General information



Population and major cities
Turkey has approximately 79,966,103 inhabitants. The capital of turkey is Ankara and it has 4,431,719 inhabitants. Ankara is not the largest city in Turkey, The largest city in Turkey is Istanbul with 11,174,257 inhabitants. Ankara was chosen as capital because of its place in the country, it has a more central position in Turkey. The third largest city is Izmir with 2,500,630 inhabitants.

The official language
The official language of Turkey is Turkish. It is spoken by 90% of the entire population. There are also a few minority languages spoken in Turkey. The first is Kurdish which is spoken by 6% of the population. The second is Arabic which is spoken by 1.2% of the population. It is difficult to speak English with Turkish people because it is not well taught in schools.

Religion and culture
The major religion in Turkey is the Islam, with 99% of the population. Islam is the only religion in Turkey that is financed by the government. It is not allowed for other religions in Turkey to train their own clergy. Islamic tradition, ideology, and ritual are very important. Formal etiquette is central to Turkish culture, governing most social interactions and the use of space. Adults of the opposite sex are expected not to act casually or show affection toward each other in public. Friends of the same sex may hold hands and greet each other with kisses on the cheek. Upon meeting, men shake hands, but a man does not shake a woman’s hand unless she extends it to him.

Turkey has a Parliamentary democracy with a free market economy. The parliament consists of a president, usually with a seven year term, and a Council of Ministers headed by the Prime Minister, usually with a five year term. The current president is Recep Tayyip Erdogan who has dominated the government and has reinstated the death penalty.

Institutional weaknesses continue to hold back economic freedom and prevent more dynamic private-sector growth. The rule of law is still undermined by corruption and an inefficient judicial system that is subject to political interference. Here are a few facts about the Turkish economy.
GDP: 718.22 billion dollars(2016)
Unemployment rate: 10,7% (2016)
Labour force: 51,9% (2016)
Inflation rate: 8,4% (2016)
Currency and Exchange rate: Turkish Lira (TRY). 1 Lira = 0,32 USD (2016)

National holidays
New Year’s day: 1st January
Labor and Solidarity day: 1st May
Ramadan feast: 5th July
Victory day: 30th August
Sacrifice Feast: 12th September
Sacrifice Feast day 2: 13th September
Sacrifice Feast day 3: 14th September
Sacrifice Feast day 4: 15th September
Republic day: 29th October