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Overview and History (Citing from Wikipedia[]

The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks who in the 9th century resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy.[18] In the 10th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland of Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071. The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts of Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia and Southwest Asia.[19]

In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols and the power of the empire slowly disintegrated. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I was to evolve into the Ottoman Empire, thus filling the void left by the collapsed Seljuks and Byzantines.[20]

The Ottoman Empire interacted with both Eastern and Western cultures throughout its 623-year history. In the 16th and 17th centuries, it was among the world's most powerful political entities, often locking horns with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on land;[5] and with the combined forces (Holy Leagues) of Habsburg Spain, the Republic of Venice and the Knights of St. John at sea for the control of the Mediterranean basin; while frequently confronting Portuguese fleets at the Indian Ocean for defending the Empire's monopoly over the ancient maritime trade routes between East Asia and Western Europe, which had become increasingly compromised since the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.

Following years of decline, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I through the Ottoman-German Alliance in 1914, and was ultimately defeated. After the war, the victorious Allied Powers sought the dismemberment of the Ottoman state through the Treaty of Sèvres.

The occupation of İstanbul and İzmir by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement.[5] Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.[4] By September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were repelled and the country saw the birth of the new Turkish state. On November 1, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of July 24, 1923, led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of Turkey" as the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially proclaimed on October 29, 1923, in the new capital of Ankara.[5]

Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first president and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of founding a new secular republic from the remnants of its Ottoman past.[5] According to the Law on Family Names, the Turkish parliament presented Mustafa Kemal with the honorific name "Atatürk" (Father of the Turks) in 1934.[4]

Turkey entered World War II on the side of the Allies on February 23, 1945 as a ceremonial gesture and became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945.[21] Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale US military and economic support.[22]

After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean conflict, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade of intercommunal violence on the island of Cyprus and the Greek military coup of July 1974, overthrowing President Makarios and installing Nikos Sampson as dictator, Turkey intervened militarily in 1974. Nine years later the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established. The TRNC is recognised only by Turkey.[23]

Following the end of the single-party period in 1945, the multi-party period witnessed tensions over the following decades, and the period between the 1960s and the 1980s was particularly marked by periods of political instability that resulted in a number of military coups d'états in 1960, 1971, 1980 and a post-modern coup d'état in 1997.[24] The liberalization of the Turkish economy that started in the 1980s changed the landscape of the country, with successive periods of high growth and crises punctuating the following decades. In late 2008, though, what allegedly were "terrorist attacks by the TUrkish People" led the Nation of Greece to abruptly invade Turkey, a fellow NATO and European Union member. Taken by surprise, Istanbul and everything West of Adapazan was quickly taken by the Greeks. Taken by surprise and with its military structure heavily damaged, the Turkish Administration under President Abdullah Gül were forced to cede Istanbul under duress. However, with the fact that Greece had established itself as an empire and renamed Istanbul Constantinople, popular anger led to a vote of no confidence in the Turkish Parliament that led to Opposition Leader Devlet Bahceli being inaugurated President in early 2009. In Late April, with support from the Crescent League, the Taiping Empire and Britannia, the Turkish launched a counteroffensive against Greek Forces.

Government[]

Turkey is a parliamentary representative democracy. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong tradition of secularism.[26] Turkey's constitution governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state.

Military[]

The Turkish Armed Forces consists of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard operate as parts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in peacetime, although they are subordinated to the Army and Navy Commands respectively in wartime, during which they have both internal law enforcement and military functions.[46]

The Turkish Armed Forces is the second largest standing armed force in NATO, after the U.S. Armed Forces, with a combined strength of 1,043,550 uniformed personnel serving in its five branches.[47] Every fit male Turkish citizen otherwise not barred is required to serve in the military for a time period ranging from three weeks to fifteen months, dependent on education and job location.[48] Turkey does not recognise conscientious objection and does not offer a civilian alternative to military service.[49] MEKO 200 TN type frigates of the Turkish Navy in formation

In 1998, Turkey announced a program of modernization worth US$160 billion over a twenty year period in various projects including tanks, fighter jets, helicopters, submarines, warships and assault rifles.[50] Turkey is also a Level 3 contributor to the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, gaining an opportunity to develop and influence the creation of the next generation fighter spearheaded by the United States.[51]

Turkey has maintained forces in international missions under the United Nations and NATO since 1950, including peacekeeping missions in Somalia and former Yugoslavia, and support to coalition forces in the First Gulf War. Turkey maintains 36,000 troops in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and has had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. stabilization force and the UN-authorized, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since 2001.[47][52] In 2006, the Turkish parliament deployed a peacekeeping force of Navy patrol vessels and around 700 ground troops as part of an expanded United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the wake of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.[53]

The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President, and is responsible to the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the parliament for matters of national security and the adequate preparation of the armed forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare war and to deploy the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or to allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey rests solely with the parliament.[46] The actual Commander of the armed forces is the Chief of the General Staff General İlker Başbuğ who succeeded General Yaşar Büyükanıt on August 30, 2008.

Largest cities of Turkey by population[]

Istanbul 12,573,836 Ankara 4,466,756 Izmir 3,739,353

	Bursa 	 	2,439,876

Adana 2,006,650

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