Turkey

Last updated

Republic of Türkiye
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)
Flag of Turkey.svg
Anthem: 
İstiklal Marşı
"Independence March"
Turkey (orthographic projection).svg
Capital Ankara
39°55′N32°51′E / 39.917°N 32.850°E / 39.917; 32.850
Largest city Istanbul
41°1′N28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.950°E / 41.017; 28.950
Official languages Turkish [1] [2]
Spoken languages
  • Predominantly Turkish [3]
Ethnic groups
(2016) [4]
Demonym(s)
  • Turkish
  • Turk
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
  President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Cevdet Yılmaz
Numan Kurtulmuş
Zühtü Arslan
Legislature Grand National Assembly
Establishment
c. 1299
19 May 1919
23 April 1920
1 November 1922
24 July 1923
29 October 1923
9 November 1982 [5]
Area
 Total
783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi)(36th)
 Water (%)
2.03 [6]
Population
 December 2023 estimate
Increase Neutral.svg 85,372,377 [7] (17th)
 Density
111 [7] /km2 (287.5/sq mi)(83rd)
GDP  (PPP)2023 estimate
 Total
Increase2.svg $3.613 trillion [8] (11th)
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $41,887 [8] (46th)
GDP  (nominal)2023 estimate
 Total
Increase2.svg $1.154 trillion [8] (17th)
 Per capita
Increase2.svg $13,383 [8] (65th)
Gini  (2019)Steady2.svg 41.9 [9]
medium
HDI  (2021)Increase2.svg 0.838 [10]
very high ·  48th
Currency Turkish lira () (TRY)
Time zone UTC+3 (TRT)
Calling code +90
ISO 3166 code TR
Internet TLD .tr

Turkey, officially the Republic of Türkiye (Turkish : Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcijedʒumˈhuːɾijeti] ), is a country mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in West Asia, with a smaller part called East Thrace on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; the Aegean Sea to the west; and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Cyprus is off the south coast. Most of the country's citizens are ethnic Turks, while Kurds are the largest ethnic minority. [4] Ankara is Turkey's capital and second-largest city, while Istanbul is its largest city and economic and financial centre, as well as the largest city in Europe.

Contents

Human settlement in the area began in the late Paleolithic period. [11] Home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe, present-day Turkey was part of one of the centers of the Agricultural Revolution and was inhabited by ancient civilizations including the Hattians, Anatolian peoples, Thracians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Persians. [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] Following the conquests of Alexander the Great, most of the ancient Anatolian regions were culturally Hellenized; [17] [18] this continued during the Byzantine era. [14] [19] The Seljuk Turks began migrating to Anatolia in the 11th century, which started the Turkification process. [19] [20] The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. [21] Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans united the principalities and conquered the Balkans. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power. [22] [23] [24]

From the late 18th century onwards, the empire's power and territory declined. [25] Mahmud II started a period of modernization in the early 19th century. [26] The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 restricted the authority of the sultan and restored the Ottoman Parliament. [27] [28] The Three Pashas took control with the 1913 coup d'état, and the Ottoman Empire entered World War I as one of the Central Powers in 1914. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Greek and Assyrian subjects. [29] [30] [31] After its defeat in the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned. [32] The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the sultanate on 1 November 1922, the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on 24 July 1923 and the proclamation of a republic on 29 October 1923, modelled on the reforms initiated by the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Turkey is a newly industrialized country, and a founding member of the OECD and G20; its economy currently ranks 17th-largest in the world by nominal GDP and 11th-largest by PPP. With a geopolitically significant location, Turkey is a regional power [33] and an early member of NATO. Turkey joined the EU Customs Union in 1995, and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005; it is also a member of the Council of Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, TURKSOY, and Organization of Turkic States. Home to 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Turkey is the fourth most visited country in the world.

Name

The name Turkey appears in Western sources after the late 11th century, referring to the Seljuk-controlled lands in Anatolia and the Near East. [34] European writers started using Turchia for the Anatolian plateau by the end of the 12th century. [35] The English name Turkey (from Medieval Latin Turchia/Turquia) means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess (c.1369). The modern spelling Turkey dates back to at least 1719. [36] The name Turkey has been used in the texts of numerous international treaties to define the Ottoman Empire. [37] [38] [39] [40]

In Byzantine sources, the name Tourkia (Greek : Τουρκία) was used for defining two medieval states: Hungary (Western Tourkia); and Khazaria (Eastern Tourkia). [41] [42]

With the Treaty of Alexandropol, the name Türkiye entered international documents for the first time. In the treaty signed with Afghanistan in 1921, the expression Devlet-i Âliyye-i Türkiyye ('Sublime Turkish State') was used, likened to the Ottoman Empire's name. [43]

In December 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a circular, calling for exports to be labeled "Made in Türkiye". [44] The circular also stated that in relation to other governmental communications, the "necessary sensitivity will be shown on the use of the phrase 'Türkiye' instead of phrases such as 'Turkey' (in English)". [44] [45] The reason given was that Türkiye "represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way". [44] In May 2022, the Turkish government requested the United Nations and other international organizations to use Türkiye officially in English, which the UN immediately agreed to do. [46] [47] [48]

History

Prehistory of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace

Some henges at Gobekli Tepe were erected as far back as 9600 BC, predating those of Stonehenge by over seven millennia. Gobekli Tepe, Urfa.jpg
Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 9600 BC, predating those of Stonehenge by over seven millennia.

The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, has been inhabited by modern humans since the late Paleolithic period. [50] The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least 40,000 years ago and is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. [15] The spread of agriculture from the Middle East to Europe was strongly correlated with the migration of early farmers from Anatolia about 9,000 years ago and was not just a cultural exchange. [51] Anatolian Neolithic farmers derived a significant portion of their ancestry from the Anatolian hunter-gatherers. [52]

Sphinx Gate, Hattusa 01.jpg
The Sphinx Gate of Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites
Aizanoi Zeus temple 2120.jpg
The Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Aizanoi in Phrygia

Present-day Turkey contains some of the world's oldest Neolithic sites. [53] Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made structure in the world, a temple dating to c.9600 BC, [49] while Çatalhöyük is a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in Anatolia, which existed c.7500 – c.5700 BC. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. [54] The Urfa Man statue is dated c.9000 BC, to the period of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, and is defined as "the oldest known naturalistic life-sized sculpture of a human". [55] Troy was first settled in the Neolithic Age, with habitation continuing into the Byzantine period. Troy's Late Bronze Age layers are considered potential historical settings for the later legends of the Trojan War. [56] [57] [58]

The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who lived in Anatolia as early as c.2300 BC. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed the Hattians and Hurrians c.2000 – c.1700 BC. Various other ancient Anatolian populations have also lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic until the Hellenistic period. [14] Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. [59] Given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated. [60] The first empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th centuries BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC [61] although they have remained a minority in the region. [62]

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 c.695 BC. [63] The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia.

Assyrian king Shalmaneser I (1263–1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of "Uruatri". [64] [65] Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC. [66] Starting from 714 BC, the Urartu state began to decline and finally dissolved in 590 BC when it was conquered by the Medes. [67]

Antiquity

The Sebasteion of Aphrodisias, a city named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. In 2017, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Afrodisias - Sebastion - Sebasteion.jpg
The Sebasteion of Aphrodisias, a city named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. In 2017, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus was built by the Romans in 114-117. The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, built by king Croesus of Lydia in the 6th century BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus Celsus Library Facade.jpg
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus was built by the Romans in 114–117. The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, built by king Croesus of Lydia in the 6th century BC, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Before 1200 BC, there were four Greek-speaking settlements in Anatolia. [71] Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia was settled by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks. Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Miletus, Ephesus, Halicarnassus, Pergamon, Aphrodisias, Smyrna (now İzmir) and Byzantium (now Istanbul), the latter founded by Greek colonists from Megara in c.667 BC. [72] Some of the most prominent pre-Socratic philosophers lived in Miletus. Thales of Miletus is regarded as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition [73] [74] and is also historically recognized as the first individual known to have engaged in scientific philosophy. [75] [76]

The Armenian Orontid dynasty, which included parts of what is now eastern Turkey, began in the 6th century BC. In northwestern Turkey, the most significant tribal group in ancient Thrace was the Odyrisians, founded by Teres I. [77]

All of modern-day Turkey was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th century BC. [78] The Greco-Persian Wars started when the Greek city-states on the coast of Anatolia rebelled against Persian rule in 499 BC. Queen Artemisia I of Halicarnassus, which was then within the Achaemenid satrapy of Caria, fought as an ally of Xerxes I, King of Persia, against the independent Greek city-states during the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC. [79] [80]

Anatolia fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC, [81] which led to increasing cultural homogeneity and Hellenization in the area, [14] which met resistance. [17] Following Alexander's death in 323 BC, Anatolia was subsequently divided into smaller Hellenistic kingdoms, all of which became part of the Roman Republic by the mid-1st century BC. [82] Hellenization 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 and culture. [83]

From the 1st century BC up to the 3rd century AD, large parts of modern-day Turkey were contested between the Romans and neighboring Parthians through the Roman-Parthian Wars.

Galatia was an ancient area in the highlands of central Anatolia inhabited by the Celts. The term "Galatians" came to be used by the Greeks for the three Celtic peoples of Anatolia: the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii. [84] [85] By the 1st century BC the Celts had become so Hellenized that some Greek writers called them Hellenogalatai. [86] The Kingdom of Pontus was a Hellenistic kingdom, centered in the historical region of Pontus and ruled by the Mithridatic dynasty of Persian origin, [87] [88] [89] [90] which may have been directly related to Darius the Great. [91] [90] The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Romans in 63 BC. Pontus reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, and the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated. All ancient regions and territories corresponding to modern Turkey eventually became part of the Roman Empire, and many of them retained their historic names in classical antiquity as Roman provinces.

Early Christian and Roman period

The Roman Empire at the time of Constantine the Great's death in 337. In 330, Constantinople (Istanbul) became the new Roman capital. ConstantineEmpire.jpg
The Roman Empire at the time of Constantine the Great's death in 337. In 330, Constantinople (Istanbul) became the new Roman capital.

According to the Acts of Apostles, [92] Antioch (now Antakya), a city in southern Turkey, is where the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians". The city quickly became an important center of Christianity. [93] [94] The Apostle Paul of Tarsus traveled to Ephesus and stayed there, probably working as a tentmaker. [95] He is claimed to have performed miracles and organized missionary activity in other regions. [96] Paul left Ephesus after an attack from a local silversmith resulted in a pro-Artemis riot. [96]

According to extrabiblical traditions, the Assumption of Mary took place in Ephesus, where Apostle John was also present. Irenaeus writes of "the church of Ephesus, founded by Paul, with John continuing with them until the times of Trajan." [97] While in Ephesus, Apostle John wrote the three epistles attributed to him. The Basilica of St. John near Ephesus, built by Justinian the Great in the 6th century, marks the burial site of Apostle John, while the nearby House of the Virgin Mary is accepted by the Catholic church as the place where Mary, mother of Jesus, lived the final days of her life before her Assumption. Saint Nicholas, born in Patara, lived in nearby Myra (modern Demre) in Lycia.

In 123, Roman emperor Hadrian traveled to Anatolia. Numerous monuments were erected for his arrival, and he met his lover Antinous from Bithynia. [98] Hadrian focused on the Greek revival and built several temples and improved the cities. Cyzicus, Pergamon, Smyrna, Ephesus and Sardes were promoted as regional centres for the Imperial cult during this period. [99]

Byzantine period

The Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul) was built by the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian the Great in 532-537. Aya Sophia (7144824757).jpg
The Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (Istanbul) was built by the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian the Great in 532–537.

After defeating Licinius (the senior co-emperor (augustus) of the East in Nicomedia) at the Battle of Chrysopolis (Üsküdar) in 324 (thus bringing an end to the Tetrarchy system and becoming the sole emperor), Constantine the Great chose the nearby city of Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire and started rebuilding and expanding the city. In 330 he officially proclaimed it as the new Roman capital with the name New Rome (Nova Roma) but soon afterwards renamed it Constantinople (Constantinopolis, modern Istanbul). Under Constantine, Christianity did not become the official religion of the state, but Christianity enjoyed imperial preference since he supported it with generous privileges.

The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 Justinian555AD.png
The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476

Theodosius the Great made Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Following the death of Theodosius in 395 and the permanent division of the Roman Empire between his two sons, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This empire, which would later be branded by historians as the Byzantine Empire, ruled most of the territory of present-day Turkey until the Late Middle Ages; [101] although the eastern regions remained firmly in Sasanian hands until the 7th century. The frequent Byzantine-Sassanid Wars, a continuation of the centuries-long Roman-Persian Wars, took place between the 4th and 7th centuries.

Several ecumenical councils of the early Church were held in cities located in present-day Turkey, including the First Council of Nicaea (Iznik) in 325 (which resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed), the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, and the Council of Chalcedon in 451. [102] During most of its existence, the Byzantine Empire was one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe. [103] Established in the Roman period, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the oldest continuously active institution in Istanbul. [104]

Seljuk period

Ince Minareli Medrese 02.jpg
Cifte Minareli Medrese (Erzurum) Entrance 8685 (cropped).jpg
Divrigi,N-P1.jpg
İnce Minareli Medrese in Konya (left), Çifte Minareli Medrese in Erzurum (center) and Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital (right) are among the finest examples of Seljuk architecture.

The House of Seljuk originated from the Kınık branch of the Oghuz Turks who resided in the Yabgu Khaganate, on the periphery of the Muslim world, in the 9th century. [105] From eastern Caspian Sea area, Oghuz tribes and other Turks started to migrate into Khorasan. The Abbasid Caliphate's capital, Baghdad, which was the seat of religious and political leadership of the Islamic world, was taken by Seljuks in 1055. [106] In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks began penetrating into medieval Armenia and Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, starting the Turkification process in the area; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced to Anatolia. The slow transition from a predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking one was underway.

The Mevlevi Order of dervishes, established in Konya during the 13th century by Sufi poet Mevlânâ Rûmî, played a role in the Islamization of the diverse people of Anatolia. [107] [108] Thus, alongside the Turkification of the territory, the culturally Persianized Seljuks set the basis for a Turko-Persian principal culture in Anatolia. [109] [110] [111]

The defeat of the Seljuk armies by the Mongols in 1243 caused the territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm to slowly disintegrate into small Turkish principalities. [21]

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire at its greatest European extent, in 1683, during the Battle of Vienna OttomanEmpireMain.png
The Ottoman Empire at its greatest European extent, in 1683, during the Battle of Vienna

In the early 14th century, the Ottoman Beylik founded by Osman I started expanding its territory and annexing the nearby Turkish beyliks (principalities) in Anatolia. Within a few decades, during the reign of Murad I (r. 1362–1389), the Ottoman state began expanding into the Balkans, eventually becoming known as the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans under Mehmed II completed their conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople, on 29 May 1453. The empire was further expanded in Anatolia and the Balkan peninsula. [112]

Following the end of the Reconquista, which resulted in the expulsion of non-Christians (Jews and Muslims) from Iberia and southern Italy controlled by the Crowns of Castile and Aragon (and later by the Spanish Empire), a large number of Sephardic Jews and Andalusian Muslims emigrated to the Ottoman Empire during the reigns of sultan Bayezid II and his successors, settling primarily in Istanbul, İzmir, Selanik, Bursa and Edirne. [113]

From the second half of the 18th century onwards, the Ottoman Empire began to decline. The Tanzimat reforms, initiated by Mahmud II in 1839, aimed to modernize 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. [114]

The Suleymaniye Mosque is the largest Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul, located on the Third Hill in the city's historical peninsula. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. Suleymaniye DSCF3573.jpg
The Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul, located on the Third Hill in the city's historical peninsula. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan.

As the empire gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth; especially after the Ottoman economic crisis and default in 1875 [115] which led to uprisings in the Balkan provinces that culminated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878); many Balkan Muslims migrated to the empire's heartland in Anatolia, [116] [117] along with the Circassians fleeing the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. According to some estimates, 800,000 Muslim Circassians died during the Circassian genocide in the territory of present-day Russia, the survivors of which sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire, mostly settling in the provinces of present-day Turkey. 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, which claimed up to 300,000 lives. [118]

The loss of Rumelia (Ottoman territories in Europe) with the First Balkan War (1912–1913) was followed by the arrival of millions of Muslim refugees ( muhacir ) to Istanbul and Anatolia. [119] Historically, the Rumelia Eyalet and Anatolia Eyalet had formed the administrative core of the Ottoman Empire, with their governors titled Beylerbeyi participating in the sultan's Divan, so the loss of all Balkan provinces beyond the Midye-Enez border line according to the London Conference of 1912–13 and the Treaty of London (1913) was a major shock for the Ottoman society and led to the 1913 Ottoman coup d'état. In the Second Balkan War (1913) the Ottomans managed to recover their former capital Edirne (Adrianople) and its surrounding areas in East Thrace, which was formalized with the Treaty of Constantinople (1913). The 1913 coup d'état effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, making sultans Mehmed V and Mehmed VI largely symbolic figureheads with no real political power.

Topkapi - 01.jpg
Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul cropped.jpg
Topkapı Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace were the primary residences of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul between 1465 and 1856 [120] and 1856 to 1922, [121] respectively.

The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. The Ottomans successfully defended the Dardanelles strait during the Gallipoli campaign and achieved initial victories against British forces in the first two years of the Mesopotamian campaign, such as the Siege of Kut; but the Arab Revolt turned the tide against the Ottomans in the Middle East. In the Caucasus campaign, however, the Russian forces had the upper hand from the beginning, especially after the Battle of Sarikamish. Russian forces advanced into northeastern Anatolia and controlled the major cities there until retreating from World War I with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk following the Russian Revolution.

During the war, the empire's Armenian subjects were deported to Syria as part of the Armenian genocide. As a result, an estimated 600,000 [122] to more than 1 million, [122] or up to 1.5 million [123] [124] [125] Armenians were killed. The Turkish government has refused to acknowledge [29] [126] the events as genocide and states that Armenians were only "relocated" from the eastern war zone. [127] Genocidal campaigns were also committed against the empire's other minority groups such as the Assyrians and Greeks. [128] [129] [130]

Following the Armistice of Mudros in 1918, the victorious Allied Powers sought the partition of the Ottoman Empire through the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres. [131]

Republic of Turkey

Kemal Ataturk, the founder and the first President of the Turkish Republic Ataturk sapkasiyla selam verirken.jpg
Kemal Atatürk, the founder and the first President of the Turkish Republic

The occupation of Istanbul (1918) and İzmir (1919) by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I initiated the Turkish National Movement. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920). [132]

The Turkish Provisional Government in Ankara, which had declared itself the legitimate government of the country on 23 April 1920, started to formalize the legal transition from the old Ottoman into the new Republican political system. The Ankara Government engaged in armed and diplomatic struggle. In 1921–1923, the Armenian, Greek, French, and British armies had been expelled: [133] [134] [135] [136] The military advance and diplomatic success of the Ankara Government resulted in the signing of the Armistice of Mudanya on 11 October 1922. The handling of the Chanak Crisis (September–October 1922) between the United Kingdom and the Ankara Government caused the collapse of David Lloyd George's Ministry on 19 October 1922 [137] and political autonomy of Canada from the UK. [138] 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, which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres, [131] [132] led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Turkish state as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire. On 4 October 1923, the Allied occupation of Turkey ended with the withdrawal of the last Allied troops from Istanbul. The Turkish Republic was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country's new capital. [139] The Lausanne Convention stipulated a population exchange between Greece and Turkey. [140]

Anitkabir in Ankara was completed in 1953 to become the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Ankara asv2021-10 img04 Anitkabir.jpg
Anıtkabir in Ankara was completed in 1953 to become the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first president and introduced many reforms. The reforms aimed to transform the old religion-based and multi-communal Ottoman monarchy into a Turkish nation state that would be governed as a parliamentary republic under a secular constitution. [141] With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father Turk). [132] Atatürk's reforms caused discontent in some Kurdish and Zaza tribes leading to the Sheikh Said rebellion in 1925 [142] and the Dersim rebellion in 1937. [143]

İsmet İnönü became the country's second president following Atatürk's death in 1938. In 1939, the Republic of Hatay voted in favor of joining Turkey with a referendum. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II but entered the war on the side of the Allies on 23 February 1945. Later that year, Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. [144] In 1950 Turkey became a member of the Council of Europe. After fighting as part of the UN forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean.

The country's transition to multi-party democracy was interrupted by military coups in 1960 and 1980, as well as by military memorandums in 1971 and 1997. [145] [146] 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. Tansu Çiller became the first female prime minister of Turkey in 1993.

Tansu Ciller, Turkey's first female prime minister, attends a European Commission meeting in January 1994. Visit of Tansu Ciller, Turkish Prime Minister, to the EC 6.jpg
Tansu Çiller, Turkey's first female prime minister, attends a European Commission meeting in January 1994.

Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, joined the European Union Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005. [147] [148] In a non-binding vote on 13 March 2019, the European Parliament called on the EU governments to suspend EU accession talks with Turkey, citing violations of human rights and the rule of law; but the negotiations, effectively on hold since 2018, remain active as of 2023. [149]

In 2014, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won Turkey's first direct presidential election. [150] On 15 July 2016, an unsuccessful coup attempt tried to oust the government. [151] With a referendum in 2017, the parliamentary republic was replaced by an executive presidential system. The office of the prime minister was abolished, and its powers and duties were transferred to the president. On the referendum day, while the voting was still underway, the Supreme Electoral Council lifted a rule that required each ballot to have an official stamp. [152] The opposition parties claimed that as many as 2.5 million ballots without a stamp were accepted as valid. [152]

Administrative divisions

Turkey has a unitary structure in terms of public administration, and the provinces are subordinate to the central government in Ankara. In province centers the government is represented by the province governors (vali) and in towns by the governors (kaymakam). Other senior public officials are also appointed by the central government, except for the mayors (belediye başkanı) who are elected by the constituents. [153] Turkish municipalities have local legislative bodies (belediye meclisi) for decision-making on municipal issues.

Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces (il or vilayet) for administrative purposes. Each province is divided into districts (ilçe), for a total of 973 districts. [154] Turkey is also subdivided into 7 regions (bölge) and 21 subregions for geographic, demographic and economic measurements, surveys and classifications; this does not refer to an administrative division.

Government and politics

Presidential Palace Main.jpg
The Presidential Complex, residence and workplace of the President of Turkey
Court of Cassation in Ankara2.jpg
The Court of Cassation is Turkey's supreme court for reviewing verdicts given by courts of criminal and civil justice.

Turkey is a presidential republic within a multi-party system. [155] The current constitution was approved by referendum in 1982, which determines the government's structure, lays forth the ideals and standards of the state's conduct, and sets out the state's responsibility to its citizens. Furthermore, the constitution specifies the people's rights and obligations, as well as principles for the delegation and exercise of sovereignty that belongs to the people of Turkey. [156] Turkish politics have become increasingly associated with democratic backsliding, being described as a competitive authoritarian system. [157] [158]

In the Turkish unitary system, citizens are subject to three levels of government: national, provincial, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between municipal governments and districts, in which the executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. The government comprises three branches:

The Parliament has 600 voting members, each representing a constituency for a five-year term. Parliamentary seats are distributed among the provinces by population, conforming with the census apportionment. The president is elected by direct vote and serves a five-year term. The president cannot run for re-election after two terms of five-years, unless the parliament prematurely renews the presidential elections during the second term. Elections for the Parliament and presidential elections are held on the same day. The Constitutional Court is composed of 15 members. A member is elected for a term of 12 years and cannot be re-elected. The members of the Constitutional Court are obliged to retire when they are over the age of 65. [161]

Parties and elections

Elections in Turkey are held for six functions of government: presidential elections (national), parliamentary elections (national), municipality mayors (local), district mayors (local), provincial or municipal council members (local) and muhtars (local). Apart from elections, referendums are also held occasionally.

Every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 has the right to vote and stand as a candidate at elections. Universal suffrage for both sexes has been applied throughout Turkey since 1934 and before most countries. In Turkey, turnout rates of both local and general elections are high compared to many other countries, which usually stands higher than 80%. [162] There are 600 members of parliament who are elected for a five-year term by a party-list proportional representation system from 88 electoral districts.

The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secular or having ties to terrorism, or ban their existence altogether. [163] [164] The Interior Ministry can block new parties from elections even if a court rules in favour of the party. [165] The electoral threshold for political parties at national level is seven percent of the votes. [166] Smaller parties can avoid the electoral threshold by forming an alliance with other parties. Independent candidates are not subject to an electoral threshold.

After World War II, starting from 1946, Turkey operated under a multi-party system. On the right side of the Turkish political spectrum, parties like the Democrat Party, Justice Party, Motherland Party, and Justice and Development Party became the most popular political parties in Turkey, winning numerous elections. Turkish right-wing parties are more likely to embrace the principles of political ideologies such as conservatism, nationalism or Islamism. [167] On the left side of the spectrum, parties like the Republican People's Party, Social Democratic Populist Party and Democratic Left Party once enjoyed the largest electoral success. Left-wing parties are more likely to embrace the principles of socialism, Kemalism or secularism. [168]

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, winner of the 2023 presidential election, [169] [170] is currently serving as the head of state and head of government. Özgür Özel is the Main Opposition Leader. Numan Kurtulmuş is the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly. The 2023 parliamentary election resulted in the 28th Parliament of Turkey, which had an initial composition of 268 seats for the Justice and Development Party, 169 seats for the Republican People's Party, 61 seats for the Party of Greens and the Left Future, 50 seats for the Nationalist Movement Party, 43 seats for the Good Party, 5 seats for the New Welfare Party and 4 seats for the Workers' Party of Turkey. [171] The next parliamentary election is scheduled to take place in 2028.

Law

Istanbul Justice Palace in the Sisli district on the European side PalaceOfJusticeIstanbul (1).jpg
Istanbul Justice Palace in the Şişli district on the European side
Istanbul Anadolu Justice Palace in the Kartal district on the Asian side IstanbulAnadoluJusticePalace2.jpg
Istanbul Anadolu Justice Palace in the Kartal district on the Asian side

With the founding of the Republic, Turkey adopted a civil law legal system, replacing Sharia-derived Ottoman law. The Civil Code, adopted in 1926, was based on the Swiss Civil Code of 1907 and the Swiss Code of Obligations of 1911. Although it underwent a number of changes in 2002, it retains much of the basis of the original Code. The Criminal Code, originally based on the Italian Criminal Code, was replaced in 2005 by a Code with principles similar to the German Penal Code and German law generally. Administrative law is based on the French equivalent and procedural law generally shows the influence of the Swiss, German and French legal systems. [172] Islamic principles do not play a part in the legal system. [173]

Law enforcement in Turkey is carried out by several agencies under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. These agencies are the General Directorate of Security, the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command.[ citation needed ]

In the years of government by the Justice and Development Party and Erdoğan, particularly since 2013, the independence and integrity of the Turkish judiciary has increasingly been said to be in doubt by institutions, parliamentarians and journalists both within and outside of Turkey, because of political interference in the promotion of judges and prosecutors and in their pursuit of public duty. [174] [175] [176] [177]

Foreign relations

Turkey has been in formal accession negotiations with the European Union since 2005. EU and Turkey Locator Map.png
Turkey has been in formal accession negotiations with the European Union since 2005.

In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey became one of the early members of the Council of Europe in 1950, applied for associate membership of the EEC (predecessor of the European Union) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, 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 European Union since 2005. [147] [148]

Turkey's support for Northern Cyprus in the Cyprus dispute and refusal to include the Republic of Cyprus to the EU-Turkey Customs Union agreement complicates its relations with the European Union and remains a major stumbling block to the country's EU accession bid. [178]

The other defining aspect of Turkey's foreign policy has been the country's long-standing strategic alliance with the United States. [179] [180] The Truman Doctrine in 1947 enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and 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. [181]

Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, has its second largest army and is the host of the Allied Land Command headquarters. 300622-SanchezOTANSegunda3.jpg
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, has its second largest army and is the host of the Allied Land Command headquarters.

The common threat posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War led to Turkey's membership of NATO in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with the US. Subsequently, 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. [182] In the post–Cold War environment, Turkey's geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans. [183]

The independence of the Turkic states of the Soviet Union in 1991, with which Turkey shares a common cultural, historic and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia. [184] The International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) was established in 1993, and the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was established in 2009.

Under the AKP government, Turkey's economy has grown rapidly and the country's influence has grown in the Middle East based on a strategic depth doctrine, also called Neo-Ottomanism. [185] [186]

Members and observers of the Organization of Turkic States Organization of Turkic States (orthographic projection).svg
Members and observers of the Organization of Turkic States

Following the Arab Spring in December 2010, the choices made by the government for supporting certain political opposition groups in the affected countries have led to tensions with some Arab states, such as Turkey's neighbor Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war, and Egypt after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. [187] [188] As of 2022, Turkey does not have an ambassador in either Syria or Egypt, [189] but relations with both countries have started to improve. [190] [191] [192] [193] [194] [ excessive citations ]

Diplomatic relations with Israel were also severed after the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010 but were normalized following a deal in June 2016. [195] These political rifts have left Turkey with few allies in the East Mediterranean, where large natural gas fields have recently been discovered. [196] [197] There is a dispute over Turkey's maritime boundaries with Greece and Cyprus and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean. [198] [199]

After the rapprochement with Russia in 2016, Turkey revised its stance regarding the solution of the conflict in Syria. [200] [201] [202] In January 2018, the Turkish military and the Turkish-backed forces, including the Syrian National Army, [203] began an operation in Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed YPG (which Turkey considers to be an offshoot of the outlawed PKK) [204] [205] from the enclave of Afrin. [206] [207]


Military

The TAI TF Kaan is currently being produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries for the Turkish Air Force. IMG-TAI-TFX.jpg
The TAI TF Kaan is currently being produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries for the Turkish Air Force.

The Turkish Armed Forces consist of the General Staff, the Land Forces, the Naval Forces and the Air Force. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the president. The president 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 rests solely with the Parliament. [211]

The Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. In wartime, the president can order certain units of the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command to operate under the Land Forces Command and Naval Forces Commands respectively. The remaining parts of the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard continue to carry out their law enforcement missions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior.

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. [212] Turkey does not recognize conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service. [213]

TCG Anadolu (L-400) amphibious assault ship at the Golden Horn. Baykar MIUS Kizilelma is a jet-engined UCAV designed to operate on TCG Anadolu. Bayraktar Kizilelma on the deck of TCG Anadolu (L-400) - 2.jpg
TCG Anadolu (L-400) amphibious assault ship at the Golden Horn. Baykar MIUS Kızılelma is a jet-engined UCAV designed to operate on TCG Anadolu.

Turkey has the second-largest standing military force in NATO, after the United States, with an estimated strength of 890,700 military personnel as of February 2022. [222] Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. [223] 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. [224] The Turkish Armed Forces have a relatively substantial military presence abroad, [225] with military bases in Albania, [226] Iraq, [227] Qatar, [228] and Somalia. [229] The country also maintains a force of 36,000 troops in Northern Cyprus since 1974. [230]

Turkey has participated in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since the Korean War, including peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Yugoslavia and the Horn of Africa. It supported coalition forces in the First Gulf War, contributed military personnel to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and remains active in Kosovo Force, Eurocorps and EU Battlegroups. [231] [232] In recent years, Turkey has assisted Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq and the Somali Armed Forces with security and training. [233] [234]

Human rights

Feminist demonstration in Kadikoy, Istanbul, on 29 July 2017 Feminist protest from Turkey.jpg
Feminist demonstration in Kadıköy, Istanbul, on 29 July 2017

The human rights record of Turkey has been the subject of much controversy and international condemnation. Between 1959 and 2011 the European Court of Human Rights made more than 2,400 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations on issues such as Kurdish rights, women's rights, LGBT rights, and media freedom. [235] [236] Turkey's human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to the country's membership of the EU. [237]

In the latter half of the 1970s, Turkey suffered from political violence between far-left and far-right militant groups, which culminated in the military coup of 1980. [238] The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, [239] and the European Union [240] ) was founded in 1978 by a group of Kurdish militants led by Abdullah Öcalan, seeking the foundation of an independent Kurdish state based on Marxist–Leninist ideology. [241] The initial reason given by the PKK for this was the oppression of Kurds in Turkey. [242] [243] A full-scale insurgency began in 1984, when the PKK announced a Kurdish uprising. With time the PKK modified its demands into equal rights for ethnic Kurds and provincial autonomy within Turkey. [244] [245] [246] [247] Since 1980, the Turkish parliament stripped its members of immunity from prosecution, including 44 deputies most of which from the pro-Kurdish parties. [248]

In 2013, widespread protests erupted, sparked by a plan to demolish Gezi Park but soon growing into general anti-government dissent. [249] 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. [250] [251] By 2020, under the pretext of responding to a failed coup attempt in 2016, [252] [253] authorities had arrested or imprisoned more than 90,000 Turkish citizens. [254] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the AKP government has waged crackdowns on media freedom. [255] [256] Many journalists have been arrested using charges of "terrorism" and "anti-state activities". [257] [258] In 2020, the CPJ identified 18 jailed journalists in Turkey (including the editorial staff of Cumhuriyet , Turkey's oldest newspaper still in circulation). [259]

LGBT rights

Istanbul Pride was organized in 2003 for the first time. Since 2015, parades in Istanbul have been denied permission by the government. Gay pride Istanbul 2013 - Taksim Square.jpg
Istanbul Pride was organized in 2003 for the first time. Since 2015, parades in Istanbul have been denied permission by the government.

Homosexual activity has been decriminalized in Turkey since 1858. [261] LGBT people have had the right to seek asylum in Turkey under the Geneva Convention since 1951. [262] However, LGBT people in Turkey face discrimination, harassment and even violence. [263] The Turkish authorities have carried out many discriminatory practices. [264] [265] [266] Despite these, LGBT acceptance in Turkey is growing. In a survey conducted in 2016, 33% of respondents said that LGBT people should have equal rights, which increased to 45% in 2020. Another survey in 2018 found that the proportion of people who would not want a homosexual neighbor decreased from 55% in 2018 to 47% in 2019. [267] [268] A 2015 poll found that 27% of the Turkish public was in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage and 19% supported civil unions instead. [269]

When the annual Istanbul Pride was inaugurated in 2003, Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to hold a gay pride march. [270] Since 2015, parades at Taksim Square and İstiklal Avenue (where the Gezi Park protests took place) have been denied government permission, citing security concerns, but hundreds of people have defied the ban each year. [260] Critics have claimed that the bans were in fact ideological. [260]

Geography

Topographic map of Turkey Turkey topo.jpg
Topographic map of Turkey

Turkey bridges Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. Asian Turkey, which includes 97% of the country's territory, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. European Turkey comprises 3% of the country's territory. [271] Turkey covers an area of 783,562 square kilometres (302,535 square miles), [272] of which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 square miles) is in Asia and 23,764 square kilometres (9,175 square miles) is in Europe. [273] The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest. [274] The geographical centre of all land surfaces on Earth is at 39°00′N34°00′E / 39.000°N 34.000°E / 39.000; 34.000 (Geographical center of all land surfaces on Earth (Woods 1973)) , in Kırşehir Province. [275]

Pamukkale 30.jpg
Pamukkale in Denizli Province is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal springs.
Uchisar Castle.jpg
The nature sculpted formations of Cappadocia
Salda Golu 2.jpg
Lake Salda, a mid-size crater lake in southwestern Turkey

Turkey is divided into seven geographical regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the 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. [274] Pamukkale terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by mineral water from hot springs. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal spring water. [276] [277] It was added as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 along with Hierapolis.

East Thrace, the European portion of Turkey, is located at the easternmost edge of the Balkans. It forms the border between Turkey and its neighbors Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the country mostly consists of the peninsula of 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 to the south. Most of Turkey is vulnerable to earthquakes. [278]

The Eastern Anatolia Region mostly corresponds to the western part of the Armenian highlands (the plateau situated between the Anatolian Plateau in the west and the Lesser Caucasus in the north) [279] and contains Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point at 5,137 metres (16,854 feet), [280] and Lake Van, the largest lake in the country. [281] Eastern Turkey has a mountainous landscape and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and Aras. The Southeastern Anatolia Region includes the northern plains of Upper Mesopotamia.

The Lakes Region contains some of the largest lakes in Turkey, such as Lake Beyşehir, Lake Eğirdir, Lake Burdur, Lake Akşehir, Lake Eber and Lake Işıklı. Lake Tuz, Lake Akdoğan, Lake Nemrut, Lake Çıldır, Lake İznik, Lake Uluabat, Lake Manyas, Lake Sapanca, Lake Salda, Lake Meke and Lake Uzungöl are among other renowned lakes in Turkey. The rocks along the shoreline of Lake Salda were formed over time by microbes; [282] [283] these so-called microbialites provide some of the oldest known fossilized records of life. [282] [283] Studying these microbial fossils from Lake Salda has helped scientists prepare for NASA's Mars 2020 mission. [282] [283] In 2021, NASA reported that its Mars surface-exploring rover Perseverance showed that "the minerals and rock deposits at Lake Salda are the nearest match on Earth to those around the Jezero Crater where the spacecraft landed." [284]

Biodiversity

Sumela Monastery on the Pontic Mountains, which form an ecoregion with diverse temperate rainforest types, flora and fauna in northern Anatolia Sumela Showing Location.JPG
Sumela Monastery on the Pontic Mountains, which form an ecoregion with diverse temperate rainforest types, flora and fauna in northern Anatolia

Turkey's position at the crossroads of the land, sea and air routes between the three Old World continents and the variety of the habitats across its geographical regions have produced considerable species diversity and a vibrant ecosystem. [285] Anatolia is the homeland of many plants that have been cultivated for food, and the wild ancestors of many plants that now provide staples for humankind still grow in Turkey. The diversity of fauna is even greater than that of its flora. The number of animal species in the whole of Europe is around 60,000, while in Turkey there are over 80,000 animal species. [286]

The Northern Anatolian conifer and deciduous forests is an ecoregion which covers most of the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey, while the 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. [287] The narrow coastal strip between the Pontic Mountains and the Black Sea is home to the Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests, which contain some of the world's few temperate rainforests. [288] The Turkish pine (Pinus brutia) is mostly found in Turkey and other east Mediterranean countries. The forests of Turkey are home to the Turkey oak. The most commonly found species of the genus Platanus (plane) is the orientalis . Several wild species of tulip are native to Anatolia, and the flower was first introduced to Western Europe with species taken from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. [289] [290]

A white Turkish Angora cat with odd eyes (heterochromia), which is common among the Angoras Odd-eyed Turkish Angora cat - 20080830.jpg
A white Turkish Angora cat with odd eyes (heterochromia), which is common among the Angoras

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 Troy National Park, Ölüdeniz Nature Park and Polonezköy Nature Park. [291] In the 21st century, threats to biodiversity include desertification from climate change in Turkey. [292]

The Anatolian leopard is still found in very small numbers in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Turkey. [293] [294] The Eurasian lynx, the European wildcat and the caracal are other felid species which are found in the forests of Turkey. The Caspian tiger, now extinct, lived in the easternmost regions of Turkey until the latter half of the 20th century. [293] [295] Renowned domestic animals from Ankara include the Angora cat, Angora rabbit and Angora goat; and from Van Province the Van cat. The national dog breeds are the Kangal (Anatolian Shepherd), Malaklı and Akbaş. [296]

Climate

Koppen climate types of Turkey Koppen-Geiger Map TUR present.svg
Köppen climate types of Turkey

The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. [298] The coastal areas bordering the Black Sea have a temperate oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters. [298] The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the most precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. [298] The eastern part of the Black Sea coast averages 2,200 millimetres (87 in) annually which is the highest precipitation in the country. [298] 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. [298]

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. [298] However, snow is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. [298] Winters on the Anatolian plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 to −40 °C (−22 to −40 °F) do occur in northeastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground for at least 120 days of the year, and during the entire year on the summits of the highest mountains. In central Anatolia the temperatures can drop below −20 °C (−4 °F) with the mountains being even colder. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian Plateau a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons. [298]

Because of a combination of socioeconomic, population exposure, and climate factors, Turkey is highly vulnerable to climate change. [299]

Economy

Turkey is expected to have fast economic growth due to demographics and rapid urbanization. The following table is from the OECD Long Term Projections. Gdp future forecast PPP.png
Turkey is expected to have fast economic growth due to demographics and rapid urbanization. The following table is from the OECD Long Term Projections.

Turkey is a founding member of the OECD and G20, and is classified among the E7 countries and EAGLEs. It is a newly industrialized country with an upper-middle income economy, which is the 17th-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the 11th-largest by PPP. According to IMF estimates, Turkey's GDP per capita by PPP is $41,412 in 2023, while its nominal GDP per capita is $11,932. [8] Approximately 11.7% of Turks were at risk of poverty or social exclusion as of 2019. [300] Unemployment in Turkey was 12% in 2021. [301] According to the World Bank, the middle class population in Turkey rose from 18% to 41% of the total population between 1993 and 2010. [302]

As of October 2021, the foreign currency deposits of the citizens and residents in Turkish banks stood at $234 billion, equivalent to around half of all deposits. [303] [304] As of March 2023, the foreign currency reserves of the Turkish Central Bank were $62.6 billion (a 2.3% increase compared to the previous month), its gold reserves were $52.2 billion (a 7.2% increase compared to the previous month), while its official reserve assets stood at $122.4 billion (a 4.3% increase compared to the previous month). [305]

Togg T10S sedan produced by Togg, a Turkish automotive company which manufactures electric vehicles Togg Models.jpg
Togg T10S sedan produced by Togg, a Turkish automotive company which manufactures electric vehicles

The EU–Turkey Customs Union in 1995 led to an extensive liberalization of tariff rates, and forms one of the most important pillars of Turkey's foreign trade policy. [310] Foreign direct investment in Turkey peaked at $22.05 billion in 2007 and dropped to $13.22 billion in 2021. [311]

The automotive industry in Turkey is sizeable, and produced 1,352,648 motor vehicles in 2022, ranking as the 13th largest producer in the world. [312] Turkish automotive companies like TEMSA, Otokar and BMC are among the world's largest van, bus and truck manufacturers. Togg, or Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Group Inc., is the first all-electric vehicle company of Turkey. 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. [313] Turkish brands like 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. [314] [315] [316]

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. According to a Turkish Statistical Institute survey in 2021, which used the available data for 2020, it was estimated that 47% of total disposable income was received by the top 20% of income earners, while the lowest 20% received only 6%. [317] Subsidies which are harmful to health in Turkey include those on sugar [318] and coal. [319]

Tourism

Tourism has increased almost every year in the 21st century [320] and is an important part of the economy. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism currently promotes tourism under the project Turkey Home. Turkey is one of the world's top five destination countries, with the highest percentage of foreign visitors arriving from Europe; specially Germany and Russia in recent years. [320] In 2022, Turkey ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of international tourist arrivals with 50.5 million foreign tourists. [321] Turkey has 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 84 World Heritage Sites in tentative list. Turkey is home to 519 Blue Flag beaches, third most in the world. [322] According to Euromonitor International report, Istanbul is the most visited city in the world, with more than 20.2 million foreign visitors in 2023. [323] Also Antalya has surpassed Paris and New York to become the fourth most visited city in the world, with more than 16.5 million foreign visitors. [323]

Infrastructure

The main terminal of Istanbul Airport has an annual passenger capacity of 90 million and is the world's largest terminal building under a single roof. Istanbul Havalimani Airport 2019 24.jpg
The main terminal of Istanbul Airport has an annual passenger capacity of 90 million and is the world's largest terminal building under a single roof.

In 2013 there were 98 airports, [324] including 22 international airports. [325] Istanbul Airport is planned to be the largest airport in the world, with a capacity to serve 150 million passengers per year. [326] [327] Turkish Airlines uses Istanbul Airport, which has a current annual capacity of serving 90 million passengers, as its main hub and several other airlines operate in the country. Turkish Airlines has scheduled services to 315 destinations in 129 countries, making it the largest mainline carrier in the world by number of countries served. [328] [329] [330]

The motorway network spans 3,633 kilometres (2,257 mi) as of 2023, [331] with an expected expansion to 9,312 kilometres (5,786 miles) by 2035. [332] Istanbul Metro is the largest metro network in the country with 495 million annual ridership. [333] 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 provides an undersea road connection for motor vehicles. [334]

The Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (2016) are the three suspension bridges connecting the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul. The Çanakkale 1915 Bridge on the Dardanelles strait, connecting Europe and Asia, is the longest suspension bridge in the world. [335] [336] The Osman Gazi Bridge connects the northern and southern shores of the Gulf of İzmit.

Istanbul Finance Center in Atasehir district. IFM Gorsel.jpg
Istanbul Finance Center in Ataşehir district.

Turkish State Railways operates both conventional and high speed trains on 12,532 kilometres rail length. The government-owned national railway company started building high-speed rail lines in 2003. The Ankara-Konya line became operational in 2011, while the Ankara-Istanbul line entered service in 2014. [337] Konya-Karaman line started its operations in 2022 and 406 km (252 mi) long Ankara-Sivas line opened in 2023. [338]

Much energy in Turkey comes from Russia. [339] As of 2018 Turkey consumes 1,700 terawatt hours of primary energy per year, a little over 20 megawatt hours per person, mostly from imported fossil fuels. [340] Although the energy policy includes reducing fossil-fuel imports, coal in Turkey is the largest single reason why greenhouse gas emissions by Turkey amount to 1% of the global total. Renewable energy in Turkey is being increased and the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant is being built on the Mediterranean coast. However, despite the overcapacity in national electricity generation, fossil fuels are still subsidized. [341] In 2019 Turkey had the fourth-highest direct utilization and capacity of geothermal power in the world [342] and produced 43.8% of its electricity from renewable sources. [343]

Many natural gas pipelines span the country. [155] Blue Stream, a major trans-Black Sea gas pipeline, delivers natural gas from Russia as does the undersea pipeline TurkStream. [344] The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is the second longest oil pipeline in the world. [345] As of 2022, almost all gas is imported, but production from the Sakarya gas field, a sweet gas field in the Black Sea discovered by TPAO in 2020, [346] began in 2023, [347] with an estimated peak production of 40 bcm in 2026. [348] As of 2022, the total volume of natural gas discovered in the Black Sea amounted to 710 billion cubic metres (bcm). [349]

Science and technology

The Presidential Library in Ankara is the largest library in Turkey, with over 4 million printed books and over 120 million electronic editions. Library Main Hall Columns.jpg
The Presidential Library in Ankara is the largest library in Turkey, with over 4 million printed books and over 120 million electronic editions.

Turkey is among the top 50 most innovative countries in the world, ranking 39th in the Global Innovation Index in 2023; this represents a considerable increase since 2011, where it was ranked 65th. [351] TÜBİTAK is the leading agency for developing science, technology and innovation policies. [352] TÜBA is an autonomous scholarly society acting to promote scientific activities in Turkey. [353] TAEK is the country's official nuclear energy institution, focused on academic research and the development and implementation of peaceful nuclear technology. [354] It is supervising the construction of Turkey's first nuclear facility, Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant in Mersin, at the cost of $20 billion; the plant became operational in 2023 [355] and is projected to meet around 10% of the country's electricity demand.

The government invests heavily in research and development of military technologies, including Turkish Aerospace Industries, Aselsan, HAVELSAN, Roketsan, and MKE. Turkey is a global leader in unmanned aerial vehicles; the Bayraktar TB2, manufactured by private defence company Baykar, has been exported to over a dozen countries and played a decisive role in several conflicts, including the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war and the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. [356] [357]

In 2013, Turkey initiated the Turkish Space Launch System to develop an independent satellite launch capability [358] [359] [360] up to an altitude of 550 km (342 mi) [360] with the Roketsan Şimşek-1 rocket by 2027, [360] and the longer range Şimşek-2 by 2028, [360] including the construction of a spaceport, the development of satellite launch vehicles, [359] [360] and the establishment of remote Earth stations. [361] [362] [363]

Gokturk-1, Gokturk-2 and Gokturk-3 are the Earth observation satellites of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, while state-owned Turksat operates the Turksat series of communications satellites. TaiIDEF2015 (8).JPG
Göktürk-1, Göktürk-2 and Göktürk-3 are the Earth observation satellites of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, while state-owned Türksat operates the Türksat series of communications satellites.

Türksat, the country's sole communications satellite operator, has launched a series of satellites into orbit; likewise, the Turkish Space Systems, Integration and Test Center—a spacecraft production and testing facility owned by the Ministry of National Defence and operated by the TAI—has launched the Göktürk series of Earth observation satellites for reconnaissance; BILSAT-1 and RASAT are the scientific Earth observation satellites operated by the TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute.

Turkish Antarctic Research Station is a planned research station in Antarctica. The plan is to build a permanent base for around 50 people, initially operating only during the summer, and later throughout all the year. [364]

In 2015, Aziz Sancar, a Turkish professor at the University of North Carolina, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on how cells repair damaged DNA; [365] he is one of two Turkish Nobel laureates and the first in the sciences. Other prominent Turkish scientists include physician Hulusi Behçet, who discovered Behçet's disease; mathematician Cahit Arf, who defined the Arf invariant; and immunologists Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, whose German biotechnology company, BioNTech, developed one of the first efficacious vaccines against COVID-19.

Demographics

Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic and financial center. Istanbul Levent skyline.jpg
Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey and the country's economic and financial center.

According to the Address-Based Population Recording System, the country's population was 85,279,553 in 2022, [366] 93.4% of whom lived in province and district centers, [366] while only 6.6% lived in towns and villages. [366] In 2022, Turkey had an average population density of 111 people per km2. [366] People within the 15–64 age group constituted 68.1% of the total population; the 0–14 age group corresponded to 22.0%; while senior citizens aged 65 years or older made up 9.9%. [366] Between 1950 and 2020, Turkey's population more than quadrupled from 20.9 million to 83.6 million. [367]

Ethnicity

Kurdish-inhabited regions of Turkey Kurdistan of Turkey (CIA).png
Kurdish-inhabited regions of Turkey

Article 66 of the Turkish 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 is different from the ethnic definition. [368] However approximately 7080% of the country's citizens are ethnic Turks. [369] [4] It is estimated that there are at least 47 ethnic groups represented in Turkey. [370] Reliable data on the ethnic mix of the population is not available because census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity after the 1965 Turkish census. [371]

According to the Constitutional Court, there are only four officially recognized minorities in Turkey: the three "non-Muslim" minorities recognized in the Treaty of Lausanne (Armenians, Greeks, and Jews [lower-alpha 1] ) and the Bulgarians, [lower-alpha 2] to which the minority protections of the Lausanne Treaty were extended by the Turkey-Bulgaria Friendship Treaty of 18 October 1925. [372] [375] [376] [377] In 2013, the Ankara 13th Circuit Administrative Court ruled that the minority provisions of the Lausanne Treaty should also apply to Assyrians in Turkey and the Syriac language. [378] [379] [380]

Kurds are the largest non-Turkish ethnicity at 1225% of the population. [381] [382] The exact figure remains a subject of dispute; according to Servet Mutlu, "more often than not, these estimates reflect pro-Kurdish or pro-Turkish sympathies and attitudes rather than scientific facts or erudition". [370] Mutlu's 1990 study estimated Kurds made up around 12% of the population. [383] The Kurds make up a majority in the provinces of Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Iğdır, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak, Tunceli and Van; a near majority in Şanlıurfa (47%); and a large minority in Kars (20%). [384] In addition, internal migration has resulted in Kurdish diaspora communities in all of the major cities in central and western Turkey. In Istanbul, there are an estimated three million Kurds, making it the city with the largest Kurdish population in the world. [385] Non-Kurdish minorities are believed to make up an estimated 7–12% of the population. [4]

Other unrecognized ethnic groups include Albanians, Arabs, Assyrians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Georgians, Laz, Pomaks, and Roma. [4] [386] [387] [388] [389] Turkey is also home to a Muslim community of Megleno-Romanians. [390]

 
Largest cities or towns in Turkey
TÜİK's address-based calculation from December 2017.
Rank Name Province Pop. Rank Name Province Pop.
View of Levent financial district from Istanbul Sapphire.jpg
Istanbul
YDA-Center-03.jpg
Ankara
1 Istanbul Istanbul 14,744,51911 Mersin Mersin 1,005,455 Skyscrapers in Izmir - Turkey.jpg
İzmir
Bursa image.jpg
Bursa
2 Ankara Ankara 4,871,88412 Urfa Şanlıurfa 921,978
3 İzmir İzmir 2,938,54613 Eskişehir Eskişehir 752,630
4 Bursa Bursa 2,074,79914 Denizli Denizli 638,989
5 Adana Adana 1,753,33715 Kahramanmaraş Kahramanmaraş 632,487
6 Gaziantep Gaziantep 1,663,27316 Samsun Samsun 625,410
7 Antalya Antalya 1,311,47117 Malatya Malatya 618,831
8 Konya Konya 1,130,22218 İzmit Kocaeli 570,077
9 Kayseri Kayseri 1,123,61119 Adapazarı Sakarya 492,027
10 Diyarbakır Diyarbakır 1,047,28620 Erzurum Erzurum 422,389

Immigration

Millions of Kurds fled across the mountains to Turkey and the Kurdish areas of Iran during the Gulf War in 1991. Turkey's migrant crisis in the 2010s and early 2020s resulted in the influx of millions of refugees and immigrants; by 2014, international migrants comprised 2.5% of the country's population. [391] According to the UNHCR, in 2018 Turkey hosted almost 3,200,000 registered Syrian refugees, 63% of those worldwide. [392] Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world as of April 2020. [393] The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency manages the refugee crisis in Turkey. As of May 2023, approximately 96,000 Ukrainian refugees of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine have sought refuge in Turkey. [394] In 2022, nearly 100,000 Russian citizens migrated to Turkey, becoming the first in the list of foreigners who moved to Turkey, meaning an increase of more than 218% from 2021. [395]

Before the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the estimated number of Arabs in Turkey varied from 1 million to more than 2 million. [396] In April 2020, there were 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, who were mostly Arabs but also included Syrian Kurds, Syrian Turkmen, and other ethnic groups of Syria. The vast majority of these lived in Turkey with temporary residence permits. The government has granted citizenship to refugees who have joined the Syrian National Army. [393] [397] [398] As of August 2023, the number these refugees was estimated to be 3.3 million. The number of Syrians had decreased by about 200,000 people since the beginning of the year. [399]

Languages

Turkic languages speaking areas Map-TurkicLanguages.png
Turkic languages speaking areas

The official language is Turkish, which is the most widely spoken Turkic language in the world. [400] [401] It is spoken by 86% of the population as a first language. [402] According to Ethnologue , 11% of the population speaks the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish as their mother tongue and, because of the large number of Syrians in Turkey, 5% speak Levantine Arabic. [403]

The linguistic rights of the officially recognized minorities are de jure recognized and protected for Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hebrew, [lower-alpha 3] [372] [375] [376] [377] and Syriac. [404] [379] [380] Endangered languages include Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Cappadocian Greek, Gagauz, Hértevin, Homshetsma, Kabard-Cherkes, Ladino (Judesmo), Laz, Mlahso, Pontic Greek, Romani, Suret, Turoyo, Ubykh, and Western Armenian. [405] Megleno-Romanian is also spoken. [390]

Religion

Selimiye Mosque was built by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. The mosque was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2011. Selimiye Mosque, Dome.jpg
Selimiye Mosque was built by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. The mosque was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2011.

Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion; the constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience. [408] [409] A 2016 survey by Ipsos, interviewing 17,180 adults across 22 countries, found that Islam was the dominant religion in Turkey, adhered to by 82% of the total population; religiously unaffiliated people comprised 13% of the population, while 2% were Christians. [410] The level of religiosity study by Konda found 9.7% of the population who are 'fully devoted', 52% who 'strives to fulfill religious obligations', 34.3% who 'does not fulfill religious obligations' and 3.2% 'Nonbeliever/Irreligious'. [411] [412] Another poll conducted by Gezici Araştırma in 2020 interviewed 1,062 people in 12 provinces and found that 28.5% of the Generation Z identify as irreligious. [413] [414]

According to a survey by the pollster KONDA, the percentage of atheists in Turkey has tripled in 10 years and rose from 1% in 2008 to 3% in 2018, the percentage of non-believers or agnostics rose from 1% to 2%, and that 90% of irreligious Turks were under 35 years old. [415] [416] [417]

The CIA World Factbook reports that Islam is the religion of 99.8% of the population, with Sunni Muslims as the largest sect, while 0.2% are Christians and Jews. [418] However, there are no official governmental statistics specifying the religious beliefs of the Turkish people, nor is religious data recorded in the country's census. [419] Academics suggest the Alevi population may be from 15 to 20 million, while the Alevi-Bektaşi Federation states that there are around 25 million. [420] [421] According to Aksiyon magazine, the number of Twelver Shias (excluding Alevis) is three million (4.2%). [422]

There are 234 active churches and chapels in Istanbul, including the Church of St. Anthony of Padua on Istiklal Avenue in Beyoglu (Pera). Istanbul asv2021-11 img71 StAnthony of Padua Church.jpg
There are 234 active churches and chapels in Istanbul, including the Church of St. Anthony of Padua on İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu (Pera).

The percentage of Christians in Turkey fell from 17.5% (three million followers) in a population of 16 million to 2.5% in the early 20th century. [424] mainly as a result of the Armenian genocide, the population exchange between Greece and Turkey and the emigration of Christians that began in the late 19th century and gained pace in the first quarter of the 20th century. [425] [426] [ unreliable source? ] Today, there are more than 120,000–320,000 people of various Christian denominations, [427] representing less than 0.2% of Turkey's population, [428] including an estimated 80,000 Oriental Orthodox, 35,000 Roman Catholics, [429] 18,000 Antiochian Greeks, [430] 5,000 Greek Orthodox, smaller numbers of Protestants, [431] and 512 Mormons. [432] Currently, there are 398 churches open for worship in Turkey. [433]

Turkey has a small Jewish population; [434] with around 26,000 Jews, the vast majority of whom are Sephardi. [435] Turkey has the largest Jewish community among the Muslim-majority countries. [436] [437]

In a mid-2010s poll, 2.9% of Turkish respondents identified as atheists. [438] The Association of Atheism, the first official atheist organization in the Balkans and the Middle East, was founded in 2014. [439] [440] Some religious and secular officials have claimed that atheism and deism are growing among Turkish people. [441] [442] [443] [444]

Education

Istanbul University (1453) was founded by sultan Mehmed II as a Darulfunun. On 1 August 1933, as part of Ataturk's reforms, it was reorganized and became the Republic's first modern university. IstanbulUniversityGate2.jpg
Istanbul University (1453) was founded by sultan Mehmed II as a Darülfünûn . On 1 August 1933, as part of Atatürk's reforms, it was reorganized and became the Republic's first modern university.

The Ministry of National Education is responsible for pre-tertiary education. [446] This is compulsory and lasts twelve years: four years each for primary school, middle school and high school. [447] All 12 years of compulsory education is free of charge in public schools. [448] Basic education is said to lag behind other OECD countries, with significant differences between high and low performers. [449] Access to a 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 ten years old. [449]

There are 209 universities in Turkey. [450] Except for the Open Education Faculties at Anadolu, Istanbul and Atatürk universities, entrance is regulated by the national Student Selection and Placement System (Turkish : Öğrenci Seçme ve Yerleştirme Sistemi, ÖSYS) examination, after which high school graduates are assigned to universities according to their performance. [451] According to the 2012–2013 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the top university was the Middle East Technical University, followed by Bilkent University, Koç University, Istanbul Technical University and Boğaziçi University. [452] All state and private universities are under the control of the Higher Education Board (Turkish : Yükseköğretim Kurulu, YÖK). Since 2016, the president of Turkey directly appoints all rectors of all state and private universities. [453]

Turkey is a member of the Socrates programme, Erasmus Programme and Erasmus+ Programmes. [454] Turkey is also a member of the Erasmus Student Network, a student organization with more than 15,000 volunteers across Europe. [455] Turkey has become a hub for foreign students in recent years, with 795,962 foreign students in 2016. [456] The government has announced a plan to draw around 500,000 foreign students at its universities by offering attractive scholarships. [457] In 2021 Türkiye Scholarships, a government-funded program, received 165,000 applications from prospective students in 178 countries. [458] [459] [460]

Health

Acibadem Hospital AcibademHospitalAltunizade (1).jpg
Acıbadem Hospital

The Ministry of Health has run a universal public healthcare system since 2003. [461] Known as Universal Health Insurance (Genel Sağlık Sigortası), it is funded by a tax surcharge on employers, currently at 5%. [461] Public-sector funding covers approximately 75.2% of health expenditures. [461] Despite the universal health care, total expenditure on health as a share of GDP in 2018 was the lowest among OECD countries at 6.3% of GDP, compared to the OECD average of 9.3%. [461] The lower health care expenditure is due to lower median age in Turkey which is 32.4, compared to Italy which is 47.3. [462] Aging population is the prime reason for higher healthcare expenditure in the developed world. [463]

Average life expectancy is 78.6 years (75.9 for males and 81.3 for females), compared with the EU average of 81 years. [461] Turkey has high rates of obesity, with 29.5% of its adult population having a body mass index (BMI) value of 30 or above. [464] Air pollution is a major cause of early death. [465]

There are many private hospitals in the country. Medical tourism generated revenues of more than $1 billion in 2019. [466] Around 60% of the income has been obtained from plastic surgery and a total of 662,087 patients received service in the country within the scope of health tourism in 2019. [466]

Culture

Ortakoy Mosque is an example of the Westernization of Islamic-Ottoman architecture. Istanbul asv2020-02 img61 Ortakoy Mosque.jpg
Ortaköy Mosque is an example of the Westernization of Islamic–Ottoman architecture.
People on Istiklal Avenue in 1999. Beyoglu 4689.jpg
People on İstiklal Avenue in 1999.

Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic, Anatolian, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures (the latter was in many aspects a continuation of both the Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) with Western culture and traditions, a process that started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still continues today. [467] [468] This mix originally began as a result of the encounter of the Turks and their culture with those of the peoples they came across during their migration from Central Asia to the West. [467] [469] Contemporary Turkish culture during the republican period is a product of efforts to create a "modern" Western society, while maintaining traditional, religious and historical values. [467] The culture has influenced European art and fashion, particularly between the 16th and 18th centuries, during the peak of Ottoman power – a phenomenon that was called Turquerie .

Visual arts

Ottoman miniature is linked to the Persian miniature tradition and is likewise influenced by Chinese painting styles and techniques. The words tasvir or nakış were used to define the art of miniature painting in Ottoman Turkish. The studios the artists worked in were called nakkaşhane. [470] 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, more illustrations than standalone works of art. [471] Sixteenth-century artists Nakkaş Osman and Matrakçı Nasuh are among the most prominent artists of this era.

Turkish painting, in the Western sense, developed actively starting from the mid 19th century. The first painting lessons were scheduled at what is now the Istanbul Technical University (then the Imperial Military Engineering School) in 1793, mostly for technical purposes. [472] 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. Other important Turkish painters in the 19th century were Ferik İbrahim Paşa, Osman Nuri Paşa, Şeker Ahmet Paşa, and Hoca Ali Riza. [473]

Iznik tiles and Kutahya tiles were used for the interior decorations in Ottoman architecture. Turquoise (meaning "Turkish" in French) and various shades of blue were the most commonly used colors in Ottoman tiles. Topkapi circumcision room tiles DSCF2278.jpg
İznik tiles and Kütahya tiles were used for the interior decorations in Ottoman architecture. Turquoise (meaning "Turkish" in French) and various shades of blue were the most commonly used colors in Ottoman tiles.

Carpet (halı) and tapestry ( kilim ) weaving is a traditional Turkish art form with roots in pre-Islamic times. During its long history, the art and craft of weaving carpets and tapestries in Turkey has integrated numerous cultural traditions. Apart from the Turkic design patterns that are prevalent, traces of Persian and Byzantine patterns can also be detected. There are also similarities with the patterns used in Armenian, Caucasian and Kurdish carpet designs. The arrival of Islam in Central Asia and the development of Islamic art also influenced Turkic patterns in the medieval period. The history of the designs, motifs and ornaments used in Turkish carpets and tapestries thus reflects the political and ethnic history of the Turks and the cultural diversity of Anatolia. However, scientific attempts were unsuccessful, as yet, to attribute a particular design to a specific ethnic, regional, or even nomadic versus village tradition. [474]

The earliest examples of paper marbling, called ebru in Turkish, are said 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 pseudonym 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. The instructions for several ebru techniques in the text are accredited to this master. Hatip Mehmed Efendi is accredited with developing motifs and perhaps early floral designs, although evidence from India appears to contradict some of these reports. Despite this, marbled motifs are commonly referred to as hatip designs in Turkey today. [475]

Literature and theatre

Nobel-laureate Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and his Turkish Angora cat at his personal writing space Orhan Pamuk.jpg
Nobel-laureate Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and his Turkish Angora cat at his personal writing space
Sureyya Opera House is on the Asian side of Istanbul and Ataturk Cultural Center is the main opera house on the European side. Zorlu PSM is the city's largest performing arts theater and concert hall. Sureyya Opera House in Istanbul, Turkey.jpg
Süreyya Opera House is on the Asian side of Istanbul and Atatürk Cultural Center is the main opera house on the European side. Zorlu PSM is the city's largest performing arts theater and concert hall.

Interaction between the 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. [476] Turkish literature was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature during most of the Ottoman era.[ citation needed ] The Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century 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 Namık Kemal also wrote the 1876 novel İntibâh (Awakening), while the journalist Şinasi has written, 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 1896 and 1923.[ citation needed ]

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 is dramatized, 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. [477]

The origin of Turkish theater dates back to ancient pagan rituals and oral legends. [478] The dances, music and songs performed during the rituals of the inhabitants of Anatolia millennia ago are the elements from which the first shows originated. In time, the ancient rituals, myths, legends and stories evolved into theatrical shows. Starting from the 11th-century, the traditions of the Seljuk Turks blended with those of the indigenous peoples of Anatolia and the interaction between diverse cultures paved the way for new plays. [478] [479] Meddah were storytellers who performed in front of audiences during the Ottoman period. [478] Karagöz and Hacivat are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish shadow play, popularized during the Ottoman period and then spread to most ethnic groups of the Ottoman Empire.

After the Tanzimat period, characters in Turkish theatre were modernized and plays were performed on European-style stages, with actors wearing European costumes. Following the restoration of constitutional monarchy with the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, theatrical activities increased and social problems began to be reflected at the theatre as well as in historical plays. A theatrical conservatoire, Darülbedayi-i Osmani (which became the nucleus of the Istanbul City Theatres) was established in 1914. Numerous Turkish playwrights emerged in this era, and the first Turkish musicals were also written. In time, Turkish women began to appear on stage; until then, female roles had only been played by actresses who were members of Turkey's ethnic minorities. Today there are numerous private theatres in the country, together with those which are subsidized by the government, such as the Turkish State Theatres. [480]

Music and dance

Ajda Pekkan 2013.jpg
Ajda Pekkan is known as "superstar" in the Turkish media. She became a prominent figure of Turkish pop music.
Baris Manco.jpg
Barış Manço was a Turkish rock musician and one of the founders of the Anatolian rock genre.

The roots of traditional music in Turkey span across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks migrated to Anatolia and 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. [481]

With the assimilation of immigrants from various regions the diversity of musical genres and musical instrumentation also expanded. Turkey has also seen documented folk music and recorded popular music produced in the ethnic styles of Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Polish and Jewish communities, among others. [482]

Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Despite this however, western music styles like pop music and kanto lost popularity to arabesque in the late 1970s and 1980s. It became popular again by the beginning of the 1990s, as a result of an opening economy and society. The resurging popularity of pop music gave rise to several international Turkish pop stars such as Ajda Pekkan, Sezen Aksu, Erol Evgin, MFÖ, Tarkan, Sertab Erener, Teoman, Kenan Doğulu, Levent Yüksel and Hande Yener. Internationally acclaimed Turkish jazz and blues musicians and composers include Ahmet Ertegun (founder and president of Atlantic Records), Nükhet Ruacan and Kerem Görsev.

Architecture

Exterior of Sultan Ahmed I Mosque, (old name P1020390.jpg).jpg
Blue Mosque (1609-1617) in Istanbul
Istanbul Grand Post Office.jpg
Istanbul Main Post Office in Sirkeci, designed by Vedat Tek (1905–1909).
SakirinMosque.jpg
Şakirin Mosque (2009), the first mosque designed by a woman

The Byzantine era is usually dated from 330 AD at the founding of Constantinople until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Its architecture dramatically influenced the later medieval architecture throughout Europe and the Near East and became the primary progenitor of the Renaissance and Ottoman architectural traditions that followed its collapse. [483] When the Roman Empire went Christian (as well as eastwards) with Constantinople as its new capital, its architecture became more sensuous and more ambitious. This new style, which would come to be known as Byzantine architecture, with increasingly exotic domes and ever-richer mosaics, spread west to Ravenna and Venice in Italy and as far north as Moscow in Russia. [484] This influence can be seen particularly in the Venetian Gothic architecture.

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, which was the capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. Following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman architecture was significantly influenced by Byzantine architecture. Topkapı Palace in 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. [485] 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 that were constructed in various provinces in the 16th century. [486] Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa, the architect of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, was an apprentice of Sinan, later becoming his first assistant in charge of the office of chief architect.

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 like the Dolmabahçe, Çırağan, Taksim Military Barracks (demolished), Feriye, Beylerbeyi, Küçüksu, Ihlamur and Yıldız palaces, which were all designed by members of the Balyan family of Ottoman Armenian court architects. [487] The Ottoman era waterfront houses (yalı) on the Bosphorus also reflect the fusion between classical Ottoman and European architectural styles. The First National Architectural Movement in the early 20th century sought to create a new architecture which was based on motifs from Seljuk and Ottoman architecture.

Cuisine

Turkish coffee with Turkish delight. Turkish coffee is a UNESCO-listed intangible cultural heritage of Turks. Turkish coffee in Istanbul.jpg
Turkish coffee with Turkish delight. Turkish coffee is a UNESCO-listed intangible cultural heritage of Turks.

Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine, [490] [491] which contains elements of Turkish, Byzantine, Balkan, Armenian, Georgian, Kurdish, Arab and Persian cuisines. [490] [491] [492] It can be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Balkan and Eastern European cuisines. [490] [491] The country's position between Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean Sea helped the Turks in gaining complete control of the major trade routes, and an ideal landscape and climate allowed plants and animals to flourish. Turkish cuisine was well established by the mid-15th century, which marked the beginning of the classical age of the Ottoman Empire.

Yogurt salads; mezes; fish and seafood; grilled, sauteed or steamed meat varieties; vegetables or stuffed and wrapped vegetables cooked with olive oil; and drinks like sherbet, ayran and rakı became Turkish staples. The empire 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 establishment of the republic in 1923, foreign food such as French hollandaise sauce and Western fast food have made their way into the modern Turkish diet. [493]

Sports

Turkey won numerous international accolades, including the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship. La seleccion turca de baloncesto tras recibir la medalla de plata.jpg
Turkey won numerous international accolades, including the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

The most popular sport is association football. [494] Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000. [495] The Turkey national football team won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. [496]

Other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball are also popular. [497] The men's national basketball team and women's national basketball team have been successful. Anadolu Efes S.K. is the most successful Turkish basketball club in international competitions. [498] [499] Fenerbahçe reached the final of the EuroLeague in three consecutive seasons (2016, 2017 and 2018), becoming the European champions in 2017.

VakifBank S.K. is one of the best women's volleyball team in the world, having won the FIVB World Championship four times and the CEV Champions Cup six times. Vakifbanksk2018cl.jpg
VakıfBank S.K. is one of the best women's volleyball team in the world, having won the FIVB World Championship four times and the CEV Champions Cup six times.

The final of the 2013–14 EuroLeague Women basketball championship was played between two Turkish teams, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, and won by Galatasaray. [500] The women's national volleyball team has won several medals. [501] Women's volleyball clubs, namely VakıfBank S.K., Fenerbahçe and Eczacıbaşı, have won numerous European championship titles and medals. [502]

The traditional national sport of Turkey has been yağlı güreş ( oil wrestling ) since Ottoman times. [503] Edirne Province has hosted the annual Kırkpınar oil wrestling tournament since 1361, making it the oldest continuously held sporting competition in the world. [504] [505] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, oil wrestling champions such as Koca Yusuf, Nurullah Hasan and Kızılcıklı Mahmut acquired international fame in Europe and North America by winning world heavyweight wrestling championship titles. 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. [506]

Media and cinema

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 constitute a vibrant media industry in Turkey. [507] [508] The majority of the TV 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. [509] The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) is the government body overseeing the broadcast media. [509] [510] By circulation, the most popular newspapers are Posta , Hürriyet , Sözcü , Sabah and Habertürk . [511]

TRT 2 is the public service channel dedicated to culture and art, and TRT Belgesel is dedicated to documentaries. In the 21st century some reforms have taken place to improve the cultural rights of ethnic minorities in Turkey, such as the establishment of TRT Kurdî, TRT Arabi and TRT Avaz by the TRT.

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. [512] 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. [513] [ unreliable source? ] Turkey is today the world's second largest exporter of television series. [514] [515] [516]

The closing ceremony of the annual International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival takes place at the virtually intact Roman theater in Aspendos. Aspendos Amphitheatre.jpg
The closing ceremony of the annual International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival takes place at the virtually intact Roman theater in Aspendos.

Yeşilçam is the sobriquet that refers to the Turkish film art and industry. The first movie exhibited in the Ottoman Empire was the Lumiere Brothers' 1895 film, L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat , which was shown in 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 Metin Erksan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Yılmaz Güney, Zeki Demirkubuz and Ferzan Özpetek won numerous international awards such as the Palme d'Or and Golden Bear. [518] [519]

Despite legal provisions, media freedom in Turkey has steadily deteriorated from 2010 onwards, with a precipitous decline following the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016. [520] As of December 2016, at least 81 journalists were imprisoned in Turkey and more than 100 news outlets were closed. [256] Freedom House lists Turkey's media as not free. [521] The media crackdowns also extend to Internet censorship with Wikipedia getting blocked between 29 April 2017 and 15 January 2020. [522] [523]

See also

Notes

  1. Even though they are not explicitly mentioned in the Treaty of Lausanne. [372]
  2. The Bulgarian community in Turkey is now so small that this disposition is de facto not applied. [372] [373] [374]
  3. The Turkish government considers that, for the purpose of the Treaty of Lausanne, the language of Turkish Jews is Hebrew, even though the mother tongue of Turkish Jews was not Hebrew but historically Judaeo-Spanish (Ladino) or other Jewish languages. [376] [377]

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