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| population=73,193,000 (2006 est.)
| language=[[Turkish]] (official); Kurdish, [[Zazaisch Phrasebook|Zaza]], Laz| religion=Muslim majority with small minorities of Eastern Rite Christians, Jews,
| electricity=220V/50Hz (European plug)
There is evidence that the bed of the Black Sea was once an inhabited plain, before it was flooded in prehistoric times by rising sea levels. Mount Ararat (''Ağrı Dağı''), at 5,165
Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO.
During both religious holidays, many cities (but not all) provide '''public transport for free''' (but note that these do not include privately owned minibuses, ''dolmuş''es, taxis, or inter-city buses). This depends on the place and time. For example, [[Istanbul]]'s public transport authority provided free transport in Eid-ul Fitr 2008, but not in Eid-ul Adha 2008 when it passengers have to pay a discounted rate. For some years, it was all free in both holidays, while in some others there was no discount at all. To be sure, check whether other passengers use a ticket/token or not.
"[Missionary Journey][http://www.sojournturkeytours.com/ '''
* [[Antalya]] — the fastest growing city, hub to an array of beach resorts
* [[Bodrum]] — a trendy coastal town in Southern Aegean which turns into a crowded city in season when it serves as a playground for Turkish and international holidaymakers alike, featuring a citadel, Roman ruins, trendy clubs and a number of villages surrounding the peninsula each with a different character from classy to rustic
* [[Edirne]] — the second capital of the Ottoman Empire
* [[Istanbul]] — Turkey's largest city, the former capital of both the Ottoman and Byzantine Empires, and the only major city in the world to straddle two continents
The sole official language of Turkey is [[Turkish phrasebook|Turkish]]. Turkish is an Altaic language and its closest living relatives are other Turkic languages, which are spoken in southwestern, central and northern Asia; and to a lesser degree by significant communities in the Balkans. Because Turkish is an agglutinative language, native speakers of Indo-European languages generally find it difficult to learn. Since 1928, Turkish is written in a variant of the Latin alphabet (after so many centuries of using the
[[Kurdish phrasebook|Kurdish]] is also spoken by an estimated 7-10% of the population. Several other languages exist, like Laz in the North-East (also spoken in adjacent Georgia), and in general people living near borders will often be speaking the language at the other side too, like Arabic in the South-East.
Thanks to migration, even in rural areas most villages will have at least somebody who has worked in Germany and can thus speak [[German phrasebook|German]]. The same goes for other West-European languages like Dutch (often mistakenly called "Flemish" there) or French. Recent immigration from [[Balkans]] means there is also a possibility to come across native Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian, and Albanian speakers mainly in big cities of western Turkey, but don't count on this
Turkish people understand that visitors are usually not aware of Turkish culture and customs, and tend to be tolerant of blunders in this regard by foreigners. There are, however, some which will meet with universal disapproval, and these should be avoided at all costs:
* Don't mention the Armenian Genocide, Kurdish separatism and the Cyprus problem. These are extremely sensitive topics and are definitely to be avoided. Turkish society has a highly emotional approach to these issues.
* Avoid shouting or talking loudly in public. Talking loudly is generally considered rude, especially on public transportation. Talking on a mobile phone on public transportation is not considered rude but normal, unless the conversation is too "private".