Istanbul
the city with the largest Kurdish population in the world. The minorities besides the Kurds are thought to make up an estimated 7–12 percent of the population. Minorities other than the three officially recognised ones do not have any minority rights. The term "minority" itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey, while the Turkish government is frequently criticised for its treatment of minorities. Although minorities are not recognised, state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) broadcasts television and radio programs in minority languages. Also, some minority language classes can be chosen in elementary schools.

An estimated 2.5 percent of the population are international migrants . Turkey
Turkey
hosts the largest number of refugees in the world, including more than 2.8 million Syrian refugees , as of January 2017.

* v * t * e

Largest cities or towns in Turkey TÜİK 's address-based calculation from December, 2013.

RANK NAME PROVINCE POP. RANK NAME PROVINCE POP.

Istanbul
Istanbul

Ankara
Ankara
1 Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul
13,820,334 11 Kayseri
Kayseri
Kayseri
Kayseri
880,255

İzmir

Bursa
Bursa

2 Ankara
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara
4,474,305 12 Eskişehir
Eskişehir
Eskişehir
Eskişehir
670,544

3 İzmir İzmir 2,828,927 13 Gebze Kocaeli 582,352

4 Bursa
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa
1,769,752 14 Şanlıurfa Şanlıurfa 551,511

5 Adana Adana 1,645,965 15 Denizli
Denizli
Denizli
Denizli
540,000

6 Gaziantep Gaziantep 1,465,019 16 Samsun
Samsun
Samsun
Samsun
523,192

7 Konya
Konya
Konya
Konya
1,138,609 17 Kahramanmaraş Kahramanmaraş 458,628

8 Antalya Antalya 1,027,551 18 Adapazarı Sakarya 449,290

9 Diyarbakır Diyarbakır 906,013 19 Malatya
Malatya
Malatya
Malatya
425,000

10 Mersin Mersin 898,813 20 Erzurum Erzurum 381,104

LANGUAGES

Main article: Languages of Turkey Turkish speakers according to the official census of 1965 .

The country's official language is Turkish , which is spoken by 85.54 percent of the population a first language . 11.97 percent of the population speaks the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish as mother tongue. Arabic and Zaza are the mother tongues of 2.39 percent of the population, and several other languages are the mother tongues of smaller parts of the population. Endangered languages in Turkey include Abaza , Abkhaz , Adyghe , Cappadocian Greek , Gagauz , Hértevin , Homshetsma , Kabard-Cherkes , Ladino (Judesmo) , Laz , Mlahso , Pontic Greek , Romani , Suret , Turoyo , Ubykh , and Western Armenian .

RELIGION

Main article: Religion in Turkey
Religion in Turkey
See also: Secularism in Turkey

RELIGION IN TURKEY

Religion

Percent

Islam
Islam
  95.6%

Christianity   0.9%

Other/None   3.2%

Turkey
Turkey
is a secular state with no official state religion ; the Turkish Constitution
Constitution
provides for freedom of religion and conscience. The role of religion has been a controversial debate over the years since the formation of Islamist parties. For many decades, the wearing of the hijab was banned in schools and government buildings because it was viewed as a symbol of political Islam
Islam
. However, the ban was lifted from universities in 2011, from government buildings in 2013, from schools in 2014, and from the Armed Forces in 2017. The government of Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) pursue the explicit policy agenda of Islamization of education to "raise a devout generation" against secular resistance, in the process causing lost jobs and school for many non-religious citizens of Turkey.

Islam

Main article: Islam
Islam
in Turkey
Turkey
Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul is popularly known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue İznik tiles which adorn its interior.

There are no official statistics of people's religious beliefs nor is it asked in the census. According to the government, 99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim
Muslim
(although some sources give a slightly lower estimate of 96.4 percent) with the most popular sect being the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam
Islam
. There are also some Sufi Muslims. Roughly 2 percent are non-denominational Muslims . The highest Islamic religious authority is the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Turkish : _Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı_); it interprets the Hanafi school of law, and is responsible for regulating the operation of the country's 80,000 registered mosques and employing local and provincial imams . Some have also complained (see cite) that under the Islamist government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Tayyip Erdoğan, the old role of the _Diyanet _ – maintaining control over the religious sphere of Islam
Islam
in Turkey
Turkey
– has "largely been turned on its head". Now greatly increased in size, the _Diyanet_ promotes a certain type of conservative ( Hanafi Sunni) Islam inside Turkey, issuing _fetva _ which disapprove activities such as "feeding dogs at home, celebrating the western New Year, lotteries, and tattoos"; and projecting this "Turkish Islam" abroad.

Academics suggest the Alevi population may be from 15 to 20 million, while the Alevi-Bektaşi Federation claims that there are around 25 million and according to Aksiyon magazine, the number of Shiite Twelvers (excluding Alevis) is 3 million (4.2 percent). Under the Sunni Islamist government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Tayyip Erdoğan, an increasing discrimination against and persecution of the Alevi minority has begun.

According to WIN-Gallup International's Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism project, Turkey
Turkey
is the country with most irreligious Muslims in the Islamic world with 73% of its Muslim
Muslim
population. In light of an extensive PEW Global research, only 15% of Muslims in Turkey
Turkey
say prayers for at least one of the five prayers either at home or in a mosque. Another PEW Report suggests that, only 7% to 13% of all Turks think that religion should have an effect on laws directly or indirectly.

Christianity

Main article: Christianity in Turkey
Turkey
Bulgarian St. Stephen Church in Fatih
Fatih
, Istanbul
Istanbul
, is famous for being made of prefabricated cast iron elements in the neo-Gothic style.

Christianity has a long history in present-day Turkey, which is the birthplace of numerous Christian
Christian
Apostles and Saints , such as Paul of Tarsus , Timothy , Nicholas of Myra
Myra
, Polycarp
Polycarp
of Smyrna
Smyrna
and many others. Saint
Saint
Peter founded one of the first churches in Antioch ( Antakya ), the location of which is regarded by tradition as the spot where he first preached the Gospel
Gospel
, and where the followers of Jesus were called _Christians_ for the first time in history. The house where Virgin Mary lived the final days of her life until her Assumption (according to Catholic doctrine) or Dormition
Dormition
(according to Orthodox belief), and the tomb of John the Apostle who accompanied her during the voyage to Anatolia
Anatolia
after the crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus
, are in Ephesus
Ephesus
. The cave churches in Cappadocia were among the hiding places of early Christians during the Roman persecutions against them. The Eastern Orthodox Church has been headquartered in Constantinople (Istanbul) since the First Council of Constantinople
Constantinople
in 381 AD. Two of the five major episcopal sees of the Pentarchy ( Constantinople
Constantinople
and Antioch
Antioch
) instituted by Justinian the Great in 531 AD were located in present-day Turkey
Turkey
during the Byzantine period.

The percentage of Christians in Turkey
Turkey
fell from 19% (or perhaps as high as 25% of the population of 16 million) in 1914 to 7% percent in 1927, due to events which had a significant impact on the country's demographic structure, such as the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
, the population exchange between Greece
Greece
and Turkey
Turkey
, and the emigration of Christians that actually began in the late 19th century and gained pace in the first quarter of the 20th century. The Wealth Tax on non-Muslims in 1942, the emigration of a portion of Turkish Jews to Israel
Israel
after 1948, and the ongoing Cyprus dispute which damaged the relations between Turks and Greeks
Greeks
(culminating in the Istanbul
Istanbul
pogrom of 6–7 September 1955) were other important events that contributed to the decline of Turkey's non- Muslim
Muslim
population.

Today there are more than 120,000 people of different Christian denominations , representing less than 0.2 percent of Turkey's population, including an estimated 80,000 Oriental Orthodox , 35,000 Roman Catholics , 18,000 Antiochian Greeks
Greeks
, 5,000 Greek Orthodox , and smaller numbers of Protestants . Currently there are 236 churches open for worship in Turkey.

Judaism

Main article: Judaism in Turkey The Grand Synagogue in Edirne .

The history of Judaism in Turkey goes back to the Romaniote Jews
Romaniote Jews
of Anatolia
Anatolia
who have been present since at least the 5th century BC. They built ancient places of worship such as the Sardis Synagogue in Lydia and the Priene Synagogue in Ionia . The Sephardi Jews who were expelled from the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy
Italy
under the control of the Spanish Empire
Spanish Empire
were welcomed into the Ottoman Empire between the late-15th and mid-16th centuries. Despite emigration during the 20th century , modern-day Turkey
Turkey
continues to have a small Jewish
Jewish
population. At present, there are around 26,000 Jews in Turkey , the vast majority of whom are Sephardi.

Agnosticism And Atheism

According to a 2010 Eurobarometer poll 94% of Turks believed in God while only 1% did not. This indicates that 5% of the population are agnostic with another 1% being explicitly atheist . However, according to another poll by KONDA the percentage of atheism is 2.9%. _ Atheism Association of Turkey_, the first official atheist organisation in Balkans, Caucasus
Caucasus
and Middle East, was founded in 2014.

Recent polls suggest that 4.5 million people were irreligious in 2013. The same data also suggests that 85% of all irreligious people are younger than 35.

EDUCATION

Main article: Education
Education
in Turkey
Turkey
See also: List of high schools in Turkey
Turkey
and List of universities in Turkey _ Istanbul
Istanbul
University was founded in 1453 as a Darülfünûn _. On 1 August 1933 it was reorganised and became Turkey's first university.

The Ministry of National Education
Education
is responsible for pre-tertiary education. This is compulsory and lasts twelve years: four years each of primary school, middle school and high school. Less than half of 25- to 34-year-old Turks have completed at least high school , compared with an OECD
OECD
average of over 80 percent. Basic education in Turkey
Turkey
is considered to lag behind other OECD
OECD
countries, with significant differences between high and low performers. Turkey
Turkey
is ranked 32nd out of 34 in the OECD's PISA
PISA
study. Access to high-quality school heavily depends on the performance in the secondary school entrance exams, to the point that some students begin taking private tutoring classes when they are 10 years old. The overall adult literacy rate in 2011 was 94.1 percent; 97.9 percent for males and 90.3 percent for females.

As of 2017, there are 190 universities in Turkey
Turkey
. Entry to higher education depends on the Student Selection and Placement System (ÖSYS). In 2008, the quota of admitted students was 600,000, compared to 1,700,000 who took the higher education exam in 2007. Except for the Open Education
Education
Faculties (AÖF) at Anadolu , Istanbul
Istanbul
and Atatürk University ; entrance is regulated by the national ÖSYS examination, after which high school graduates are assigned to universities according to their performance. According to the 2012–2013 Times Higher Education
Education
World University Rankings , the top university in Turkey
Turkey
is Middle East
Middle East
Technical University (in the 201–225 rank range), followed by Bilkent University
Bilkent University
and Koç University (both in the 226–250 range), Istanbul
Istanbul
Technical University and Boğaziçi University (in the 276–300 bracket). All state and private universities are under the control of the Higher Education
Education
Board (YÖK), whose head is appointed by the President of Turkey; executive order 676 of October 2016 has created a system where in addition the President directly appoints all rectors of all state and private universities. Turkey
Turkey
is a member of the European Higher Education Area and actively participates in the Bologna Process
Bologna Process
.

In 2016 the Skills Matter survey conducted by OECD
OECD
found the levels of numeracy and literacy in the adult population of Turkey
Turkey
at rank 30 of the 33 OECD
OECD
countries surveyed.

In 2017 the theory of evolution was removed from the national curriculum in favour of teaching on the concept of jihad.

HEALTHCARE

Main article: Health care in Turkey See also: List of hospitals in Turkey
Turkey
Imperial College of Medicine, currently the Haydarpaşa campus of Marmara University .

Health care in Turkey used to be dominated by a centralised state system run by the Ministry of Health . In 2003, the government introduced a sweeping health reform programme aimed at increasing the ratio of private to state health provision and making healthcare available to a larger share of the population. Turkish Statistical Institute announced that 76.3 billion TL was spent for healthcare in 2012; 79.6 percent of which was covered by the Social Security Institution and 15.4 percent of which was paid directly by the patients. In 2012, there were 29,960 medical institutions in Turkey, and on average one doctor per 583 people and 2.65 beds per 1000 people.

In 2015, life expectancy was 72.6 years for men and 78.9 for women, with an overall average of 75.8.

CULTURE

Main article: Culture of Turkey See also: Arts in Turkey , Turkish folklore , and Festivals in Turkey Whirling Dervishes of the Sufi Mevlevi Order , founded by the followers of the 13th-century Sufi mystic and poet Rumi
Rumi
in Konya
Konya
, during a Sema . The ceremony is one of the 11 elements of Turkey
Turkey
on the UNESCO
UNESCO
Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists .

Turkey
Turkey
has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic , Anatolian , Ottoman (which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernisation of the Ottoman Empire 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 from Central Asia
Asia
to the West. Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be a "modern" Western state, while maintaining traditional religious and historical values.

VISUAL ARTS

Further information: Turkish painting , İznik pottery , Turkish carpet , Turkish miniature , and Turkish illumination _ Two Musician Girls_ (left) and _ The Tortoise Trainer _ (right) by Osman Hamdi Bey , at the Pera Museum .

Turkish painting , in the Western sense, developed actively starting from the mid 19th century. The very first painting lessons were scheduled at what is now the Istanbul
Istanbul
Technical University (then the _Imperial Military Engineering School_) in 1793, mostly for technical purposes. In the late 19th century, human figure in the Western sense was being established in Turkish painting, especially with Osman Hamdi Bey . Impressionism, among the contemporary trends, appeared later on with Halil Pasha
Pasha
. The young Turkish artists sent to Europe
Europe
in 1926 came back inspired by contemporary trends such as Fauvism, Cubism and even Expressionism, still very influential in Europe. The later "Group D" of artists led by Abidin Dino , Cemal Tollu , Fikret Mualla , Fahrünnisa Zeid , Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu , Adnan Çoker and Burhan Doğançay introduced some trends that had lasted in the West for more than three decades. Other important movements in Turkish painting were the "Yeniler Grubu" (The Newcomers Group) of the late 1930s; the "On'lar Grubu" (Group of Ten) of the 1940s; the "Yeni Dal Grubu" (New Branch Group) of the 1950s; and the "Siyah Kalem Grubu" (Black Pen Group) of the 1960s. A 13th century Turkish carpet
Turkish carpet
from the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate period, originally at the Alâeddin Mosque in Konya
Konya
.

Carpet weaving represents a traditional art, dating back to pre-Islamic times. During its long history, the art and craft of the woven carpet has integrated different cultural traditions. Traces of Byzantine design can be detected, Turkic peoples migrating from Central Asia, as well as Armenian people, Caucasian and Kurdic tribes either living in, or migrating to Anatolia, brought with them their traditional designs. The arrival of Islam
Islam
and the development of the Islamic art also influenced Turkish carpet
Turkish carpet
design. The history of its designs, motifs and ornaments thus reflects the political and ethnic history and diversity of the area of Asia
Asia
minor. However, scientific attempts were unsuccessful, as yet, to attribute a particular design to a specific ethnic, regional, or even nomadic versus village tradition.

Turkish miniature is an art form, which can be linked to the Persian miniature tradition, as well as strong Chinese artistic influences. The words taswir or nakish were used to define the art of miniature painting in Ottoman Turkish. The studios the artists worked in were called Nakkashanes. The miniatures were usually not signed, perhaps because of the rejection of individualism, but also because the works were not created entirely by one person; the head painter designed the composition of the scene, and his apprentices drew the contours (which were called tahrir) with black or colored ink and then painted the miniature without creating an illusion of third dimension. The head painter, and much more often the scribe of the text, were indeed named and depicted in some of the manuscripts. The understanding of perspective was different from that of the nearby European Renaissance painting tradition, and the scene depicted often included different time periods and spaces in one picture. They followed closely the context of the book they were included in, resembling more illustrations rather than standalone works of art.

The earliest examples of Turkish paper marbling are thought to be a copy of the Hâlnâme by the poet Arifî. The text of this manuscript was rendered in a delicate cut paper découpage calligraphy by Mehmed bin Gazanfer and completed in 1540, and features many marbled and decorative paper borders. One early master by the name of Şebek is mentioned posthumously in the earliest Ottoman text on the art known as the Tertib-i Risâle-i Ebrî, which is dated based on internal evidence to after 1615. Several recipes in the text are accredited to this master. Another famous 18th-century master by the name of Hatip Mehmed Efendi (died 1773) is accredited with developing motifs and perhaps early floral designs, although evidence from India
India
appears to contradict some of these claims. Despite this, marbled motifs are commonly referred to as "Hatip" designs in Turkey
Turkey
today.

LITERATURE AND THEATRE

Main articles: Turkish literature and Theatre of Turkey Tevfik Fikret is considered the founder of the modern school of Turkish poetry .

Turkish literature is a mix of cultural influences. Interaction between the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and the Islamic world along with Europe contributed to a blend of Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music and literary arts. Turkish literature was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature during most of the Ottoman era. The Tanzimat reforms introduced previously unknown Western genres, primarily the novel and the short story. Many of the writers in the Tanzimat period wrote in several genres simultaneously: for instance, the poet Nâmık Kemal also wrote the important 1876 novel _İntibâh_ (Awakening), while the journalist Şinasi is noted for writing, in 1860, the first modern Turkish play, the one-act comedy "_Şair Evlenmesi_" (The Poet's Marriage). Most of the roots of modern Turkish literature were formed between the years 1896 and 1923. Broadly, there were three primary literary movements during this period: the _Edebiyat-ı Cedîde_ (New Literature) movement; the _Fecr-i Âtî_ (Dawn of the Future) movement; and the _Millî Edebiyat_ (National Literature) movement. The first radical step of innovation in 20th century Turkish poetry was taken by Nâzım Hikmet , who introduced the free verse style. Another revolution in Turkish poetry came about in 1941 with the Garip movement led by Orhan Veli , Oktay Rıfat and Melih Cevdet . The mix of cultural influences in Turkey
Turkey
is dramatised, for example, in the form of the "new symbols of the clash and interlacing of cultures" enacted in the novels of Orhan Pamuk , recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature . Characters of Karagöz and Hacivat
Karagöz and Hacivat
.

The origin of Turkish theatre dates back thousands of years to ancient pagan rituals. The dances, music and songs performed during the rituals of the inhabitants of Anatolia
Anatolia
millennia ago are the elements from which the first shows originated. These rituals later became theatrical shows. In the 10th century, a blend of traditions occurred between the Seljuk Turks and those of the inhabitants of Anatolia. The interaction between the various tribal societies paved the way for new plays. After the Tanzimat (Reformation) period, characters in Turkish theatre were modernized and plays were performed on European-style stages with the actors wearing European costumes. Following the declaration of the second Constitutional Monarchy in 1908, theatrical activities increased and social problems began to be reflected in the theatre as well as in historical plays. A theatrical conservatoire, Darülbedayi-i Osmani, was established in Istanbul
Istanbul
in 1914. During the years of chaos and war, the Darülbedayi-i Osmani continued its activities and attracted the younger generation. Turkish playwrights emerged. Some wrote on romantic subjects, others were interested in social problems and still others dealt with nationalistic themes. There were even those who wrote musicals. In time, Turkish ladies began to appear on stage and this was indeed a revolution of the time, since female roles had only been played by actresses who were members of Turkey’s ethnic minorities. Today, theatre acts are performed by numerous private theatre companies and subsidized companies such as the Turkish State Theatres .

MUSIC AND DANCE

Main articles: Turkish dance and Music of Turkey See also: Turkish classical music , Turkish folk music , and Turkish music (style) _ Bağlama _, a traditional stringed musical instrument.

Music of Turkey includes mainly Turkic elements as well as partial influences ranging from Central Asian folk music , Arabic music , Greek music , Ottoman music , Persian music and Balkan music , as well as references to more modern European and American popular music . The roots of traditional music in Turkey
Turkey
span across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks migrated to Anatolia
Anatolia
and Persia
Persia
in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences. Much of its modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the early 1930s drive for Westernization .

With the assimilation of immigrants from various regions the diversity of musical genres and musical instrumentation also expanded. Turkey
Turkey
has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of Greek , Armenian , Albanian , Polish and Jewish
Jewish
communities, among others. Barış Manço was among the founders of the genre Anatolian rock in the 1960s, which combines rock music with Anatolian folk tunes.

Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Despite this however, western-style music styles like pop music and kanto lost popularity to arabesque in the late 70s and 80s. It became popular again by the beginning of the 1990s, as a result of an opening economy and society. With the support of Sezen Aksu , the resurging popularity of pop music gave rise to several international Turkish pop stars such as Tarkan and Sertab Erener . The late 1990s also saw an emergence of underground music producing alternative Turkish rock , electronica , hip-hop , rap and dance music in opposition to the mainstream corporate pop and arabesque genres, which many believe have become too commercial.

Turkey
Turkey
has a diverse folkloric dance culture. _Hora _ is performed in East Thrace ; _Zeybek _ in the Aegean Region , Southern Marmara and East-Central Anatolia
Anatolia
Region ; _Teke_ in the Western Mediterranean Region ; _Kaşık Oyunları_ and _ Karşılama _ in West-Central Anatolia
Anatolia
, Western Black Sea
Black Sea
Region , Southern Marmara Region and Eastern Mediterranean Region ; _ Horon _ in the Central and Eastern Black Sea
Black Sea
Region ; _ Halay
Halay
_ in Eastern Anatolia
Anatolia
and the Central Anatolia
Anatolia
Region ; and _Bar _ and _ Lezginka
Lezginka
_ in the Northeastern Anatolia
Anatolia
Region .

ARCHITECTURE

Main article: Architecture of Turkey Further information: Byzantine architecture , Seljuk architecture , and Ottoman architecture The Grand Post Office (1905–1909) in Istanbul
Istanbul
and the first Ziraat Bank headquarters (1925–1929) in Ankara
Ankara
are among the examples of Turkish Neoclassical architecture in the early 20th century.

The architecture of the Seljuk Turks combined the elements and characteristics of the Turkic architecture of Central Asia with those of Persian , Arab , Armenian and Byzantine architecture. The transition from Seljuk architecture to Ottoman architecture is most visible in Bursa
Bursa
, which was the capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. Following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman architecture was significantly influenced by Byzantine architecture . Topkapı Palace in Istanbul
Istanbul
is one of the most famous examples of classical Ottoman architecture and was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years. Mimar Sinan
Mimar Sinan
(c.1489–1588) was the most important architect of the classical period in Ottoman architecture. He was the chief architect of at least 374 buildings which were constructed in various provinces of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
in the 16th century.

Since the 18th century, Turkish architecture has been increasingly influenced by European styles, and this can be particularly seen in the Tanzimat era buildings of Istanbul
Istanbul
like the Dolmabahçe , Çırağan , Feriye , Beylerbeyi , Küçüksu , Ihlamur and Yıldız palaces , which were all designed by members of the Balyan family of Ottoman court architects. The Ottoman era waterfront houses (_yalı_) on the Bosphorus also reflect the fusion between classical Ottoman and European architectural styles during the aforementioned period. The First National Architectural Movement (_Birinci Ulusal Mimarlık Akımı_) in the early 20th century sought to create a new architecture, which was based on motifs from Seljuk and Ottoman architecture. The movement was also labelled _Turkish Neoclassical_ or the _National Architectural Renaissance_. The leading architects of this movement were Vedat Tek (1873–1942), Mimar Kemaleddin Bey (1870–1927), Arif Hikmet Koyunoğlu (1888–1982) and Giulio Mongeri (1873–1953). Notable buildings from this era are the Grand Post Office in Istanbul
Istanbul
(1905–1909), Tayyare Apartments
Tayyare Apartments
(1919–1922), Istanbul
Istanbul
4th Vakıf Han (1911–1926), State Art and Sculpture Museum (1927–1930), Ethnography Museum of Ankara
Ankara
(1925–1928), the first Ziraat Bank headquarters in Ankara
Ankara
(1925–1929), the first Türkiye İş Bankası headquarters in Ankara
Ankara
(1926–1929), Bebek Mosque, and Kamer Hatun Mosque. _ Yalı _ of Ahmet Afif Pasha
Pasha
in Yeniköy , Istanbul: one of 620 historic waterfront houses along the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus strait. The traditional houses of Safranbolu , a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994, are among the renowned examples of Ottoman architecture .

CUISINE

Main article: Turkish cuisine Further information: Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine
Turkish coffee with Turkish delight . Turkish coffee is a UNESCO-listed intangible cultural heritage of Turks .

Turkish cuisine is regarded as one of the most prominent in the world, its popularity is largely owed to the cultural influences of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and partly because of its major tourism industry. It is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine
Ottoman cuisine
, which can be described as a fusion and refinement of Central Asian , Caucasian , Middle Eastern , Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines.

The country's position between the East and the Mediterranean Sea helped the Turks gain complete control of major trade routes, and an ideal environment allowed plants and animals to flourish. Turkish cuisine was well established by the mid-1400s, the beginning of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
's six hundred-year reign. Yogurt salads, fish in olive oil , and stuffed and wrapped vegetables became Turkish staples. The empire, eventually spanning from Austria
Austria
to northern Africa , used its land and water routes to import exotic ingredients from all over the world. By the end of the 16th century, the Ottoman court housed over 1,400 live-in cooks and passed laws regulating the freshness of food. Since the fall of the empire in World War I
World War I
(1914–1918) and the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, foreign food such as French hollandaise sauce and western fast food have made their way into the modern Turkish diet. Döner kebab being sliced. An 80-layer dough baklava .

SPORTS

Main article: Sports in Turkey See also: Football in Turkey Turkey
Turkey
won the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship .

The most popular sport in Turkey
Turkey
is association football (soccer). Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000. The Turkish national football team finished 3rd and won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup ; while also reaching the semi-finals (finishing 3rd by goals difference) at UEFA Euro 2008 .

Other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball are also popular. The Turkish men\'s national basketball team finished 2nd and won the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and at EuroBasket 2001 , which were both hosted by Turkey. They also won two gold medals (1987 and 2013), one silver medal (1971) and three bronze medals (1967, 1983 and 2009) at the Mediterranean Games . Turkish basketball club Anadolu Efes S.K. won the 1995–96 FIBA Korać Cup , finished 2nd at the 1992–93 FIBA Saporta Cup , and made it to the Final Four of Euroleague and Suproleague in 2000 and 2001, finishing 3rd on both occasions. Another Turkish basketball club, Beşiktaş , won the 2011–12 FIBA EuroChallenge . Galatasaray won the 2015–16 Eurocup , while in the same season, Fenerbahçe finished second in the 2015–16 Euroleague . The Final of the 2013–14 EuroLeague Women basketball championship was played between two Turkish teams, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe , and won by Galatasaray. Turkey
Turkey
women\'s national basketball team won the silver medal at EuroBasket Women 2011 and the bronze medal at EuroBasket Women 2013 . They also won a gold medal (2005) and two silver medals (1987 and 1997) at the Mediterranean Games . Turkey
Turkey
won the gold medal at the 2015 European Games . Kenan Sofuoğlu won the highest number of Supersport World Championship
Supersport World Championship
titles.

The Turkish women\'s national volleyball team won the gold medal at the 2015 European Games
2015 European Games
, the silver medal at the 2003 European Championship , the bronze medal at the 2011 European Championship , and the bronze medal at the 2012 FIVB World Grand Prix . They also won a gold medal (2005), six silver medals (1987, 1991, 1997, 2001, 2009, 2013) and a bronze medal (1993) at the Mediterranean Games . Women's volleyball clubs in Turkey, namely Fenerbahçe , Eczacıbaşı and Vakıfbank , have won numerous European championship titles and medals. Fenerbahçe won the 2010 FIVB Women\'s Club World Championship and the 2012 CEV Women\'s Champions League . Representing Europe
Europe
as the winner of the 2012–13 CEV Women\'s Champions League , Vakıfbank also became the world champion by winning the 2013 FIVB Women\'s Club World Championship .

The traditional Turkish national sport has been yağlı güreş (_oil wrestling_) since Ottoman times. Edirne has hosted the annual Kırkpınar oiled wrestling tournament since 1361. International wrestling styles governed by FILA such as freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling are also popular, with many European, World and Olympic championship titles won by Turkish wrestlers both individually and as a national team.

MEDIA AND CINEMA

Main articles: Media in Turkey and Cinema of Turkey TRT World is the international news platform of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation .

Hundreds of television channels, thousands of local and national radio stations, several dozen newspapers, a productive and profitable national cinema and a rapid growth of broadband Internet use all make up a very vibrant media industry in Turkey. In 2003 a total of 257 television stations and 1,100 radio stations were licensed to operate, and others operated without licenses. Of those licensed, 16 television and 36 radio stations reached national audiences. The majority of the audiences are shared among public broadcaster TRT and the network-style channels such as Kanal D , Show TV , ATV and Star TV . The broadcast media have a very high penetration as satellite dishes and cable systems are widely available. The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) is the government body overseeing the broadcast media. By circulation, the most popular newspapers are _Posta _, _ Hürriyet _, _ Sözcü _, _Sabah _ and _ Habertürk _. Nuri Bilge Ceylan , Turkish film director, photographer and screenwriter who won the 2014 Palme d\'Or

Turkish television dramas are increasingly becoming popular beyond Turkey's borders and are among the country's most vital exports, both in terms of profit and public relations. After sweeping the Middle East 's television market over the past decade, Turkish shows have aired in more than a dozen South and Central American countries in 2016.

_ Yeşilçam _ is the sobriquet that refers to the Turkish film art and industry. The first movie exhibited in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
was the Lumiere Brothers ' 1895 film, _L\'Arrivée d\'un train en gare de La Ciotat _, which was shown in Istanbul
Istanbul
in 1896. The first Turkish-made film was a documentary entitled _Ayastefanos\'taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı _ (_Demolition of the Russian Monument at San Stefano _), directed by Fuat Uzkınay and completed in 1914. The first narrative film, Sedat Simavi 's _The Spy_, was released in 1917. Turkey's first sound film was shown in 1931. Turkish directors like Ferzan Özpetek , Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Yılmaz Güney won numerous international awards such as Palme d\'Or and Golden Bear .

Despite legal provisions, media freedom in Turkey
Turkey
has steadily deteriorated from 2010 onwards, with a precipitous decline following the attempted coup in July 2016. As of 2017, at least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey. Ranking 1st in the world, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. Freedom House lists Turkey's media as _not free_ . The media crackdowns also extend to Internet censorship with getting blocked since April 2017 .

SEE ALSO

* Index of Turkey-related articles * Outline of Turkey

NOTES

* ^ Turkey
Turkey
has no official national emblem. This emblem is used on passports, ID cards and diplomatic missions of Turkey. * ^ Part I, Section III, Articles 39-45 of the Treaty of Lausanne .

* ^ the government of Turkey
Turkey
denies that there was an act of ethnic cleansing. * ^ There are no official statistics of people's religious beliefs nor it is asked in the census. * ^ However, these are based on the existing religion information written on every citizen's national id card, that is automatically passed on from the parents to every newborn, and do not necessarily represent individual choice. Furthermore, anyone who was not officially registered as Christian
Christian
or Jewish
Jewish
by the time of the foundation of the republic, was automatically recorded as Muslim, and this label has been passed down to new generations. Therefore, the official number of Muslims also include people with no religion; converted from Islam
Islam
to a different religion than Islam; and anyone who is of a different religion than their parents, but hasn't applied for a change of their individual records.

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FURTHER READING

* Mango, Andrew (2004). _The Turks Today_. Overlook. ISBN 1-58567-615-2 . * Pope, Hugh; Pope, Nicole (2004). _ Turkey
Turkey
Unveiled_. Overlook. ISBN 1-58567-581-4 . * Reed, Fred A. (1999). _ Anatolia
Anatolia
Junction: a Journey into Hidden Turkey_. Burnaby, B.C.: Talonbooks . 320 p., ill. with b&w photos. ISBN 0-88922-426-9 * Revolinski, Kevin (2006). _The Yogurt Man Cometh: Tales of an American Teacher in Turkey_. Çitlembik. ISBN 9944-424-01-3 . * 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 . * Cîrlig, Carmen-Cristina (2013). _Turkey\'s regional power aspirations_ (PDF). Library of the European Parliament.

EXTERNAL LINKS

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General

* turkey.com – Topical multilingual website about Turkey. * "Turkey". The World Factbook _. Central Intelligence Agency
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at DMOZ * Key Development Forecasts for Turkey
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Tourism

* Wikimedia Atlas of Turkey * Turkey
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travel guide from Wikivoyage * Turkey Home - Turkey\'s Official Tourism Portal * Official website of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism * Turkey
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