Form of Government: Republic
Area: 780 043 sq km
Population: 83 154 997 inhab. (estimate 2019)
Density: 106.60 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 42° - 36° N; long. 26° - 45° E
Capital: Ankara (capital) 5 036 238 inhab. (2019); Ankara 5 639 076 inhab. (2019), urban agglomeration
Currency: Turkish lira (100 kuruş)
Human development index: 0.807 (rank: 59)
President and head of government: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (AKP), elected 10 August 2014, in office since 28 August 2014, reconfirmed 24 June 2018
Grand National Assembly: seats based on the elections of 24 June 2018: People’s Alliance (formed by AKP, Justice and Development Party, moderate Islamic, and MHP, Nationalist Movement Party), 344; Nation Alliance (led by CHP, Republican People’s Party, social democratic), 189; HDP (People’s Democratic Party, pro-Kurdish), 67
Internet: www.turkstat.gov.tr (Turkish Statistical Institute)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, NATO, OAS observer, OECD, OIC, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code TR
International dialling code 0090
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .tr
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Ankara 11.7; İstanbul 14.2
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Ankara 0/22.5; İstanbul 5.5/23
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Ankara 11/3; İstanbul 10/2
Annual average precipitation (mm) Ankara 360; İstanbul 820
Days of rainfall (annual average) Ankara 68; İstanbul 90
Politics and current affairs
President R. T. Erdoğan’s desire to present his country as a focal point for the Sunni world - evidenced not least by the recent reopening of the mosque of Santa Sofia on 10 July 2020 - is borne out by an active presence at nearby scenes of crisis. In October 2019 Turkey launched an offensive to drive Kurdish forces from a strip of land near the border and prevent the Kurds founding an independent state there. In February and March 2020 the Turkish army clashed directly with Asad’s soldiers, who have the support of Russia and Iran, in the province of Idlib. Following Parliament’s approval, troops were also sent to Libya to support the Tripoli government’s counteroffensive.
Turkey is bordered to the north-east by Georgia, to the east by Armenia, Iran and the Azeri exclave of Naxçıvan, to the south-east by Iran and Syria, and to the north-east lies continental Europe and the countries of Greece and Bulgaria. To the north the coastline lies on the Black Sea, to the southwest on the Mediterranean Sea and to the west on the Aegean Sea. Turkey extends into Europe, the eastern part of Thrace, separated from the rest of the country by the Sea of Marmara, the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. Asian Turkey occupies the area known as Anatolia and consists of a vast plateau crossed by numerous mountain chains and enclosed by the Pontic Mountains to the north and the Taurus Mountains to the south. The main rivers are the River Kızılırmak and the River Yeşilırmak (which flow into the Black Sea), the River Tigris and the River Euphrates (which flow towards the Arabian Gulf) and the River Meander which flows into the Aegean. There are several lakes, mostly saltwater, such as Lake Van and Lake Tuz. The climate is Mediterranean on the coasts, continental inland and Alpine in the mountainous areas. Precipitation is generally rather low.
The Turkish Republic was proclaimed by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on 29 November 1923. In 1960 an initial army coup occurred that returned power to civilian hands a year later. In 1980, in a time of serious crisis, the armed forces dissolved parliament again, repealed the Constitution and formed a military government. The new Constitution which was approved in 1982 reinstated the parliamentary system, but the armed forces maintained their role as guardians of the political life of the country; government tensions increased following the 2002 election victory of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by R.T. Erdoğan, with an Islamic stance. Thanks to the strong support of the people, Erdoğan was able to centralize power, gradually adopting increasingly authoritative policies and changing the country to a presidential system though a referendum on 16 April 2017. The large Kurdish minority, residing in the centre-east of the country on the border with Iran and Iraq, has been subjected to repression and discrimination in terms of civil and social rights since 1923.
Since 1984, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) has been active in the southeastern regions of the country, who have taken up arms to claim their independence; the conflict flared up again in 2015, increasing instability in the border zone with Syria, where the PKK is engaged against extremist militias and the Turkish government supports rebel groups against the Syrian regime and Kurdish militias.
According to the constitutional amendments adopted in 2017, the country is a presidential republic: the President, elected through direct voting and holding a five-year term, leads the government and has wide-ranging powers; the National Assembly is made up of 600 deputies elected for a term of five years.
Conscription is compulsory (6-18 months).
The military police acts as the police force.
The legal system dates to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s regime, based on European models. The authoritarian regression of the regime has considerably reduced civil liberties, limiting freedom of expression and leading to a vast campaign of arbitrary arrests.
|İstanbul||15 113 808||inhab.||2019|
|Ankara||5 036 238||inhab.||2019|
|İstanbul||15 519 267||inhab.||2019|
|Ankara||5 639 076||inhab.||2019|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
The country is an important transit stop before Europe for Syrian and Iraqi refugees; a negotiated agreement with the EU was signed in 2016 to block migratory flows.
|Foreigners, total||272 842||units||2013|
The difficult political situation and insecurity, aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have further curbed tourism and foreign investment, on which the rapid growth of previous years was based. The growing deficit, together with the lack of reforms have undermined international confidence and, alongside the uncertainties of the global market, have caused a withdrawal of foreign capital. The lira continued to depreciate and the Turkish economy, strongly dependent on credit, was crushed under the weight of its debt. The unemployment rate, already high, is rising steadily.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||129||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-29 476||M US$||2019|
|Active population||32 524 900||units||2019|
|Active population, Females||32.8||%||2019|
|Unemployment rate, Females||39.4||%||2019|
|Expenses||999 489||M LCU||2019|
|Revenues||875 796||M LCU||2019|
|Currency in circulation||153.362||BN LCU||2019|
|International reserves||104 152.4||M US$||2019|
Agriculture and forests.
Turkish agriculture, historically backward, based on smallholdings or large landed estates, has greatly developed, especially in terms of products for export. The main activity involves cereal crops (wheat, barley and maize). Turkey is one of the largest exporters of cotton, which is widely grown on the west coast. Citrus fruits and vines are also widely cultivated.
Along the southern coastal strip, Mediterranean crops are grown (vines, olives, figs, citrus fruits and almonds); particularly important from a commercial point of view is the production of raisins (sultanas and muscatel grapes) and dried figs.
On the Black Sea, tobacco and tea production is important, as is the production of hazelnuts, in which Turkey is the world leader. Inland, Anatolia opium poppies are also grown. There are also significant amounts of potatoes and tomatoes produced. Sugar beet and oil crops (sunflower and sesame seed) are grown on an industrial scale, as is the typical Turkish product of rose oil (distillation plants at Isparta).
There is also a small amount of timber production, especially in the areas near the Black Sea.
Livestock and fishing.
Livestock is an important resource, especially sheep, cattle and goats. Angora goats are very important as they provide the highly-prized mohair wool.
In western Anatolia and in Thrace, there is a traditional silkworm industry. Fishing (especially oily fish) is also practiced, mainly in the Sea of Marmara and in the Bosphorus.
|barley||7 000||1000 t||2018|
|cereals, total||34 395.628||1000 t||2018|
|potatoes||4 550||1000 t||2018|
|roots and tubers, total||4 551.029||1000 t||2018|
|beans, dry||220||1000 t||2018|
|beans, green||580.949||1000 t||2018|
|grapes||3 933||1000 t||2018|
|olives||1 500.467||1000 t||2018|
|mustard seed||0||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||18 900||1000 t||2018|
|seed cotton||2 570||1000 t||2018|
|flax fibre and tow||0.004||1000 t||2018|
|hemp tow waste||0.009||1000 t||2018|
|apples||3 625.96||1000 t||2018|
|citrus fruits||4 902.052||1000 t||2018|
|citrus fruits, nes||2.052||1000 t||2018|
|barley||2 601.207||1000 ha||2018|
|beans, dry||84.786||1000 ha||2018|
|beans, green||42.542||1000 ha||2018|
|mustard seed||0||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||307.067||1000 ha||2018|
|seed cotton||518.634||1000 ha||2018|
|hemp tow waste||0.01||1000 ha||2018|
|citrus fruits||143.674||1000 ha||2018|
|citrus fruits, nes||0.185||1000 ha||2018|
|timber||28 154 250||m³||2018|
|cattle||15 943.586||1000 heads||2018|
|cattle and buffaloes||16 105.025||1000 heads||2018|
|sheep||33 677.636||1000 heads||2018|
|goats||10 634.672||1000 heads||2018|
|asses and mules||175.735||1000 heads||2018|
|birds||359 217||1000 heads||2018|
|silk, raw||0.05||1000 t||2014|
|crustaceans and molluscs||64 884||t||2018|
|freshwater fishes||21 725||t||2018|
The country has rich and very varied mineral resources. Of great strategic importance is the extraction of chromium, of which Turkey is one of the world’s largest producers (Guleman and districts around Bursa, Eskişehir, Fethiye and Antalya). The mining of iron ore is also important (at Divriği, Hekimhan, Cavdar-Torbali and Milas), copper (mines at Ergani and Maden near Diyarbakir and Murgul), bauxite, antimony, magnesite, manganese (Kepez, Marmaris, Fethiye and Antalya), sulfur, zinc (Çayeli) and lead (Hoça Çermis, Balya, Bulgar-Maden). Turkish specialty minerals include boracites from Bandirma and sepiolite (“sea foam”) from Eskişehir.
As far as energy resources are concerned, lignite and coal production are significant, even more so anthracite and fossil carbon in the area of Ereğli.
There is a small amount of oil produced, which is extracted in the south-eastern provinces (Selmo, Beykan, Raman and Germik).
Energy and industry.
Most of the electricity is produced by coal-fired power plants and hydroelectric plants (the largest are those of the Atatürk, Karakaya and Keban dams on the Euphrates, and of the Ilısu dam on the Tigris). A nuclear power plant with two reactors is being built in Büyükeceli. The most important industries are cement production, metal-working, textiles and foodstuffs.
The private sector is very active, but the state still maintains a strong presence. The main oil refineries are at Aliağa, Batman (supplied by the Batman-Yumurtalik oil pipeline), İzmit, Kırıkkale. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the two Kirkūk-Ceyhan pipelines are operational, transporting oil from the Caspian Sea and Iraq to the Mediterranean.
In 2018, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) was inaugurated, which is part of the corridor intended to carry natural gas from the Caspian Sea through Turkey all the way to Europe. In 2017, work began on the TurkStream pipeline, running between Russia and European Turkey, passing under the Black Sea. Regasification terminals are located in Aliağa, Dörtyol and Marmara Ereğlisi.
Iron and steel works can be found in Karabük, Ereğli and İskenderun, there are also significant metal-working plants for copper, lead and aluminium (at Maden, Murgul Boçka, İstanbul and Kırıkkale); at Zonguldak metallurgical coke is produced. Chemical plants (at İzmit, Karabük, Aliaga, Kütahya, Samsun, Elazığ, İskenderun and Yarimca) produce significant quantities of sulfuric acid, nitrogenous and phosphate fertilizers, ammonia and soda. The cement industry is also important, encouraged by large public plants at Arslan, Kartal, Çanakkale, Gebze-Kocaeli, Ankara, Sivas, Adana, Afyon, Balıkesir, Çorum, Elazığ, Gaziantep, Pinarhisar and Söke. At Keçiborlu there is a sulfur-refining plant. As far as the machine industry is concerned, there are railway construction plants at Sivas and İzmit and aircraft construction at Kayseri. The automobile industry is growing (İstanbul, Bursa), thanks to joint ventures, often with foreign partners. The ship-building industry has yards at İstanbul and İzmir. In the textiles sector, cotton is the leading product with numerous production areas (Bakırköy-İstanbul, İzmit, Adana, Mersin, İzmir, Tarsus, Kayseri, Ereğli-Konya, Halkapınar, Nazilli and Malatya). Wool production is centred on İstanbul, Ankara, İzmit, Kütahya, Hereke, Defterdar, Bursa, Isparta, İzmir and Bünyan.
At Gemlik there are several factories producing synthetic fibres. Bursa is widely known for yarns and mohair textiles. Silk reeling and weaving and the production of quality carpets are also worthy of mention. Other industries include paper (at İzmit), glass (at Paşabahçe), tanning and leather, ceramics, rubber, beer and tobacco. There are many sugar factories, which works sugar beets and are largely state-owned.
|coal||2 587||1000 t||2018|
|coal, total||84 048.7||1000 t||2019|
|bauxite||1 000||1000 t||2017|
|asphalt, natural||1 567.3||1000 t||2016|
|basalt||24 883.2||1000 t||2016|
|- thermal||193 650||M kWh||2018|
|- hydro||59 157||M kWh||2018|
|- thermal||46 284||1000 kW||2017|
|- hydro||28 291||1000 kW||2018|
|total net generation||289 211||M kWh||2018|
|total installed capacity||85 201||1000 kW||2017|
|bikes||1 184 376||no.||2019|
|watches and clocks||10 319 000||no.||2016|
|air conditioners||2 897 640||no.||2019|
|fridges||8 998 242||no.||2019|
|bitumen||3 496||1000 t||2017|
|petrol||8 384.5||1000 t||2014|
|artificial tow||16.1||1000 t||2019|
|carpets||550 126.1||1000 m²||2019|
|cotton fabrics||1 766.3||M m²||2019|
|footwear||267 833 000||pairs||2016|
|beer of barley||1 002.1||1000 t||2014|
|cottonseed oil||54.6||1000 t||2017|
|cigarettes||166 985||M units||2019|
|cigars and cigarettes||166 985||M units||2019|
|chemical pulp||70||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||70||1000 t||2018|
|cement||59 178.3||1000 t||2019|
|sheet glass||3 790||1000 m²||2016|
|chemicals production||11 129.4||M US$||2018|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||16 735.2||M US$||2018|
The trade balance is structurally in deficit. Imports consist largely of raw materials, machinery, consumer goods and fuels.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) apparel and accessories 14 801, iron and steel 13 841, machinery and home appliances 13 831, vehicles and parts thereof 12 131, cars 11 815, electrical and electronic equipment 8 097, gold 6 606, plastics 5 476, fruit and vegetables 4 943, jewels and precious stones 4 272, petroleum products 3 722
Finance and banking.
The banking system is regulated by a central bank (Merkez Bankası), which acts under the direct control of the government. A stock exchange has its headquarters in İstanbul.
|manufactures||80.878||% of goods exports||2018|
|food products||10.468||% of goods exports||2018|
|Germany||16 618||M US$||2019|
|United Kingdom||11 279||M US$||2019|
|Russia||23 115||M US$||2019|
|Germany||19 279||M US$||2019|
Tourism. It is a very important national resource, but it reached a critical point in wake of the country’s political situation in 2015-16. The greatest attractions are the seaside areas, the numerous historic cities and archeological sites, amongst which are Ephesus, Miletus and Troy.
|Expenditures||4 993||M US$||2018|
|Number of arrivals||45 768 000||units||2018|
The road and rail networks are extensive and have a satisfactory level of efficiency, especially in western areas. There is a high speed railway between Ankara-Konya and Ankara-İstanbul. The Ankara-Sivas and Ankara-İzmir lines are under construction. In 2013, a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus to Istanbul was inaugurated; other infrastructures are planned, such as the construction of a navigable canal connecting the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, as an alternative to the Bosphorus.
|Civil aviation, km flown||161 200 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||115 595.5||1000 units||2018|
|Broadband subscribers||162.827||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|Computers||61||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education, culture & research.
Education is compulsory and free between the ages of 6 and 18. The private education sector is growing fast.
Social security and health.
The National Health Service offers basic cover for all. There has recently been an increase in applications for supplementary health insurance.
|Expected years of schooling||18||years||2017|
|Teachers, primary level||292 878||units||2017|
|Teachers, secondary level||657 390||units||2017|
|Social protection spending||31.1||% of total expenses||2019|
|Social protection spending||12.3||% of GDP||2017|
|Hospital beds||2.83||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|Physicians||1.87||per 1000 pop.||2018|
|HIV||-0.1||% of adults||2011|
|Museums, visitors||40 647 844||units||2018|
|Research and development spending||0.96||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2018|
|Access to improved drinking-water source||98.875||%||2017|