Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his leadership, the country adopted radical social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democrat Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of formal political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. An unsuccessful coup attempt was made in July 2016 by a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization, has long dominated the attention of Turkish security forces and claimed more than 40,000 lives. In 2013, the Turkish Government and the PKK conducted negotiations aimed at ending the violence, however intense fighting resumed in 2015. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1963, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; it began accession talks with the EU in 2005. Over the past decade, economic reforms, coupled with some political reforms, have contributed to a growing economy, although economic growth slowed in recent years. From 2015 and continuing through 2016, Turkey witnessed an uptick in terrorist violence, including major attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, and throughout the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. On 15 July 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed forces attempted a coup that ultimately failed following widespread popular resistance. More than 240 people were killed and over 2,000 injured when Turkish citizens took to the streets en masse to confront the coup forces. The government accused followers of the Fethullah Gulen transnational religious and social movement ("Hizmet") for allegedly instigating the failed coup and designates the movement’s followers as terrorists. Since the attempted coup, Turkish Government authorities arrested, suspended, or dismissed more than 130,000 security personnel, journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants due to their alleged connection to Gulen's movement. Following the failed coup, the Turkish Government instituted a State of Emergency from July 2016 to July 2018. The Turkish Government conducted a referendum on 16 April 2017 in which voters approved constitutional amendments changing Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system. The amendments went into effect fully following the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018.



39.0° N, 35. 0° E
Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria


783,562 sq km
769,632 sq km
13,930 sq km

land boundaries

2,816 km


7,200 km


temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior


high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges


1,132 m
lowest point
Mediterranean Sea
0 m
highest point
Mount Ararat
5,137 m

natural resources

  • coal
  • iron ore
  • copper
  • chromium
  • antimony
  • mercury
  • gold
  • barite
  • borate
  • celestite
  • strontium
  • emery
  • feldspar
  • limestone
  • magnesite
  • marble
  • perlite
  • pumice
  • pyrites
  • sulfur
  • clay
  • arable land
  • hydropower

land use

arable land
26.7 %
permanent crops
4 %
permanent pasture
19 %
14.9 %
35.4 %

population distribution

the most densely populated area is found around the Bosporus in the northwest where 20% of the population lives in Istanbul; with the exception of Ankara, urban centers remain small and scattered throughout the interior of Anatolia; an overall pattern of peripheral development exists, particularly along the Aegean Sea coast in the west, and the Tigris and Euphrates River systems in the southeast



  • 82,017,514
  • 18
    global rank


  • Turk(s)
  • Turkish

ethnic groups

70 %
19 %
other minorities
7 %


  • Turkish
  • Kurdish
  • other minority languages


99.8 %
0.2 %

birth rate

  • 14.8
    per 1,000 population
  • 123
    global rank

death rate

  • 6.1
    per 1,000 population
  • 161
    global rank

urban population

76.1 %

major urban areas

  • Istanbul
    pop. 15,190,000
  • Ankara
    pop. 5,118,000
  • Izmir
    pop. 2,993,000
  • Bursa
    pop. 1,986,000
  • Adana
    pop. 1,771,000
  • Gaziantep
    pop. 1,704,000

life expectancy

  • 75.7
    total population
  • 110
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 32.1%
    percent of adults
  • 17
    global rank


country name


  • Republic of Turkey
    long form
  • Turkey
    short form


  • Turkiye Cumhuriyeti
    long form
  • Turkiye
    short form

government type

presidential republic


39.56 N, 32.52 E


national holidays

  • Republic Day
    29 October

legal system

civil law system based on various European legal systems, notably the Swiss civil code

age of suffrage


flag description

red with a vertical white crescent moon (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening; the flag colors and designs closely resemble those on the banner of the Ottoman Empire, which preceded modern-day Turkey; the crescent moon and star serve as insignia for Turkic peoples; according to one interpretation, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors

national colors

  • red
  • white

national anthem

"Istiklal Marsi" (Independence March)



Turkey's largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey's export mix. However, the recent period of political stability and economic dynamism has given way to domestic uncertainty and security concerns, which are generating financial market volatility and weighing on Turkey’s economic outlook. Current government policies emphasize populist spending measures and credit breaks, while implementation of structural economic reforms has slowed. The government is playing a more active role in some strategic sectors and has used economic institutions and regulators to target political opponents, undermining private sector confidence in the judicial system. Between July 2016 and March 2017, three credit ratings agencies downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit ratings, citing concerns about the rule of law and the pace of economic reforms. Turkey remains highly dependent on imported oil and gas but is pursuing energy relationships with a broader set of international partners and taking steps to increase use of domestic energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and coal. The joint Turkish-Azerbaijani Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline is moving forward to increase transport of Caspian gas to Turkey and Europe, and when completed will help diversify Turkey's sources of imported gas. After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program. The reforms strengthened the country's economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth, averaging more than 6% annually until 2008. An aggressive privatization program also reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, power generation, and communication. Global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, but Turkey's well-regulated financial markets and banking system helped the country weather the global financial crisis, and GDP growth rebounded to around 9% in 2010 and 2011, as exports and investment recovered following the crisis. The growth of Turkish GDP since 2016 has revealed the persistent underlying imbalances in the Turkish economy. In particular, Turkey’s large current account deficit means it must rely on external investment inflows to finance growth, leaving the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence. Other troublesome trends include rising unemployment and inflation, which increased in 2017, given the Turkish lira’s continuing depreciation against the dollar. Although government debt remains low at about 30% of GDP, bank and corporate borrowing has almost tripled as a percent of GDP during the past decade, outpacing its emerging-market peers and prompting investor concerns about its long-term sustainability.


2,186,000,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • tobacco
  • cotton
  • grain
  • olives
  • sugar beets
  • hazelnuts
  • pulses
  • citrus
  • livestock

poverty level



  • 172,800,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 185,800,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 11,633,461
    total subscriptions
  • 17
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 80,117,999
    total subscriptions
  • 20
    global rank

broadcast media

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) operates multiple TV and radio networks and stations; multiple privately owned national television stations and 567 private regional and local television stations; multi-channel cable TV subscriptions available; 1,007 private radio broadcast stations (2019)


country code


  • 57,725,143
  • 71.04
    % of population
  • 15
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 15
    registered air carriers
  • 96,604,665
    annual passenger traffic


  • 98
  • 91


12,710 km
total length


67,333 km
total length


1,200 km
total length



expenditures here