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Turkey Facts

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What is the capital of Turkey ?
Ankara

Who is the President of Turkey ?
Abdullah Gul

Who is the Prime Minister of Turkey ?
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Where is Turkey located? Is Turkey part of Europe or Asia ?
Turkey is located in western Asia and eastern Europe, and is close to Africa. The Bosporus or Bosphorus is one of the Turkish Straits, which divides Europe from Asia. West of the Bosphorus is Europe, while east of the Bosphorus is Asia. Turkey’s location is considered to be highly strategic politically, as they have control of the straits between the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas.

What countries border Turkey ?
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Syria

What was the Ottoman Empire ?
The Ottoman Empire was a large territory across North Africa, western Asia, and eastern Europe that lasted from July 27, 1299 to October 29, 1923. The capital of the Ottoman Empire was Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey). The Empire was the strongest power in the entire region, quickly conquering surrounding areas, and planning to conquer Rome, the capital of the West. The Ottoman Empire’s huge size contributed to its fall, and it was replaced with the Republic of Turkey in 1923, though its territory was only a portion of the Ottoman Empire.

When was Turkey founded ?
The modern Republic of Turkey was founded on October 29, 1923, which is now celebrated as Republic Day, Turkey’s national holiday. Mustafa Kemal was the first president of the Republic of Turkey, and took on the name Atatürk, meaning “father of the Turks.” Atatürk is considered a national hero, for his service helping Turkey undergo social, legal, and political reforms.

Is Turkey a member of the United Nations or NATO ?
Yes, Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and NATO in 1952.

What is the status of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea ?
Turkey has claimed Cyprus as a territory, but this matter is still in dispute with Greece. Turkey’s claims to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are not recognized by the United Nations.

What are Turkey’s major cities ?
  1. Istanbul
  2. Ankara (capital)
  3. Izmir
  4. Bursa
  5. Adana

Does Turkey have an official religion?
No, but an overwhelming majority of Turkey’s population is Muslim, mostly Sunni.

What is the official language of Turkey ?
Turkish is the official language of Turkey, but Kurdish is spoken by Kurds, and Zazaki languages are spoken by the Zazas.

Who are the Kurds ?
Kurds are an indigenous people of the Middle East, in the region called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is located in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, though the Kurdish Diaspora brought Kurds to several other countries as well. Kurds speak Kurdish, and comprise about 20% of Turkey’s population. They are the 4th largest ethnic group in the Middle East.

Who are the Zaza people ?
Zaza are another indigenous group of the Middle East, located primarily in the Anatolian region of eastern Turkey. Some speakers of the Zaza languages consider themselves Kurds.

Where is Anatolia ?
Anatolia is the farthest west portion of Asia, and a region of eastern Turkey.

Are turkeys (the birds) named after Turkey the country ?
Yes. Though origins of the name are not fully known, many historians believe that when Europeans first saw turkeys in America, they believed the birds were a type of guineafowl, which were imported into Europe via Turkey (from Africa). Thus, they associated the birds with Turkey. They also believed they were in the far East, adding to the belief that the birds were exotic eastern animals.

Where do people believe Noah’s ark landed ?
Some people believe Noah’s ark landed at Mount Ararat, on Mount Masis which is the highest peak of the Ararat Mountains. Mount Ararat is located in far eastern Turkey.

Turkey Map

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Last Updated : March 22, 2014