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Republic of Türkiye
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)
Flag of Turkey
İstiklal Marşı
"Independence March"
Location of Turkey
39°55′N 32°51′E / 39.917°N 32.850°E / 39.917; 32.850
Largest cityIstanbul
41°1′N 28°57′E / 41.017°N 28.950°E / 41.017; 28.950
Official languagesTurkish[1][2]
Spoken languages
  • Predominantly Turkish[3]
Ethnic groups
  • Turkish
  • Turk
GovernmentUnitary presidential republic
• President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Cevdet Yılmaz
Numan Kurtulmuş
Kadir Özkaya
LegislatureGrand National Assembly
c. 1299
19 May 1919
23 April 1920
1 November 1922
24 July 1923
29 October 1923
9 November 1982[5]
• Total
783,562 km2 (302,535 sq mi) (36th)
• Water (%)
• December 2023 estimate
Neutral increase 85,372,377[7] (17th)
• Density
111[7]/km2 (287.5/sq mi) (83rd)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $3.832 trillion[8] (11th)
• Per capita
Increase $43,921[8] (46th)
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.114 trillion[8] (18th)
• Per capita
Decrease $12,765[8] (71th)
Gini (2019)Steady 41.9[9]
HDI (2022)Increase 0.855[10]
very high (45th)
CurrencyTurkish lira () (TRY)
Time zoneUTC+3 (TRT)
Calling code+90
ISO 3166 codeTR
Internet TLD.tr

Turkey,[a] officially the Republic of Türkiye,[b] is a country mainly in Anatolia in West Asia, with a smaller part called East Thrace in Southeast Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the north; Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq, Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea (and Cyprus) to the south; and the Aegean Sea, Greece, and Bulgaria to the west. Turkey is home to over 85 million people; most are ethnic Turks, while ethnic Kurds are the largest ethnic minority.[4] Officially a secular state, Turkey has a Muslim-majority population. Ankara is Turkey's capital and second-largest city. Istanbul is its largest city, and its economic and financial center, as well as the largest city in Europe. Other major cities include İzmir, Bursa and Antalya.

Human habitation began in the Late Paleolithic.[11] Home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe and some of the earliest farming areas, present-day Turkey was inhabited by various ancient peoples.[12][13][14] Hattians were assimilated by the Anatolian peoples.[15][16] Classical Anatolia transitioned into cultural Hellenization following the conquests of Alexander the Great;[17][18] Hellenization continued during the Roman and Byzantine eras.[19][20] The Seljuk Turks began migrating into Anatolia in the 11th century, starting the Turkification process.[20][21] The Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into Turkish principalities.[22] Beginning in 1299, the Ottomans united the principalities and expanded; Mehmed II conquered Istanbul in 1453. During the reigns of Selim I and Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power.[23][24] From 1789 onwards, the empire saw major transformation, reforms, and centralization while its territory declined.[25][26]

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, persecution of Muslims during the Ottoman contraction and in the Russian Empire resulted in large-scale loss of life and mass migration into modern-day Turkey from the Balkans, Caucasus, and Crimea.[27] Under the control of the Three Pashas, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I in 1914, during which the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Greek and Assyrian subjects.[28][29][30] Following Ottoman defeat, the Turkish War of Independence resulted in the abolition of the sultanate and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne. The Republic was proclaimed on 29 October 1923, modelled on the reforms initiated by the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II,[31] but was involved in the Korean War. Coups in 1960 and 1980 interrupted the transition to a multi-party system.[32]

Turkey is an upper-middle-income and emerging country; its economy is the world's 18th-largest by nominal and 11th-largest by PPP-adjusted GDP. It is a unitary presidential republic. Turkey is a founding member of the OECD, G20, and Organization of Turkic States. With a geopolitically significant location, Turkey is a regional power[33] and an early member of NATO. An EU-candidate, Turkey is part of the EU Customs Union, CoE, OIC, and TURKSOY.

Turkey has coastal plains, a high central plateau, and various mountain ranges; its climate is temperate with harsher conditions in the interior.[34] Home to three biodiversity hotspots,[35] Turkey is prone to frequent earthquakes and is highly vulnerable to climate change.[36][37] Turkey has universal healthcare, growing access to education,[38] and increasing innovativeness.[39] It is a leading TV content exporter.[40] With 21 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 30 UNESCO intangible cultural heritage inscriptions,[41] and a rich and diverse cuisine,[42] Turkey is the fourth most visited country in the world.


The name Turkey appears in Western sources after the late 11th century, referring to the Seljuk-controlled lands in Anatolia and the Near East.[43] European writers started using Turchia for the Anatolian plateau by the end of the 12th century.[44] The English name Turkey (from Medieval Latin Turchia, Turquia) means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess (c. 1369). The modern spelling Turkey dates back to at least 1719.[45] The name Turkey has been used in the texts of numerous international treaties to define the Ottoman Empire.[46][47][48][49]

In Byzantine sources, the name Tourkia (Greek: Τουρκία) was used for defining two medieval states: Hungary (Western Tourkia); and Khazaria (Eastern Tourkia).[50][51]

With the Treaty of Alexandropol, the name Türkiye entered international documents for the first time. In the treaty signed with Afghanistan in 1921, the expression Devlet-i Âliyye-i Türkiyye ('Sublime Turkish State') was used, likened to the Ottoman Empire's name.[52]

In December 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued a circular, calling for exports to be labeled "Made in Türkiye".[53] 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' (in English)".[53][54] The reason given was that Türkiye "represents and expresses the culture, civilization, and values of the Turkish nation in the best way".[53] In May 2022, the Turkish government requested the United Nations and other international organizations to use Türkiye officially in English, which the UN immediately agreed to do.[55][56][57]


Prehistory and ancient history

Some henges at Göbekli Tepe were erected as far back as 9600 BC, predating those of Stonehenge by over seven millennia.[58]

Present-day Turkey has been inhabited by modern humans since the late Paleolithic period and contains some of the world's oldest Neolithic sites.[59][60] Göbekli Tepe is close to 12,000 years old.[61] Parts of Anatolia include the Fertile Crescent, an origin of agriculture.[62] Neolithic Anatolian farmers differed genetically from farmers in Iran and Jordan Valley, and spread farming into Europe.[63] Other important Neolithic sites include Çatalhöyük and Alaca Höyük.[64] Troy's earliest layers go back to the Chalcolithic.[65] Its Late Bronze Age layers are considered the potential historical settings for the later legends of the Trojan War.[66][67][68]

The Sphinx Gate of Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites
The Temple of Zeus in the ancient city of Aizanoi in Phrygia

Anatolia’s historical records start with clay tablets from approximately around 2000 BC that were found in modern-day Kültepe.[69] The languages in Anatolia at that time included Hattian, Hurrian, Hittite, Luwian, and Palaic.[70] Hattian was a language indigenous to Anatolia, with no known modern-day connections.[71] Hurrian language was used in northern Syria.[72] Hittite, Luwian, and Palaic languages were in Anatolian sub-group of Indo-European languages,[73] with Hittite being the "oldest attested Indo-European language".[74] The origin of Indo-European languages is unknown.[75] They may be native to Anatolia[76] or non-native.[77]

Hattian rulers were gradually replaced by Hittite rulers.[78] The Hittite kingdom was a large kingdom in Central Anatolia, with its capital of Hattusa.[79] It co-existed in Anatolia with Palaians and Luwians, approximately between 1700 to 1200 BC.[80] The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC[81] although they have remained a minority in the region.[82]

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.[83] 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".[84][85] Urartu re-emerged in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC.[86] Starting from 714 BC, the Urartu state began to decline and finally dissolved in 590 BC when it was conquered by the Medes.[87]

Classical antiquity

The Sebasteion of Aphrodisias, a city named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. In 2017, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.[88]
The Library of Celsus in Ephesus was built by the Romans in 114–117.[89]

Before 1200 BC, there were four Greek-speaking settlements in Anatolia, including Miletus.[90] Around 1000 BC, Greek migrations to the west coast of Anatolia began; influence of Greek communities were largely limited to these areas until the time of Alexander the Great.[91][92] These settlements were grouped as Aeolis, Ionia, and Doris, after the specific Greek groups that settled them.[93] Numerous important cities were founded by these colonists, such as Ephesus, Halicarnassus, Pergamon, Aphrodisias, Smyrna (now İzmir) and Byzantium (now Istanbul), the latter founded by Greek colonists from Megara in c. 667 BC.[94] Some of these cities, in particular Miletus, went on to found numerous colonies of their own on the coasts of the Black Sea. Miletus was also home to the Ionian school of philosophy, and many of the most prominent pre-Socratic philosophers lived in Miletus. Thales of Miletus is regarded as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition[95][96] and is also historically recognized as the first individual known to have engaged in scientific philosophy.[97][98] Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, and the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, were located in Anatolia.[99]

The Armenian Orontid dynasty, which included parts of what is now eastern Turkey, began in the 6th century BC. In northwestern Turkey, the most significant tribal group in ancient Thrace was the Odyrisians, founded by Teres I.[100]

All of modern-day Turkey was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th century BC.[101] The Greco-Persian Wars started when the Greek city-states on the coast of Anatolia rebelled against Persian rule in 499 BC. Queen Artemisia I of Halicarnassus, which was then within the Achaemenid satrapy of Caria, fought as an ally of Xerxes I, King of Persia, against the independent Greek city-states during the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC.[102][103]

Anatolia fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC,[104] which led to increasing cultural homogeneity and Hellenization in the area,[14] which met resistance in some places.[17] Following Alexander's death in 323 BC, Anatolia was subsequently divided into smaller Hellenistic kingdoms, all of which became part of the Roman Republic by the mid-1st century BC.[105] Hellenization accelerated under Roman rule, and by the early centuries of the Christian Era the local Anatolian languages and cultures had become extinct, being largely replaced by ancient Greek language and culture.[106]

From the 1st century BC up to the 3rd century AD, large parts of modern-day Turkey were contested between the Romans and neighboring Parthians through the Roman-Parthian Wars.

Galatia was an ancient area in the highlands of central Anatolia inhabited by the Celts. The term "Galatians" came to be used by the Greeks for the three Celtic peoples of Anatolia: the Tectosages, the Trocmii, and the Tolistobogii.[107][108] By the 1st century BC the Celts had become so Hellenized that some Greek writers called them Hellenogalatai.[109] The Kingdom of Pontus was a Hellenistic kingdom, centered in the historical region of Pontus and ruled by the Mithridatic dynasty of Persian origin,[110][111][112][113] which may have been directly related to Darius the Great.[114][113] The kingdom was proclaimed by Mithridates I in 281 BC and lasted until its conquest by the Romans in 63 BC. Pontus reached its largest extent under Mithridates VI the Great, who conquered Colchis, Cappadocia, Bithynia, and the Greek colonies of the Tauric Chersonesos. After a long struggle with Rome in the Mithridatic Wars, Pontus was defeated. All ancient regions and territories corresponding to modern Turkey eventually became part of the Roman Empire, and many of them retained their historic names in classical antiquity as Roman provinces.

Early Christian and Roman period

The Roman Empire at the time of Constantine the Great's death in 337. In 330, Constantinople (now Istanbul) became the new Roman capital.

According to the Acts of Apostles,[115] Antioch (now Antakya), a city in southern Turkey, is where the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians". The city quickly became an important center of Christianity.[116][117] The Apostle Paul of Tarsus traveled to Ephesus and stayed there, probably working as a tentmaker.[118] He is claimed to have performed miracles and organized missionary activity in other regions.[119] Paul left Ephesus after an attack from a local silversmith resulted in a pro-Artemis riot.[119]

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."[120] While in Ephesus, Apostle John wrote the three epistles attributed to him. 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, Roman emperor Hadrian traveled to Anatolia. Numerous monuments were erected for his arrival, and he met his lover Antinous from Bithynia.[121] Hadrian focused on the Greek revival and built several temples and improved the cities. Cyzicus, Pergamon, Smyrna, Ephesus and Sardes were promoted as regional centres for the Imperial cult during this period.[122]

Byzantine period

The Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now Istanbul) was built by the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian the Great in 532–537.[123]

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 as the new capital of the Roman Empire and started rebuilding and expanding the city. In 330 he officially proclaimed it as the new Roman capital with the name New Rome (Nova Roma) but soon afterwards renamed it Constantinople (Constantinopolis, modern Istanbul). Under Constantine, Christianity did not become the official religion of the state, but Christianity enjoyed imperial preference since he supported it with generous privileges.

The Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 555 under Justinian the Great, at its greatest extent since the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476.

Theodosius the Great made Christianity the official state religion of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Following the death of Theodosius in 395 and the permanent division of the Roman Empire between his two sons, Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This empire, which would later be branded by historians as the Byzantine Empire, ruled most of the territory of present-day Turkey until the Late Middle Ages;[124] although the eastern regions remained firmly in Sasanian hands until the 7th century. The frequent Byzantine-Sassanid Wars, a continuation of the centuries-long Roman-Persian Wars, took place between the 4th and 7th centuries.

Several ecumenical councils of the early Church were held in cities located in present-day Turkey, including the First Council of Nicaea (Iznik) in 325 (which resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine, called the Nicene Creed), the First Council of Constantinople in 381, the Council of Ephesus in 431, and the Council of Chalcedon in 451.[125] During most of its existence, the Byzantine Empire was one of the most powerful economic, cultural, and military forces in Europe.[126] Established in the Roman period, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is the oldest continuously active institution in Istanbul.[127]

Seljuk and Anatolian beyliks period

İnce Minareli Medrese in Konya (left), Çifte Minareli Medrese in Erzurum (center) and Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital (right) are among the finest examples of Seljuk architecture.

According to historians and linguists, the Proto-Turkic language originated in Central-East Asia.[128] Initially, Proto-Turkic speakers were potentially both hunter-gatherers and farmers; they later became nomadic pastoralists.[129] Early and medieval Turkic groups exhibited a wide range of both East Asian and West-Eurasian physical appearances and genetic origins, in part through long-term contact with neighboring peoples such as Iranic, Mongolic, Tocharian, Uralic, and Yeniseian peoples.[130] During the 9th and 10th centuries CE, the Oghuz were a Turkic group that lived in the Caspian and Aral steppes.[131] Partly due to pressure from the Kipchaks, the Oghuz migrated into Iran and Transoxiana.[131] They mixed with Iranic-speaking groups in the area and converted to Islam.[131] Oghuz Turks were also known as Turkoman.[131]

The Seljuks originated from the Kınık branch of the Oghuz Turks who resided in the Yabgu Khaganate.[132] In 1040, the Seljuks defeated the Ghaznavids at the Battle of Dandanaqan and established the Seljuk Empire in Greater Khorasan.[133] Baghdad, the Abbasid Caliphate's capital and center of the Islamic world, was taken by Seljuks in 1055.[134] Given the role Khurasani traditions played in art, culture, and political traditions in the empire, the Seljuk period is described as a mixture of "Turkish, Persian and Islamic influences".[135] In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks began penetrating into medieval Armenia and Anatolia.[134] At the time, Anatolia was a diverse and largely Greek-speaking region after previously being Hellenized.[18][20][136]

The Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, and later established the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.[137] During this period, there were also Turkish principalities such as Danishmendids.[138] Seljuk arrival started the Turkification process in Anatolia;[20][139] there were Turkic/Turkish migrations, intermarriages, and conversions into Islam.[140][141] The shift took several centuries and happened gradually.[142][143] Members of Islamic mysticism orders, such as Mevlevi Order, played a role in the Islamization of the diverse people of Anatolia.[144][145] In 13th century, there was a second significant wave of Turkic migration, as people fled Mongol expansion.[146][147] Seljuk sultanate was defeated by the Mongols at the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 and disappeared by the beginning of the 14th century. It was replaced by various Turkish principalities.[22][148]

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire at its greatest European extent, in 1683, during the Battle of Vienna

Based around Söğüt, Ottoman Beylik was founded by Osman I in the early 14th century.[149] According to Ottoman chroniclers, Osman descended from the Kayı tribe of the Oghuz Turks.[150] Ottomans started annexing the nearby Turkish beyliks (principalities) in Anatolia and expanded into the Balkans.[151] Mehmed II completed Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople, on 29 May 1453.[152] Selim I united Anatolia under Ottoman rule.[23] Turkification continued as Ottomans mixed with various indigenous people in Anatolia and the Balkans.[150]

The Ottoman Empire was a global power during the reigns of Selim I and Suleiman the Magnificent.[23][24] In the 16th and 17th centuries, Sephardic Jews moved into Ottoman Empire following their expulsion from Spain.[153] From the second half of the 18th century onwards, the Ottoman Empire began to decline. The Tanzimat reforms, initiated by Mahmud II in 1839, aimed to modernize the Ottoman state in line with the progress that had been made in Western Europe. The Ottoman constitution of 1876 was the first among Muslim states, but was short-lived.[154]

The Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest Ottoman imperial mosque in Istanbul, located on the Third Hill in the city's historical peninsula. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan.

As the empire gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth; especially after the Ottoman economic crisis and default in 1875[155] which led to uprisings in the Balkan provinces that culminated in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878); many Balkan Muslims migrated to the empire's heartland in Anatolia,[156][157] along with the Circassians fleeing the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. According to some estimates, 800,000 Muslim Circassians died during the Circassian genocide in the territory of present-day Russia, the survivors of which sought refuge in the Ottoman Empire, mostly settling in the provinces of present-day Turkey. The decline of the Ottoman Empire led to a rise in nationalist sentiment among its various subject peoples, leading to increased ethnic tensions which occasionally burst into violence, such as the Hamidian massacres of Armenians, which claimed up to 300,000 lives.[158]

Ottoman territories in Europe (Rumelia) were lost in the First Balkan War (1912–1913).[159] Ottomans managed to recover some territory in Europe, such as Edirne, in the Second Balkan War (1913). In the 19th and early 20th centuries, persecution of Muslims during the Ottoman contraction and in the Russian Empire resulted in estimated 5 million deaths,[160][161] with more than 3 million in Balkans;[162] the casualties included Turks.[161] Five to seven or seven to nine million refugees migrated into modern-day Turkey from the Balkans, Caucasus, Crimea, and Mediterranean islands,[163] shifting the center of the Ottoman Empire to Anatolia.[164] In addition to a small number of Jews, the refugees were overwhelmingly Muslim; they were both Turkish and non-Turkish people, such as Circassians and Crimean Tatars.[165][166] Paul Mojzes has called the Balkan Wars an "unrecognized genocide", where multiple sides were both victims and perpetrators.[167]

Topkapı Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace were the primary residences of the Ottoman sultans in Istanbul between 1465 and 1856[168] and 1856 to 1922,[169] respectively.

Following the 1913 coup d'état, the Three Pashas took control of the Ottoman government. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated.[170] During the war, the empire's Armenian subjects were deported to Syria as part of the Armenian genocide. As a result, an estimated 600,000[171] to more than 1 million,[171] or up to 1.5 million[172][173][174] Armenians were killed. The Turkish government has refused to acknowledge[28][175] the events as genocide and states that Armenians were only "relocated" from the eastern war zone.[176] Genocidal campaigns were also committed against the empire's other minority groups such as the Assyrians and Greeks.[177][178][179] Following the Armistice of Mudros in 1918, the victorious Allied Powers sought the partition of the Ottoman Empire through the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres.[180]

Republic of Türkiye

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and the first President of the Turkish Republic

The occupation of Istanbul (1918) and İzmir (1919) by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I initiated the Turkish National Movement. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres (1920).[181]

The Turkish Provisional Government in Ankara, which had declared itself the legitimate government of the country on 23 April 1920, started to formalize the legal transition from the old Ottoman into the new Republican political system. The Ankara Government engaged in armed and diplomatic struggle. In 1921–1923, the Armenian, Greek, French, and British armies had been expelled:[182][183][184][185] The military advance and diplomatic success of the Ankara Government resulted in the signing of the Armistice of Mudanya on 11 October 1922. The handling of the Chanak Crisis (September–October 1922) between the United Kingdom and the Ankara Government caused the collapse of David Lloyd George's Ministry on 19 October 1922[186] and political autonomy of Canada from the UK.[187] On 1 November 1922, the Turkish Parliament in Ankara formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years of monarchical Ottoman rule.

The Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923, which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres,[180][181] led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the new Turkish state as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire. On 4 October 1923, the Allied occupation of Turkey ended with the withdrawal of the last Allied troops from Istanbul. The Turkish Republic was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country's new capital.[188] The Lausanne Convention stipulated a population exchange between Greece and Turkey.[189]

Anıtkabir in Ankara was completed in 1953 to become the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first president and introduced many reforms. The reforms aimed to transform the old religion-based and multi-communal Ottoman monarchy into a Turkish nation state that would be governed as a parliamentary republic under a secular constitution.[190] With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father Turk).[181] Atatürk's reforms caused discontent in some Kurdish and Zaza tribes leading to the Sheikh Said rebellion in 1925[191] and the Dersim rebellion in 1937.[192]

İsmet İnönü became the country's second president following Atatürk's death in 1938. In 1939, the Republic of Hatay voted in favor of joining Turkey with a referendum. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II but entered the war on the side of the Allies on 23 February 1945. Later that year, Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations.[193] In 1950 Turkey became a member of the Council of Europe. After fighting as part of the UN forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean.

The country's transition to multi-party democracy was interrupted by military coups in 1960 and 1980, as well as by military memorandums in 1971 and 1997.[194][195] Between 1960 and the end of the 20th century, the prominent leaders in Turkish politics who achieved multiple election victories were Süleyman Demirel, Bülent Ecevit and Turgut Özal. Tansu Çiller became the first female prime minister of Turkey in 1993. Turkey entered EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with EU in 2005.[196] Customs Union had an important impact on the Turkish manufacturing sector.[197][198]

Tansu Çiller, Turkey's first female prime minister, attends a European Commission meeting in January 1994

In 2014, prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won Turkey's first direct presidential election.[199] On 15 July 2016, an unsuccessful coup attempt tried to oust the government.[200] With a referendum in 2017, the parliamentary republic was replaced by an executive presidential system. The office of the prime minister was abolished, and its powers and duties were transferred to the president. On the referendum day, while the voting was still underway, the Supreme Electoral Council lifted a rule that required each ballot to have an official stamp.[201] The opposition parties claimed that as many as 2.5 million ballots without a stamp were accepted as valid.[201]

Administrative divisions

Turkey has a unitary structure in terms of public administration, and the provinces are subordinate to the central government in Ankara. In province centers the government is represented by the province governors (vali) and in towns by the 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.[202] Turkish municipalities have local legislative bodies (belediye meclisi) for decision-making on municipal issues.

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.[203] Turkey is also subdivided into 7 regions (bölge) and 21 subregions for geographic, demographic and economic measurements, surveys and classifications; this does not refer to an administrative division.

Government and politics

The Presidential Complex
The Presidential Complex, residence and workplace of the President of Turkey
The Court of Cassation
The Court of Cassation is Turkey's supreme court for reviewing verdicts given by courts of criminal and civil justice.

Turkey is a presidential republic within a multi-party system.[204] 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.[205] Turkish politics have become increasingly associated with democratic backsliding, being described as a competitive authoritarian system.[206][207]

In the Turkish unitary system, citizens are subject to three levels of government: national, provincial, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between municipal governments and districts, in which the executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens by district. The government comprises three branches: first is legislative branch, which is Grand National Assembly of Turkey;[208] second is executive branch, which is the President of Turkey;[209] and third is the judicial branch, which includes the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation and Court of Jurisdictional Disputes.[210][5]

The Parliament has 600 voting members, each representing a constituency for a five-year term. Parliamentary seats are distributed among the provinces proportionally to the population. The president is elected by direct vote and serves a five-year term. The president cannot run for re-election after two terms of five-years, unless the parliament prematurely renews the presidential elections during the second term. Elections for the Parliament and presidential elections are held on the same day. The Constitutional Court is composed of 15 members. A member is elected for a term of 12 years and cannot be re-elected. The members of the Constitutional Court are obliged to retire when they are over the age of 65.[211]

Parties and elections

Elections in Turkey are held for six functions of government: presidential elections (national), parliamentary elections (national), municipality mayors (local), district mayors (local), provincial or municipal council members (local) and muhtars (local). Apart from elections, referendums are also held occasionally. Every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 has the right to vote and stand as a candidate at elections. Universal suffrage for both sexes has been applied throughout Turkey since 1934. In Turkey, turnout rates of both local and general elections are high compared to many other countries, which usually stands higher than 80%.[212]

The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secular or having ties to terrorism, or ban their existence altogether.[213][214] The electoral threshold for political parties at national level is seven percent of the votes.[215] Smaller parties can avoid the electoral threshold by forming an alliance with other parties. Independent candidates are not subject to an electoral threshold.

On the right side of the Turkish political spectrum, parties like the Democrat Party, Justice Party, Motherland Party, and Justice and Development Party became the most popular political parties in Turkey, winning numerous elections. Turkish right-wing parties are more likely to embrace the principles of political ideologies such as conservatism, nationalism or Islamism.[216] On the left side of the spectrum, parties like the Republican People's Party, Social Democratic Populist Party and Democratic Left Party once enjoyed the largest electoral success. Left-wing parties are more likely to embrace the principles of socialism, Kemalism or secularism.[217]

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, winner of the 2023 presidential election,[218][219] is currently serving as the head of state and head of government. Özgür Özel is the Main Opposition Leader. Numan Kurtulmuş is the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly. The 2023 parliamentary election resulted in the 28th Parliament of Turkey, which had an initial composition of 268 seats for the Justice and Development Party, 169 seats for the Republican People's Party, 61 seats for the Party of Greens and the Left Future, 50 seats for the Nationalist Movement Party, 43 seats for the Good Party, 5 seats for the New Welfare Party and 4 seats for the Workers' Party of Turkey.[220] The next parliamentary election is scheduled to take place in 2028.


Istanbul Justice Palace in the Şişli district on the European side
Istanbul Anadolu Justice Palace in the Kartal district on the Asian side

With the founding of the Republic, Turkey adopted a civil law legal system, replacing Sharia-derived Ottoman law. The Civil Code, adopted in 1926, was based on the Swiss Civil Code of 1907 and the Swiss Code of Obligations of 1911. Although it underwent a number of changes in 2002, it retains much of the basis of the original Code. The Criminal Code, originally based on the Italian Criminal Code, was replaced in 2005 by a Code with principles similar to the German Penal Code and German law generally. Administrative law is based on the French equivalent and procedural law generally shows the influence of the Swiss, German and French legal systems.[221] Islamic principles do not play a part in the legal system.[222]

Law enforcement in Turkey is carried out by several agencies under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. These agencies are the General Directorate of Security, the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command.[223] In the years of government by the Justice and Development Party 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, because of political interference in the promotion of judges and prosecutors and in their pursuit of public duty.[224][225][226]

Foreign relations

Turkey has been in formal accession negotiations with the European Union since 2005.[227][228]

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. 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.[227][228] 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.[229]

The other defining aspect of Turkey's foreign policy has been the country's long-standing strategic alliance with the United States.[230][231] The Truman Doctrine in 1947 enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece during the Cold War, and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic support. In 1948 both countries were included in the Marshall Plan and the OEEC for rebuilding European economies.[232]

Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952, has its second largest army and is the host of the Allied Land Command headquarters.

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.[233] In the post–Cold War environment, Turkey's geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans.[234]

The independence of the Turkic states of the Soviet Union in 1991, with which Turkey shares a common cultural, historic and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia.[235] The International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) was established in 1993, and the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) was established in 2009.

Under the AKP government, Turkey's economy has grown rapidly and the country's influence has grown in the Middle East based on a strategic depth doctrine, also called Neo-Ottomanism.[236][237]

Members and observers of the Organization of Turkic States

Following the Arab Spring in December 2010, the choices made by the 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.[238][239] As of 2022, Turkey does not have an ambassador in either Syria or Egypt,[240] but relations with both countries have started to improve.[241][242][243][244][245]

Diplomatic relations with Israel were also severed after the Gaza flotilla raid in 2010 but were normalized following a deal in June 2016.[246] These political rifts have left Turkey with few allies in the East Mediterranean, where large natural gas fields have recently been discovered.[247][248] There is a dispute over Turkey's maritime boundaries with Greece and Cyprus and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.[249][250]

After the rapprochement with Russia in 2016, Turkey revised its stance regarding the solution of the conflict in Syria.[251][252][253] In January 2018, the Turkish military and the Turkish-backed forces, including the Syrian National Army,[254] began an operation in Syria aimed at ousting U.S.-backed YPG (which Turkey considers to be an offshoot of the outlawed PKK)[255][256] from the enclave of Afrin.[257][258] Turkey has also conducted airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan which have strained Turkey-Iraq relations as the latter has criticised the strikes for violating its sovereignty and killing civilians,.[259][260]


The TAI TF Kaan is currently being produced by Turkish Aerospace Industries for the Turkish Air Force.[261][262][263]

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.[264]

The Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. 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.[265] Turkey does not recognize conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service.[266]

TCG Anadolu (L-400) amphibious assault ship at the Golden Horn.[267][268][269][270] Baykar MIUS Kızılelma is a jet-engined UCAV designed to operate on TCG Anadolu.[267][271][272][273][274]

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.[275] 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.[276] 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.[277] The Turkish Armed Forces have a relatively substantial military presence abroad,[278] with military bases in Albania,[279] Iraq,[280] Qatar,[281] and Somalia.[282] The country also maintains a force of 36,000 troops in Northern Cyprus since 1974.[283]

Turkey has participated in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since the Korean War, including peacekeeping missions in Somalia, Yugoslavia and the Horn of Africa. It supported coalition forces in the First Gulf War, contributed military personnel to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and remains active in Kosovo Force, Eurocorps and EU Battlegroups.[284][285] In recent years, Turkey has assisted Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq and the Somali Armed Forces with security and training.[286][287]

Human rights

Feminist demonstration in Kadıköy, Istanbul, on 29 July 2017

The human rights record of Turkey has been the subject of much controversy and international condemnation. Between 1959 and 2011 the European Court of Human Rights made more than 2,400 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations on issues such as Kurdish rights, women's rights, LGBT rights, and media freedom.[288][289] Turkey's human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to the country's membership of the EU.[290]

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.[291] The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States,[292] and the European Union[293]) 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.[294] The initial reason given by the PKK for this was the oppression of Kurds in Turkey.[295][296] 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.[297][298][299][300] Since 1980, the Turkish parliament stripped its members of immunity from prosecution, including 44 deputies most of which from the pro-Kurdish parties.[301]

In 2013, widespread protests erupted, sparked by a plan to demolish Gezi Park but soon growing into general anti-government dissent.[302] On 20 May 2016, the Turkish parliament stripped almost a quarter of its members of immunity from prosecution, including 101 deputies from the pro-Kurdish HDP and the main opposition CHP party.[303][304] By 2020, under the pretext of responding to a failed coup attempt in 2016,[305][306] authorities had arrested or imprisoned more than 90,000 Turkish citizens.[307] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the AKP government has waged crackdowns on media freedom.[308][309] Many journalists have been arrested using charges of "terrorism" and "anti-state activities".[310][311] In 2020, the CPJ identified 18 jailed journalists in Turkey (including the editorial staff of Cumhuriyet, Turkey's oldest newspaper still in circulation).[312]

LGBT rights

Istanbul Pride was organized in 2003 for the first time. Since 2015, parades in Istanbul have been denied permission by the government.[313]

Homosexual activity has been decriminalized in Turkey since 1858.[314] LGBT people have had the right to seek asylum in Turkey under the Geneva Convention since 1951.[315] However, LGBT people in Turkey face discrimination, harassment and even violence.[316] The Turkish authorities have carried out many discriminatory practices.[317][318][319] Despite these, LGBT acceptance in Turkey is growing. In a survey conducted in 2016, 33% of respondents said that LGBT people should have equal rights, which increased to 45% in 2020. Another survey in 2018 found that the proportion of people who would not want a homosexual neighbor decreased from 55% in 2018 to 47% in 2019.[320][321] A 2015 poll found that 27% of the Turkish public was in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage and 19% supported civil unions instead.[322]

When the annual Istanbul Pride was inaugurated in 2003, Turkey became the first Muslim-majority country to hold a gay pride march.[323] Since 2015, parades at Taksim Square and İstiklal Avenue (where the Gezi Park protests took place) have been denied government permission, citing security concerns, but hundreds of people have defied the ban each year.[313] Critics have claimed that the bans were in fact ideological.[313]


Topographic map of Turkey

Turkey bridges Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. Asian Turkey, which includes 97% of the country's territory, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. European Turkey comprises 3% of the country's territory.[324] Turkey covers an area of 783,562 square kilometres (302,535 square miles),[325] of which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 square miles) is in Asia and 23,764 square kilometres (9,175 square miles) is in Europe.[326] The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest.[327]

Pamukkale in Denizli Province is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal springs.
The nature sculpted formations of Cappadocia
Lake Salda, a mid-size crater lake in southwestern Turkey

Turkey is divided into seven geographical regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. As a general trend, the inland Anatolian Plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward.[327] Pamukkale terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by mineral water from hot springs. The area is famous for a carbonate mineral left by the flowing of thermal spring water.[328][329]

East Thrace, the European portion of Turkey, is located at the easternmost edge of 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. The Lakes Region contains some of the largest lakes in Turkey such as Lake Beyşehir and Lake Eğirdir.

The Eastern Anatolia Region mostly corresponds to the western part of the Armenian highlands (the plateau situated between the Anatolian Plateau in the west and the Lesser Caucasus in the north)[330] and contains Mount Ararat, Turkey's highest point at 5,137 metres (16,854 feet),[331] and Lake Van, the largest lake in the country.[332] Eastern Turkey has a mountainous landscape and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and Aras. The Southeastern Anatolia Region includes the northern plains of Upper Mesopotamia.

Earthquakes happen frequently in Turkey.[36] Almost the entire population lives in areas with varying seismic risk levels, with around 70% in highest or second-highest seismic areas.[333][334] Anatolian plate is bordered by North Anatolian Fault zone to the north; East Anatolian Fault zone and Bitlis–Zagros collision zone to the east; Hellenic and Cyprus subduction zones to the south; and Aegean extensional zone to the west.[335] After 1999 İzmit and 1999 Düzce earthquakes, North Anatolian Fault zone activity "is considered to be one of the most dangerous natural hazards in Turkey".[336] 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquakes were the deadliest in contemporary Turkish history.[337] Turkey is sometimes unfavorably compared to Chile, a country with a similar developmental level that is more successful with earthquake preparedness.[338][339][340]


Sumela Monastery on the Pontic Mountains, which form an ecoregion with diverse temperate rainforest types, flora and fauna in northern Anatolia

Turkey's position at the crossroads of the land, sea and air routes between the three Old World continents and the variety of the habitats across its geographical regions have produced considerable species diversity and a vibrant ecosystem.[341] Out of the 36 biodiversity hotspots in the world, Turkey includes 3 of them.[35] These are the Mediterranean, Irano-Anatolian, and Caucasus hotspots.[35] In the 21st century, threats to biodiversity include desertification from climate change in Turkey.[342]

The forests of Turkey are home to the Turkey oak. The most commonly found species of the genus Platanus (plane) is the orientalis. The Turkish pine (Pinus brutia) is mostly found in Turkey and other east Mediterranean countries. Several wild species of tulip are native to Anatolia, and the flower was first introduced to Western Europe with species taken from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.[343][344]

A white Turkish Angora cat with odd eyes (heterochromia), which is common among the Angoras

There are 40 national parks, 189 nature parks, 31 nature preserve areas, 80 wildlife protection areas and 109 nature monuments in Turkey such as Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park, Mount Nemrut National Park, Ancient Troy National Park, Ölüdeniz Nature Park and Polonezköy Nature Park.[345] The Northern Anatolian conifer and deciduous forests is an ecoregion which covers most of the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey, while the Caucasus mixed forests extend across the eastern end of the range. The region is home to Eurasian wildlife such as the Eurasian sparrowhawk, golden eagle, eastern imperial eagle, lesser spotted eagle, Caucasian black grouse, red-fronted serin, and wallcreeper.[346]

The Anatolian leopard is still found in very small numbers in the northeastern and southeastern regions of Turkey.[347][348] The Eurasian lynx, the European wildcat and the caracal are other felid species which are found in the forests of Turkey. The Caspian tiger, now extinct, lived in the easternmost regions of Turkey until the latter half of the 20th century.[347][349] Renowned domestic animals from Ankara include the Angora cat, Angora rabbit and Angora goat; and from Van Province the Van cat. The national dog breeds are the Kangal (Anatolian Shepherd), Malaklı and Akbaş.[350]


Köppen climate types of Turkey[351]

The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters.[352] The coastal areas bordering the Black Sea have a temperate oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters.[352] The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the most precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year.[352] The eastern part of the Black Sea coast averages 2,200 millimetres (87 in) annually which is the highest precipitation in the country.[352] The coastal areas bordering the Sea of Marmara, 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.[352]

Snow falls on the coastal areas of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter but usually melts in no more than a few days.[352] However, snow is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.[352] Winters on the Anatolian plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of −30 to −40 °C (−22 to −40 °F) do occur in northeastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground for at least 120 days of the year, and during the entire year on the summits of the highest mountains. In central Anatolia the temperatures can drop below −20 °C (−4 °F) with the mountains being even colder. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian Plateau a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons.[352]

Due to socioeconomic, climatic, and geographic factors, Turkey is highly vulnerable to climate change.[37] This applies to nine out of ten climate vulnerability dimensions, such as "average annual risk to wellbeing".[37] OECD median is two out of ten.[37] Inclusive and swift growth is needed for decreasing vulnerability.[353] Turkey aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2053.[354] Accomplishing climate goals would require large investments, but would also result in net economic benefits, broadly due to reduced imports of fuel and due to better health outcomes from lowering air pollution.[355]


Turkey is expected to have fast economic growth due to demographics and rapid urbanization. The following table is from the OECD Long Term Projections.[356]
Togg T10S sedan produced by Togg,[357] a Turkish automotive company which manufactures electric vehicles[358][359][360]
Marmaris harbour

Turkey is an upper-middle-income country and an emerging market.[334][361] A founding member of the OECD and G20, it is the 18th-largest economy by nominal and the 11th-largest economy by PPP-adjusted GDP in the world. It is classified among newly industrialized countries. Services account for the majority of GDP, whereas industry accounts for more than 30%.[362] Agriculture contributes about 7%.[362] According to IMF estimates, Turkey's GDP per capita by PPP is $42,064 in 2023, while its nominal GDP per capita is $12,849.[8] Foreign direct investment in Turkey peaked at $22.05 billion in 2007 and dropped to $13.09 billion in 2022.[363] Potential growth is weakened by long-lasting structural and macro obstacles, such as slow rates of productivity growth and high inflation.[334]

Turkey is a diversified economy; main industries include automobiles, electronics, textiles, construction, steel, mining, and food processing.[362] It is a major agricultural producer.[364] Turkey ranks 8th in crude steel production, and 13th in motor vehicle production, ship building (by tonnage), and annual industrial robot installation in the world.[365] Turkish automative companies include TEMSA, Otokar, BMC and Togg. Togg is the first all-electric vehicle company of Turkey. Arçelik, Vestel, and Beko are major manufacturers of consumer electronics.[366] Arçelik is one of the largest producers of household goods in the world.[367] In 2022, Turkey ranked second in the world in terms of the number of international contractors in top 250 list.[368] It is also the fifth largest in the world in terms of textile exports.[369] Turkish Airlines is one of largest airlines in the world.

Between 2007 and 2021, the share of population below the PPP-$6.85 per day international poverty threshold declined from 20% to 7.6%.[334] In 2023, 13.9% of the population was below the national at-risk-of-poverty rate.[370] In 2021, 34% of the population were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, using Eurostat definition.[371] Unemployment in Turkey was 10.4% in 2022.[372] In 2021, it was estimated that 47% of total disposable income was received by the top 20% of income earners, while the lowest 20% received only 6%.[373]

Tourism accounts for about 8% of Turkey's GDP.[374] In 2022, Turkey ranked fourth in the world in terms of the number of international tourist arrivals with 50.5 million foreign tourists.[375] Turkey has 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 84 World Heritage Sites in tentative list. Turkey is home to 519 Blue Flag beaches, third most in the world.[376] According to Euromonitor International report, Istanbul is the most visited city in the world, with more than 20.2 million foreign visitors in 2023.[377] Antalya has surpassed Paris and New York to become the fourth most visited city in the world, with more than 16.5 million foreign visitors.[377]


Istanbul Finance Center in Ataşehir district

Turkey is the 16th largest electricity producer in the world. Turkey's energy generation capacity increased significantly, with electricity generation from renewable sources tripling in the past decade.[378][379] It produced 43.8% of its electricity from such sources in 2019.[380] Turkey is also the fourth-largest producer of geothermal power in the world.[381] Turkey’s first nuclear power station, Akkuyu, will increase diversification of its energy mix.[382] When it comes to total final consumption, fossil fuels still play a large role, accounting for 73%.[383] A major reason of Turkey’s greenhouse gas emissions is the large proportion of coal in the energy system.[384] As of 2017, while the government had invested in low carbon energy transition, fossil fuels were still subsidized.[385] By 2053, Turkey aims to have net zero emissions.[386]

Turkey has made security of its energy supply a top priority, given its heavy reliance on gas and oil imports.[387] Turkey’s main energy supply sources are Russia, West Asia, and Central Asia.[388] Gas production began in 2023 in the recently-discovered Sakarya gas field. When fully operational, it will supply about 30% of the natural gas needed domestically.[389][390] Turkey aims to become a hub for regional energy transportation.[391] Several oil and gas pipelines span the country, including the Blue Stream, TurkStream, and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines.[391]

The main terminal of Istanbul Airport has an annual passenger capacity of 90 million and is the world's largest terminal building under a single roof.

As of 2023, Turkey has 3,726 kilometers of controlled-access highways and 29,373 kilometers of divided highways.[392] Multiple bridges and tunnels connect Asian and European sides of Turkey; the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge on the Dardanelles strait is the longest suspension bridge in the world.[393] Marmaray and Eurasia tunnels under the Bosporus connect both sides of Istanbul.[394] The Osman Gazi Bridge connects the northern and southern shores of the Gulf of İzmit.

Turkish State Railways operates both conventional and high speed trains, with the government expanding both.[395] High-speed rail lines include the Ankara-Istanbul, Ankara-Konya, and Ankara-Sivas routes.[396] Istanbul Metro is the largest subway network in the country with around 704 million annual ridership in 2019.[397] There are 115 airports as of 2024.[398] Istanbul Airport is one of the top 10 busiest airports in the world. Turkey aims to become a transportation hub.[399][400] It is part of various routes that connect Asia and Europe, including the Middle Corridor.[400] In 2024, Turkey, Iraq, UAE, and Qatar signed an agreement to link Iraqi port facilities to Turkey via road and rail connections.[401]

Science and technology

Göktürk-1, Göktürk-2 and Göktürk-3 are the Earth observation satellites of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, while state-owned Türksat operates the Türksat series of communications satellites.

Turkey’s spending on research and development as a share of GDP has risen from 0.47% in 2000 to 1.40% in 2021.[402] Turkey ranks 16th in the world in terms of article output in scientific and technical journals, and 35th in Nature Index.[403][404] Turkish patent office ranks 21st worldwide in overall patent applications, and 3rd in industrial design applications. Vast majority of applicants to the Turkish patent office are Turkish residents. In all patent offices globally, Turkish residents rank 21st for overall patent applications.[405] In 2023, Turkey ranked 39th in the world and 4th among its upper-middle income group in the Global Innovation Index.[406] It was one of the countries with a notable increase in the past decade.[39]

TÜBİTAK is one of the main agencies for funding and carrying out research.[407][408] Turkey's space program plans to develop a national satellite launch system, and to improve capabilities in space exploration, astronomy, and satellite communication.[408] Under the Göktürk Program, Turkish Space Systems, Integration and Test Center was built.[409] Turkey's first communication satellite manufactured domestically, Türksat 6A, will be launched in 2024.[410] As part of a planned particle accelerator center, an electron accelerator called TARLA became operational in 2024.[411][412] An Antarctic research station is planned on Horseshoe Island.[413]

Turkey is considered a significant power in unmanned aerial vehicles.[414] Aselsan, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan, and Asfat are among the top 100 defense companies in the world.[415] Turkish defense companies spend a significant portion of their budgets for research and development.[416] ASELSAN also invests in research in quantum technology.[417]


Istanbul is its largest city,[418] and its economic and financial center, as well as the largest city in Europe.

According to the Address-Based Population Recording System, the country's population was 85,372,377 in 2023, excluding Syrians under temporary protection.[7] 93% lived in province and district centers.[7] People within the 15–64 and 0–14 age groups corresponded to 68.3% and 21.4% of the total population, respectively. Those aged 65 years or older made up 10.2%.[7] Between 1950 and 2020, Turkey's population more than quadrupled from 20.9 million to 83.6 million;[419] however, the population growth rate was 0.1% in 2023.[7] In 2023, the total fertility rate was 1.51 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.10 per woman.[420] In a 2018 health survey, the ideal children number was 2.8 children per woman, rising to 3 per married woman.[421]

Ethnicity and language

Percentage of Kurdish population in Turkey by region[422]

Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution defines a Turk as anyone who is a citizen.[423] It is estimated that there are at least 47 ethnic groups represented in Turkey.[424] Reliable data on the ethnic mix of the population is not available because census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity after the 1965 Turkish census.[425] According to the World Factbook, 70-75% of the country's citizens are ethnic Turks.[4] Based on a survey, KONDA's estimation was 76% in 2006, with 78% of adult citizens self-identifying their ethnic background as Turk.[426] In 2021, 77% of adult citizens identified as such in a survey.[427]

Kurds are the largest ethnic minority.[428] Their exact numbers remain disputed,[428] with estimates ranging from 12 to 20% of the population.[429] According to a 1990 study, Kurds made up around 12% of the population.[430] The Kurds make up a majority in the provinces of Ağrı, Batman, Bingöl, Bitlis, Diyarbakır, Hakkari, Iğdır, Mardin, Muş, Siirt, Şırnak, Tunceli and Van; a near majority in Şanlıurfa (47%); and a large minority in Kars (20%).[431] In addition, internal migration has resulted in Kurdish diaspora communities in all of the major cities in central and western Turkey. In Istanbul, there are an estimated three million Kurds, making it the city with the largest Kurdish population in the world.[432] 19% of adult citizens identified as ethnic Kurds in a survey in 2021.[427] Some people have multiple ethnic identities, such as both Turk and Kurd.[433][434] In 2006, an estimated 2.7 million ethnic Turks and Kurds were related from interethnic marriages.[435]

According to the World Factbook, non-Kurdish ethnic minorities are 7–12% of the population.[4] In 2006, KONDA estimated that non-Kurdish and non-Zaza ethnic minorities constituted 8.2% of the population; these were people that gave general descriptions such as Turkish citizen, people with other Turkic backgrounds, Arabs, and others.[426] In 2021, 4% of adult citizens identified as non-ethnic Turk or non-ethnic Kurd in a survey.[427] According to the Constitutional Court, there are only four officially recognized minorities in Turkey: the three non-Muslim minorities recognized in the Treaty of Lausanne (Armenians, Greeks, and Jews[c]) and the Bulgarians.[d][439][440][441] In 2013, the Ankara 13th Circuit Administrative Court ruled that the minority provisions of the Lausanne Treaty should also apply to Assyrians in Turkey and the Syriac language.[442][443][444] Other unrecognized ethnic groups include Albanians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Georgians, Laz, Pomaks, and Roma.[445][446][447]

Turkic languages speaking areas

The official language is Turkish, which is the most widely spoken Turkic language in the world.[448][449] It is spoken by 85%[450][451] to 90%[452] of the population as a first language. Kurdish speakers are the largest linguistic minority.[452] A survey estimated 13% of the population speak Kurdish or Zaza as a first language.[450] Other minority languages include Arabic, Caucasian languages, and Gagauz.[452] The linguistic rights of the officially recognized minorities are de jure recognized and protected for Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Hebrew,[e][436][439][440][441] and Syriac.[443][444] There are multiple endangered languages in Turkey.

Largest cities or towns in Turkey
TÜİK's address-based calculation from 31 December 2023 published at 7th of February 2024.
Rank Name Municipal pop. Rank Name Pop.
1 Istanbul 15,655,924 11 Mersin 1,938,389 İzmir
2 Ankara 5,803,482 12 Diyarbakır 1,818,133
3 İzmir 4,479,525 13 Hatay 1,544,640
4 Bursa 3,214,571 14 Manisa 1,475,716
5 Antalya 2,696,249 15 Kayseri 1,445,683
6 Konya 2,320,241 16 Samsun 1,377,546
7 Adana 2,270,298 17 Balıkesir 1,273,519
8 Şanlıurfa 2,213,964 18 Tekirdağ 1,167,059
9 Gaziantep 2,164,134 19 Aydın 1,161,702
10 Kocaeli 2,102,907 20 Van 1,127,612


Excluding Syrians under temporary protection, there were 1,570,543 foreign citizens in Turkey in 2023.[7] Millions of Kurds fled across the mountains to Turkey and the Kurdish areas of Iran during the Gulf War in 1991. Turkey's migrant crisis in the 2010s and early 2020s resulted in the influx of millions of refugees and immigrants.[453] Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees in the world as of April 2020.[454] The Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency manages the refugee crisis in Turkey. Before the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the estimated number of Arabs in Turkey varied from 1 million to more than 2 million.[455]

In November 2020, there were 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey;[456] these included other ethnic groups of Syria, such as Syrian Kurds[457] and Syrian Turkmens.[458] As of August 2023, the number these refugees was estimated to be 3.3 million. The number of Syrians had decreased by about 200,000 people since the beginning of the year.[459] The government has granted citizenship to 238 thousand Syrians by November 2023.[460] As of May 2023, approximately 96,000 Ukrainian refugees of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine have sought refuge in Turkey.[461] In 2022, nearly 100,000 Russian citizens migrated to Turkey, becoming the first in the list of foreigners who moved to Turkey, meaning an increase of more than 218% from 2021.[462]


Selimiye Mosque was built by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan.[463] The mosque was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2011.[464]

Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion; the constitution provides for freedom of religion and conscience.[465][466] According to the World Factbook, Muslims constitute 99.8% of the population, most of them being Sunni.[4] Based on a survey, KONDA's estimate for Muslims was 99.4% in 2006.[467] According to Minority Rights Group International, estimates of share of Alevi are between 10% to 40% of the population.[468] KONDA's estimate was 5% in 2006.[469] 4% of adult citizens identified as Alevi in a survey in 2021, while 88% identified as Sunni.[427]

The percentage of non-Muslims in modern-day Turkey was 19.1% in 1914, but fell to 2.5% in 1927.[470] Currently, non-Muslims constitute 0.2% of the population according to the World Factbook.[4] In 2006, KONDA's estimate was 0.18% for people with non-Islam religions.[471] Some of the non-Muslim communities are Armenians, Assyrians, Bulgarian Orthodox, Catholics, Chaldeans, Greeks, Jews, and Protestants.[472] Turkey has the largest Jewish community among the Muslim-majority countries.[473] Currently, there are 439 churches and synagogues in Turkey.[474]

In 2006, KONDA's estimate was 0.47% for those with no religion.[475] According to KONDA, share of adult citizens who identified as unbeliever increased from 2% in 2011 to 6% in 2021.[427] A 2020 Gezici Araştırma poll found that 28.5% of the Generation Z identify as irreligious.[476][477]


Istanbul University (1453) was founded by sultan Mehmed II as a Darülfünun. On 1 August 1933, as part of Atatürk's reforms, it was reorganized and became the Republic's first modern university.[478]
Istanbul Technical University is the world's third-oldest technical university.[479]

In the past 20 years, Turkey has improved quality of education and has made significant progress in increasing education access.[480] From 2011 to 2021, improvements in education access include "one of the largest increases in educational attainment for 25-34 year-olds at upper secondary non-tertiary or tertiary education", and quadrupling of pre-school institutions.[481] PISA results suggest improvements in education quality.[482] There is still a gap with OECD countries. Significant challenges include differences in student outcomes from different schools, differences between rural and urban areas, pre-primary education access, and arrival of students who are Syrian refugees.[483]

The Ministry of National Education is responsible for pre-tertiary education.[484] Compulsory education is free at public schools and lasts 12 years, divided into three parts.[485][486] There are 208 universities in Turkey.[408] Students are placed to universities based on their YKS results and their preferences, by the Measuring, Selection and Placement Center.[487] All state and private universities are under the control of the Higher Education Board (Turkish: Yükseköğretim Kurulu, YÖK). Since 2016, the president of Turkey directly appoints all rectors of all state and private universities.[488]

According to the 2024 Times Higher Education ranking, the top universities were Koç University, Middle East Technical University, Sabancı University, and Istanbul Technical University.[489] According to Academic Ranking of World Universities, the top ones were Istanbul University, University of Health Sciences (Turkey), and Hacettepe University.[490] Turkey is a member of the Erasmus+ Programme.[491] Turkey has become a hub for foreign students in recent years, with 795,962 foreign students in 2016.[492] In 2021 Türkiye Scholarships, a government-funded program, received 165,000 applications from prospective students in 178 countries.[493][494][495]


Acıbadem Hospital
Modern Başakşehir Çam and Sakura City Hospital in Istanbul

The Ministry of Health has run a universal public healthcare system since 2003.[496] Known as Universal Health Insurance (Genel Sağlık Sigortası), it is funded by a tax surcharge on employers, currently at 5%.[496] Public-sector funding covers approximately 75.2% of health expenditures.[496] Despite the universal health care, total expenditure on health as a share of GDP in 2018 was the lowest among OECD countries at 6.3% of GDP, compared to the OECD average of 9.3%.[496] There are many private hospitals in the country.[497] Turkey is one of the top 10 destinations for health tourism.[498]

Average life expectancy is 78.6 years (75.9 for males and 81.3 for females), compared with the EU average of 81 years.[496] Turkey has high rates of obesity, with 29.5% of its adult population having a body mass index (BMI) value of 30 or above.[499] Air pollution is a major cause of early death.[500]


Ortaköy Mosque is an example of the Westernization of Islamic–Ottoman architecture.

Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the Turkic, Anatolian, Byzantine and Ottoman cultures (the latter was in many aspects a continuation of both the Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures) with Western culture and traditions, a process that started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still continues today.[501] This mix originally began as a result of the encounter of the Turks and their culture with those of the peoples they came across during their migration from Central Asia to the West.[501] Contemporary Turkish culture during the republican period is a product of efforts to create a "modern" Western society, while maintaining traditional, religious and historical values.[501]

Visual arts

Map of Istanbul by the miniature artist Matrakçı Nasuh
İznik tiles and Kütahya tiles were used for the interior decorations in Ottoman architecture. Turquoise (meaning "Turkish" in French) and various shades of blue were the most commonly used colors in Ottoman tiles.

Ottoman miniature is linked to the Persian miniature tradition and is likewise influenced by Chinese painting styles and techniques. The words tasvir or nakış were used to define the art of miniature painting in Ottoman Turkish. The studios the artists worked in were called nakkaşhane.[502] The understanding of perspective was different from that of the nearby European Renaissance painting tradition, and the scene depicted often included different time periods and spaces in one picture. They followed closely the context of the book they were included in, more illustrations than standalone works of art. Sixteenth-century artists Nakkaş Osman and Matrakçı Nasuh are among the most prominent artists of this era.

Turkish painting, in the Western sense, developed actively starting from the mid 19th century. The first painting lessons were scheduled at what is now the Istanbul Technical University (then the Imperial Military Engineering School) in 1793, mostly for technical purposes.[503] In the late 19th century, human figure in the Western sense was being established in Turkish painting, especially with Osman Hamdi Bey. Impressionism, among the contemporary trends, appeared later on with Halil Pasha. Other important Turkish painters in the 19th century were Ferik İbrahim Paşa, Osman Nuri Paşa, Şeker Ahmet Paşa, and Hoca Ali Riza.[504]

Carpet (halı) and tapestry (kilim) weaving is a traditional Turkish art form with roots in pre-Islamic times. During its long history, the art and craft of weaving carpets and tapestries in Turkey has integrated numerous cultural traditions. Apart from the Turkic design patterns that are prevalent, traces of Persian and Byzantine patterns can also be detected. There are also similarities with the patterns used in Armenian, Caucasian and Kurdish carpet designs. The arrival of Islam in Central Asia and the development of Islamic art also influenced Turkic patterns in the medieval period. The history of the designs, motifs and ornaments used in Turkish carpets and tapestries thus reflects the political and ethnic history of the Turks and the cultural diversity of Anatolia. However, scientific attempts were unsuccessful, as yet, to attribute a particular design to a specific ethnic, regional, or even nomadic versus village tradition.[505]

Literature and theatre

Nobel-laureate Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk and his Turkish Angora cat at his personal writing space
Süreyya Opera House is on the Asian side of Istanbul and Atatürk Cultural Center is the main opera house on the European side. Zorlu PSM is the city's largest performing arts theater and concert hall.

Interaction between the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world along with Europe contributed to a blend of Turkic, Islamic and European traditions in modern-day Turkish music and literary arts.[citation needed] Turkish literature was heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature during most of the Ottoman era.[506] The Tanzimat reforms of the 19th century introduced previously unknown Western genres, primarily the novel and the short story. Many of the writers in the Tanzimat period wrote in several genres simultaneously: for instance, the poet Namık Kemal also wrote the 1876 novel İntibâh (Awakening), while the journalist Şinasi has written, in 1860, the first modern Turkish play, the one-act comedy "Şair Evlenmesi" (The Poet's Marriage). Most of the roots of modern Turkish literature were formed between 1896 and 1923.[507]

The first radical step of innovation in 20th century Turkish poetry was taken by Nâzım Hikmet, who introduced the free verse style. Another revolution in Turkish poetry came about in 1941 with the Garip movement led by Orhan Veli, Oktay Rıfat and Melih Cevdet.

The mix of cultural influences in Turkey is dramatized, for example, in the form of the "new symbols of the clash and interlacing of cultures" enacted in the novels of Orhan Pamuk, recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.[508]

The origin of Turkish theater dates back to ancient pagan rituals and oral legends.[509] The dances, music and songs performed during the rituals of the inhabitants of Anatolia millennia ago are the elements from which the first shows originated. In time, the ancient rituals, myths, legends and stories evolved into theatrical shows. Starting from the 11th-century, the traditions of the Seljuk Turks blended with those of the indigenous peoples of Anatolia and the interaction between diverse cultures paved the way for new plays.[509][510] Meddah were storytellers who performed in front of audiences during the Ottoman period.[509] Karagöz and Hacivat are the lead characters of the traditional Turkish shadow play, popularized during the Ottoman period and then spread to most ethnic groups of the Ottoman Empire.

Music and dance

Ajda Pekkan is known as "superstar" in the Turkish media. She became a prominent figure of Turkish pop music.
Barış Manço was a Turkish rock musician and one of the founders of the Anatolian rock genre.

The roots of traditional music in Turkey span across centuries to a time when the Seljuk Turks migrated to Anatolia and Persia in the 11th century and contains elements of both Turkic and pre-Turkic influences. Much of its modern popular music can trace its roots to the emergence in the early 1930s drive for Westernization.[511]

Many Turkish cities and towns have vibrant local music scenes which, in turn, support a number of regional musical styles. Despite this however, western music styles like pop music and kanto lost popularity to arabesque in the late 1970s and 1980s. It became popular again by the beginning of the 1990s, as a result of an opening economy and society. The resurging popularity of pop music gave rise to several international Turkish pop stars such as Ajda Pekkan, Sezen Aksu, Erol Evgin, MFÖ, Tarkan, Sertab Erener, Teoman, Kenan Doğulu, Levent Yüksel and Hande Yener. Internationally acclaimed Turkish jazz and blues musicians and composers include Ahmet Ertegun (founder and president of Atlantic Records), Nükhet Ruacan and Kerem Görsev.[citation needed]


Blue Mosque in Istanbul (1609–1617)
Istanbul Main Post Office in Sirkeci, designed by Vedat Tek (1905–1909)
Şakirin Mosque (2009), the first mosque designed by a woman

The Byzantine era is usually dated from 330 AD at the founding of Constantinople until the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453. Its architecture dramatically influenced the later medieval architecture throughout Europe and the Near East and became the primary progenitor of the Renaissance and Ottoman architectural traditions that followed its collapse.[512] When the Roman Empire went Christian (as well as eastwards) with Constantinople as its new capital, its architecture became more sensuous and more ambitious. This new style, which would come to be known as Byzantine architecture, with increasingly exotic domes and ever-richer mosaics, spread west to Ravenna and Venice in Italy and as far north as Moscow in Russia.[513] This influence can be seen particularly in the Venetian Gothic architecture.

The architecture of the Seljuk Turks combined the elements and characteristics of the Turkic architecture of Central Asia with those of Persian, Arab, Armenian and Byzantine architecture. The transition from Seljuk architecture to Ottoman architecture is most visible in Bursa, which was the capital of the Ottoman State between 1335 and 1413. Following the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman architecture was significantly influenced by Byzantine architecture. Topkapı Palace in Istanbul is one of the most famous examples of classical Ottoman architecture and was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years.[514] Mimar Sinan (c. 1489–1588) was the most important architect of the classical period in Ottoman architecture. He was the chief architect of at least 374 buildings that were constructed in various provinces in the 16th century.[515] Sedefkar Mehmed Ağa, the architect of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, was an apprentice of Sinan, later becoming his first assistant in charge of the office of chief architect.

Since the 18th century, Turkish architecture has been increasingly influenced by European styles, and this can be particularly seen in the Tanzimat era buildings of Istanbul like the Dolmabahçe, Çırağan, Taksim Military Barracks (demolished), Feriye, Beylerbeyi, Küçüksu, Ihlamur and Yıldız palaces, which were all designed by members of the Balyan family of Ottoman Armenian court architects.[516] The Ottoman era waterfront houses (yalı) on the Bosphorus also reflect the fusion between classical Ottoman and European architectural styles. The First National Architectural Movement in the early 20th century sought to create a new architecture which was based on motifs from Seljuk and Ottoman architecture.


Turkish coffee with Turkish delight. Turkish coffee is a UNESCO-listed intangible cultural heritage of Turks.[517][518]
Turkish meze be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cousines.

Turkish cuisine is largely the heritage of Ottoman cuisine,[519][520] which contains elements of Turkish, Byzantine, Balkan, Armenian, Georgian, Kurdish, Arab and Persian cuisines.[519][520][521] It can be described as a fusion and refinement of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Balkan and Eastern European cuisines.[519][520] The country's position between Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean Sea helped the Turks in gaining complete control of the major trade routes, and an ideal landscape and climate allowed plants and animals to flourish. Turkish cuisine was well established by the mid-15th century, which marked the beginning of the classical age of the Ottoman Empire.

Yogurt salads; mezes; fish and seafood; grilled, sauteed or steamed meat varieties; vegetables or stuffed and wrapped vegetables cooked with olive oil; and drinks like sherbet, ayran and rakı became Turkish staples. The empire used its land and water routes to import exotic ingredients from all over the world. By the end of the 16th century, the Ottoman court housed over 1,400 live-in cooks and passed laws regulating the freshness of food. Since the establishment of the republic in 1923, foreign food such as French hollandaise sauce and Western fast food have made their way into the modern Turkish diet.[citation needed]


Turkey at UEFA Euro 2016

The most popular sport is association football.[522] Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000.[523] The Turkey national football team won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup and UEFA Euro 2008.[524]

Turkey has won numerous international accolades, including the silver medal at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Other mainstream sports such as basketball and volleyball are also popular.[525] The men's national basketball team and women's national basketball team have been successful. Anadolu Efes S.K. is the most successful Turkish basketball club in international competitions.[526][527] Fenerbahçe reached the final of the EuroLeague in three consecutive seasons (2016, 2017 and 2018), becoming the European champions in 2017.

VakıfBank S.K. is one of the best women's volleyball team in the world, having won the FIVB World Championship four times and the CEV Champions Cup six times.

The final of the 2013–14 EuroLeague Women basketball championship was played between two Turkish teams, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, and won by Galatasaray.[528] The women's national volleyball team has won several medals.[529] Women's volleyball clubs, namely VakıfBank S.K., Fenerbahçe and Eczacıbaşı, have won numerous European championship titles and medals.[530]

The traditional national sport of Turkey has been yağlı güreş (oil wrestling) since Ottoman times.[531] Edirne Province has hosted the annual Kırkpınar oil wrestling tournament since 1361, making it the oldest continuously held sporting competition in the world.[532][533] In the 19th and early 20th centuries, oil wrestling champions such as Koca Yusuf, Nurullah Hasan and Kızılcıklı Mahmut acquired international fame in Europe and North America by winning world heavyweight wrestling championship titles. International wrestling styles governed by FILA such as freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling are also popular, with many European, World and Olympic championship titles won by Turkish wrestlers both individually and as a national team.[534]

Media and cinema

The closing ceremony of the annual International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival takes place at the virtually intact Roman theater in Aspendos.[535]

Hundreds of television channels, thousands of local and national radio stations, several dozen newspapers, a productive and profitable national cinema and a rapid growth of broadband Internet use constitute a vibrant media industry in Turkey.[536][537] The majority of the TV audiences are shared among public broadcaster TRT and the network-style channels such as Kanal D, Show TV, ATV and Star TV. The broadcast media have a very high penetration as satellite dishes and cable systems are widely available.[538] The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) is the government body overseeing the broadcast media.[538][539] By circulation, the most popular newspapers are Posta, Hürriyet, Sözcü, Sabah and Habertürk.[540]

Turkish television dramas are increasingly becoming popular beyond Turkey's borders and are among the country's most vital exports, both in terms of profit and public relations.[541] After sweeping the Middle East's television market over the past decade, Turkish shows have aired in more than a dozen South and Central American countries in 2016.[542][543] Turkey is today the world's second largest exporter of television series.[544][545][546]

Yeşilçam is the sobriquet that refers to the Turkish film art and industry. The first movie exhibited in the Ottoman Empire was the Lumiere Brothers' 1895 film, L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat, which was shown in Istanbul in 1896. The first Turkish-made film was a documentary entitled Ayastefanos'taki Rus Abidesinin Yıkılışı (Demolition of the Russian Monument at San Stefano), directed by Fuat Uzkınay and completed in 1914. The first narrative film, Sedat Simavi's The Spy, was released in 1917. Turkey's first sound film was shown in 1931. Turkish directors like Metin Erksan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Yılmaz Güney, Zeki Demirkubuz and Ferzan Özpetek won numerous international awards such as the Palme d'Or and Golden Bear.[547]

See also


  1. ^ Turkish: Türkiye, Turkish: [ˈtyɾcije]
  2. ^ Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti, Turkish: [ˈtyɾcije dʒumˈhuːɾijeti]
  3. ^ Even though they are not explicitly mentioned in the Treaty of Lausanne.[436]
  4. ^ The Bulgarian community in Turkey is now so small that this disposition is de facto not applied.[436][437][438]
  5. ^ The Turkish government considers that, for the purpose of the Treaty of Lausanne, the language of Turkish Jews is Hebrew, even though the mother tongue of Turkish Jews was not Hebrew but historically Judaeo-Spanish (Ladino) or other Jewish languages.[440][441]


  1. ^ "Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası" (in Turkish). Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Archived from the original on 2 July 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020. 3. Madde: Devletin Bütünlüğü, Resmi Dili, Bayrağı, Milli Marşı ve Başkenti: Türkiye Devleti, ülkesi ve milletiyle bölünmez bir bütündür. Dili Türkçedir. Bayrağı, şekli kanununda belirtilen, beyaz ay yıldızlı al bayraktır. Milli marşı "İstiklal Marşı" dır. Başkenti Ankara'dır.
  2. ^ "Mevzuat: Anayasa" (in Turkish). Constitutional Court of Turkey. Archived from the original on 21 June 2020. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Turkey (Turkiye)". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 19 May 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Turkish Constitution". Anayasa Mahkemesi. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Surface water and surface water change". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Archived from the original on 24 March 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "The Results of Address Based Population Registration System, 2023". www.tuik.gov.tr. Turkish Statistical Institute. 6 February 2024. Archived from the original on 6 February 2024. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d e "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2024 Edition. (Türkiye)". www.imf.org. International Monetary Fund. 16 April 2024. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  9. ^ "Gini index (World Bank estimate) – Turkey". World Bank. 2019. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Human Development Index (HDI)". United Nations Development Programme. Archived from the original on 10 June 2022. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  11. ^ Howard 2016, p. 24
  12. ^ Leonard 2006, p. 1576: "Turkey’s diversity is derived from its central location near the world’s earliest civilizations as well as a history replete with population movements and invasions. The Hattite culture was prominent during the Bronze Age prior to 2000 BCE, but was replaced by the Indo-European Hittites who conquered Anatolia by the second millennium. Meanwhile, Turkish Thrace came to be dominated by another Indo-European group, the Thracians for whom the region is named."
  13. ^ Howard 2016, pp. 24–28: "Göbekli Tepe’s close proximity to several very early sites of grain cultivation helped lead Schmidt to the conclusion that it was the need to maintain the ritual center that first encouraged the beginnings of settled agriculture—the Neolithic Revolution"
  14. ^ a b Steadman & McMahon 2011, pp. 3–11, 37
  15. ^ Steadman & McMahon 2011, p. 327
  16. ^ Steadman & McMahon 2011, pp. 233, 713: "By the time of the Old Assyrian Colony period in the early second millennium b.c.e . (see Michel, chapter 13 in this volume) the languages spoken on the plateau included Hattian, an indigenous Anatolian language, Hurrian (spoken in northern Syria), and Indo-European languages known as Luwian, Hittite, and Palaic" ... "The weight of current linguistic evidence supports the traditional view that Indo-European speakers are intrusive to Asia Minor, coming from somewhere in eastern Europe...Recent research argues against the notion of Indo-European “invaders” imposing themselves on a Hattian population in central Anatolia and points rather to a gradual assimilation."
  17. ^ a b Howard 2016, p. 29: "The sudden disappearance of the Persian Empire and the conquest of virtually the entire Middle Eastern world from the Nile to the Indus by Alexander the Great caused tremendous political and cultural upheaval. Working out vague notions of the fundamental commonality of the human spirit, summed up in the ideal of the “brotherhood of man” attributed to Alexander himself, statesmen throughout the conquered regions attempted to implement a policy of Hellenization. For indigenous elites, this amounted to the forced assimilation of native religion and culture to Greek models. It met resistance in Anatolia as elsewhere, especially from priests and others who controlled temple wealth."
  18. ^ a b Leonard 2006, p. 1576: "Subsequently, hellenization of the elites transformed Anatolia into a largely Greek-speaking region"
  19. ^ Steadman & McMahon 2011, pp. 5, 16, 617
  20. ^ a b c d Davison 1990, pp. 3–4: "So the Seljuk sultanate was a successor state ruling part of the medieval Greek empire, and within it the process of Turkification of a previously Hellenized Anatolian population continued. That population must already have been of very mixed ancestry, deriving from ancient Hittite, Phrygian, Cappadocian, and other civilizations as well as Roman and Greek."
  21. ^ Howard 2016, pp. 33–44
  22. ^ a b Howard 2016, pp. 38–39
  23. ^ a b c Howard 2016, p. 45
  24. ^ a b Somel 2010, p. xcvii
  25. ^ Heper & Sayari 2012, pp. 15–28
  26. ^ Davison 1990, pp. 115–116
  27. ^
    • Kaser 2011, p. 336: "The emerging Christian nation states justified the prosecution of their Muslims by arguing that they were their former “suppressors”. The historical balance: between about 1820 and 1920, millions of Muslim casualties and refugees back to the remaining Ottoman Empire had to be registered; estimations speak about 5 million casualties and the same number of displaced persons"
    • Gibney & Hansen 2005, p. 437: ‘Muslims had been the majority in Anatolia, the Crimea, the Balkans, and the Caucasus and a plurality in southern Russia and sections of Romania. Most of these lands were within or contiguous with the Ottoman Empire. By 1923, “only Anatolia, eastern Thrace, and a section of the southeastern Caucasus remained to the Muslim land....Millions of Muslims, most of them Turks, had died; millions more had fled to what is today Turkey. Between 1821 and 1922, more than five million Muslims were driven from their lands. Five and one-half million Muslims died, some of them killed in wars, others perishing as refugees from starvation and disease” (McCarthy 1995, 1). Since people in the Ottoman Empire were classified by religion, Turks, Albanians, Bosnians, and all other Muslim groups were recognized—and recognized themselves—simply as Muslims. Hence, their persecution and forced migration is of central importance to an analysis of “Muslim migration.”’
    • Karpat 2001, p. 343: "The main migrations started from Crimea in 1856 and were followed by those from the Caucasus and the Balkans in 1862 to 1878 and 1912 to 1916. These have continued to our day. The quantitative indicators cited in various sources show that during this period a total of about 7 million migrants from Crimea, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean islands settled in Anatolia. These immigrants were overwhelmingly Muslim, except for a number of Jews who left their homes in the Balkans and Russia in order to live in the Ottoman lands. By the end of the century the immigrants and their descendants constituted some 30 to 40 percent of the total population of Anatolia, and in some western areas their percentage was even higher." ... "The immigrants called themselves Muslims rather than Turks, although most of those from Bulgaria, Macedonia, and eastern Serbia descended from the Turkish Anatolian stock who settled in the Balkans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries."
    • Karpat 2004, pp. 5–6: "Migration was a major force in the social and cultural reconstruction of the Ottoman state in the nineteenth century. While some seven to nine million, mostly Muslim, refugees from lost territories in the Caucasus, Crimea, Balkans and Mediterranean islands migrated to Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, during the last quarter of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth centuries..."
    • Pekesen 2012: "The immigration had far-reaching social and political consequences for the Ottoman Empire and Turkey." ... "Between 1821 and 1922, some 5.3 million Muslims migrated to the Empire.50 It is estimated that in 1923, the year the republic of Turkey was founded, about 25 per cent of the population came from immigrant families.51"
    • Biondich 2011, p. 93: "The road from Berlin to Lausanne was littered with millions of casualties. In the period between 1878 and 1912, as many as two million Muslims emigrated voluntarily or involuntarily from the Balkans. When one adds those who were killed or expelled between 1912 and 1923, the number of Muslim casualties from the Balkan far exceeds three million. By 1923 fewer than one million remained in the Balkans"
    • Armour 2012, p. 213: "To top it all, the Empire was host to a steady stream of Muslim refugees. Russia between 1854 and 1876 expelled 1.4 million Crimean Tartars, and in the mid-1860s another 600,000 Circassians from the Caucasus. Their arrival produced further economic dislocation and expense."
    • Bosma, Lucassen & Oostindie 2012, p. 17: "In total, many millions of Turks (or, more precisely, Muslim immigrants, including some from the Caucasus) were involved in this ‘repatriation’ – sometimes more than once in a lifetime – the last stage of which may have been the immigration of seven hundred thousand Turks from Bulgaria between 1940 and 1990. Most of these immigrants settled in urban north-western Anatolia. Today between a third and a quarter of the Republic’s population are descendants of these Muslim immigrants, known as Muhacir or Göçmen"
  28. ^ a b Tatz, Colin; Higgins, Winton (2016). The Magnitude of Genocide. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-4408-3161-4.
  29. ^ Schaller, Dominik J.; Zimmerer, Jürgen (2008). "Late Ottoman genocides: the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish population and extermination policies – introduction". Journal of Genocide Research. 10 (1): 7–14. doi:10.1080/14623520801950820. ISSN 1462-3528. S2CID 71515470.
  30. ^ Morris, Benny; Ze'evi, Dror (2021). The Thirty-Year Genocide - Turkey's Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924. Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674251434.
  31. ^ Heper & Sayari 2012, pp. 54–55
  32. ^ Heper & Sayari 2012, pp. 1, 55, 57
  33. ^ "The Political Economy of Regional Power: Turkey" (PDF). giga-hamburg.de. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
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  35. ^ a b c Birben, Üstüner (2019). "The Effectiveness of Protected Areas in Biodiversity Conservation: The Case of Turkey". CERNE. 25 (4): 424–438. doi:10.1590/01047760201925042644. Turkey has 3 out of the 36 biodiversity hotspots on Earth: the Mediterranean, Caucasus, and Irano-Anatolian hotspots
  36. ^ a b Leonard 2006, pp. 1575–1576
  37. ^ a b c d World Bank Türkiye - Country Climate and Development Report 2022, p. 7
  38. ^ OECD Taking stock of education reforms for access and quality in Türkiye 2023, p. 35
  39. ^ a b World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2023, p. 50: "Indonesia joins China, Türkiye, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Viet Nam as most impressive innovation climbers of the last decade"
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