Republic of Turkey
Note: On July 30, 2008, Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that the incumbent Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi—AKP) had become a center of antisecular activities but avoided punishing it with closure. The country escaped a grave political crisis, yet the war between the government and the secularist bureaucracy is far from over.
Political Status: Independent republic established in 1923; parliamentary democracy since 1946, save for military interregna from May 1960 to October 1961 and September 1980 to November 1983; present constitution approved by referendum of November 7, 1982.
Area: 300,948 sq. mi. (779,452 sq. km.).
Population: 67,803,927 (2000C); 74,359,000 (2007E).
Major Urban Centers (2007E): ANKARA (3,641,931), İstanbul (10,291,102), İzmir (2,651,568), Bursa (1,504,817), Adana (1,294,460), Gaziantep (1,136,281), Konya (932,589).
Official Language: Turkish. A 1982 law banning ...