Country name: Republic of Turkey (local: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti).
Government type: republican parliamentary democracy.
Independence: 29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire).
Administrative divisions: 81 provinces (iller, singular - il); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyon, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak.
Total area: 780,580 km˛.
Terrain: high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges.
Highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m (the legendary landing place of Noah's Ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country).
Coastline: 7,200 km.
Climate: temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior.
Ports and harbors: Gemlik, Hopa, Iskenderun, Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Icel (Mersin), Samsun, Trabzon.
Note: strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas.
Copyright © Geographic Guide - European Countries, Travel.
Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN.
Turkey's dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that in 2001 still accounted for 40% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The most important industry - and largest exporter - is textiles and clothing, which is almost entirely in private hands. In recent years the economic situation has been marked by erratic economic growth and serious imbalances. Real GNP growth has exceeded 6% in many years, but this strong expansion has been interrupted by sharp declines in output in 1994, 1999, and 2001. Meanwhile, the public sector fiscal deficit has regularly exceeded 10% of GDP - due in large part to the huge burden of interest payments, which accounted for more than 40% of central government spending in 2003. Inflation, in recent years in the high double-digit range, fell to 18.4% in 2003. Perhaps because of these problems, foreign direct investment in Turkey remains low - less than $1 billion annually. In late 2000 and early 2001 a growing trade deficit and serious weaknesses in the banking sector plunged the economy into crisis - forcing Turkey to float the lira and pushing the country into recession. Results in 2002-03 were much better, because of strong financial support from the IMF and tighter fiscal policy. Healthy growth is likely to continue through at least the first half of 2004.
Currency: Turkish lira (TRL).
Industries: textiles, food processing, autos, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper.