Turkey: history, politics, economics
Official name: Republic of Turkey
Official language: Turkish
Political structure: Democratic Republic (parliamentary)
Population: 78,7 million people (2015)
Working population: 30 million people (2015)
Median age: 30.2 years (2015)
Official language: Turkish
President: Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Prime Minister: Binali Yıldırım
Area: 783,562.38 km²
Geographical coordinates: 39°55′N 32°50′E
Time Zone: GMT + 2 / GMT +3 (DST) Daylight saving time - the last Sunday of March, back - the last Sunday of October
Neighboring states: Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia
Large cities (Population): Istanbul (14.6 million), Ankara (5.3 million), Izmir (4.2 million), Bursa (2.8 million), Antalya (2.3 million) (2015)
Temperate climate: hot summer with mild, rainy winters
Phone code: +90
Domain suffix: tr
Voltage: 220 V, 50 Hz
National currency: Turkish Lira (TRY)
Financial Center: Istanbul
GDP USD: 800 billion (2014-Current Prices)
GDP Per Capita USD: 10,398 (2014)
Tourism Revenue USD: 31.5 billion (2015)
Tourist Number: 41.6 million (2015)
Foreign Direct Investment USD: 13.4 billion (2015)
Number of Companies with Foreign Capital: 41,397 (2014)
Major Exports Markets: Germany (9.6%); Iraq (6.9%); UK (6.3%); Italy (4.5%); France (4.1%); USA (4%); Russia (3.8%); Spain (3%); UAE (3%); Iran (2.5%) (2014)
Major Imports Sources: Russia (10.4%); China (10.3%); Germany (9.2%); USA (5.3%); Italy (5%); Iran (4.1%); France (3.4%); South Korea (3.1%); India (2.8%); Spain (2.5%) (2014)
List of holidays in Turkey in 2016:
January, 1 – New Year’s Day
April, 23 – National Sovereignty and Children's Day
May, 1 – Labour and Solidarity Day
May, 19 – Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day
July, 17-19 – Ramazan Feast
August, 30 – Victory Day
September, 21-27 – Kurban Bayrami Holiday
October, 29 – Republic Day
The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Black Sea have a temperate Oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters. The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year. The eastern part of that coast averages 2,500 millimetres annually which is the highest precipitation in the country.
The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Sea of Marmara (including Istanbul), which connects the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, have a transitional climate between a temperate Mediterranean climate and a temperate Oceanic climate with warm to hot, moderately dry summers and cool to cold, wet winters. Snow does occur on the coastal areas of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter, but it usually lies no more than a few days. Snow on the other hand is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
Conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau of the interior of Turkey a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons.
Winters on the eastern part of the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 °C to −40 °C can occur in eastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground at least 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 °C. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 °C in the day. Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimetres, with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 millimetres. May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the driest.
The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various Ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, beginning with the Neolithic period until conquest of Alexander the Great. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages radiated. European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since forty thousand years ago, and entered Neolithic by about 6000 B.C. with its inhabitants starting the practice of agriculture.
Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 5700 BCE. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date and in July 2012 was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron Age.
The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who inhabited central and eastern Anatolia, respectively, as early as ca. 2300 BC. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed the Hattians and Hurrians ca. 2000–1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the eighteenth through the 13th century BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC.
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 the 7th century BC. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia.
Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion; the Turkish Constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience. Islam is the dominant religion of Turkey; it exceeds 99% if secular people of Muslim background are included, with the most popular sect being the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam. The highest Islamic religious authority is the Presidency of Religious Affairs it interprets the Hanafi school of law, and is responsible for regulating the operation of the country's 80,000 registered mosques and employing local and provincial imams. Academics suggest the Alevi population may be from 15 to 20 million. According to Aksiyon magazine, the number of Shiite Twelvers (excluding Alevis) is 3 million (4.2%). There are also some Sufi practitioners. Roughly 2% are non-denominational Muslims.