Turkey: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Turkey.



Location--In Asia Minor and southeast Europe. Asiatic Turkey composes 97% of the total Turkish land area. In Asia, Turkey shares borders with Syria, Iraq, Iran, and the Soviet Union; in Europe, with Bulgaria and Greece. The Black Sea is to its north, the Mediter-ranean Sea to the south.

How Created--Turkey is one of the oldest inhabitated areas in the world, and has a recorded history that stretches back centuries before the birth of Christ. The 1st real traces of modern Turkey appeared in the 13th century with the birth of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. At its height, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf to the border of Poland, and from the Caspian Sea to Algeria. Ottoman power began to decline in the 17th century. A series of wars in the 18th and 19th centuries so weakened the Turkish Empire that by the early part of the 20th century Europeans had taken to calling it the "sick man of Europe." In 1909, a revolt by young liberals established a constitutional regime in Turkey.

Size--301,380 sq. mi. (780,576 sq. km.).

Population--40 million: (by mother tongue) Turkish, 90.2%; Kurdish, 6.9%; Arabic, 1.2%; Circassian, Greek, and other, 1.7%. 99.2% Muslim (mostly Sunni).

Who Rules--The Turkish Republic has a President and a Prime Minister who leads a bicameral (2-house) legislature whose members are elected by a popular vote. Women were given the right to vote and run for office in 1934.

Who REALLY Rules--Turkey is a Muslim country, and in spite of administrators' attempts to modernize Turkey by getting rid of some of the older Muslim traditions, the religion maintains an effective hold on Turkish society.

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