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Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Total population (millions): 71.7
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 67%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.4%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 774.820

Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Turkish 78.9 %
Kurdish 19.5 %
Arab 1.6 %

Main Cities Population
Istanbul 8 803 468
Ankara 3 203 362
Izmir 2 232 265
Bursa 1 194 687
Adana 1 130 710
Gaziantep 853 513

Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir (GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer).
Summer time from March to October

Official language: Turkish.
Business language: English, French or German.

Free translation tools

Free English-Turkish-English translator of texts and web pages

English-Czech-Turkish Dictionary

Religious practises : Muslims 98%
Orthodox, Gregorian, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant 2%.

Political context

Turkey is a republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Turkey (official name: Republic of Turkey) is a strong candidate for European Union (EU) membership. The Turkish military plays an important informal role in country's politics, seeing itself as the guardian of the secular, unitary nature of the republic.
President is the chief of the state and is elected by the country's parliament for a single seven-year term. President appoints the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers (cabinet), but his role is largely ceremonial. Prime Minister is the head of the government and is elected by the Parliament through a vote of confidence in his government to serve a five-year term. Prime Minister enjoys most of the executive powers which include implementation of the law in the country and running the day-to-day affairs.
The legislature in Turkey is unicameral. The Parliament called Grand National Assembly of Turkey has 550 seats with its members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms. The government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the Parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence: in case the government loses the vote of confidence in the Parliament, the President can dissolve this latter. The legislative power is vested in both the Parliament and the government. The people of Turkey have limited political rights.
Though, the Turkish constitution guarantees an independent judiciary, the government has been influencing judges through its control of appointments, promotions, and financing. The main source of the law in the country is the constitution of 1982. The country's legal system is based on civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems. Turkey is a member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).The judicial language used in the country is Turkish, having an interpreter is possible.
Turkey is largely ruled by law and is introducing reforms wherever necessary to pave the way for joining the EU. Foreign nationals can normally expect an impartial trial form country's judicial system. Corruption is a big concern in the country and it exists in all walks of life. Though the government is bringing necessary laws to fight it, but proper enforcement is lacking and a culture of tolerance of corruption pervades among the general population.

Major political parties

Turkey has a multi-party system. To be represented in the parliament, a political party must win at least 10% of the national vote in a national parliamentary election. Political parties deemed anti-secular or separatist by the judiciary can be banned. The main political parties in the country are:
- AKP (Justice and Development Party) - a conservative, moderate Islamist party,
- CHP (Republican People's Party) - a nationalist, social-democratic party,
- DEHAP (Democratic People's Party) - a left-wing, pro-Kurdish party,
- MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) - a far-right nationalist party,
- DYP (True Path Party) - a right-wing, secularist conservative party.

Major political leaders

President: Ahmet Necdet SEZER (since May 2000) - non-partisan
Prime Minister: Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (since March 2003) - AKP

Next political election dates

Presidential: May 2007
Grand National Assembly: November 2007






Number of visitors in Turkey 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 16,826 20,273 18,916 13
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005


Tourist sites
- In Istanbul: Topkapi palace, Dolmabahçe palace, Hagia Sofia (formerly Holy basilica Sofie), Blue Mosque etc. The city of Istanbul is full of markets (bazaar), with notably Kapalicarsi which is a market hall built in 15-th century, but also Misir Carsisi (market specialized in spices), Beyoglu Balikpazari (specialized in fish).
- Cappadoce: the Anatolia museum
- Perganon: the Trajan's temple
- The natural and unique in the world Pamukkale's site in the South Aegean's region (terrace pond of salt).

For more information about tourism in Turkey , check out the following web site(s) :
Ministry of Tourism in Turkey
Informations portal on tourism in Turkey


Traditional dishes
The Turkish food is famous worlwide for its variety and spicy dishes.
There are a lot of Turkish specialties, the main ones being:
The various Kebabs:
Roasted beef or chicken served either in sandwiches (Döner), or as convenience foods in restaurants: the Adana Kebab (minced beef on a wooden stick, served with a hot spicy sauce on "pide" bread), Yogurtlu Kebab (chopped beef with a yoghurt-based sauce), Sis kebab (beef, tomatoes, onions and peppers), tavuk sis (Lemon juice marinaded with chicken).
Karniyarik: stuffed eggplant often served with a spicy tomato sauce.
Lahmacun: Turkish pizza with minced meat (spicy or not).
Midye Tava: Mussels fritters with a garlic sauce (teratur).
Heap Kebab: small veal pieces marinaded in a tomato sauce and served with some pilau rice or fried potatoes.
The cacik: Turkish Soup with yoghurt, cucumber with mint. It is served cold.
Patlican tava: grilled eggplant.
Manti: Beef ravioli with a yoghurt sauce and tomato sauce, spicy or not.
Baklava and Kadayif: oriental cake prepared with pistachios and nuts and with a honey-based sauce.
Raki: very strong alcohol Turkish traditional drink anise-based - Equivalent of the Greek Ouzo.
Ayran: Yoghurt-based soft drink.
Çay: the very famous Turkish tea, the Turks drink it at any time.
Kahve: Turkish coffee which is very strong.

Food-related taboos
Eating pork is prohibited in Turkey.

Last modified on December 2006

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