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Democratic Republic of Turkey
Türkiye'nin Demokratik Cumhuriyeti
Flag of the Democratic Republic of Turkey
State Emblem of the Democratic Republic of Turkey
Flag State Emblem
Motto: Turkish: Bütün ülkelerin işçileri, birleşin!
English: Proletarian of the World, Unite!
Map of the Democratic Republic of Turkey in Europe
Location of the Democratic Republic of Turkey (coloured red) with Cyprus dominions
Capital Ankara logo Ankara
39°55′N 32°50′E
Largest Istanbul (14,201,976 population)
Official languages Turkish
Recognised regional languages AlbanianArabicAramaicArmenianAzerbaijaniBosnianBulgarianCircassianGeorgianGreekKabardianLazNeo-AramaicSerbianZazaki
Ethnic groups TurksKurdsArabsTurkish CypriotsGreek Cypriots
Demonym noun: Turk(s) adjective:Turkish
Government Unitary Uzunist single party dictatorship
Kâzım Öztürk
Zeki Oraz
• Speaker
Muhammad ibn Başkale
Legislature People's Supreme Assembly
Succession to the Ottoman Empire
23 April 1920
24 July 1923
29 October 1923
13th December 1941 - 12th October 1945
Area
• Total
862,298 km2 (332,935 sq mi) (31st)
• Water (%)
2.4
Population
• 2014 estimate
86,134,864 (16th)
• 2010 census
85,965,754
GDP (nominal) 2010 estimate
• Total
$521.929 billion (24th)
• Per capita
$6,291 (86th)
Gini 46.4
high
HDI (2013) 0.732
high · 88th
Currency wikipedia:Turkish lira ()
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST)
EEST (UTC+3)
Drives on the right
Calling code +90
Internet TLD .tr

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye ), officially known as the Democratic Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye'nin Demokratik Cumhuriyeti) and sometimes abbreviated to DRT is a nation located on both the boarders of South East Europe and Western Asia, making up the northwest of Middle East. It boarders the nations of Iraq and Syria to the south, Hellas to the west and to the north, Georgia to the northeast, and Armenia and Iran to the east. Turkey's location makes it strategically important on a geo-political scale.

Comprising of Anatolia, Eastern Thrace and northern Cyprus, Turkey has historically been significant, being the centrepoint of power for the Ancient Anatolian civilizations, as well as Iraqi Kurdistan being part of some of the oldest civilizations in the world along the Mesopotamia. Most notably Kurdistan was the seat of power for the Ottoman empire, a world power that encompassed Southeastern Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The empire collapsed after WWI, forming in its stead the Republic of Turkey.

Modern Turkey was formed by the Turkish Republican Workers' Party (Türk Cumhuriyetçi İşçi Partisi, or TCIP) after a 1944 Soviet invasion, which established a provisional government in Eastern Turkey. In 1946 the entire of Turkey was finally unified under communist rule.

Turkey is a Öztürkist socialist state, with power concentrated in the hands of the General Secretary of the TCIP with the Chairperson of the State Presidium (head of state) playing a largely ceremonial role. Turkey has a stable economy and a large military, and considered to be one of the only fully functioning socialist states in the world after the fall of the Soviet Union. One of the few secular Muslim majority countries, Turkey has been considered a middle power by some international observers.

Despite having a high HDI, and relative social equality with some of the most prominent womens rights in the Middle East, Turkey faces alleged persecution of minorities, heavy censorship laws and has been accused on being totalitarian state, as well as practicing an increasingly aggressive foreign policy.

Etymology

History


Although Kurdistan itself has only existed for little over 30 years its history stretches back to Palaeolithic times, with various inhabitants occupying the region once known as Turkey, most famously being the seat of power for the Ottoman Empire.

Prehistory

Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods

The Kurdistan dominion known as Turkey has been inhabited by people since the Palaeolithic period, with the first evidence of human activity coming from archaeological evidence dating back 27,000 years ago. The Anatolia region of Turkey housed several civilizations, with Neolithic settlements from that period including Çatalhöyük, Çayönü, Nevali Cori, Hacilar, Göbekli Tepe, and Mersin. The region of Thrace also has traces of Neolithic inhabitants with the Thracians functioning as a group of Indo-European tribes.

Bronze and Iron ages

During the Bronze age this region of Turkey was occupied by the Akkadian Empire around 1900BC. During the middle of the Bronze Ages Turkey was taken over by the Old Assyrian Empire, as well as the Hittite Old Kingdom.

During the Iron Age Ionian Greeks settled into the regions of Anatolia. In the following centuries Greek city states were established in Anatolia, with Pre-Socratic philosophy originating there. The mysterious Phrygian Kingdom was located in Anatolia, formed after the fall of the Hittite Kingdom.

Kingdom of Lydia

In western Anatolia the kingdom of Lydia (or Maeonia) was formed around 1300 BC by the Atyad dynasty, with their successors being the Heraclid dynasty, who controlled the region whilst Greek presence in the Mediterranean steadily increased. Eventually the king of Lydia, Candaules, was murdered by a man named Gyges, who seized power before declaring war on the Greeks. This opened the kingdom to attacks made by the Cimmerians, which led to the takeover of Phrygia, which was encompassed into Lydian territory. By 560 BC the Cimmerians were driven out, with King Croesus invading Persia. Croesus was defeated by Cyrus II in 546 BC during the Battle of Thymbra.

Classical Anatolia and Thrace

Achaemenid Empire

After Croesus's defeat at Thymbra, Persian king Cyrus moved into Lydia, taking its capital Sardis. Various dominions of Lydia as well as the kingdom of Ionia initially resisted Persian rule, was eventually was forced to submit. These territories were incorporated into the Persian ruled Achaemenid Empire, with Anatolia being absorbed into Persia both politically and culturally, with satraps (local governors) ruling over the people.

In 502 BC a revolt on the similarly Persian ruled island of Naxos enabled Ionian satrap Aristagoras of Miletu to unearth plans to obtain Naxos's wealth, aiming to spilt it with Lydia's satrap Artaphernes. Aristagoras failed in this endeavour, disturbing the Persian state, causing Aristagoras to start the Ionian revolution, allying with the Greek state of Athens. After the destruction of Sardis Persian King Darius I retook Ionia, ending the uprising.

Carian satrap Hecatomnus was more successful in controlling his own state, paying his tithes to the Persian yet increasing the influence of his family in local politics, with his son Mausolus continuing his fathers plans. Moving the capital from Mylasa to Halicarnassus, Mausolus claimed that he would offer protection to the islands of Chios, Kos, and Rhodes with his powerful naval forces. Mausolus died before his plans for expansion were fully realised, with his tomb, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus located in Bodrum, being one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Caria remained in Hecatomnus's families hands until the arrival of Alexander the Great.

Pre-Hellenistic and Pre-Roman period in Thrace

By 500BC Greek historian Herodotus named the Thracian people to be one of the most populous people on the planet, second only to the Indian people. Herodotus further claimed they could be the most powerful people on the Earth, but their lack of unity denied them of that title. The Thracian people were spread across numerous tribes and city states, such as the Odrysian kingdom of Thrace and the Dacian kingdom of Burebista. The Thacian people often clashed with the Greeks, as well show animosity towards the Persians and the steadily expanding kingdom of Macedonia.

Hellenistic period

In 336BC Alexander the Great was crowned king of Macedon. Alexander began to expand his military forces so to combat the Persian empire. He first attacked the Persians on the coast of Anatolia, routing their forces before driving them out of Lydia and Ionia. Alexander rather then openly face the Persian fleet systematically took every city on the Mediterranean coast, before liberating Phyrgia, Cappadocia, and Cilicia. Alexander defeated the forces of Darius III in the Battle of Issus, effectively ending Persian rule within Anatolia.

In 323BC Alexander died suddenly, causing a power vacuum within his empire. Ptolemy, one of Alexander's lieutenants and founder of the Ptolemaic Empire seized power within southern Anatolia, while Lysimachus, another of Alexander's officers, took control of western Anatolia and Thrace. Finally Seleucus claimed the rest of Anatolia as part of the Seleucid Empire.

A rift erupted between Lysimachus and Seleucus with the two waging war upon each other by 281 BC. Selecucus defeated Lysimachus, annexing his territory into the Seleucid Empire. However Selecucus was soon assassinated by future king of Macedonia Ptolemy Keraunos. Seleucus's empire was able to resist attacks from Gaul, but King Eumenes I of Pergamon was able to successfully create the kingdom of Pergamon. A series of political instability led to Egyptian king Ptolemy III Euergetes to invade the empire, creating Phrygia after the third Syrian war.

A Bactrian-inspired revolt in Parthia weakened the region. This was followed by an invasion of Parthia by Parni nomads, with eventually the entire of Parthia being occupied by the Parni, creating the Parthian Empire. The independent kingdom of Pergamon was established by Eumenes I under the Attalid dynasty expanded into Anatolian territory. Eumenes's successor Attalus I continued this expansion, eventually taking over large swathes of Anatolia. Seleucus III was able to regain control of the empire, but this marked the noticeable weakness of his empire.

Roman period

Byzantine Anatolia

The Seljuks and Anatolian beyliks

Ottoman Empire

Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, whose reforms helped form the modern Turkish state

In 1922 following the end of the Turkish War of Independence and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk formally abolished the Ottoman Sultanate creating the Republic of Turkey with Atatürk as its first president. Atatürk began an ambitious program of modernisation, seeking to emulate Western nations such as Italy and Switzerland. Atatürk's reforms saw Turkey transform from a Muslim empire into a secular republic. Atatürk's aim was to ensure complete independence for Turkey, which meant that would have "complete economic, financial, juridical, military, cultural independence and freedom in all matters."

Under Atatürk the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished, as was the millets. He also reformed the government into a parliamentary republic with an elected legislature and an independent judiciary that was free of Islamic influence. As well as reforming the political structure of Turkey Atatürk led many social reforms as well, decreasing the power of the Ulama in Turkish society. Clothing was restricted with religious attire such as the hijab and the fez being banned. Women during these reforms fiercely campaigned for more rights for women in Turkey demanding universal suffrage and to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. Eventually in the 1930's such rights were given with eighteen women entering the Turkish parliament in 1935.

Polygamy was also banned as the Surname Law was passed in 1934. Atatürk also pushed for universal education, with focus being given to language and history. The modern Turkish alphabet which replaced the Ottoman script was introduced in an effort to increase literacy rates. The economy was also reformed with land reform designed to end the feudal system being enacted. Industry was also encouraged as was nationalisation. A banking system was also created with the opening of the Türkiye İş Bankası. In 1934 the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey was created. In 1938 Atatürk died, although much of his ambitious reforms had be realised with Turkey having been transformed into a modern secular state.

World War Two

Following the death of Atatürk Selahattin Yılmaz became the president of Turkey. However less then a year after becoming president World War Two had already broken out in Europe, with Nazi Germany invading Poland. Yılmaz was fearful of both a Nazi and Soviet invasion, and strove to keep Turkey out of the conflict maintaining friendship treaties with both nations. Turkey was at the time still recovering from its war for independence and was weary of picking sides in the conflict.

However following the launch of Operation Barbarossa the Turkish government toyed with the idea of launching an attack of the Soviet Union. On the 13th December 1941 Turkey declared war on the Soviet Union launching an attack of the Armenian and Georgian Soviet Socialist Republics. The Soviet counter-attack was supported by Britannian troops in Iraq and Iran, which saw Turkish forces slowly pushed back as the USSR occupied Turkey. Nevertheless resistance was heavy with the Soviets being weakened as they were still fighting on the Eastern Front against Germany, and would likely have been defeated if not for Britannian assistance. In 1945 following the surrender of Nazi Germany Soviet troops finally were able to take Istanbul after a gruelling campaign. Yılmaz had been captured with Turkey under Soviet occupation.

Democratic Republic of Turkey

Following the Soviet occupation elections were held in Turkey in 1946. The Turkish Republican Workers' Party, a forcible merger of the Turkish Communist Party and the Republican People's Party won the elections which were said to be rigged. Following the elections a Democratic Republic was declared under TCIP leader Abdülmecid Darıcıoğlu. Non-communist opposition was quickly crushed, and religion severely repressed.

Mass industrialisation projects were enacted in Turkey, as well as agriculture being collectivised. Rebellions against the TCIP were crushed as labour camps were created. In 1951 Darıcıoğlu approved the creation of the State Security Committee, more commonly known as the Güvenliki. However following the death of Joseph Stalin Darıcıoğlu became politically isolated. In 1956 he was removed from office by Necdet Tüzmen. However Tüzmen effectivly continued the harsh policies of Darıcıoğlu despite pressure from both within the government and among other states to initiate reform, which itself led to his own ousting less then two years later by the moderate Şükrü Coşkun.

Coşkun era

1980's

In 1981 general secretary Osman Bayraktar became the paramount leader of Turkey, becoming Chairperson of the State Presidium. The government enforced mandatory labour for all citizens as well as open trading links with the USA (although no US company was permitted to set up on Turkish soil). When facing significant opposition for this policy Bayraktar ordered that the State Security Committee should become the state police with the organisation being heavily remodelled to resemble the Stasi. Bayraktar was able to silence the majority of his naysayers, stating their actions were counter-terrorist measures.

In 1988 Bayraktar officially announced to the nation that he would be having a diplomatic meeting with US president Ronald Reagan. Reportedly negotiations with Reagan were tense, with Reagan at one point threatening to move troops into Turkey if they began to try and annexe any further territory. However, eventually a non-aggression treaty was signed, much to the ire of both the American and Turkish publics.

Turkey started a policy of self sufficiency, with Turkish leaders continually disagreeing with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost. The Revolutions of 1989 saw several trade unions and student protesters riot against the government, causing the TCIP used the military to crush protesters before taking many of the unions under the UWP. To quell some of the protesters Bayraktar stood down as General Secretary with Kazım Ataç and Mehmet Özlem heading a collective leadership. In 1990 Turkey provided military forces to the coalition forces during the Gulf War. Although some foreign analysts speculated that Turkey was beginning to improve relations with the west many more simply saw the gesture as a way to help spread their influence through the region by weakening the Ba'athist regime. After the Gulf War Iraqi Turkmen and Turkish insurgent groups took over the northern regions of Iraq, proclaiming it at as an independent nation, which in turn prompted an Iraqi invasion of the region in 1992. In a controversial move the Turkish government start to arm Iraqi Turkmen insurgents.

1990's and Early 2000's

In 1991 Turkey faced an internal crisis as it became ever evident that the USSR would collapse. Turkey started to expand its international influence, creating firmer trade links with Europe and China. Initially a severe recession hit Turkey causing an internal crisis - food prices increased, whilst production stalled, causing many to starve. The government implemented austerity measures with the economy stabilising as production increased. Discontent however remained in Turkey, with the government receiving more and more open opposition especially over its ethnic policies regarding the suppression of ethnic minorities. To prevent riots Özlem had hardline members of the TCIP were removed from office.

During this time of crisis the United States ordered Turkey to reform its system into a democratic one, calling for the dissolution of the communist party. In response the TCIP stated that America should "stop imposing imperialist tendencies onto other nations". In order to try and reboot the economy Özlem allowed select foreign companies to reside in Thrace. Özlem also liberalised the Turkish media and lifted many personal restrictions on citizens. During this time Özlem and Ataç continued to disagree on the liberalisation of Turkey.

In 1993 Turkey launched airstrikes against Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh War. This military action was seen as Turkish affirmation that it was still a regional power. During the 1990's Turkey sought close relations with neighbours Iran and Syria showing open opposition towards Iraq, continuing fighting for control over its northern regions.

The late 1990's saw the greatest influx of tourists to Turkey since 1989, with signs that Turkey may reform its economy from that of Soviet style central planning to a more market socialist model comparable to North Vietnam or China. This economic reform combined with Özlem's liberalisation efforts saw hardliners within the TCIP led by Ataç and Chairperson of the SSC Şahnaz Uzun led a coup against Özlem in December 1996, with Uzun being appointed as General Secretary of the TCIP.

Iraq War

Administrative divisions

Turkey is divided into seven provinces which are further broken down into 81 governates. Each province is administrated by a workers congress which acts for the central government. Each governate is led by a governor with each governor is the province making up the workers councils. The governates are sub-divided into 923 districts, each of which are led by a member of the People's Supreme Assembly. As a unitary state the central government legislates the majority of laws with the autonomous governments having little power.

Map of the Democratic Republic of Turkey (Subdivisions)
Number Name Capital Flag Size (km2)
1 Eastern Anatolian Province
Flag of the Eastern Anatolian Province
171.000
2 Central Anatolia Province
Flag of the Central Anatolia Province
162.000
3 Black Sea Province 146.178
4 Mediterranean Province 122.100
5 Aegean Province 85.000
6 Marmara Province 67.300
7 Southeastern Anatolia Province 61.000

The northern section of Cyprus has been under a military occupation by Turkey since 1946 with martial law having been enacted since the start of the military occupation. Currently only Russia recognises Turkish sovereignty over northern Cyprus with the rest of the world seeing Hellas as being the legitimate government of Cyprus. In 2011 the Turkish government passed through legalisation that would see the Turkish Democratic Republic of Northern Cyprus hold a referendum to decide whether it should become independent at an unscheduled date.

Politics

Democratic Republic of Turkey
State Emblem of the Democratic Republic of Turkey.png

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the
the Democratic Republic of Turkey




v  d  e


Turkey along with Laos, China, North Vietnam, Cuba, and the Falklands remains one of the worlds only remaining single party socialist state. Fundamentally an autocracy, Turkey is a single-party Öztürkist dictatorship, with its ruling political organisation being the United Workers Front, which is dominated and run entirely by the Turkish Republican Workers' Party (Türk Cumhuriyetçi İşçi Partisi, or TCIP) and a few puppet parties. The Chairperson of the State Presidium leads a collective head of state known as the State Presidium which consists of the Chairperson and the premier of each province of Kurdistan. The leader of the largest party in the People's Supreme Assembly is the head of government. As a one party state this means by default the General Secretary of the Turkish Republican Workers' Party is the always the head of government as well as the leader of the TCIP and the United Workers Front. The TCIP and the Turkish government are practically interchangeable, with the party controlling all aspects of Turkey, insinuating criticisms bemoaning it as authoritarian and totalitarian.

Originally Turkey politics revolved around a Marxist-Leninist ideology, but in 1995 the Constitution was amended to facilitate Kâzım Öztürk Theory (more commonly known as Uzunism) as the dominant ideology. Uzunism primarily stems from current President and General Secretary Kâzım Öztürk. Uzunism is most often compared to the policies of Joseph Stalin, and Nicolae Ceaușescu. Uzun has previously shown her admiration for the Stalin and Ceaușescu administrations.

The Chairperson of the State Presidium is the de facto head of state, a largely ceremonial position that merely serves to "represent the will of the people". However the Presidum as a whole has the authority to appoint the General Secretary, who often holds absolute power over the state, as well as the power to create new laws (although the president must approve of them). The General Secretary functions as the head of the Secretariat and the Central Committee, the highest authorities within the TCIP, and thus controls the government. For all intents and purposes whoever holds the General Secretary is often regarded as a dictator, as any decision made by them is ultimately obeyed, with only the Presidium and the Central Committee having any official authority to remove the General Secretary from power.

There is no direct subordinate to the General Secretary, instead there being a few key roles within parliament. Often the most important of these is the position of Premiers of Anatolia, Thrace, Iraq, and Cyprus, whose primary duty is to be the General Secretaries chief deputy in the constituent republics. Each of the premiers retain a seat in the Presidium.

The main governing body of Turkey is the Central Committee with the Politburo serving as the executive branch and the People's Supreme Assembly the legislative branch. The Secretariat holds overall party control over these divisions.

Uzun portrait

Kâzım Öztürk

The Central Committee officially approves of all executive and legislative decisions being the highest power within the government. Serving as the highest power within the TCIP in consists of 15 seats which contains the most senior members of the TCIP. The Central Committee often makes the senior decisions within government, and in theory dominates the political system. The Central Committee is held every 6 years. 

The Politburo is made up of a cadre of ministers elected by the Central Committee to run all executive matters. The General Secretary of the TCIP heads both the Politburo as well as the Central Committee and thus dictates all matters within the branches. The Politburo is the main decision making political organ in Turkey. 

The People's Supreme Assembly is the unicameral legislature of the government. It is comprised of 786 members who are formally elected from one of the parties making up the UWF, although the TCIP hold a majority with 758 members. The People's Supreme Assembly is often considered to be a rubber stamp organisation with the executive often drafting and implementing policies.

The Secretariat officially observes and administrates the governmental institutions, although it officially only has power over the TCIP. Critics accuse the Secretariat of being used as a way to "blackmail and spy on every politician within the Turkish government".

Elections

Local elections for party representatives are held every two years, with all citizens over the age of 18 allowed to vote unless they are incarcerated or deemed mentally unstable. Every four years elections are held for each administrative division. There are four parties to vote for in Kurdistan - the Turkish Republican Workers' Party, the Democratic Workers Party, the Workers Socialist Party and the Islamic Workers Party. All of these parties form the United Workers Front.

Law

The judicial branch of Kurdistan is based upon the socialist legal system.The Supreme Court functions as the high court of Turkey. Unlike other communist countries the Supreme Court cannot be overruled by the legislature. The leader of the People's Court is the Procurator General. The People's Courts functions as both the civilian and criminal courts in Turkey.

Turkish law dictated by the legislature of Turkey, and is not a separate branch of the government. Judges are picked from within party ranks, and are generally hold more sway in trials then juries. Members of the jury must not have any political affiliations and must hold no criminal records; they must also not be acquainted with the accused.

The Constitution of Turkey defines that the courts of Turkey must ensure loyalty to the state, the overseeing of the abolishment of private property, and erosion of the class structure. There is little focus upon private law in Turkey, with public law being the primary obligation the state provides.

Foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of the Democratic Republic of Turkey
Turkey has officially maintained good relationship with the Russian Federation and its predecessor the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, with well established trade routes. Chairperson of the State Presidium Uzun publicly voiced her support over the actions of Vladimir Putin during the 2014 Ukraine crisis, loaning Russia Turkish troops to reinforce Russian forces. Turkey is not a member of NATO, but retains membership with the League of Nations. Turkey renounced its European Union membership shortly after its inception. Turkey has excellent economic relations with China, with much of Turkey's imports going towards the Asian state.

Turkey possess tense relationships with the Western world, particularly the United States of America and the Kingdom of Sierra. However economic ties between the nations were established after the Cold War, with Kurdistan initially supporting US and Sierran action in Iraq, but have since criticised both nations for their continued military influence, adopting a more aggressive foreign policy.

Military

The Turkish armed forces known as the Turkish People's Defence Force (Türk Halk Savunma Gücü, often shortened to the THSG) are maintained by the People's Defence Committee of Turkey, with its Chairman being recognised as the head of the military. The four main branches of the armed forces are the People's Defence Army, the People's Defence Airforce, the People's Defence Navy, and the People's Coast Guard.
Members of the THSG

Members of the THSG in Istanbul

Turkey enforces conscription for all citizens aged 18–21, who must serve at least 3 years in the armed forces. Failure to do so results in imprisonment and occasionally execution. Conscientious objection is not recognised by the state, and is seen as a way of avoiding service. Turkey spends around $49 billion on military expenditure per year.

Geography

Biodiversity

Climate

Economy

Turkey largely operates on state socialist command economy with the government owning the majority of businesses. Five year plans are drafted by the Central Committee, with the Politburo overseeing the plans implementation, updating them when necessary. In 2003 the Turkish government announced plans to introduce economic reforms where foreign companies could operate with the Turkish government to operate in special economic zones. Most of these zones are located in Northern Anatolia and Thrace, with the majority of foreign investment being in the tourist industry, which has started to grow in Turkey . The Turkish lira (₺) serves as the national currency of Turkey. Turkey's economy has recently been described as being "state capitalist" with little regard for workers rights and a larger focus on accumulating capital.

Turkey has always implemented a neoercantilistic policy, with much of consumer goods in Turkey being manufactured on Turkish soil. Despite this the Turkish government has placed a large amount of focus on trading abroad, with Turkey often exporting cheap electronic appliances, textiles, and various forms of transport from ships to cheap cars. Construction, oil refinery, iron and steel works, and mining are also profitable for the Turkish government. Agricultural goods are also traded with the growing of hazelnuts, watermelons, tomatoes, apricots, lemonjs, olives, pomegranates, green peppers, cherries, chickpeas, and figs being commonplace, as well as the harvesting of livestock, wool and eggs. Since 1953 Turkey has been self sufficient with its food.

Turkey mainly deals with Russia, Eastern Europe, and Middle East with the biggest importers of Turkish goods being Russia, Belarus, China, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Serbia and Azerbaijan. Recently tourism has been an increasingly large industry for the government thanks to the removal of some of the most draconian laws in designated tourist areas of Thrace and parts of Anatolia, with most tourists coming from Europe.

Energy

Turkey has large oil and natural gas reserves, but previously lacked the amount to truly grant it self sufficiency. Recent discoveries in the Anatolia region as well as an increased focus in the coal mining industry has meant that the government is pushing towards a more self sufficient Turkey. Turkey has also expressed interest in developing a nuclear program. Currently Russia supplies much of Turkey's energy in the form of natural gas.

Demographics

Religion

Officially religion is banned in Turkey. However a single religious institution exists in place - the Turkish Muslim Association (Türk Müslüman Derneği or TMD). The TMD is a Sunni Muslim organisation that is responsible for the cataloguing of all Muslims in Turkey. If one signs up to the TMD then they are granted status allowing them to worship at a government maintained mosque. Members of the TMD can also hold religious positions such as an Iman. 98.7% of the population officially is recorded as being part of the TMD.

Official government propaganda promote the concept of Islamic Communism; however the government itself is staunchly atheist. It is illegal in Turkey for members of the government to be religious except for members of the Islamic Workers Party. Turkey has come under fire for heavy religious repression - citizens who practice Islam who are not part of the TMD are sent to prison, and the minority Christian and Jewish populations of Turkey are often persecuted.

Education

Turkey has a free education system through primary, secondary and tertiary education. The Ministry of Education handles all schools which are run by the state. A National Curriculum dictates what subjects are taught in Turkey, and is drafted by the government.

Primary education lasts eight years, and is compulsory for all children aged 6–14. Primary subjects are Turkish, science, mathematics, history and geography. Secondary subjects include citizenship, art, music, drama, foreign languages (usually English, Russian or Arabic), religious studies and IT. Physical education is also mandatory.

Secondary education lasts from 15-17, and is also mandatory. Students can choose whether to attend a vocational or academic high school. In vocational schools students do not pick their courses - however in academic schools although been required to learn Turkish, mathematics, science and English/Arabic (as well as continued physical education) students may pick courses such as history, geography, art, music, theory of communism, music, drama, religious studies, IT, foreign languages, sociology, geometry, philosophy, psychology, and applied economics.

Tertiary education is only available to those who pass entrance exams into specialised universities. Foreign students may pay a fee to attend.

Healthcare

Healthcare in Turkey is dealt with by the Ministry of Health, who maintain a strict system of universal healthcare. All citizens are entitled to the Health Service of Turkey. After its military the health sector takes up the second largest tax spending of the Turkish government. The Turkish government has stated that they wish to follow Cuban style healthcare plans and facilities.

Turkey lacks shortages of medical staff, with an estimated one doctor for every 177 citizens. Many have stated that whilst Turkish hospitals in urban areas such as Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakır are of a high standard in more rural areas they are often neglected. Healthcare in the Kurdistan region especially is considered largely improvised with poorly trained staff.

Life expectancy in Kurdistan is 79.1 years, with males averaging around 77 and females 81.2. Turkey has the ninth highest life expectancy in Asia. Infant mortality is low with around 12 deaths per 1,000 births in 2014. The Turkish government has started to rapidly expand in the pharmaceutical research industry, with the development of new drugs in Turkey being a "government priority".

Culture

The Turkish government predominantly promote traditional Turkish culture mixed with elements of socialism. Other forms of culture such as Turkish Culture in the southern regions are reportedly heavily oppressed.

Art

Socialist Realism is the dominant form of artwork in Turkey,
The Farmers of Turkey

The Farmers of Turkey, 1954, Ahmed Kaplanoğlu

with other forms of artwork banned. After the TKP coup thousands of abstract art pieces were destroyed by the government. Since 1946 traditional Turkish and Arabic art has mostly been sold to private collectors oversea's, or placed in the National Institute of Historical Arts in Ista
Glory of Socialism

Glory of Socialism, 1995, located in Konya

nbul. Art in Kurdistan must be approved by the government, and any art that criticises the government or socialism must be immediately destroyed.

Most art in Turkey is intended to glorify the proletariat, and often depicts "mundane" activities of farming or industrial work. More elaborate pieces show the landscapes of Turkey or the achievements of socialism (such as hydroelectric centres). Sculptures celebrating workers and influential communist figures are also a common sight in Turkey. Art is also used to strengthen the personality cult surrounding Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and to a lesser extent Şahnaz Uzun. Turkish socialist realism has been praised for its artistic merit, although many in the west consider its actual depictions to be propaganda.

Architecture

Ephesus Celsus Library Façade.jpg
Blue Mosque.jpg
Hall of the People Turkey.jpg
Examples of the architectural evolution in Kurdistan. From left to right - the Ancient Roman Library of Celsus in Ephesus, the Ottoman Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the Stalinist Hall of the People in Ankara.

Architecture in Turkey remains diverse, with some sectors of Turkey retaining Ottoman or even ancient Greek architecture. Until 1945 architecture in Turkey was mainly influenced by Byzantine, Persian, Islamic, Seljuk, Central Asian, Armenian, Ottoman, and to a lesser extent various western styles. Since 1945 some traditional architecture in Kurdistan has been destroyed with Brutalist and Stalinist architecture becoming dominant in Turkey. Public protest to plans to demolish the Nuruosmaniye Mosque in 1953 has led the government to be cautious to destroying buildings of antiquity. Since 1989 Turkey has seen a revival of Ottoman architecture.

Music

Music in Turkey has many influences from Central Asian, Arabic, Byzantine, Ottoman, Persian and socialist music. Recently modern Western music has erupted among the youth of Turkey, although the government has taken efforts to limit this as much as possible.

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