Southeastern Europe/Asia Minor
783,562 sq km (302,535 sq miles)
70.6 million (2008 estimate)
93 per sq km
Ankara: Population: 3.9 million (2007 estimate)
Republic since 1923
Turkish. Kurdish is also spoken by a minority in the southeast. French, German & English are widely spoken in major cities & tourist areas
Muslim, mostly Sunni, with a very small Christian minority. Turkey is a secular state which guarantees complete freedom of worship to all religions
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
220 volts AC, 50Hz
Head of Government
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since 2002
Head of State
President Abdullah Gul since 2007
Turkey’s economy has recovered well from a crisis in 2001. With IMF support, the mildly Islamist Justice & Development Party (AKP) government introduced structural reforms & sweeping institutional & social reforms in order to initiate EU entry negotiations in October 2005.
Country code: +90 The cheapest way to make calls is from PTT telephone booths, which are found in all areas. These operate using phone cards, which can be bought from kiosks, or by using major credit cards
Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in some rural areas in eastern Turkey.
Internet cafes exist in main urban areas. Some restaurants & hotels have Wi-Fi Internet access.
The Turkish media is dominated by several large corporations that own the main newspapers & private television channels. The Turkish press is fairly free & outspoken in most areas, although a significant number of journalists have been prosecuted under highly controversial laws against ‘insulting’ the country, state institutions or ‘Turkishness’. These are viewed by many, including the European Commission, as against the right to freedom of expression.
Turkish post offices are recognizable by their yellow PTT signs. Post office hours: major outlets Mon - Sat 08:00 - 22:00, Sun 09:00-17:00; smaller post offices have the same opening hours as government offices.
The main newspapers are Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, Zamam Cumhuriyet & Yeni Asir. English language daily newspapers include The Turkish Daily News.
TRT stations include TRT 1 (cultural & educational), TRT 3 (classical, jazz & popular music) & TRT 4 Turkish folk & classical music). Best FM, Show Radyo & Capital Radio are commercial stations. Radyo Foreks broadcasts news.
Below are listed Public Holidays for the 2016 period
New Year's Day 1 Jan
National Sovereignty and Children's Day 23 Apr
Labour Day 1 May
Commemoration of Ataturk and Youth and Sports Day 19 May
Victory Day 30 Aug
Ramazan Bayrami 30 Aug
Republic Day 28 Oct - 29 Oc
Kurban Bayrami 9 Nov