OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Turkey
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 779,452 Sq Km (300,948 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 67,686,600
LOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Turkey is located on the Anatolian
Peninsula in between West Asia and Eastern Thrace. It is
bound by the Agean Sea to the west, Bulgaria and the Black
Sea to the north, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia and
Iran to the east and Iraq, Syria and the Mediterranean Sea
to the south. The country is divided into five physical
regions. (1.) The Anatolian Plateau which forms the heartland
of the country. (2.) The Eastern Highlands which comprise
the eastern third of Turkey. (3.) The Agean coast land of
the Bursa Plains, the Plains of Troy and Ismit Valley. (4.)
The Mediterranean coast land and (5.) the narrow coastal
ribbon of the Black Sea. The principal rivers are the Kizil
Irma, Sakarya, Seyhan, Yesihrmak Rivers while the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers originate from Turkey. Major Cities
(pop. est.); Istanbul 7,331,900, Ankarra 2,720,000, Izmir
1,920,800, Adana 1,010,400, Bursa 949,800 (1993). Land Use;
forested 26%, pastures 16%, agricultural-cultivated 36%,
other 22% (1993).
CLIMATE: Turkey has a climate that is characterized by great
extremes and wide temperature variations between regions and seasons. The
narrow coast land and mountain slopes to the north, west and south have
wetter and milder winters than the interior as well as moderately hot summers.
The interior plateau winters are cold with frost while the summers are
hot. Eastern Turkey has bitter cold winters and hot summers. Average annual
precipitation in Istanbul is 723 mm (28 inches) while average temperature
ranges in Ankara are from -4 to 4 degrees Celsius (25 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit)
in January to 15 to 31 degrees Celsius (59 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) in
PEOPLE: The principal ethnic majority are the Turks who account
for 85% of the population. The largest ethnic minority are the Kurds who
account for 11% of the population and are concentrated in the poor areas
of the east and southeast. Other minorities include Greeks, Armenians and
DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 75 persons per sq km (194
persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 61.3% urban, 38.7% rural (1990).
Sex Distribution; 51.3% male, 48.7% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth;
62.5 years male, 65.8 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 35% under 15,
29% 15 to 29, 18% 30 to 44, 11% 45 to 59, 6% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990).
Birth Rate; 29.2 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 8.4 per 1,000 (1990). Increase
Rate; 20.6 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 76.0 per 1,000 live
RELIGIONS: Around 99% of the population are Sunni Muslims while
the remainder are Orthodox Christians.
LANGUAGES: The official language is Turkish which is spoken by
92% of the population while other minority languages include Kurdish, Arabic,
Greek, German and Armenian.
EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling
40.1%, primary 44.4%, secondary 11.6%, higher 3.9% (1985). Literacy; literate
population aged 15 or over 23,978,500 or 76.0% (1985).
MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1947 Turkey signed a defense
agreement with the US in an effort to resist Soviet expansion. In 1950
the Democratic Party (DP) won elections and Adnam Menderes became Prime
Minister. In 1952 Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) and in 1959 reached an agreement for Cyprus' independence with Greece
and Britain. In May 1960 the Army overthrew the government and took power
until free elections were held in Oct. 1961, which returned the country
to civilian rule. In 1965 the Justice Party (JP) under Suleyman Demirel
held government until Mar. 1971 when the military forced him to resign,
due to an escalation in extreme right and left-wing violence under his
government's rule. In 1974 Turkish forces occupied northern Cyprus. In
the late 1970's as economic conditions worsened and political violence
escalated, the military led by Gen. Kenan Evren again took control of the
government and imposed Martial Law. The military established a National
Security Council, with Evren as head, that held power for 3 years. In 1983
the government was returned to civilian rule under Turgut Ozal although
Gen. Evren remained President until 1989. In Mar. 1987 Martial Law was
formally lifted and in April, Turkey applied for full EC membership. In
June 1988 there was an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Prime Minister
Ozal and in Oct. 1989 Ozal was elected to succeed Gen. Evren as President.
During the 1990-1991 Gulf War, Turkey was used as a staging base for air
attacks on Baghdad, Iraq by the US-led coalition forces. In compliance
with UN sanctions against Iraq, Turkey shut down the Iraqi oil pipeline
which carries oil to the Mediterranean Sea. In 1991 Turkish Kurds from
the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) launched several attacks against Turkish
security forces from bases along the Iraq-Turkey border throughout the
year. In April 1991 the government lifted a ban on the use of Kurdish and
in the same month hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds attempted to gain
sanctuary in Turkey, although the government denied them access they assisted
in relief operations. In June 1991 Mesut Yilmaz of the Motherland Party
(ANAP) was elected Prime Minister after Yildirim Akbulut and his ANAP government
resigned. On Oct. 22, 1991 parliamentary elections resulted in the ANAP
failing to retain its overall majority with the True Path Party, led by
Suleyman Demirel, gaining 178 of the 450 seats. Following which Demirel
formed a coalition government with the Social Democratic Populist Party
(SHP). In Nov. 1991 Turkey officially recognized the former Soviet republic,
Azerbaijan's independence. On Dec. 25, 1991 an Istanbul department store
was firebombed, killing 11 people. Also in 1991 Turkey received some US
$4 billion in financial grants from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Japan in lieu
of lost revenue as a result of UN imposed economic sanctions against Iraq.
On Feb. 11, 1992 Prime Minister Demirel met with US Pres. George Bush in
Washington, D.C. to discuss the promotion of regional stability. On June
25, 1992 the Black Sea economic cooperation region summit, an initiative
of Pres. Turgut Ozal, that included leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Moldova,
Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania and Greece met
for the first time. During the summit there was an attempt to find a settlement
between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and calls for the
halt in fighting in Bosnia Herzegovina while Prime Minister Demirel and
his Greek counterpart, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, agreed that a friendship
pact would have to be postponed until a settlement over Cyprus had been
reached. In Sept. 1992 the Republican Peoples' Party, the SHP predecessor,
was reestablished with Deniz Baykal as its leader. On Sept. 29, 1992 an
attack on a border post by Turkish PKK rebels resulted in the death of
23 security force members and some 200 rebels. The government also responded
further by launching air and ground offensives against rebel bases, and
reached agreements with Syria, Iran and Iraqi Kurd leaders not to allow
the PKK terrorists facilities or assistance. In Oct. 1992 forces under
the command of Masoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani, Iraqi Kurd leaders, attacked
PKK bases in northern Iraq resulting in more than 50% of the PKK rebels
being captured or killed by the end of November. On Jan. 24, 1993 a well
known newspaper journalist, Ugur Mumcu was assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists.
On March 20, 1993 the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, declared a unilateral
truce in hostilities. On April 17, 1993 Pres. Ozal died and was succeeded
by Prime Minister Demirel with Erdal Inonu as acting Prime Minister. On
May 24, 1993 a group of PKK rebels ambushed 33 soldiers and 5 civilians
in the southeastern mountains killing them. In response security forces
intensified their operations. On June 13, 1993 Tansu Ciller succeeded Demirel
as the True Path Party leader and became Turkey's first female Prime Minister.
On June 24, 1993 the PKK launched coordinated attacks on Turkish diplomatic
offices in Switzerland, France, Germany and Denmark. On July 2, 1993 a
group of Sunni Muslims fire bombed a hotel in Sivas in which 36 Shiite
intellectuals died. On Sept. 4, 1993 Islamic fundamentalists assassinated
a radical parliamentary member and PKK supporter, Mehmet Sincar. On Oct.
22, 1993 PKK snipers assassinated the southeastern regional military commander,
Gen. Bahtiyar Aydin in Lice that resulted in massive military retaliation.
In Nov. 1993 some 15 PKK members were sentenced to death by a military
court while 14 others were sentenced to life imprisonment. In Dec. 1993
the security forces launched further offensives, including air strikes
against PKK bases within Iraq.
CURRENCY: The official currency is the Lira (LT) divided into
ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $126,330,000,000 (1993).
Public Debt; USD $52,625,000,000 (1994). Imports; USD $23,270,000,000 (1994).
Exports; USD $18,106,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $4,321,000,000
(1994). Balance of Trade; USD -$5,164,000,000 (1994). Economically Active
Population; 20,996,700 or 35.3% of total population (1993). Unemployed;
MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are Germany,
the USA, France, the UK, Italy, Libya, Iran and Eastern Europe.
MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Barley, Cattle, Chrome, Crude Oil, Coal,
Copper, Fish, Fruit, Iron Ore, Lignite, Maize, Pulses, Sheep, Sugar Beets,
Tobacco, Vegetables, Wheat.
MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Chemicals, Fishing, Food Processing,
Mining, Oil Refining, Paper, Steel, Textiles, Tobacco.
MAIN EXPORTS: Cereals, Cotton, Fruit, Nuts, Pulses, Textiles, Tobacco.
TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 8,430 km (5,238 mi) (1989),
passenger-km 6,408,000,000 (3,982,000,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km
7,908,000,000 (5,416,000,000 short ton-mi) (1990). Roads; length 320,611
km (199,218 mi) (1988). Vehicles; cars 1,649,879 (1990), trucks and buses
584,460 (1990). Merchant Marine; vessels 869 (1990), deadweight tonnage
6,359,902 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 4,829,345,000 (3,000,815,000
passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 152,203,000 (104,244,000 short ton-mi)
COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 31 with a total circulation
of 4,054,000 (1991). Radio; receivers 8,800,000 (1994). Television; receivers
10,530,000 (1994). Telephones; lines 12,318,969 (1994).
MILITARY: 507,800 (1995) total active duty personnel with 78.8%
army, 10.0% navy and 11.2% air force while military expenditure accounts
for 5.8% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).
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