Bookmark and Share

1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Demographics
7. Religions
a. Freedom
8. Peoples
9. Languages
10. History
11. Cities and Towns

Open the online Arabic language course

Open map of TurkeyFlag of TurkeyTurkey /

This summary starts in 1923, which marked the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the rise of the new Turkey. For full pre-1923 history, see the articles on Ottoman Empire.

1923: After the postwar occupation, and a war for independence, the Turkish republic is proclaimed and Mustafa Kemal takes the position of president. Ankara is being prepared to become the capital of the new country. Kemal defines the new Turkey as a secular republic, based on the indirect will of its people, on a Turkish national feeling and on governmental influence on the economy. All these changes were to be implemented immediately.
1924: The Caliphate is abolished, but this was short-lived, and never had much international influence. The abolishment instituted by Kemal was another effort to break free from the Ottoman past of Turkey.
1923- 38: The 15 years of Kemal at the lead, was a period of clever and moderate political leadership, based upon European ideals. Turkey had significant economic growth, and made great steps in direction of being considered a European state.
1934: Mustafa Kemal receives the honorary title Atatürk, 'father of the Turks', from the Grand National Assembly.
1938: Atatürk dies. Ismet Inönü takes over as president, and stays in power until 1950.
1939-45: Turkey is neutral during World War 2, but joins the Allies in 1945.
1945: A multi party system is introduced. USA gives economic aid after the war, and wins an important foothold in the country.
1952: Turkey joins NATO.
1950's: Conflict with Greece over Cyprus and the natural resources in the Aegian Sea.
1964: Turkey becomes an associated member of EEC (now EU).
1970: Economic and political crisis. Violent actions from extremist groups.
1974: Turkey occupies the northern part of Cyprus, and leaves NATO.
1980: Military coup, the army takes control. Kenan Evren becomes president, and stays in power until 1989. Improvement in relations with NATO.
1982: Civilian rule is restored. Evren continues as president.
1983: Elections brings the Motherland Party, and its leader Turgut Özal to power. Even if this result was little anticipated by the army, Özal enters the post of prime minister.
1984: Military clashes with the Kurdish PKK, Kurdistan Worker's Party. PKK is a Marxist oriented group acting for independence of what they say are 15 million Kurds (these figures are apparently too high) living in Turkey.
1989: Özal becomes president.
1993: Tansu Ciller of the True Path Party becomes the new prime minister.
1995: The Islamist Welfare Party becomes the largest party after the elections, making it hard for the other parties of Turkey to form a new government without having their support.
1996: A new government is constituted on an agreement between the True Path Party, and the Welfare Party. The leader of the Welfare Party, Necmettin Erbakan, becomes prime minister. The agreement between the two parties, involved that Ciller would become prime minister in 1998.
1997: Erbakan is forced to resign as prime minister in Turkey, after a long time campaign of the military forces. Mesut Yilmaz joins forces with Tansu Ciller, and forms a new government with himself as prime minister.
1998 January: Erbakan's Welfare Party is outlawed by the Turkish constitutional court.
November 25: The government of Mesut Yilmaz falls, following the loss in an parliamentary vote of confidence. For the weeks that followed, Yilmaz continued to govern Turkey.
1999 January 17: Bülent Ecevit wins a confidence vote in the Turkish national assembly, getting the support of Tansu Ciller's True Path Party, as well as Mesut Yilmaz' Motherland Party.
2002: New parliamentary elections, which brings the Justice and Development Party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to power.
2003 November: Bombings in Istanbul, killing more than 60 people. Two were launched outside synagogues.
2004 May Changes in the national law, involving the abolishment of the death penalty and securing of equal rights between men and women.
2005 October 3: Official negotiations with the EU (European Union) starts.
2006 March: Kurdish riots in Diyarbakir.
2007 April: Presidential elections (by the parliament) is postponed, due to boycott by the opposition parties, as the conservative Muslim, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül, is the most likely winner. This leads to demonstrations bringing millions to the streets of Istanbul, and the expressed warning from the Armed Forces about the intentions of letting Gül become president.

By Tore Kjeilen