- Area – 783,562 sq. km
- Capital – Ankara (Angora), in Asia; population, 3,845,610 (2009 est)
- Major cities – Adana, Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya
- Currency – New Turkish lira (TL) of 100 kurus
- Population – 79,749,461 rising at 1.2 per cent a year (2012 est); Turkish (70–75 per cent), Kurdish (18 per cent) (2008 est)
- Religion – Muslim 99 per cent (predominantly Hanafi, a school of Sunni Islam; a large minority are Alevi, a Shia sect); small Christian and Jewish minorities (est)
- Language – Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli, Azeri, Kabardian
- Population density – 95 per sq. km (2010)
- Urban population – 69.6 per cent (2010 est)
- Median age (years) – 28.5 (2011 est)
- National anthem – 'Istiklal Marsi' ['The Independence March']
- National day – 29 October (Republic Day)
- Death penalty – Abolished for all crimes (since 2004)
- CPI score – 4.2 (2011)
Climate and Terrain
Turkey in Europe consists of the relatively low-lying area of Eastern Thrace, including the cities of Istanbul and Edirne, and is separated from Asia by the Bosporus at Istanbul and by the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles (a strait about 64km in length, with a width varying from 1.6km to 6.4km).
Turkey in Asia comprises the whole of Asia Minor or Anatolia. Western Anatolia consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains fringed by mountains in the north and south. Eastern Anatolia is mountainous, the land falling to a plateau between the mountains and the Syrian border. Elevation extremes range from 5,166m (Mt Ararat) to 0m (Mediterranean Sea). The Euphrates and Tigris rivers rise in the eastern mountains, which also contain many lakes, including Lake Van. Anatolia is prone to earthquakes.
The climate is temperate, but more extreme in the interior. Average temperatures in Ankara range from −4°C in January to 30°C in August.
History and Politics
The 1982 constitution has been amended several times, mostly recently in 2010; the 2010 amendments increase parliamentary control over the judiciary and the military. The current president was elected by the legislature for a single seven-year term; from 2014, the president will be directly elected for a four-year term, renewable once. The unicameral Turkish Grand National Assembly has 550 members who were directly elected for a four-year term. The prime minister is appointed by the president and appoints the cabinet.
Tension between secularists and Islamists has grown in recent years, particularly since the Islamic-based Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, came to power in 2002. Seculists' concerns about the AKP's agenda caused a four-month political crisis in 2007, preventing the election of a new president and leading outgoing President Sezer to refuse approval of constitutional amendments. The impasse was ended by early legislative elections in July 2007, in which the AKP won a greatly increased majority. In August the AKP candidate, Abdullah Gul, was elected president in the third round of voting. The AKP retained its overall majority in the legislative election in June 2011.
HEAD OF STATE
President, Abdullah Gul, elected 27 August 2007
SELECTED GOVERNMENT MEMBERS as at July 2012
Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Deputy Prime Ministers, Besir Atalay; Ali Babacan; Bulent Arinc; Bekir Bozdag
Finance, Mehmet Simsek
Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu
EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
Turkey's 12 million Kurds are the majority population in the south-east of the country, and have sought greater political and cultural rights for many years. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has fought a guerrilla war for an ethnic homeland in the south-east since 1984 and has been blamed for bombings in other parts of Turkey. Conflict on the Turkey–Iraq border has caused tension in relations with Iraq, especially in 2008 after Turkish military incursions into the autonomous Kurdish area in northern Iraq, where PKK fighters have taken refuge. The government started to seek a political solution to the violence in 2009, introducing measures to increase Kurdish language rights and reduce the military presence in the south-east. Iran and Turkey agreed in October 2011 to work together to defeat Kurdish militants.
A number of bombings attributed to Muslim extremists occurred in Istanbul in 2003 and 2004.
|All aged 16–49, 2010 est||Males||Females|
|Available for military service||21,079,077||20,558,696|
|Fit for military service||17,664,510||17,340,816|
Military expenditure – US$18,687m (2011)
Conscription duration – 15 months
Economy and Trade
The economy combines modern industry and commerce with a traditional agriculture sector. The private sector is growing steadily following large-scale privatisations of basic industry, banking, transport and communications. Financial and fiscal reforms from 2002 achieved growth averaging over 5 per cent a year from 2005 to 2007, although large current account and trade deficits remain.
The agricultural sector accounts for 9.3 per cent of GDP and employs 25.5 per cent of the workforce. The principal crops are tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulses, nuts, citrus and other fruits, and livestock products. A diverse industrial sector is dominated by textiles and clothing (which employ one-third of the industrial workforce), food processing, vehicle assembly, electronics, mining, iron and steel, oil, construction, timber and paper. Turkey is also a destination and a transit route for oil and gas from central Asian countries. Tourism is a major industry and source of foreign revenue. Industry contributes 28.1 per cent of GDP and services 62.6 per cent.
The main trading partners are EU countries (especially Germany), Russia, China and the USA. Principal exports are clothing, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures and transport equipment. The main imports are machinery, chemicals, semi-finished manufactures, fuels and transport equipment.
GNI – US$727,056m; US$9,890 per capita (2010)
Annual average growth of GDP – 6.6 per cent (2011 est)
Inflation rate – 7.8 per cent (2011 est)
Population below poverty line – 16.9 per cent (2010 est)
Unemployment – 10.3 per cent (2011 est)
Total external debt – US$313,600m (2011)
Imports – US$185,541m (2010)
Exports – US$113,979m (2010)
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS
Trade – US$71,562m deficit (2010)
Current Account – US$48,424m deficit (2010)
|Trade with UK||2010||2011|
|Imports from UK||£3,665,850,931||£3,698,072,909|
|Exports to UK||£4,832,536,063||£5,397,836,674|
Airports and waterways – The principal airports are at Istanbul and Ankara and the main ports are at Istanbul (Europe) and Izmir (Asia)
Roadways and railways – There are 352,046km of roadways and 8,699km of railways
Telecommunications – 16.2 million fixed lines and 61.77 million mobile subscriptions (2009); there were 27.23 million internet users in 2009
Internet code and IDD – tr; 90 (from UK), 44 (to UK)
Major broadcasters – Turkey has one state television and radio broadcaster, TRT, over 300 private television channels and more than 1,000 private radio stations
Press – There are around 40 national daily newspapers, including Hurriyet, Milliyet and Cumhuriyet
WPFI score – 49,25 (138)
Education and Health
Education is free, secular and compulsory from the ages of six to 14.
Literacy rate – 90.8 per cent (2009 est)
Gross enrolment ratio (percentage of relevant age group) – primary 102 per cent; secondary 78 per cent; tertiary 46 per cent (2009 est)
Health expenditure (per capita) – US$571 (2009)
Hospital beds (per 1,000 people) – 2.4 (2004–9)
Life expectancy (years) – 72.77 (2012 est)
Mortality rate – 6.1 (2012 est)
Birth rate – 17.58 (2012 est)
Infant mortality rate – 23.07 (2012 est)