Turkey (Turkish: "Türkiye" "also known as Anatolia") is a country in both Europe and Asia. The area of Turkey is about 780,000 square kilometres. Its population is about 71 million. Turkey's official language is Turkish.
Turkey is a republic. There are 81 cities in Turkey. The Turkish money is New Turkish Lira ("Yeni Türk Lirası" or YTL).
The capital city is Ankara, a city in the central Anatolia. The cultural and economic center is Istanbul. In the past Istanbul was known as Constantinople.
Turkey was founded in 1923 by Atatürk after the war of independence ("Kurtuluş Savaşı"). Before that, Turkish Republic was part of the Ottoman Empire. Atatürk made many changes that made Turkey more modern.
Because of its place, in history the land has been home to many civilizations, like the Hittites and the Byzantine Roman Empire. Many important events in the history of Christianity happened in Turkey.
Modern Turkey has a strong economy. It has 7th largest army (4th largest ground army) in the world. Its warm climate lets many kinds of food crops grow, and livestock and forestry are important industries. Turkey is one of the countries in the world that can make enough food to feed itself. There is a strong manufacturing sector making airplanes, electronics, cars, clothing and textiles for home and for other countries.
These days, Turkey is a popular place for tourists to visit. It has hundreds of kilometres of beautiful beaches on its Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and many important historical places.
About 99% of Turkey's people are Muslim. Many are Sunni Muslims, and some are Alevi Muslims (which is part of Shi'a Islam). There are also a few Christian and Jewish people living in Turkey. Turkey is a secular country, meaning it is not religious, and the government does not present a religion. Everyone has the right to practice their religion freely in the country, however there are some restrictions. People are not allowed to wear the Muslim headscarf in schools or important buildings.
European Union.
Turkey wants to join the European Union (EU). The EU says that before Turkey can join, it must resolve its human rights issues first, and also bring its economical and political system to equal that of the EU. But some say that the reason that Turkey was denied membership was because of its 99% muslim majority.
The economy of Turkey develops every year.Turkey is a member of OECD and G-20.
Turkey`s exports amounted to 73.5 billion dollars in 2005. In 2007 exports grew to 106 billion dollars. By May 2008 the exports of the previous year had reached more than 110 billion dollars.
The sole official language in Turkey is Turkish. It belongs to the Turkic language group, which also includes many other languages spoken across Asia, such as Azerbaijani and Tatar. In Turkey there are also minorities who speak languages such as Kurdish, Armenian, Greek or Ladino, to name just a few.
Turkish lira.
The national currency of Turkey is the New Turkish lira, but on January 1, 2009 the word "new" will be deleted from the name of the currency.
1 Dollar = 1.18 New Turkish Liras (16 August 2008)
1 Euro = 1.73 New Turkish Liras (16 August 2008)
1 Pound = 2.21 New Turkish Liras (16 August 2008)

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