General information: Turkey was formed in 1923 on the site of the actual Turkish part of the Ottoman Empire. Soon after, secular legislation was introduced in the country instead of the traditional religious one. In 1945, Turkey joined the UN, and in 1949 became a member of NATO. In 1974, Turkish troops occupied the northern part of Cyprus in order to prevent the capture of the island by Greece; relations between the two countries remain strained. Periodic military operations against Kurdish terrorists, condemned by the international community, have forced many people in the south-eastern regions of the country to leave their homes.
Location: Southeast Europe and Southwest Asia (the part of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), the Black Sea coast between Bulgaria and Georgia, and the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts between Greece and Syria.
Geographic coordinates: 39° 00′ N. latitude, 35° 00′ E
Reference map: Middle East.
Area: total: 780,580 km2; land surface area: 770,760 square kilometers; water surface area: 9,820 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of Texas.
Land borders: total: 2,627 km; with neighboring states: with Azerbaijan 9 km, with Armenia 268 km, with Bulgaria 240 km, with Greece 206 km, with Georgia 252 km, with Iraq 331 km, with Iran 499 km, with Syria 822 km.
Coastline: 7,200 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: available only in the Black Sea: determined by the maritime boundary agreement concluded with the former USSR; territorial waters: 6 nautical miles in the Aegean; 12 nautical miles in the Black and Mediterranean seas.
Climate: temperate; summers are hot and dry, winters are mild and humid; in the interior parts of the country the climate is more severe.
Terrain: dominated by mountains; narrow coastal plain; high Anatolian plateau in the central part of the country.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m; highest point: Big Ararat 5,166 m.
Natural resources: antimony, coal, chromium, mercury, copper, borates, sulfur, iron ore, arable land, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 32%; cultivated land: 4%; h pastures: 16%; forests and plantations: 26%; others: 22% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 36,740 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: very strong earthquakes, especially in the northern part of Turkey, along an imaginary arc from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van.
Actual environmental problems: water pollution by discharges of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, especially in urban areas; deforestation; the problem of oil pollution as a result of the growing shipping on the Bosphorus.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Waste, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Antarctica – Protocol on Environmental Protection, Environmental Change. Note to the section “Geography”: controls the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles – the path between the Black and Aegean Seas.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 66,493,970 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 28.42% (male 9,620.291; female 9,276,347); 15 to 64 years old: 65.45% (male 22,116,599; female 21,401,165); over 65: 6.13% (male 1,878,571; female 2,200,997) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.24% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 18.31 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.95 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.03 male/female; over 65: 0.85 male/female; for the general population: 1.02 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 47.34 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 71.24 years; men: 68.89 years; women: 73.71 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 2.12 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.01% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Turkish; adjective: Turkish.
Ethnic groups: Turks 80%, Kurds 20%.
Believers: Muslims 99.8% (mostly Sunnis), representatives of other religions 0.2% (Christians and Jews).
Languages): Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, Armenian, Greek.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 85%; men: 94%; women: 77% (2000 est.).
conventional long form: Republic of Turkey;
conventional short form: Turkey; local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti; local short form: Turkiye;
State structure: republic with parliamentary democracy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Turkey Political System.
Administrative division: 80 ils (il): Adana, Agri, Adiyaman, Aydin, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Afyon, Bayburt, Bali-kesir, Bartin, Batman, Bilecik, Bingol, Bit-lis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Van, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Zonguldak, Izmir, Ichel, Yozgat, Kayseri, Karabuk, Karaman, Kare, Kastamonu, Kahramanmarash, Kilis, Kod-jaeli, Konya, Kirkkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardi, Mugla, Mush, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sivas, Siirt, Sinop, Istanbul, Tekir-dag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Hakkari, Hatay, Canakkale, Chankyry, Chorum, Sanliurfa, Shirnak, Ygdir, Isparta, Edirne, Elazig, Erzinjan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Yalova.
Independence: from October 29, 1923 (successor state of the Ottoman Empire).
National holiday: Independence Day, October 29 (1923).
Constitution: adopted November 7, 1982
Legal system: based on various European continental systems of law; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Ahmed Necdet CE3EP(AhmedNecdetSEZER) (since 16 May 2000);
head of government: Prime Minister Bulent ECEVIT (since 11 January 1999)
government: a council of ministers appointed by the president; candidates are nominated by the prime minister; note: there is also the National Security Council, which functions as an advisory body to the president and the council of ministers; elections: the president is elected by the National Assembly for a term of 7 years; elections last held 5 May 2000 (next scheduled for May 2007); the prime minister and deputy prime minister are appointed by the president; election results: Ahmed Necdet SEZER elected president; percentage of votes in the National Assembly – 60%.
Legislature: unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi) (550 seats; members of the chamber are directly elected for a five-year term); elections: last held 18 April 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: distribution of votes between parties – no data; number of seats – DSP 136, MHP 130, FP 110, DYP 86, ANAP 88; note – as of March 7, 2000, the composition of the chamber was as follows: DSP 136, MHP 127, FP 103, DYP 85, ANAP 88, independent 6, vacant seats 5.
Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, judges are appointed by the president; Court of Appeal, judges are elected by the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
Political parties and leaders: Democratic Left Party (DSP) (Bulent ECEVIT); Fatherland Party (ANAP) (Mesut YILMAZ [Mesut YILMAZ]); National Action Party (MHP) (Devlet BAHCELI [Devlet BAHCELI]); True Path Party (DYP) (Tansu CILLER); Virtue Party (FP) (Recai KUTAN) note: The Prosperity Party (RP) (Necmettin ERBAKAN) was officially banned on February 22, 1998.
Political pressure groups and their leaders are: Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions (DISK) (Ridvan BUDAK [Ridvan BUDAK]); Association of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen (MUSIAD) (Erol YARAR [His! YARAR]); Workers’ Moral Rights Union (Hak-ls) (Salim USLU); Turkish Association of Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD) (Muharrem KAYHAN); Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions (TISK) (Refik BAYDUR); Turkish Confederation of Labor (Turk-Is) (Bayram ME-RAL); Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges (TOVV) (Fuat MIRAS).
Participation in international organizations: AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic Representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Baki ILKIN; office: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 612-6700; fax: [\] (202) 612-6744; consulates general: Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Chicago.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Robert PEARSON; embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Ankara; mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823; phone:  (312) 468-6110; fax:  (312) 467-0019; consulates general: Istanbul (closed in December 2000 for security reasons); consulate: Adana (closed in December 2000 for security reasons).
Description of the flag: red with a white vertical crescent (its convex part faces the side adjacent to the staff) and a white five-pointed star located between the horns of the crescent.