In 1514, Sultan Selim I (1512–1520) successfully expanded the Empire’s southern and eastern borders by defeating Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty in the Battle of Chaldiran. In 1517, Selim I expanded Ottoman rule into Algeria and Egypt, and created a naval presence in the Red Sea. Subsequently, a competition started between the Ottoman and Portuguese empires to become the dominant sea power in the Indian Ocean, with numerous naval battles in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean was perceived as a threat for the Ottoman monopoly over the ancient trading routes between East Asia and Western Europe (later collectively named the Silk Road, a term coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877. ) This important monopoly was increasingly compromised following the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, which had a considerable impact on the Ottoman economy. Turkey 7 The Ottoman Empire’s power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.
The empire was often at odds with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian  Commonwealth. Wikipedia:Citing sources At sea, the Ottoman Navy contended with several Holy Leagues (composed primarily of Habsburg Spain, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Knights of St. John, the Papal States, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Savoy) for control of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the east, the Ottomans were occasionally at war with Safavid Persia over conflicts stemming from erritorial disputes or religious differences between the 16th and 18th centuries.  The Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is one of the most famous architectural legacies of the Ottoman Empire. From the beginning of the 19th century onwards, the Ottoman Empire began to decline. As it gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth, many Balkan Muslims migrated to the Empire’s heartland in Anatolia,Wikipedia:Verifiability along with the Circassians fleeing the Russian conquest of the Caucasus.
The decline of the Ottoman Empire led to a rise in nationalist sentiment among the various subject peoples, leading to increased ethnic tensions which occasionally burst into violence, such as the Hamidian Massacres. The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. During the war, an estimated 1. 5 million Armenians were deported and exterminated in the Armenian Genocide.  The Turkish government denies that there was an Armenian Genocide and claims that Armenians were only relocated from the eastern war zone. ] Large scale massacres were also committed against the empire’s other minority groups such as the Greeks and Assyrians.  Following the Armistice of Mudros on 30 October 1918, the victorious Allied Powers sought to partition the Ottoman state through the 1920 Treaty of Sevres.  Republic of Turkey The occupation of Constantinople and Smyrna by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement. ] Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sevres.  By 18 September 1922, the occupying armies were expelled, and the Ankara-based Turkish regime, which declared itself the legitimate government of the country in April 1920, started to formalise the legal transition from the old Ottoman into the new Republican political system. On 1 November, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 ears of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923 led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed “Republic of Turkey” as the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder and first continuing state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially President of the Republic of Turkey. proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country’s new capital.  The Lausanne treaty stipulated a population exchange between Greece and Turkey, whereby 1. 1 million Greeks left Turkey for Greece in exchange for 380,000 Muslims transferred from Greece to Turkey. ] Turkey Mustafa Kemal became the republic’s first President and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming old Ottoman-Turkish state into a new secular republic.  With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Mustafa Kemal the honorific surname “Ataturk” (Father of the Turks. ) Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, but entered the war on the side of the Allies on 23 February 1945, as a ceremonial gesture. On 26 June 1945, Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. ] Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale U. S. military and economic support.  Both countries were included in the Marshall Plan and OEEC for rebuilding European economies in 1948, and subsequently became founding members of the OECD in 1961. 8
Roosevelt, Inonu and Churchill at the Second Cairo Conference which was held between 4–6 December 1943. After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade of Cypriot intercommunal violence and the coup in Cyprus on 15 July 1974 staged by the EOKA B paramilitary organization, which overthrew President Makarios and installed the pro-Enosis (union with Greece) Nikos Sampson as dictator, Turkey invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974. ] Nine years later the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey, was established.  The single-party period ended in 1945. It was followed by a tumultuous transition to multiparty democracy over the next few decades, which was interrupted by military coups d’etat in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997. Wikipedia:Citing sources In 1984, the PKK began an insurgency against the Turkish government, which has claimed over 40,000 lives; a peace process is currently ongoing. 30] Since the liberalisation of the Turkish economy during the 1980s, the country has enjoyed stronger economic growth and greater political stability.  Politics Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong tradition of secularism.  Turkey’s constitution governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state.
The President of the Republic is the head of state and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a five-year term by direct elections. Abdullah Gul was elected as president on 28 August 2007, by a popular parliament round of votes, succeeding Ahmet Necdet Sezer.  Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers which make up the government, while the legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees with the constitution. The Council of State is the tribunal of last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court of Appeals for all others.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been elected three times as Prime Minister: In 2002 (with 34% of the popular vote), in 2007 (with 47%) and in 2011 (with 49%). Turkey The prime minister is elected by the parliament through a vote of onfidence in the government and is most often the head of the party having the most seats in parliament. The current prime minister is the former mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose conservative Justice and Development Party won an absolute majority of parliamentary seats in the 2002 general elections, organized in the aftermath of the economic crisis of 2001, with 34% of the suffrage.  In the 2007 general elections, the AKP received 46. 6% of the votes and could defend its majority in parliament. 34] Although the ministers do not have to be members of the parliament, ministers with parliament membership are common in Turkish politics. In 2007, a series of events regarding state secularism and the role of the judiciary in the legislature occurred. These included the controversial presidential election of Abdullah Gul, who in the past had been involved with Islamist parties; and the government’s proposal to lift the headscarf ban in universities, which was annulled by the Constitutional Court, leading to a fine and a near ban of the ruling party. 36] 9 The Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara during a speech of U. S. President Barack Obama on 6 April 2009. Universal suffrage for both sexes has been applied throughout Turkey since 1933, and every Turkish citizen who has turned 18 years of age has the right to vote. As of 2004, there were 50 registered political parties in the country.  The Constitutional Court can strip the public financing of political parties that it deems anti-secular or separatist, or ban their existence altogether. 37] There are 550 members of parliament who are elected for a four-year term by a party-list proportional representation system from 85 electoral districts which represent the 81 administrative provinces of Turkey (Istanbul is divided into three electoral districts, whereas Ankara and Izmir are divided into two each because of their large populations). To avoid a hung parliament and its excessive political fragmentation, only parties winning at least 10% of the votes cast in a national parliamentary election gain the right to representation in the parliament. ] Because of this threshold, in the 2007 elections only three parties formally entered the parliament (compared to two in 2002).  Human rights in Turkey have been the subject of much controversy and international condemnation. Between 1998 and 2008 the European Court of Human Rights made more than 1,600 judgements against Turkey for human rights violations, particularly the right to life and freedom from torture. Other issues such as Kurdish rights, women’s rights and press freedom have also attracted controversy. Turkey’s human rights record continues to be a significant obstacle to future membership of the EU. 41] According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Turkish government has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on press freedoms. A large number of journalists have been arrested using charges of terrorism and anti-state activities such as the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases, while thousands have been investigated on charges such as “denigrating Turkishness” in an effort to sow self-censorship. As of 2012, CPJ identified 76 journalists in jail, including 61 directly held for their published work, more than Iran, Eritrea and China.  A former U. S. State Department spokesman, Philip J.
Crowley, said that the United States had “broad concerns about trends involving intimidation of journalists in Turkey. “ Turkey 10 Foreign relations Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations (1945), the OECD (1961), the OIC (1969), the OSCE (1973), the ECO (1985), the BSEC (1992), the D-8 (1997) and the G-20 major economies (1999). On 17 October 2008, Turkey was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.  Turkey’s membership of the council effectively began on 1 January 2009.  Turkey had previously been a member of the U. N. Security Council in 1951–1952, 1954–1955 and 1961. ] In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey became a founding member of the Council of Europe in 1949, applied for associate membership of the EEC (predecessor of the European Union) in 1959 and became an associate member in 1963. After decades of political negotiations, Turkey applied for full membership of the EEC in 1987, became an associate member of the Western European Union in 1992, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and has been in formal accession negotiations with the EU since 2005. ] Since 1974, Turkey has not recognized the Republic of Cyprus, but instead supports the Turkish Cypriot community in the form of the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was established in 1983 and is recognized only by Turkey.  The Cyprus dispute complicates Turkey’s relations with both NATO and the EU, and remains a major stumbling block to Turkey’s EU accession bid.  Turkey is a founding member of the OECD and the G-20 major economies.
Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the EEC since 1963, and having joined the EU Customs Union in 1995. The other defining aspect of Turkey’s foreign relations has been its ties with the United States. Based on the common threat posed by the Soviet Union, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, ensuring close bilateral relations with Washington throughout the Cold War. In the post–Cold War environment, Turkey’s geostrategic importance shifted towards its proximity to the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans.
In return, Turkey has benefited from the United States’ political, economic and diplomatic support, including in key issues such as the country’s bid to join the European Union. The independence of the Turkic states of the Soviet Union in 1991, with which Turkey shares a common cultural and linguistic heritage, allowed Turkey to extend its economic and political relations deep into Central Asia, thus enabling the completion of a multi-billion-dollar oil and natural gas pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan to the port of Ceyhan in Turkey.
The Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline forms part of Turkey’s foreign policy strategy to become an energy conduit to the West. However, Turkey’s border with Armenia, a state in the Caucasus, remains closed following Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territory during the Nagorno-Karabakh War.  Under the AK Party government, Turkey’s influence has grown in the Middle East based on the strategic depth doctrine, also called Neo-Ottomanism.  Turkey 11 Military Troops of the Turkish Army; Type 209 submarines of the Turkish Navy; and F-16s of the Turkish Air Force.
The Turkish Armed Forces consists of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard operate as parts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in peacetime, although they are subordinated to the Army and Navy Commands respectively in wartime, during which they have both internal law enforcement and military functions.  The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President and is responsible to the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Parliament for matters of national security and the adequate preparation of the armed forces to defend the country.
However, the authority to declare war and to deploy the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or to allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey rests solely with the Parliament.  The actual Commander of the Armed Forces is the Chief of the General Staff General Necdet Ozel since August 4, 2011.  Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military for a period ranging from three weeks to fifteen months, dependent on education and job location.  Turkey does not recognise conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service. 50] The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest standing armed force in NATO, after the U. S. Armed Forces, with a combined strength of just over a million uniformed personnel serving in its five branches.  Since 2003, Turkey contributes military personnel to Eurocorps and takes part in the EU Battlegroups.  Turkey is one of five NATO member states which are part of the nuclear sharing policy of the alliance, together with Belgium, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.  A total of 90 B61 nuclear bombs are hosted at the Incirlik Air Base, 40 of which are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in case of a nuclear conflict, ut their use requires the approval of NATO.  In 1998, Turkey announced a modernisation program worth US$160 billion over a twenty-year period in various projects including tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, submarines, warships and assault rifles.  Turkey is a Level 3 contributor to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program.  Turkey has maintained forces in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since 1950, including peacekeeping missions in Somalia and former Yugoslavia, and support to coalition forces in the First Gulf War.
Turkey maintains 36,000 troops in Northern Cyprus; their presence is supported and approved by the de facto local government, but the Republic of Cyprus and the international community regard it as an illegal occupation force, and Turkey its presence has also been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions.  Turkey has had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the United States stabilisation force and the UN-authorized, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since 2001. 51] In 2006, the Turkish parliament deployed a peacekeeping force of Navy patrol vessels and around 700 ground troops as part of an expanded United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the wake of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.  12 Administrative divisions The capital city of Turkey is Ankara. The territory of Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces for administrative purposes. The provinces are organized into 7 regions for census purposes; however, they do not represent an administrative structure. Each province is divided into districts, for a total of 923 districts.
Provinces usually bear the same name as their provincial capitals, also called the central district; exceptions to this custom are the provinces of Hatay (capital: Antakya), Kocaeli (capital: Izmit) and Sakarya (capital: Adapazar? ). Provinces with the largest populations are Istanbul (13 million), Ankara (5 million), Izmir (4 million), Bursa (3 million) and Adana (2 million). The biggest city and the pre-Republican capital Istanbul is the financial, economic and cultural heart of the country.  An estimated 75. 5% of Turkey’s population live in urban centers. 58] In all, 19 provinces have populations that exceed 1 million inhabitants, and 20 provinces have populations between 1 million and 500,000 inhabitants. Only two provinces have populations less than 100,000. Turkey 13 Geography Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey (made up largely of Anatolia), which includes 97% of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles (which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean). European Turkey (eastern Thrace or Rumelia in the Balkan peninsula) comprises 3% of the country. 59] Topographic map of Turkey The territory of Turkey is more than 1,600 kilometres (1,000 mi) long and 800 km (500 mi) wide, with a roughly rectangular shape.  It lies between latitudes 35° and 43° N, and longitudes 25° and 45° E. Turkey’s area, including lakes, occupies 783,562 square kilometres (300,948 sq mi), of which 755,688 square kilometres (291,773 sq mi) are in Southwest Asia and 23,764 square Panoramic view of the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia kilometres (9,174 sq mi) in Europe.  Turkey is the world’s 37th-largest country in terms of area.
The country is encircled by seas on three sides: the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Mediterranean to the south. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara in the northwest.  Mount Ararat (Agr? Dag? ) is the highest peak in Turkey with 5,137 m (16,854 ft) The European section of Turkey, East Thrace, forms the borders of Turkey with Greece and Bulgaria. The Asian part of the country, Anatolia, consists of a high central plateau with narrow coastal plains, between the Koroglu and Pontic mountain ranges to the north and the Taurus Mountains to the south.
Eastern Turkey has a more mountainous landscape and is home to the sources of rivers such as the Euphrates, Tigris and Aras, and contains Mount Ararat, Turkey’s highest point at 5,137 metres (16,854 ft), and Lake Van, the largest lake in the country. Turkey is divided into seven census regions: Marmara, Aegean, Black Sea, Central Anatolia, Eastern Anatolia, Southeastern Anatolia and the Mediterranean. The uneven north Anatolian terrain running along the Black Sea resembles a long, narrow belt. This region comprises approximately one-sixth of Turkey’s total land area.
As a general trend, the inland Anatolian plateau becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward.  Turkey’s varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped the region over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles owe their existence to the fault lines running through Turkey that led to the creation of the Black Sea. There is an earthquake fault line across the north of the country from west to east, which caused a major earthquake in 1999. 62] Turkey 14 Climate The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea have a temperate Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Black Sea have a temperate Oceanic climate with warm, wet summers and cool to cold, wet winters. The Turkish Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount of precipitation and is the only region of Turkey that receives high precipitation throughout the year.
The eastern part of that coast averages 2,500 millimetres annually which is the highest precipitation in the country. Oludeniz on the Turquoise Coast, which is famous for its Blue Cruise voyages. The coastal areas of Turkey bordering the Sea of Marmara (including Istanbul), which connects the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, have a transitional climate between a temperate Mediterranean climate and a temperate Oceanic climate with warm to hot, moderately dry summers and cool to cold, wet winters.
Snow does occur on the coastal areas of the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea almost every winter, but it usually lies no more than a few days. Snow on the other hand is rare in the coastal areas of the Aegean Sea and very rare in the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Conditions can be much harsher in the more arid interior. Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the central Anatolian plateau of the interior of Turkey a continental climate with sharply contrasting seasons.
Winters on the eastern part of the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of ? 30 °C to ? 40 °C (? 22 °F to ? 40 °F) can occur in eastern Anatolia, and snow may lie on the ground at least 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1 °C (34 °F). Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures generally above 30 °C (86 °F) in the day. Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimetres (15 in), with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya plain and the Malatya plain, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 millimetres (12 in).
May is generally the wettest month, whereas July and August are the driest.  Winter in Lake Uzungol Economy Turkey has the world’s 16th largest GDP-PPP and 17th largest nominal GDP.  The country is among the founding members of the OECD and the G-20 major economies. During the first six decades of the republic, between 1923 and 1983, Turkey has mostly adhered to a quasi-statist approach with strict government planning of the budget and government-imposed limitations over private sector participation,
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country’s economic heart. The towers of Sisli are on the left, while those of Levent business district are on the right. Turkey foreign trade, flow of foreign currency, and foreign direct investment. However, in 1983 Prime Minister Turgut Ozal initiated a series of reforms designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market-based model. ] The reforms, combined with unprecedented amounts of foreign loans, spurred rapid economic growth; but this growth was punctuated by sharp recessions and financial crises in 1994, 1999 (following the earthquake of that year), and 2001; resulting in an average of 4% GDP growth per annum between 1981 and 2003.  Lack of additional fiscal reforms, combined with large and growing public sector deficits and widespread corruption, resulted in high inflation, a weak banking sector and increased macroeconomic volatility. 67] Since the economic crisis of 2001 and the reforms initiated by the finance minister of the time, Kemal Dervis, inflation has fallen to single-digit numbers, investor confidence and foreign investment have soared, and unemployment has fallen. Turkey has gradually opened up its markets through economic reforms by reducing government controls on foreign trade and investment and the privatisation of publicly owned industries, and the liberalisation of many sectors to private and foreign participation has continued amid political debate. ] The public debt to GDP ratio, while well below its levels during the recession of 2001, reached 46% in 2010 Q3. The real GDP growth rate from 2002 to 2007 averaged 6. 8% annually, which made Turkey one of the fastest growing economies in the world during that period. However, growth slowed to 1% in 2008, and in 2009 the Turkish economy was affected by the global financial crisis, with a recession of 5%. The economy was estimated to have returned to 8% growth in 2010.  15 Turkish Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Turkey since 1933.
It was selected by Skytrax as  Europe’s best airline in 2012. In the early years of this century the chronically high inflation was brought under control and this led to the launch of a new currency, the Turkish new lira, on 1 January 2005, to cement the acquisition of the economic reforms and erase the vestiges of an unstable economy.  On 1 January 2009, the new Turkish lira was renamed once again as the Turkish lira, with the introduction of new banknotes and coins. As a result of continuing economic reforms, inflation dropped to 8% in 2005, and the unemployment rate to 10%. ] Tourism in Turkey has experienced rapid growth in the last twenty years, and constitutes an important part of the economy. In 2011, 33. 3 million foreign visitors arrived in Turkey, making the country world’s sixth most-popular tourism destination; they contributed $23 billion to Turkey’s revenues.  Other key sectors of the Turkish economy are banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, machine industry and automotive.