Turkey is still characterized by large economic and
social gaps between urban and rural residents, but also
between western and eastern/southeastern parts of the
country. In 2005, the number of unemployed was estimated at
11.7 percent. Traditional and religious values still play a
big role in the countryside. Nearly 25 percent are
considered living below the poverty line, and most of the
poor are found in the eastern parts of the country.
Unemployment among women is high in Turkey. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of TUR and acronym for Turkey.
The public health care system has been greatly expanded,
the state handles most of the health care and the poor now
receive care for free. The AKP government party in 2003
introduced a new health care reform, which, however,
encountered significant resistance. Turkey's expenditure on
health care is estimated at 7.6 per cent of GDP in 2008. In
2003, there were 1 doctor per 700 residents In eastern
Turkey (Kurdistan in particular), there is still a shortage
of doctors and hospitals. Infectious diseases have been
overcome, among other things by improved water supply. A
comprehensive vaccination program for childhood diseases and
improved hygiene has dramatically reduced child mortality in
Turkey since the beginning of the 1980s. Today,
cardiovascular disease and cancer are the most common causes
of death in Turkey. In 2002, 1,500 people were reported to
be infected with HIV.
Government employees have their own pension insurance;
other social insurance covers industrial and commercial
employees as well as certain other groups, but not farmers.
There is no general unemployment insurance; the legislation
prescribes minimum wages, working hours and holidays. Women
were given the right to vote in 1934, but only in recent
years have reforms begun to promote gender equality.
Over the past decades, Turkish drug cartels have gained
control of heroin trafficking in Europe, distributing heroin
to $ 30 million. Europeans. From Europe, the drugs used in
Turkey are used to refine the heroin, and in this way the
country has become the hub of the drug trade between Asia
In June, NATO conducted a ministerial summit in Istanbul
under great security circumstances. The summit was met by
demonstrations by Turkish pacifists and environmentalists
and cost 4 killed and many wounded following assaults in
Istanbul and Ankara. At the US meeting, Turkey failed to
participate in the occupation of Iraq. Turkey had decided to
limit itself to bilateral aid to its neighboring country.
However, it was especially resistance from Germany and
France that hindered the US plan to engage NATO in the
occupation of Iraq.
In September, the EU declared to the Commission that no
accession negotiations with Turkey could be initiated until
the country implemented its penal code reforms. However, the
Turkish parliament suspended the treatment of criminal code
reforms after a number of parliamentarians made proposals to
introduce articles aimed at criminalizing adultery. Acc.
Such a criminalization would be against the European
Commission's legal standards on the continent. Commission
spokesman Jean-Christopher Filori stated that no admission
negotiations could be initiated if the reform had not been
completed by October 6. On that day, the Commission had
planned the publication of a report to conclude whether
Turkey met the political and economic criteria for
initiating admission negotiations. That led to a clash
between Erdogan and European Enlargement Commissioner Günter
Verheugen in the same month, when Erdogan declared that the
EU should not interfere in internal Turkish affairs.
However, Turkey ended up adopting the reforms and the EU
Commission recommended in early October that admission
negotiations could be opened.
However, admission negotiations will not automatically
lead to Turkish admission. On the extreme European right
wing, including in the Danish government and its racist
support party, there is great opposition to Turkish
inclusion, due to the "Islamophobia" the same right wing has
spread since the 1990s. The popular mood in France also
draws in this direction, although the French government is
formally supporting admission negotiations. Far greater
support for admissions is found in Germany and the United
Kingdom, and US President Bush has also spoken hotly for
admission, which may, however, lie behind other reasons.
On January 1, 2005, the country introduced a new
currency, the new lira (YTL) in an attempt to create greater
economic stability. The new lira was equivalent to 1 million
of the old lira.
On the day before International Women's Day, March 7,
2005, police used lace and tear gas to disperse a few
hundred protesters - predominantly women - demanding
political reforms to secure women's rights in the country.
The day before, the EU had approved the opening of accession
negotiations in October with Turkey. On the agenda was an EU
demand that Turkey begin negotiations with the Greek Cypriot
government in Cyprus, which is not recognized by Turkey; as
well as democratic reforms, including included women’s
rights. The EU immediately declared its dismay at the
violence used to suppress the demonstration.
In May 2005, 5 Turkish soldiers, 3 village guards and 2
partisans died during clashes in Sirnak province of
As a result of a methane gas explosion in a coal mine in
June, 17 miners were killed and 8 others injured. Various
explanations of the accident emerged, and Energy Minister
Hilmi Guler ultimately had to declare that the accident was
not due to negligence.
In April 2006, Turkey requested Denmark to close the
satellite TV station Roj TV, which Turkey accused of being
the voice of the PKK. Denmark ended up rejecting the closure
request, and 53 Kurdish mayors also protested the call for
closure. It prompted the Turkish state to take legal action
against the 53 mayors in support of terrorism. The case is
extremely sensitive due to the ongoing admission
negotiations with the EU. An acquittal will provoke the
right-wing Turkish nationalists, and an acquittal is likely
to break the accession negotiations.
Ankara, until 1930 Angora, the capital of Turkey; 4.3 million residents
(2011). Also the name of the province around the city, formerly known for the
production of angora wool (mohair).
Ankara is situated at an altitude of 850 m on the northern part of the
central Anatolian plateau, approximately 200 km south of the Black Sea Coast. It has a
relatively dry climate with cold winters and quite hot summers.
The city's architecture reflects its varied history of Roman, Byzantine and
Ottoman-era buildings. The old town, Uluş, is located around the city's
Byzantine citadel and is the commercial center. The city's new core is Yenişehir
with wide streets, high-rise buildings, shops and numerous restaurants.
There are also the many metropolitan functions in the form of ministries,
government buildings, embassies, universities and other public service
activities, which have given the city the character of a modern Western European
The main street, Atatürk Bulvarı, is marked by official buildings and
cultural institutions, including the Ethnographic Museum and the city's opera.
Kemal Atatürk's mausoleum is located in a park at the foot of the Maltepe mound
at some distance from the center.
Ankara is first and foremost a capital and commercial city, and the service
sector is dominant, but it also contains a number of industries, especially the
textile and food industries with processing of the upland agricultural
Since Ankara became the capital in 1923, urban growth has been tremendous; it
is especially young people from Anatolia's overpopulated agricultural sector who
have moved to the capital to find work.
Ankara was in ancient times near the Hittusa capital of the Hittites (see
Boğazköy), and was inhabited sporadically from before 1200 BC, first by the
Hittites, later by the Fears.
The town was from approximately 200-tfKr. one of the main cities of the Celtic
tribe of Galatians. With the creation of the province of Galatia in 25 BC the
city became part of the Roman Empire and capital of the province under the
ancient name of Ancyra. From this period dates the temple of Roma and Augustus,
on whose wall a contemporary copy of Emperor Augustus' account of his holdings
was erected, Monumentum Ancyranum. About 51 AD visited Paul Ancyra and wrote
since Galatians, i.e. to the Christian congregation in the city.
Because of its location, Ankara has a long history as a center for caravan
trade, including. to Iran and Syria; and from 1000-t. and forth, Seljuk Turks,
Byzantines and Crusaders fought for the city, which from 1360 became part of the
rapidly growing Ottoman Empire.
In the late 1800's. the city had lost its significance and had become quite
small, but from 1919 it became the center of the national movement behind
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In 1923, the city became the new capital of the Turkish
Republic and has since undergone rapid development.