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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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Airports World Ranking: 60
98 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 89
Over 3,047 m 16
2,438 to 3,047 m 35
1,524 to 2,437 m 17
914 to 1,523 m 17
Under 914 m 4 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 9
1,524 to 2,437 m 1
914 to 1,523 m 4
Under 914 m 4 (2012)

20 (2012)

Gas 10,706 km; oil 3,636 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 23
Total 8,699 km
Standard gauge
8,699 km 1.435-m gauge (1,928 km electrified) (2008)

Roadways World Ranking: 19
Total 352,046 km
313,151 km (includes 2,010 km of expressways)
Unpaved 38,895 km (2008)

Waterways World Ranking: 59
1,200 km (2010)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 18
Total 629
By type
Bulk carrier 102, cargo 281, chemical tanker 80, container 42, liquefied gas 6, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 60, petroleum tanker 25, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 29, specialized tanker 1
Foreign-owned 1 (Italy 1)
Registered in other countries
645 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 7, Azerbaijan 1, Bahamas 3, Barbados 1, Belize 16, Brazil 1, Cambodia 15, Comoros 8, Cook Islands 4, Curacao 5, Cyprus 1, Dominica 1, Georgia 14, Italy 4, Kazakhstan 1, Liberia 16, Malta 233, Marshall Islands 70, Moldova 18, Panama 62, Russia 101, Saint Kitts and Nevis 18, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13, Sierra Leone 9, Slovakia 1, Tanzania 13, Togo 4, Tuvalu 1, unknown 3) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Aliaga, Diliskelesi, Eregli, Izmir, Izmit (Kocaeli), Mercin (Icel), Limani, Yarimca


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  Turkey (Ankara):

  GPS points from Turkey (Ankara)

Hurmus Batman

Kizillar Hatay

Karakoy Yayla Kastamonu

Helgin Deresi Giresun

Olur Erzurum

Cimzark Siirt

Cakirhuyuk Adiyaman

Sohun Deresi Erzincan
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