Turkey, officially known as the Republic of Turkey or Turkish Republic is a developing country located in Southwest Asia, with a small (3%) part of its territory (Eastern Thrace) in southeast Europe. Until 1922, the country was the center of the Ottoman Empire. The peninsula of Asia Minor, located between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, constitutes the main part of the country. Turkey is bordered by eight countries: west with Greece, northwest with Bulgaria, east with Georgia, Armenia, Iran and Nakhichevan enclave of Azerbaijan and south with Iraq and Syria. South is the Mediterranean Sea, west to the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea north. The Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Hellespont (constituting the Turkish Straits) delimit the boundary between Thrace and Asia Minor, and also divide Europe from Asia. The position of Turkey in Europe and Asia making crossroads country significant geostrategic importance.
The area now called Turkey has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period, including from various Archaiomikrasiatikous Thracian cultures and peoples as well as Ionians, founded there noon major cities (Ionic Dodecapolis). After the conquest by Alexander the Great, area Hellenized, process continued with the Roman domination and the transition to the Byzantine Empire. In the 11th century began to migrate to the Seljuk Turks area, starting the process turkification, which accelerated the victory of the Seljuks on the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. To Seljuk Sultanate of Rum ruled Asia Minor until the Mongolian invasion 1243, whereby cleaved in several small Turkish beilikia. Starting from the late 13th century Ottoman beiliki united Asia Minor and created an empire that included most of South East Europe, West Asia and North Africa. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, following its defeat in World War II, parts of it were occupied by the victorious Allies. The Toyrkikos War for Independence, launched by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his associates, It resulted in the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey in 1923, Atatürk as the first president. Turkey is a parliamentary, secular, single, constitutional democracy with diverse cultural heritage. Country's official language is Turkish, language of the Turkish language family, spoken as a native language by 85% of the population. The Turks are the 70 – 75% of the population. Minorities include Kurds (18%) and others (7 – 12%). The vast majority of the population is Muslim. Turkey is a member of the Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE and G-20 major economies. Turkey began negotiations for full membership in the European Union 2005, He is an associate member of the European Economic Community from 1963 and having joined the European Customs Union 1995. Turkey is also a member of the Cooperation Council of Turkish-speaking States (founded in 2009), the International Organization of Turkish Culture (founded in 1993), Organization of Islamic Conference and the Economic Cooperation Organization (founded in 1995). The increasing diplomatic and economic initiatives in Turkey have led to recognition as a regional power.
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