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Turk. Türkiye (tür'kēyĕ`), officially Republic of Turkey, republic (2015 est. pop. 78,271,000), 301,380 sq mi (780,574 sq km), SW Asia and SE Europe. It borders on Iraq (SE), Syria and the Mediterranean Sea (S), the Aegean Sea (W), Greece and Bulgaria (NW), on the Black Sea (N), and Armenia, Georgia, and Iran (E). AnkaraAnkara
, city (1990 pop. 2,533,209), capital of Turkey and Ankara prov., W central Turkey, at an elevation of c.3,000 ft (910 m). Turkey's largest city after İstanbul, Ankara is primarily an administrative city, but it is also an important commercial, industrial, and
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 is the capital of the country and İstanbulİstanbul
, city (1990 pop. 6,748,435) and metropolitan muncipality, capital of İstanbul prov., NW Turkey, on both sides of the Bosporus at its entrance into the Sea of Marmara. Since 2004 the metropolitan municipality and province have been coterminous.
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 is its largest city.

Land and People

Asian Turkey (made up largely of Asia Minor), which includes 97% of the country, is separated from European Turkey (made up of E ThraceThrace
, region, 3,310 sq mi (8,575 sq km), SE Europe, occupying the southeastern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and comprising NE Greece, S Bulgaria, and European Turkey. Its boundaries have varied in different periods.
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) by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles (which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean). Northeast Asian Turkey includes part of historical Armenia, and SE Asian Turkey includes part of Kurdistan (see KurdsKurds
, a non-Arab Middle Eastern minority population that inhabits the region known as Kurdistan, an extensive plateau and mountain area, c.74,000 sq mi (191,660 sq km), in SW Asia, including parts of E Turkey, NE Iraq, and NW Iran and smaller sections of NE Syria and
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). European Turkey, which includes EdirneEdirne
, formerly Adrianople
, city (1990 pop. 102,325), capital of Edirne prov., NW Turkey, in Thrace. It is the commercial center for a farm region where grains, fruits, and tobacco are grown and cattle and sheep are raised. The city was founded (c.A.D.
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 and most of İstanbul, is largely rolling agricultural land, drained by the Ergene River. Asian Turkey is mostly made up of highland and mountains, with some narrow strips of lowland in the west on the coasts of the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara and along the Simav, Gediz, and Menderes rivers; in the north on the Black Sea coast and along the Sakarya and Kizil Irmak rivers; and in the south on the Mediterranean coast and along the Aksu, Göksu, Seyhan, and Ceyhan rivers.

The center of W Asian Turkey is made up of the vast semiarid plateau of Anatolia (average height c.3,000 ft/914 m), which includes lakes Tuz and Beyşehir and which is fringed in the north by the Köroğlu Mts. and in the south by the Taurus Mts. In NE Turkey are the Pontic Mts. and in E Turkey are the Eastern Taurus Mts. Great Ararat Mt. (16,945 ft/5,165 m), the highest point in Turkey, and Lake Van are in the extreme eastern part of the country. SE Turkey is drained by the upper courses of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Turkey is subject to strong, sometimes devastating earthquakes.

Although the Turks regard the Osmanlis, or Ottomans, as their ancestors, they are a highly composite ethnic mixture. About 80% of the population is Turkish; Kurds make up most of the rest. The official language is Turkish, and Kurdish is widely used in the south and southeast; there is also an Arabic-speaking minority. About 99% of the people are Muslim, mostly of the Sunni branch; there is a significant Alevi minority, whose heterodox Islamic beliefs have led to anti-Alevi violence and discrimination. There are also small groups of Orthodox Christians (İstanbul is the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch) and Jews.


Turkey's economy is a mixture of modern industry and traditional agriculture; great strides have been made since the 1970s to strengthen and diversify the economy. The most productive farmland is in W Turkey, but in the 1970s the country began the massive Southeast Anatolia Project to use the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for irrigation and hydroelectric power. Although plagued by the conflict with Kurdish separatists and bitterly opposed by Syria and Iraq (who are concerned that the downstream water flow from the rivers to them will be severely impeded), the project has nine dams and eight hydroelectric stations in operation (out of 22 and 19 originally planned). The government's goal is to transform arid SE Turkey into a prosperous agricultural-industrial region.

Turkey's chief crops are tobacco, cotton, wheat, barley, corn, rye, oats, rice, olives, sugar beets, pulses, and citrus. Large numbers of sheep, goats (including many mohair-producing Angora goats), and cattle are raised.

The principal minerals extracted are coal, chromium, copper and iron ores, boron, antimony, and mercury. Some petroleum is produced. The leading industrial centers are İstanbul, Ankara, KarabükKarabük
, city (1990 pop. 104,869), N Turkey. It was built in the 1930s as the seat of the iron and steel industry of Turkey. Nearby are the Zonguldak coal fields.
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, BursaBursa
, city (1990 pop. 838,323), capital of Bursa prov., NW Turkey. The market center of a rich agricultural region, on the ancient Silk Road S of Constantinople, Bursa was long noted for its silks, but is now a producer of automobiles, other textiles and apparel, and metals.
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, IzmirIzmir
, formerly Smyrna
, city (1990 pop. 1,762,849), capital of Izmir prov., W Turkey, on the Gulf of Izmir, an arm of the Aegean Sea. The largest Turkish seaport after İstanbul, its exports include cotton, tobacco, vegetables, manufactures, and carpets.
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, AdanaAdana
, city (1990 pop. 931,555), capital of Adana prov., S Turkey, on the Seyhan River. The fourth largest city in Turkey, it is the commercial center of a farm region where cotton, grains, and fruits are grown.
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, SamsunSamsun
, city (1990 pop. 301,412), capital of Samsun prov., N Turkey, on the Black Sea. The most important Turkish port on the Black Sea, it is also a major tobacco-processing center and an agricultural market. Textiles, tobacco, and fertilizer are exported.
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, and DiyarbakirDiyarbakir
, anc. Amida, city (1990 pop. 375,767), capital of Diyarbakir prov., SE Turkey, on the Tigris (Dicle) River. It is the trade center for a region producing grains, melons, cotton, copper ore, and petroleum.
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. The country's chief industries include food processing, mining, and the manufacture of textiles, motor vehicles, electronics, steel, construction materials, and forest products. Turkey is also noted for the manufacture of carpets, meerschaum pipes and artifacts, and pottery. There is a substantial tourist trade.

Turkey's main ports are İstanbul, Izmir, Samsun, IskenderunIskenderun
, formerly Alexandretta
, city (1990 pop. 156,198), S Turkey, on the Gulf of Alexandretta, an inlet of the Mediterranean Sea. The principal Turkish port on the Mediterranean, it has a large steel plant and is the terminus for an oil pipeline.
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, MersinMersin
, formerly Içel
, city (1990 pop. 420,750), capital of Içel prov., S Turkey, on the Mediterranean Sea. A rail terminus and modern seaport, it exports cotton, petroleum products, chrome, copper, and agricultural produce.
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, and TrabzonTrabzon
or Trebizond
, city (1990 pop. 144,805), capital of Trabzon prov., NE Turkey, a port on the Black Sea. A commercial and transportation center with renovated port facilities, it exports food products and tobacco. Iron, lead, and copper are found nearby.
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. Turkey has one of the Middle East's best road and rail systems, which includes the Baghdad RailwayBaghdad Railway,
railroad of international importance linking Europe with Asia Minor and the Middle East. The line runs from İstanbul, Turkey, to Basra, Iraq; it connected what were distant regions of the Ottoman Empire.
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. The annual value of Turkey's imports is usually considerably higher than that of its exports. The chief imports are machinery, chemicals, semifinished goods, fuels, and transportation equipment. The principal exports are textiles and clothing, foodstuffs, iron and steel products, and transportation equipment. The leading trade partners are Germany, Italy, Great Britain, the United States, Russia, and France. Large numbers of Turks are employed in Western Europe, especially in Germany.


Turkey is governed under the constitution of 1982 as amended. The president, who is head of state and head of government, is popularly elected to a five-year term and may be reelected once; if early elections are called, however, the president may run for a third term. The unicameral legislature consists of the 600-seat Grand National Assembly, whose members are elected proportionally from multiseat constituencies to serve five-year terms; a party must receive at least 10% of the vote to be seated in the assembly. Administratively, Turkey is divided into 81 provinces.


Although Anatolia (the western portion of Asian Turkey) is one of the oldest inhabited regions of the world, the history of Turkey as a national state began only with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. For the earlier history of the region now constituting Turkey, see (for the ancient period) Asia MinorAsia Minor,
great peninsula, c.250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km), extreme W Asia, generally coterminous with Asian Turkey, also called Anatolia. It is washed by the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean Sea in the south, and the Aegean Sea in the west.
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; IoniaIonia
, ancient region of Asia Minor. It occupied a narrow coastal strip on the E Mediterranean (in present-day W Turkey) as well as the neighboring Aegean Islands, which now mainly belong to Greece. In its favorable position between the civilizations to the west (e.g.
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; PontusPontus,
ancient country, NE Asia Minor (now Turkey), on the Black Sea coast. On its inland side were Cappadocia and W Armenia. It was not significantly penetrated by Persian or Hellenic civilization. In the 4th cent. B.C.
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; ThraceThrace
, region, 3,310 sq mi (8,575 sq km), SE Europe, occupying the southeastern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and comprising NE Greece, S Bulgaria, and European Turkey. Its boundaries have varied in different periods.
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; ByzantiumByzantium
, ancient city of Thrace, on the site of the present-day İstanbul, Turkey. Founded by Greeks from Megara in 667 B.C., it early rose to importance because of its position on the Bosporus.
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; (for the medieval period) Byzantine EmpireByzantine Empire,
successor state to the Roman Empire (see under Rome), also called Eastern Empire and East Roman Empire. It was named after Byzantium, which Emperor Constantine I rebuilt (A.D. 330) as Constantinople and made the capital of the entire Roman Empire.
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; ArmeniaArmenia
, Armenian Hayastan, officially Republic of Armenia, republic (2015 est. pop. 2,917,000), 11,500 sq mi (29,785 sq km), in the S Caucasus. Armenia is bounded by Turkey on the west, Azerbaijan on the east (the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan is on its
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; TurksTurks,
term applied in its wider meaning to the Turkic-speaking peoples of Turkey, Russia, Central Asia, Xinjiang in China (Chinese Turkistan), Azerbaijan and the Caucasus, Iran, and Afghanistan.
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; KonyaKonya
, city (1990 pop. 509,208), capital of Konya prov., S central Turkey. It is the trade center of a rich agricultural and livestock-raising region. Manufactures include cement, carpets, and leather, cotton, and silk goods.
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; KaramanKaraman
, town (1990 pop. 76,682), S central Turkey, at the northern foot of the Taurus Mts. The ancient Laranda, Karaman was renamed after the chieftain of a Turkic tribe who conquered the city c.
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; Nicaea, empire ofNicaea, empire of,
1204–61. In 1204 the armies of the Fourth Crusade set up the Latin Empire of Constantinople, but the Crusaders' influence did not extend over the entire Byzantine Empire.
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; Trebizond, empire ofTrebizond, empire of,
1204–1461. When the army of the Fourth Crusade overthrew (1204) the Byzantine Empire and established the Latin Empire of Constantinople, several Greek successor states sprang up.
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; (for the modern period before 1918) Ottoman EmpireOttoman Empire
, vast state founded in the late 13th cent. by Turkish tribes in Anatolia and ruled by the descendants of Osman I until its dissolution in 1918. Modern Turkey formed only part of the empire, but the terms "Turkey" and "Ottoman Empire" were often used
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; Eastern QuestionEastern Question,
term designating the problem of European territory controlled by the decaying Ottoman Empire in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th cent. The Turkish threat to Europe was checked by the Hapsburgs in the 16th cent.
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The Establishment of Modern Turkey

The Ottoman Empire, which had been tottering since the Treaty of Kuchuk KainarjiKuchuk Kainarji, Treaty of
, 1774, peace treaty signed at the end of the first of the Russo-Turkish Wars undertaken by Catherine II of Russia against Sultan Mustafa III of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
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 in 1774, was dealt its death blow in World War I. By the Treaty of Sèvres (1920; see Sèvres, Treaty ofSèvres, Treaty of,
1920, peace treaty concluded after World War I at Sèvres, France, between the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), on the one hand, and the Allies (excluding Russia and the United States) on the other.
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) the victorious Allies reduced the once mighty empire to a small state comprising the northern half of the Anatolian peninsula and the narrow neutralized and Allied-occupied Zone of the Straits. Sultan Muhammad VIMuhammad VI
or Mehmet VI,
1861–1926, last Ottoman sultan (1918–22), brother and successor of Muhammad V. He became sultan of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) near the end of World War I and soon capitulated to the Allies, who occupied Constantinople and sought
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 accepted the treaty, but Turkish nationalists rallied under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal (from 1934 known as Kemal AtatürkAtatürk, Kemal
, 1881–1938, Turkish leader, founder of modern Turkey. He took the name in 1934 in place of his earlier name, Mustafa Kemal, when he ordered all Turks to adopt a surname; it is made up of the Turkish words Ata and Türk [father of the Turks].
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) and organized their forces for resistance.

In Apr., 1920, even before the Treaty of Sèvres was signed, a Turkish national government and national assembly began to function at Ankara. The nationalists defied the authority of the sultan, took the offensive against the Allies in Anatolia, and concluded (1921) a treaty of friendship with the USSR, which restored the KarsKars
, city (1990 pop. 79,496), capital of Kars prov., E Turkey, in Armenia, on the Kars River. Its manufactures include textiles, carpets, and food products. The city is linked by rail to Ankara, Turkey, and to Georgia and Azerbaijan.
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 and Ardahan regions to Turkey in exchange for Batumi. In the meantime the Greeks, encouraged by the Allies, launched an offensive against the nationalists from their base at Izmir. The Turkish counteroffensive, beginning in Aug., 1922, ended with the complete rout of the Greeks and with the Turkish capture of Izmir (Sept., 1922). On Nov. 1, 1922, the Ankara government declared the sultan deposed, but it allowed his brother, Abd al-Majid, to succeed to the spiritual office of caliph.

Shortly afterward, a conference opened at Lausanne (see Lausanne, Treaty ofLausanne, Treaty of,
1922–23. The peace treaty (see Sèvres, Treaty of) imposed by the Allies on the Ottoman Empire after World War I had virtually destroyed Turkey as a national state.
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) to revise the Treaty of Sèvres. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) established the present boundaries of Turkey, except for the disputed region of Alexandretta (Iskenderun; see HatayHatay
, formerly sanjak of Alexandretta,
province (1990 pop. 1,002,252), 2,141 sq mi (5,545 sq km), S Turkey, including the cities of Antioch (now Antakya) and Alexandretta (now Iskenderun).
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). Turkey was to exercise full sovereign rights over its entire territory, except the Zone of the Straits (see DardanellesDardanelles
or Çanakkale Boğazi
, strait, c.40 mi (60 km) long and from 1 to 4 mi (1.6 to 6.4 km) wide, connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara and separating the Gallipoli peninsula of European Turkey from Asian Turkey.
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), which was to remain demilitarized. Under a separate agreement negotiated at Lausanne in 1923, approximately 1.5 million Greeks living in Turkey were repatriated to Greece, and approximately 800,000 Turks living in Greece and Bulgaria were resettled in Turkey.

Kemal Atatürk and the Republic

Turkey was formally proclaimed a republic in Oct., 1923, with Kemal as its first president; he was reelected in 1927, 1931, and 1935. The caliphate was abolished in 1924, and in the same year a constitution was promulgated that provided for a parliament elected by universal manhood suffrage (extended to women in 1934), and for a cabinet responsible to parliament. However, Kemal governed as a virtual dictator, and his Republican People's party was the only legal party, except for brief periods. During the 14 years of Kemal's rule, Turkey underwent a great transformation, which changed the religious, social, and cultural bases of Turkish society as well as its political and economic structure.

In 1925, the government intensified its antireligious policy, abolished religious orders, forbade polygamy, and prohibited the wearing of the traditional fez. In 1926, Swiss, German, and Italian codes of law were adopted and civil marriage was made compulsory. In 1928, Islam ceased to be the state religion and the Latin alphabet was substituted for the Arabic script. In 1930, Constantinople, which had been replaced as capital by Ankara in 1923, was renamed İstanbul.

At the death (1938) of Kemal, Turkey was well on its way to becoming a state on the Western model. In the economic field, Kemal aimed at obtaining self-sufficiency for Turkey without the aid of foreign capital. Foreign investors had virtually taken over the finances of the Ottoman Empire, and one of the major problems of the Turkish republic was to pay off the old Ottoman debt; the refusal of foreign loans thus was a basic point in Kemal's nationalist program. The difficulties of establishing basic heavy industries without foreign investment and in the absence of much domestic capital required the government to assume a large role, and state ownership became the rule in the new industries.

In foreign policy, Turkey sought friendly relations with all its neighbors. It entered the League of Nations in 1932, guaranteed its European borders by joining (1934) with Greece, Romania, and Yugoslavia in the Balkan EntenteBalkan Entente
, loose alliance formed in 1934 by Yugoslavia, Romania, Greece, and Turkey to safeguard their territorial integrity against Bulgarian revisionism. It thus was in harmony with the Little Entente (formed by Yugoslavia, Romania, and Czechoslovakia chiefly against
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, and signed (1937) a treaty (the Saadabad Pact) with Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. Although Communism was severely suppressed at home, relations with the USSR were cordial until World War II. Turkey was able to obtain a revision of the Straits Convention by the Montreux ConventionMontreux Convention,
1936, international agreement regarding the Dardanelles. The Turkish request for permission to refortify the Straits zone was favorably received by nations anxious to return to international legality as well as to gain an ally against German and Italian
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 of 1936 and gained a satisfactory solution of the Alexandretta dispute through an agreement with France in 1939.

Turkey after Atatürk

Ismet InönüInönü, Ismet
, 1884–1973, Turkish statesman and soldier, president of Turkey (1938–50). He served in the Balkan Wars and World War I and became (1920) chief of staff to Mustafa Kemal, later known as Kemal Atatürk.
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, who succeeded Kemal as president in 1938, warily steered a neutral course through the first five years of World War II, although Turkey received lend-lease aid from the United States after 1941. Despite considerable Allied pressure, Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan only in Feb., 1945; as a result of its declaration of war, Turkey took part in the conference (Apr.–June, 1945) at San Francisco that founded the United Nations. Relations with the Soviet Union became acrimonious after the USSR denounced (Mar., 1945) its friendship pact with Turkey and demanded a thorough revision of the Montreux Convention and joint control of the Straits. Turkey rejected all Soviet demands, and in 1947 it became, with Greece, the recipient of U.S. assistance under the Truman Doctrine (see Truman, Harry STruman, Harry S.,
1884–1972, 33d President of the United States, b. Lamar, Mo. Early Life and Political Career

He grew up on a farm near Independence, Mo., worked at various jobs, and tended the family farm.
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In the elections of 1950, the government party was defeated and Celal BayarBayar, Celâl
, 1884–1986, Turkish statesman. The son of a religious leader and teacher, Bayar joined the nationalist movement after the Young Turk revolution.
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, leader of the Democratic party (established in 1946), succeeded Inönü as president. With Adnan MenderesMenderes, Adnan
, 1899–1961, Turkish prime minister (1950–60). In Jan., 1946, he formed the Democratic party, the first legal opposition party in Turkey. When the party came to power (1950), Menderes became prime minister, and in 1955 he also assumed the duties of
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 as prime minister, the new government followed a policy of firm alignment with the West. Turkish troops fought with distinction in the Korean War, and in 1952 Turkey became a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; U.S. air and missile bases were subsequently established at Izmir and Adana. Turkey concluded a military defense pact with Yugoslavia and Greece (the Balkan Pact) in 1954 and played a leading part in the creation (1954–55) of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO; until 1959 known as the Baghdad Pact). Tension with Greece over the island of CyprusCyprus
, Gr. Kypros, Turk. Kıbrıs, officially Republic of Cyprus, republic (2015 est. pop. 1,161,000), 3,578 sq mi (9,267 sq km), an island in the E Mediterranean Sea, c.40 mi (60 km) S of Turkey and c.60 mi (100 km) W of Syria.
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, whose population is mostly Greek but includes a sizable Turkish minority, began in the mid-1950s and continued after Cyprus became independent in 1960.

Partly as a result of aid under the Marshall PlanMarshall Plan
or European Recovery Program,
project instituted at the Paris Economic Conference (July, 1947) to foster economic recovery in certain European countries after World War II. The Marshall Plan took form when U.S. Secretary of State George C.
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, the Turkish economy expanded considerably after 1950, and foreign capital was attracted by favorable investment laws. The Menderes government was returned to power in 1954 and 1957, although a serious economic crisis had developed. Growing discontent led to the enactment of restrictive laws by the government. Many leading journalists were jailed, and tension erupted into the open in Apr., 1960, when university students demonstrated against the government. The attempts to suppress these outbreaks led directly to a coup in May by an army junta headed by Gen. Cemal GürselGürsel, Cemal
, 1895–1966, Turkish army officer and political leader. He fought in World War I and in most of the military campaigns during the war of independence (1920–23). Gürsel remained in the army and in 1958 became commander of Turkish ground forces.
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. The junta, which favored a return to Kemalist principles, placed Menderes, Bayar, and several hundred other Democratic party leaders on trial for having violated the constitution; Menderes and several others were executed.

The Second Turkish Republic

In 1961, a new constitution providing for a bicameral legislature and a strong executive was approved in a referendum, thus establishing the second Turkish republic. General Gürsel was elected president and Inönü became prime minister at the head of a coalition government. During the Cuban Missile CrisisCuban Missile Crisis,
1962, major cold war confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. In response to the Bay of Pigs Invasion and other American actions against Cuba as well as to President Kennedy's build-up in Italy and Turkey of U.S.
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 of 1962, the Turkish government strongly supported U.S. President Kennedy's refusal to close down the U.S. bases in Turkey in exchange for the dismantling of Soviet bases in Cuba; thus, close U.S.-Turkish ties were reaffirmed.

Following a reversal in parliament, Inönü resigned in 1965 and was succeeded as prime minister by Suat Hayri Ürgüplü. After the center-right Justice party won a majority in the lower house of parliament in the general election of 1965, Süleyman DemirelDemirel, Süleyman
, 1924–2015, Turkish political leader, prime minister and president of Turkey. A successful engineer, he became leader of the Justice party in 1964, deputy prime minister in Feb., 1965, and prime minister in Oct., 1965.
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 replaced Ürgüplü as prime minister. Gürsel died in 1966 and was succeeded as president by Cevdet Sunay. In 1969 the United States and Turkey signed a military agreement under which Turkey gained some influence over the number of troops and types of weapons the United States deployed in Turkey.

Domestic and Foreign Strife

Demirel won the 1969 general elections handily, but his government was soon undermined by civil unrest caused by conflicts between leftists and rightists and by a separatist movement among the Kurds. Western Turkey suffered severe earthquakes in 1970–71. Civil strife continued and Demirel was followed by a succession of prime ministers in the early 1970s. In 1973, Fahri Korutürk succeeded Sunay as president of the country. Bülent EcevitEcevit, Bülent
, 1925–2006, Turkish political leader and journalist. An editor for Ulus, the organ of the Republican People's party, he was elected to parliament (1957–60 and again from 1961) and served (1961–65) as minister of labor.
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 of the Republican People's party became prime minister in 1974.

Turkey maintained its close ties with the United States in the early 1970s and at the same time cultivated better relations with the USSR. Largely as a result of U.S. pressure, the growing of opium poppies in Turkey was banned in 1971 (effective 1972), although in 1974 the government announced it would allow cultivation of opium poppies under state control for medical purposes only. In mid-1974, Turkish troops invaded Cyprus following a Greek-oriented coup there, and they gained control of 30% of the island. Also in the early 1970s, the discovery of oil on the continental shelf under the waters surrounding the Greek Islands caused further conflict between Greece and Turkey. Largely because of the diplomatic intervention of the United States, Great Britain, and the United Nations, war between the two countries was averted.

Between 1975 and 1980, Demirel and Ecevit alternated as heads of minority governments while economic and social conditions worsened. In 1980 martial law was declared after civil violence claimed over 2,000 lives. Gen. Kenan EvrenEvren, Kenan
, 1918–2015, Turkish military and political leader, president of Turkey (1982–89). Educated at the Turkish Military Academy, he graduated as an artillary officer in 1938.
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 seized control of the government and forcibly restored order, harshly repressing opponents. A new constitution was approved in 1982, reestablishing the unicameral parliament with the proviso that Evren would remain head of state until 1989. The constitution also gave the military influence over civilian matters and autonomy in military affairs. In 1983 the conservative Motherland party won an overall majority, and its leader, Turgut ÖzalÖzal, Turgut,
1927–93, Turkish political leader, president of Turkey (1989–93). Trained as an electrical engineer, he worked for the Turkish state planning office in the 1950s and 60s, as an economist for the World Bank (1971–73), in private business, and
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, became prime minister. By 1987 martial law had been lifted, except in the four Kurdish-dominated provinces in SE Turkey where a guerrilla campaign by the separatist Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) had begun in the mid-1980s. In 1987, Özal was reelected.

In 1989, Özal succeeded Evren as president. In the same year about 300,000 Muslim Turks crossed from Bulgaria into Turkey to avoid government attempts to forcibly Bulgarianize them. During the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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 (1991), Turkey allowed the United States to launch air strikes against Iraq from Turkey. Although the war caused a massive dislocation of Kurds in Iraq, Turkey kept its borders closed in an effort to avoid an increase in Kurdish nationalism.

Parliamentary elections in 1991 ousted Özal's Motherland party from government and Demirel, now leader of the conservative True Path party, became the new prime minister. When President Özal died in 1993, he was succeeded by Demirel, and Tansu Çiller of True Path became prime minister, the first woman to hold that post. After an economic boom in the late 1980s, high inflation, a large foreign debt, and the impact of deficit spending led to a financial crisis in 1994. Social stability was disrupted, and Islamic fundamentalists became increasingly popular. Turkey continued periodic assaults on Kurdish guerrilla bases in Turkey and N Iraq, with heavy casualties on both sides. Human-rights groups accused Turkish forces of atrocities against civilians, including the razing of villages to deny Kurds safe harbor and the use of torture and summary executions. In 1995, Turkey joined in a customs union with the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
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A close parliamentary election in Dec., 1995, gave the Welfare party (an Islamist party), the largest single share (21%) of the vote, with the Motherland and True Path parties each winning 19%. A series of attempts to form a government resulted in a Welfare–True Path coalition in June, 1996, and Welfare leader Necmettin ErbakanErbakan, Necmettin
, 1926–2011, Turkish politician. Trained as an engineer, he received a doctorate in Germany and worked there for several years. In 1970 he establishedan Islamist political party, which advocated Turkey's return to religious values and practices.
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 became prime minister, ending 75 years of exclusively secular governments. Erbakan's overtures to Libya and Iran, as well as his support for Muslim education and culture, alarmed the secular military, and he was pressured to resign in June, 1997; Mesut Yilmaz of the Motherland party became the new prime minister. The Welfare party was banned in 1998, and Erbakan was forbidden to participate in politics for five years. Although other Welfare officeholders were allowed to retain their positions as independents, many of them reorganized as the Virtue party.

Yilmaz lost a confidence vote in Nov., 1998, as a result of a bank privatization scandal, and President Demirel appointed Bülent Ecevit, now head of the Democratic Left party, to form a government. Following elections held in Apr., 1999, Ecevit continued as prime minister, heading a three-party coalition government. High inflation persisted into the late 1990s. There were increasing disputes with Greece over territorial waters, airspace, and especially the partition of Cyprus. Conflict with Kurdish nationalists also heightened; by the late 1990s, the Kurdish rebellion had cost some 30,000 lives. PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured in 1999 and sentenced to death for treason (later commuted to life imprisonment). The PKK announced in Feb., 2000, that they would end their attacks, but the arrest in the same month of several Kurdish mayors accused of aiding the rebels threatened to revive the unrest.

Two major earthquakes hit NW Turkey in 1999, killing thousands. Greece sent aid to Turkey, and when Turkey did likewise after an earthquake in Greece, it marked the beginning of an improvement in bilateral relations. Late in 1999, Turkey was invited to apply for membership in the European Union (EU); the action reversed a 1997 rejection of Turkey's candidacy that was prompted by Turkey's human-rights record. President Demirel sought a second term in 2000, but the constitutional amendment that would have permitted a second term failed to win the required votes in parliament in early April. Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the president of Turkey's highest court, was elected to succeed Demirel later the same month.

An yearlong effort in 2000 to bring Turkey's long-standing inflation under control began to undermine weaker banks late in the year, causing a drop in the stock market and requiring a $7.5 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan in December. Disagreements over the pace of reform between the president, who favored stronger moves, and the prime minister aggravated the crisis, and when the Turkish lira was floated in Feb., 2001, it sank more than 30%. In March and May, as Turkey's economy continued to falter, agreements were reached with the IMF on additional economic aid and an economic reform package. Although the immediate crisis was stemmed, economic difficulties continued into 2002; the recession was the country's worst since World War II.

The Virtue party was banned by Turkey's high court in June, 2001, on charges of pro-Islamic and antisecular activities; its members in parliament were, however, allowed to keep their seats. The center-right Justice and Development party (AKP) was subsequently formed as its successor. A split in Ecevit's government over whether to pass reforms needed to join the EU paralyzed the government in 2002 and led to the defection of many high-ranking members who supported passing the reforms. The erosion of the coalition forced (July, 2002) the ailing Ecevit to call for new elections. A reform package, including legalizing the use of Kurdish in private education and in broadcasts, was passed in August, and emergency rule in the four Kurdish-dominated provinces was ended in stages in 2002. (The changes, however, did not end the fighting between Turkish government and Kurdish rebel forces.)

The parliamentary elections in Nov., 2002, resulted in a landslide victory for the AKP, which won 34% of the vote and 66% of the seats in the national assembly; the Republican People's party was the only other party to win enough votes to qualify for representation. Abdullah GülGül, Abdullah
, 1950–, Turkish politician, grad. İstanbul Univ. (B.A., 1971; Ph.D., 1983). An economist, he was first elected to parliament in 1991, originally as a member of the Islamist Welfare party and later (1999) as a member of its successor, the Virtue
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 became prime minister because the AKP leader, Recep Tayyip ErdoğanErdoğan, Recep Tayyip
, 1954–, Turkish politician. He was educated at Marmara Univ., where he met Necmettin Erbakan, who went on to head the Islamist Welfare party and serve (1996–97) as prime minister.
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 had been banned from running in the elections. The new parliament, however, passed a constitutional amendment permitting Erdoğan to run, and he was elected to parliament in a Feb., 2003, by-election and became prime minister. Gül became foreign minister.

In Dec., 2002, the EU refused to set a date for the start of negotiations for Turkey's admission to that body. The decision was prompted by EU uneasiness concerning the state of Turkish democracy and human rights and, many Turks believe, by EU discomfort with the fact the Turkey is an Islamic nation. Relations with the EU further soured in early 2003 when UN-sponsored Cyprus reunification talks collapsed, due in large part to Turkish Cypriot rejection of the proposed terms. Subsequently in 2003, however, the parliament passed a series of reforms designed to facilitate Turkey's admission.

In Mar., 2003, the Turkish parliament refused to grant the United States permission to invade N Iraq from bases in Turkey, despite the Turkish government's having negotiated a multibillion-dollar aid package in exchange for such rights; most Turks opposed U.S. military action against Iraq. Although permission to overfly Turkey was subsequently granted to U.S. forces, U.S.-Turkish relations were strained, and the situation was aggravated by Turkey's considering invading N Iraq to forestall any attempt by the Kurds there to move toward independence.

Erdoğan's government supported renewed UN-sponsored negotiations on reunifying Cyprus, and pressed for ratification of the accord (Apr., 2004) by Turkish Cypriots. Rejection of the accord by Greek Cypriots, however, left the situation on the island unresolved. In May, 2004, Congra-Gel, the PKK's successor, announced that it was ending its cease-fire because of government attacks against it, and by 2006 there was renewed violence and unrest in Kurdish areas. A new cease-fire was declared in Sept., 2006, and again in June, 2007, as the government mounted a vigorous offensive against Kurdish separatists.

Revisions to the penal code, the final part of the package of reforms sought by the EU, were passed by the Turkish parliament in Sept., 2004. Despite that, however, it was evident that there was strong sentiment against admitting Turkey in a number of EU countries, and a suggestion of possible new conditions for Turkey's admission to the EU elicited a strong protest from Turkish leaders in Dec., 2004. At the same time, there were also many nationalists in Turkey who objected to its joining the EU. The EU nonetheless agreed to begin negotiations in 2005 with Turkey on its admission, and they were officially opened in Oct., 2005.

The killing, in May, 2006, of a high court judge by an Islamist sparked secular, sometimes antigovernment, protests in Turkey; the military's open approval of the demonstrators brought criticism from Prime Minister Erdoğan, who accused the chief of the army of encouraging ongoing protests. A Turkish law that makes "insulting Turkishness" a crime led to several highly publicized controversial court cases (2005–6) against well-known authors, but most of the cases were dismissed. However, the law and other human rights issues, as well as Turkey's relations with Cyprus, were sticking points in negotiations with the EU. The latter issue led to a partial suspension of the accession negotiations in Dec., 2006, as Turkey refused to open its ports to trade with Cyprus unless the EU eased its trade restrictions on North Cyprus. An EU report on the accession process (Nov., 2007) said that Turkey still needed to make progress on a number of reforms. Despite some progress on reforms, a report three years later again focused on shortcomings in political and civil rights as well as Turkey's relations with Cyprus, and there was little subsequent movement toward accession.

In Apr., 2007, the AKP nominated Foreign Minister Gül for the presidency, but his election was defeated through parliamentary maneuvering. The party then sought to change the constitution so that the president would be popularly elected, but President Sezer vetoed the measure. A referendum on the amendment, which should have been forced by the passage of the amendment a second time, was stymied when the president vetoed (June) legislation that would have scheduled the vote in July, during the general election. Sezer's term meanwhile expired in May, but he remained in office until a new president was chosen.

The political battling over the presidency sharpened the tensions between the Islamists and secularists, but the AKP again won a sizable parliamentary majority (with 47% of the vote) after the July, 2007, elections. Gül was subsequently (August) elected president when the several smaller opposition parties refused to boycott the vote in parliament. Voters subsequently approved the direct election of the president by popular vote. Escalating fighting in between Turkish forces and Kurdish separatists in the second half of 2007 led Turkey to threaten to invade N Iraq in an attempt to destroy PKK bases there. Beginning in Oct., 2007, and continuing through 2008, Turkish forces mounted generally small-scale strikes into N Iraq.

In Feb., 2008, the government passed constitutional amendments that eased the ban against the wearing of headscarves by female university students; the amendments were challenged in court as contrary to Turkey's secular constitution. The following month, partly as a result of those amendments, a prosecutor brought a case before Turkey's constitutional court that sought to have the AKP closed and its leaders banned from politics for five years for antisecular actions. The move was widely regarded as an attempt by secularists to remove the government by "judicial coup." In June the headscarf reform was blocked by the constitutional court, which ruled that it was in violation of the constitution's secular principles.

More than 80 persons were charged in July, 2008, with attempting to provoke the overthrow of the government; the trial began in October. A second major indictment in Mar., 2009, charged more than 50 persons with plotting a coup, and by 2010 some 400 people had been arrested and put on trial in connection with plot, allegedly masterminded by a secret secular nationalist group called Ergenekon. The continuing probe into the alleged plot, which led to the arrest of journalists, politicians, and lawyers as well as military officers but no convictions by early 2012, led to charges by the opposition and criticism from abroad that the government was using the case to silence its secularist critics. In Aug., 2013, more than 250 people were convicted in the case, including a former head of the armed forces, İlker Başbuğ, but in Apr., 2016, an appeals court overturned those convictions and ruled that there had been no Ergenekon group.

Meanwhile, in July, 2008, the constitutional court narrowly decided not to ban the governing party, instead imposing financial sanctions on it as a warning; the court later specifically accused the prime minister of antisecular activities. The government subsequently abandoned its attempt at headscarf reform. The AKP's failure to win as large a share of the vote (39% instead of 47%) in the Mar., 2009, local elections was seen as a setback for its policies.

Turkey and Armenia in Oct., 2009, signed protocols normalizing their relations, to take effect when ratified by both nations' parliament. Unresolved issues relating to the mass murder and deportation of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I (see ArmeniaArmenia
, Armenian Hayastan, officially Republic of Armenia, republic (2015 est. pop. 2,917,000), 11,500 sq mi (29,785 sq km), in the S Caucasus. Armenia is bounded by Turkey on the west, Azerbaijan on the east (the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan is on its
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) and Armenia's occupation of Nagorno-KarabakhNagorno-Karabakh
, region (1990 pop. 192,000), 1,699 sq mi (4,400 sq km), SE Azerbaijan, between the Caucasus and the Karabakh range. Khankendi or Stepanakert (the capital) and Shusha or Shushi are the chief towns.
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 and surrounding Azerbaijani territory stoked opposition to the accord in both nations, and neither ratified the accord. In Dec., 2009, the constitutional court banned the Democratic Society party (DTP), the largest legal Kurdish party, for alleged links to Kurdish rebels; a number of Kurdish politicians were arrested subsequently. The moves raised tensions with Turkey's Kurds and led to several days of unrest. In Feb., 2010, however, DTP lawmakers formed the Peace and Democracy party (BDP).

Revelations in Jan., 2010, concerning a second alleged coup plot, this one dating to 2003 and known as Sledgehammer, led to dozens of arrests in February; among those arrested and charged were serving generals and admirals. In Dec., 2010, nearly 200 people were put on trial in connection with the alleged plot; by the time of the trial's end in 2012, more than 350 defendants were involved. Some of the documents supposedly associated with the plot contained clear anachronisms, and the trial was denounced by government opponents, but 326 officers, including the former chiefs of the air force and navy, were convicted of plotting a coup. In 2013 more than 80 convictions of lower-ranking officers were overturned on appeal. In 2014 the release of, and new trials for, the rest were ordered after the constitutional court ruled that their rights were violated, and the defendants were acquitted in 2015.

In May, 2010, the government passed a package of constitutional changes that were challenged in the constitutional court by the opposition; although the court rejected some changes that would increase presidential influence over the appointment of judges, it otherwise allowed the package to be voted on in a referendum, and the amendments were approved in September. Also in May, Turkey's increasingly independent foreign policy was shown by its ultimately unsuccessful attempt with Brazil to mediate a solution to the standoff between Iran and the UN Security Council over Iran's nuclear policies. Relations with Israel were strained by a deadly Israeli raid at the end of the month that seized a convoy attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza; the convoy had been organized by a Turkish group. Israeli-Turkish relations were not fully normalized until late 2016.

The university headscarf ban ended in Jan., 2011, when the government announced it would support any woman disciplined for wearing one. In June, 2011, the AKP, benefitting from Turkey's significant economic growth since it first took power in 2002, won about half the vote in the parliamentary elections, and again won a sizable majority in the parliament, though not the two thirds of the seats required to amend the constitution. The following month the military chiefs of staff resigned in protest against the arrests of senior officers accused of plotting against the government, in apparent attempt to provoke a political crisis. Occurring relatively uneventfully, the resignations were instead seen as a marker of the military's loss of influence.

The Turkish government was critical of the Syrian government's increasingly repressive response during 2011 to opposition Syrian protests (and was supportive of Syria's Turkmen minorty, who generally opposed Assad). The crisis in Syria strained relations with Iran, which was a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Tensions with Syria sharply increased in mid-2012 after a Turkish military jet was shot down by Syria while flying along Syria's sea border, and later in the year Turkish forces regularly returned fire whenever Syrian fire landed in Turkey. Turkey shot down a Syrian helicopter in 2013 and a Syrian fighter jet in 2014; it said both had violated Turkish airspace

There were increased tensions with the Kurdish minority beginning in the second half of 2011, and fighting intensified with Kurdish rebels based in Iraq, leading Turkey to send sizable forces across the border; significant fighting with Kurdish rebels in Turkey continued into 2012. The government also moved against Kurdish politicians, journalists, and academics in Turkey after Turkish Kurds announced plans to establish democratic autonomy.

A strong earthquake in Oct., 2011, killed more than 600 and caused extensive damage near Lake Van in E Turkey. Erciş and Van were among the cities that suffered the greatest damage. In Jan., 2012, former president Evren was arrested on charges relating to his role in the 1980 coup; he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in June, 2014. The arrest of Evren, of those in the two coup cases (including a former head of the army in Jan., 2012), and of Turkish Kurds increased the perception that Prime Minister Erdoğan was using the justice system to settle scores and silence critics, and led to increased criticism of his government abroad. Negotiations with imprisoned Kurdish leader Ocalan, which began in late 2012, led in Mar., 2013, to a Kurdish guerrilla cease-fire and, later, to the gradual withdrawal of guerrilla forces to Iraq. The withdrawal halted in September, and the guerrillas accused the government of failing to make progress to resolution of the Kurdish problem.

In early 2013 a number of generals, include a former chief of the general staff, were detained and questioned concerning the forced resignation of Erbakan in 1997; subsequently some 100 officers were charged with overthrowing Erbakan and put on trial later in the year. Protests in late May, 2013, against proposed development in İstanbul developed into nationwide protests and strikes in June that were directed against Erdoğan; the government responded with a crackdown against the demonstrations and mounted counterdemonstrations of its supporters. In Sept., 2013, Erdoğan announced a package of human-rights reforms, including some language concessions to Kurds and an end to the ban on headscarves on female workers in government offices.

In Dec., 2013, revelations of a corruption investigation involving the families of cabinet ministers and others associated with the government led Erdoğan to accuse the moderate Islamic Gülen movement (see Gülen, FethullahGülen, Fethullah,
1941–, Turkish Islamic leader, founder of the Gülen movement, an educational, religious, and social Islamic organization that supported the Justice and Development party (AKP) in Turkey and has a worldwide following.
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), a former political ally, of attempting to undermine his government. In response, his government purged police and prosecutorial officials throughout the country (some of whom were also arrested and charged with crimes in 2014 and 2015), blocked additional investigations, passed legislation establishing tighter control over the judiciary and increasing police powers, and during the following years targeted businesses associated with the movement and other perceived opponents, including critical media companies. The revelations and government reaction also had economic repercussions, as the crisis caused the Turkish currency to drop in value and the government's actions were criticized by the EU; the measures the government adopted also aggravated the stalled EU accession talks. In local elections in Mar., 2014, the AKP largely retained the support it had had in the last parliamentary elections.

The European Court of Human Rights in May, 2014, ordered Turkey to pay Cyprus €90 million as compensation for the effects of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974; the case had been brought by Cyprus in 1994 and decided in its favor in 2001. Turkey announced it would not make the payment. In Aug., 2014, Erdoğan won Turkey's first direct presidential election. Ahmet DavutoğluDavutoğlu, Ahmet,
1959–, Turkish politician. Before entering politics, he taught political science and international relations at Marmara Univ., Beykent Univ., and other institutions.
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, his foreign minister, succeeded him as AKP leader and prime minister. Kurds rioted in parts of E Turkey in Oct., 2014, over Turkey's refusal to send significant aid Syrian Kurds under attack by the Islamic StateIslamic State
(IS), Sunni Islamic militant group committed to the establishment of an Islamic caliphate that would unite Muslims in a transnational, strict-fundamentalist Islamic state.
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 (IS). In May and October, many charges in the Dec., 2013, corruption investigation were dismissed, and in Jan., 2015, the parliament voted not to send the former cabinet ministers involved in the investigation to trial. Arrest warrants for Fethullah Gülen were issued in Dec., 2014, and Oct., 2015; he was charged with operating a criminal organization and seeking to overthrow the government. In May, 2016, his religious movement was declared a terrorist group by Turkey.

In the June, 2015, elections the AKP lost its majority but remained the largest party in parliament; the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic party (HDP) attracted support from left-wing voters and placed fourth. A government that enjoyed majority support in parliament, however, was not established. New elections were held in November, when the AKP secured a majority of seats (with 49% of the vote).

The end of the Kurdish militias' cease-fire in July, 2015, led to a surge in clashes between Kurdish militias and government forces as well as air strikes against Kurdish forces in Turkey and Iraq. Government forces subsequently mounted an offensive that led to the worst fighting in parts of SE Turkey since the 1990s. Turkey also began air strikes in July against IS forces in Syria. In late 2015 Turkey also sent troops into N Iraq to train anti-IS forces, a move that led to tensions with Iraq; the forces remained there into 2016. Subsequently, a number of bombings and attacks associated with both conflicts occurred in Turkish cities; a suicide attack in Istanbul in June, 2016, that was attributed to the IS killed dozens and wounded many more. In Aug.–Sept., 2016, Turkish troops crossed into parts of Syria and then maintained a presence there to keep IS forces from the border and assist Turkish-supported Syrian rebels. Turkey and its Syrian Arab allies also seized the Kurdish-controlled region around Afrin in NW Syria in early 2018. Some 3.7 million refugees fled Syria for Turkey as a result of the Syrian civil war.

In Nov., 2015, Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet that it said had strayed from Syria into its airspace, leading to tensions with Russia; relations did not begin to improve until mid-2016, but late in 2016 both nations began cooperating militarily and diplomatically in Syria. Also in 2015, thousands of Middle Eastern migrants passed through Turkey to Europe; in November the European Union offered Turkey €3 billion and other incentives in return for help in stemming the flow of migrants. In May, 2016, Davutoğlu resigned as prime minister; he had been regarded as resisting Erdoğan's attempts to establish a strong presidential system of government and as less hard-line concerning the fighting with Kurdish militants. Binali Yıldırım, the transportation minister and an Erdoğan loyalist, became AKP leader and prime minister; the change established a de facto executive presidency despite the constitution.

In July, a faction in the military attempted a coup that quickly collapsed in the face of widespread popular opposition; more than 200 died in confrontations and fighting. In the aftermath the Turkish government blamed Gülen and his followers for the coup, declared a state of emergency that lasted two years (and then was largely extended for three more years by a security law), and used the coup as an excuse to remove more than 200,000 perceived enemies from the military, police, courts, educational system, civil service, and private organizations and businesses. Some 77,000 were arrested and held for trial, with arrests continuing into the 2020s, and the government seized control of hundreds of private companies suspected of being linked to Güen's followers. Gülen was indicted for his alleged involvement, and Turkey sought his extradition from the United States. The government also moved against Kurdish party leaders, lawmakers, and mayors, arresting or dismissing them on terrorism-related charges, and shut opposition media outlets, largely eliminating critical reporting.

In Jan., 2017, the AKP, with the support of the smaller National Movement (MHP), secured passage by parliament of constitutional amendments creating a more powerful executive presidency, abolishing the prime ministership, and reducing the independence of the courts. The changes were approved with 51% of the vote in a referendum in April, but the government dominated media coverage during the campaigning and the vote was marred by irregularities and accusations of possible fraud (including lopsided progovernment voting in some opposition areas and the recording of votes that had been deemed invalid). Also in April, the Council of Europe voted to resume monitoring Turkey over concerns about democracy and human rights; the council had suspended its monitoring in 2004. In May, 2017, Erdoğan replaced Yıldırım as AKP leader.

In early elections in June, 2018, the president was reelected with 53% of the vote. Media coverage was again dominated by the government. The AKP and the allied MHP won a majority of the seats; the Kurdish HDP placed third. Concerns about the Turkish economy and Turkey's foreign debt and about the effects of a trade dispute with the United States caused the Turkish lira to drop significantly in value in 2018, and in September Turkey's central bank raised interest rates sharply to stabilize the currency. Ultimately, the result was a recession in the last half of 2019.

The Oct., 2018, murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul led the Turkish government to denounce and discredit the Saudis repeatedly, and already poor relations worsened as the Saudis first denied that any killing had taken place and then several times changed their story concerning the killing before announcing arrests in the case. Turkish elections in Mar., 2019, resulted in the AKP-led coalition winning the most votes nationally, but despite the government domination of the media the Republican People's party (CHP) won Ankara and a number of large cities, including a narrow victory in İstanbul, which the CHP won in June by a large margin after the AKP secured a rerun.

In July, 2019, Turkey's purchase of a Russian missile defense system led to tensions with the United States, which removed Turkey from participation in manufacturing an advanced U.S. fighter jet. Turkey's testing of the system more than a year later led to further tensions, and in Dec., 2020, the United States imposed export sanctions on Turkey.

In Aug., 2019, Turkey and the United States agreed to create in N Syria a so-called safe zone, in which Kurdish forces would be withdrawn, along part of the E Syria-Turkey border, and Kurds later began withdrawing from some areas. In October, however, after Turkey again threatened to invade Kurdish-held border areas, U.S. President Trump abruptly ordered U.S. forces allied with the Kurds to withdraw. Turkey and its Syrian Arab allies invaded the border areas; they were accused of committing war crimes during the fighting. A U.S.-negotiated pause in the fighting to allow Kurds to withdraw from the border was followed by Russian-Turkish agreement to establish an 18-mi (30-km) safe zone along nearly all of the border E of the Euphrates, with Turkey retaining control of areas it had seized.

In Nov., 2019, Turkey signed a maritime border agreement with Libya's Tripoli-based government that was denounced by Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus for ignoring their territory and claims; at issue were potential oil fields in disputed areas, and Greece and Egypt negotiated a similar agreement in response in mid-2020. A military agreement with Libya was also signed, leading Turkey to deploy troops there in early 2020. Turkey also moved several thousand Syrian fighters aligned with it to Libya to aid the Tripoli-based government. In early 2020 Turkey again permitted refugees from Syria to flee to Greece, leading to a confrontation between Greek forces and refugees on the Greece-Turkey land border. Turkish oil-and-gas exploration in disputed sea areas in the second half of 2020 heightened tensions with Greece and the European Union. When the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh re-erupted in Sept., 2020, Turkey vocally supported Azerbaijan, and was credibly accused of supplying Syrian fighters to Azerbaijan as mercenaries.


See G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Meander: An Archaeological Guide (1971); G. Renda and C. M. Kortepeter, ed., The Transformation of Turkish Culture (1986); D. Facaros and M. Pauls, Turkey (1987); T. Bahcheli, Greek-Turkish Relations since 1955 (1988); M. Heper and A. Evin, ed., State, Democracy, and the Military: Turkey in the 1980s (1988); N. and H. Pope, Turkey Unveiled: A History of Modern Turkey (1999); S. Kinzer, Crescent and Star (2001); A. Mango, The Turks Today (2006); M. Bogdani, Turkey and the Dilemma of EU Accession (2010); B. Eligur, The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey (2010); C. V. Findley, Turkey, Islam, Nationalism, and Modernity: A History, 1789–2007 (2010).


common name for a large game and poultrypoultry,
domesticated fowl kept primarily for meat and eggs; including birds of the order Galliformes, e.g., the chicken, turkey, guinea fowl, pheasant, quail, and peacock; and natatorial (swimming) birds, e.g., the duck and goose.
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 bird related to the grouse and the pheasant. Its name derives from its "turk-turk" call. Turkeys are indigenous to the New World; American fossils date back 40 million years to the Oligocene. The Mexican turkey, taken to Europe in the 16th cent. by the conquistadors, is the original of the domestic race. The wild eastern turkey, Meleagris gallapavo, was common in New England at the time of the Pilgrims, but has been exterminated there and now ranges from New York to Missouri. Commercial operations produced 260 million turkeys in the United States in 1989. Wild turkeys are woodland birds, gregarious except at breeding time. They are nonmigratory, although they are good fliers. Like pheasants, they are polygamous, and the male, who eats little during courtship, depends at this time on a fatty breast appendage for nourishment. The female alone builds the nest on the ground; she lays 8 to 15 eggs per clutch and also broods the young. The colorful ocellated turkey, Agriocharis ocellata is found in Central America. Turkeys are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Galliformes, family Meleagrididae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


(vertebrate zoology)
Either of two species of wild birds, and any of various derived domestic breeds, in the family Meleagrididae characterized by a bare head and neck, and in the male a large pendant wattle which hangs on one side from the base of the bill.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Official name: Republic of Turkey

Capital city: Ankara

Internet country code: .tr

Flag description: Red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening

National anthem: “Istiklal Marsi” (The Independence March)

Geographical description: Southeastern Europe and south­western Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria

Total area: 314,500 sq. mi. (814,578 sq. km.)

Climate: Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

Nationality: noun: Turk(s); adjective: Turkish

Population: 71,158,647 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20% (estimated)

Languages spoken: Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian, Arabic, Armenian, Greek (note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the Euro­pean part of Turkey)

Religions: Muslim (mostly Sunni) 99.8%, other (mostly Christians, Jews, and Baha’i) 0.2%

Legal Holidays:

Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports DayMay 19
National Sovereignty and Children's DayApr 23
New Year's DayJan 1
Republic DayOct 29
Victory DayAug 30
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


1. a large gallinaceous bird, Meleagris gallopavo, of North America, having a bare wattled head and neck and a brownish iridescent plumage. The male is brighter and has a fan-shaped tail. A domestic variety is widely bred for its flesh
2. a similar and related bird, Agriocharis ocellata (ocellated turkey), of Central and N South America
3. any of various Australian birds considered to resemble the turkey, such as the bush turkey
4. Slang (in tenpin bowling) three strikes in a row
5. See cold turkey


a republic in W Asia and SE Europe, between the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Aegean: the centre of the Ottoman Empire; became a republic in 1923. The major Asian part, consisting mainly of an arid plateau, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, and Dardanelles. Official languages: Turkish; Kurdish and Arabic minority languages. Religion: Muslim majority. Currency: lira. Capital: Ankara. Pop.: 72 320 000 (2004 est.). Area: 780 576 sq. km (301 380 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005