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ABOUT TURKEY

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Economy:

   Agriculture has an important role in Turkish economy. Turkey does one of the most important food exporting in the world. The main crops are wheat, rice, cotton, tea, tobacco, hazelnuts and fruits. Stock-breeding plays an important role as well. The sheep are fed for their wool and meat. The cows are for their meat and milk. Industry and tourism also have high rates in the income of Turkey. Turkish economy is the 16th largest in the world. The aims of the economic reform which was implemented in 1980, were reducing government intervention; implementing a flexible exchange rate policy; liberalizing import regulations; increasing exports; encouraging foreign capital investment; establishing free trade zones; deregulating financial markets; privatizing State Economic Enterprises, and decentralizing government activities.  As a result of economic reforms based on free market principles and an international orientation, the Turkish economy has experienced an average growth rate of almost 5 percent over the past 20 years. With its rapid development, its young and well-trained workforce; rich natural resources; well-developed infrastructure; improved transportation, telecommunications and banking systems; rapidly growing domestic market; and dynamic and developed industry, Turkey is today an attractive and secure investment opportunity for foreign investors.

Population & the People:

   Turkey has 66 millions of inhabitants. 99% of the population are Muslim. Istanbul is the greatest city having over 10 millions of inhabitants. Turkish people are known to be very friendly and hospitable. After the reforms of Ataturk, the founder of Turkey, the country became much more modern although still the people are tied to the traditions.

Education:

The structure of the Turkish national education system is outlined on National Education. The Ministry of National Education is responsible for all educational services in the country except the higher education. The Council of Higher Education is responsible of higher education. Formal education includes pre-school education, basic education, secondary education, and higher education. 8 years of primary school is compulsory for children. After the primary school, high schools, private colleges and universities are available. There are one or two universities nearly in every city in Turkey but the best ones are in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. Basic education consists of 8 years which was changed in 1997 with a new law. The secondary education is 3 years unless it is Anatolian high school which offers a four-year program, a language preparatory program prior to the three-year high school education, using a modern European language.

Money:

The national monetary unit is Turkish Lira (TL). But foreign exchange like USD or DM can be used in Turkey. Exchange rates for foreign currencies are published on our currency page.

Electricity:

Electricity is supplied at 220 volts. Plugs have two round prongs.

Sports:

Wrestling is Turkey's traditional sport. But the most popular sport is soccer. Then basketball. Other different kinds of sports are done all around the country such as diving, wind-surfing, golfing, air sports, caving, hunting, winter sports, mountaineering, trekking.

Carpets:

Turkish carpets are the reflections of environment, sociology, economy, and religion of  the Turkish people from Central Asia to Turkey. The popularity of Turkish carpets is due to the geographical reasons. In the lands Turks have lived the temperature show differences between day and night or summer and winter. Turks have tried to protect themselves from the cold weather in their houses by covering the floors and sometimes even their walls with carpets. The carpets are mostly made of wool but sometimes of cotton and although rare, silk as well. These carpets are able to protect the houses and the people from the cold. As a tradition weaving carpet and kilim is a hobby as well as a means of earning money for the women and the girls. Although factories were built for weaving carpets still hand-made carpets are more valuable than the industrial carpeting.

Turkish coffee:

Turkish coffee has played an important role in Turkish lifestyle and culture. The serving and consumption of coffee has had a big effect on customs, political and social interaction and hospitality throughout the centuries. It was brought to Turkey in 1555 by two Syrian. Turkish coffee houses  have always been a meeting place for both the cultured citizen and the inquisitive traveler. There are delightful cafe-restaurants in Turkey where friends and family meet to discuss topics of the day over a cup of traditional Turkish coffee. It is derived from the Arabic bean and it is powder-like grind. Turkish coffee has six levels of sweetness ranging from very sweet to black. Since sugar is added to the coffee while making it, spoons are not needed. Turkish coffee is made in a special pot called cezve. After drinking it from the small special Turkish coffee cups, the cup is turned over on the saucer and let to be cooled. Then the coffee-grounds create some shapes and it is how Turkish coffee shows your fortune!

Turkish cuisine:

It is said to be three major types of cuisine exist in the world which are French, Chinese and Turkish. Turkish cuisine is various and very simple to cook. Lamb has an important role in Turkish cuisine. Sis Kebab and Doner Kebab are the famous Turkish dishes made of lamb. Also with the egg-plant many various dishes are made which are karniyarik, hunkar begendi, egg-plant salad, patlican dolmasi. What is preferred with meat and vegetables is made of rice called pilav. For starters there is borek which is a pie of flaky pastry stuffed with meat, cheese or some vegetables. Dolma is the name given to vegetables such as grape leaves, cabbage leaves, green peppers and egg-plant stuffed with spiced rice and meat. Turkish cuisine is also rich in desserts such as baklava, kadayif and kazandibi. Turkish coffee, ayran, sira, boza are the national beverages of Turks.

Turkish Language and Literature:

The Turkish language belongs to the Altay branch of the Ural-Altay linguistic family. Since the Turks have spread over a wide geographical area, the influence of Turkish language is seen  in a wide area stretching from today's Mongolia to the north coast of the Black Sea, the Balkans, East Europe, Anatolia, Iraq and a wide area of northern Africa. The history of the Turkish language is divided into three main groups, old Turkish (from the 7th to the 13th centuries), mid-Turkish (from the 13th to the 20th), and new Turkish from the 20th century onwards. During the Ottoman Empire period, Arabic and Persian words were assimilated into the Turkish language. Five years after the proclamation of the republic in 1928 the Latin alphabet began to be used. The Turkish Language Institute was established in 1932 and started to deal with the linguistic research and the development of the language. As a result, modern Turkish is a literary and cultural language developing free of foreign influences.

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