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Turkey

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - now known as the People's Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention and claimed more than 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 71,158,647 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Turk(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Turkish

Official Language(s): Turkish

Major Languages Spoken: Georgian, Kirghiz, Kurdish, Ossetian, Turkish

Map of Turkey

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Turkey

Country Name (short form): Turkey

Country Name (local long form): Turkiye Cumhuriyeti

Country Name (local short form): Turkiye

Name of Capital: Ankara

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Turkey: Iran, Syria, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece

Land Area: 770760 sq km

Water Area: 9820 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly larger than Texas

Total Land Boundry: 2,648 km

Coastline: 7,200 km

National Holiday: Republic Day, 29 October (1923)

International Phone Code: 90

Currency Code: Turkish lira (TRY)

Internet Country Code: .tr

US Embassy Location: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara

US Embassy Mailing Address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823

 

Turkey flag

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