Turkey is a fascinating country, steeped in history and tradition. There are many historical sites and museums, dating back to the Ottoman Empire. With a coastline of 8,330 kilometres, including the islands, you are sure to find your own little haven.There are hot springs and spas to visit,caves to explore and wonderful forests.Turkey has succesfully conserved their ecological structure with enviramental protection and you may see leopards, lynx, bears, wolves, deer and gazelle, all in their own habitat, as well as many species of birds and reptiles.The beautiful, clean Marmara sea connects the Aegean with the Black sea and has been designated a special protection area.
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The Turkish people are a warm and friendly race, you will see many of their senior citizens in traditional clothes.but the new generations embrace the european way of life - this is truly the country where East meets West.
TURKISH REPUBLIC GENERAL INFORMATION
Country : Republic of Turkey
Capital : Ankara
Largest city : Istanbul (population approx. 11 million)
Population : 72 million approx.
The population is very young. There are 33 million Turks who are younger than 27. Average life expectancy is 72 for females and 67 for males. Average age of marriage is 24 for men and 20 for women.
Area : 814.578 sq. km. 3% of the country is in Europe and the rest 97% in Asia. The section in Asia is called Anatolia or Asia minor, and the section in Europe is called Thrace. Turkey is approximately 1,600km from East to West and 550km from North to South. Average altitude is around 1,150 meters.
Currency : 1 Turkish lira (TL)
Electric : All over Turkey electricity is 220 volts. As sockets are designed for the round 2-pin European plug, it is advised for Britons to bring adapters.
Water : It is advised not to drink tap water all around Turkey. Use bottled water for drinking which can be supplied from any shop or supermarket.
Time : Local time is GMT plus 2 hours.
Neighbours & Borders:
WEST Greece (206km) & Bulgaria (240km)
EAST Iran (499km) Armenia (268km) Georgia (252km) Azerbaijan (9km) SOUTHEAST Syria (822km) Iraq (331km)
Coastline : The Black Sea on the north (1931km)
The Aegean on the west (3484km)
The Mediterranean on the south (1654km)
The Marmara between Black Sea and Aegean (1179km)
Anatolia and Thrace are separated by 2 straights (Bosphorus in Istanbul and Dardanelles in Canakkale) and the sea in between these 2 straights is called The Marmara Sea.
Transportation: Turkey has 61.491km of roads (excluding village roads), 3000km of highway roads and 9100km railway line. As the country is mountainous it is not very suitable for railway so the most popular way of transportation is by coaches (smoking is forbidden on coaches). All of them are air-conditioned and supply a very good, comfortable and cheap journey. Most of the ‘otogars’ (Turkish for coach station) are outside the city but there will be free shuttle buses to and from the city centers. The toilets on the coaches are mostly not used but in every 2 to 3 hours there will be a break stop. Drinks like water, tea and coffee will be served frequently and they are free (included in the price of the ticket). Even there are taxis and public transportation, “Dolmus” (small mini bus) is the most popular transportation in cities. The word means ‘stuffed’ (as they try to put 20 people into a 12-14 seater but it is very cheap. Definitely experience it.
Religion : Statistically Turkey is a 99% Muslim country. However Turkey is not run by religious rules. Turkey is a secular democratic republic which ensures freedom of worship both to Muslims and non-Muslims.
Education : Children start elementary school at the age of 6. Preliminary education is 8 years. Then 3 years high school and 4 years in college. The school year starts in September and ends in June. There is a two-week semester break in February and 10-weeks summer holiday. Preliminary education is compulsory. 88% of the country is literate.
Industry : Turkey is self sufficient in the production of paper, sugar, glass, cement and steel. There are 4 major steel mills, 5 refineries and 3 petrochemical complexes. Turkey is the 12th largest producer of steel, 6th largest producer of cement, 4th largest producer of cotton fibre, 6th largest producer of cotton yarn and the 4th largest producer of woollen fibres. Renault, Fiat, Ford, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are the car producers in Turkey, 6% of world car production is in Turkey. Mercedes Benz is the largest producer of buses and Chrysler is the largest producer of trucks in Turkey.
Turkey is the biggest producer of TV sets in Europe after UK.
The major sources of energy are oil (43%), coal (28%), natural gas (15%), hydro-energy (4%) and others (10%).
Annual oil production is 3 million tons and remaining known reserves are 27million tons.
70% of mining investment is being undertaken by private companies. Borate deposits are estimated to be over 2 billion tons, the largest known in the world (70% of the world). Coal (reserves 700 million tons), copper, lead-zinc, in metals, alumina minerals, pumice, sodium sulphate, lignite, gold (potential reserves 17 tons) are other valuable mineral sources of Turkey.
Agriculture : Turkey is the world’s largest producer of hazelnuts, apricots, figs, dried raisins and aubergine. Turkey is the world’s second largest producer of pistachios, chick peas, lentils and peppers. 75% of the world’s hazelnuts, 35% of the world’s figs, 30% of the world’s pistachios and the 20% of the world’s apricots are produced in Turkey.
Turkey is the 5th largest country in terms of vineyards with 800.000 hectares this is 60% of all vineyards in Asia.
Turkey is the 5th largest producer of olives after Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal, there are estimated 80 million olive trees in the country.
Turkey is the 6th largest producer of tobacco after USA, China, India, Brazil and Russia.
Turkey is the 6th largest producer of cotton after China, USA, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
24% of stock animals are cattle, 60% sheep and 16% are goat. 15% of goats are native Angora.
Turkey is a leading country in honey production as well.
Annual fish catch is around 550.000 tons. 7% of all fish is caught in fresh water.
Military : At the age of 21 men must enter the army, however this service can be postponed until the completion of post-secondary education. Officers are professionals. Only 17% of the military are professionals. Duration of the service is 15 months. But university graduates have the option to serve as a second lieutenant for 12 months or as private for 6 months. Turkish youngsters working or living abroad serve for only 1 month and make a payment as compensation. Military service is compulsory for men but not for women. Military service is obligatory unless you have a physical or a mental disability. There are professional women officers in the military. Turkey has an estimated 800.000 soldiers. This is the 6th largest armed force in the world.
For Turks national service is very important. This is a passage from teenage to manhood. When you want to marry or apply for a job one of the main questions will be “Have you done your national service?”. Army is a good social training area to improve maturity. National service can be counted as one of the reasons that crime rate low.
Crime : Crime rate is very low in Turkey. Out of a thousand persons only 9 people commit a crime, whereas in France it is 68, Greece 29 and in UK it is 102.