Republic of Türkiye
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)
39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°ECoordinates: 39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°E
41°1′N 28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.950°E
|Religion||See religion in Turkey|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Legislature||Grand National Assembly|
|19 May 1919|
|23 April 1920|
|24 July 1923|
|29 October 1923|
|9 November 1982|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (TRT)|
|Date format||dd.mm.yyyy (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||TR|
Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Turkish pronunciation: [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Türkiye (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti [ˈtyɾcije dʒumˈhuːɾijeti] (listen)), is a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. It borders 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; the Aegean Sea to the west; and Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest. Cyprus is off the south coast. Most of the country's citizens are ethnic Turks, while Kurds are the largest ethnic minority. Ankara is Turkey's capital and second-largest city; Istanbul is its largest city and main financial centre.
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 including the Hattians, Hittites, Anatolian peoples, Mycenaean Greeks, Persians, and others.
Following the conquests of Alexander the Great which started the Hellenistic period, most of the ancient regions were culturally Hellenized, and this continued during the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating to Anatolia in the 11th century, which started the Turkification process. The Seljuk 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, while the Turkification of Anatolia further progressed during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople (now 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
Turkey played a prominent role in the
Turkey is a
The English name Turkey (from
The name Turkey appeared in Western sources after the
Official name change
In December 2021, the country issued a circular, calling for exports to be labeled "Made in Türkiye". The circular also stated that in relation to other governmental communications, the "necessary sensitivity will be shown on the use of the phrase 'Türkiye' instead of phrases such as 'Turkey', 'Türkei', 'Turquie', etc." The reason given in the circular for preferring Türkiye was that it "represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way". According to Turkish state broadcaster TRT World, it was also to avoid pejorative associations with the birds. The government notified the United Nations and other international organizations on 31 May 2022, requesting that they use Türkiye, which the UN immediately agreed to do. The United States Department of State officially began using Türkiye in January 2023.
Prehistory of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace
The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who lived in 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 empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th centuries BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC although they have remained a minority in the region.
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 c. 695 BC. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia.
Assyrian king Shalmaneser I (1263–1234 BC) recorded a campaign in which he subdued the entire territory of "Uruatri". Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC. Starting from 714 BC, the Urartu state began to decline, and finally dissolved in 590 BC, when it was conquered by the Medes.
The city of
Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia was settled by
The first state that was called Armenia by the neighboring peoples was the state of the Armenian Orontid dynasty, which included parts of what is now eastern Turkey, beginning in the 6th century BC. In northwestern Turkey, the most significant tribal group in ancient Thrace was the Odyrisians, founded by Teres I.
All of modern-day Turkey was conquered by the Persian
Anatolia fell to
From the 1st century BC up to the 3rd century AD, large parts of modern-day Turkey were contested between the
Early Christian and Roman period
According to the
According to extrabiblical traditions, the Assumption of Mary took place in Ephesus, where Apostle John was also present. Irenaeus writes of "the church of Ephesus, founded by Paul, with John continuing with them until the times of Trajan." While in Ephesus, Apostle John wrote the three epistles attributed to him. John was allegedly banished by the Roman authorities to the Greek island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. The Basilica of St. John near Ephesus, built by Justinian the Great in the 6th century, marks the burial site of Apostle John, while the nearby House of the Virgin Mary is accepted by the Catholic church as the place where Mary, mother of Jesus, lived the final days of her life, before her Assumption. Saint Nicholas, born in Patara, lived in nearby Myra (modern Demre) in Lycia.
In 123 CE, Roman emperor
After defeating Licinius (the senior co-emperor (augustus) of the East in Nicomedia) at the Battle of Chrysopolis (Üsküdar) in 324 (thus bringing an end to the Tetrarchy system and becoming the sole emperor), Constantine the Great chose the nearby city of Byzantium across the Bosporus as the new capital of the Roman Empire and started rebuilding and expanding the city. He resided mostly in Nicomedia (modern İzmit) during the construction works in the next six years. In 330 he officially proclaimed it as the new Roman capital with the name New Rome (Nova Roma), but soon afterwards renamed it as Constantinople (Constantinopolis, modern Istanbul). Under Constantine, Christianity did not become the official religion of the state, but enjoyed imperial preference since he supported it with generous privileges.
Following the death of Theodosius the Great in 395 and the permanent division of the Roman Empire between his two sons, Constantinople became the capital of the
Great Seljuk Empire
The defeat of the Seljuk armies by the Mongols in 1243 caused the territories of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm (Anatolia) to slowly disintegrate into small Turkish principalities.
In the early 14th century, the
Following the end of the
In 1514, Sultan
The Ottoman Empire's power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, who personally instituted major legislative changes relating to society, education, taxation and criminal law.
The empire was often at odds with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Ottoman Navy contended with several Holy Leagues, such as those in 1538, 1571, 1684 and 1717 (composed primarily of Habsburg Spain, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Knights of St. John, the Papal States, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Savoy), for the control of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the east, the Ottomans were often at war with Safavid Persia over conflicts between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Even further east, there was an extension of the
From the 16th to the 20th centuries, the Ottoman Empire also
From the second half of the 18th century onwards, the
As the empire gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth; especially after the
The loss of
The Ottoman Empire entered
Republic of Turkey
In 1922, the Greek, Armenian and French armies had been expelled,
The Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923, which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of Turkey" as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country's new capital. The Lausanne Convention stipulated a population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first
After the establishment of the republic, some
The country's transition to
Following the liberalization of the economy in the 1980s, Turkey experienced stronger GDP growth and greater political stability in the last two decades of the 20th century; but inflation remained high throughout this period, and the GDP growth was interrupted by three economic crises in 1990, 1994 and 2000–2001.
Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, joined the European Union Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005. In a non-binding vote on 13 March 2019, the European Parliament called on the EU governments to suspend EU accession talks with Turkey, citing violations of human rights and the rule of law; but the negotiations, effectively on hold since 2018, remain active as of 2023.
In 2014, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won Turkey's first presidential election. On 15 July 2016, an unsuccessful coup attempt tried to oust the government.
In 2018, Erdoğan won the presidential election for a second term, which ends in 2023. The 2023 Turkish presidential election is scheduled to take place on 18 June 2023 as part of the 2023 general elections, alongside parliamentary elections. President Erdoğan has signalled that the election might be held early, on 14 May 2023. According to Article 101 of the Constitution of Turkey: "A person can be elected as President maximum two times" (Turkish: "Bir kimse en fazla iki defa Cumhurbaşkanı seçilebilir"). No amendments have been made to this definition in Article 101 with the referendum in 2017.
Turkey has a unitary structure in terms of administration and this aspect is one of the most important factors shaping the Turkish public administration. Turkey does not have a federal system, and the provinces are subordinate to the central government in Ankara.
When three powers (executive, legislative and judiciary) are taken into account as the main functions of the state, local administrations have little power. Local administrations were established to provide services in place and the government is represented by the province governors (vali) and town governors (kaymakam).
Other senior public officials are also appointed by the central government, except for the mayors (belediye başkanı) who are elected by the constituents. Turkish municipalities have local legislative bodies (belediye meclisi) for decision-making on municipal issues.
Within this unitary framework, Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces (il or vilayet) for administrative purposes. Each province is divided into districts (ilçe), for a total of 973 districts. Turkey is also subdivided into 7 regions (bölge) and 21 subregions for geographic, demographic and economic purposes; this does not refer to an administrative division.
Government and politics
Turkey is a presidential republic within a multi-party system. The current constitution was approved by referendum in 1982, which determines the government's structure, lays forth the ideals and standards of the state's conduct, and sets out the state's responsibility to its citizens. Furthermore, the constitution specifies the people's rights and obligations, as well as principles for the delegation and exercise of sovereignty that belongs to the people of Turkey. Turkish politics have become increasingly associated with democratic backsliding, being described as a competitive authoritarian system.
In the Turkish
The government, regulated by a system of separation of powers as defined by the constitution of Turkey, comprises three branches:
- Legislative: The unicameral Parliament makes laws, debates and adopts the budget bills, declares war, approves treaties, proclaims amnesty and pardon, and has the power of impeachment, by which it can remove incumbent members of the government.
- Executive: The president is the commander-in-chief of the military, can veto legislative bills before they become law (subject to parliamentary override), can issue presidential decrees on matters regarding executive power with the exception of fundamental rights, individual rights and certain political rights (parliamentary laws prevail presidential decrees), and appoints the members of the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce national laws and policies.
- Council of State (final decision maker in administrative judiciary) and the Court of Jurisdictional Disputes (for resolving the disputes between courts for constitutional jurisdiction) are the four organizations that are described by the Constitution as supreme courts. The judges of the Constitutional Court are appointed by the president and the parliament.
The Parliament has 600 voting members, each representing a
Parties and elections
Elections in Turkey are held for six functions of
Every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 has the
After World War II, starting from 1946, Turkey operated under a
The 2018 parliamentary election was held for voting into office the members of the 27th Parliament of Turkey, which had an initial composition of 295 seats for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), 146 seats for the Republican People's Party (CHP), 67 seats for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), 49 seats for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 49 seats for the Good Party (İP). The next parliamentary election is scheduled to take place in 2023.
With the founding of the Republic, Turkey adopted a
Turkey has adopted the principle of the separation of powers. In line with this principle, judicial power is exercised by independent courts on behalf of the Turkish nation. The independence and organization of the courts, the security of the tenure of judges and public prosecutors, the profession of judges and prosecutors, the supervision of judges and public prosecutors, the military courts and their organization, and the powers and duties of the high courts are regulated by the
According to Article 142 of the Turkish Constitution, the organization, duties and jurisdiction of the courts, their functions and the trial procedures are regulated by law. In line with the aforementioned article of the Turkish Constitution and related laws, the court system in Turkey can be classified under three main categories; which are the Judicial Courts, Administrative Courts, and Military Courts. Each category includes first instance courts and high courts. In addition, the Court of Jurisdictional Disputes rules on cases that cannot be classified readily as falling within the purview of one court system.
In the years of government by the AKP and Erdoğan, particularly since 2013, the independence and integrity of the Turkish judiciary has increasingly been said to be in doubt by institutions, parliamentarians and journalists both within and outside of Turkey; due to political interference in the promotion of judges and prosecutors, and in their pursuit of public duty. The Turkey 2015 report of the European Commission stated that "the independence of the judiciary and respect of the principle of separation of powers have been undermined and judges and prosecutors have been under strong political pressure."
Turkey is a founding member of the
In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey became one of the early members of the Council of Europe in 1950, applied for associate membership of the EEC (predecessor of the European Union) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, became an associate member of the Western European Union in 1992, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and has been in formal accession negotiations with the European Union since 2005.
Turkey's support for
The other defining aspect of Turkey's foreign policy has been the country's long-standing strategic alliance with the
The common threat posed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War led to Turkey's membership of NATO in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with the US. Subsequently, Turkey benefited from the United States' political, economic and diplomatic support, including in key issues such as the country's bid to join the European Union. In the post–Cold War environment, Turkey's geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans.
The independence of the
Following the Arab Spring in December 2010, the choices made by the AKP government for supporting certain political opposition groups in the affected countries have led to tensions with some Arab states, such as Turkey's neighbor Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war, and Egypt after the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi. As of 2022[update], Turkey does not have an ambassador in either Syria or Egypt, but relations with both countries have started to improve. Diplomatic relations with Israel were also severed after the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010, but were normalized following a deal in June 2016. These political rifts have left Turkey with few allies in the East Mediterranean, where large natural gas fields have recently been discovered. There is a dispute over Turkey's maritime boundaries with Greece and Cyprus and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish Armed Forces consist of the General Staff, the Land Forces, the Naval Forces and the Air Force. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President. The President is responsible to the Parliament for matters of national security and the adequate preparation of the armed forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare war and to deploy the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or to allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey rests solely with the Parliament.
Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military for a period ranging from three weeks to a year, dependent on education and job location. Turkey does not recognize conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service.
Turkey has the second-largest standing military force in NATO, after the United States, with an estimated strength of 890,700 military personnel as of February 2022.
Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in case of a nuclear conflict, but their use requires the approval of NATO.
Turkey has participated in international missions under the United Nations and NATO
The Turkish Armed Forces have a relatively substantial military presence abroad,
In the latter half of the 1970s, Turkey suffered from political violence between far-left and far-right militant groups, which culminated in the military coup of 1980. The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union) was founded in 1978 by a group of Kurdish militants led by Abdullah Öcalan, seeking the foundation of an independent Kurdish state based on Marxist-Leninist ideology. The initial reason given by the PKK for this was the oppression of Kurds in Turkey. A full-scale insurgency began in 1984, when the PKK announced a Kurdish uprising. With time the PKK modified its demands into equal rights for ethnic Kurds and provincial autonomy within Turkey. Since 1980, the Turkish parliament stripped its members of immunity from prosecution, including 44 deputies most of which from the pro-Kurdish parties.
On 20 May 2016, the Turkish parliament stripped almost a quarter of its members of
When the annual Istanbul Pride was inaugurated in 2003, Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to hold a gay pride march. Since 2015, all types of parades at Taksim Square and İstiklal Avenue (where, in 2013, the Gezi Park protests took place) have been denied permission by the AKP government, citing security concerns, but hundreds of people have defied the ban each year. Critics have claimed that the bans were in fact ideological.
Turkey is a
Turkey is divided into seven geographical regions:
East Thrace, the European portion of Turkey, is located at the easternmost edge 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.
Far from the coast the climate of Turkey tends to be continental but elsewhere temperate, and has become hotter, and drier in parts. There are many species of plants and animals.
Most of Turkey is vulnerable to
Renowned domestic animals from
The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the
Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian
Turkey is a
As of September 2021[update], 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[update], the foreign currency deposits of the citizens and residents in Turkish banks stood at $234 billion, equivalent to around half of all deposits.