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Quick Facts
Governmentrepublican parliamentary democracy
CurrencyTurkish lira (TRL)
Areatotal: 780,580 sq km
water: 9,820 sq km
land: 770,760 sq km
Population67,308,928 (July 2002 est.)
LanguageTurkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
ReligionMuslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

This article is an import from the CIA World Factbook 2002. It's a starting point for creating a real Wikitravel country article according to our country article template. Please plunge forward and edit it.

Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish 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. Turkey occupied the northern portion of Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island; relations between the two countries remain strained but have begun to improve over the past three years. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist, separatist group, initiated an insurgency in southeast Turkey, often using terrorist tactics to try to attain its goal of an independent Kurdistan. The group - whose leader, Abdullah OCALAN, was captured in Kenya in February 1999 - has observed a unilateral cease-fire since September 1999, although there have been occasional clashes between Turkish military units and some of the 4,000-5,000 armed PKK militants, most of whom currently are encamped in northern Iraq. The PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK) in April 2002.


Map of Turkey
southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
Geographic coordinates 
39 00 N, 35 00 E
Map references 
Middle East
total: 780,580 sq km
water: 9,820 sq km
land: 770,760 sq km
Area - comparative 
slightly larger than Texas
Land boundaries 
total: 2,648 km
border countries: Armenia 268 km, Azerbaijan 9 km, Bulgaria 240 km, Georgia 252 km, Greece 206 km, Iran 499 km, Iraq 352 km, Syria 822 km
7,200 km
Maritime claims 
exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR
territorial sea: 6 NM in the Aegean Sea; 12 NM in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea
temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior
mostly mountains; narrow coastal plain; high central plateau (Anatolia)
Elevation extremes 
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m
Natural resources 
antimony, coal, chromium, mercury, copper, borate, sulfur, iron ore, arable land, hydropower
Land use 
arable land: 34.53%
permanent crops: 3.36%
other: 62.11% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land 
42,000 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards 
very severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van
Environment - current issues 
water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic
Environment - international agreements 
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Environmental Modification
Geography - note 
strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah's Ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country


67,308,928 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure 
0-14 years: 27.8% (male 9,520,030; female 9,178,423)
15-64 years: 65.9% (male 22,552,253; female 21,827,002)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 1,946,523; female 2,284,697) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate 
1.2% (2002 est.)
Birth rate 
17.95 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate 
5.95 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate 
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio 
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate 
45.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth 
total population: 71.52 years
female: 74.01 years (2002 est.)
male: 69.15 years
Total fertility rate 
2.07 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 
0.01% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 
HIV/AIDS - deaths 
noun: Turk(s)
adjective: Turkish
Ethnic groups 
Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20%
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 85%
male: 94%
female: 77% (2000)


Country name 
conventional long form: Republic of Turkey
conventional short form: Turkey
local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti
local short form: Turkiye
Government type 
republican parliamentary democracy
Administrative divisions 
81 provinces (iller, singular - il); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyon, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Icel, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak
29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)
National holiday 
Independence Day, 29 October (1923)
7 November 1982
Legal system 
derived from various European continental legal systems; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch 
chief of state: President Ahmet Necdet SEZER (since 16 May 2000)
elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a seven-year term; election last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held NA May 2007); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
note: a National Security Council serves as an advisory body to the president and the cabinet
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister
head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003); note - Abdullah GUL resigned 11 March 2003; Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN was given a mandate to form a government
election results: Ahmed Necdet SEZER elected president on the third ballot; percent of National Assembly vote - 60%
note: president must have a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on the first two ballots and a simple majority on the third ballot
Legislative branch 
unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 3 November 2002 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: percent of vote by party - AKP 34.3%, CHP 19.4%, DYP 9.6%, MHP 8.3%, ANAP 5.1%, DSP 1.1%, and others; seats by party - AKP 363, CHP 178, independents 9; note - all other parties were under the 10% threshhold which entitles them to seats
Judicial branch 
Constitutional Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeals (judges are elected by the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors)
Political parties and leaders 
Democratic Left Party or DSP [Bulent ECEVIT]; Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayip ERDOGAN]; Motherland Party or ANAP [Mesut YILMAZ]; Nationalist Action Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]; Republican People's Party or CHP [Deniz BAYKAL]; Saadet Party [Recai KUTAN]; note - KUTAN was head of the Virtue Party or FP which was banned by Turkey's Constitutional Court in June 2001; Socialist Democratic Party or TDP [Sema PISKINSUT]; True Path Party (sometimes translated as Right Path Party) or DYP [Tansu CILLER]
Political pressure groups and leaders 
Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Ridvan BUDAK]; Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association or MUSIAD [Erol YARAR]; Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Salim USLU]; Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or TUSIAD [Muharrem KAYHAN]; Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions or TISK [Refik BAYDUR]; Turkish Confederation of Labor or Turk-Is [Bayram MERAL]; Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [Fuat MIRAS]
International organization participation 
Diplomatic representation in the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Osman Faruk LOGOGLU
FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York
chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700
Diplomatic representation from the US 
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert W. PEARSON
embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823
telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555
FAX: [90] (312) 468-0019
consulate(s) general: Istanbul
consulate(s): Adana
Flag description 
red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening


Economy - overview 
Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that in 2001 still accounted for 40% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The most important industry - and largest export - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands. In recent years the economic situation has been marked by erratic economic growth and serious imbalances. Real GNP growth has exceeded 6% in many years, but this strong expansion has been interrupted by sharp declines in output in 1994, 1999, and 2001. Meanwhile the public sector fiscal deficit has regularly exceeded 10% of GDP - due in large part to the huge burden of interest payments, which in 2001 accounted for more than 50% of central government spending - while inflation has remained in the high double digit range. Perhaps because of these problems, foreign direct investment in Turkey remains low - less than $1 billion annually. In late 2000 and early 2001 a growing trade deficit and serious weaknesses in the banking sector plunged the economy into crisis - forcing Ankara to float the lira and pushing the country into recession. Results in 2002 were much better, because of strong financial support from the IMF and tighter fiscal policy. Continued slow global growth and serious political tensions in the Middle East cast a shadow over growth prospects for 2003.
purchasing power parity - $468 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 
4.2% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita 
purchasing power parity - $7,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector 
agriculture: 13%
industry: 30%
services: 57% (2001)
Population below poverty line 
Household income or consumption by percentage share 
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 32% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index 
42 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 
45.2% (2002)
Labor force 
23.8 million (2001 3rd quarter)
note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (1999)
Labor force - by occupation 
agriculture 40%, services 38%, industry 22% (2001)
Unemployment rate 
10.8% (plus underemployment of 6.1%) (2002 est.)
revenues: $42.4 billion
expenditures: $69.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001)
textiles, food processing, autos, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper
Industrial production growth rate 
8.5% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production 
119.18 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source 
fossil fuel: 74%
hydro: 26%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption 
114.19 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 
437 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 
3.791 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products 
tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock
$37.6 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities 
apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment
Exports - partners 
Germany 17.2%, US 10.0%, Italy 7.5%, UK 6.9%, France 6.0%, Russia 2.9% (2001)
$43.9 billion c.i.f. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities 
machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment
Imports - partners 
Germany 12.9%, Italy 8.4%, Russia 8.3%, US 7.9%, France 5.5%, UK 4.6% (2001 est.)
Debt - external 
$118.3 billion (September 2001 )
Economic aid - recipient 
ODA, $300 million (1993) (2000)
Turkish lira (TRL)
Currency code 
Exchange rates 
Turkish liras per US dollar - 1,223,140 (January 2002), 1,223,140 (2001), 625,219 (2000), 418,783 (1999), 260,724 (1998), 151,865 (1997)
Fiscal year 
calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use 
19.5 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular 
17.1 million (2001)
Telephone system 
general assessment: undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially with cellular telephones
domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; the number of subscribers to mobile cellular telephone service is growing rapidly
international: international service is provided by three submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linking Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; also by 12 Intelsat earth stations, and by 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2002)
Radio broadcast stations 
AM 16, FM 107, shortwave 6 (2001)
11.3 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations 
635 (plus 2,934 repeaters) (1995)
20.9 million (1997)
Internet country code 
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 
50 (2001)
Internet users 
2.5 million (2002)


total: 8,607 km
standard gauge: 8,607 km 1.435-m gauge (2,131 km electrified) (2001)
total: 382,059 km
paved: 106,976 km (including 1,726 km of expressways)
unpaved: 275,083 km (1999 est.)
1,200 km (approximately)
crude oil 1,738 km; petroleum products 2,321 km; natural gas 708 km
Ports and harbors 
Gemlik, Hopa, Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Icel (Mersin), Samsun, Trabzon
Merchant marine 
total: 553 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 5,674,099 GRT/9,108,819 DWT
ships by type: bulk 138, cargo 239, chemical tanker 45, combination bulk 5, combination ore/oil 2, container 27, liquefied gas 6, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 45, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 27, short-sea passenger 10, specialized tanker 5
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Belize 1, Cyprus 1, Denmark 2, Greece 1, Italy 1, Thailand 1, United Kingdom 11 (2002 est.)
120 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways 
total: 86
over 3,047 m: 16
2,438 to 3,047 m: 30
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 5 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
Airports - with unpaved runways 
total: 34 34
over 3,047 m: 1 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 8 24 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 8
8 (2002)


Military branches 
Land Forces, Navy (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry), Air Force, Coast Guard, Gendarmerie
Military manpower - military age 
20 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability 
males age 15-49: 19,219,177 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service 
males age 15-49: 11,623,675 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually 
males: 674,805 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure 
$8.1 billion (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 
4.5% (2002 est.)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international 
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Greece; dispute with downstream riparian states (Syria and Iraq) over water development plans for the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; traditional demands regarding former Armenian lands in Turkey have subsided; Turkey is quick to rebuff any perceived Syrian claim to Hatay province; border with Armenia remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute
Illicit drugs 
key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and - to a far lesser extent the US - via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish, Iranian, and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin are in remote regions of Turkey as well as near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate