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Turkey

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Facts & Figures

President: Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2014)

Prime Minister: Ahmet Davutoglu (2014)

Land area: 297,591 sq mi (770,761 sq km); total area: 301,382 sq mi (780,580 sq km)

Population (July 2012 est.): 79,749,461 (growth rate: 1.197%); birth rate: 17.58/1000; infant mortality rate: 23.07/1000; life expectancy: 72.77

Capital (2011 est.): Ankara, 4.338 million

Largest cities: Istanbul, 13.301 million; Izmir, 2.783 million; Bursa, 1.704 million; Adana, 1.609 million.

Monetary unit: Turkish lira (YTL)

More Facts & Figures

Flag of Turkey
Index
  1. Turkey Main Page
  2. A New Republic and President
  3. Oppression of Kurds and Kurdish Culture and Deadly Clashes
  4. Terrorism; Attempts to Improve the Government
  5. Improvements for Civil Rights and the Secular Movement
  6. Turkey Takes on Bigger Role on the World Stage
  7. 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Turkey
  8. Relations Between Syria and Turkey Deteriorate
  9. Israel Formally Apologies to Turkey for 2010 Commando Raid
  10. Anti-Government Protests Call for Erdogan's Resignation
  11. Erdogan Elected President
  12. Erdogan Resists the Fight Against ISIS

Republic of Turkey

Geography

Turkey is at the northeast end of the Mediterranean Sea in southeast Europe and southwest Asia. To the north is the Black Sea and to the west is the Aegean Sea. Its neighbors are Greece and Bulgaria to the west, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania to the north and northwest (through the Black Sea), Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east, and Syria and Iraq to the south. The Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus divide the country. Turkey in Europe comprises an area about equal to the state of Massachusetts. Turkey in Asia is about the size of Texas. Its center is a treeless plateau rimmed by mountains.

Government

Republican parliamentary democracy.

History

Anatolia (Turkey in Asia) was occupied in about 1900 B.C. by the Indo-European Hittites and, after the Hittite empire's collapse in 1200 B.C. , by Phrygians and Lydians. The Persian Empire occupied the area in the 6th century B.C. , giving way to the Roman Empire, then later the Byzantine Empire. The Ottoman Turks first appeared in the early 13th century, subjugating Turkish and Mongol bands pressing against the eastern borders of Byzantium and making the Christian Balkan states their vassals. They gradually spread through the Near East and Balkans, capturing Constantinople in 1453 and storming the gates of Vienna two centuries later. At its height, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to western Algeria. Lasting for 600 years, the Ottoman Empire was not only one of the most powerful empires in the history of the Mediterranean region, but it generated a great cultural outpouring of Islamic art, architecture, and literature.

After the reign of Sultan Süleyman I the Magnificent (1494–1566), the Ottoman Empire began to decline politically, administratively, and economically. By the 18th century, Russia was seeking to establish itself as the protector of Christians in Turkey's Balkan territories. Russian ambitions were checked by Britain and France in the Crimean War (1854–1856), but the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) gave Bulgaria virtual independence and Romania and Serbia liberation from their nominal allegiance to the sultan. Turkish weakness stimulated a revolt of young liberals known as the Young Turks in 1909. They forced Sultan Abdul Hamid to grant a constitution and install a liberal government. However, reforms were no barrier to further defeats in a war with Italy (1911–1912) and the Balkan Wars (1912–1913). Turkey sided with Germany in World War I, and, as a result, lost territory at the conclusion of the war.

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