AreaTotal 783,562 km2
Country Profile: Turkey
Turkey, known officially as the Republic of Turkey is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia and Thrace in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest; Greece to the west; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan and Iran to the east; and Iraq and Syria to the southeast. The Mediterranean Sea and Cyprus are to the south; the Aegean Sea and Archipelago are to the west; and the Black Sea is to the north. Separating Anatolia and Thrace are the Sea of Marmara and the Turkish Straits (the Bosporus and the Dardanelles), which are commonly reckoned to delineate the border between Asia and Europe, thereby making Turkey transcontinental.
Due to its strategic location astride two continents, Turkey's culture has a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition. A powerful regional presence in the Eurasian landmass with strong historic, cultural and economic influence in the area between Europe in the west and Central Asia in the east, Russia in the north and the Middle East in the south, Turkey has come to acquire increasing strategic significance.
Turkey is a transcontinental Eurasian country. Asian Turkey is made up largely of Anatolia which includes 97% of the country, is separated from European Turkey by the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles, which together form a water link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. European Turkey is extremely small and only includes 3% of the country. Turkey has a vast wealth of natural resources and an infrastructure that like many other countries is threatened by global warming and climate change. Turkey has taken the initiative as an OECD member and joined many other Eurasian countries in devoting studies and research towards understanding and controlling climate change and global warming.
Turkey is a founding member of the OECD and the G-20 major economies. During the first six decades of the Republic, between 1923 and 1983, Turkey has mostly adhered to a quasi-statist approach with strict government planning of the budget and government-imposed limitations over private sector participation, foreign trade, flow of foreign currency, and foreign direct investment. However, starting from 1983, Turkey began a series of reforms that were initiated by Prime Minister Turgut Özal and designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market-based model. The reforms spurred rapid growth that would continue into the late 2000's, this success is partly why Turkey is a member of the G-20 major economies and considered to be a major player in the global economy.
Turkey has a very diverse culture that is a blend of various elements of the OÄŸuz Turkic, Anatolian, Ottoman, which was itself a continuation of both Greco-Roman and Islamic cultures and Western culture and traditions, which started with the Westernization of the Ottoman Empire and still continues today. This mix originally began as a result of the encounter of Turks and their culture with those of the peoples who were in their path during their migration from Central Asia to the West. As Turkey successfully transformed from the religion-based former Ottoman Empire into a modern nation-state with a very strong separation of state and religion, an increase in the methods of artistic expression followed. During the first years of the republic, the government invested a large amount of resources into fine arts; such as museums, theatres, opera houses and architecture. Because of different historical factors playing an important role in defining the modern Turkish identity, Turkish culture is a product of efforts to be "modern" and Western, combined with the necessity felt to maintain traditional religious and historical values.
Turkey looks set to continue to grow, based on its expanding economy and dominant power in the global business world. As a founding member of OECD, Turkey will also continue to lead the way in climate change and global warming research and solutions as well. Because of Turkey's strategic location between Europe and Asia, it will also continue to be an important liason between these two continents, providing an example of how they can assimilate their cultures and have a mutual and beneficial relationship between each other.
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