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About Turkey

Turkey is a mosaic made up of stunning scenery, ancient history and culture making it a perfect paradise haven from the stress and routine of everyday life.

The lands of Turkey are located at a point where the three continents making up the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other. Turkey is situated on an area where Europe meets Asia, creating a link between these two continents. The European part of the country is called Thrace, while the Asian part is known as Anatolia (or Asia Minor). It is bordered to the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria, to the east by the former USSR (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan Republics) and Iran, and to the south by Iraq and Syria. Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favour throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a centre of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on four sides.

Turkey has a magnificent past spanning from 13 successive civilizations over 10,000 years and offers some of the most impressive historical and ancient sites in the world together with natural wonders. The fabulous mediterranean coastline boasts some of the most idyllic beaches and crystal clear blue waters you will have ever seen where water sports are available, and even just a gentle swim snorkelling is a rich and rewarding experience. The climate varies from region to region: a temperate climate in the Black sea region, a Mediterranean climate on the southern coast and the Aegean, a continental and arid climate on the central plateau and a harsh mountain climate in eastern Turkey.

There is no doubt one visit will not be enough, this really is a fabulous place, and those who try it come back again and again to discover the hidden mysteries that Turkey has to offer.

  • Country Profile: Turkey

  • Official Name: The Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)
  • Founder: Mustafa Kemal ATATÜRK (1881-1938)
  • Location: Eastern Mediterranean. Located on two contitents Europe and Asia. The European part of Turkey is called Thrace, while the Asian part is called Anatolia or Asia Minor.
  • Area: Approx 780,000 sq km (483,000 sq mi)
  • Population: 73.4 million (as of 2005)
  • Capital city: Ankara
  • People: Majority Turks. Minorities recognised under the Turkish Constitution: Jews, Armenians and Greeks. Other ethnic peoples include Kurds, Circassians and Bosnians.
  • Language: Turkish (uses Latin Alphabet)
  • Religion: 99 percent of the population is Muslim. Turkey is a secular state that assures complete freedom of worship to non-Muslims.
  • Currency: The currency of Turkey is called the TL (Turkish lira). Alternative currencies are widely accepted this includes US Dollars, Euro and British Sterling.
  • GDP:7.4% (2005) - 361.4 billion US $
  • Inflation:7.72% (2005)
  • Major political parties: AKP (Justice and Development Party), ANAP (Motherland Party), CHP (Republican People's Party), DSP (Democratic Left Party), DYP (True Path Party), MHP (Nationalist Action Party), HYP (People's Ascent Party), SHP (Social Democratic Populist Party).
  • Government: Turkey is democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law; committed to the nationalism of Atatürk and based on the principle of the separation of powers;

    Legislative Power: The Turkish Grand National Assembly

    Executive Power: President and the Council of Ministers

    Judicial Power: Independent courts and supreme judiciary organs.
  • Head of State: President Ahmet Necdet Sezer
  • Prime Minister: Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AKP)
  • Foreign Minister: Abdullah Gül (AKP)
  • Membership of international groupings/organisations: UN, NATO, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an Associate Member of the Western European Union, and a candidate for accession to the European Union.
  • Coastline: 7.200 Km. (4.474 miles). Turkey is surrounded by sea on three sides, by the Black Sea in the north, the Mediterranean in the south and the Aegean Sea in the west. In the northwest there is also an important internal sea, the Sea of Marmara, between the straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus.
  • Geographical Regions: Turkey has 81 administrative provinces and seven geographical regions. The first four of the seven regions are given the names of the seas which are adjacent to them.

    Black Sea
    Marmara
    Aegean
    Mediterranean

    The other three regions are named in accordance with their location in the whole of Anatolia.

    Central Anatolia
    Eastern Anatolia
    Southeastern Anatolia
  • Famous Landmarks: Ayasofya Museum, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, ancient City of Troy, Ephesus, Aphrodisias, Pergamon, Pamukkale,Goreme-Cappadocia, Mt.Nemrut, Safranbolu.
  • Other Useful Information: Time:
    Local time is GMT + 2 hours, + 7 hours of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. The same time zone applies across Turkey.

    Electricity: 220 volts A.C. throughout Turkey

    Weights and Measures: Metric and Kilo system
  • Geography

  • Location: Eastern Mediterranean. Located on two contitents Europe and Asia. The European part of Turkey is called Thrace, while the Asian part is called Anatolia or Asia Minor.
  • Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 35 00 E
  • Area: total: 780,580 sq km, land: 770,760 sq km, water: 9,820 sq km
  • Land boundaries: total: 2,627 km, border countries: Armenia 268 km, Azerbaijan 9 km, Bulgaria 240 km, Georgia 252 km, Greece 206 km, Iran 499 km, Iraq 331 km, Syria 822 km
  • Coastline: 8,333 km
  • Climate: Turkey has a very diverse climate due to its equally diverse landscape. The Aegean plus the Mediterranean coast enjoy average temperatures of 29 C (84F) in summer and 9 C (48F) during the winter months, below is a table showing average sunshine, rainfall, and temperature in the main areas in which we sell properties.
  • Terrain: mostly mountains; narrow coastal plain; high central plateau (Anatolia)
  • Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m, highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166m
  • Natural resources: antimony, coal, chromium, mercury, copper, borate, sulfur, iron ore
  • Land use: arable land: 32%, permanent crops: 4%, permanent pastures: 16%, forests and woodland: 26%, other: 22% (1993 est.)
  • Irrigated land: 36,740 sq km (1993 est.)
  • Natural hazards: very severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey.
  • Geographical Regions: Turkey has 81 administrative provinces and seven geographical regions. The first four of the seven regions are given the names of the seas which are adjacent to them.

    Black Sea
    Marmara
    Aegean
    Mediterranean

    The other three regions are named in accordance with their location in the whole of Anatolia.

    Central Anatolia
    Eastern Anatolia
    Southeastern Anatolia

History

Recent History

The Republic of Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a military hero, in 1923. His aim was to transform Turkey into a modern, secular state, which could compare with Western European nations in terms of military and economic strength. Today, Turkey is a member of almost every Western European club. It joined NATO in 1952; the Council of Europe in 1949; and became a full candidate for European Union membership in 1999.

Politics

Recent Political Developments

In elections in November 2002, only the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the centre-left Republican People's Party (CHP) crossed the 10% threshold needed to return MPs to parliament, with 34% and 19% of the vote respectively. Since then however ANAP, DYP, SHP, HYP have acquired parliamentary representation following defections from AKP and CHP.


  • Economy

  • GDP: 7.4% (2005) - 361.4 billion US $
  • GDP per head: US$5,000 in 2005
  • Annual Growth: 7.6% in 2005
  • Inflation: Year-end inflation for 2005: 7.72%
  • Major Industries: Textiles, Iron & Steel, clothing, electrical machinery
  • Major trading partners: Germany, US, UK
  • Currency: The currency of Turkey is called the TL (Turkish lira). Alternative currencies are widely accepted this includes US Dollars, Euro and British Sterling.

TURKEY'S RELATIONS WITH THE UK

Trade and Investment with the UK

Turkey is one of the world's most rapidly industrialising markets. It is also a major trading partner of the UK. Total bilateral trade reached £4.4 bn in 2003.

The UK is the 5th largest investor in Turkey. British firms cover a wide range of sectors, with over 41 British companies investing. Major British companies such as BP, Shell, Unilever (UK), HSBC, Tesco, Cadbury Schweppes, BAT, Arcadia and Lucas Industries are well established.

Turkey's Relations with the EU

Turkey was the second country to sign a European association agreement as long ago as 1963. This provided for the eventual establishment of an EC/Turkey Customs union, which finally came into effect on 1 January 1996. The agreement also provided for the possibility of Turkey's eventual EC accession. Turkey formally applied for membership in 1987. The European Commission recommended against that application in 1989 because of the need for further political and economic reform in Turkey and the need for the existing Community to focus its energy on achieving the 1992 deadline for the completion of the Single Market. Nonetheless, the Commission confirmed Turkey's eligibility for membership although Turkey's political and economic instability, together with the Greek/Turkish disputes, made talk of EU membership unrealistic during most of the 1990s. It was not until 1999 that the Helsinki European Council formally accepted Turkey as a candidate. The 2002 Copenhagen European Council concluded that if, on the basis of a report and recommendation from the Commission, it was decided at the European Council of December 2004 that Turkey had fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria (a set of basic standards covering democracy, human rights and respect for minorities; and the criteria against which a candidate's suitability to join the Union is judged), accession negotiations would be opened without delay.

The 2004 December European Council agreed to open EU accession negotiations with Turkey on 3 October 2005, endorsing the European Commission's view that Turkey had sufficiently fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria. The negotiations opened as planned on 3 October and were warmly welcomed by the UK.

The opening of negotations was possible because the current Turkish Government and its predecessor drove forward, through 9 packages of legislative and constitutional amendments, a range of necessary reforms designed to meet the Copenhagen political criteria - including the abolition of the death penalty, new protections against torture, greater freedom of expression, and increased respect for minorities. According to the 2004 European Commission's report on Turkey's progress towards accession, these reforms have "clearly addressed major issues and highlighted a growing consensus in favour of liberal democracy". Further, the report notes that there has been "substantial institutional convergence in Turkey towards European standards".

The third iteration of Turkey's Accession Partnership with the EU is expected later this year. It sets out priorities for Turkey on meeting the Copenhagen criteria and the assistance that the EU will provide. The European Commission monitors Turkey's progress towards accession and produces a written report annually for presentation to the European Council. The Commission's 2005 report is expected in November.

The United Kingdom is strongly committed to supporting Turkey's accession to the European Union and assisting Turkey in the process of reform necessary to achieve this goal. The UK Action Plan for Turkey summarises the broad range of practical support the United Kingdom is providing over the next year to assist Turkey's efforts to prepare for EU membership.

Maps

Topographical maps of the region. Go

Sailor's Guide to Göcek

A guide to bays, coves, anchorages and archeological sites of South West Turkey for travellers.Go

 
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