TURKEY: Target Country Cultural Analysis
The Republic of Turkey has a relatively short history as it achieved independence in 1923 from the fallen Ottoman Empire. As a country of 780,580 square kilometers, roughly the size of Texas, Turkey is home to about 76.8 million people. Located in the Middle East, Turkey is a predominantly Islamic nation, yet has remained politically secular throughout its brief existence. II. History
Turkey became a sovereign state in 1923 upon the fall of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire and a three-year war for independence led by Mustafa Kemal the “Father of the Turks”. During World War I the Ottoman Empire became a German ally, which only led to disaster for the expansive empire. Out of the ashes of the old Islamic empire arose the Republic of Turkey, which declared itself to be a secular nation which abolished religious rulings. After WWI, Turkey focused on modernizing and westernizing the country with social, political, economic, and linguistic reforms. This “Kemalism” began to be known for promoting strong nationalism, statism, and western orientation. During World War II, Turkey fought on the side of the Allies and became an original member of the United Nations. In 1947, the United States enacted the Truman Doctrine ensuring American intensions to guarantee security in Turkey and Greece after WWII and resulting communists rebellions. This resulted in heavy U.S. military and economic aid through the Marshall Plan. Turkey joined NATO in1952 and, though it has experienced some instability in government, is currently going through the accession process to become a member of the European Union. III. Geographical setting
Turkey is considered a Eurasian nation, with the portion west of Bosporus geographically being part of Southeastern Europe and the portion to the east being part of Southwestern Asia. Turkey borders the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, bordering countries consisting of Bulgaria, Syria, Armenia, Georgia, Greece, Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Iran. Turkey has a temperate climate; its summers are hot and dry, while the winters are mild and wet. In general, Turkey experiences a moderate climate in coastal areas and harsher weather in the interior. Within Turkey the topography is diverse. Anatolia is a high central plateau and is surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. As you move eastward the plateau gets progressively more rugged as Turkey contains several mountain ranges. The lowest point in Turkey is the Mediterranean Sea, which sits at sea level, while the highest point, Mount Ararat, towers at 5,166 meters above sea level. Turkey’s topography also lends itself to being one of the more earthquake-prone countries of the world with severe earthquakes occurring being especially prevalent in northern Turkey. B. Education
Education is Turkey is mandatory for eight years with 97.6% of the population attending school and 87.4% of the country being literate. There is a significant difference in literacy rates between males and females in Turkey; for males literacy rates are 95.3% while female maintain a literacy rate of 79.6% (according to 2004 estimates). In 2006 it was determined that the school life expectancy for the entire population is eleven years (from primary to tertiary education), with males and females attending school for twelve years and eleven years, respectively. As of 2004, Turkey was expending 4% of the country’s GDP towards education, ranking them 102nd in the world. Turkey has four levels of education: pre-school education, primary school education, secondary education, and higher education. Pre-school is not compulsory in Turkey; most pre-schools remain privately owned and are concentrated in highly populated cities. Primary school education is mandatory, starting at age six and lasting eight years. Turkey contains 34,656 elementary schools providing education to 10.85 million children. ...
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