Country Briefs: Spreading in an area of 780,580 square kilometers, located in the Balkan region of southwestern Europe, turkey is a place where Orient meets Occident, a junction of beliefs cultures, art, architecture, music from the Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk era, Turkey is definitely a place to be.
With an estimated population of 74,709,412 people Turkey is not just ranked 17th in the world but it is also acclaimed for the unrivalled hospitality of its citizens. Besides this the ideal location of this country makes it a place worth visiting.
Turkey is a bi-continental country located mainly in the Anatolian peninsula and Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Because of its geographical position between Europe and Asia and the three seas, turkey has been a historical crossroad and battleground for several civilizations.
Turkey shares its borders with Greece and Bulgaria to northwest, Georgia, Armenia to northeast, Iran to the east and Iraq and Syria to the south.
On pondering over the history of turkey it is revealed that the first inhabitants in this region were the Hittites, worshippers of sun and storm who dominated the Anatolia region of the country.
Around 550 BC Cyrus, the emperor of Persia swept Anatolia. The Alexander the Great, who conquered the entire Middle East from Greece to India around 330 BC, ousted the Persians.
The Romans were prosperous rulers. But the Roman Empire that was wrecked around 250 AD was reunited by Constantine who build a new capital in the country. Over the years the armies of Islam threatened the walls of Constantinople and invaded almost the entire region.
After Islamic rule, came the Seljuks Turks and the Mongols and around 13th century the country witnessed the governance of the Ottoman Empire. By 1453 the Ottomans became strong enough to overtake Constantinople.
Gradually the Ottoman dynasty established itself as the full powerful force in the region. In 16th century the Ottomans grew to cover Anatolia, North Africa, the Middle East, South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.
The Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Serves on 10th August 1920, after the First World War. As a result of this treaty Kemal Ataturk, a Turkish army officer declared himself the rightful government of Turkey, replacing the long-lived monarchy based in Constantinople with a republic based in Ankara.
Moreover with the support of the Allies, Greece had invaded and occupied Izmir as written in the treaty and this had led to the emergence of a nationalist movement under the command of military commander, Mustafa Kemal Pasha.
Pasha endeavored to cancel the terms of the treaty, which involved rallying every part of Turkish society in what would become the Turkish War of Independence.
However after years of struggle Turkey was finally liberated on 18th September 1922. As a result the Sultan's office was abolished thereby putting an end to the 631 years of ottoman rule.
In 1923 the Treaty of Lausanne was signed between Turkey and the Entente powers that had fought in the First World War and the Turkish Independence War. This treaty delimited the boundaries of Greece and Turkey, granted sovereignty to Turkey and Kemal was given the name Ataturk or the father of Turks.
Over the years the Republic of Turkey has developed in every sphere and at present turkey is a member states of the United Nations and NATO.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2. These codes are the first two digits on license plates issued in the province, except for a few provinces created after this system was instituted (numbers greater than 74).
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Population: 2000-10-22 census.
- Capital: Currently, the standard name of each provincial capital is the same as its province's name.
- Old capital: Some capitals have other historical names, which in many cases are still in common use.
- Reg: Arbitrary code for census-defined regions. For key, see table below.