Turkey Population, Politics and Economy

By | August 18, 2021

Population in Turkey

Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the Turkish population has grown from just under 14 million to over 80 million. Turkey is both a country of emigration and immigration. While in the past millions of Turks left their country as migrant workers or political refugees and went to Western Europe, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, numerous repatriates came to the republic from the Balkans, Greece, the Middle East, Iran, Central Asia and the Crimea. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war and the onset of the wave of refugees, there have been around 3 million refugees in Turkey. According to directoryaah, the Turkish population is currently growing by 1.24% per year. With an average age of around 31 years, the Turkish population is relatively young.

The ethnic composition of the Turkish population is very diverse, but is not officially recorded by the Turkish government. Therefore, the data on the Turkish ethnic groups differ greatly from one another. According to estimates, 70 to 77% Turks, 14 to 18% Kurds, 4% Zaza, 2% Circassians, 2% Bosniaks, 1.5% Arabs, 1% Albanians, 0.5% Lasen, 0.1% live in Turkey Georgians as well as various other ethnic groups and nationalities such as Armenians / Hem┼činli, Bulgarians / Pomaks, Arameans, Chechens, Greeks / Pontians, Jews and Roma. In 2017 the proportion of migrants was around 6% of the Turkish population.

In addition to the official language Turkish, which is spoken by over 80% of the population as their mother tongue, around twenty other languages are used in Turkey, which are now spoken by non-Turkish ethnic groups and minorities living in Turkey. These include Kurmanji or Northern Kurdish, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Kabardian or Eastern Circassian, Bulgarian, Adygean or Western Circassian as well as Western Armenian and Homschezi.

Politics and economy in Turkey

Under the 1982 constitution, Turkey was a parliamentary democracy with a council of ministers chaired by a prime minister and an independent judiciary. After a constitutional amendment in 2010, a separation of powers in Turkey only exists to a limited extent. With the constitutional referendum in 2017 and the early presidential and parliamentary elections in 2018, the Council of Ministers as the highest executive body was abolished. The directly elected president now forms the sole head of the executive branch. The president’s influence on the composition of the courts was expanded and special rights of the armed forces almost completely eliminated.

The government of Turkey has been formed by the president, ministers and vice-presidents since 2017. The ministers and vice-presidents are determined by the state president, whereby he can determine the number of vice-presidents himself. 16 ministries have existed since July 2018. Each ministry is headed by a minister and three deputy ministers.

Turkey Politics

The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is officially the legislative body. It consists of 600 parliamentarians who are directly elected by the people for five years. Every citizen of Turkey is required to vote from the age of 18. In the last parliamentary elections in 2018, nine parties had at least one MP. The National Assembly makes the fundamental decisions that control the political, economic, social and legal everyday life of the state. Their tasks and competences are to pass laws, to amend the constitution, to pass the state budget, to authorize the Council of Ministers to issue statutory ordinances, to ratify international treaties and, in certain cases, to allow the declaration of war. Parliament can also resolve new elections before the end of the five-year legislative period. The MPs enjoy immunity and indemnity.

In addition to the government and parliament, Turkey has the National Security Council. It acts as an advisory body on questions of internal and external security and takes action particularly when the principles of the Turkish Republic appear to be endangered. The members of the council are the commanders-in-chief of the army, navy, air force and gendarmerie, the chief of staff, the prime minister, his deputies, the foreign, interior and defense ministers and, as chairman of the council, the president.

The judiciary in Turkey consists of civil courts, administrative courts, supreme courts and the Court of Auditors. The Constitutional Court is one of the highest courts in Turkey. It decides on the constitutionality of the laws passed by parliament and acts as a state court. It also decides on the ban on political parties.

According to ebizdir, the economic situation in Turkey is very contradictory. There is a great gap between the industrialized West and its modern industry in the big cities on the one hand and the agriculturally structured and underdeveloped East on the other.

The unemployment rate was 11.2% in 2017. In 2017, 18.4% of all workers worked in agriculture, 26.6% in industry and 54.9% in the service sector.

The most important economic sectors are the textile industry, tourism, the automotive industry, as well as the chemical industry, mechanical engineering and the electronics industry.

After a steep growth phase in the years 2010-2011, the Turkish economy slipped into recession in 2018 due to longstanding foreign trade deficits.

Transport network in Turkey

The road network in Turkey has a total length of approx. 400,000 km. Most of the roads are well developed and in fair condition. The 2000 km motorway network is to be further consolidated over the next few years. The most important motorway routes connect Istanbul with Ankara and Adana with Gaziantep. The three bridges over the Bosporus and six motorway routes are subject to tolls. Both freight and passenger traffic in Turkey are mainly carried out by road. Coaches are very popular for overland trips, the service from the bus companies and the equipment of the vehicles is very good (air conditioning, coffee, snacks, WiFi). Local transport in the cities is also organized by public buses.

Recently, the infrastructure for the heavily neglected rail traffic in Turkey has been renewed. The total length of the rail network is around 11,000 km today, of which around 20% are electrified. The speed of travel of the older passenger trains, however, falls behind the speed of long-distance bus lines. However, several high-speed lines such as between Ankara and Konya or Istanbul and Konya are under construction or have already been completed. The major cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa each have a subway for urban transport.

Turkey has 15 international airports, the most important of which is Istanbul Airport. Antalya Airport is important for tourism with almost 32 million passengers. Other international airports are located in Izmir and Ankara. Together with the domestic airports, there are a total of 117 airports in Turkey.

With a coastline of 8,333 km and 156 ports, the potential of shipping is great. Many bulk goods are transported by sea in Turkey. The most important sea ports in Turkey are located in Izmir, Istanbul and Samsun (Black Sea). Inland Turkey has around 1200 km of navigable waterways.