1980-1989 since 2002

Turkey 1989-2002

Administration . The Republic of Turkey, since 1983, is a functioning democracy. General elections were held in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2002. The office of PM was held by Yildirim Akbulut (ANAP) from 1989 to 1991, by Mesut Yilmaz (ANAP) in 1991, by Süleyman Demirel (DYP) from 1991 to 1993, by Tansu Çiller (DYP) from 1993 to 1996, by Mesut Yilmaz (ANAP) in 1996, by Necmettin Erbakan (MSP) in 1996-1997, by Mesut Yilmaz (ANAP) in 1997-1999, by Bülent Ecevit (DSP) in 1999-2002.

Foreign Policy . The Turkish government is somewhat frustrated with the way the EU treated Turkey's bid for membership (launched in 1987). Turkey remained a close ally of the US, and in 1991 joined the coalition which liberated Kuwait from Iraqi occupation. The establishment of no-fly-zones in Iraq in effect created an Iraqi Kurdish political entity (1991), which the Turkish authorities viewed with suspicion, as Turkey is home to a large Kurdish minority (9 million) and faced the challenge of Kurdish terrorists (the PKK) aiming for an independent Kurdish state. Occasionally, Turkish forces crossed into Iraqi Kurdistan, in order to strike against PKK bases (1992, 1995). In 1999 PKK leader Öçalan was arrested in Kenya and extradited to Turkey.
Relations with Greece remained tense over the Cyprus and Aegaean territorial waters issues. Another matter which proves an obstacle to Turkish ambitions of joining the EU is the Armenian Genocide of 1915 to 1923, which the Republic of Turkey refuses to recognize (The Turkish side insists on Turkish victims in the event given the same recognition).
The dissolution of the USSR in 1991 elevated the Armenian SSR to an independent state, which for historical reasons took a hostile stand toward Turkey. In the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Turkey sympathized with the latter.

Ethnic, Religious Minorities . The Turkish constitution defines Turkey to be a secular state, prescribes separation of religion and state.
In 1983 the PKK began a terrorist campaign aiming for independence of Turkish Kurdistan; the campaign suffered severe blows when PKK leader Öçalan was arrested in 1999, and in two Turkish invasions of Iraqi Kurdistan neutralizing PKK bases. It should be pointed out that only a part of Turkish Kurds supported the PKK; PM (later President) Özal himself was an ethnic Kurd. Policies which used to suppress the usage of Kurdish language were no longer enforced.

Social History . The progress Turkey has made as a secular state can best be observed when comparing the country with her neighbours in the Arab world; the country's secular education system is one of the factors explaining why Turkey has, almost completely, escaped the wave of Islamist terrorism. The legal status of women in Turkey is much closer to that of women in Europe than that in the Arab world.
According to the census of 1990, Turkey had 56.4 million inhabitants, the census of 1997 counted 62.8 million.

In 1988, Turkey had 1.145 million unemployed, in 1989 1.8 million. In the years 1990 to 1998 the figure oscillated between 1.3 and 1.7 million (IHS p.110).

The Economy . The country has undergone significant economic development, but failed to register an equally significant increase in the standard of living, one of a number of concerns EU politicians point at when discussing the Turkish bid for membership.
In 1989, Turkey produced 16.2 million metric tons of wheat, in 1999 16.5 million; record harvests in 1993 and 1998 reached 21.0 million (IHS p.203).
In the 1990es Turkey suffered from inflation; setting the consumer price level of 1995 at 100, B.R. Mitchell gives the price level for 1994 as 53.2, that of 2000 as 1,579.6 (IHS p.961).
Turkey joined the WTO in 1995.

Cultural History . Turkish athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000.
In 1994, Safranbolu was declared a world heritage site, followed by the archaeological site of Troy in 1998.

Articles Politics of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Justice and Development Party (AKP), Abdullah Gül, Bülent Ecevit, Mesut Yilmaz, Necmettin Erbakan, Tansi Çiller, Süleyman Demirel, Yildirim Akbulut, Turgut Özal, Economy of Turkey, Accession of Turkey to the EU, Elections in Turkey, Foreign Relations of Turkey, Turkish-PKK Conflict, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, Turkey at the 1992 SumerOlympics, Turkey at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Turkey at the 2000 Summer Olympics, Turkey at the 2004 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, from Wikipedia
Timeline, from BBC News
List of World Heritage Sites, from UNESCO
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Turkey, by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Turkey, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
Election Results : Turkey, from Psephos, since 1995
REFERENCE IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003
Article : Turkey, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1990-1991 pp.1207-1214, 1991-1992 pp.1210-1217, 1992-1993 pp.1292-1300, 1993-1994 pp.1296-1303, 1994-1995 pp.1295-1303, 1995-1996 pp.1282-1290, 1996-1997 pp.1263-1271, 1997-1998 pp.1261-1268, 1998-1999 pp.1376-1384, 2000 pp.1546-1554, 2001 pp.1514-1522, 2002 pp.1570-1578, 2003 pp.1570-1579, 2004 pp.1589-1597, 2005 pp.1599-1608, 2006 pp.1607-1615 [G]
Entry : Background Notes - Turkey, pp.360-367; Travel Warnings - India, pp.615-618 in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2000, Supplement [G]
Entry : Republic of Turkey, Cabinet, pp.101-102; in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]
Entry : Turkey, pp.1000-1005 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]
Article : Turkey, in : Americana Annual 1992 pp.533-535, 1993 pp.543-545, 1994 pp.545-546, 1998 pp.554-556, 2006 p.381 [G]
Article : Turkey, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1990 pp.436-437, 752, 1991 pp.417, 717, 1992 pp.391, 717, 1993 pp. 393, 733, 1994 pp. 392-393, 733, 1995 pp. 484-485, 733, 1996 pp.481-482, 733, 1997 pp.484-485, 731, 2002 pp.503-505, 745 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 8th 2006, last revised on June 18th 2007

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