Geographical Location of Turkey
Turkey is located where Europe meets Asia and at the important Bosphorus Strait, which is the entrance to the Black Sea. To the north is the Black Sea coast, to the west is the Aegean Sea, and to the south is the Mediterranean coast. To the east, steep mountain ranges form natural borders with the neighboring countries of Iraq and Iran. Mountainous areas also predominate in the interior, where the average altitude is 1000 meters above sea level. In the western parts of the country, the landscape consists of low-lying plains ideal for farming.
Türkiye lies between several tectonic plates. This led to frequent earthquakes, often with catastrophic consequences. The last major earthquake occurred in February 2023, causing many deaths and injuries. The climate is very varied, with a temperate Mediterranean climate in the southwest and a cold inland climate in the mountainous regions of the northeast.
Turkey has serious environmental problems. Soil erosion has damaged more than half of the country's arable land, and urban air pollution has risen sharply in recent years. Poor government management has also led to many companies freely dumping toxic chemicals into rivers.
Brief History of Turkey
Today's Türkiye is the last remnant of the Ottoman Empire. The empire was founded after the Mongols expelled most of the Muslims of modern Iran and Iraq to Turkey, where they gathered under the rule of Osman I. At its greatest extent, the Ottoman Empire included all of North Africa, much of southeastern Europe, and much of the region Asia, and from 1300-1550. it was one of the most powerful empires in the world. In the 19th century, the empire entered a long phase of decline, losing more and more territories. After participating on the losing side in the First World War (1914-1918), the empire collapsed.
In 1924, the remains were transformed into the Turkish Republic, founded by Mustafa Kemal, who was called Atatürk: “Father of the Turks.” All traces of a religious state were eliminated, and this distinction was enshrined in the new constitution. Ataturk died in 1938, but the party he founded remained in power until 1950. Then the Democratic Party came to power. The next three decades were characterized by political unrest, and the military intervened and overthrew governments in 1960, 1971 and 1980 for various reasons. From 1984 to 1999, there was a full-scale war between the Turkish military and the guerrilla army of the Kurdish people. The guerrilla army of the Kurdish people wants to secede from Turkey and form an independent Kurdish state.
Society and Politics of Turkey
Turkey has long been a parliamentary republic with a popularly elected president as head of state and a prime minister elected by parliament. However, under President Erdogan (who was elected in 2014), the country has moved in an authoritarian direction.
In 2016, parts of the military carried out a failed coup d'état due to growing dissatisfaction with the president's rule. The coup attempt was quickly crushed, and Erdogan arrested those he considered enemies, including journalists and political opponents. A controversial 2017 referendum abolished the post of prime minister and strengthened the president's power at the expense of parliament. The military has a history of meddling in politics, but is now controlled directly by the president. The judiciary is also increasingly controlled by the president.
Turkey is a member of, among others, the UN, NATO, the World Trade Organization and the Council of Europe. Turkey negotiated EU membership but met resistance both at the national level and in several EU countries.
Turkey is a socially divided country with huge differences in education and income levels between the urban population in the west and the small villages in the east. The Kurdish minority in the east makes up almost 20 percent of the population and has been discriminated against for decades. In the context of Turkey's participation in the war in Syria, the fight against the Kurds has intensified. More than two million Syrians have fled to Turkey. In response to the flow of refugees into Europe, the EU and Turkey have reached an agreement under which Turkey must, among other things, limit the number of people fleeing further into Europe in exchange for negotiating Turkey's EU membership back up.
Turkey's relations with neighboring Greece have long been characterized by the conflict in Cyprus.
Economy and Trade of Turkey
An important part of the ideology of Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was that the state should control a large part of the economy. After the 1980s, however, partial privatization of state-owned companies began, but the state still remains an important economic player in the country. Privatization was not followed by proper regulations, which led to very extensive corruption in the country. By some estimates, the black economy could account for up to 50 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
Turkey has experienced stable economic growth since the 1990s, with the exception of a slowdown following the international financial crisis in 2009. The economy is driven by industry and increasingly the service sector, although agriculture still accounts for about 25% of the workforce. Turkey is still one of the world's largest agricultural producers. Production of automobiles and electronics increased and exceeded exports of textile and clothing products. Tourism is well developed, especially in the Mediterranean. Turkey's most important trading partners are Germany, the USA, Italy and Russia.
Turkish Cuisine and Culinary Traditions of Turkey
Turkish cuisine is varied and full of interesting recipes. The national Turkish cuisine was strongly influenced by the geographical location of the country - between two seas, between Asia and Europe. The climate of Turkey itself also affected the recipes of Turkish cuisine - the country is divided into several climatic zones, which have their own food supply and their own culinary traditions of cooking. At the same time, in different regions of Turkey, the same products may be used in cooking, but they are prepared in completely different ways. In Turkish cuisine, traditional dishes are pilaf (pilaf), as well as various types of kebabs. Many Turkish recipes include eggplant, and Turkish cuisine makes extensive use of yogurt and other dairy products. Various recipes for dishes made from fish, meat and vegetables are widespread in Turkish cuisine. https://kashevar.com/en/recipes/turkey Given religious beliefs, preference is given to lamb and beef as meat; poultry is also widely used in Turkish cuisine. Traditional Turkish bread is lavash, a thin flatbread that is served with almost all Turkish dishes.