Modern states /
Independent republic in Asia and Europe, divided into 81 provinces, with 76.8 million inhabitants and an area of 780,580 km². The last census was carried out by October 22 2000, counting 67.8 million inhabitants.
The European part of Turkey is 3% of total area with 11% of the population.
Turkey has October 29, 1923 as its independence day, but its state structures grew from those of the Ottoman Empire, meaning that Turkey was not subject to any foreign power before independence.
The capital is Ankara, located to the centre of the country; the largest city is Istanbul, also the former capital of the Ottoman Empire.
President since 2007 is Abdullah Gül, but real power is in the hands of the Prime minister, who since 2003 has been Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish government consists of 17 ministries. The National Assembly has 550 members. At least 3 parties must join to form a majority.
Turkey does not perform too well on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 79 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world. On a scale with 1 as maximum, Turkey gains 0.806 points.
The currency of Turkey is the Lira, which used to be a currency of super-inflation, but which has performed well after restructuring through 2005.
Turkey's GDP per capita is fairly good at US$11,900 (2008 estimate), with a acceptable 11% unemployment rate and with 20% of its population below the poverty line.
The health system of Turkey is fairly well-developed, but it is a system of considerable inequality.
In the MENA region, Turkey is far from a good performer in the field of education. As is the case with health matters, the system has considerable inequality. Turkish school system is highly competitive, and Turkey takes pride in several higher institutions of excellent international quality.
Contrary to common belief, Turkey is inhabited by far more peoples than just Turks and Kurds; the protection of the mountains have allowed identities and cultures to survive well into modern times.
Language variations of Turkey are more dramatic than for ethnicity. It is recorded 18 languages in Turkey alone.
Turkey is often said to be close to 100% Muslim, but Muslims really count only about 75%. Alevism, one of the forgotten religions of the Middle East, is not only a major religion of Turkey, but counts among the larger religions in the world.
Changes in demographics in Turkey have been substantial in recent years. Today, the median age has increased to almost 30 years and the fertility rate is only marginally above the stable 2.1 children per mother.
Turkey's history passes through 3 main stages. The long history of Anatolia is one in which many peoples and cultures lived sometimes in peace, sometimes in conflict. With the emergence of the Byzantine Empire, later the Ottoman Empire, Anatolia was the heart of a huge empire. Since the fall of the empires, and the formation of Turkey, a proud, stable and potent national state was created from brutality and genocide.