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Turkey

Capital Ankara
Continent Asia
Code +90
Currency Turkish Lira (₺)
Languages Turkish , Turkish

Description

Turkey is a country located mainly in Anatolia in Western Asia, with a small portion in the Balkans in Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; 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; and the Aegean Sea to the west. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population and Kurds are the largest minority. Ankara is Turkey's capital, while Istanbul, the Imperial capital, is its largest city and financial center.

One of the world's earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey was home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe and was inhabited by ancient civilizations such as the Hattians, other Anatolian peoples, and Mycenaean Greeks. Following the conquests of Alexander the Great which started the Hellenistic period, most of the ancient regions in modern Turkey were culturally Hellenised, which continued during the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating in the 11th century, and the Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243 when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans united the principalities and conquered the Balkans, and the Turkification of Anatolia increased during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power. From the late 18th century onwards, the empire's power declined with a gradual loss of territories. Mahmud II started a period of modernization in the early 19th century. The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 restricted the authority of the Sultan and restored the Ottoman Parliament after a 30-year suspension, ushering the empire into a multi-party period. The 1913 coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, who facilitated the Empire's entry into World War I as part of the Central Powers in 1914. During the war, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian subjects. After its defeat in the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned.

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 (which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres) on 24 July 1923, and the proclamation of the Republic on 29 October 1923. With the reforms initiated by the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey became a secular, unitary and parliamentary republic. Turkey played a prominent role in the Korean War and joined NATO in 1952. The country endured several military coups in the latter half of the 20th century. The economy was liberalized in the 1980s, leading to stronger economic growth and political stability. The parliamentary republic was replaced with a presidential system by referendum in 2017. Since then, the new Turkish governmental system under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party, the AKP, has often been described as Islamist and authoritarian. The latter's rule over the country has also led to numerous currency crises, increasing inflation and economic decline, as well as a rise in poverty.

Turkey is a regional power and a newly industrialized country, with a geopolitically strategic location. Its economy, which is classified among the emerging and growth-leading economies, is the twentieth-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the eleventh-largest by PPP. It is a charter member of the United Nations, an early member of NATO, the IMF, and the World Bank, and a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC, and G20. After becoming one of the early members of the Council of Europe in 1950, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995, and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005.

History

The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic until the Hellenistic period. Many of these people spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family: and, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite, and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages radiated. The European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago and is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC.

Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron Age.

The Sphinx Gate of Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites.

The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Haitians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who inhabited central and eastern Anatolia, respectively, as early as c. 2300 BC. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed the Hattians and Hurrians c. 2000–1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th century BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC, although they have remained a minority in the region, namely in Hakkari, Şırnak, and Mardin.

Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC as a powerful northern rival of Assyria. 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 the 7th century BC. Starting from 714 BC, Urartu shared the same fate and dissolved in 590 BC, when it was conquered by the Medes. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria, and Lycia.

Geography

Turkey is a transcontinental country bridging Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. Asian Turkey, which includes 97 percent of the country's territory, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. European Turkey comprises only 3 percent of the country's territory. Turkey covers an area of 783,562 square kilometers (302,535 square miles), of which 755,688 square kilometers (291,773 square miles) are in Asia and 23,764 square kilometers (9,175 square miles) is in Europe. 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.

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.

Cappadocia is a region created by the erosion of soft volcanic stone by the wind and rain for centuries.

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.

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) and contains Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point at 5,137 meters (16,854 feet), and Lake Van, the largest lake in the country. 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.

Far from the coast the climate of Turkey tends to be continental but elsewhere temperate and is becoming hotter, and drier parts. There are many species of plants and animals.

Economy

Turkey is a newly industrialized country, with an upper-middle-income economy, which is the twentieth-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the eleventh-largest by PPP. According to World Bank estimates, Turkey's GDP per capita by PPP is $32,278 in 2021, and approximately 11.7% of Turks are at risk of poverty or social exclusion as of 2019. Unemployment in Turkey was 13.6% in 2019, and the middle-class population in Turkey rose from 18% to 41% of the population between 1993 and 2010 according to the World Bank.[needs update] As of September 2021, the foreign currency reserves of the Turkish Central Bank were $74.9 billion (an 8.1% increase compared to the previous month), its gold reserves were $38.5 billion (a 5.1% decrease compared to the previous month), while its official reserve assets stood at $121.3 billion. 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. 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.

The automotive industry in Turkey is sizeable, and produced over 1.3 million motor vehicles in 2015, ranking as the 14th largest producer in the world. Turkish automotive companies like TEMSA, Otokar, and BMC are among the world's largest van, bus, and truck manufacturers. 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. 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.

Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, and the machine industry. However, agriculture still accounted for a quarter of employment. Needs update] In 2004, it was estimated that 46 percent of total disposable income was received by the top 20 percent of income earners, while the lowest 20 percent received only 6 percent.

Culture

Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman (which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures), and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernisation of the Ottoman Empire and continues today. This mix originally began as a result of the encounter of Turks and their culture with those of the peoples who were in their path during their migration from Central Asia to the West. Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be a "modern" Western state while maintaining traditional religious and historical values.

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