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Yeah, we should all line up along the Bosphorus Bridge and puff as hard as we can to shove this city in the direction of the West. If that doesn't work, we'll try the other way, see if we can veer to the East. It's no good to be in between. International politics does not appreciate ambiguity.

Elif Shafak: 'The Bastard of Istanbul'


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Profile: Turkey


Mr Erdogan had in early June 2013 dismissively stated that ‘There’s a problem called Twitter.’ But the problem wasn’t Twitter – the problem was that the Turkish middle class – and not just its younger members - had begun to communicate, organise and take action without having recourse to the support, infrastructure or organisation of any particular political party. A government that was originally seen as pursuing a path of moderate Islam, that had been democratically elected was now seen to be ignoring its promised reforms and, on the contrary, attempting to curtail the secularity of the state introduced in 1923 by Kemal Ataturk. The reforms being introduced included that of the educational system where the Koran was to be taught in primary schools, as well restrictions on the sale of alcohol. The government’s efforts to introduce an Islamic ‘presence’ into public life revealed a deep fault line. The army had always been seen as the guarantor of the secular state. However, in the face of June 2013 protests, the army appeared to be adopting a neutral stance. 

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Profile: Turkey

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

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Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (Republic of Turkey)
Head of State: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (inaugurated 28 August 2014)
Head of government: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (AKP) (from 28 August 2014)
Ruling party: Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP) (Justice and Development Party) (elected 2002; re-elected 12 Jun 2011). AKP has lost its majority in the most recent elections in June 2015. Having failed to form a coalition government, new elections will be held on November 1
Area: 779,452 square km
Population: 76.90 million (2014)*
Capital: Ankara
Official language: Turkish
Currency: Yeni Turk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira) (YTL) = 100 kurus
Exchange rate: YTL3.02 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$10,482 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 2.90% (2014)*
GDP: US$806.11 billion (2014)*
Labour force: 28.98 million (2014)*
Unemployment: 9.91% (2014)*
Inflation: 8.86% (2014)
Balance of trade: -US$63.58 billion (2014)
Annual FDI: US$16.04 billion (2011)
* estimated figure

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