Country of the World Turkey

About the country Turkey, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: Situated in both southern Europe and southwestern Asia, and bordering the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas, Turkey forms a geographic and historic bridge between East and West. Asian Turkey, which includes 97% of the country's land area, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles.

Size: 301,380 sq. mi. (780,574 sq. km.).

Population: 42 million.

Who Rules: Under the amended 1961 constitution, legislative power is vested in the bicameral Grand National Assembly, composed of a 450-member National Assembly elected to four-year terms and a 150-member Senate elected to six-year terms, with an additional 15 members appointed by the president and a small number of life members. The president, who is head of state, is elected by the Grand National Assembly to one nonrenewable seven-year term. The country's executive is the prime minister, who presides over the council of ministers and who must have the confidence of the National Assembly.

Who REALLY Rules: An unstable coalition of high-level state bureaucrats and powerful private businessmen, watched over by the armed forces, who step in when the existing social order appears to be threatened.

Ankara, Turkey's capital, has probably the worst air pollution in the world, the result of burning low-grade lignite coal in a bowllike enclosure surrounded by mountains. Tests show that the amount of lethal sulfur dioxide in the air is dangerously high for much of the year, containing up to six times that measured in New York.

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