Once the centre of the Ottoman Empire, the fashionable secular republic used to be established within the twenties by nationalist chief Kemal Ataturk.
Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey’s strategically vital area has given it prime influence in the area – and control over the doorway to the Black Sea.
Progress against democracy and a marketplace economic system used to be halting after Ataturk’s dying in 1938, and the army – seeing itself as guarantor of the constitution – again and again ousted governments observed as difficult secular values.
Joining the european Union has been a longstanding ambition. Membership talks were introduced in 2005, however development has been slow, as a number of EU states have severe misgivings about Turkish EU club.
Kurds make up a few 5th of the inhabitants. Kurdish separatists who accuse the Turkish state of trying to spoil their cultural id had been waging a guerrilla warfare because the eighties.
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Recep Tayyip Erdogan used to be sworn in as president in August 2014, cementing his position as Turkey’s most powerful chief.
His victory in Turkey’s first fashionable presidential election capped 12 years as top minister during which the economy tripled in buck phrases, even as fuelling fears of growing authoritarianism.
Turkey is a parliamentary republic and the presidency in large part ceremonial, so Mr Erdogan is looking for changes to the constitution to create an executive presidency.
His targets were checked when his Islamist-rooted AK Birthday Party misplaced its parliamentary majority in June 2015, sooner than regaining it in snap elections in November, known as after efforts to form a coalition failed.
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Symbol copyright Getty Pictures Image caption Turkey has a terrible file on media freedom
Turkey’s airwaves are lively, with hundreds of private TELEVISION and radio stations competing with the state broadcaster, TRT.
Television is via a ways the most influential information medium; both press and broadcasting outlets are running via robust business operators.
For newshounds, the army, Kurds and political Islam are highly-delicate subjects, protection of which will lead to arrest and prosecution.
Some of essentially the most repressive restrictions have been lifted at the path to EUROPEAN entry, however it continues to be a crime to insult the Turkish nation and president, and a wave of prosecutions of journalists below Recep Tayyip Erdogan has brought about new worry for press freedom.
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Some key dates in Turkey’s historical past:
1453 – Sultan Mehmed II the Brilliant captures Constantinople, finishing Byzantine Empire and consolidating Ottoman Empire in Asia Minor and Balkans.
15th-sixteenth centuries – Growth into Asia and Africa.
Symbol copyright Getty Pictures Symbol caption Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus Bridge hyperlinks Asia and Europe
1683 – Ottoman strengthen into Europe halted at Struggle of Vienna. Long decline begins.
1908 – Younger Turk Revolution establishes constitutional rule, but degenerates into military dictatorship right through First World Warfare, where Ottoman Empire fights in alliance with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
1918-22 – Partition of defeated Ottoman Empire ends up in eventual triumph of Turkish National Movement in conflict of independence against overseas profession and rule of Sultan.
1923 – Turkey declared a republic with Kemal Ataturk as president. Quickly afterwards it turns into secular.
1952 – Turkey abandons Ataturk’s neutralist policy and joins Nato.
1960 – Army coup against ruling Democratic Celebration.
1974 – Turkish troops occupy northern Cyprus, partitioning the island.
1984 – Kurdish PKK group launches separatists guerrilla campaign which develops into a best civil conflict that simmers on for decades.
2011 – Syrian civil warfare breaks out, leading to tension alongside the countries’ border and a huge influx of refugees into Turkey.
2016 – Tried coup fails.
Symbol copyright Getty Photographs Symbol caption Worshippers pray within the Blue Mosque in Istanbul Read complete timeline