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About Turkey

Geography 

The lands of Turkey are located at a point where the three continents making up the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other.

Turkey is situated on an area where Europe meets Asia, creating a link between these two continents. The European part of the country is called Thrace, while the Asian part is known as Anatolia (or Asia Minor). It is bordered to the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria, to the east by the former USSR (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan Republics) and Iran, and to the south by Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish peninsula is bathed by four seas: the Mediterranean to the south, the Aegean to the west, the Sea of Marmara between the European and Asian land masses, and the Black Sea to the north. The entire coastline spans more than 8,000 kilometers (approximately 5,000 miles) in length.

Because of its geographical location the mainland of Anatolia has always found favour throughout history, and is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on four sides.

 

Location:
Map

Southwestern Asia (that part west of the Bosphorus is included with Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria.
 

Area:

Total area: 780,000 square km (300,000 square miles)
Land area: 770,760 square km
Thrace (Europe): 23,764 square km.
Anatolia (Asia): 755,688 square km.
Max. length: 1,565 km.
Average width: 550km.
 

Coastline:

Total: 8,372 km.
Aegean: 2,805 km.
Mediterranean: 1,577 km.
Black Sea: 1,695 km.
Marmara: 927 km.
 

Land Boundaries:

Total: 2,753 km.
Syria: 877 km.
Former USSR
(Georgia, Armenia, Nakhitchevan);
610 km
Iran: 454 km.
Iraq: 331 km.
Bulgaria: 269 km.
Greece: 212 km.
 

Land Use:

Arable land: 30%
Permanent crops: 4%
Meadows and pastures: 12%
Forest and woodland: 26%
Other: 28%
 

Lakes:

Total: 9,423 square km.
In order of size: Van, Tuz Golu (Salt Lake), Beysehir, Egridir, Aksehir, Iznik, Burdur, Manyas, Acigol, Ulubat (Apolyont).
 

Mountains

Max. altitude:

Mt. Ararat 5,165 m.
Kackar 3,923 m.
Erciyes 3,917 m.
B Hasan 3,268 m.
Nemrut 2,282 m.
Uludag (Mt. Olympus) 2,543 m.
Average altitude 1,131 m.
Land above 500 m. altitude 80%
 

Rivers:

Firat (Euphrates) 1,263 km. (in Turkey)
Kizilirmak 1,182 km.
Sakarya 824 km.
Murat 722 km.
Seyhan 560 km.
Menderes (Meander) 584 km.
Dicle (Tigris) 523 km. (in Turkey)
Yesilirmak 519 km.
Ceyhan 509 km.
Porsuk 488 km.
Coruh 442 km.
Gediz 401 km.
 

Islands:

Aegean Sea Gokceada, Bozcaada, Uzunada, Alibey
Marmara Avsa Isles Eknik, Koyun, Pasalimani
Princess' Isles Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgaz, Kinali, Sedef,
Mediterranean Karaada, Salih, Kekova
 

Straits:

Bosphorus Links Black Sea to Marmara Sea
Dardanelles Links Marmara Sea to Aegean Sea
 

Regions:
 

Seven geographical and administrative regions Marmara,
Aegean,
Mediterranean,
Black Sea,
Central Anatolia,
East Anatolia,
Southeastern Anatolia
 
Resources
 

Hydroelectric generators:


(capacity in thousands of megawatts)

Ataturk Dam on Firat 8400
Karakaya Dam on Firat 7,354
Keban Dam on Firat 5,800
Oymapinar Dam on Manavgat 1,920
Gokcekaya Dam on Sakarya 562
Sanyar Dam on Sakarya 400
Hirfanli Dam on Kizilirmak 400
 

Thermoelectric generators:

Ambarli 4,500
Seyitomer 1,800
Tuncbilek 830
Catalagzi 800
Mersin 700
Sihaltaraga 450
 

Agricultural output:


(2003 figures)

Wheat 20 million tons
Barley 8.3 million tons
Corn 2.1 million tons
Cotton 2,5 million tons
Tea 152,856 tons
Tobacco 287,500 tons
Hazelnuts 600,000 tons
 

Natural resources:

Oil, coal, iron ore, copper, uranium, manganese, antimony, chromium, mercury, borate, sulphur, zinc, borax, meerschaum.
 
Economy
 
National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - 238 billion $ (2003 est.)
National product real growth rate: %5,9
National product per capita: GDP : 3.366 $ ( for each person)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): % 24.4
Unemployment rate: 11% (2003)
Exports: 45.7 billion $ (f.o.b., 2003)
Commodities: manufactured products 72%, foodstuffs 23%, mining products 4% (2003)
Partners: Germany 24%, Russia 7%, US 7%, UK 6% (2003)
Imports: 68 billion $ (f.o.b., 2003)
Commodities: manufactured products 71%, fuels 14%, foodstuffs 6% (2003)
Partners: Germany 15%, US 11%, Italy 9%,
Russia 8% (
2003)
External debt: 100 billion dolar
Industrial production: growth rate 7,8% (2003); accounts for 29% of GDP
Electricity: Capacity: 18,710,000 kW
Production: 129 billion kWh
Consumption per capita: 1,259 kWh (2003)
Industries: textiles, food processing, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper.
Agriculture: accounts for 16% of GDP; products - tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulses, citrus fruit, variety of animal products; self-sufficient in food most years.
Currency: 1 new Turkish lira (YTL) = 100 kurus
Exchange rates:
Turkish liras (TL) per US$1 -
1 YTL = 2,2 USD  
1 YTL = 3,7 GBP  
1 YTL = 2,9 EURO  
   
   
   
Fiscal year: Calendar year
 
Climate
 
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence in particular of the mountains that run parallel to the coasts, results in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates, the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.

 

Climate:

Three climate zones:

Mediterranean: Hot and dry summers, mild and wet winters
Continental: Hot and dry summers, cold and harsh winters
Black Sea: Temperate and wet all year long.
     
Average Temperatures
By Region (in Celsius):
Mediterranean: 17.2
Eastern Anatolia 8.1
Aegean 4.3
S. East Anatolia 16.0
Central Anatolia 0.7
Black Sea 12.5
Marmara 14.2

 

Government and Legal System
 
Capital: Ankara
Government type: Parliamentary democracy with free market economy
Proclamation of the Republic: 29 October 1923
Proclamation of the Constitution: 7 November 1982
Administrative divisions: 79 provinces
Legislative:
Unicameral,
Grand National Assembly with 450 deputies (general elections every 5 years)
Executive:
 
President (7-year term) and
Council of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister (5-year term).
Judiciary: Independent, with Constitutional Court supervising conformity of laws to the 1982 Constitution.
Turkish laws have been derived from various European systems, mainly French, Italian, and Swiss.
Last elections:
 
2002
Right to vote:
 
At the age of 18
Major international organizations: UN, NATO, OECD, CSCE (Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe), UN. European, Parliament, EC (associate member), GATT, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, WHO, IMF, ILO, UNESCO, ECOSOC, FAO, IDB (Islamic Development Bank), INTELSAT, INTERPOL.
Official language:
 
Turkish
Religions: Muslim 98%,
Orthodox, Gregorian, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant and other Christian sects: 2%.
Currency: NEW YTL Turkish lira
Flag: Flag: Red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening.
People
 
Population: 1927: 13.6 million; 1940: 17.8 million;
1950: 20.9 million; 1960: 27.7 million;
1970: 35.6 million; 1975: 40.1 million;
1987: 52 million; 1990: 57 million;
1995: 60 million 2003: 70.877 million
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30% (female 10,815,288; male 11,203,723)
15-64 years: 65% (female 18,723,772; male 19,391,037)
65 years and over: 5% (female 1,764,363; male 1,507,343)
Population growth rate: 1.97%
Birth rate: 21 births/1,000 population
Death rate: 6,8 deaths/1,000 population
Infant mortality rate: 45.6 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth: Total population: 71.48 years
Male: 67 years
Female: 71 years
Total fertility rate: 3.12 children born/woman (2003 est.)
 
 
Education
 

    Official Language:

    Turkish

    Alphabet:

    Latin Alphabet, since 1928

    Academic Year:

    September through May/June

    Duration of Schooling:

    8 Year continious primary education

    Compulsory Schooling:

    8 years (ages 6-14)



Principles of the Turkish National Education:
According to the Constitution governing the Republic no one shall be deprived of the right of learning education. Further-more, primary education is compulsory and free in state schools. Except in specially licensed institutions Turkish must be taught as the mother tongue and religions instruction is a compulsory subject in the primary and secondary school curriculum.
The Following are the constitutional principles underlining the Turkish Educational system:

  1. Universality and equality,
  2. Fulfillment of individual and social needs,
  3. Freedom of choice
  4. Right to education
  5. Quality of opportunity
  6. Education for all throughout life
  7. Adherence to Ataturk's reform principles including secularism
  8. Building of democracy
  9. Scientific approach
  10. Co-education
  11. School parent cooperation.

 

 

Goals of Turkish National Education:

  1. To achieve 100 percent participation rate in elementary education (95 percent in 1986).
  2. To raise the rate of literacy of the society which has already reached 85 %.
  3. To emphasize technical and vocational education.
  4. To extend comprehensive schools where multi-purpose programs are to be offered to 60 % of the children in secondary schools by the 1995-96 school year.
  5. To take the necessary measures to raise the quality of national education.
  6. To expand the provision of pre-school education so as to meet fully the demand for it.

 

Educational System - Divisions:
The educational system consists of two main divisions namely "formal" and "non-formal" education. Formal education covers the institutions of "pre-school education", "primary education", "secondary education", and "higher education". "Non-formal education" covers all other educational provision sponsored by the Ministry that occurs outside formal education.
 

FORMAL EDUCATION:

    Pre-School (0-6)
    Kindergarten
    Primary School (6-14)
    Public School
    Private Schools
    Regional boarding schools
    Special Education Schools
    Lycees
    General Lycees
    Science Lycees
    Anatolian High Schools
    Lycees
    General Lycees
    Science Lycees
    Anatolian High Schools

     


NON-FORMAL EDUCATION:

     

    Apprenticeship training centers Public training centers
    Practical trade Schools Adult Technical Training centers

 

  1. Pre-School Education:
    Pre-
    school education is considered an adjunct to the public education system rather than and integral part of it. Most pre-primary schools are privately operated, though some attached to State primary schools. They are concentrated in the larger towns and cities, where they meet a need arising from the rapidly rising number of working mothers.
     

     

  2. Primary Education:
    8 year continious primary education is compulsory for every child as soon as they reach the age of six. Most elementary school students dress similarly in one type of uniform.
    Children who fail to reach the required standard at the end of any year may repeat it, and by this process it is possible for a child to remain in
    elementary school until the age of 18. Normally, however, the primary phase of basic education ends at age of 15 with award of an Elementary School Certificate (Diploma).

     

  3. Secondary Education:
    The high school education is for
    three years. The high school programs are not different than the programs in the United States. The main distinction in the classroom structure is that the teachers, instead of students, go from class to class.
     

    1. Technical and Vocational Lycees: Although general lycees remain the core of the secondary sector, there has recently been a growing emphasis on expanding the number and capacity of technical and vocational lycees.
       

    2. Technical Lycees: These are specialized institutions and include the following specialized types:
       
      electricity, electronics, chemistry,
      machinery, motors, building.

      Courses in technical lycees are designed to prepare students either for professional life or for further studying.

       

    3. Vocational Lycees: These fall into eight main types as follows:
       
      Industrial Vocational Lycees Girls' Vocational Lycees (home economics etc.)
      Public Health Vocational Lycees Commercial Vocational Lycees
      Agricultural Vocational Lycees Meteorology Vocational Lycee
      Animal Husbandry Vocational Lycee Land Registration and Cadastre Vocational Lycee

      Courses in these lycees are designed to prepare students for working life in their particular fields. Graduates can also apply for higher education.


    In order to provide further opportunities for the children with limited finances, there are high schools with boarding facilities. These schools are free of charge and the students are placed according to the results of an examination.

    In addition to normal middle-high schools, there are also evening middle-high schools, which usually operate in the same buildings. These are designed to allow those who take up employment after primary (or middle school) to continue their formal education. Evening schools are one year longer than day schools, but they provide exactly the same right of access to secondary/higher education.

    With limited exceptions, high schools are at large owned by the government and provide free educational opportunities. Graduates of these high schools can attend universities after the university entrance examination. The centralized examination is administrated by the Supreme Council of Higher Education and determines candidates for the enrollment of each university and faculty after evaluating the grades of related subjects, their high school results and their preferences according to the student capacity of each faculty.

 


EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION:
As with the overall administration of the country, educational administration is firmly centralized under the Ministry of Education. The Ministry is responsible for drawing up curriculum, coordinating the work of official, private and voluntary organizations, designing and building schools, developing educational materials and so on. The Supreme Council of National Education discusses and decides on curricula, regulations etc. prepared by the Ministry.
Educational affairs in the provinces are organized by the Directors of National Education appointed by the Minister. However, they work under the direction of the provincial governor.

FINANCING EDUCATION:
Public education at all levels receives major support from the central government, which is responsible for all educational expenses. Primary education is also supported locally, mainly for the construction and maintenance of schools. About 10 % of the general budget is allocated for education.

Academic Calendar: The academic year generally begins in late September or early October and extends through to May or early June, with some variations between urban and rural areas. The school day comprised of a morning and an afternoon session except in overcrowded schools, where a split session may be required. Schools are in session for five days a week. There is also a two week winter break in February.
Universities and colleges usually organize the academic year into two semesters, the first extending from October to January, the second from February/March to June/July.


Distribution of Schools and Teachers:

  #of Teachers #of Schools #of Students
Total (Elementary) 235,721 49,974 6,707.725
Urban (Sehir) 138,481 7,796 -
Rural (Koy) 97,240 42,178 -
Public (Resmi) 233,169 49,770 6,664.160
Private (Ozel) 2,552 204 43,565
Female (Bayan) 100,822 -------- 3,168.808
Male (Erkek) 134,899 -------- 3,543.971
 
Total (Secondary) 56,055 (JH)
124,947 (HS)
7,544 (JH)
4,239 (HS)
2,556.339(JH)
1,743.471(HS)
Urban (Sehir) 38,963 (JH)
120,445 (HS)
4,190 (JH)
3,874 (HS)
-
Rural (Koy) 14,892 (JH)
4,502 (HS)
3,354 (JH)
355 (HS)
-
Public (Resmi) 56,005 (JH)
122,970(HS)
7,320 (JH)
4,003(HS)
2,493.330(JH)
1,696.155(HS)
Private (Ozel) 50 (?) (JH)
7,504 (HS)
224 (JH)
236 (HS)
63,009 (JH)
47,316 (HS)
Female (Bayan) 20,724 (JH)
50,422 (HS)
-------- 981,313 (JH)
671,908 (HS)
Male (Erkek) 35,331 (JH)
74,525 (HS)
-------- 1,575.026(JH)
1,071.563(HS)

Year: 2003

HS = High School (Lise)

 

Educational System
 

When we come to examine the institutions that have sustained the vital functions of the People living in Turkey, we must bear in mind that, from the year 2000 B.C. when they first appeared on the pages of history, they have been a part of three separate civilizations. During the period when they led a nomadic life in Central Asia, they were part of the institutions that harmonized with their way of life. Upon accepting the Islamic faith, and after their expeditions to Anatolia, Turks with this admixture of Islamic and Turkish elements produced a civilization and culture all of its own, which was called the "Ottoman Composition". After the establishment of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923,Turkey entered the sphere of western civilization and culture, and gradually adopted institutions and elements from the west merged with those of Turkey to form the "Republican Composition".

Following the adoption of Islam, coupled with the changes in the political boundaries of the Turks and their transition to a settled civilization and new way of life, educational institutions more attuned to the times of the Seljuks and the Ottomans led to theological schools, dervish lodges, guilds and fraternities. Parallel to the developments in the west, as of the 18th century, schools of engineering, military sciences, administrative sciences, medicine, law, veterinary sciences and fine arts were opened. Furthermore, high schools were opened to bring students to the level where they could follow the studies in the universityies.

Following the foundation of the Turkish Republic, as in other fields reforms were also undertaken in education. Under the law for the unification of education, which was ratified in 1924, all schools were annexed to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education was charged with the task of implementing a contemporary mode of education training for Turkish citizens by opening primary and secondary schools and other institutes and arranging courses within the framework of the educational policies decided upon. Today the Ministry also meets the requirements of these institutions in the way of teachers and administrators and draws up the respective rules, regulations and programmes. It also arranges educational programmes for children of school age who are needy or require special care.

The goal of the Turkish national education system could be summed up as being one where all individuals of the state are gathered together as an inseparable whole, united in national consciousness and thinking, trained to think along scientific lines with intellectually broadened views on world affairs, and to be productive happy individuals, who through their skills contribute to the prosperity of society and are instrumental in making the Turkish nation a creative and distinguished member of the modern world.

 


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