Turkey

 

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honoured with the title Ataturk or “Father of the Turks.” Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster – popularly dubbed a “post-modern coup” – of the then Islamic-oriented government.

 

Geography:
Location: South-eastern Europe and South-western Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 35 00 E
People:
Population: 79,749,461 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.6% (male 10,707,793/female 10,226,999)

15-64 years: 67.1% (male 26,741,332/female 26,162,757)

65 years and over: 6.3% (male 2,259,422/female 2,687,245) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Turkey

conventional short form: Turkey

local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti

local short form: Turkiye

Government type: republican parliamentary democracy
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 16.202 million (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 61.77 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 98 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 89

over 3,047 m: 16

2,438 to 3,047 m: 35

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17

914 to 1,523 m: 17

under 914 m: 4 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Turkish Land Forces (Turk Kara Kuvvetleri, TKK), Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri, TDK; includes naval air and naval infantry), Turkish Air Force (Turk Hava Kuvvetleri, THK) (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 19-41 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 15 months conscript obligation for non-university graduates, 6-12 months for university graduates; Turkey is trying to reduce dependency on conscription, as of 2004, 75% of soldiers were conscripts; women serve in the Turkish Armed Forces only as officers; reserve obligation to age 41; under a law passed in November 2011, men aged 30 and older who have worked 3 years in foreign countries may pay $16,200 in lieu of mandatory military service (2010)

Economy:

Turkey’s dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for more than 35% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for one-third of industrial employment; it faces stiff competition in international markets with the end of the global quota system. However, other sectors, notably the automotive and electronics industries, are rising in importance within Turkey’s export mix. Real GNP growth has exceeded 6% in many years, but this strong expansion has been interrupted by sharp declines in output in 1994, 1999, and 2001.

Transnational Issues:

Complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Syria and Iraq protest Turkish hydrological projects to control upper Euphrates waters; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; border with Armenia remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh.