The two parts that make up the country, the Asian and the European, are separated by the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles Strait. Born in 1923 as a republic from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire under the impulse of the nationalist forces led by Kemâl Atatürk, modern Turkey is a strongly marked political unit of voluntarism, even if based on a precise ethnic and geographical identification. Atatürk (“father of the Turks”) in fact relied on the pride of the Turkish nation, still alive in Asia Minor; it then mitigated ties with Islam, referring to the values of European modernism. In this way he loosened his ties with neighboring Asian countries, outlining his own and autonomous cultural and political attitude. Turkey had to manage a difficult legacy because the Ottoman Empire, as vast as it was ethnically heterogeneous, had shown itself to be conservative with respect to historical changes and had exalted the Islamic component to the detriment of cultural, social and economic development. To innovate and rejuvenate the country, give it strength and assign it a new geopolitical role, Kemalist nationalism initiated an ethnic cleansing, with sometimes brutal features, of minorities considered foreign: thus Armenians and Kurds, in addition to the Greeks who still inhabited western Turkey in large numbers, they were discriminated against, persecuted or forced into exile.
At the same time, on the basis of the agreements between the European powers, the borders received a more homogeneous, more unitary and compact design: in addition to Asia Minor, the historical and geographical matrix of the Turkish Republic, a large section of Armenia was incorporated at East and a part of Kurdistan and, towards Syria, the former sangiaccato of Alexandretta (the current İskenderun); in Europe the Republic maintained the extreme apex of the continent ( Eastern Thrace) culminating in İstanbul, the ancient capital, a remnant of the Ottoman expansion in the Balkan Peninsula. Another action of “rejuvenation” and of breaking with the Ottoman past was the transfer of the political capital from İstanbul to Ankara, a place that had hitherto been of little importance but strategically located in the center of the country. The country’s transformations and innovation also led to the adoption of a Western-style democratic constitution. However, the project of becoming a modern state was only partially realized. The Islamic and Asian heritage has not been completely erased and has resumed, after Atatürk, its spontaneous role in the internal life of the country. In particular after 1991, the Soviet socio-economic control structures ceased to exist, which still ensured a certain political stability, the Caucasus areait has been hit by tensions, conflicts and clashes with a separatist, religious or ethnic background. The crises, which initially occurred in the South Caucasus, have Turkey playing a moderating role between the parties and advocating the maintenance of the status quo. The situation in terms of relations with the Kurdish minority remains critical: the clashes with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) resulted in several victims until the ceasefire reached in 2013. The southern region of the country hosts a large number of refugees from from the north of Syria, where fighting rages between the militants of the so-called Islamic State and the Kurdish guerrillas.
Turkey has requested to be able to enter the EU, but despite having received the status of candidate country, it must however concretely solve a series of problems such as: respect for human rights, protection of minorities and guarantees for both individual and freedoms. collective. It also needs to clarify its role in the Cyprus crisis which opposes the Greek ethnicity to the Turkish one and which has led to the creation of two opposing and hostile states. Since 9 February 2000, the PKK (Kurdish Communist Party) has decided to abandon the path of armed struggle against the Turkish government in favor of a pacification process. Unfortunately, in the SE of the country, clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and the regular army continue to cause numerous victims. The death penalty is no longer in force since August 2002. The judiciary is based on a combination of different European legal systems (Italian and Swiss) and is undergoing progressive revision to meet the standards of quality and efficiency required by the EU. The legislation on civil and criminal law was profoundly changed in May 2005. On that date, repressive rules on press freedom and individual rights were abolished and laws were introduced for better protection of women and minors. The Court for State Security, the supreme body of Turkey, with the constitutional reform of 1999 became completely civil without the presence of military judges. Turkey is fully integrated into the defense system of the NATO, since 1952, given its geopolitical position close to “hot” areas, such as those of the post-Soviet states and the Middle East. It has a well-equipped army, modern air force and an efficient navy. This depends on the fact that the country allocates a significant part of its GDP military spending (4.9% in 2003, higher than the average for NATO countries). Military conscription is compulsory and lasts 18 months.
Poorly supported until the advent of the Republic (1923), education was modernized through a reform of the school system, to which the army contributed considerably, concerned with teaching reading and writing to young people during military service. The latter, then returned to civilian life, could carry out the activity of teachers in rural areas and in the less accessible areas of the country, thus contributing to the creation of a capillary network of elementary schools. However, expenditure on the education system continues to remain below the European average. Primary school, compulsory and free, it has a duration of five years (from 7 to 12 years) in the cities, of only three years in the rural centers. The teaching program, although common to the whole national territory, is adapted to the different local needs. Secondary education is given in middle schools, lasting three years, and high schools, also three years, which allow access to high schools and universities. The middle school provides both general and scientific education and vocational training that allows young people to enter the world of work. The high school prepares young people for higher education. Vocational schools, with sections on arts, agriculture and commerce, lasting 3-5 years, and technical, commercial and industrial schools, lasting 3 years, provide technical-professional training. Visit jibin123 for 10 reasons to study in turkey. Higher education takes place in 53 state universities and in 19 private ones: in addition to courses in Turkish, there are also some taught totally or partially in English. The percentage of illiterate people is estimated at 11.3% (2007).