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Turkey

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or “Father of the Turks.” Under his leadership, the country adopted radical social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democrat Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of formal political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster – popularly dubbed a “post-modern coup” – of the then Islamic-oriented government. An unsuccessful coup attempt was made in July 2016 by a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces.

Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization, has long dominated the attention of Turkish security forces and claimed more than 40,000 lives. In 2013, the Turkish Government and the PKK conducted negotiations aimed at ending the violence, however intense fighting resumed in 2015. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1963, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; it began accession talks with the EU in 2005. Over the past decade, economic reforms, coupled with some political reforms, have contributed to a growing economy, although economic growth slowed in recent years.

From 2015 and continuing through 2016, Turkey witnessed an uptick in terrorist violence, including major attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, and throughout the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. On 15 July 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed forces attempted a coup that ultimately failed following widespread popular resistance. More than 240 people were killed and over 2,000 injured when Turkish citizens took to the streets en masse to confront the coup forces. The government accused followers of the Fethullah Gulen transnational religious and social movement (“Hizmet”) for allegedly instigating the failed coup and designates the movement’s followers as terrorists. Since the attempted coup, Turkish Government authorities arrested, suspended, or dismissed more than 130,000 security personnel, journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants due to their alleged connection to Gulen’s movement. Following the failed coup, the Turkish Government instituted a State of Emergency from July 2016 to July 2018. The Turkish Government conducted a referendum on 16 April 2017 in which voters approved constitutional amendments changing Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system. The amendments went into effect fully following the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018.

🇹🇷 Turkey Tourism Information…

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🇹🇷 Turkey Country Information…

Capital:

Ankara

Largest City:

Istanbul

Government:

Presidental Republic

Currency:

Türk Lirası/Turkish Lira

Area:

Total: 783,562 km2 water: 13,930 km2 land: 769,632 km2 ranked 37th

Climate:

Temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

Population:

80,274,604 (July 2016 est.) ranked 20th

Language:

Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages

Ethnic Groups:

Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 18%, other minorities 7-12% (2008 est.)

Religion:

Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Electricity:

230V, 50Hz (European plug C, F)

Telephone Code:

+90

Local Emergency Phone Number:

Ambulance: 101, 112; Fire: 102; Police: 100

Internet TLD:

.tr

Time Zone:

TRT (UTC+2)

Road Driving Side:

Right

Anthem:

İstiklal Marşı  (Turkish) “Independence March”

Motto:

Egemenlik, kayıtsız şartsız Milletindir “Sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the Nation”

President:

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

🇹🇷 Holidays and Observances in Turkey in 2021
Date NameType
Jan 1FridayNew Year’s DayNational holiday
Mar 20SaturdayMarch EquinoxSeason
Apr 23FridayNational Sovereignty and Children’s DayNational holiday
May 1SaturdayLabor and Solidarity DayNational holiday
May 12WednesdayRamadan Feast Eve (Tentative Date)Half Day
May 13ThursdayRamadan Feast (Tentative Date)National holiday
May 14FridayRamadan Feast Holiday (Tentative Date)National holiday
May 15SaturdayRamadan Feast Holiday (Tentative Date)National holiday
May 19WednesdayCommemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports DayNational holiday
Jun 21MondayJune SolsticeSeason
Jul 15ThursdayDemocracy and National Unity DayNational holiday
Jul 19MondaySacrifice Feast EveNational holiday
Jul 20TuesdaySacrifice FeastNational holiday
Jul 21WednesdaySacrifice Feast Day 2National holiday
Jul 22ThursdaySacrifice Feast Day 3National holiday
Jul 23FridaySacrifice Feast Day 4National holiday
Aug 30MondayVictory DayNational holiday
Sep 22WednesdaySeptember EquinoxSeason
Oct 28ThursdayRepublic Day EveHalf Day
Oct 29FridayRepublic DayNational holiday
Nov 10WednesdayAtaturk Memorial DayObservance
Dec 21TuesdayDecember SolsticeSeason
Dec 31FridayNew Year’s EveObservance
Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Travel Facts

US State Dept. Travel Advisory:

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to the United Kingdom due to COVID-19. Exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws and special circumstances in this country.

Passport/Visa Requirements:

US citizens should make sure their passport is valid at the date of their entering the country and during the length of their entire visit. They should also make sure they have at least 1 blank page in their passport for any entry stamp that will be required. A visa is not required as long as you do not stay in the country more than 6 months.

US Embassy/ Consulate:

[44] 20 7499-9000; Embassy of the United States of America, 33 Nine Elms Lane, London, SW11 7US (mailing postcode), SW8 5DB (driving/GPS postcode), United Kingdom; SCSLondon@state.gov; https://uk.usembassy.gov/

Telephone Code:

44

Local Emergency Phone:

112, 999

Internet TLD:

.uk

Vaccinations:

See WHO recommendations at http://www.who.int

Climate

Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one half of the days are overcast

Currency (Code)

British pounds (GBP)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s):

230 V / 50 Hz / plug type(s): G

Major Languages:

English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Irish, Cornish

Religions:

Christian (includes Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.5%, Muslim 4.4%, Hindu 1.3%, none 25.7%

Time Zone

UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March, ends last Sunday in October; note: applies to the United Kingdom proper, not to its crown dependencies or overseas territories

Potable Water

Yes

International Driving Permit

Suggested

Road Driving Side

Left

Tourist Destinations

London (includes the Tower of London, British Museum, Parliament, Trafalgar Square); Windsor Castle; Stonehenge; Roman Baths & Georgian City of Bath; York Minster & historic Yorkshire; Chester Zoo; Cotswolds & Lake District; Hadrian’s Wall; Edinburgh; Cardiff

Major Sports

Soccer, cricket, rugby, badminton, tennis, netball, field hockey

Cultural Practices

It is considered rude to wave one’s hand or to call when summoning a waiter at a restaurant.

Tipping Guidelines

It is customary to leave 10-15% of the total bill as a tip when eating out, although some restaurants add on a service charge instead. Tip bartenders 1 pound. It is polite to tip 10-15% of the taxi fare, or round up to the nearest pound as a convenience. Tip porters 2 pounds to bring luggage to your room.

Government

Chief of State:

Queen ELIZABETH II

Government:

Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy

Capital:

London

Largest City:

London

Legislature:

London

Judiciary:

London

Ambassador to US:

Ambassador (vacant); Charge d’Affaires Michael Tatham

US Ambassador:

Ambassador Robert Wood “Woody” Johnson IV

Geography

Area:

Total: 243,61km world rank 80th, land: 241,930km, water: 1,680km

Natural Resources:

Coal, petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, lead, zinc, gold, tin, limestone, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, potash, silica sand, slate, arable land

People & Society

Population:

64,430,428 (July 2016 est.) world rank 23rd England 84%, Scotland 8%, Wales 5%, Northern Ireland 3%

Population Growth:

0.51% (2018 est.)

Ethnic Groups:

White 87.2%, black/African/Caribbean/black British 3%, Asian/Asian British: Indian 2.3%, Asian/Asian British: Pakistani 1.9%, mixed 2%, other 3.7% (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

Urban population: 83.7% of total population (2019)
rate of urbanization: 0.89% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Economy

Economic Overview:

Leading trading power and financial center; third-largest economy in Europe after Germany and France; large coal, natural gas, and oil resources; banking, insurance, and business services, drive GDP growth

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity)

$2.92 trillion (2017 est.)

GDP per capita

$44,300 (2017 est.)

Exports:

$441.2 billion (2017 est.)
partners: US 13.2%, Germany 10.5%, France 7.4%, Netherlands 6.2%, Ireland 5.6%, China 4.8%, Switzerland 4.5% (2017)

Imports:

$615.9 billion (2017 est.)
partners: Germany 13.7%, US 9.5%, China 9.3%, Netherlands 8%, France 5.4%, Belgium 5% (2017)