Photos of Turkey

Introduction

Background

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his leadership, the country adopted radical social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democrat Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of formal political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. An unsuccessful coup attempt was made in July 2016 by a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization, has long dominated the attention of Turkish security forces and claimed more than 40,000 lives. In 2013, the Turkish Government and the PKK conducted negotiations aimed at ending the violence, however intense fighting resumed in 2015. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1963, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; it began accession talks with the EU in 2005. Over the past decade, economic reforms, coupled with some political reforms, have contributed to a growing economy, although economic growth slowed in recent years.

From 2015 and continuing through 2016, Turkey witnessed an uptick in terrorist violence, including major attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, and throughout the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. On 15 July 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed forces attempted a coup that ultimately failed following widespread popular resistance. More than 240 people were killed and over 2,000 injured when Turkish citizens took to the streets en masse to confront the coup forces. The government accused followers of the Fethullah Gulen transnational religious and social movement ("Hizmet") for allegedly instigating the failed coup and designates the movement’s followers as terrorists. Since the attempted coup, Turkish Government authorities arrested, suspended, or dismissed more than 130,000 security personnel, journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants due to their alleged connection to Gulen's movement. Following the failed coup, the Turkish Government instituted a State of Emergency from July 2016 to July 2018. The Turkish Government conducted a referendum on 16 April 2017 in which voters approved constitutional amendments changing Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system. The amendments went into effect fully following the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

39 00 N, 35 00 E

Map references

Middle East

Area

total: 783,562 sq km

land: 769,632 sq km

water: 13,930 sq km

country comparison to the world: 38

Land boundaries

total: 2,816 km

border countries (8): Armenia 311 km, Azerbaijan 17 km, Bulgaria 223 km, Georgia 273 km, Greece 192 km, Iran 534 km, Iraq 367 km, Syria 899 km

Coastline

7,200 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 6 nm in the Aegean Sea

exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR

12 nm in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea

Climate

temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

Terrain

high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges

Elevation

mean elevation: 1,132 m

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mount Ararat 5,137 m

Natural resources

coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 49.7% (2018 est.)

arable land: 26.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 19% (2018 est.)

forest: 14.9% (2018 est.)

other: 35.4% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

52,150 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

the most densely populated area is found around the Bosporus in the northwest where 20% of the population lives in Istanbul; with the exception of Ankara, urban centers remain small and scattered throughout the interior of Anatolia; an overall pattern of peripheral development exists, particularly along the Aegean Sea coast in the west, and the Tigris and Euphrates River systems in the southeast

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van; landslides; flooding

volcanism: limited volcanic activity; its three historically active volcanoes; Ararat, Nemrut Dagi, and Tendurek Dagi have not erupted since the 19th century or earlier

Environment - current issues

water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; land degradation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic; conservation of biodiversity

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note

strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link the Black and Aegean Seas; the 3% of Turkish territory north of the Straits lies in Europe and goes by the names of European Turkey, Eastern Thrace, or Turkish Thrace; the 97% of the country in Asia is referred to as Anatolia; Istanbul, which straddles the Bosporus, is the only metropolis in the world located on two continents; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah's ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Turk(s)

adjective: Turkish

Ethnic groups

Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 19%, other minorities 7-12% (2016 est.)

Languages

Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages

Religions

Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.41% (male 9,823,553/female 9,378,767)

15-24 years: 15.67% (male 6,564,263/female 6,286,615)

25-54 years: 43.31% (male 17,987,103/female 17,536,957)

55-64 years: 9.25% (male 3,764,878/female 3,822,946)

65 years and over: 8.35% (male 3,070,258/female 3,782,174) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 49.1

youth dependency ratio: 35.7

elderly dependency ratio: 13.4

potential support ratio: 7.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 32.2 years

male: 31.7 years

female: 32.8 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Birth rate

14.54 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Death rate

6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

Net migration rate

-1.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 158

Population distribution

the most densely populated area is found around the Bosporus in the northwest where 20% of the population lives in Istanbul; with the exception of Ankara, urban centers remain small and scattered throughout the interior of Anatolia; an overall pattern of peripheral development exists, particularly along the Aegean Sea coast in the west, and the Tigris and Euphrates River systems in the southeast

Urbanization

urban population: 76.1% of total population (2020)

rate of urbanization: 2.04% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population

15.190 million Istanbul, 5.118 million ANKARA (capital), 2.993 million Izmir, 1.986 million Bursa, 1.771 million Adana, 1.704 million Gaziantep (2020)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.3 years (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

17 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 133

Infant mortality rate

total: 19.87 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 21.58 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 18.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 86

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 75.96 years

male: 73.57 years

female: 78.46 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 110

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.6% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 98.9% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.4% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 1.1% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

1.85 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

2.8 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 91.6% of population

total: 97.3% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 8.4% of population

total: 2.7% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

respiratory diseases: Covid-19 (2020)

note: widespread ongoing transmission of a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is occurring throughout Turkey; as of 24 January 2021, Turkey has reported a total of 2,424,328 cases of COVID-19 or 2,874.5 cumulative cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population with 29.6 cumulative deaths per 100,000 population

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96.2%

male: 98.8%

female: 93.5% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 19 years

female: 18 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 20.2%

male: 17.5%

female: 25% (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Turkey

conventional short form: Turkey

local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti

local short form: Turkiye

etymology: the name means "Land of the Turks"

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Ankara

geographic coordinates: 39 56 N, 32 52 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: Ankara has been linked with a second millennium B.C. Hittite cult center of Ankuwash, although this connection is uncertain; in classical and medieval times, the city was known as Ankyra (meaning "anchor" in Greek and reflecting the city's position as a junction for multiple trade and military routes); by about the 13th century the city began to be referred to as Angora; following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the city's name became Ankara

Administrative divisions

81 provinces (iller, singular - ili); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon (Trebizond), Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

Independence

29 October 1923 (republic proclaimed, succeeding the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday

Republic Day, 29 October (1923)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest ratified 9 November 1982

amendments: proposed by written consent of at least one third of Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) members; adoption of draft amendments requires two debates in plenary TBMM session and three-fifths majority vote of all GNA members; the president of the republic can request TBMM reconsideration of the amendment and, if readopted by two-thirds majority TBMM vote, the president may submit the amendment to a referendum; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote; amended several times, last in 2017

Legal system

civil law system based on various European legal systems, notably the Swiss civil code

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkey

dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from the government

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (chief of state since 28 August 2014; head of government since 9 July 2019); Vice President Fuat OKTAY (since 9 July 2018); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (head of government since 9 July 2019; chief of state since 28 August 2014); note - a 2017 constitutional referendum eliminated the post of prime minister after the 2018 general election 

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 June 2018 (next scheduled for June 2023)

election results: Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN reelected president in the first round; Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (AKP) 52.6%, Muharrem INCE (CHP) 30.6%, Selahattin DEMIRTAS (HDP) 8.4%, Meral AKSENER (IYI) 7.3%, other 1.1%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (600 seats - increased from 550 seats beginning with June 2018 election; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms - increased from 4 to 5 years beginning with June 2018 election)

elections: last held on 24 June 2018 (next to be held in June 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - People's Alliance 53.7% (AKP 42.6%, MHP 11.1%), Nation Alliance 33.9% (CHP 22.6%, IYI 10%, SP 1.3%), HDP 11.7%, other 0.7%; seats by party - People's Alliance 344 (AKP 295, MHP 49), National Alliance 189 (CHP 146, IYI 43), HDP 67; composition - men 496, women 104, percent of women 17.3%; note - only parties surpassing a 10% threshold can win parliamentary seats

Judicial branch

highest courts: Constitutional Court or Anayasa Mahkemesi (consists of the president, 2 vice presidents, and 12 judges); Court of Cassation (consists of about 390 judges and is organized into civil and penal chambers); Council of State (organized into 15 divisions - 14 judicial and 1 consultative - each with a division head and at least 5 members)

judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court members - 3 appointed by the Grand National Assembly and 12 by the president of the republic; court president and 2 deputy court presidents appointed from among its members for 4-year terms; judges serve 12-year, nonrenewable terms with mandatory retirement at age 65; Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Board of Judges and Prosecutors, a 13-member body of judicial officials; Court of Cassation judges serve until retirement at age 65; Council of State members appointed by the Board and by the president of the republic; members serve renewable, 4-year terms

subordinate courts: regional appeals courts; basic (first instance) courts; peace courts; aggravated crime courts; specialized courts, including administrative and audit; note - a constitutional amendment in 2017 abolished military courts unless established to investigate military personnel actions during war conditions

Political parties and leaders

Democrat Party or DP [Gultekin UYSAL]
Democratic Regions Party or DBP [Sebahat TUNCEL, Mehmet ARSLAN]
Felicity Party or SP [Temel KARAMOLLAOGLU]
Free Cause Party or HUDAPAR [Ishak SAGLAM]
Good Party or TYIi [Meral AKSENER]
Grand Unity Party or BBP [Mustafa DESTICI]
Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN]
Nation Alliance (CHP, IYI, SP) (electoral alliance)
Nationalist Movement Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]
People's Alliance (AKP, MHP) (electoral alliance)
Patriotic Party or VP [Dogu PERINCEK]
People's Democratic Party or HDP [Pervin BULDAN, Sezai TEMELLI]
Republican People's Party or CHP [Kemal KILICDAROGLU]

note:  as of December 2018, 83 political parties were legally registered

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CPLP (associate observer), D-8, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EU (candidate country), FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF (partner), SCO (dialogue member), SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Serdar KILIC (since 21 May 2014)

chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700

FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador David M. SATTERFIELD (since 28 August 2019)

telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555

embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara

mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823

FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019

consulate(s) general: Istanbul

consulate(s): Adana

Flag description

red with a vertical white crescent moon (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening; the flag colors and designs closely resemble those on the banner of the Ottoman Empire, which preceded modern-day Turkey; the crescent moon and star serve as insignia for Turkic peoples; according to one interpretation, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors

National symbol(s)

vertical crescent moon with adjacent five-pointed star; national colors: red, white

National anthem

name: "Istiklal Marsi" (Independence March)

lyrics/music: Mehmet Akif ERSOY/Zeki UNGOR

note: lyrics adopted 1921, music adopted 1932; the anthem's original music was adopted in 1924; a new composition was agreed upon in 1932

Economy

Economic overview

Turkey's largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey's export mix. However, the recent period of political stability and economic dynamism has given way to domestic uncertainty and security concerns, which are generating financial market volatility and weighing on Turkey’s economic outlook.

Current government policies emphasize populist spending measures and credit breaks, while implementation of structural economic reforms has slowed. The government is playing a more active role in some strategic sectors and has used economic institutions and regulators to target political opponents, undermining private sector confidence in the judicial system. Between July 2016 and March 2017, three credit ratings agencies downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit ratings, citing concerns about the rule of law and the pace of economic reforms.

Turkey remains highly dependent on imported oil and gas but is pursuing energy relationships with a broader set of international partners and taking steps to increase use of domestic energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and coal. The joint Turkish-Azerbaijani Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline is moving forward to increase transport of Caspian gas to Turkey and Europe, and when completed will help diversify Turkey's sources of imported gas.

After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program. The reforms strengthened the country's economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth, averaging more than 6% annually until 2008. An aggressive privatization program also reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, power generation, and communication. Global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, but Turkey's well-regulated financial markets and banking system helped the country weather the global financial crisis, and GDP growth rebounded to around 9% in 2010 and 2011, as exports and investment recovered following the crisis.

The growth of Turkish GDP since 2016 has revealed the persistent underlying imbalances in the Turkish economy. In particular, Turkey’s large current account deficit means it must rely on external investment inflows to finance growth, leaving the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence. Other troublesome trends include rising unemployment and inflation, which increased in 2017, given the Turkish lira’s continuing depreciation against the dollar. Although government debt remains low at about 30% of GDP, bank and corporate borrowing has almost tripled as a percent of GDP during the past decade, outpacing its emerging-market peers and prompting investor concerns about its long-term sustainability.

Real GDP growth rate

0.98% (2019 est.)

3.04% (2018 est.)

7.54% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

15.4% (2019 est.)

16.2% (2018 est.)

11.1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 216

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB- (2019)

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: B+ (2018)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2,371,374,000,000 (2019 est.)

$2,349,836,000,000 (2018 est.)

$2,282,304,000,000 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 13

GDP (official exchange rate)

$760.028 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$28,424 (2019 est.)

$28,545 (2018 est.)

$28,141 (2017 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 73

Gross national saving

26% of GDP (2019 est.)

27.7% of GDP (2018 est.)

26% of GDP (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.8% (2017 est.)

industry: 32.3% (2017 est.)

services: 60.7% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 59.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 14.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 29.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 24.9% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -29.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, wheat, sugar beet, tomatoes, barley, maize, potatoes, grapes, watermelons, apples

Industries

textiles, food processing, automobiles, electronics, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

Labor force

25.677 million (2020 est.)

note: this number is for the domestic labor force only; number does not include about 1.2 million Turks working abroad, nor refugees

country comparison to the world: 21

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 18.4%

industry: 26.6%

services: 54.9% (2016)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.1%

highest 10%: 30.3% (2008)

Budget

revenues: 172.8 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 185.8 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

28.3% of GDP (2017 est.)

28.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 169

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$8.561 billion (2019 est.)

-$20.745 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Exports

$310.671 billion (2019 est.)

$296.288 billion (2018 est.)

$271.866 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 23

Exports - partners

Germany 9.6%, UK 6.1%, UAE 5.9%, Iraq 5.8%, US 5.5%, Italy 5.4%, France 4.2%, Spain 4% (2017)

Exports - commodities

apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

Imports

$258.385 billion (2019 est.)

$272.933 billion (2018 est.)

$291.523 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 27

Imports - partners

China 10%, Germany 9.1%, Russia 8.4%, US 5.1%, Italy 4.8% (2017)

Imports - commodities

machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$107.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$106.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Debt - external

$438.677 billion (2019 est.)

$454.251 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 30

Exchange rates

Turkish liras (TRY) per US dollar -

7.81925 (2020 est.)

5.8149 (2019 est.)

5.28905 (2018 est.)

2.72 (2014 est.)

2.1885 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 11,283,768

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13.82 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 17

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 79,068,023

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 96.84 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: comprehensive telecommunications network undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially in mobile-cellular services; rise in subscribers and increase in bundled packages; while mobile broadband becoming increasingly popular DSL has largest share of fixed broadband technologies, but fiber-optic is growing with significant investment; 4G LTE networks well incorporated in Turkey, 93% coverage of the population; strides made with 5G trials with help from Chinese company Huawei (2020)

domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay, is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; fixed-line 14 per 100 and mobile-cellular teledensity is 97 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 90; landing points for the SeaMeWe-3 & -5, MedNautilus Submarine System, Turcyos-1 & -2 submarine cables providing connectivity to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Southeast Asia and Australia ; satellite earth stations - 12 Intelsat; mobile satellite terminals - 328 in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2020)

note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) operates multiple TV and radio networks and stations; multiple privately owned national television stations and 567 private regional and local television stations; multi-channel cable TV subscriptions available; 1,007 private radio broadcast stations

(2019)

Internet users

total: 57,725,143

percent of population: 71.04% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 13,407,226

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 11 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 618

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 115,595,495 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 5,949,210,000 mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 91 (2013)

over 3,047 m: 16 (2013)

2,438 to 3,047 m: 38 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 17 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 16 (2013)

under 914 m: 4 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 7 (2013)

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)

under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Heliports

20 (2013)

Pipelines

14,666 km gas, 3,293 km oil (2017)

Railways

total: 12,710 km (2018)

standard gauge: 11,497 km 1.435-m gauge (1.435 km high speed train) (2018)

country comparison to the world: 21

Roadways

total: 67,333 km (2018)

paved: 24,082 km (includes 2,159 km of expressways) (2018)

unpaved: 43,251 km (2018)

country comparison to the world: 73

Merchant marine

total: 1,216

by type: bulk carrier 50, container ship 42, general cargo 338, oil tanker 121, other 665 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 23

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Aliaga, Ambarli, Diliskelesi, Eregli, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Mersin (Icel), Limani, Yarimca

container port(s) (TEUs): Ambarli (3,131,621), Mersin (Icel) (1,592,000) (2017)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Izmir Aliaga, Marmara Ereglisi

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Turkish Land Forces (Turk Kara Kuvvetleri), Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri; includes naval air and naval infantry), Turkish Air Forces (Turk Hava Kuvvetleri); Ministry of Interior: Gendarmerie of the Turkish Republic, Turkish Coast Guard Command (2021)

Military expenditures

1.91% of GDP (2020 est.)

1.85% of GDP (2019)

1.83% of GDP (2018)

1.52% of GDP (2017)

1.46% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 57

Military and security service personnel strengths

size assessments for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) vary; approximately 400,000 total active duty personnel (300,000 Army; 45,000 Navy; 50,000 Air Force); approximately 150,000 Gendarmerie (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Turkish Armed Forces inventory is mostly comprised of a mix of domestically-produced and Western weapons systems, although in recent years, Turkey has also acquired some Chinese, Russian, and South Korean equipment; since 2010, the US is the leading provider of armaments to Turkey, followed by Italy, South Korea, and Spain; Turkey has a robust defense industry capable of producing a range of weapons systems for both export and internal use, including armored vehicles, naval vessels, and unmanned aerial platforms, although it is heavily dependent on Western technology (2020)

Military deployments

600 Afghanistan (NATO); est. 200 (Azerbaijan; monitoring cease-fire, clearing mines); 250 Bosnia-Herzegovina (EUFOR); est. 25-35,000 Cyprus; 300 Kosovo (NATO); 170 Lebanon (UNIFIL); est. 200 Qatar; est. 200 Somalia (training mission); est. 5-10,000 Syria (2020)

note(s): Turkey has deployed troops into northern Iraq on numerous occasions to combat the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK), including operations involving thousands of troops in 2007, 2011, and 2018; its most recent incursions were in February 2021 and June 2020; in 2020, Turkey deployed an undetermined number of Turkish military troops and an estimated 3,500-5,000 Syrian fighters to Libya to support the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA)

Military service age and obligation

President Erdoğan on 25 June 2019 signed a new law cutting the men’s mandatory military service period in half, as well as making paid military service permanent; with the new system, the period of conscription was reduced from 12 months to six months for private and non-commissioned soldiers (the service term for reserve officers chosen among university or college graduates will remain 12 months); after completing six months of service, if a conscripted soldier wants to and is suitable for extending his military service, he may do so for an additional six months in return for a monthly salary; under the new law, all male Turkish citizens over the age of 20 will be required to undergo a one month military training period, but they can obtain an exemption from the remaining five months of their mandatory service by paying 31,000 Turkish Liras (2019)

Military - note

the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has actively pursued the goal of asserting civilian control over the military since first taking power in 2002; the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) role in internal security has been significantly reduced; the TSK leadership continues to be an influential institution within Turkey, but plays a much smaller role in politics; the Turkish military remains focused on the threats emanating from the Syrian civil war, Russia's actions in Ukraine, and the PKK insurgency; primary domestic threats are listed as fundamentalism (with the definition in some dispute with the civilian government), separatism (Kurdish discontent), and the extreme left wing; Ankara strongly opposed establishment of an autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq; an overhaul of the Turkish Land Forces Command (TLFC) taking place under the "Force 2014" program is to produce 20-30% smaller, more highly trained forces characterized by greater mobility and firepower and capable of joint and combined operations; the TLFC has taken on increasing international peacekeeping responsibilities including in Afghanistan; the Turkish Navy is a regional naval power that wants to develop the capability to project power beyond Turkey's coastal waters; the Navy is heavily involved in NATO, multinational, and UN operations; its roles include control of territorial waters and security for sea lines of communications; the Turkish Air Force adopted an "Aerospace and Missile Defense Concept" in 2002 and has initiated project work on an integrated missile defense system; in a controversial move, it purchased the Russian S-400 air defense system for an estimated $2.5 billion in July 2019; Air Force priorities include attaining a modern deployable, survivable, and sustainable force structure, and establishing a sustainable command and control system; Turkey is a NATO ally and hosts NATO's Land Forces Command in Izmir, as well as the AN/TPY-2 radar as part of NATO Missile Defense (2019)

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – Turkey; Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Kurdistan Workers' Party; al-Qa'ida; Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (2019)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 3,653,619 (Syria), 170,000 (Afghanistan), 142,000 (Iraq), 39,000 (Iran), 5,700 (Somalia) (2021)

IDPs: 1.099 million (displaced from 1984-2005 because of fighting between the Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs are Kurds from eastern and southeastern provinces; no information available on persons displaced by development projects) (2019)

stateless persons: 117 (2018)

Illicit drugs

key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the US - via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin exist in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and over output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls