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Turkey
Capital:
Ankara
Population:
68,893,918 (July 2004 est.)
Flag
Background:
Present-day Turkey was created in 1923 from the Turkish remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Soon thereafter, the country instituted secular laws to replace traditional religious fiats. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to protect Turkish Cypriots and prevent a Greek takeover of the island; the northern 37 percent of the island remains under Turkish Cypriot control. Relations between the Turkey and Greece have improved greatly over the past few years. In 1984, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a Marxist-Leninist, separatist group, initiated an insurgency in southeast Turkey, often using terrorist tactics to try to attain its goal of an independent Kurdistan. The group - whose leader, Abdullah OCALAN, was captured in Kenya in February 1999 - has largely ceased violent attacks since it declared a unilateral cease-fire in September 1999. Nonetheless, occasional clashes have occurred between Turkish security forces and armed PKK militants, many of whom remain in northern Iraq. In April 2002, the PKK changed its name to the Kurdistan Freedom and Democracy Congress (KADEK). In November 2003, the group changed names again, becoming the Kurdistan People's Congress (KHK).
Government type:
republican parliamentary democracy
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $458.2 billion (2003 est.)
Internet users:
5.5 million (2003)
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