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People and Society






Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian 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 authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging 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 Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of 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. 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) - now known as the Kurdistan People's Congress or Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention and claimed more than 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community. Over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy; it began accession membership talks with the European Union in 2005.


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Economy - overview
Turkey's largely free-market economy is increasingly driven by its industry and service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. An aggressive privatization program has reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication, and an emerging cadre of middle-class entrepreneurs is adding dynamism to the economy and expanding production beyond the traditional textiles and clothing sectors. The automotive, construction, and electronics industries, are rising in importance and have surpassed textiles within Turkey's export mix. Oil began to flow through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2006, marking a major milestone that will bring up to 1 million barrels per day from the Caspian to market. Several gas pipelines projects also are moving forward to help transport Central Asian gas to Europe through Turkey, which over the long term will help address Turkey's dependence on imported oil and gas to meet 97% of its energy needs. 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. 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 rebounded strongly to 8.2% in 2010, as exports returned to normal levels following the recession. Turkey's public sector debt to GDP ratio has fallen to roughly 40%. Continued strong growth has pushed inflation to the 8% level, however, and worsened an already high current account deficit. Turkey remains dependent on often volatile, short-term investment to finance its large trade deficit. The stock value of FDI stood at $99 billion at year-end 2011. Inflows have slowed considerably in light of continuing economic turmoil in Europe, the source of much of Turkey's FDI. Further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost Turkey's attractiveness to foreign investors. However, Turkey's relatively high current account deficit, uncertainty related to monetary policy-making, and political turmoil within Turkey's neighborhood leave the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 17
$1.087 trillion (2011 est.)
$1.003 trillion (2010 est.)
$919.7 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$778.1 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 15
8.5% (2011 est.)
9% (2010 est.)
-4.8% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 86
$14,700 (2011 est.)
$13,700 (2010 est.)
$12,800 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 9.3%
Industry 28.1%
Services 62.6% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 23
27.43 million
About 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 25.5%
Industry 26.2%
Services 48.4% (2010)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 108
9.8% (2011 est.)
12% (2010 est.)
Underemployment amounted to 4% in 2008

Population below poverty line
16.9% (2010)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.1%
Highest 10% 30.3% (2008)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 59
40.2 (2010)
43.6 (2003)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 70
21.8% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $176.7 billion
Expenditures $187.1 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 139
22.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 67
-1.3% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 81
39.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
43.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
Data cover central government debt, and excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment. Debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions.

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 152
6.5% (2011 est.)
8.6% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 13
5.25% (31 December 2011)
15% (22 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 22
16% (31 December 2011 est.)
19% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 36
$95.47 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$58.27 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 26
$375.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$349.6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 25
$573.8 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$496 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 28
$201.8 billion (31 December 2011)
$306.7 billion (31 December 2010)
$225.7 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, hazelnuts, pulses, citrus; livestock

Textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 17
9.2% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 20
185.2 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 21
161 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
1.55 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
737 million kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 60
55,110 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 27
646,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 73
68,450 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 20
581,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 58
270.4 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 66
674 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 25
38.12 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 40
649 million cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 10
38.04 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 87
6.173 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 191
-$77.16 billion (2011 est.)
-$46.64 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 32
$143.5 billion (2011 est.)
$120.9 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

Exports - partners
Germany 10.3%, Iraq 6.2%, UK 6%, Italy 5.8%, France 5%, Russia 4.4% (2009 est.)

Imports World Ranking: 22
$232.9 billion (2011 est.)
$177.3 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

Imports - partners
Russia 9.9%, Germany 9.5%, China 9%, US 6.7%, Italy 5.6%, Iran 5.2% (2009 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 26
$88.21 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$85.97 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 29
$306.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$293.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 35
$102.6 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$86.74 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 44
$19.35 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$16.88 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Turkish liras (TRY) per US dollar -
1.675 (2011 est.)
1.5028 (2010 est.)
1.55 (2009)
1.3179 (2008)
1.319 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Turkey (Ankara):

  GPS points from Turkey (Ankara)

Koyuncu Amasya

Tilisimli Hatay

Cali Dere Bitlis

Konduller Sivas

Mihli Dere Balikesir

Ebulhayir Kayseri

Magarakoy Mardin

Sinek Bingoel
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