Turkey

 

Turkey Destinations Travel Guide

 

Flag of Turkey

Language: Turkish

Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)

Calling Code: 90

 

Turkey is an intercontinental sovereign country 5 located in Asia and Europe that spans the entire Anatolian and Thracian peninsula in the Balkan area.
It is bordered on the northeast by Georgia, on the east by Armenia, Iran and Azerbaijan, on the north by the Ukrainian territorial waters on the Black Sea, on the northwest by Bulgaria and Greece, on the west by the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea, on the south by the Cypriot waters of the Mediterranean Sea and with Syria, and to the southeast with Iraq. The separation between Anatolia and Thrace is formed by the Sea of ​​Marmara and the straits of Turkey (the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles), which serve to delimit the border between Asia and Europe, which is why Turkey is considered transcontinental.

Due to its strategic position, located between Europe and Asia as well as between three seas, Turkey has been a historic crossroads between Eastern and Western cultures and civilizations. Its territory has been the home of several great civilizations such as the Hittites, Urartu, Cimmerians, Assyrian Empire, Persian Empire, Ancient Greece, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Seljuk Empire, Ottoman Empire and the place where many battles between those civilizations had place throughout history. The country influences the area between the European Union in the west and Central Asia in the east, Russia in the north and the Middle East in the south, so it has acquired more and more strategic importance.

Turkey is a democratic, secular, unitary and constitutional republic, whose political system was established in 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the most prominent member of the Turkish National Movement, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, with the Occupation of Constantinople, as consequence of the First World War and the partition of the Ottoman Empire. Since then, Turkey has been increasingly linked to the West through membership of organizations such as the Council of Europe (1949), NATO (1952), the OECD (1961), the OSCE (1973) and the G20. (1999). Turkey began negotiations for full accession to the European Union in 2005, after having been an associate member since 1963, and having reached a customs union agreement in 1995. Meanwhile, Turkey has continued to foster close political and economic relations with all the world, especially with the States of the Near East, with the Turkic countries of Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan) and East Asia. In terms of gross domestic product, its economy is ranked 17th in the world according to the International Monetary Fund. Due to its strategic location, it is classified as a regional power by politicians and economists from all over the world.

 

Travel Destination in Turkey

Adıyaman Province

Stone Heads of Anatolia is a group of carved heads of animals and humans at the base of the Mount Nemrut in Turkey. It was constructed in 62 BC by King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene.

 

Afyonkarahisar Province

Hieropolis or 'sacred city' got its name from Eumenes II of Pergam who undertook large rebuilding project of the city that originally dates as early as 2000 BC.

 

Aksaray Province

Ihlara Valley was formed after volcanic eruption and it is famous for its ancient and medieval Christian monasteries and cells of the monks.

 

Antalya Province

Perga is a ruined ancient Hellenistic city that lies 18 km (11 mi) Northeast of Antalya, Antalya Province in Turkey.

Saklıkent Canyon is a beautiful natural formation situated 30 km East of Fethiye. In Turkish its name is translated as a 'hidden city'.

Termessos Ruins of ancient city of Termessos are situated in the Antalya province on a Western slope of the Gulluk Dag mountain.

 

Aydın Province

Aphrodisias is an ancient archeological site located 40 km (24 mi) South of E87 highway to Geyre in Caria region of Turkey.

Miletus is an ancient Greek city in the Western part of Turkey those ruins are fairly well preserved despite years of disrepair.

Priene Ancient ruins of Priene on the Eastern shore of Turkey is famous for its temple of goddess Athena Polios.

 

Bursa Province

 

 Uludağ National Park is famous nature reserve that includes the highest mountain in the Western Anatolia region of Turkey.

 

Çanakkale Province

Gallipoli Peninsula became famous during World War I as a site for bloody battle between Ottoman Turkish army and joint armies of the British commonwealth.

Troy Ancient ruins of Troy became famous by ancient Greek poet Homer who wrote his Iliad that was dedicated to events of the Troyan War.

 

Çorum Province

Boğazkale is famous for ancient ruins of the Hittite city of Hattusa situated in Çorum province of Turkey.

 

Denizli Province

 Pamukkale is a beautiful geological formation situated in Denizli Province of Turkey. Its name in Turkish means Cotton Castle after its appearance.

 

Edirne Province

Edirne is a beautiful historic town in the Edirne Province of Turkey. It is famous for its majestic Muslim mosques that define city scape.

 

Istanbul

Beylerbeyi Palace is a former Imperial Ottoman summer residence in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul.

Dolmabahçe Palace is a former main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. It that stands overlooking the Bosporus strait.

Istanbul Ancient city of Istanbul preserves ruins of several subsequent civilizations that turned their capital in one of the most important World centers.

Rumeli Hisari is a medieval citadel that was erected on the shores of the Bosphorus (at the narrowest part of it) straight on the order of Sultan Mehmed Fatih (the Conqueror) in 1452.

 

İzmir Province

Bergama (Pergamum) is a historic archeological site situated in İzmir Province in Turkey.

Ephesus is one of the most magnificent and important sites in the Hellenistic World famous for buildings, majestic statues and a house of Saint Mary.

 

Kars Province

Ani Ghost Town Medieval ruins of ghost town of Ani are located in the Kars province. It is famous for its majestic ruins of the Christian churches.

 

Mersin Province

Mamure Castle Magnificent medieval walls and towers of Mamure Castle are located in Mersin Province overlooking sea coast.

Silifke Castle is a medieval citadel situated in Mersin Province of Turkey. It is a famous site of death of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

Uzuncaburç Ruins of ancient Hellenistic city of Uzuncaburç are located in the Mersin Province in Turkey.

 

Muğla Province

Aspendos Ruins of the ancient Aspendos is particularly famous for its majestic Hellenistic theatre that survived centuries of neglect and abandonment.

Castle of Saint Peter Medieval Castle of Saint Peter holds a strategic stronghold in the picturesque harbor constructed by the Order of Knights Hospitallers.

Marmaris Castle is a medieval fortification constructed in 1522 by the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent.

Pinara Ancient ruins of Pinara are situated 50 km (31 mi) East of Fethiye in Turkey.

 

Nevşehir Province

Derinkuyu underground city located in Nevşehir Province of Turkey is a massive city below ground that could house over 20,000 people.

Göreme Valley is a historic region in Cappadocia that is famous for its underground Byzantine churches and dwellings in the volcano rock.

Zelve Monastery Huge religious complex of Zelve Monastery is a series of churches, living cells and passageways that were cut into a soft rock of the mountain.

 

Osmaniye Province

Karatepe is an archaeological site of the Hittite kingdom situated 23 km from Kadirli in the Osmaniye Province in the Southern Turkey.

 

Trabzon Province

Sumela Monastery is a massive Christian religious complex perched on the wall of a mountain in the Trabzon Province.

 

Etymology

The name "Turkey" (tur. Türkiye), applied to the modern Republic of Turkey, comes from the Old French Turquie, which, in turn, comes from the medieval Latin forms Turchia, Turquia and Greek - Greek. Τουρκία. The Ottoman Empire, which existed from 1299-1922, was also commonly referred to by its contemporaries as Turkey or the Turkish Empire. The Russian name of the country - "Turkey" - was formed through the Polish Turcja from the New Latin Turcia.

In 2022, the UN granted Turkey's request to change the name of the republic in all official documents. The "Republic of Turkey" (eng. Republic of Turkey, fr. République de Turquie) was renamed the "Republic of Türkiye" (eng. Republic of Türkiye, fr. République de Türkiye). The short version of the name of the country will now look like "Türks" or "Türkiye" (eng. Türkiye), and not Turkey, Turkei or Turquie.

 

Geography

Turkey is located in the Eastern Hemisphere. Its area (including inland waters) is 779,452 km². Part of the territory of Turkey - 97% - is located in Asia and 3% - in Europe. The main core of Turkey's territory is the peninsula of Asia Minor, which it occupies completely. The European possessions of Turkey are called Rumelia. The geographical feature of Turkey is its location at the crossroads of important routes that since ancient times have connected Europe with Asia, the Black Sea countries and peoples with the Mediterranean. Nowadays, highways and railway lines run through the territory of Turkey, connecting Europe with many Asian countries.

The main part of the country's territory falls on Asia Minor, or Anatolia, and the Armenian Highlands, a smaller part - on the Balkan Peninsula between the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

The maximum length of Turkish territory from west to east is 1600 km, from north to south - 600 km. From three sides it is washed by the seas: in the north - by the Black Sea, in the west - by the Aegean, in the south - by the Mediterranean. The European and Asian parts of Turkey are separated from each other by a water system that forms a sea passage from the Black Sea to the Aegean and includes the Sea of ​​Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. In the southern part of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn (Sea of ​​Marmara) is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the most populous city in Turkey - Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).

Minerals
There are more than 100 types of minerals in Turkey. The country has many types of ore, mining, chemical, fuel and energy raw materials. First of all, chromium, tungsten, copper ores, borates, marble, coal, etc. should be mentioned. Turkey accounts for 25% of the world's mercury reserves.

 

Climate

Turkey is a mostly mountainous country, so the climate often has altitudinal zonality. In the central part, the climate is temperate continental with hot and dry summers and fairly cold winters. On the coast of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the climate is Mediterranean with very mild winters. On the Black Sea coast, the climate is maritime with a large amount of precipitation and cool winters with rare negative temperatures. In the southeast, the climate is subtropical, with temperatures close to the tropics, desert with very hot summers.

 

History

August 25-26, 1071 - Battle of Manzikert (Manazkert, Manzikert, a city in historical Armenia, now in eastern Turkey, in the province of Mush). The Seljuk Turks under the command of Alp-Arslan defeated the Byzantines and captured the Byzantine emperor Roman IV Diogenes.
1077 - The emergence of the Kony (Rum, Roma) Sultanate, the state of the Seljuk Turks with its capital in Konya, which gradually expanded its borders to almost the entire territory of Asia Minor.
1243 - The Sultanate of Konya became a vassal of the Mongol Ilkhans of Iran (the Khulaguids). By 1307 the Sultanate of Rum disintegrated into small principalities. One of them - the beylik (district) of Osman, which was given to him as a fief, was the core of the Ottoman state formed at the beginning of the 14th century.
1284 - in the first Spanish chronicle "Estoria de Espanna", King Alfonso X reports the capital of Ecbatana of the kingdom of Turquia (Turquia).
In 1299, Osman, the son and heir of Ertogrul, took the title of "sultan" and refused to recognize the authority of the sultans of Konya. By his name, the Turks began to be called Ottoman Turks, or Ottomans. Their power over Asia Minor spread and strengthened, and the sultans of Konya could not prevent this.
In 1318, the Hulaguids, having overthrown the last Seljuk sultan, destroyed this state.
The Byzantine Empire used the Ottoman Turks in its wars with the Slavic states of Bulgaria and Serbia. On the lands that previously belonged to Byzantium in Asia Minor, the Ottoman sultans began to unite other Turkish states under their rule, creating in 1326 a Turkish sultanate with its capital in the city of Bursa on the lands conquered from the Byzantines.
On the Balkan Peninsula, by the middle of the 14th century, a period of feudal fragmentation began in the states of the Bulgarians and Serbs, which led to their weakening and contributed to the subordination of the Turks, who, having conquered the Asia Minor possessions of Byzantium, began to move west. At this time, a fierce struggle for power flared up in Byzantium, which allowed the Turks to move on to conquests in the Balkan Peninsula. Leaving Constantinople in their rear, the Turks moved on to the states of the southern Slavs. Despite the terrible threat, the Slavic rulers were unable to form a military alliance. By the end of the 14th century, the Turks had captured all the Bulgarian lands.
In 1362, the Turks, led by Sultan Murad I, having conquered lands in Europe, moved the capital to the city of Adrianople (Edirne). The European possessions of Turkey were called Rumelia. Janissaries became the mainstay of the power of the Turkish sultans.
Serbs and Bosnians tried to stop the conquerors. In 1371, Murad defeated the army of the southern Serbian princes in the battle near the Maritsa River (at Chernomen), took the Macedonian cities of Drama, Kavala and Sere, and won a significant victory over the Bulgarians and Serbs in Samakovo. Some of the Serbian and Bulgarian princes were forced to submit to Murad and become his vassals.
In the 1380s, Murad resumed his offensive in the west. Sofia was taken in 1385 and Niš in 1386. In Anatolia, Murad expanded his possessions to Tokat and strengthened his power in Ankara, conquered by Orhan. Thanks to his son's marriage, purchases and conquests, he acquired the territories of the beyliks of Germianogullary, Karasa, Tekkeogullary and Hamidogullary. The anti-Ottoman coalition of beys and the rulers of Anatolian beyliks, led by Karamanogullary, was defeated in 1386 near Konya.
In 1387 or 1388 the northern Serbian princes stopped the Ottomans at Pločnik, but in 1389 Murad and his son Bayezid were victorious at Kosovo. In this battle, Murad was killed.
On July 15, 1389, a decisive battle took place on the Kosovo field. A strong Turkish army was opposed by a much inferior army of Serbs and Bosnians. The legends of the Slavs associate the feat of Milos Obilich with this battle, when a brave Serbian warrior killed the Turkish sultan. But his son, the future Sultan Bayezid, hid his death from the Turkish troops, and as a result of the battle, the Slavic army suffered a severe defeat.
September 25, 1396 - Battle of Nikopol between the army of Sultan Bayezid the Lightning and the crusaders led by the Hungarian king Sigismund under the fortress of Nikopol in Bulgaria. The victory in the battle secured the dominance of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan Peninsula.
July 28, 1402 - Battle of Ankara. Having lost the battle to Emir Timur, Bayezid I the Lightning was captured and died (or poisoned) in captivity. However, after 30 years, Bayezid's heirs were able to reunite the collapsed country and resume their advance to the west.
In 1453, the Turks took Constantinople and made it the capital of a new empire.
Under Selim the Terrible, the Ottoman Empire conquered Syria, Arabia and Egypt. The Turkish sultan deposed the last caliph in Cairo and became caliph himself.

In 1526, the Battle of Mohacs took place, during which the Turks defeated the Czech-Hungarian army and occupied Hungary, and in 1529 approached the walls of Vienna. At the height of its power, in the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the empire stretched from the gates of Vienna to the Persian Gulf, from the Crimea to Morocco.
In 1678, the Turks captured the territories west of the Dnieper.
September 12, 1683 - Battle of Vienna. It happened after the Ottoman Empire laid siege to Vienna, the capital of Austria, for two months. The victory of the troops of the Holy League, who came to the aid of the Habsburgs, forever put an end to the wars of conquest of the Ottoman Empire in Europe.
The era of the Russian-Turkish wars, covering a period of 242 years (1676-1918) - ten military conflicts between the Russian and Ottoman empires in the XVII-XIX centuries. Military operations in Transcaucasia during the First World War can be considered the eleventh Russian-Turkish war. The Russian-Turkish wars became one of the main reasons for the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1923).
In the 19th century, separatist sentiments intensified on the outskirts of the empire. She began to gradually lose their territories. Weakening, the Ottoman Empire tried to rely on the help of Germany, but this only dragged it into the First World War, which ended in the defeat of the Quadruple Alliance.
On October 30, 1914, the Ottoman Empire officially announced its entry into the First World War, having actually entered it the day before by shelling the Black Sea ports of Russia.
On April 24, 1915, mass arrests of the Armenian intellectual, religious, economic and political elite took place in Istanbul; This day is considered the beginning of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire, during which, from 1915 to 1918, as a result of the actions of the Turkish authorities, according to various estimates, from 1.5 million to more than 2 million Armenians died. The Republic of Turkey and the official Turkish historiography still deny the fact of the Armenian genocide.
On October 30, 1918, the Armistice of Mudros was concluded, followed by the Treaty of Sevres (August 10, 1920), which did not enter into force because it was not ratified by all signatories (ratified only by Greece). According to this agreement, the Ottoman Empire was to be dismembered, and one of the largest cities in Asia Minor (Smyrna) was promised to Greece. The Greek army took it on May 15, 1919, after which the War of Independence began. Turkish nationalists, led by Mustafa Kemal, refused to recognize the peace treaty and expelled the Greeks from the country by armed force. By September 18, 1922, Turkey was liberated from the invaders. The Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 (July 24) recognized the new borders of Turkey.
On October 29, 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed, and Mustafa Kemal, who later took the surname Atatürk (father of the Turks), became its first president (d. 1938).
December 1925 - Turkey switched from the Muslim calendar to the Gregorian calendar.
On July 18, 1932, Turkey joined the League of Nations.
On February 18, 1952, Turkey joined NATO.
In November 1956, as a direct result of the Suez Crisis, Syria signed a treaty with the Soviet Union. This became a fulcrum for Soviet influence in the government in exchange for military equipment. Turkey was concerned about this increase in the power of the Syrian military, as it seemed possible that Syria would try to take back Iskenderun. Only a heated debate at the UN stopped the threat of war.
On July 20, 1974, Turkey sent its troops to Cyprus.
On September 12, 1980, a military coup took place in Turkey led by General Kenan Evren.
On October 3, 2012, the conflict with Syria began.
On July 15-16, 2016, part of the Turkish military attempted to carry out a military coup in the country.
On April 16, 2017, a referendum was held in Turkey on constitutional amendments, which talked about expanding the powers of the president, increasing seats in parliament, reforming the judiciary and abolishing the post of prime minister. 51.4% voted for the amendment.

 

Population

The main population of the country is Turks. During the Ottoman Empire, this people used the self-name of the Ottomans (tur. Osmanlı).

According to the first census, in 1927, 13,464,564 people lived in the Republic of Turkey, of which 2,323,359 were Kurds, Circassians, Bosnians and others.

A total of 12 censuses have been conducted in the country. Since 1927, the population of Turkey has grown 4.4 times, and only from 1950 to 1985 - 2.5 times. The rapid growth of the population, which exceeded 70 million in 2005, remains an important problem for the country. In 2009, the population of Turkey was 72.6 million people, the population density was 88 people / km², the share of the urban population was 75.5%, the proportion of the literate population over 15 years of age was 88.1%. The concentration of the country's population in the main cities is increasing: in 1990, or (provinces) Istanbul and Ankara concentrated 18.4%, in 2010 - 24.5%. At the same time, there is a decrease in the population in the east of the country, especially in the northeast. The population of North-Eastern Anatolia in 1990 was 235 thousand people, in 2009 - 220 thousand people.

The distribution of inhabitants in Turkey is extremely uneven. The most densely populated coasts of the Marmara and Black Seas, as well as areas adjacent to the Aegean Sea. The most populous city is Istanbul, the most sparsely populated area is Hakkari.

Azerbaijanis
The number of Azerbaijanis in Turkey is 700,000-800,000 people. Azerbaijanis in Turkey are well integrated into society, mainly due to the cultural and linguistic proximity between them and Anatolian Turks. However, there are significant differences in the sphere of religion (Azerbaijanis are mostly Shiites, Anatolian Turks are mostly Sunnis).

Armenians
Armenians (Arm. Թուրքահայեր) are an indigenous people in Turkey who lived on the territory of historical Western Armenia. At the beginning of the 20th century, they accounted for about 20% of the country's population and were concentrated mainly in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Today, between 120,000 and 300,000 Christian Armenians live in Turkey, mostly in Istanbul. The number of Muslim Armenians is estimated at about 400,000. According to some reports, in addition to official statistics, there can be up to 10 million crypto-Armenians in the country. The vast majority of the Armenian diaspora (about 10 million people) and at least half of the population of the Republic of Armenia are descendants of refugees from the territories that are part of modern Turkey.

Assyrians
Assyrians are an indigenous people in Turkey who professed Christianity. In the southeast of modern Turkey, along the borders with Syria and Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Assyrians lived at the beginning of the 20th century, of which over 500,000 were killed during the Assyrian genocide organized by the Turkish authorities.

Greeks
Greeks are an indigenous people in Turkey who professed Christianity. The main population of Historical Byzantium, who lived compactly on the territory of modern Turkey until the Greek genocide at the beginning of the 20th century. According to estimates, before the outbreak of the First World War, there were up to 2.7 million Greeks in the territory of modern Turkey. Greeks made up 60% of the population on the Anatolian coast of the Aegean Sea (including the city of Izmir), the majority of the population on the Black Sea coast, as well as an impressive part of the population of Istanbul (in Greek, Constantinople). On the entire peninsula of Asia Minor, the proportion of Greeks at the beginning of the 20th century was approx. twenty %. Of the total number of Greeks, up to 1,500,000 were killed during the Greek genocide, the rest were deported from the country. Modern Turkey has a significant number of Muslim Greeks.

Kurds
Kurds are the indigenous Iranian-speaking people of Turkey, mainly practicing Islam.

According to the 1927 census, there were 2,323,359 Kurds in Turkey (out of a total population of 13,464,564 people).

In Turkey, for many decades, a policy of Turkification of the population was carried out. Therefore, it is very difficult to calculate the number of ethnic groups, even approximately. According to various estimates, Kurds in Turkey are from 10 to 23% of the total population of the country. 8.13 million (Ethnologue data for 2014), and they live in large numbers throughout the country, and in the vast majority in the east.

According to the CIA for 2016, Kurds make up 27% of Turkey's population.

In ancient times (from 595 BC to 653 AD), the kingdom of Kordu was located south of Lake Van.

Before the arrival of the Seljuks, there was a state with a capital in Diyarbakir - the Marvanid state. Also in the territory of modern Turkey from the 8th century AD there were many other Kurdish principalities.

Crimean Tatars
A large number of Crimean Tatars live in the country (estimated from 500 thousand to 6 million), most of whom moved to Turkey after the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Empire, and continued to move to this country throughout the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

 

Caucasians
There are many people from the North Caucasus in the country (mostly descendants of the highlanders deported after the Caucasian War) - they are called by a common name, Circassians, most of which are Adyghes, as well as Abazins, Abkhazians, Nogais, Karachays and Balkars, Dagestan peoples, Ingush, Ossetians, Chechens. Their total number is about 3 million people.

Turks
Turks are the main people of Turkey, speaking the language of the Oguz group of the Turkic branch of the Altaic language family, practicing Islam. The ancestors of the Turks, the Oghuz, invaded the central part of modern Turkey in the middle of the 11th century from the Oguz state, located on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. On May 29, 1453, the Turks captured Constantinople (now Istanbul) from the Greeks.

In 1927, 13,464,564 people lived in Turkey, of which the majority were Turks. In modern Turkey, there are 80,000,000 people, of which from 50,000,000 to 59,000,000 consider themselves Turks (from 62% to 74%).

According to the CIA for 2016, Turks make up 70-75% of the population of Turkey.

By religion, the Turks are Muslims (most of them are Sunnis of the Hanafi madhhab, the smaller part are Alevis).

Other nations
In addition, more than a million Arabs live compactly in the southeast of Turkey. The Laz and Hemshils, who live mainly on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, are now ethnographic groups of the Turks, along with the nomadic Yuryuks and Takhtadzhs. The Jews of Turkey, who in Turkey are approximately 0.1% of the population, live in large cities. Albanians, Georgians, Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks, Bosniaks and representatives of many other nations also live throughout the country, mainly in Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara and other large cities.

 

Religion

In Turkey, religion is legally separated from the state and freedom of religion is guaranteed to every inhabitant of the country. The majority of the country's population professes Sunni Islam: the Hanafi madhhab and maturidism. Islamic brotherhoods - tarikats - are also extremely developed. The Naqshbandi and Mevlevi tarikats are mainly developed. There are followers of the Shafi'i madhhab, mostly Kurds. There are a large number of mosques - 78,000.

There are 321 registered communities of various Christian persuasions and directions, 36 Jewish synagogues. Christian communities include 90 parishes of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople (75 in Istanbul, 8 in Gökçeada, 6 in Hatay, 1 in Bozcaada), 55 Armenian-Gregorian communities (45 in Istanbul, 7 in Khatai and 1 each in the cities of Mardin, Diyarbakir, Kayseri), 60 communities of Assyrian-Nestorians, Orthodox Bulgarians, Arabs and Catholic Armenians, 52 communities of various Protestant denominations. In addition, part of the Kurds in the east of the country profess a syncretic religion and are called Yezidis.

 

Administrative division
Turkey is divided into 81 ils (provinces, the term vilayet was previously used). Each il is subdivided into districts (ilche, Tur. ilçe), in total, as of 2007, there are 923 districts. Il's administrative center is located in its central district (merkez ilçe). Many, but not all, districts are divided into volosts (bujaks). Unofficially, for statistical purposes, or grouped into seven geographic regions (which is not an administrative division):
Aegean region (tur. Ege Bölgesi)
Black Sea region (tur. Karadeniz Bölgesi)
Central Anatolia Region (Turkish İç Anadolu Bölgesi)
Eastern Anatolia Region (tur. Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi)
Marmara region (tur. Marmara Bölgesi)
Mediterranean region (tur. Akdeniz Bölgesi)
Southeast Anatolia Region (tur. Güney Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi)

The political administration of the il is carried out by a governor (vali) appointed by the government. The governor's seat is called a vilayet, hence the former term for a province.

The household is managed by the head of the municipality (büyükşehir belediyesi başkanı), who is elected by popular vote. Districts also form their own municipalities (belediye) headed by mayors (belediye başkanı)

As a rule, or have the same name as their administrative centers, also called the center or central region (merkez). But there are exceptions to this rule: either Hatay (the administrative center is the city of Antakya), Kocaeli (the administrative center is the city of Izmit) and Sakarya (the administrative center is the city of Adapazari).

In 1926, Turkey was divided into 57 ils, in 1939 Hatay was annexed, in 1947 Artvin, Tunceli, Karakuz (now Bingöl), Bitlis and Hakkari were created, in 1953 - Usak, in 1954 - Sakarya and Adiyaman, in 1957 - Nevsehir. From 1957 to 1989, the number of ils remained constant - 67. In 1989, either Kyrykkale, Karaman, Bayburt and Aksaray were created, in 1990 - Batman and Shirnak, in 1991 - Bartyn, in 1994 - Igdir and Ardahan, in 1995 - Yalova, Karabuk and Kilis, in 1997 - Osmaniye, in 1999 - Duzce.

 

State structure

State symbols

The flag of Turkey is a red rectangular panel with a white crescent and a star in the center. The ratio of the flag's width to its length is 2:3.

Turkey does not have an officially approved coat of arms. Instead, a semi-official emblem is used. It is a red oval. Inside it are a crescent and a star, like on a flag. The official name of the country in Turkish is written along the upper edge of the oval.

 

Political structure

Legislative power belongs to the unicameral parliament - the Great National Assembly (Büyük Millet Meclisi), consisting of 600 deputies elected for 5 years (until 2007 - for 7 years) by direct universal suffrage under the proportional representation system. The minimum threshold for batches is set at 10%.

The head of state is the President of the Republic (Cumhurbaşkanı). Executive power was vested in the Council of Ministers (Bakanlar Kurulu) headed by the Prime Minister (Başbakan).

On October 21, 2007, a referendum was held in Turkey on amendments to the current constitution. The amendments changed the procedure for electing and term of office of the President. According to the 1982 constitution, the head of state, the president, was elected by parliament. The president was elected for a term of 7 years and could not be re-elected. The President exercised representative functions.

In accordance with the amendments, the head of state is elected by popular vote for a period of 5 years with the possibility of re-election for another term. Parliamentary elections are held every 4 years.

The conservative Justice and Development Party is in power.

On September 12, 2010, another referendum was held on amendments to the country's constitution. With 58% of the votes in favor and 42% against, the citizens of Turkey made changes to the basic law. These changes are designed to deepen the process of democratization of the country. In particular, the influence of the army on political and public life is further limited: the role of military tribunals is significantly reduced, and the legal immunity of the organizers of the 1980 military coup is canceled. In addition, the number of members of the Turkish Constitutional Court has increased from 11 to 17.

On April 16, 2017, a referendum was held in Turkey on constitutional amendments, according to which Turkey became a presidential republic. The number of seats in parliament has been increased, and the post of prime minister has been abolished. Instead of the Council of Ministers, the Presidential Cabinet became the executive body.

Constitutional oversight of the executive and legislative powers is exercised by the Constitutional Court (Anayasa Mahkemesi), which consists of 11 permanent and 4 variable members appointed by the president and the lower courts through voting and consultation. Hashim Kılıç has been the President of the Constitutional Court since October 2007.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country in 2018 was classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime.

 

Foreign policy

In 2000, the Republic of Turkey acquired the official status of an EU candidate country. Member of NATO since 1952.

American expert F. Hill notes that Turkey is an important regional player and considers itself independent from the West, despite the fact that it is a member of some Euro-Atlantic organizations. Turkey is trying to form around itself a vast zone of influence, economic and political cooperation, excluding problems on its borders and in neighboring regions, it has acquired great economic potential and is striving to become the leader of the former Ottoman space.

The Caucasus region is one of the most important points of Turkish foreign policy, which Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu seeks to build on the slogan "strategic depth" and on theories of soft power and interdependence.

Russian-Turkish diplomatic relations were established in 1701, when the embassy of the Russian Empire was opened in Istanbul. Although bilateral interstate ties date back more than five centuries, historians count from the message of Prince Ivan III on trade, sent on August 30, 1492 to the Ottoman Sultan Bayazet II.

 

Turkey and the European Union

Currently, Turkey is negotiating with the European Union on joining this political and economic entity.

In 1963, Turkey signed an agreement with the predecessor of the EU, the European Economic Community, which recognized the right of the country to enter into the union. In 1978-1979, Turkey was invited to join the EEC together with Greece, but she refused. After the military coup in 1980, Europe ended relations with Ankara, and negotiations resumed only after 1983. In 1987, Turkey officially applied for EU membership.

However, at the 1997 summit, the EU refused to recognize Turkey as a candidate for EU membership - it received this right only in 2000, on the condition that the country, in particular, reforms human rights legislation. In August 2002, the reform program was approved by the Turkish parliament, and in October 2004 the European Commission recommended starting negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU.

Turkish-European relations are complicated by Turkey's unwillingness to recognize Cyprus, which joined the European Union in May 2004. The Cyprus conflict, in particular, being the main reason opposing Turkish accession to the EU, has not been resolved since 1974. In 1974, Turkey occupied the northern part of the island, and since then its government has not recognized the legitimacy of the government of the southern Greek part. The Kurdish issue is also one of the key issues in the discussion of Turkey's further European integration. Europe demands greater regionalization and autonomization of the Kurds, as well as respect for their rights in accordance with European standards. Also, the reason why the European Union refuses to accept Turkey as a member of the EU is the condition set by France, which the Turkish government refuses to fulfill, namely the recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

On March 20, 2021, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention for the Protection of Women's Rights.

In addition to the issue of Turkey's accession to the EU, the issue of liberalization of the visa regime between Turkey and the EU is being considered. On the agenda is to allow Turkish citizens with biometric passports to enter the Schengen area for up to 90 days during a continuous 180-day visa-free period. The European Union has put forward several conditions for granting this regime to Turkey, including on the issue of personal data protection.

Domestic politics
One of the main problems of Turkey's domestic policy is the Kurdish struggle for independence. It is widely believed among the Turks that this war is supported by the West in order to gain access to the explored oil reserves in this region after the creation of an independent Kurdistan (which are currently not being developed due to existing international agreements).

 

Economy

The share of industry in the country's economy is about 28%, agriculture - 15%, construction - 6%, services - 51%.

As of 2018, Turkey ranks 18th in the world in terms of economic power.

From January 1, 2010, the so-called new Turkish lira (TRY, YTL), equal to 100 kurushes (Ykr), is withdrawn from circulation and the Turkish lira (TL) of the same denomination is introduced. Old money was accepted for payment until December 31, 2009. Banknotes could be exchanged at the Central Bank of the country and Ziraat banks over the next 10 years, coins - only until the end of 2010.

From January 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Turkey is TL 5004.00 (gross) (€281.90) and TL 4253.40 (net) (€239.64). From July 1, 2022, the minimum wage in Turkey is TL 6,471 (gross) (€354.86) and TL 5,500.35 (net) (€301.63).

Industry
In the total volume of industrial production, the manufacturing industry has the largest share (84%, including construction). The textile, leather, food, chemical, pharmaceutical industries, energy, metallurgy, shipbuilding, automotive industry and the production of household goods are developed. Tourism is a dynamically developing industry. The most dynamic industries include the automotive industry (+9.6% in 2005) and the chemical industry (+7.2% in 2005).

Turkish Space Agency (KAT)

On December 13, 2018, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan officially established the Turkish Space Agency (CAT), which will be financed from the state budget.

Transport
The country has several airlines operating both domestically and internationally. Due to the large number of tourists, Turkey has a developed public transport system - bus network and metro (since 1996). There are also several ports, a railway network (including one high-speed line) and oil and gas pipeline networks.

Tourism
Turkey has a well-developed tourist service and infrastructure. This is due to the presence of seaside resorts, as well as a variety of attractions.

International trade
In 2017, Turkey ranks 27th in terms of foreign trade, with exports estimated at $166 billion, imports at $214 billion, and a negative foreign trade balance at $48.6 billion.

The structure of exports is dominated by finished products, including machinery, transport and equipment (up to 33%), light industry products, including clothing, footwear (18.2%), metals and alloys, including steel and rolled products (11 .6%), chemical products, including tires and plastics (8.8%). Also exported are gold and jewelry, various agricultural products (fruits, nuts, cereals, tobacco). Top buyers: Germany 10%, UK 6.1%, Italy 5.6%, UAE 5.5%, Iraq 5.4% and US 5.3%; the share of Russia is 1.9%.

The country imports mainly machinery, electronics and spare parts (22.6%), metals and alloys (13.5%), vehicles (11%), gold (8%), as well as agricultural and chemical raw materials. Main suppliers: China 11%, Germany 10%, Russia 6.2%, Italy 5.3%, USA 5.3%.

As of 2017, the country ranks 29th in terms of external debt in the amount of $429.6 billion.

 

Culture

Football
The most popular sport is football.

 

Armed forces

The Turkish Armed Forces (Turk. Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri) is a set of troops of the Republic of Turkey, designed to protect the freedom, independence and territorial integrity of the state. According to the data for 2006, the number of the Turkish army amounted to 514.85 thousand people.