Dialing code +90
ISO 2 code TR
ISO 3 code TUR
Capital Ankara
Main Language Turkish
Currency Lira (TRY)
GDP $906.5 billion 15th
Population 77,804,122 17th


Continent Asia
Location 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
Land 780,580 km2 37th
Terrain High central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges
Climate Temperate; hot dry summers with mild wet winters; harsher in interior
Natural Hazards High central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges
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

Neighbouring Countries

Armenia Azerbaijan Bulgaria Georgia Greece Iran Iraq Syria


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; it holds a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council from 2009-10. 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; it began accession membership talks with the European Union in 2005.
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Life Expectancy 71.96 years 110th
Median Age 27.7 years 102nd
Birth Rate 18.66 births/1,000 population 102nd
Death Rate 6.1 births/1,000 population 146th
Sex Ratio 0.84 male(s)/female 66th
Literacy 87.4% 125th

77.8 million


Roadways 426951 km 12th
Railways 8697 km 22nd
Airports 103 57th
Waterways 1200 km 57th
Heliports 18 8th
Airports paved 3 40th


Currency Lira (TRY)
GDP $906.5 billion 15th
GDP per capita (PPP) $12000 83rd