Turkey Overview

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With its steadily growing expenditure on research and development (R&D), Turkey has overtaken numerous European countries and is currently ranked 13th worldwide. More than 7.5 million students are enrolled in tertiary courses; This puts the country in 6th place in a global comparison.

turkey population - fertility rate

Population / geography

Country name Türkiye CumhuriyetiRepublic of Turkey


Land area 814,578 km²
Population 82,017,514 residents (estimate, as of 2020)
Life expectancy Women: 78.2 yearsMen: 73.3 years

(2020 estimate)

Age structure 0-14 years: 23.4 percent15-65 years: 68.2 percent

65 years and older: 8.4 percent

(2020 estimate)

Growth of population 0.45 percent(2020 estimate)
Population groups Turks 70-75%, Kurds 19%, other minorities 7-12%(2016 estimate)
Languages Turkish. Various Kurdish languages ​​are also spoken in large parts of the southeast and east.
Religions Since the Ottoman period, the majority have been Muslims with a growing proportion (today approx. 99%), the majority Hanafis (Sunni, Orthodox orientation of Islam), and around 15 million Alevis. Secular understanding of the state, ie strict separation between state and religion, but state control of the practice of religion by the Presidium for Religious Affairs, which is subordinate to the President. In the Turkish interpretation of the Lausanne Treaty (1923), minority rights only apply to some of the non-Muslim minorities (Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic Church, Jewish community). According to unofficial estimates, approx. 60,000 Armenian Christians, approx. 23,000 Jews, 15,000 Syrian Orthodox, 10,000 Baha’i, approx. 3,500-4,000 Greek Orthodox Christians, approx. 2,000 Yazidis, approx. 2 each.
Time zone CET + 1 (UTC + 2)March to October: CET + 2 (UTC + 3)
Currency 1 Turkish Lira TRY / 100 KuruşAs of January 25, 2019:

EUR 1 = TRY 5.9895

1 TRY = EUR 0.1670

Current exchange rate: on the website of the European Central Bank www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/exchange/

Prefix +90

Sources: Countryaah.com


Politics / Administration

Country name Türkiye CumhuriyetiRepublic of Turkey
Capital Ankara
Form of government Republic / presidential system
Head of state President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (took office on August 27, 2014; direct election from 2014; re-election on June 24, 2018)
Head of government President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (since July 9, 2018)
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (AKP, since November 24, 2015)
Minister for National Education Ziya Selçuk
Minister for Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank
Houses of Parliament Turkish Grand National Assembly (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi / TBMM): one chamber, 600 seats (currently 595 members), legislative period 5 years, last election on June 24, 2018, President of Parliament: Binali Yıldırım (AKP)
Ruling parties AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi / Party for Progress and Justice, Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) 290 seats
Opposition parties
  • CHP (Republican People’s Party, chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu) 142 seats;
  • MHP (Nationalist Movement Party, Chairman Devlet Bahçeli) 50 seats;
  • HDP (Democratic Party of the Peoples, Chairman Sezai Temeli and Pervin Buldan) 65 seats;
  • IYI Parti (Good Party, Chairman Meral Akşener) 40 seats;
  • SP (Party of Happiness, Chairman Temel Karamollaoğlu) 2 seats;
  • TIP (Workers’ Party Turkey) 2 seats;
  • DP (Democratic Party, Chairman Gültekin Uysal) 1 seat;
  • BBP (Great Unity Party, Chairman Mustafa Destici) 1 seat;
  • 2 independents

Result of the elections on June 24, 2018

Administrative structure Turkey is divided into seven regions:

  1. Marmara
  2. Agais
  3. Black Sea
  4. Inner Anatolia
  5. Mediterranean Sea
  6. Eastern Anatolia
  7. Southeast Anatolia

The regions are in turn divided into a total of 81 provinces.

National holidays October 29th “Cumhuriyet Bayramı”, Republic Day. On this day Ataturk’s proclamation of the republic on October 29, 1923 is remembered.

Form of government and current political developments

Turkey is a democratic, secular, social and constitutional republic. This constitution has been changed several times, most recently with a referendum on April 16, 2017, with which the transition to an executive presidential system was decided. The reform, with which the office of the prime minister was abolished, provides for far-reaching expansion of powers for the state president. It came into force when the joint parliamentary and presidential elections were held on June 24, 2018.

The Turkish administration is organized centrally. The territory is divided into 81 provinces, which in turn are subdivided into administrative districts, each headed by a governor or a district administrator as the representative of the central government in Ankara. In addition, there are local administrations at the level of cities and municipalities, the leadership of which is elected by the local population directly and with an absolute majority every five years. In contrast, members of the provincial and city councils are elected via party lists with a relative majority if the party exceeds the ten percent threshold. Cities and municipalities have only a relatively small amount of their own income and are therefore financially dependent on grants from the central government.

Turkey combines elements of a modern, western, democratic industrial and service society with a lively modern Islam that is deeply rooted in Turkish society, as well as with a sometimes pronounced nationalism. It is characterized by strong political, economic and social contrasts, which repeatedly put the political system to the test. The common legacy of around 700 years of Ottoman and 90 years of Turkish-republican history is a strong role for the state, towards which individual rights are often neglected.

The Turkish Parliament, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is generally elected for five years at the same time as the President (majority vote). There is a nationwide ten percent hurdle for a party to enter parliament, which parties can overcome together in electoral alliances.

On June 24, 2018, the first election took place within the framework of Turkey’s new presidential system, which grants the president a considerable concentration of power. Over 59 million voters were called to elect the President and Parliament, including over 3 million abroad and almost 1.5 million in Germany.

The previous incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won the presidential election with 52.59 percent of the votes cast. The voter turnout reached a new record high of 86.7 percent. In the parliamentary elections, the AKP lost its absolute majority (42.56 percent – 294 seats), but together with its right-wing nationalist alliance partner MHP, it achieved 53.66 percent and a majority of the seats. (The MHP received 11.10 percent – 49 parliamentary seats). The MHP supports the AKP in parliament, but is not represented in the government.

The opposition alliance of the parties CHP, IYI-Parti and SP came to 33.95 percent (CHP: 146 seats, IYI Parti 43 seats). The pro-Kurdish HDP was able to pass the 10 percent hurdle with 11.7 percent and has 67 seats in parliament. The composition of the parliament has changed since the election through the appointment of MPs as ministers (this leads to a loss of mandate under Turkish law), through parties leaving and converting as well as through the death of a representative.

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