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|1922||Sultanate abolished (November 1).|
|1923||Treaty of Lausanne secured (July 24).
Republic of Turkey with capital at Ankara proclaimed (October 29).
|1924||Caliphate abolished (March 3).
Traditional religious schools closed, seriat abolished. Constitution adopted (April 20).
|1925||Dervish brotherhoods abolished.
Fez outlawed by the Hat Law (November 25). Veiling of women discouraged; Western clothing for men and women encouraged.
Western (Gregorian) calendar adopted.
|1926||New civil, commercial, and penal codes based on European
models adopted. New civil code ended Islamic polygamy and
divorce by renunciation and introduced civil marriage.
Millet system ended.
|1927||First systematic census.|
|1928||New Turkish alphabet (modified Latin form) adopted. State declared secular (April 10); constitutional provision establishing Islam as official religion deleted.|
|1933||Islamic call to worship and public readings of the Kuran (Quran) required to be in Turkish rather than Arabic.|
|1934||Women given the vote and the right to hold office.
Law of Surnames adopted--Mustafa Kemal given the name Kemal Atatürk (Father Turk) by the Grand National Assembly; Ismet Pasha took surname of Inönü.
|1935||Sunday adopted as legal weekly holiday.
State role in managing economy written into the constitution.
Atatürk's death in Istanbul on November 10, 1938, caused an outpouring of grief throughout the Turkish nation. With much ceremony, the president's body was transported to Ankara and placed in a temporary tomb from which it was transferred in 1953 to a newly completed mausoleum on a hill overlooking Ankara. The building has since become a national shrine.
The stability of the new republic was made evident by the smoothness of the presidential succession. The day after Atatürk's death, the Grand National Assembly elected his chief lieutenant, Inönü, president. Celal Bayar, who had succeeded Inönü as prime minister in 1937, continued in that office.
As tensions in Europe heightened, Inönü determined to keep Turkey neutral in the event of war, unless the country's vital interests were clearly at stake. The Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact of August 1939 prompted Turkey to sign a treaty of mutual assistance with Britain and France in October. Hedging its bets, the government concluded a nonaggression treaty with Nazi Germany on June 18, 1941, just four days before the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. The early military successes of the Axis forces contributed to increased pro-German sentiment, even in some official circles. However, Inönü seems never to have wavered from his position that the Axis powers could not win the war. Despite German pressure, Turkey at no time permitted the passage of Axis troops, ships, or aircraft through or over Turkey and its waters, and the Montreux Convention was scrupulously enforced in the straits. Turkey broke diplomatic relations with Adolf Hitler's government in August 1944, and, in February 1945, declared war on Germany, a necessary precondition for participation in the Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April 1945, from which the United Nations (UN) emerged. Turkey thereby became one of the fifty-one original members of the world organization.
The UN charter was approved by the Grand National Assembly in August 1945, but the debate on the measure during the summer brought about Turkey's first major postwar domestic political conflict. A proposal was entered by former Prime Minister Bayar, Adnan Menderes, and two additional CHP deputies calling for changes in Turkish law to assure the domestic application of the liberties and rights to which the government had ostensibly subscribed by accepting the principles of the UN Charter. When the proposal was disallowed, its four proponents left the CHP and resigned their seats in the assembly.
Despite the rejection of Menderes's proposal, the government relaxed many wartime controls and agreed to the further democratization of the political process. In January 1946, the Democrat Party (DP), headed by Bayar and Menderes, was registered; it subsequently became the main focus of opposition to the CHP. The general elections in July 1946 gave the DP sixty-two seats out of 465 in the assembly, demonstrating the appeal of the new party. Although the DP represented the interests of private business and industry, it also received strong support in rural areas.
In the May 1950 general election, about 88 percent of an electorate totaling about 8.5 million went to the polls, returning a huge DP majority. In the assembly, 408 seats went to the DP and only sixty-nine to the CHP, whose unbroken dominance since the founding of the republic was thus ended. Bayar was elected president by the new assembly, replacing Inönü, and named Menderes prime minister. As expected, the Menderes government's economic policy reduced reliance on state direction while encouraging private enterprise and foreign investment in industrial development.
In the May 1954 election, the DP increased its parliamentary majority. Taking its election victory as a mandate to make sweeping changes, including reform of the civil service and state-run enterprises, the Menderes government obtained the passage of a legislative package by means that the opposition characterized as "undemocratic and authoritarian." The CHP concentrated its attacks on a government-sponsored law that limited freedom of the press. Tension increased when the press law was tightened further and restrictions were imposed on public assembly several months before the scheduled October 1957 election. The government argued that the legislation was necessary to prevent "irresponsible journalists" from inciting disorder. The inability of the two main political parties to cooperate in the assembly brought the parliamentary process to a standstill as months passed. When a tour of central Anatolia by CHP leader Inönü in early 1960 became the occasion for outbreaks of violence along his route, the Menderes government reacted by suspending all political activity and imposing martial law. On April 28, 1960, students in Istanbul who were demonstrating against government policies in defiance of martial law were fired on by police; several were killed. The following week, cadets from the military academy staged a protest march in solidarity with the student movement, thereby bringing an element of the armed forces into confrontation with civilian authorities.
Atatürk had always insisted that the military forces, as a national institution above partisanship and factionalism, should stay out of politics. The military leadership traditionally had subscribed to this viewpoint, with the proviso that a major role of the armed forces was to act as guardian of the constitution and Kemalism. By 1960, with the military already deeply involved in political affairs because of the government's use of martial law to enforce its policies, the senior command concluded that the government had departed from Kemalist principles and that the republic was in imminent danger of disintegration. On May 27, 1960, Turkish army units, under the direction of the chief of General Staff, Cemal Gürsel, seized the principal government buildings and communications centers and arrested President Bayar, Prime Minister Menderes, and most of the DP representatives in the Grand National Assembly, as well as a large number of other public officials. Those arrested were charged with abrogating the constitution and instituting a dictatorship.
The coup was accomplished with little violence and was accepted quickly throughout the country. The government was replaced by the Committee of National Unity (CNU), composed of the thirty-eight officers who had organized the coup. The committee acted as supreme authority, appointing a cabinet, initially consisting of five officers and thirteen civilians, to carry out executive functions. The number of civilians in the cabinet, however, was later reduced to three. General Gürsel, who had fought at Gallipoli under Atatürk, temporarily assumed the positions of president, prime minister, and defense minister. At the outset, Gürsel announced that the committee's rule would be of an interim nature and that government would be returned to civilian hands at an early date.
The most pressing problems the CNU faced in the first months after the coup were economic. The ousted regime had been responsible for inflation and heavy debt, and emergency austerity measures had to be taken to stabilize the economy. An economic planning agency, the State Planning Organization, was established to study social and economic conditions and to draw up the country's five-year development plans.
In January 1961, a constituent assembly was formed in which the CNU participated. This interim legislature produced a new constitution, which, after much debate, it ratified in May and submitted to a popular referendum in July. This constitution, which created Turkey's so-called Second Republic, contained a number of substantial departures from the 1924 constitution but continued to embody the principles of Kemalism. The new constitution was approved by 60 percent of the electorate. The large opposition vote was a disappointment to the CNU and showed that sympathy for the DP persisted, particularly in socially conservative small towns and rural constituencies.
Meanwhile, the trial of some 600 former government officials and DP functionaries had begun in October 1960 on the island of Yassiada in the Bosporus. All but about 100 of those tried were found guilty, and fifteen death sentences were pronounced. Partly in response to public appeals for leniency, the death sentences of former President Bayar and eleven others were commuted to life imprisonment, but Menderes and two former cabinet ministers were hanged.
Fourteen political parties offered candidates in the October 1961 election, but only four won seats in the bicameral Grand National Assembly created under the new constitution. The results gave the CHP 173 seats in the lower house--the 450-member National Assembly--and only thirty-six in the 150-member Senate. The Justice Party (Adalet Partisi--AP), generally recognized as the heir of the DP, obtained 158 seats in the lower house and seventy in the upper. The remaining seats were divided between the New Turkey Party and the Republican Peasants' Nation Party, subsequently renamed the Nationalist Action Party (Milliyetçi Haraket Partisi--MHP). The New Turkey Party was led by onetime DP dissidents who had broken with Menderes in the mid-1950s; the MHP attracted militant rightists. Because neither of the two larger parties commanded a majority, formation of a broad coalition either between the two larger parties or between one of them and the two smaller parties would be necessary.
The new bicameral legislature elected General Gürsel president of the republic. On taking office, he asked seventy-eight-year-old former President Inönü to form a government. Inönü, who had first been named prime minister by Atatürk in 1923, attempted to reach an agreement with the AP for a coalition in which that party would share an equal number of cabinet posts with the CHP, but party leaders failed to resolve their differences concerning amnesty for those convicted in the Yassiada trials. President Gürsel and General Cevdet Sunay, chief of the General Staff, warned that the irresponsibility of some legislators could provoke renewed military intervention in politics. In February 1962, a group of army officers staged a revolt in Ankara in protest of the role of the AP in government-proposed amnesty plans. The uprising was quickly suppressed, and suspected sympathizers in the officer corps were purged. Inönü subsequently introduced legislation granting amnesty to the officers involved in the revolt. In October 283 of those who had been convicted at Yassiada were given executive clemency on the recommendation of the assembly and freed. Another two years elapsed before former President Bayar and the remaining prisoners were released.
The AP made such significant gains in the 1964 local elections that Inönü stepped down as prime minister. After unsuccessful attempts by the AP and the CHP to form a government, an interim administration was appointed to serve until the October 1965 general election. Voters in that election gave the AP a clear majority in the Grand National Assembly. The vote allowed the new prime minister, forty-four-year-old Süleyman Demirel, to form a single-party government and claim a popular mandate for his legislative program. An engineer and former head of the National Water Authority, Demirel was a onetime protégé of Menderes. Although Demirel cultivated a pragmatic and technocratic image for the young party, the AP inherited the DP's identification with right-wing populism and catered to the same broadly based constituency. The party attracted support from the business community and from artisans and shopkeepers, but its real strength lay in the peasantry and in the large number of workers who had recently arrived in the cities from the countryside. Although it never disavowed the principle of secularism enshrined in Kemalism, the AP promoted tolerance of the open expression of the traditional Islam that appealed to many in these latter groups. While accepting a large role for state enterprises in a mixed economy, the AP also encouraged the development of a stronger private sector than had been allowed previously and was receptive to foreign investment in Turkey.
Although Demirel increased defense spending and took a hard line on law-and-order issues, military leaders remained suspicious of his party because of its roots in the DP. Demirel seemed to improve his standing among them by supporting the successful presidential candidacy of General Sunay when Gürsel died in office in 1966, but objections by the military subsequently forced the prime minister to withdraw legislation that would have restored full political rights to surviving former DP leaders. Enactment of other legislation was also hampered by growing factional splits in the AP. Representing the party's business-oriented liberal wing, Demirel urged greater reliance on a market economy. He was opposed on some issues and prodded on others by a traditionalist wing that was socially conservative, more agrarian in its orientation, and had ties to the Islamic movement.
Following the CHP's defeat in the 1965 general election, that party engaged in an internal debate to determine its position in the left-right continuum. When forty-year-old Bülent Ecevit succeeded Inönü as party leader the following year, he sought to identify the CHP with the social democratic parties of Western Europe. The party platform favored state-directed investment over private investment and recommended limits on foreign participation in the Turkish economy. It also called for rapid expansion of public services financed by taxation that would restrict the growth of private incomes. Ecevit emphasized the CHP's dedication to maintaining political secularism in contrast to the AP's leniency in the face of a revival of religious influence. While promising to adhere to Turkey's defense commitments, he insisted on a more self-reliant foreign policy that included efforts to improve bilateral relations with the Soviet Union.
As party leader, Ecevit attempted to transform the CHP from an elitist party seeking to guide the nation from above into a mass movement involving a broadly based constituency in the political process. Ecevit's socialist rhetoric was compatible with the Kemalist principles of state direction of the economy, but the shift to the left he inaugurated caused dissension in the party. In 1967 forty-five CHP deputies broke away to form a centrist party that won nearly 7 percent of the vote in the October 1969 general election. Both major parties lost votes, but right-of-center parties, led by the AP, outpolled the CHP and the small left-wing parties by nearly two to one, and the AP was able to increase its Grand National Assembly majority by sixteen seats. To some observers, the election results indicated a polarization of Turkish politics that would pull the AP and CHP in opposite directions and aggravate political extremism.
The extreme left was represented in the Grand National Assembly during the 1960s by the Turkish Workers' Party (TWP). Its platform called for the redistribution of land, nationalization of industry and financial institutions, and the exclusion of foreign capital, and urged closer cooperation with the Soviet Union. The party attracted the support of only a small number of trade unionists and leftist intellectuals. Although it had won fifteen seats in the 1961 election, its share of the vote in 1965 and 1969 averaged less than 3 percent. Of greater consequence in the 1960s--and for the future--was the party of the extreme right led by Alparslan Türkes, one of the architects of the 1960 coup. Türkes had been among those officers ousted from the CNU for opposing the restoration of democratic institutions. He subsequently resigned from the army and in 1965 took control of the Republican Peasants' Nation Party, later the MHP. Türkes came to personify the ultranationalistic and authoritarian nature of his party. Labeled by some as fascist, the MHP demanded strong state action to maintain order and manage the economy. Although sympathetic to private ownership, the party was hostile toward capitalism and foreign investment. Essentially secularist, the MHP nonetheless regarded Islam as one of the pillars of the Turkish state, and Türkes incorporated references to religion into his nationalist platform.
Türkes's party had won 14 percent of the vote and fifty-four seats in the 1961 election, but electoral support plummeted to under 3 percent in 1965, when many marginal rightist voters switched to the AP. In 1969 the MHP was reduced to a single seat in the Grand National Assembly; however, Türkes's inflammatory rhetoric and confrontational tactics gave the party a higher profile than its strength at the polls alone would have justified. He organized the party on military lines and indoctrinated party activists, imposing strict discipline on them. The party's youth movement included a paramilitary arm, the "Gray Wolves," whose members disrupted left-wing student activities, initiated physical attacks on political opponents, and retaliated for assaults on MHP members. MHP-incited violence escalated in the late 1960s and set the tone for the volatile political atmosphere of the 1970s.
Turkey's links to the United States grew rapidly in the aftermath of World War II. Turkey took a resolutely pro-Western stance as the Cold War developed in the late 1940s and, in 1950, sent an infantry brigade to the Korean Peninsula to serve under UN command there. The pattern of close bilateral ties with the United States that characterized postwar Turkish foreign relations began to take shape with an agreement signed in Ankara in September 1947 implementing a policy formulated by President Harry S Truman the previous March. Known as the Truman Doctrine, the president's policy declaration spelled out United States intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece. Truman won approval from the United States Congress for an initial appropriation of US$400 million to aid both countries. Congress also authorized United States civilian and military personnel to assist in economic reconstruction and development and to provide military training. Turkey subsequently participated in the United States-sponsored European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan). Turkey also was admitted to membership in the Council of Europe and in 1959 applied for association with the European Community (EC), later called the European Union (EU--see Glossary). Set aside after the 1960 coup, Turkey's application finally was approved in 1964.
Turkey was admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--see Glossary) in 1952, and in 1955 joined with Britain, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan in the Baghdad Pact, a multilateral defense agreement that became the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) after the overthrow of the Iraqi monarchy in 1958. Turkey played a vital diplomatic and strategic role as the bridge between the NATO and CENTO alliance systems. The headquarters of NATO's Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe (LANDSOUTHEAST) was established at Izmir. In addition, operational bases near Adana were developed for NATO purposes. A 1954 military facilities agreement with the United States permitted the opening of other NATO installations and the stationing of United States forces in Turkey. Headquarters for CENTO were moved to Ankara when Iraq withdrew from the alliance.
Turkish participation in NATO was complicated by a regional dispute between Turkey and Greece involving the status of the island of Cyprus, until 1960 a British crown colony. The Greek-speaking Cypriots sought an end to British rule and many favored enosis (union) with Greece. Fearing discrimination and the loss of identity, the Turkish-speaking minority countered with proposals for partition of the island between the two ethnic communities. Conflict between the two communities led to major crises in 1964 and again in 1967, during which Turkey and Greece--both members of NATO--reached the verge of war.
The Demirel government's majority in the Grand National Assembly gradually dissipated after the 1969 general election as factions within the circle of its initial supporters regrouped in new political constellations. In 1970 three small rightist parties that had usually cooperated with the government merged as the National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi--MSP), an explicitly Islamic-oriented party that imposed politically compromising demands on Demirel as the price of their continued support. Some former AP members deserted the AP in 1971 to form the more right-wing Democratic Party. Other, more liberal AP members, dissatisfied with Demirel's concessions to the right, defected from the party and sat as independents. As a result of these shifts, the Demirel government lost its parliamentary majority and, in the eyes of critics, forfeited its right to govern the country. Acts of politically motivated violence and terrorism escalated in frequency and intensity. Unrest was fueled in part by economic distress, perceptions of social inequities, and the slowness of reform, but protest was increasingly directed at Turkey's military and economic ties to the West.
On March 12, 1971, the armed forces chiefs, headed by army commander General Faruk Gürler, presented a memorandum to President Sunay demanding the installation of a "strong and credible government." The military leaders warned civilian officials that the armed forces would be compelled to take over the administration of the state once again unless a government were found that could curb the violence and implement the economic and social reforms, including land reform, stipulated in the 1961 constitution. Demirel resigned the same day. The incident was referred to as the "coup by memorandum."
After consultation with Gürler and the other armed forces chiefs, Sunay asked Nihat Erim, a university professor and CHP centrist, to form a "national unity, above-party government" that would enlist the support of the major parties. Erim led the first of a series of weak caretaker cabinets that governed Turkey until the October 1973 elections.
A joint session of the Grand National Assembly was convened in March 1973 to elect a successor to President Sunay. Many observers had assumed that General Gürler, whose candidacy had the open backing of the armed forces, would be elected without serious opposition, but Demirel was determined to resist what he considered dictation by the military. The AP nominated Tekin Ariburun, chairman of the Senate, to oppose Gürler. After seven ballots, Gürler and Ariburun withdrew. When Sunay's term expired on March 28, Ariburun, in his capacity as Senate chairman, became acting president under the constitution. On April 6, deputies and senators in the Grand National Assembly elected Fahri Korutürk president on the fifteenth ballot. Significantly, the new president, a seventy-year-old retired admiral who had served as an independent member of the Senate since 1968, had a direct tie to Atatürk, who reportedly had conferred on him the name Korutürk, meaning "Protect the Turks."
In the 1973 election, Ecevit's CHP increased its support by more than 1 million votes by calling for redistribution of wealth through taxation and social services, rural development, land reform, continued state direction of economic activity, and a general amnesty for political prisoners detained under martial law. However, holding only 185 seats, the party failed to gain an overall majority in the Grand National Assembly. The AP, which saw its share of the vote decline to 30 percent, retained only 149 seats. A large segment of its right-wing support was siphoned off by the MSP and the Democratic Party, which won forty-eight seats and forty-five seats, respectively. The Republican Reliance Party (RRP), formed by the merger of centrist groups that had seceded earlier from the CHP, won thirteen seats. The MHP took three seats.
The most significant consequence of the 1973 election was that the Democratic Party and the MSP held the balance of power in parliament, and it was unlikely that any coalition government could be formed without the participation of one or both of them. The politicians in the Democratic Party strongly resented the warnings periodically handed down to elected officials by military leaders, but also disapproved of Demirel on personal as well as political grounds. The MSP was led by Necmettin Erbakan, who had been leader of the proscribed New Order Party. The MSP was regarded as a revival of that party under a new name. The principal plank in the MSP's platform was the restoration of Islamic law and practice in Turkey. The party sought improved relations with other Muslim countries and less reliance on the West, yet was also ardently anticommunist. Advocating direct election of the president and the strengthening of executive authority, the MSP, while upholding the right to private property, opposed the liberal economic policies favored by the AP.
In January 1974, Ecevit, leader of the party founded by Atatürk, reached a short-lived agreement with Erbakan, the head of an Islamic revivalist party, to join in a coalition government in which Erbakan would be Ecevit's deputy prime minister. In September the MSP pulled out of the coalition. Ecevit remained prime minister at the head of another caretaker government while Korutürk vainly tried to interest Demirel in joining with the CHP in a government of national unity. In November, Korutürk persuaded Sadi Irmak, an elderly senator and an independent, to preside over a nonparty government and prepare the country for an early general election. Irmak's failure to obtain a parliamentary vote of confidence created a parliamentary crisis that left Turkey without a stable, majority-based government for more than a year, during which time economic conditions continued to deteriorate, fanning unrest around the country. Late in 1974, four of the five right-of-center parties in the Grand National Assembly--the AP, MSP, MHP, and RRP--formed an opposition bloc, called the National Front. In March 1975, the National Front parties joined in a minority coalition government under Demirel's premiership. Despite its ineffectiveness, the National Front coalition managed to struggle along for two years, maintaining a slim parliamentary majority dependent on support from independents.
Trading on Ecevit's enormous popularity, in the 1977 election the CHP increased its share of the vote to more than 40 percent and remained the largest party in the Grand National Assembly. However, the 213 seats that it won were still insufficient to form a single-party government. The AP had also improved its standing by taking back some of the votes lost to other right-wing parties in 1973; it returned 189 deputies. MSP representation was cut in half, to twenty-four seats, and the Democratic Party was reduced to one seat. The MHP, however, nearly doubled its vote and elected sixteen deputies. Despite its electoral success, the CHP failed to form a governing coalition.
At length Demirel put together another right-of-center government, linking the AP with the MSP and the MHP in a coalition that depended on a four-seat majority. But the inducements that he offered to assure cooperation caused concern within the liberal wing of his own party. Under the arrangement, responsibility for key areas of concern--public order, the economy, and social reform--was divided among the three party leaders. Demirel was assigned internal security, Erbakan the economy, and Türkes social affairs, including education. Each leader expected to exercise exclusive authority in his particular area, but the arrangement soon proved unworkable. Meanwhile, groups identified with one of the coalition partners, the MHP, were among the principal instigators of the mounting political violence.
Anger and frustration at the government's ineffectiveness in dealing with the economy and restoring public order led to an erosion of support from liberal AP deputies. On the last day of 1977, the Demirel government was defeated on a vote of confidence in which a dozen AP deputies sided with the CHP opposition. The party leaders having ruled out a "grand coalition," President Korutürk turned to Ecevit to lead a new government, which was backed by a four-seat parliamentary majority.
The Ecevit administration was crisis-ridden from the start. The prime minister's attempt to combine regard for civil liberties with tougher law-and-order measures satisfied no one, least of all the military and the police. In December 1978, the government was forced to proclaim martial law in thirteen provinces in reaction to a serious outbreak of sectarian violence. The calm imposed by martial law was only temporary, and in April 1979, the government extended legal restrictions.
Ecevit resigned in October 1979, after the CHP lost ground to the AP in by-elections, and advised President Korutürk to summon Demirel to replace him. Demirel rejected Ecevit's subsequent proposal for a "grand coalition" and chose instead to put together a technocratic government whose members were selected for their competence rather than their political affiliation. Subsidies to state enterprises were reduced as part of a plan for restructuring, but attempts to rationalize the workforce and control labor costs were challenged by the trade unions in a series of strikes. Demirel countered by extending martial law still further, imposing severe curbs on union activity, and restricting public assembly. Meanwhile, military leaders made no secret of their uneasiness at the growing influence that religious sectarianism was having on politics in obvious defiance of the constitution.
President Korutürk's seven-year term in office expired in April 1980. After 100 ballots, the joint session of the Grand National Assembly failed to agree on a successor. Korutürk retired on schedule, and the chairman of the Senate, Ihsan Sabri Çaglayangil, was installed as acting president of the republic. Çaglayangil could do little more than provide the signature necessary for the enactment of legislation.
The historical distrust between Turkey and Greece was compounded during the 1970s by the unfolding Cyprus dispute and conflicting claims in the Aegean Sea. Problems arising from the relationship between Turkish- and Greek-speaking Cypriots on the island had produced a pattern of confrontation between the two countries during the previous decade.
In July 1974, the president of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III, demanded withdrawal of Greek army officers assigned to the National Guard on the well-founded charge that they were using their position to subvert his government. In reaction, Athens engineered an anti-Makarios coup, which was carried out successfully by conspirators planning union with Greece. In Ankara, Prime Minister Ecevit condemned the coup as constituting a direct threat to Cyprus's Turkish minority. At the UN, the Turkish representative stated that his government had determined that Greece's direct involvement in the coup was aimed at the annexation of Cyprus in violation of the 1960 independence agreement guaranteed by Turkey, Greece, and Britain. He stressed that Turkey had a clear responsibility under the agreement to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Between July 20 and 22, 1974, some 30,000 Turkish troops, supported by air and naval units, were dropped or landed on Cyprus in the Kyrenia area and advanced toward Nicosia, the Cypriot capital. By the time a UN-sponsored cease-fire went into effect on July 22, Turkish troops controlled the twenty-kilometer-long Nicosia-Kyrenia road and occupied territory on both sides of it, in some places thirty kilometers deep, in an area that had a large Turkish Cypriot population.
The discredited Greek government fell within days as a result of the Cyprus imbroglio. Meeting in Geneva on July 30, the foreign ministers of the three guaranteeing powers--Turan Günes of Turkey, James Callaghan of Britain, and Georgios Mavros representing the new provisional Greek government--accepted the establishment of a buffer zone between the two sides on Cyprus, patrolled by UN forces. They agreed to meet again at Geneva in a week's time to work out terms for a constitutional government that would be representative of both communities on the island.
Despite the cease-fire and a UN Security Council resolution calling for the phased reduction of hostile forces on Cyprus, the Turks continued to land reinforcements. In the week between the cease-fire and the first Geneva foreign ministers' conference, they pushed Greek Cypriot forces to the western extremity of the Kyrenia Range and consolidated their positions around Nicosia. Glafcos Clerides, acting president of Cyprus, and Rauf Denktas, leader of the Turkish-Cypriot community, attended the second session of the Geneva talks, held August 8-14. Denktas rejected the notion of communal autonomy within a federal system favored by Greece and the Greek Cypriot authorities, proposing instead the creation of a single autonomous Turkish region in the northern third of the island, a suggestion Clerides refused to consider. Although Turkey backed the Turkish Cypriot demand for regional autonomy, Günes, speaking for his government, offered an alternative plan that would have allowed the Turkish Cypriots the same amount of land by halving their holdings in the north and creating several autonomous Turkish enclaves elsewhere on the island. The Günes plan would have sharply reduced the number of refugees from both communities. Talks broke down, however, when Günes abruptly rejected a request from Mavros and Clerides for a three-day adjournment to enable them to communicate the Turkish proposal to their respective governments.
Two hours after the collapse of the Geneva talks, Turkish forces on Cyprus moved out of the Kyrenia bridgehead to cut off the northeastern third of the island. After three days of fighting, Clerides accepted a Turkish cease-fire offer that left the Turks in control of all territory north of a line that ran from Lefka in the west to Famagusta in the east. Ecevit held that this division should form the basis for two autonomous regions within a federal state. In February 1975, the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus was established in the northern region with Denktas as president. In 1983 this entity was constituted as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). To date, only Turkey has granted official recognition to the TRNC.
The partition of Cyprus created about 200,000 refugees out of a population of about 600,000. About 10,000 Turkish Cypriot refugees from enclaves in the south were flown to northern Cyprus from British bases by way of Turkey. Greek Cypriot authorities protested this action and charged that at the same time the Turks were sending in settlers from Anatolia to colonize areas where Greek Cypriots had been dispossessed.
Relations between Turkey and Greece had already been tense before the Cyprus crisis as a consequence of the continuing dispute over competing rights in the Aegean region. Tensions heightened after March 1974, when Greek drillers struck oil off the island of Thasos. Given the dependence of both countries on oil imports, this development brought into focus a range of outstanding regional disputes: the demarcation of the continental shelf for the purpose of establishing seabed mineral rights, extension of territorial waters and airspace, and the militarization of Greek islands off the Turkish coast. A few months earlier, in late 1973, Turkey had granted oil concessions in several Aegean seabed areas, some of which were on part of the continental shelf claimed by Greece.
In January 1975, Greece submitted a claim to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for sole rights to the continental shelf. Greece claimed seabed rights off each of the several hundred Greek islands in the Aegean, some of them no more than a few nautical miles from the Turkish coast. Greece also unilaterally attempted to extend its territorial waters from six nautical miles to the twelve nautical miles accepted elsewhere in the world and prohibited Turkish overflights in those areas. Prime Minister Irmak responded that it was "unthinkable" that Turkey would accept the Aegean as a "Greek lake" and charged that Greek claims and alleged Greek militarization of the Aegean were in contravention of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. However, Greece maintained that it had primary responsibility for the defense of the Aegean as part of its NATO commitments.
During the summer of 1976, Turkish naval escorts confronted Greek warships when the latter challenged a Turkish vessel engaged in seismic research on the seabed in disputed waters between the Turkish islands of Gökçeada (Imroz) and Bozca Ada (Tenedos). For a brief period, war between the two NATO allies seemed imminent. Although Turkey and Greece subsequently agreed to settle outstanding disputes through negotiation, troop alerts and naval demonstrations were repeated the following year. Ecevit and Greek prime minister Konstantinos Karamanlis met in Switzerland in March 1978 to find a mutually acceptable framework for resolving their differences. Two months later, they met again in Washington to discuss issues of bilateral interest. At these meetings, the two leaders affirmed their mutual wish to find peaceful solutions to their unresolved disputes, but relations between the two countries remained strained.
In February 1975, the United States Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey on the grounds that United States-supplied military equipment had been used illegally during the Cyprus operation. In June Turkey confirmed that twenty United States installations in Turkey would be subject to a "new situation" unless negotiations were opened on their future status. President Gerald Ford urged Congress to reconsider the arms embargo, citing the damage it would do to vital United States interests in the eastern Mediterranean. Angered by the defeat in Congress the following month of a measure to lift the embargo, the Turkish government announced the abrogation of the 1969 defense cooperation treaty with the United States and placed United States installations, mainly communications and monitoring stations, under Turkish control. This action, however, did not affect the only United States combat unit in Turkey, an aircraft squadron based in Incirlik under NATO command.
President Ford signed legislation in October that partially lifted the embargo, allowing the release of arms already purchased by Turkey. In 1978 the administration of President Jimmy Carter succeeded in persuading Congress to end the embargo, although an amendment to the Security Aid Act required periodic review of conditions as a prerequisite to continued military assistance. Shortly thereafter, Turkey allowed United States installations to reopen under Turkish supervision while a completely new defense cooperation pact was negotiated.
In 1980 United States military assistance to Turkey amounted to US$250 million, and economic aid to about US$200 million. The United States also joined other countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in pledging emergency credits in a bid to halt Turkey's slide into bankruptcy during the financial crisis of the late 1970s.
The Turkish economy was severely hurt by the increase in oil prices after 1973. Conditions deteriorated over the next several years, reaching the crisis level by 1977. Inflation reached a rate exceeding 50 percent that year, while unemployment was unofficially estimated at as high as 30 percent of the available workforce. Domestic industries also lost ground in export markets because of increases in the cost of raw materials and energy. Turkey's trade deficit reached US$4 billion in 1977, contributing to a balance of payments deficit nearly five times the 1974 level. Becoming skeptical of Turkey's ability to repay existing debts, a number of foreign creditors refused to extend further loans. As a result, the country virtually ran out of foreign exchange to meet its immediate commitments and was faced with national bankruptcy, which was averted only when the Central Bank intervened by suspending payments for many imports and, in effect, forced credit from foreign exporters.
Under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary), the Demirel government belatedly announced such measures as a 10 percent devaluation of the currency and substantial increases of some government-subsidized prices. By the end of 1977, Turkey had accumulated a total external debt of more than US$11 billion. The Ecevit government came to power in January 1978 with a stabilization program that essentially had had to be approved by the IMF and the OECD. The plan included incentives for foreign investment and further price adjustments to restrain domestic demand. An international consortium of six banks collaborated in restructuring the Turkish debt and arranged for a US$500 million loan to the Central Bank for economic development. Subsidies to state-directed enterprises were cut, but Ecevit insisted on increased public spending for employment and regional development, which he argued were required to maintain "domestic peace."
Despite the stabilization program, another major devaluation of the Turkish lira (for value of the Turkish lira--see Glossary), and rescheduling of the foreign debt, there were no clear signs in 1978 that economic recovery was under way. In fact, austerities imposed under the program had the opposite effect to what was intended. Because of energy conservation efforts and restrictions imposed on imports of raw materials, industrial production fell. Consequently, exports lagged and unemployment continued to increase. State enterprises registered losses of about US$2 billion for the year. Because of a lack of confidence in the government, the stabilization program failed to attract new investment from abroad.
On returning to office in November 1979, Demirel proposed a new economic stabilization program that for the first time emphasized private-sector initiatives. The program, drawn up in consultation with a consortium of international banks, was approved by parliament, and Turgut Özal, an economist, was placed in charge of implementing it. Some progress was recorded, but the government's attention was diverted by intensified political violence, which by mid-1980 was claiming twenty or more lives a day.
Turkey faced recurrent political violence throughout the 1970s. Political parties, particularly those of the extreme right, organized strong-arm auxiliaries for street fighting. Kurdish nationalism and sectarian divisions were also factors. From time to time, specifically from 1971 to 1973 and again in December 1978, the frequency of such violence and the involvement of increasing numbers of persons led to the imposition of martial law in parts of the country.
Most of the violence-prone groups of the right were apparently attached, directly or indirectly, to Türkes and the MHP. The best organized of these, the Gray Wolves, were armed and regularly resorted to terrorist tactics. Other groups--particularly those on the left--used violence in the hope that the reaction of the state would lead to revolution. Their members assaulted politicians and public officials, the police, journalists, and members of rival groups. United States military personnel stationed in Turkey were also targets of attack. Some groups involved in the violence were identified with the Kurdish nationalist movement.
The Ecevit government initially tried to play down the significance of Kurdish separatism and to avoid actions that might alienate the many Kurds who supported the CHP and lead them to join extremist groups that they might otherwise ignore. Opposition members in the Grand National Assembly, who tended to identify any sign of restiveness in the Kurdish regions with Kurdish separatism, insisted on stronger measures from the government. In April 1979, the martial law that had been proclaimed in some parts of the country the previous December was extended to provinces with Kurdish-speaking majorities.
Estimates vary, but some sources claim that as many as 2,000 persons died in political violence in the two-year period 1978-79. The single most serious incident erupted in the town of Kahramanmaras in December 1978, when more than 100 persons were killed in sectarian conflict between Sunni and Alevi (see Glossary) Muslims. The incident led to the imposition of martial law in the Kahramanmaras Province that same month.
The military became increasingly uneasy over continued criticism of the armed forces in the Grand National Assembly. The apparent inability of successive governments to deal with problems of the economy and public order led many in the military to conclude that the 1961 constitution was defective. Their frustration with the political process was confirmed in September 1980, when the assembly was unable to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to elect a new president.
The summer of 1980 was a chaotic time in Turkey. Political violence and sectarian unrest mounted in the cities and spread through the countryside. The work of parliament had come almost to a standstill, and the country was left without an elected president. On September 5, Ecevit aligned the CHP with Erbakan and his NSP to force the resignation of Demirel's foreign minister, Hayrettin Erkman, whose strongly pro-Western views had won him the approval of General Staff officers. The next day, the NSP sponsored a massive rally at Konya, where Islamists (also seen as fundamentalists) demonstrated to demand the reinstatement of Islamic law in Turkey, reportedly showing disrespect for the flag and the national anthem. These acts were regarded as an open renunciation of Kemalism and a direct challenge to the military. On September 7, General Evren met secretly with armed forces and police commanders to set in motion plans for another coup.
In the early morning hours of September 12, 1980, the armed forces seized control of the country. There was no organized resistance to the coup; indeed, many Turks welcomed it as the only alternative to anarchy. Whereas the 1960 and 1971 military coups had institutional reform as their objective, the 1980 action was undertaken to shore up the order created by the earlier interventions. A five-member executive body, the National Security Council (NSC--see Glossary), was appointed. Composed of the service chiefs and the gendarmerie commander, it was headed by General Evren, who was recognized as head of state. On September 21, the NSC installed a predominantly civilian cabinet and named Bülent Ulusu, a recently retired admiral, prime minister. A 160-member Consultative Assembly subsequently was appointed to draft a constitution for what would become Turkey's Third Republic.
The first order of business for the military regime was to reestablish law and order in the strife-torn country. Martial law was extended to all the provinces. Suspected militants of all political persuasions as well as trade union and student activists were arrested, and party leaders were taken into custody along with a large number of deputies. Demirel and Ecevit were soon released but told to keep a low profile. When Ecevit began to publish political articles, he was rearrested and jailed for several months. The Grand National Assembly was dissolved and its members barred from politics for periods of up to ten years. Political parties were abolished and their assets liquidated by the state. The trade unions were purged and strikes banned. Workers who were striking at the time of the coup were given substantial pay raises and ordered back to their jobs.
Altogether, some 30,000 people were reported arrested in the first few weeks after the coup. Figures are uncertain, but a year later about 25,000 were still being held, and, after two years, an estimated 10,000 remained in custody, some without having been formally charged. Türkes and nearly 600 of his followers from the MHP were tried on charges of committing or abetting terrorist acts. A number of those found guilty of terrorism were hanged. Erbakan and Türkes were subsequently convicted of election tampering and given two-year prison terms. Turkey's international reputation suffered as a result of charges of political repression, arbitrary arrest, imprisonment without trial, torture, and other human rights violations. West European governments appealed to the military regime to restore parliamentary rule, and a portion of the OECD's relief package for Turkey was withheld. The European Community also suspended financial assistance, and Turkish delegates were denied their seats in the assembly of the Council of Europe.
The performance of the Turkish economy improved significantly in the first two years after the military intervention. The new regime saw to it that the economic stabilization program introduced by Demirel was implemented under the direction of Özal, one of the few members of the former government retained after the coup. Austerity measures were strictly enforced, bringing the inflation rate down to 30 percent in 1982. Disagreement developed within the government, however, over the strict monetarist policies promoted by Özal, which were seen in some quarters as running counter to Kemalist principles. Özal was forced to resign as minister of state in July 1982, when the country's largest money broker, the Kastelli Bank, collapsed.
The draft of a new constitution was presented by the Consultative Assembly to the nation on July 17, 1982. In providing for a strong presidency, it took partial inspiration from the 1958 constitution that established France's Fifth Republic. The constitution was put to a national referendum on November 7, 1982, and received approval from 91.4 percent of the electorate. The only parts of the country to register significant "no" votes were those with large Kurdish populations. Included in the vote was approval of Evren as president for a seven-year term. He took office on November 9, 1982.
A new law on political parties was issued in March 1983, which included a ten-year ban on all politicians active in the pre-September 1980 period. Parties were invited to form so as to contest parliamentary elections later in the year but were required to receive approval from the military rulers. Of fifteen parties requesting certification, only three received approval: the Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi--ANAP), the Populist Party (Halkçi Partisi--HP), and the Nationalist Democracy Party (Milliyetçi Demokrasi Partisi--MDP), the latter being the clear favorite of the military.
The Motherland Party was led by Turgut Özal, who had helped formulate the economic stabilization plan under the 1979 Demirel government and then implemented the program under the military government. Özal was able to draw on support from a broad coalition of forces from the political landscape of the 1970s. The Motherland Party drew to its ranks adherents of the old Justice Party, the Islamist National Salvation Party, and the extreme right-wing Nationalist Action Party. The Populist Party, which came closest to expressing the traditional Kemalist values of the CHP, was led by Necdet Calp. The Nationalist Democracy Party was seen by the electorate as the party of the generals, who openly supported it. Its leader, Turgut Sunalp, was a retired general. The Motherland Party came to be viewed by the electorate as the most distant from the military, and its success in the first postcoup election may be largely attributed to this perception.
In parliamentary elections held on November 6, 1983, the Motherland Party won 45.2 percent of the vote and an absolute majority of seats in the new unicameral National Assembly. The Populist Party won 30.5 percent of the vote, and the Nationalist Democracy Party obtained only 23.3 percent of the vote. The results were widely viewed as a rebuke to the military.
Municipal elections followed the parliamentary elections early the following year. Prior to the March 25, 1984, election date, the assembly voted to allow some of the banned parties to participate. Among the new parties were the Social Democratic Party (Sosyal Demokrat Parti--Sodep), led by university professor Erdal Inönü, son of Turkey's second president, and the True Path Party (Dogru Yol Partisi--DYP), led unofficially by Süleyman Demirel. The Motherland Party continued as Turkey's leading party, claiming 41.5 percent of the vote nationwide; the Social Democratic Party drew 23.5 percent, and the True Path Party 13.5 percent. Another new party with a religious orientation, the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi--RP; also seen as Prosperity Party), garnered 4.5 percent.
The two parties that had competed with the Motherland Party in the previous general elections now appeared even weaker, receiving some 7 percent of the vote each. The 1984 municipal elections would be the last in which each would compete. In November 1985, the Populist Party merged with the Social Democratic Party, and in May 1986 the leadership of the Nationalist Democracy Party voted to dissolve the organization. Most of the party faithful found a new home in the broad spectrum that made up the Motherland Party; others joined the True Path Party. At this time, Ecevit also emerged with a rival left-of-center party, the Democratic Left Party (Demokratik Sol Partisi--DSP), officially led by his wife, Rahsan.
In national elections for local government officials held on September 28, 1986, Özal's party saw its popularity decline, although it still garnered a plurality of votes. The Motherland Party received 32 percent of votes cast, compared with 23.7 percent for the True Path Party, which emerged as the second largest party at a time when Demirel, its de facto leader, was still officially banned from politics. The product of a merger, the new Social Democratic Populist Party (Sosyal Demokrat Halkçi Parti--SHP) took 22.7 percent of the vote; the DSP drew 8.5 percent. Following this election, Özal found himself under increasing pressure to restore the political rights of the banned politicians. The assembly repealed the provisional article of the constitution that would have banned them from political activity until 1991.
Following the constitutional amendments, which also enlarged the National Assembly to 450 seats, the prime minister announced that assembly elections would be held early, on November 29. Özal also amended the election laws to increase the advantage to large parties, which under existing laws already stood to gain from minimum-threshold provisions and the manner in which extra seats were allocated. The Motherland Party saw its electoral percentage drop to 36.3 percent, nearly 10 percentage points below its 1983 total, but given the late amendments to the electoral law, the party retained an absolute majority in the assembly with 292 seats, or 65 percent of the total. The SHP won 24.8 percent of the vote and received 22 percent of the seats; Demirel's party won 19.2 percent of the vote but only 13 percent of the seats. The leader of the True Path Party denounced the late changes to the election law and dubbed the new government the "election-law government." None of the other parties competing reached the required 10 percent threshold; Ecevit's DSP received 8.5 percent of the vote, while Erbakan's Welfare Party received less than 7 percent.
In 1989, as Evren's term as president drew to an end, Özal announced that he would seek to succeed him. This decision was made despite the steadily declining popularity of Özal and the Motherland Party. In municipal elections on March 26, the Motherland Party polled only 21.9 percent of the vote, third behind the SHP's 28.2 percent and the True Path Party's 25.6 percent. On October 30, 1989, parliament elected Özal Turkey's eighth president. He was sworn in on November 9, after Bayar the second civilian in modern Turkish history to hold the position.
Özal's popularity declined steadily, largely because of problems in the economy. Of particular concern was the recurrence of high inflation, which had returned to precoup levels and was rapidly eroding the purchasing power of most Turks. Coupled with economic difficulties were widespread perceptions of government corruption and nepotism, which forced the resignation of several members of Özal's government.
In the summer of 1990, the crisis in the Persian Gulf resulting from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait gave Özal the opportunity to regain the political initiative. The Turkish government moved quickly to support UN sanctions against Iraq, on August 7 stopping the flow of oil through the pipeline from Iraq to Turkey's Mediterranean coast. In September the assembly voted to allow foreign troops onto Turkish soil and to authorize Turkish troops to serve in the Persian Gulf. Opposition parties found little to offer in the way of other options. Özal no doubt hoped that Turkey's willing participation in the United States-led coalition would strengthen the country's image abroad as a crucial ally, a particular concern in the post-Cold War world. Some have speculated that he hoped Turkish involvement would lead to EC admission, much as Turkey's participation in the Korean War had provided the opportunity to join NATO. The government authorized the use of the air base at Incirlik by Allied aircraft in the bombing campaign against Iraq. In addition, Turkish troops were deployed along the Turkish-Iraqi border, although Ankara insisted that it did not intend to open a second front against Iraq and that it remained committed to Iraq's territorial integrity.
In the aftermath of the Persian Gulf War, Iraqi Kurds attempted to throw off the rule of Saddam Husayn in northern Iraq, following encouragement by United States officials. The uprising, which failed to receive support from the allied coalition, was quickly crushed, leading a massive number of Iraqi Kurdish civilians to seek safety in Iran and Turkey. The Turkish government was unable or unwilling to permit several hundred thousand refugees to enter the country. The coalition allies, together with Turkey, proposed the creation of a "security zone" in northern Iraq. By mid-May 1991, some 200,000 Kurdish refugees had been persuaded to return to Iraq.
The collapse of the Soviet Union and its East European bloc had significant implications for Turkey's foreign policy. In the trans-Caucasian region of the former Soviet Union, the armed conflict between the newly independent republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region found the Turkish government trying to remain above the fray, despite popular sympathy for the Azerbaijani claims. Turkey sought close ties with the new republics of Central Asia, arguing that Turkey's experience as a secular republic could serve as a useful model for these states.
Relations with Bulgaria, which were strained by the faltering communist regime's persecution of ethnic Turkish Bulgarians in the late 1980s, improved following that regime's collapse. The new government abandoned the campaign of ethnic harassment. Elsewhere in the Balkans, Turkey maintained close relations with Albania and established contact with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Relations with Greece continued to be complicated by long-standing differences over Cyprus and naval and air rights in the Aegean Sea. In 1986 Özal paid an official visit to the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which to date remains without diplomatic recognition from any state other than Turkey. In March 1987, Greece and Turkey nearly came to blows over oil-drilling rights in the Aegean Sea. Nevertheless, both countries' governments displayed a willingness to emphasize diplomacy over force. In June 1989, Özal became the first Turkish prime minister to visit Athens in thirty-six years. Talks on the future of Cyprus, held under UN auspices, have remained inconclusive, and the island remains under a de facto partition after more than twenty years.
Turkey's 1991 parliamentary elections may have been the most significant since the restoration of civilian rule. Political power passed peacefully from the Motherland Party to its major rival, the True Path Party. In the vote held on October 21, Demirel's party won about 27 percent and captured the largest block of seats, 178. The Motherland Party, widely predicted as destined for oblivion, surprised its critics by polling some 24 percent of the vote and winning 115 seats. The SHP, which had expected to do better, won 20.8 percent of the vote, or eighty-eight seats. Left-of-center votes were split between the SHP and the DSP; the latter gained about 10.8 percent of the vote and seven seats. The Welfare Party appeared to do very well, with 16.9 percent and sixty-two seats, but this result reflected a strategic decision to join forces with another religiously oriented party in order to surpass the 10 percent threshold. Following the elections, the alliance was dissolved in the assembly. Although the Motherland and True Path parties were not too far apart ideologically, the personal discord between Özal and Demirel precluded any coalition arrangement. Instead, Demirel made common cause with Erdal Inönü's SHP, an alliance with the left that he had resisted throughout the 1970s. The coalition controlled 266 seats in parliament and reflected the support of almost 48 percent of the electorate.
Defining the place of the Kurdish ethnic minority in Turkey remained a difficult challenge throughout this period; indeed, it may have ranked as the primary challenge to domestic political stability. Given the founding principles of the Turkish republic, conceiving the country as the homeland of the Turks, any proposed recognition of Kurdish linguistic or cultural rights has been questioned on the grounds that such recognition would threaten the unity of the Turkish nation.
President Özal went farther than any Turkish official in extending recognition of Kurdish identity when, in January 1991, he proposed rescinding a law prohibiting the playing of Kurdish music or the use of Kurdish speech. Law 2932, passed in 1983 (declaring the mother tongue of Turkish citizens to be Turkish), was repealed in April 1991, thereby legalizing Kurdish speech, song, and music. Proposals were also floated for a relaxation of the ban on Kurdish in the print and broadcast media and in education, but such liberalization did not occur.
Since the restoration of civilian rule, Turkish governments have been faced with the armed insurrection of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkeran Kurdistan--PKK). The PKK, one of several armed Kurdish guerrilla organizations, was founded by Abdullah Öcalan in 1978. Öcalan fled to Syria after the 1980 coup. The PKK, which was officially banned by the Turkish government, began a sustained guerrilla campaign in March 1984, timed to coincide with the beginning of the Kurdish new year. The conflict, which between 1984 and 1994 claimed about 12,000 lives, showed no signs of abating by the early 1990s. The Turkish army was unable to defeat the PKK with military force alone, while the PKK was no closer to its goal of an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey (see Political Parties, ch. 4; Kurdish Separatists, ch. 5).
In 1980 the rate of inflation was more than 100 percent at one point and stayed at 70 percent for most of the year. The economic stabilization program, begun before the coup, now proceeded unhindered by political resistance. The program aimed to improve Turkey's balance of payments, bring inflation under control, and create an export-oriented free-market economy. To achieve these goals, the plan sought devaluation of the lira on a continuing basis, increases in interest rates to reduce inflation and overconsumption, a freeze on wages, and a reduction in state subsidies. Exports were to be encouraged through subsidies for exporters, reductions in bureaucratic regulations, and the abolition of customs duties on imports needed for export-oriented industries. Foreign investment was actively encouraged by laws providing for easy repatriation of capital and export of profits,and the establishment of four free-trade zones.
The results of the ambitious programs of the 1980s were mixed. On the negative side, purchasing power declined 40 to 60 percent in the decade from 1979 to 1989. Inflation, which had been brought down to annual rates of 30 to 40 percent in the early 1980s, was back up to nearly 70 percent by 1988. The steady decline in Özal's popularity with the electorate can be attributed in large part to these disappointing results. The government continued to run a high deficit, partly because of its unwillingness or inability to end support of large state-owned industries. On the positive side, exports grew by an average of 22 percent each year between 1980 and 1987. Exports in 1979 amounted to US$2.3 billion; in 1988 the value of exports had increased to US$11.7 billion. Moreover, industrial exports rose in this period from less than 45 percent of all exports to more than 72 percent.
The government also undertook to modernize the country's infrastructure, emphasizing improvements in roads and telecommunications. In July 1988, a second bridge across the Bosporus was opened, paralleling the first bridge opened in 1973. Together with a bypass road around Istanbul, the bridges were intended to facilitate commercial traffic moving to and from Europe and the Middle East. Of perhaps the most long-term significance was the ongoing commitment to the Southeast Anatolia Project (Güneydogu Anadolu Projesi--GAP), a series of dams along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that when completed would include hydroelectric plants as well as extensive irrigation works. The latter were projected to allow for the irrigation of 1.6 million hectares of land, or twice the area previously under cultivation. In addition, the plentiful hydroelectricity would supply energy for Turkish industry. Because of Turkey's inability to come to agreement with its downstream neighbors, Iraq and Syria, no international funds were made available for GAP. The project, consequently, was self-financed. In 1992 a milestone was reached with the opening of the Atatürk Dam on the Euphrates, northwest of Urfa.
On April 17, 1993, President Özal died suddenly of a heart attack. On its third ballot, on May 16, the assembly elected Süleyman Demirel as Turkey's ninth president. Demirel was succeeded by former economics minister Tansu Çiller, who became Turkey's first woman prime minister. She received nearly 90 percent of the votes cast in a special election for the leadership of the True Path Party. The smooth succession of power may be seen as evidence that civilian rule was firmly in place. Moreover, the accession of Çiller to the prime minister's office, the second highest position in the nation, showed the extent to which Atatürk's legacy, and in particular the political rights of women, was becoming ingrained in the Turkish body politic.
Turkey is a large, roughly rectangular peninsula situated bridge-like between southeastern Europe and Asia. Indeed, the country has functioned as a bridge for human movement throughout history. Turkey extends more than 1,600 kilometers from west to east but generally less than 800 kilometers from north to south. Total land area is about 779,452 square kilometers, of which 755,688 square kilometers are in Asia and 23,764 square kilometers in Europe.
The European portion of Turkey, known as Thrace (Trakya), encompasses 3 percent of the total area but is home to more than 10 percent of the total population. Thrace is separated from the Asian portion of Turkey by the Bosporus Strait (Istanbul Bogazi or Karadeniz Bogazi), the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi), and the Dardanelles Strait (Çanakkale Bogazi). The Asian part of the country is known by a variety of names--Asia Minor, Asiatic Turkey, the Anatolian Plateau, and Anatolia (Anadolu). The term Anatolia is most frequently used in specific reference to the large, semiarid central plateau, which is rimmed by hills and mountains that in many places limit access to the fertile, densely settled coastal regions. Astride the straits separating the two continents, Istanbul is the country's primary industrial, commercial, and intellectual center. However, the Anatolian city of Ankara, which Atatürk and his associates picked as the capital of the new republic, is the political center of the country and has emerged as an important industrial and cultural center in its own right (see fig. 1).
Turkey is bounded by eight countries and six bodies of water. Surrounded by water on three sides and protected by high mountains along its eastern border, the country generally has well-defined natural borders. Its demarcated land frontiers were settled by treaty early in the twentieth century and have since remained stable. The boundary with Greece--206 kilometers--was confirmed by the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which resolved persistent boundary and territorial claims involving areas in Thrace and provided for a population exchange (see War of Independence, ch. 1). Under the agreement, most members of the sizable Greek-speaking community of western Turkey were forced to resettle in Greece, and the majority of the Turkish-speaking residents of Greek Thrace were removed to Turkey. The 1923 treaty also confirmed Turkey's 240-kilometer boundary with Bulgaria.
Since 1991 the more than 500-kilometer boundary with the former Soviet Union, which was defined in the 1921 treaties of Moscow and Kars, has formed Turkey's borders with the independent countries of Armenia (268 kilometers), Azerbaijan (nine kilometers), and Georgia (252 kilometers). The 499-kilometer boundary with Iran was confirmed by treaty in 1937. Turkey's two southern neighbors, Iraq and Syria, had been part of the Ottoman Empire up to 1918. According to the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey ceded all its claims to these two countries, which had been organized as League of Nations mandates under the governing responsibility of Britain and France, respectively. Turkey and Britain agreed on the 331-kilometer boundary between Turkish and Iraqi territory in the 1926 Treaty of Angora (Ankara). Turkey's boundary with Syria--822 kilometers long--has not been accepted by Syria. As a result of the Treaty of Lausanne, the former Ottoman Sanjak (province) of Alexandretta (present-day Hatay Province) was ceded to Syria. However, France agreed in June 1939 to transfer Hatay Province to Turkish sovereignty, despite the strong objections of Syria's political leaders. Since achieving independence in 1946, Syria has harbored a lingering resentment over the loss of the province and its principal towns of Antakya and Iskenderun (formerly Antioch and Alexandretta). This issue has continued to be an irritant in Syrian-Turkish relations.
Turkey's varied landscapes are the product of complex earth movements that have shaped Anatolia over thousands of years and still manifest themselves in fairly frequent earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions. Except for a relatively small portion of its territory along the Syrian border that is a continuation of the Arabian Platform, Turkey geologically is part of the great Alpine belt that extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Himalaya Mountains. This belt was formed during the Tertiary Period (about 65 million to 1.6 million B.C.), as the Arabian, African, and Indian continental plates began to collide with the Eurasian plate, and the sedimentary layers laid down by the prehistoric Tethyan Sea buckled, folded, and contorted. The intensive folding and uplifting of this mountain belt was accompanied by strong volcanic activity and intrusions of igneous rock material, followed by extensive faulting during the Quaternary Period, which began about 1.6. million B.C. This folding and faulting process is still at work, as the Turkish and Aegean plates, moving south and southwest, respectively, continue to collide. As a result, Turkey is one of the world's more active earthquake and volcano regions.
Earthquakes range from barely perceptible tremors to major movements measuring five or higher on the open-ended Richter scale. Earthquakes measuring more than six can cause massive damage to buildings and, especially if they occur on winter nights, numerous deaths and injuries. Turkey's most severe earthquake in the twentieth century occurred in Erzincan on the night of December 28-29, 1939; it devastated most of the city and caused an estimated 160,000 deaths. Earthquakes of moderate intensity often continue with sporadic aftershocks over periods of several days or even weeks. The most earthquake-prone part of Turkey is an arc-shaped region stretching from the general vicinity of Kocaeli to the area north of Lake Van on the border with Armenia and Georgia.
Turkey's terrain is structurally complex. A central massif composed of uplifted blocks and downfolded troughs, covered by recent deposits and giving the appearance of a plateau with rough terrain, is wedged between two folded mountain ranges that converge in the east. True lowland is confined to the Ergene Plain in Thrace, extending along rivers that discharge into the Aegean Sea or the Sea of Marmara, and to a few narrow coastal strips along the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea coasts. Nearly 85 percent of the land is at an elevation of at least 450 meters; the median altitude of the country is 1,128 meters. In Asiatic Turkey, flat or gently sloping land is rare and largely confined to the deltas of the Kizilirmak River, the coastal plains of Antalya and Adana, and the valley floors of the Gediz River and the Büyükmenderes River, and some interior high plains in Anatolia, mainly around Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake) and Konya Ovasi (Konya Basin). Moderately sloping terrain is limited almost entirely outside Thrace to the hills of the Arabian Platform along the border with Syria.
More than 80 percent of the land surface is rough, broken, and mountainous, and therefore is of limited agricultural value. The terrain's ruggedness is accentuated in the eastern part of the country, where the two mountain ranges converge into a lofty region with a median elevation of more than 1,500 meters, which reaches its highest point along the borders with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran. Turkey's highest peak, Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi)--about 5,166 meters high--is situated near the point where the boundaries of the four countries meet.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress
Distinct contrasts between the interior and periphery of Turkey are manifested in its landform regions, climate, soils, and vegetation. The periphery is divided into the Black Sea region, the Aegean region, and the Mediterranean region. The interior is also divided into three regions: the Pontus and Taurus mountain ranges, the Anatolian Plateau, and the eastern highlands. The seventh region of the country is the Arabian Platform in the southeast, adjacent to the Syrian border.
The Black Sea region has a steep, rocky coast with rivers that cascade through the gorges of the coastal ranges. A few larger rivers, those cutting back through the Pontus Mountains (Dogukaradeniz Daglari), have tributaries that flow in broad, elevated basins. Access inland from the coast is limited to a few narrow valleys because mountain ridges, with elevations of 1,525 to 1,800 meters in the west and 3,000 to 4,000 meters in the east, form an almost unbroken wall separating the coast from the interior. The higher slopes facing northwest tend to be densely forested. Because of these natural conditions, the Black Sea coast historically has been isolated from Anatolia.
Running from Zonguldak in the west to Rize in the east, the narrow coastal strip widens at several places into fertile, intensely cultivated deltas. The Samsun area, close to the midpoint, is a major tobacco-growing region; east of it are numerous citrus groves. East of Samsun, the area around Trabzon is world-renowned for the production of hazelnuts, and farther east the Rize region has numerous tea plantations. All cultivable areas, including mountain slopes wherever they are not too steep, are sown or used as pasture. The mild, damp climate of the Black Sea coast makes commercial farming profitable. The western part of the Black Sea region, especially the Zonguldak area, is a center of coal mining and heavy industry.
The European portion of the Aegean region consists mainly of rolling plateau country well suited to agriculture. It receives about 520 millimeters of rainfall annually. Densely populated, this area includes the cities of Istanbul and Edirne. The Bosporus, which links the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, is about twenty-five kilometers long and averages 1.5 kilometers in width but narrows in places to less than 500 meters. Both its Asian and European banks rise steeply from the water and form a succession of cliffs, coves, and nearly landlocked bays. Most of the shores are densely wooded and are marked by numerous small towns and villages. The Dardanelles Strait, which links the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea, is approximately forty kilometers long and increases in width toward the south. Unlike the Bosporus, the Dardanelles has few settlements along its shores.
On its Asian side, the Aegean region has fertile soils and a typically Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The broad, cultivated valley lowlands contain about half of the country's richest farmland. Major crops are olives, citrus, nuts (especially almonds), and tobacco. The most important valleys are the Kocaeli Valley, the Bursa Ovasi (Bursa Basin), and the Plains of Troy. The valley lowlands are densely populated, particularly around Bursa and Izmir, the country's third largest city and a major manufacturing center.
The narrow coastal plains of the Mediterranean region, separated from Anatolia by the Taurus Mountains, which reach elevations of 2,000 to 2,750 meters, are cultivated intensively. Fertile soils and a warm climate make the Mediterranean coast ideal for growing citrus fruits, grapes, figs, bananas, various vegetables, barley, wheat, and, in irrigated areas, rice and cotton. The Cukur Ova in the east is a plain that is the most developed agricultural area of the Mediterranean region. It is a significant cotton-growing center and also supports a major cotton-based textile industry. In general, summers are hot and dry in the Mediterranean region. The weather in combination with the region's numerous sandy beaches has encouraged the development of a tourist industry.
Toward the east, the extensive plains around Adana, Turkey's fourth largest city, consist largely of reclaimed flood lands. In general, rivers have not cut valleys to the sea in the western part of the region. Historically, movement inland from the western Mediterranean coast was difficult. East of Adana, much of the coastal plain has limestone features such as collapsed caverns and sinkholes. Between Adana and Antalya, the Taurus Mountains rise sharply from the coast to high elevations. Other than Adana, Antalya, and Mersin, the Mediterranean coast has few major cities, although it has numerous farming villages.
The Pontus Mountains (also called the North Anatolian Mountains) in the north are an interrupted chain of folded highlands that generally parallel the Black Sea coast. In the west, the mountains tend to be low, with elevations rarely exceeding 1,500 meters, but they rise in an easterly direction to heights greater than 3,000 meters south of Rize. Lengthy, troughlike valleys and basins characterize the mountains. Rivers flow from the mountains toward the Black Sea. The southern slopes--facing the Anatolian Plateau--are mostly unwooded, but the northern slopes contain dense growths of both deciduous and evergreen trees.
Paralleling the Mediterranean coast, the Taurus (Toros Daglari) is Turkey's second chain of folded mountains. The range rises just inland from the coast and trends generally in an easterly direction until it reaches the Arabian Platform, where it arcs around the northern side of the platform. The Taurus Mountains are more rugged and less dissected by rivers than the Pontus Mountains and historically have served as a barrier to human movement inland from the Mediterranean coast except where there are mountain passes such as the Cilician Gates (Gülek Bogazi), northwest of Adana.
Frequently interspersed throughout the folded mountains, and also situated on the Anatolian Plateau, are well-defined basins, which the Turks call ova . Some are no more than a widening of a stream valley; others, such as the Konya Ovasi, are large basins of inland drainage or are the result of limestone erosion. Most of the basins take their names from cities or towns located at their rims. Where a lake has formed within the basin, the water body is usually saline as a result of the internal drainage--the water has no outlet to the sea.
Stretching inland from the Aegean coastal plain, the Anatolian Plateau occupies the area between the two zones of the folded mountains, extending east to the point where the two ranges converge. The plateau-like, semiarid highlands of Anatolia are considered the heartland of the country. The region varies in elevation from 600 to 1,200 meters from west to east. The two largest basins on the plateau are the Konya Ovasi and the basin occupied by the large salt lake, Tuz Gölü. Both basins are characterized by inland drainage. Wooded areas are confined to the northwest and northeast of the plateau. Rain-fed cultivation is widespread, with wheat being the principal crop. Irrigated agriculture is restricted to the areas surrounding rivers and wherever sufficient underground water is available. Important irrigated crops include barley, corn, cotton, various fruits, grapes, opium poppies, sugar beets, roses, and tobacco. There also is extensive grazing throughout the plateau.
The Anatolian Plateau receives little annual rainfall. For instance, the semiarid center of the plateau receives an average yearly precipitation of only 300 millimeters. However, actual rainfall from year to year is irregular and occasionally may be less than 200 millimeters, leading to severe reductions in crop yields for both rain-fed and irrigated agriculture. In years of low rainfall, stock losses also can be high. Overgrazing has contributed to soil erosion on the plateau. During the summers, frequent dust storms blow a fine yellow powder across the plateau. Locusts occasionally ravage the eastern area in April and May. In general, the plateau experiences extreme heat, with almost no rainfall in summer and cold weather with heavy snow in winter.
Eastern Anatolia, where the Pontus and Taurus mountain ranges converge, is rugged country with higher elevations, a more severe climate, and greater precipitation than are found on the Anatolian Plateau. The region is known as the Anti-Taurus, and the average elevation of its peaks exceeds 3,000 meters. Mount Ararat, at 5,166 meters the highest point in Turkey, is located in the Anti-Taurus. Many of the Anti-Taurus peaks apparently are recently extinct volcanoes, to judge from extensive lava flows. Turkey's largest lake, Lake Van, is situated in the mountains at an elevation of 1,546 meters. The headwaters of three major rivers arise in the Anti-Taurus: the east-flowing Aras, which empties into the Caspian Sea; the south-flowing Euphrates; and the south-flowing Tigris, which eventually joins the Euphrates in Iraq before emptying into the Persian Gulf. Several small streams that empty into the Black Sea or landlocked Lake Van also originate in these mountains.
Most of eastern Anatolia comprises the area known historically as Kurdistan. In addition to its rugged mountains, the area is known for severe winters with heavy snowfalls. The few valleys and plains in these mountains tend to be fertile and to support diverse agriculture. The main basin is the Mus Valley, west of Lake Van. Narrow valleys also lie at the foot of the lofty peaks along river corridors.
The Arabian Platform is in southeast Anatolia south of the Anti-Taurus Mountains. It is a region of rolling hills and a broad plateau surface that extends into Syria. Elevations decrease gradually, from about 800 meters in the north to about 500 meters in the south. Traditionally, wheat and barley were the main crops of the region, but the inauguration of major new irrigation projects in the 1980s has led to greater agricultural diversity and development.
Turkey's diverse regions have different climates, with the weather system on the coasts contrasting with that prevailing in the interior. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have cool, rainy winters and hot, moderately dry summers. Annual precipitation in those areas varies from 580 to 1,300 millimeters, depending on location. Generally, rainfall is less to the east. The Black Sea coast receives the greatest amount of rainfall. The eastern part of that coast averages 1,400 millimeters annually and is the only region of Turkey that receives rainfall throughout the year.
Mountains close to the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the interior of Turkey a continental climate with distinct seasons. The Anatolian Plateau is much more subject to extremes than are the coastal areas. Winters on the plateau are especially severe. Temperatures of -30°C to -40°C can occur in the mountainous areas in the east, and snow may lie on the ground 120 days of the year. In the west, winter temperatures average below 1°C. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures above 30°C. Annual precipitation averages about 400 millimeters, with actual amounts determined by elevation. The driest regions are the Konya Ovasi and the Malatya Ovasi, where annual rainfall frequently is less than 300 millimeters. May is generally the wettest month and July and August the driest.
The climate of the Anti-Taurus Mountain region of eastern Turkey can be inhospitable. Summers tend to be hot and extremely dry. Winters are bitterly cold with frequent, heavy snowfall. Villages can be isolated for several days during winter storms. Spring and autumn are generally mild, but during both seasons sudden hot and cold spells frequently occur.
THE OFFICIAL IMAGE OF TURKISH society promoted by the ruling elite since the 1920s is one of relative homogeneity. This image has been enshrined in successive constitutions of the republic, including the 1982 document, in which it is stated that "the Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish." In reality, however, Turkish society is a mosaic of diverse and at times contending ethnic and linguistic groups. The question, "Who is a Turk?," continued to provoke controversy in the mid-1990s.
Sociologists and other scholars, both Turkish and foreign, have noted that a majority of the population--estimated at the end of 1994 at 61.2 million--accepts as true Turks only those individuals whose native tongue is Turkish and who adhere to Sunni (see Glossary) Islam. This definition excludes a sizable minority of Turkish citizens from consideration as true Turks. The largest group within this minority is the Kurds, the overwhelming majority of whom speak Kurdish, an Indo-European language related to Persian, as their native tongue. In 1994 estimates of the size of the Kurdish minority in Turkey ranged from 10 to 20 percent of the country's total population. Since 1990 demands by Kurdish political leaders that the Kurdish minority be permitted to read, write, and speak Kurdish have created a major political issue in Turkey (see Political Interest Groups, ch. 4).
Although most adult Kurds are Sunni Muslims, perhaps as much as one-third of the total Kurdish population in Turkey belongs to a Shia Muslim sect known as Alevi (see Glossary). In addition to the Kurdish Alevi, many of the nation's estimated 700,000 to 1 million Arabs are Alevi. The Alevi Arabs--most of whom live in or near Hatay Province--also are known as Nusayri and maintain discreet ties with the Alawi (also seen as Alawites) of neighboring Syria. A significant number of Alevi are ethnic Turks.
The continued presence of linguistic and religious minorities conflicts with the elite's conception of a modern society that is Turkish-speaking and secular. This notion was an integral part of the social revolution begun after World War I by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). Linguistic reform was essential to Atatürk's vision of the new Turkey, and the reconstituted Turkish language has been both a central symbol and a powerful mechanism for the establishment of a new national identity. Atatürk institutionalized the secularization of the country through measures that included abolishing the caliphate, disestablishing Islam as the state religion, suppressing the unorthodox but highly influential dervish--or mystical--orders, closing the religious courts, and ending locally based religious education (see Atatürk's Reforms, ch. 1; Secularist Reforms, this ch.). Under Atatürk's leadership, the ideologically secularist and modernist urban elite ended state support and patronage of Islamic institutions and attempted to make religion a matter solely of private conscience.
The result of Atatürk's reforms was the creation of two cultures: a secularized and Westernized elite culture and a mass culture based on traditional religious values. Prior to 1950, the elite's attitude toward traditional culture tended to be contemptuous in general and specifically hostile toward religious expression. Since 1950, however, the elite generally has become more tolerant of religion, or at least of orthodox Sunni Islam, and various political parties have attempted to conciliate religious interests, albeit within the framework of Atatürk's institutional secularism. Nevertheless, in the mid-1990s the single most significant distinction in Turkish society remained the gap separating the secular elite from traditional culture.
Since the early nineteenth century, Western-oriented secular education has been a major factor distinguishing the elite and traditional cultures. By 1908 a substantial portion of the governing stratum, particularly the military officers and higher-ranking members of the bureaucracy, had received a secular education in their youth. Their values, knowledge, and viewpoints separated them sharply from the illiterate, religiously observant, and socially traditional masses. The cultural difference between the educated and the uneducated, the urban and the rural, the modernist and the traditionalist, has continued to affect Turkish society in multiple, intertwined ways. The views of Atatürk, who articulated the values of the secular elite in the 1920s and 1930s, remain central in Turkey more than fifty years after his death. Atatürk identified "civilization" with the culture of Europe, contrasting it with what he said was the backwardness, ignorance, and obscurantism of the common people of Turkey. He actively promoted a "modern" Turkey that embraced the civilization of Europe as its inspiration and model. Since Atatürk's time, mediation between Turkey's two cultures has been and remains politically problematic. The emergence in the late 1980s and early 1990s of a relatively popular political party appealing to what it defined as Islamic values has tended to increase the polarization of the elite and nonelite cultures. In the mid-1990s, the Turkish government was attempting to reconcile this heretofore divisive trend.
In the early republican period of the 1920s and 1930s, civil and military officials occupied the unchallenged pinnacle of the social structure. Since that time, however, competing elements, especially businesspeople, industrialists, professionals, and employees of private organizations, have challenged the supremacy of the officials. As a result, the social complexion of the political elite has been in transition since the early 1980s, not just in Ankara and Istanbul but in other cities as well. In rural areas, however, and for the vast majority of the population, traditional forms and values, such as the centrality of family life and adherence to an ethical blueprint of behavior perceived in religious terms, have survived, although in altered form. Consequently, the balance between traditional and "modern" values remains uneasy.
Turkey's population at the end of 1994 was estimated at 61.2 million (for a more recent population estimate, see <"http://worldfacts.us/Turkey..html">Updated population figures for Turkey) . This number represented an 8.4 percent increase over the 56.5 million enumerated in the twelfth quinquennial census, conducted in October 1990. The State Institute of Statistics (SIS) has estimated that since 1990 the country's population has been growing at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, a decrease from the 2.5 percent average annual rate recorded during the 1980s. Turkey's population in 1985 was about 50.7 million, and in 1980 about 44.7 million. In the fourteen years from 1980 to 1994, the population increased nearly 37 percent.
Turkey's first census of the republican era was taken in 1927 and counted a total population of about 13.6 million. Less than seventy years later, the country's population had more than quadrupled. Between 1927 and 1945, growth was slow; in certain years during the 1930s, the population actually declined. Significant growth occurred between 1945 and 1980, when the population increased almost 2.5 times. Although the rate of growth has been slowing gradually since 1980, Turkey's average annual population increase is relatively high in comparison to that of European countries. In fact, member states of the European Union (EU--see Glossary) have cited this high population growth rate as justification for delaying a decision on Turkey's long-pending application to join the EU.
The 1990 census is the most recent one for which detailed statistical data are available. That census revealed the relative youth of the population, with 20 percent being ten years of age or under (see table 4, Appendix A). About 50.5 percent of the population was male, and 49.5 percent female. The average life expectancy for females of seventy-two years was greater than the corresponding figure for men of sixty-eight years. The birth rate was twenty-eight per 1,000 population; the death rate was six per 1,000.
Population density has increased along with the relatively rapid growth rate. For example, although Turkey had an average of only twenty-seven inhabitants per square kilometer in 1950, this figure had nearly tripled, to 72.5 persons people per square kilometer, by 1990. Population density was estimated at 78.5 people per square kilometer at the end of 1994. According to the 1990 census, the most densely populated provinces included Istanbul, with 1,330 persons per square kilometer; Kocaeli, with 260; and Izmir, with 220. The most lightly populated provinces included Tunceli and Karaman, with seventeen and twenty-four persons, respectively, per square kilometer. Turkey's overall population density was less than one-half the densities in major EU countries such as Britain, Germany, and Italy.
Although overall population density is low, some regions of Turkey, especially Thrace and the Aegean and Black Sea coasts, are densely populated. The uneven population distribution is most obvious in the coastal area stretching from Zonguldak westward to Istanbul, then around the Sea of Marmara and south along the Aegean coast to Izmir. Although this area includes less than 25 percent of Turkey's total land, more than 45 percent of the total population lived there in 1990. In contrast, the Anatolian Plateau and mountainous east account for 62 percent of the total land, but only 40 percent of the population resided there in 1990. The remaining 15 percent of the population lived along the southern Mediterranean coast, which makes up 13 percent of Turkey's territory.
In 1990 about 50 percent of the population was classified as rural. This figure represented a decline of more than 30 percent since 1950, when the rural population accounted for 82 percent of the country's total. The rural population lived in more than 36,000 villages in 1990, most of which had fewer than 1,000 inhabitants (see Village Life, this ch.). For administrative purposes, a village can be a small settlement or a number of scattered rural households, jointly administered by a village headman (muhtar ).
By 1995 more than 65 percent of Turkey's population lived in cities, defined as built-up areas with 10,000 or more inhabitants. The urban population has been growing at a rapid rate since 1950, when it accounted for only 18 percent of Turkey's total. The main factor in the growth of the cities has been the steady migration of villagers to urban areas, a process that was continuing in the 1990s. The trend toward urbanization was revealed in the 1990 census, which enumerated more than 17.6 million people--more than 30 percent of the total population--as living in nineteen cities with populations then of more than 200,000. The largest was Istanbul, with a population then of about 6.6 million, approximately 12 percent of Turkey's overall population. Two other cities also had populations in excess of 1 million: Ankara, the capital (about 2.6 million), and Izmir, a major port and industrial center on the Aegean Sea (about 1.8 million). Turkey's fourth and fifth largest cities, Adana (about 916,000 in 1990) and Bursa (about 835,000), have been growing at rates in excess of 3 percent per year, and each is expected to have more than 1 million inhabitants before 2000. Gaziantep in the southeast and Konya on the Anatolian Plateau were the only other cities with populations in excess of 500,000 in 1990. The ten largest cities also included Mersin (about 422,000), Kayseri (about 421,000), and Eskisehir (about 413,000).
During the decade 1915 to 1925, the country experienced large population transfers--a substantial movement outward of minority groups and an influx of refugees and immigrants. The first major population shift began in 1915, when the Ottoman government, for a variety of complex and in some instances contradictory reasons, decided to deport an estimated 2 million Armenians from their historical homeland in eastern Anatolia (see Armenians, this ch.; World War I, ch. 1). The movement of Greeks out of Turkey, which began during the 1912-13 Balkan Wars, climaxed in the 1920s with an internationally sanctioned exchange of population between Turkey and the Balkan states, primarily. In accordance with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey accepted approximately 500,000 Muslims, who were forced to leave their homes in the Balkans, in exchange for nearly 2 million Greeks, who were forced to leave Anatolia. By special arrangement, Greeks living in Istanbul and Turks living in the Greek part of Thrace were exempted from the compulsory exchanges.
After 1925 Turkey continued to accept Muslims speaking Turkic languages as immigrants and did not discourage the emigration of members of non-Turkic minorities. More than 90 percent of all immigrants arrived from the Balkan countries. Between 1935 and 1940, for example, approximately 124,000 Bulgarians and Romanians of Turkish origin immigrated to Turkey, and between 1954 and 1956 about 35,000 Muslim Slavs immigrated from Yugoslavia. In the fifty-five-year period ending in 1980, Turkey admitted approximately 1.3 million immigrants; 36 percent came from Bulgaria, 30 percent from Greece, 22.1 percent from Yugoslavia, and 8.9 percent from Romania. These Balkan immigrants, as well as smaller numbers of Turkic immigrants from Cyprus and the Soviet Union, were granted full citizenship upon their arrival in Turkey. The immigrants were settled primarily in the Marmara and Aegean regions (78 percent) and in central Anatolia (11.7 percent).
The most recent immigration influx was that of Bulgarian Turks and Bosnian Muslims. In 1989 an estimated 320,000 Bulgarian Turks fled to Turkey to escape a campaign of forced assimilation. Following the collapse of Bulgaria's communist government that same year, the number of Bulgarian Turks seeking refuge in Turkey declined to under 1,000 per month. In fact, the number of Bulgarian Turks who voluntarily repatriated--125,000--exceeded new arrivals. By March 1994, a total of 245,000 Bulgarian Turks had been granted Turkish citizenship. However, Turkey no longer regards Bulgarian Turks as refugees. Beginning in 1994, new entrants to Turkey have been detained and deported. As of December 31, 1994, an estimated 20,000 Bosnians were living in Turkey, mostly in the Istanbul area. About 2,600 were living in camps; the rest were dispersed in private residences.
In 1994 the government claimed that as many as 2 million Iranians were living in Turkey, a figure that most international organizations consider to be grossly exaggerated. Turkey is one of the few countries that Iranians may enter without first obtaining a visa; authorities believe that the relative ease of travel from Iran to Turkey encourages many Iranians to visit Turkey as tourists, or to use Turkey as a way station to obtain visas for the countries of Europe and North America. Consequently, as many as 2 million Iranians actually may transit Turkey--including multiple reentries for many individuals--in a given year. Specialized agencies of the European Union and the United Nations that deal with issues of migrants and refugees believe a more realistic figure of the number of Iranians who live in Turkey, and do not have a residence in Iran or elsewhere, is closer to 50,000.
In the 1960s, working-age Turks, primarily men, began migrating to Western Europe to find employment as guest workers. Many of these Turkish workers eventually brought their families to Europe. An estimated 2 million Turkish workers and their dependents resided in Western Europe in the early 1980s, before the onset of an economic recession that led to severe job losses. The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) initiated the program of accepting Turkish guest workers. In the 1990s, however, Germany adopted a policy of economic incentives to encourage the voluntary repatriation of Turkish workers. At the end of 1994, an estimated 1.1 million Turks continued to reside in Western Europe as semipermanent aliens. About two-thirds of these Turkish migrants lived in Germany, and another 10 percent in France. Other European countries with sizable Turkish communities included Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. In addition, at least 150,000 Turks were working in Saudi Arabia and other Arab oil-exporting countries of the Persian Gulf.
For almost forty years after the establishment of the republic in 1923, the government of Turkey encouraged population growth. Use of contraceptives and distribution of information about them were prohibited by law, and the state provided financial incentives to encourage large families. During the 1950s, however, members of the political elite gradually became concerned that the country's relatively high population growth rate of nearly 3 percent was hurting economic development. Following the military coup of May 1960, population planning became a major government objective. A 1965 family planning law provided for the establishment of the Family Planning Division within the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance to extend birth control information and services to as many couples as possible. A 1967 law decriminalized abortion and authorized use of this procedure for a broad range of medical causes. Access to abortion was liberalized further by legislation in 1983 stipulating that a pregnancy could be terminated lawfully upon request in a public hospital up to ten weeks after conception. A married woman seeking an abortion was required to obtain her husband's permission or submit a formal statement of assumption of all responsibility prior to the procedure.
Family planning services have expanded considerably since the mid-1960s. A primary focus has been on educating couples about the material and health benefits of both limiting and spacing births. The Ministry of Health adopted the 1978 International Congress on Primary Health Care recommendations that family planning be combined with maternal and child health services and undertaken in cooperation with state hospitals, maternity hospitals, health centers, and clinics in both urban and rural areas. In addition to its support of public education about family planning, the ministry has solicited the cooperation of volunteer associations and international organizations to promote its programs. But despite concerted government efforts to encourage smaller families, Turkey's birth rate between 1965 and 1994 declined at a relatively slow pace, falling only from thirty-three to twenty-eight births per 1,000 population.
Concern about the continuing high birth rate prompted the Ministry of Health in 1986 to launch a new population control campaign that concentrated on rural areas, where the fertility rate was highest. The campaign included the construction of new health clinics, the expansion of centers training medical professionals in family planning counseling, and the enlistment of private-sector cooperation in the distribution of birth control information and materials in factories. Private businesses established the Turkish Family Health and Planning Foundation, which has supplemented the state's population control efforts since 1986 through its financial support for special training programs and nationwide television advertisements.
Religion has not been an impediment to birth control. Turkey's Sunni Muslim religious leaders, who have addressed the subject of birth control in religious publications, have stated that Islam does not prohibit married couples from trying to space births or limit the size of their families. The use of specific birth control devices generally has not been addressed in religious literature. However, during the early 1990s there appeared to be a consensus among religious leaders that the resort to sterilization or abortion as a means of birth control was not permissible under Islam.
Within the Ottoman Empire, the Turks had constituted merely one of many linguistic and ethnic groups. In fact, for the ruling elite, the word Türk connoted crudeness and boorishness. Members of the civil, military, and religious elites conversed and conducted their business in Ottoman Turkish, which was a mixture of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. Arabic remained the primary language of religion and religious law (see Religious Life, this ch.). Persian was the language of art, refined literature, and diplomacy. At an official level, Ottoman Turkish usually was used only for matters pertaining to the administration of the empire. Ottoman Turkish not only borrowed vocabulary from Arabic and Persian but also lifted entire expressions and syntactic structures out of these languages and incorporated them into the Ottoman idiom.
The multiple linguistic influences on Ottoman Turkish caused difficulties in spelling and writing. The constituent parts--Turkish, Persian, and Arabic--belong to three different language families--Ural-Altaic, Indo-European, and Semitic, respectively--and the writing system fits only Semitic. Phonological, grammatical, and etymological principles are quite different among the three families. For these reasons, modernist intellectuals during the nineteenth century began to call for a reform of the language. They advocated a language that would be easier to read and write and contain more purely Turkish words. The principle of Turkish language reform thus was tied intimately to the reforms of the 1839-78 period (see External Threats and Internal Transformations, ch. 1). Later in the nineteenth century, language reform became a political issue. Turkish nationalists sought a language that would unite rather than divide the people. In the writings of Ziya Gökalp (d. 1924), Turkish nationalism was presented as the force uniting all those who were Turks by language and ethnic background.
With the establishment of the republic, Atatürk made language reform an important part of the nationalist program. The goal was to produce a language that was more Turkish and less Arabic, Persian, and Islamic; one that was more modern, practical, and precise, and less difficult to learn. The republican language reform called for a drastic alteration of both the spoken and the written language. This process was to be accomplished through two basic strategies--adoption of a new alphabet and purification of the vocabulary.
The language revolution (dil devrimi ) officially began in May 1928, when numbers written in Arabic were replaced with their Western equivalents. In November the Grand National Assembly approved a new Latin alphabet that had been devised by a committee of scholars. Many members of the assembly favored gradually introducing the new letters over a period lasting up to five years. Atatürk, however, insisted that the transition last only a few months, and his opinion prevailed. With chalk and a portable blackboard, he traveled throughout the country giving writing lessons in the new Latin alphabet in schools, village squares, and other public places to a people whose illiteracy rate was suddenly 100 percent. On January 1, 1929, it became unlawful to use the Arabic alphabet to write Turkish.
The new Latin alphabet represented the Turkish vowels and consonants more clearly than had the Arabic alphabet. One symbol was used for each sound of standard Turkish, which was identified as the educated speech of Istanbul. By replacing the Arabic with the Latin alphabet, Turkey turned consciously toward the West and effectively severed a major link with a part of its Islamic heritage. By providing the new generation no need or opportunity to learn Arabic letters, the alphabet reform cut it off from Turkey's Ottoman past, culture, and value system, as well as from religion (see Atatürk's Reforms, ch. 1).
Atatürk and his language reformers viewed non-Turkish words as symbols of the past. They encouraged a national campaign, supported by government policies, to purify the language. Lexicographers began to drop Arabic and Persian words from dictionaries, substituting for them resurrected archaic terms or words from Turkish dialects or new words coined from old stems and roots. The Turkish Language Society (Türk Dil Kurumu), founded in 1932, supervised the collection and dissemination of Turkish folk vocabulary and folk phrases to be used in place of foreign words. The citizenry at large was invited to suggest alternatives to words and expressions of non-Turkish origin, and many responded. In 1934 lists of new Turkish words began to be published, and in 1935 they began to appear in newspapers.
Enthusiasm for language reform reached its height in the mid-1930s. Some of the suggested reforms were so extreme as to endanger the comprehension of the language. Although purists and zealots favored the complete banishment of all words of non-Turkish origin, many officials realized that some of the suggested reforms verged on the ridiculous. Atatürk resolved the problem with an ingenious political invention that, although embarrassing to language experts, appealed to the nationalists. He suggested the historically inaccurate but politically efficacious Sun-Language Theory, which asserted that Turkish was the "mother of all languages," and that therefore all foreign words originally were Turkish. Thus, if a suitable Turkish equivalent for a foreign word could not be found, the loanword could be retained without violating the "purity" of the Turkish language.
By the late 1940s, considerable opposition to the purification movement had emerged. Teachers, writers, poets, journalists, editors, and others began to complain publicly about the instability and arbitrariness of the officially sanctioned vocabulary. In 1950 the Turkish Language Society lost its semi-official status. Eventually, some Arabic and Persian loanwords began to reappear in government publications.
The language reform's long-term effects have been mixed. The phonetically designed alphabet based on the Latin script facilitated the quick acquisition of literacy. In addition, the developers of modern Turkish consciously incorporated scientific and technological terms. By making possible a uniform mass language that soon acquired its own literature, the reform also helped to lessen the linguistic gap between the classes, a legacy of Ottoman society. Although the newly created works lacked some of the rich connotations of the older lexicon, modern Turkish developed as a fertile literary language as prose writers and poets created powerful works in this new idiom, especially after 1950. The cost of language reform, however, has been a drastic and permanent estrangement from the literary and linguistic heritage of the Ottomans. Although some prerepublican writings have been transliterated into the new alphabet, the vocabulary and syntax are barely understandable to a speaker of modern Turkish.
Language and language reform continue to be political issues in Turkey. Each decade since Atatürk's death has been characterized by its own particular stance vis-à-vis language reform: whether to support a more traditional lexicon or a modern, Turkified one abounding in Western loanwords and indigenous coinages. Language reform and modern usage have pushed forward during periods of liberal governments and been deemphasized under conservative governments such as those of the 1980s. Meanwhile, religious publications have not been as affected by language reforms as secular literature. Religious publications have continued to use an idiom that is heavily Arabic or Persian in vocabulary and Persian in syntax. The emergence of a popular religious-oriented political movement in the 1990s has resulted in the reintroduction of many Islamic terms into spoken Turkish.
Since the founding of the Republic of Turkey, the government has sought to diminish the significance of ethnic, linguistic, and religious distinctions. For instance, the 1965 census was the last one to list linguistic minorities. The country's largest minority, the Kurds, has posed the most serious and most persistent challenge to the official image of a homogeneous society. During the 1930s and 1940s, the government had disguised the presence of the Kurds statistically by categorizing them as "Mountain Turks." With official encouragement, some scholars even suggested that Kurdish, an Indo-European language closely related to Persian, was a dialect of Turkish. By the 1980s, the Mountain Turks' label had been dropped in favor of a new euphemism for Kurds: "Eastern Turks" (dogulu ). Officials of the SIS were prosecuted after preparing guidelines for the 1985 census that instructed enumerators to list Kurdish, when appropriate, as a language spoken in addition to Turkish. The same official and popular confusion exists in the application of the term Laz , which sometimes is used erroneously to refer to the inhabitants of the eastern end of Turkey's Black Sea coastal region. In actuality, the Laz constitute a small ethnic group (26,007 according to the 1965 census), speaking Lazi, a Caucasian language that is neither Indo-European nor Altaic.
The 1982 constitution includes a seemingly contradictory policy on the use of non-Turkish languages. Whereas one article prohibits discrimination on the basis of language, other articles ban the public use of languages "prohibited by law." Although legislation forbidding the use of specific languages has never been enacted, many Kurdish citizens were arrested prior to 1991 on charges relating to the public use of Kurdish. Although speaking or reading Kurdish no longer is cause for arrest, at an official level there remains an entrenched bias against the use of Kurdish. At the end of 1994, for example, imprisoned Kurds still were required to communicate with their lawyers and visiting family members in Turkish, even if they did not speak or understand that language.
In a holdover from the Ottoman system of millets, Turks traditionally have tended to consider all Sunni Muslims as Turks and to regard non-Sunni speakers of Turkish as non-Turks. The revival of popular interest in religion since the early 1980s has reinvigorated popular prejudices against religious minorities, especially the adherents of the Shia Muslim sect, the Alevi, most of whom are ethnic Kurds or Arabs. Also, since 1984 the extensive migration of Kurds from the predominantly Kurdish and rural provinces of the southeast to the cities of western Turkey has resulted at the popular level in the emergence of a relatively strong, urban-based Kurdish ethnic consciousness and popular resentment of the Kurds' presence among ethnic Turks.
<"30.htm">Peoples from the Caucasus
People identified as ethnic Turks comprise 80 to 88 percent of Turkey's population. The Turks include a number of regional groups who differ from one another in dialect, dress, customs, and outlook. In most cases, these differences reflect variations in historical and environmental circumstances. In general, regional differences are beginning to decrease while differences arising from urbanization and social class stratification are assuming greater importance. The three most important Turkish groups are the Anatolian Turks, the Rumelian Turks (primarily immigrants from former Ottoman territories in the Balkans and their descendants), and the Central Asian Turks (Turkic-speaking immigrants from the Caucasus region, southern Russia, and Central Asia and their descendants).
The Anatolian Turks historically lived on the central Anatolian Plateau in isolated villages and small towns. Following the implementation of the Ottoman Land Code in the late 1860s, rural Anatolian Turks were likely to own their own land, cultivating wheat and other cereal grains in addition to herding sheep and goats. During the early republican period, the Anatolian Turks' reputation for physical toughness and obstinate patience was applied to all Turks, and the Anatolians' culture, albeit as interpreted by the urban elite, became part of the foundation of Turkish nationalism. The Turks who lived in the coastal stretches along the Black, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas also were considered Anatolian Turks, although the more diverse and agreeable climate of the coastal areas encouraged the evolution of cultural patterns different from those predominating on the interior plateau. However, extensive industrialization, urbanization, and village-to-city migration since 1960 have tended to minimize regional differences, creating instead new class and occupational distinctions. Despite the social and economic changes, transhumance has remained an efficient means of raising livestock on the Anatolian Plateau, and as many as 1 million Turks were seminomadic herders of sheep and goats in the early 1990s. Included in this population were an estimated 600,000 Yürüks, Turks of Asiatic origin, whom the government has not officially recognized as a separate group.
The Rumelian Turks are descended from Turks who settled in the Balkans when, from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, that region of southern Europe was part of the Ottoman Empire. They were stranded when imperial territories began acquiring national independence in the nineteenth century (see Migration, this ch.). Most of the Rumelian Turks resettled in Turkey between 1878 and 1924. In rural areas, Rumelian Turks tended to become farmers or artisans in the coastal villages evacuated by Greeks during the 1920s population exchanges. Rumelian Turks also settled in urban centers, especially Edirne, Tekirdag, Kirklareli, Nigde, Bilecik, and Bursa.
The Central Asian Turks include Crimean Tartars and Turkomans. They live in scattered communities in various parts of the country; for example, there are several Crimean Tartar villages in the vicinity of Eskisehir. In 1945 an estimated 10,000 people spoke Tartar as their first language; since then several thousand additional Crimean Tartars have resettled in Turkey. The Turkomans, who speak a Turkic dialect distinct from Anatolian Turkish, have lived in eastern Turkey for several centuries. Historically, Turkomans were organized by tribe; tribal affiliations still retained importance for some Turkomans in 1995. Since the establishment of the republic, no reliable estimate of the number of Turkomans has been published. Traditionally, Turkomans have been Shia Muslims; scholars believe that most still adhere to Shia Islam.
Turkey's largest non-Turkish ethnic group, the Kurds, are concentrated in eleven provinces of the southeast, the same area that their ancestors inhabited when Xenophon mentioned the Kurds in the fifth century B.C. There also are isolated Kurdish villages in other parts of Turkey. Kurds have been migrating to Istanbul for centuries, and since 1960 they have migrated to almost all other urban centers as well. There are Kurdish neighborhoods, for example, in many of the gecekondus (see Glossary) or shantytowns, which have grown up around large cities in western Turkey. About half of all Kurds worldwide live in Turkey. Most of the rest live in adjacent regions of Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Turkey's censuses do not list Kurds as a separate ethnic group. Consequently, there are no reliable data on their total numbers. In 1995 estimates of the number of Kurds in Turkey ranged from 6 million to 12 million.
Because of the size of the Kurdish population, the Kurds are perceived as the only minority that could pose a threat to Turkish national unity. Indeed, there has been an active Kurdish separatist movement in southeastern Turkey since 1984 (see Political Parties, ch. 4). The government's main strategy for assimilating the Kurds has been language suppression. Yet, despite official attempts over several decades to spread Turkish among them, most Kurds have retained their native language. In Turkey two major Kurdish dialects are spoken: Kermanji, which is used by the majority of Kurds, as well as by some of the Kurds in Iran and Iraq; and Zaza, spoken mainly in a triangular region in southeastern Turkey between Diyarbakir, Ezurum, and Sivas, as well as in parts of Iran. Literate Kurds in Turkey have used Kermanji as the written form of Kurdish since the seventeenth century. However, almost all literary development of the language since 1924 has occurred outside Turkey. In 1932 Kurds in exile developed a Latin script for Kermanji, and this alphabet continued to be used in the mid-1990s.
Prior to the 1980 military coup, government authorities considered Kurdish one of the unnamed languages banned by law. Use of Kurdish was strictly prohibited in all government institutions, including the courts and schools. Nevertheless, during the 1960s and again in the mid-1970s, Kurdish intellectuals attempted to start Kurdish-language journals and newspapers. None of these publications survived for more than a few issues because state prosecutors inevitably found legal pretexts for closing them down. Between 1980 and 1983, the military government passed several laws expressly banning the use of Kurdish and the possession of written or audio materials in Kurdish.
The initiation of armed insurrection by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkere Kurdistan--PKK) in 1984, along with the increasing international media interest in the Kurds of Iraq beginning in the mid-1980s, compelled some members of Turkey's political elite to question government policy toward the country's Kurdish population. Turgut Özal, who became prime minister in 1983 and president in 1989, broke the official taboo on using the term Kurd by referring publicly to the people of eastern Anatolia as Kurds. Subsequently, independent Turkish newspapers began using the term and discussing the political and economic problems in the eleven predominantly Kurdish provinces. In 1991 Özal supported a bill that revoked the ban on the use of Kurdish and possession of materials in Kurdish. However, as of 1995, the use of Kurdish in government institutions such as the courts and schools still was prohibited.
Although the Kurds comprise a distinct ethnic group, they are divided by class, regional, and sectarian differences similar to those affecting ethnic Turks. Religious divisions often have been a source of conflict among the Kurds. Although the government of Turkey does not compile official data on religious affiliation, scholars estimate that at least two-thirds of the Kurds in Turkey nominally are Sunni Muslims, and that as many as one-third are Shia Muslims of the Alevi sect. Unlike the Sunni Turks, who follow the Hanafi school of Islamic law, the Sunni Kurds follow the Shafii school. Like their Turkish counterparts, adult male Kurds with religious inclinations tend to join Sufi brotherhoods. The Naksibendi and Kadiri orders, both of which predate the republic, have large Kurdish followings in Turkey although their greatest strength is among the Kurds of Iran. The Nurcular, a brotherhood that came to prominence during the early republican years, also has many Kurdish adherents in Turkey.
Whereas the number of Kurds belonging to the Alevi sect of Shia Islam is uncertain, the majority of Alevi are either Arabs or Turks. Historically, the Alevi lived in isolated mountain communities in southeastern Turkey and western Syria. The Kurdish Alevi have been migrating from their villages to the cities of central Anatolia since the 1950s. Whereas Kurdish and Turkish Alevi generally have good relations, the competition between Alevi and Sunni Turks for urban jobs led to a revival of traditional sectarian tensions by the mid-1970s. These intertwined economic and religious tensions culminated in a series of violent sectarian clashes in Kahramanmaras, Corum, and other cities in 1978-79 in which hundreds of Alevi died.
A small but unknown number of Kurds also adhere to the secretive Yazidi sect, which historically has been persecuted by both Sunni and Shia Muslims. Small communities of Yazidi live in Mardin, Siirt, and Sanli Urfa provinces. Yazidi are also found among Kurds in Armenia, Iran, and Iraq. In Turkey the Yazidi believe that the government does not protect them from religious persecution. Consequently, as many as 50 percent of all Yazidi have immigrated to Germany, where they feel free to practice their heterodox form of Islam.
Class differences also divide the Kurds. Wealthy landowners in rural areas and entrepreneurs in urban areas tend to cooperate with the government and espouse assimilation. Many of these Kurds are bilingual or even speak Turkish more comfortably than Kurdish, which they disparage as the language of the uneducated. The economic changes that began in the 1960s have exacerbated the differences between the minority of assimilated Kurds and the majority who have retained a Kurdish identity. Militant Kurdish political groups such as the PKK have exploited these class differences since 1984.
In 1995 Turkey's ethnic Arab population was estimated at 800,000 to 1 million. The Arabs are heavily concentrated along the Syrian border, especially in Hatay Province, which France, having at that time had mandatory power in Syria, ceded to Turkey in 1939. Arabs then constituted about two-thirds of the population of Hatay (known to the Arabs as Alexandretta), and the province has remained predominantly Arab. Almost all of the Arabs in Turkey are Alevi Muslims, and most have family ties with the Alevi (also seen as Alawi or Alawite) living in Syria. As Alevi, the Arabs of Turkey believe they are subjected to state-condoned discrimination. Fear of persecution actually prompted several thousand Arab Alevi to seek refuge in Syria following Hatay's incorporation into Turkey. The kinship relations established as a result of the 1939-40 emigration have been continually reinforced by marriages and the practice of sending Arab youths from Hatay to colleges in Syria. Since the mid-1960s, the Syrian government has tended to encourage educated Alevi to resettle in Syria, especially if they seem likely to join the ruling Baath Party.
Three small but distinct ethnic groups (aside from the more numerous Armenians) have their origins in the Caucasus Mountains: the Circassians, the Georgians (including the Abkhaz), and the Laz. Approximately 70,000 Circassian Muslim immigrants, most originally from Russia, gradually settled, beginning in the late eighteenth century, in the Adana region, where they and their descendants continue to live as farmers and farm laborers.
The Muslim Georgians and Laz are concentrated in the northeastern provinces. The Laz, who are primarily Black Sea fisherfolk, live in villages near the coastal city of Rize. The term Georgian actually refers to several different peoples who speak similar but mutually unintelligible languages. One distinct group of Georgians are the Abkhaz, who are primarily cultivators and herders. Most Georgians live in Artvin Province, particularly east of the Çoruh River and along the border with Georgia.
The Dönme are descendants of the Jewish followers of a self-proclaimed messiah, Sabbatai Sebi (or Zevi, 1626-76), who was forced by the sultan to convert to Islam in 1666. Their doctrine includes Jewish and Islamic elements. They consider themselves Muslims and officially are recognized as such. Their name is the Turkish word for convert , but it carries overtones of turncoat as well.
The Dönme have been successful in business and in the professions, but historically they have not been part of the social elite because neither Jews nor Muslims fully accept them. Experience with prejudice inclines some Dönme to hide their identity to avoid discrimination and also has encouraged the Dönme to become a tightly knit, generally endogamous group. Since the early 1980s, however, overt discrimination has lessened, and intermarriage between Dönme and other Muslims has grown common.
In 1995 fewer than 20,000 Greeks still lived in Turkey. Most of them are Eastern or Greek Orthodox Christians and live in Istanbul or on the two islands of Gökçeada (Imroz) and Bozca Ada (Tenedos), off the western entrance to the Dardanelles. They are the remnants of the estimated 200,000 Greeks who were permitted under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne to remain in Turkey following the 1924 population exchange, which involved the forcible resettlement of approximately 2 million Greeks from Anatolia. Since 1924 the status of the Greek minority in Turkey has been ambiguous. Most Turks do not accept the country's Greek citizens as their equals. Beginning in the 1930s, the government encouraged the Greeks to emigrate, and thousands, in particular the educated youth, did so, reducing the Greek population to about 48,000 by 1965. Although the size of the Greek minority has continued to decline, the Greek citizens of Turkey generally constitute one of the country's wealthiest communities.
The tiny Armenian minority, estimated at 40,000 in 1995, also is a remnant of a once-larger community. Before World War I, some 1.5 million Armenians lived in eastern Anatolia. Starting in the late nineteenth century, intergroup tensions prompted the emigration of possibly as many as 100,000 Armenians in the 1890s. In 1915 the Ottoman government ordered all Armenians deported from eastern Anatolia; at least 600,000 of the Armenians, who numbered up to 2 million, died during a forced march southward during the winter of 1915-16. Armenians believe--and Turks deny--that the catastrophe that befell their community was the result of atrocities committed by Turkish soldiers following government directives. Armenians outside Turkey refer to the deaths of 1915-16 as an instance of genocide, and over the years various Armenian political groups have sought to avenge the tragedy by carrying out terrorist attacks against Turkish diplomats and officials abroad (see Armenian Terrorism, ch. 5).
Most Armenians living in Turkey are concentrated in and around Istanbul. Like the Greeks, they are bankers and merchants with extensive international contacts. The Armenians support their own newspapers and schools. They are intensely attached to their Christian faith and their identity as Armenians rather than Turks. In addition, they have relatives in the Armenian diaspora throughout the world. The establishment of an independent Armenia on Turkey's eastern border following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 was a source of ethnic pride for the Armenians of Turkey. However, Armenia's conflict with Turkic Azerbaijan, combined with the jingoistic support of Azerbaijan in the Turkish media, has raised apprehensions among the Armenian minority about their future status in Turkey.
In 1995 an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 Jews lived in Turkey. During the first half of the twentieth century, the Jewish population remained relatively stable at around 90,000. Following the establishment of Israel in 1948, an estimated 30,000 Jews immigrated to the new state. An average of 1,000 Jews annually left for Israel during the 1950s and early 1960s. By 1965 the Jewish minority had been reduced to an estimated 44,000, most of whom lived in Istanbul, where many Jewish men operated shops and other small businesses.
Unlike the Armenians and Greeks, the Jewish minority is neither ethnically nor linguistically homogeneous. Most of its members are Sephardic Jews whose ancestors were expelled from Spain by the Roman Catholic Inquisition in 1492. They speak Ladino, a variant of fifteenth-century Spanish with borrowings from several other languages. The Ashkenazic minority--Jews from central and northern Europe--speak Yiddish, a German-derived language. Both languages are written in the Hebrew script. Most Jews also speak Turkish. The Karaites--viewed by most other Jews as heretics--speak Greek as their native language. In general, the different Jewish communities have tended not to intermarry and thus have retained their identities.
The institutional secularization of Turkey was the most prominent and most controversial feature of Atatürk's reforms. Under his leadership, the caliphate--office of the successors to Muhammad, the supreme politico-religious office of Islam, and symbol of the sultan's claim to world leadership of all Muslims--was abolished. The secular power of the religious authorities and functionaries was reduced and eventually eliminated. The religious foundations (evkaf ; sing., vakif ) were nationalized, and religious education was restricted and for a time prohibited. The influential and popular mystical orders of the dervish brotherhoods also were suppressed.
Although Turkey was secularized at the official level, religion remained a strong force at the popular level. After 1950 some political leaders tried to benefit from popular attachment to religion by espousing support for programs and policies that appealed to the religiously inclined. Such efforts were opposed by most of the political elite, who believed that secularism was an essential principle of Kemalism. This disinclination to appreciate religious values and beliefs gradually led to a polarization of society. The polarization became especially evident in the 1980s as a new generation of educated but religiously motivated local leaders emerged to challenge the dominance of the secularized political elite. These new leaders have been assertively proud of Turkey's Islamic heritage and generally have been successful at adapting familiar religious idioms to describe dissatisfaction with various government policies. By their own example of piety, prayer, and political activism, they have helped to spark a revival of Islamic observance in Turkey. By 1994 slogans promising that a return to Islam would cure economic ills and solve the problems of bureaucratic inefficiencies had enough general appeal to enable avowed religious candidates to win mayoral elections in Istanbul and Ankara, the country's two most secularized cities.
<"38.htm">Retreat from Secularism
Islam is a monotheistic religion. A believer is a Muslim, literally, "one who submits to God." Muslims believe that Allah (Arabic for God) gave revelations through the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad (A.D. 570-632 ), a native of the Arabian Peninsula city of Mecca. Muhammad's efforts to convert people to monotheism disturbed the merchant elite, who feared that his preaching would adversely affect the pilgrims who regularly visited Mecca, which in the early seventh century had shrines to several gods and goddesses. Mecca's principal destination for pilgrims was the Kaaba, a shrine housing a venerated black rock which over the years had been surrounded by various idols. The lack of acceptance by Meccans of Muhammad's preaching caused him and his followers in A.D. 622 to migrate to Medina in response to an invitation by that city's leaders. Muhammad's migration to Medina enabled him to organize the politico-religious community--the umma --that marked the beginning of Islam as a political movement as well as a religious faith. Thus, the date of the migration, or hicret (from the Arabic hijra ), was adopted by the Muslim community as the beginning of the Islamic era. The Islamic calendar is based on a lunar year, which averages eleven days less than a solar year. The Islamic calendar is used in Turkey for religious purposes.
By the time of the Prophet's death ten years after his migration to Medina, most of the Arabian Peninsula, including the city of Mecca, had converted to Islam. During the last two years of his life, Muhammad led fellow Muslims on pilgrimages to Mecca, where the Kaaba was relieved of its idols and dedicated to the worship of Allah. Since then, praying at the Kaaba has been the ultimate goal of the pilgrimage, or hajj, which every able-bodied adult Muslim is expected to make at least once in his or her lifetime.
Muslims believe that all of Allah's revelations to the Prophet are contained in the Kuran (in Arabic, Quran), which is composed in rhymed prose. The Kuran consists of 114 chapters, called suras , the first of which is a short "opening" chapter. The remaining 113 segments are arranged roughly in order of decreasing length. The short suras at the end of the book are early revelations, each consisting of material revealed on the same occasion. The longer suras toward the beginning of the book are compilations of verses revealed at different times in Muhammad's life.
The central beliefs of Islam are monotheism and Muhammad's status as the "seal of the Prophets," that is, the final prophet to whom God revealed messages for the spiritual guidance of humanity. Jesus Christ and the prophets of the Old Testament are also accepted as Islamic prophets. Muslims who profess belief in God and Muhammad's prophethood, pray regularly, and live by Islamic ethical and moral principles are assured that their souls will find eternal salvation in heaven. The profession of belief in one God and the prophethood of Muhammad is known as the sahadet (in Arabic, shahada ), and is one of the five basic obligations or "pillars" of Islam. The profession of faith--"There is no God but God and Muhammad is his Prophet"--always is recited in Arabic. It is repeated during prayer and on many other ritual occasions.
The four other pillars of Islam are prayer (namaz ; salat in Arabic), giving alms to the needy (zekat ; zakah in Arabic), fasting (oruç ; sawm in Arabic) during the month of Ramazan (from the Arabic, Ramadan ), and the pilgrimage (hac , from the Arabic hajj ) to Mecca. The prescribed prayers are recited in Arabic and are accompanied by a series of ritual body movements meant to demonstrate submission to God: standing, bowing, kneeling, and full prostration. Muslims say the prayers at five prescribed times a day, always while facing in the direction of Mecca. Prayers are preceded by a ritual ablution, and, unless the prayer is said in a mosque, a ritual purification of the ground is achieved by the unrolling of a clean prayer rug. Although it is permissible to pray almost anywhere, men pray in congregation at mosques whenever possible, especially on Fridays. Women are not required to pray in public but may attend worship at mosques, which maintain separate sections for women. Despite more than sixty years of secularist government policies, a majority of Turkey's Muslims continue to recite prayers at least occasionally. In fact, mosque attendance in the urban areas, which formerly was significantly less than in rural areas, increased considerably during the 1980s. During the early 1990s, most city mosques were filled to capacity on Fridays and religious holidays.
The third pillar of Islam, almsgiving, is required of all Muslims. The faithful are expected to give in proportion to their wealth. In various historical periods, zekat assumed the status of a tithe that mosques collected and distributed for charitable purposes. In addition to zekat , Muslims are encouraged to make free-will gifts (sadaka , from the Arabic sadaqa ).
Abstinence from dawn to dusk from all food and beverages during the Islamic month of Ramazan is the fourth pillar of the faith required of Muslims. Persons who are ill; women who are pregnant, nursing, or menstruating; soldiers on duty; travelers on necessary journeys; and young children are exempted from the fast. However, adults who are unable to fast during Ramazan are expected to observe a fast later. Ramazan is a period of spiritual renewal, and the daytime fasting is meant to help concentrate a Muslim's thoughts on religious matters. Many mosques, especially in urban areas, sponsor special prayer meetings and study groups during the month. The evening meal that breaks the fast has special religious significance and also is an occasion for sharing among families and friends. Muslims who can afford to do so often host one or more fast-breaking meals for indigents during Ramazan. The month of fasting is followed by a three-day celebration, Seker Bayrami (in Arabic, Id al Fitr), which is observed in Turkey as a national holiday.
The fifth pillar of Islam is the hac . Each Muslim who is financially and physically able is expected at least once in his or her lifetime to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and participate in prescribed religious rites performed at various specific sites in the holy city and its environs during the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. In one of their most important rites, pilgrims pray while circumambulating the Kaaba, the sanctuary Muslims believe Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael) built to honor the one God. During the hac , pilgrims sacrifice domesticated animals such as sheep and distribute the meat among the needy. Known as the Feast of Sacrifice, Kurban Bayrami (in Arabic, Id al Adha), this occasion is celebrated not only by the pilgrims but by all Muslims, and is observed in Turkey as a national holiday. The returning pilgrim is entitled to use the honorific haci (in Arabic, hajji ) before his or her name, a title that indicates successful completion of the pilgrimage.
A pious Muslim strives to follow a code of ethical conduct that encourages generosity, fairness, chastity, honesty, and respect. Certain acts, including murder, cruelty, adultery, gambling, and usury, are considered contrary to Islamic practice. Muslims also are enjoined not to consume carrion, blood, pork, or alcohol. Many of the precepts for appropriate behavior are specified in the Kuran. Other spiritual and ethical guidelines are found in the hadis (in Arabic, hadith ), an authenticated record of the sayings and actions of Muhammad and his earliest companions. Devout Muslims regard their words, acts, and decisions--called collectively the sunna --as models to be emulated by later generations. Because of its normative character, the sunna is revered along with the Kuran as a primary source of seriat (in Arabic, sharia ), or Islamic law.
Islamic law evolved between the eighth and tenth centuries. Islamic scholars reputed for their knowledge of the Kuran, hadis , and sunna were accepted as authoritative interpreters of seriat . Several of them compiled texts of case law that formed the basis of legal schools. Eventually, Sunni Muslims came to accept four schools of law as equally valid. Two schools of seriat exist in contemporary Turkey: the Hanafi, founded by Iraqi theologian Abu Hanifa (ca. 700-67), and the Shafii, founded by the Meccan jurist Muhammad ash Shafii (767-820). Most Muslim Turks follow the Hanafi school, whereas most Sunni Kurds follow the Shafii school.
Following the death of the Prophet in 632, the Muslim community failed to reach consensus on who should succeed him as the caliph. A majority of Muhammad's close followers supported the idea of an elected caliph, but a minority believed that leadership, or the imamate, should remain within the Prophet's family, passing first to Muhammad's cousin, son-in-law, and principal deputy, Ali ibn Abu Talib, and subsequently to Ali's sons and their male descendants. The majority, who believed they were following the sunna of the Prophet, became known as Sunni Muslims. To them, the caliph was the symbolic religious head of the community; however, caliphs would also rule as the secular leaders of a major empire for six centuries. The first four caliphs--Abu Bakr, Omar, Osman, and Ali--were chosen by a consensus of Muslim leaders. Subsequently, however, the caliphate was converted by its holders into a hereditary office, the first two dynasties being the Umayyad, which ruled from Damascus, and the second being the Abbasid, which ruled from Baghdad. After the Mongols captured Baghdad and executed the Abbasid caliph in 1258, a period of more than 250 years followed when no one was recognized as caliph by all Sunni Muslims. During the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Dynasty resurrected the title, and gradually even Muslims outside the Ottoman Empire came to accept the Ottoman sultan as the symbolic leader--caliph--of Sunni Islam.
The partisans of Ali--the Shiat Ali--evolved into a separate Islamic denomination that became known as the Shia. By the ninth century, however, the Shia Muslims split into numerous sects as a result of disagreements over which of several brothers was the legitimate leader, or imam , of the community. The major divisions occurred over the question of succession to the fourth, sixth, and twelfth imams. Consequently, the origins of almost all Shia sects can be traced to the followers of the fifth, seventh, or twelfth imam. By the fifteenth century, the sect known as the Twelve Imam Shia--a group that recognized Ali and eleven of his direct descendants as the legitimate successors to the Prophet--had emerged as the predominant Shia sect.
In addition to the orthodox Twelve Imam Shia, several sects that revered the twelve imams but otherwise subscribed to heterodox beliefs and practices emerged between the ninth and twelfth centuries. One of these heterodox sects, the Nusayri, originated in the mid-ninth century among the followers of the religious teacher Muhammad ibn Nusayr an Namiri. The Nusayri became established in what is now northern Syria and southern Turkey during the tenth century when a Shia dynasty based in Aleppo ruled the region. Because of the special devotion of the Nusayri to Ali, Sunni Muslims historically and pejoratively referred to them as Alevi (see The Alevi, this ch.).
By the end of the seventh century, conversion to Islam had begun among the Turkish-speaking tribes, who were migrating westward from Central Asia. The initial wave of Turkish migrants converted to Sunni Islam and became champions of Islamic orthodoxy. As warriors of the Islamic faith, or gazis , they colonized and settled Anatolia in the name of Islam, especially following the defeat of the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert (1071). Beginning in the twelfth century, new waves of Turkic migrants became attracted to militant Sufi orders, which gradually incorporated heterodox Shia beliefs. One Sufi order that appealed to Turks in Anatolia after 1300 was the Safavi, based in northwest Iran. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Safavi and similar orders such as the Bektasi became rivals of the Ottomans--who were orthodox Sunni Muslims--for political control of eastern Anatolia. Concern about the growing influence of the Safavi probably was one of the factors that prompted the Ottomans to permit unorthodox Bektasi Sufism to become the official order of the janissary soldiers (see The Ottoman Empire, ch. 1). Although the Bektasi became accepted as a sect of orthodox Sunni Muslims, they did not abandon their heterodox Shia beliefs. In contrast, the Safavi eventually conquered Iran, shed their heterodox religious beliefs, and became proponents of orthodox Twelve Imam Shia Islam.
The conquest of the Byzantine capital of Constantinople--which the Turks called Istanbul (from the Greek phrase eis tin polin , "to the city")--in 1453 enabled the Ottomans to consolidate their empire in Anatolia and Thrace. The Ottomans revived the title of caliph, based their legitimacy on Islam, and integrated religion into the government and administration. Despite the absence of a formal institutional structure, Sunni religious functionaries played an important political role. Justice was dispensed by religious courts; in theory, the codified system of seriat regulated all aspects of life, at least for the Muslim subjects of the empire. The head of the judiciary ranked directly below the sultan and was second in power only to the grand vizier. Early in the Ottoman period, the office of grand mufti of Istanbul evolved into that of seyhülislam (shaykh, or leader of Islam), which had ultimate jurisdiction over all the courts in the empire and consequently exercised authority over the interpretation and application of seriat . Legal opinions pronounced by the seyhülislam were considered definitive interpretations.
From the earliest days of Islam, some Muslims have been attracted to mystical interpretations of their religion. In Turkey, at least since the thirteenth century, Islamic mysticism has been expressed through participation in Sufi brotherhoods that serve as centers of spiritual and social life. The term Sufi derives from the Arabic suf , which means wool. Early Muslims used the term Sufi to refer to fellow believers who wore simple woolen garments to demonstrate their rejection of materialism and worldly temptations and their devotion to a life of asceticism and prayer. Eventually, some Sufis who had acquired reputations for their learning and piety attracted disciples who aspired to learn from and emulate these Sufi masters. Initially, Sufi followers were like students whose bonds to a Sufi teacher were based on personal loyalty. Since the twelfth century, however, most Sufis have organized themselves into orders or brotherhoods (tarikat ; pl., tarikatlar --see Glossary) that follow the teachings of a particular Sufi master.
Many Sufi tarikatlar established institutional bases, called tekke or dergah (lodges), that lasted for several generations and, in some instances, even for centuries. For example, two of contemporary Turkey's largest tarikatlar , the Naksibendi and the Kadiri, date back at least to the fourteenth century. Some tarikatlar carry the name of the founding Sufi master, the seyh (in Arabic, shaykh ). One example is the Mevlevi brotherhood. Its members popularly are called whirling dervishes because of the rhythmic whirling they engage in as a spiritual exercise and a means to achieve ecstatic proximity to God. The brotherhood is named after its founder, Mevlana (Jalal ad Din Rumi, d. 1273). Ordinarily, a designated successor to the seyh inherited his position of leadership as well as the mantle of his spiritual power. Induction into a particular tarikat became regulated and usually depended on the performance of prescribed initiation procedures. Initiates were placed at different levels, depending on the instruction they had mastered. Some of the larger Sufi tarikatlar established branches and through evkaf accumulated land and buildings, which functioned as tekkes , Kuran schools, residential monasteries, orphanages, and hospices.
The early tarikatlar were strongly influenced by Shia doctrines. Consequently, the political conflicts between the Sunni Ottoman and Shia Safavi dynasties affected the Sufi orders in Turkey. Sunni tarikatlar eventually deemphasized such practices as the veneration of Ali ibn Abu Talib and received official patronage from some Ottoman sultans. However, at least one Shia tarikat , the Bektasi, supported the Ottomans and actually exercised significant political influence without changing their heterodox beliefs. The Bektasi and the Sunni tarikatlar also served an important social function by providing educational and social welfare services, constituting a means of social mobility, and offering spiritual guidance to the people, especially in rural areas.
Folk Islam in Turkey has derived many of its popular practices from Sufism. Particular Sufi seyhs --and occasionally other individuals reputed to be pious--were regarded after death as saints having special powers to mediate between believers and God. Veneration of saints (both male and female) and pilgrimages to their shrines and graves represent an important aspect of popular Islam in both the city and the country. Folk Islam has continued to embrace such practices although the veneration of saints officially has been discouraged since the 1930s. Plaques posted in various sanctuaries forbid the lighting of candles, the offering of votive objects, and related devotional activities in these places.
A significant Shia minority lives in Turkey. As in the Ottoman period, a census of the Shia population has never been taken in the republican period. Thus, there is no accurate information on the size of the Shia community, which has been estimated to constitute as little as 7 percent and as much as 30 percent of Turkey's total population. Sunni in Turkey tend to refer to all Shia as Alevi. In actuality, Alevi constitute but one of four Shia sects in the country. But Alevi are by far the largest Shia sect in Turkey, accounting for at least 70 percent of the country's Shia.Twelve Imam Shia and followers of the heterodox Ahl-i Haq and Bektasi have resided in Turkey for centuries. Twelve Imam Shia comprise a majority of all Shia worldwide, although their numbers in Turkey are estimated at only 20 to 25 percent of all Shia in the country. Scholars believe that the unorthodox Ahl-i Haq, whose adherents are almost exclusively Kurds, and the equally unorthodox Bektasi, whose followers primarily are ethnic Turks, are even fewer in number than the Twelve Imam Shia.
Even though scholars of the contemporary Middle East tend to associate Alevi with Syria, where they have played an influential political role since the 1960s, a majority of all Alevi actually live in Turkey. Alevi include almost all of Turkey's Arab minority, from 10 to 30 percent of the country's Kurds, and many ethnic Turks. In fact, a majority of Alevi may be Turks. Historically, Alevi resided predominantly in southeastern Turkey, but the mass rural-to-urban migration that has been relatively continuous since 1960 has resulted in thousands of Alevi moving to cities in central and western Anatolia. Consequently, Alevi communities of varying size were located in most of the country's major cities by the mid-1990s.
Because of centuries of persecution by Sunni Muslims, Alevi became highly secretive about the tenets of their faith and their religious practices. Consequently, almost no reliable information about Alevi Islam is available. Unsympathetic published sources reported that Alevi worshiped Ali ibn Abu Talib, observed various Christian rituals, and venerated both Christian and Muslim saints. Prior to the twentieth century, information on the sect was so sparse and distorted that even Twelve Imam Shia regarded Alevi as heretics. However, the tendency among most contemporary Twelve Imam clergy is to recognize the Alevi as a distinct legal school within the Twelve Imam tradition. In addition, major Twelve Imam Shia theological colleges in Iran and Iraq have accepted Alevi students since the 1940s.
In 1922 the new nationalist regime abolished the Ottoman sultanate, and in 1924 it abolished the caliphate, the religious office that Ottoman sultans had held for four centuries. Thus, for the first time in Islamic history, no ruler claimed spiritual leadership of Islam. The withdrawal of Turkey, heir to the Ottoman Empire, as the presumptive leader of the world Muslim community was symbolic of the change in the government's relationship to Islam. Indeed, secularism or laicism (laiklik ) became one of the "Six Arrows" of Atatürk's program for remaking Turkey. Whereas Islam had formed the identity of Muslims within the Ottoman Empire, secularism was seen as molding the new Turkish nation and its citizens.
Atatürk and his associates not only abolished certain religious practices and institutions but also questioned the value of religion, preferring to place their trust in science. They regarded organized religion as an anachronism and contrasted it unfavorably with "civilization," which to them meant a rationalist, secular culture. Establishment of secularism in Turkey was not, as it had been in the West, a gradual process of separation of church and state. In the Ottoman Empire, all spheres of life, at least theoretically, had been subject to religious law, and Sunni religious organizations had been part of the state structure. When the reformers of the early 1920s opted for a secular state, they removed religion from the sphere of public policy and restricted it exclusively to that of personal morals, behavior, and faith. Although private observance of religious rituals could continue, religion and religious organization were excluded from public life.
The policies directly affecting religion were numerous and sweeping. In addition to the abolition of the caliphate, new laws mandated abolition of the office of seyhülislam ; abolition of the religious hierarchy; the closing and confiscation of Sufi lodges, meeting places, and monasteries and the outlawing of their rituals and meetings; establishment of government control over the evkaf , which had been inalienable under seriat ; replacement of seriat with adapted European legal codes; the closing of religious schools; abandonment of the Islamic calendar in favor of the Gregorian calendar used in the West; restrictions on public attire that had religious associations, with the fez outlawed for men and the veil discouraged for women; and the outlawing of the traditional garb of local religious leaders.
Atatürk and his colleagues also attempted to Turkify Islam through official encouragement of such practices as using Turkish rather than Arabic at devotions, substituting the Turkish word Tanri for the Arabic word Allah , and introducing Turkish for the daily calls to prayer. These changes in devotional practices deeply disturbed faithful Muslims and caused widespread resentment, which led in 1933 to a return to the Arabic version of the call to prayer. Of longer-lasting effect were the regime's measures prohibiting religious education, restricting the building of new mosques, and transferring existing mosques to secular purposes. Most notably, the Hagia Sophia (Justinian's sixth-century Christian basilica, which had been converted into a mosque by Mehmet II) was made a museum in 1935. The effect of these changes was to make religion, or more correctly Sunni Islam, subject to the control of a hostile state. Muftis and imams (prayer leaders) were appointed by the government, and religious instruction was taken over by the Ministry of National Education.
The expectation of the secular ruling elite that the policies of the 1920s and 1930s would diminish the role of religion in public life did not materialize. As early as 1925, religious grievances were one of the principal causes of the Seyh Sait rebellion, an uprising in southeastern Turkey that may have claimed as many as 30,000 lives before being suppressed. Following the relaxation of authoritarian political controls in 1946, large numbers of people began to call openly for a return to traditional religious practice. During the 1950s, even certain political leaders found it expedient to join religious leaders in advocating more state respect for religion (see Multiparty Politics, 1946-60, ch. 1).
A more direct manifestation of the growing reaction against secularism was the revival of the Sufi brotherhoods. Not only did suppressed tarikatlar such as the Kadiri, Mevlevi, and Naksibendi reemerge, but new orders were formed, including the Nurcular, Süleymançi, and Ticani. The Ticani became especially militant in confronting the state. For example, Ticani damaged monuments to Atatürk to symbolize their opposition to his policy of secularization. Throughout the 1950s, there were numerous trials of Ticani and other Sufi leaders for antistate activities. Simultaneously, however, some tarikatlar , notably the Süleymançi and Nurcular, cooperated with those politicians perceived as supportive of pro-Islamic policies. The Nurcular eventually advocated support for Turkey's multiparty political system, and one of its offshoots, the Isikçilar, has openly supported the Motherland Party since the mid-1980s.
The demand for restoration of religious education in public schools began in the late 1940s. The government initially responded by authorizing religious instruction in state schools for those students whose parents requested it. Under Democrat Party rule during the 1950s, religious education was made compulsory in secondary schools unless parents made a specific request to have their children excused. Religious education was made compulsory for all primary and secondary school children in 1982.
Inevitably, the reintroduction of religion into the school curriculum raised the question of religious higher education. The secular elites, who tended to distrust traditional religious leaders, believed that Islam could be "reformed" if future leaders were trained in state-controlled seminaries. To further this goal, the government in 1949 established a faculty of divinity at Ankara University to train teachers of Islam and imams. In 1951 the Democrat Party government set up special secondary schools (imam hatip okullari ) for the training of imams and preachers. Initially, the imam hatip schools grew very slowly, but their numbers expanded rapidly to more than 250 during the 1970s, when the pro-Islam National Salvation Party participated in coalition governments. Following the 1980 coup, the military, although secular in orientation, viewed religion as an effective means to counter socialist ideas and thus authorized the construction of ninety more imam hatip high schools.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Islam experienced a kind of political rehabilitation because right-of-center secular leaders perceived religion as a potential bulwark in their ideological struggle with left-of-center secular leaders. A small advocacy group that became extremely influential was the Hearth of Intellectuals, an organization that maintains that true Turkish culture is a synthesis of the Turks' pre-Islamic traditions and Islam. According to the Hearth, Islam not only constitutes an essential aspect of Turkish culture but is a force that can be regulated by the state to help socialize the people to be obedient citizens acquiescent to the overall secular order. After the 1980 military coup, many of the Hearth's proposals for restructuring schools, colleges, and state broadcasting were adopted. The result was a purge from these state institutions of more than 2,000 intellectuals perceived as espousing leftist ideas incompatible with the Hearth's vision of Turkey's national culture.
The state's more tolerant attitude toward Islam encouraged the proliferation of private religious activities, including the construction of new mosques and Kuran schools in the cities, the establishment of Islamic centers for research on and conferences about Islam and its role in Turkey, and the establishment of religiously oriented professional and women's journals. The printing of newspapers, the publication of religious books, and the growth of innumerable religious projects ranging from health centers, child-care facilities, and youth hostels to financial institutions and consumer cooperatives flourished. When the government legalized private broadcasting after 1990, several Islamic radio stations were organized. In the summer of 1994, the first Islamic television station, Channel 7, began broadcasting, first in Istanbul and subsequently in Ankara.
Although the tarikatlar have played a seminal role in Turkey's religious revival and in the mid-1990s still published several of the country's most widely circulated religious journals and newspapers, a new phenomenon, Islamçi aydin (the Islamist intellectual) unaffiliated with the traditional Sufi orders, emerged during the 1980s. Prolific and popular writers such as Ali Bulaç, Rasim Özdenoren, and Ismet Özel have drawn upon their knowledge of Western philosophy, Marxist sociology, and radical Islamist political theory to advocate a modern Islamic perspective that does not hesitate to criticize genuine societal ills while simultaneously remaining faithful to the ethical values and spiritual dimensions of religion. Islamist intellectuals are harshly critical of Turkey's secular intellectuals, whom they fault for trying to do in Turkey what Western intellectuals did in Europe: substitute worldly materialism, in its capitalist or socialist version, for religious values.
Although intellectual debates on the role of Islam attracted widespread interest, they did not provoke the kind of controversy that erupted over the issue of appropriate attire for Muslim women. During the early 1980s, female college students who were determined to demonstrate their commitment to Islam began to cover their heads and necks with large scarves and wear long, shape-concealing overcoats. The appearance of these women in the citadels of Turkish secularism shocked those men and women who tended to perceive such attire as a symbol of the Islamic traditionalism they rejected. Militant secularists persuaded the Higher Education Council to issue a regulation in 1987 forbidding female university students to cover their heads in class. Protests by thousands of religious students and some university professors forced several universities to waive enforcement of the dress code. The issue continued to be seriously divisive in the mid-1990s. Throughout the first half of the 1990s, highly educated, articulate, but religiously pious women have appeared in public dressed in Islamic attire that conceals all but their faces and hands. Other women, especially in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir, have demonstrated against such attire by wearing revealing fashions and Atatürk badges. The issue is discussed and debated in almost every type of forum--artistic, commercial, cultural, economic, political, and religious. For many citizens of Turkey, women's dress has become the issue--at least for the 1990s--that defines whether a Muslim is secularist or religious.
Because of the absence since 1965 of census data on the ethnic background and religious affiliation of Turkish citizens, the size of non-Muslim communities in Turkey in 1995 was difficult to estimate. The 1965 census enumerated about 207,000 Christians, about 169,000 of whom resided in urban areas and about 38,000 in the countryside. The Christians included Armenian, Greek, and Syrian Orthodox; Armenian and Syrian Catholics; and members of various Protestant denominations. The Jewish population in 1965 numbered about 44,000, all but a tiny fraction of whom were urban residents. By 1995 it was estimated that the size of these populations had decreased substantially, the Christians to just under 140,000 and the Jews to about 20,000. The members of these religious minorities are found primarily in the coastal cities and towns, but some live in the mountainous regions of eastern Anatolia near the borders with Armenia and Georgia.
In 1995 members of religious minorities continued to occupy an anomalous position in Turkish society. Non-Muslims remain to some extent second-class citizens, although they generally are not subject to overt discrimination. A disproportionately large segment of the minority population is represented among the wealthy business and professional groups. Proselytizing by non-Muslim religions is strongly discouraged by the government. Under the law, a Muslim man or woman may marry a non-Muslim spouse, but such marriages are infrequent and usually do not entail conversion.
The Syrian Orthodox, or Jacobite, community, which numbered about 50,000 in 1995, ranks as the largest Christian denomination in Turkey. An Arabic-speaking community that uses ancient Aramaic in its liturgy, the Syrian Orthodox historically have lived in villages in the vicinity of Mardin and Midyat in southeastern Turkey. Since the late 1980s, intense fighting in this region between government forces and the PKK has threatened many villages and prompted a migration to local cities and even to Istanbul, where a community of Syrian Orthodox, initially established during the Ottoman era, was estimated to number 10,000 in 1995. The Syrian Orthodox Church has its own head, referred to as a metropolitan. The metropolitan (Timotheos Samuel Aktash in 1995) resides in an ancient mountain monastery near Midyat. Also, an estimated 2,000 Syrian Catholics, whose ancestors converted from the Syrian Orthodox rite, are scattered in small communities in the southeast. Syrian Catholics retain the distinct Syrian Orthodox rite but recognize the spiritual authority of the Roman Catholic pope.
The Armenian Orthodox (or Gregorian) community, with some 35,000 members in 1995, ranks as the second largest Christian denomination in Turkey. In addition, an estimated 7,000 other Armenians belong to an autonomous Orthodox church, to an Armenian Catholic church in union with Rome, or to various Protestant denominations. In 1995 the Armenian Orthodox Church's patriarch, Karekin Bedros Kazandjian, resided in Istanbul. In 1995 the Armenian Orthodox Church maintained more than thirty churches and chapels, seventy-five elementary and middle schools, and two orphanages. Armenian Catholics maintained ten churches in Istanbul, as well as six elementary and middle schools.
The Greek Orthodox Church, the largest Christian church in Turkey as recently as 1960, had fewer than 20,000 members in 1995. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, located in the Fener quarter of Istanbul, is the central church authority for Greek Orthodox Christians in most of Europe and beyond. Because the patriarch's authority extends to all Orthodox believers outside Greece and the Middle East, he is considered the honorary head of the church for communities of Orthodox Christians living in the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. From these communities, the patriarchate in Istanbul receives moral and financial support. The ecumenical patriarch's status has been affected by the continual tension in Turkish-Greek relations. During the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of members of the Greek Orthodox community left Turkey on account of the discrimination or overt hostility they experienced following Greco-Turkish conflicts over the status of Cyprus. The diminution of the community has weakened the patriarchate and undermined its status in its dealings with the Turkish government. Nevertheless, the patriarchate's importance has remained considerable because of its ecumenical and international connections.
Other Christian communities present in Turkey include several small groups affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Melchites (Greek Catholics) and Maronites live among the Arabs in southeast Hatay Province. Although accepted by the Vatican as part of the Roman Catholic Church, Melchites and Maronite Catholics retain their own separate liturgies. Chaldean-rite Catholics live in the Diyarbakir region, while Bulgarian, Greek, and Latin-rite Catholics live in Istanbul and Izmir. The total number of Catholics of various persuasions in early 1995 has been estimated at 25,000.
Since 1948 the Jewish population has decreased steadily. In 1995 the Jewish community, estimated at 18,000 to 20,000, consisted primarily of Sephardic Jews. At least 90 percent of Turkey's Jews live in Istanbul, where a chief rabbi presides. In 1995 the Jewish community maintained one high school and four elementary schools offering limited courses in Hebrew.
Contemporary Turkish society has evolved both as a consequence of and a response to the major socioeconomic changes initiated by the republican government since the early 1920s. A predominantly agrarian society with little industry and high illiteracy rates when the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of World War I, Turkey by the 1990s had become a predominantly urban and industrialized society in which mass public education and the ability to vote for government leaders in competitive elections are regarded as basic rights. Accompanying the changes has been the growth of new classes and interest groups, especially in the large cities, where the demands of entrepreneurs and industrial workers are championed by various political parties. A notable characteristic of many government programs aimed at inducing specific socioeconomic changes, however, has been the penchant of ruling civilian and military elites for implementing policies without consulting those who might be affected and for using force whenever popular resistance is encountered. One consequence of this approach has been the gradual creation of two distinct cultures in Turkey: a secular, elitist culture that defines what is progressive and modern; and a mass culture that continues to be influenced by Islam, whether in its traditional, mystical, modern, or radical interpretations.
Turkey's national political elite is a self-perpetuating group; membership is based on a demonstrated commitment to secularism and the other principles of Atatürk. During the initial years of the republic, the elite was recruited from the Ottoman bureaucracy and military. Its members thus shared a sense that they knew best how to carry out policies that served the interests of the state and country. In addition, most of the early republican elite had been involved with or sympathetic to the pre-World War I Ottoman political parties that had espoused major political and economic reforms. Atatürk himself, for example, had been a member of the Unionist Party while serving as an Ottoman army officer in Macedonia (see The Young Turks, ch. 1). During the 1920s and 1930s, the ruling elite accepted the need for significant, even revolutionary, reforms and generally embraced Atatürk's programs enthusiastically. In effect, service to the country and higher education, rather than wealth per se, became primary qualifications for acceptance into the political elite as early as 1930.
The national political elite essentially ruled Turkey unchallenged for more than thirty years. Beginning in the 1950s, however, the socioeconomic changes resulting from government policies provided numerous and varied opportunities for the accumulation of private capital in finance, commerce, trade, and industry. The emergence of a wealthy business class inevitably led to the development of class-specific political interests and ambitions. Because of this new business elite's experience in entrepreneurial activities rather than the bureaucracy, its members' views differed sharply from those of the established ruling elite, which generally supported state intervention in the economy. Increasing competition between the two elites over appropriate state policies was one of the reasons for the polarization that characterized Turkey's national politics during the 1970s.
A nongovernment professional elite also gradually emerged after 1950, including architects, engineers, lawyers, managers, physicians, and university professors, who were not necessarily unified in their political views. Nevertheless, as a group they tended to resent what they perceived as the patronizing, even authoritarian, political attitudes of the ruling elite. This group's frustration with the political system, emerging at the same time as dissatisfaction within the business elite, highlighted the need for genuine political reform. During the 1970s, some members of the ruling elite recognized this need, but they were unable to enact remedial legislation.
The 1980 military coup symbolized the deep divisions that had emerged within the ruling elite over strategies for dealing with the political demands of diverse and competitive interest groups. The officers and their civilian supporters, who included some factions of the business elite, wanted the state to impose social order through the type of authoritarian methods they believed had worked successfully under Atatürk. They were sufficiently angry with dissenting members of the ruling elite to arrest the most prominent politicians, including two former prime ministers. The coup in effect split the ruling elite into two ideological factions that continue to coexist uneasily in the mid-1990s. One elite group believes in the efficacy of a strong government to maintain social and political stability; the other elite faction believes in accommodating interest group demands that do not threaten the national cohesion of the country and generally supports broadening political pluralism.
By 1995 approximately two-thirds of Turkey's population lived in urban areas, which continued to grow rapidly (see Population Density, Distribution, and Settlement, this ch.). Urbanization and industrialization have helped to create social-class structures that are similar in all large cities (population of more than 100,000) and most smaller ones (population 20,000 to 100,000). Government officials, wealthy businesspeople, and professionals together constitute the urban upper class. The business elite in most cities is very diverse and generally includes industrialists, financiers, large-scale retailers and wholesalers, real estate developers, construction firm owners, transportation company operators, and, in Ankara and Istanbul, owners of commercial publishing and broadcasting companies. The business elite, which constitutes the largest component of the upper class, has been expanding since the early 1980s as a result of government incentives for private investors and entrepreneurs. However, because statistics on personal income in Turkey are neither complete nor reliable, there is no accurate means of determining the composition of the upper class. Political power and education continue to be significant, albeit much less so than before the 1980 coup, as qualifications for upper-class status. The upper class makes up about 10 percent of the total population of all cities.
The urban middle class is larger and more diverse than the upper class. It includes various types of administrators; middle-level bureaucrats and public employees; engineers lacking advanced college degrees; journalists and other writers; managers of industrial enterprises, commercial offices, and social-service centers; owners of small-scale retail establishments and restaurants; technicians; self-employed artisans; professionals; and tradespeople. Education, particularly a college degree, has been key to joining the middle class. Although the middle class was continuing to expand during the early 1980s, most of its members felt threatened by persistently high inflation rates that had eroded their savings and impeded their upward social mobility. In 1995 the middle class was estimated to constitute 20 to 25 percent of the total urban population. It was larger in prosperous cities but smaller in economically depressed areas.
The phenomenal growth of cities since the 1950s has been the result of large-scale migration of lower-class people from the villages; in 1995 more than 60 percent of Turkey's urban population belonged to the lower class. Most villagers who came to the cities in search of work were unable to find affordable housing. Thus, they built temporary shelters on undeveloped land on the outskirts of Ankara and Istanbul and other large cities. These squatter settlements, or gecekondus , soon became permanent neighborhoods, albeit ones that lacked urban amenities such as piped water, electricity, and paved streets. Eventually, some gecekondus were incorporated into the cities and provided with electricity. By 1980 up to 60 percent of the residents of Ankara, Adana, Bursa, Istanbul, and Izmir lived in new gecekondus or in city neighborhoods that had originated as gecekondus . During the 1970s, researchers affiliated with government-funded institutes tried to depict the expanding gecekondus as settlements that facilitated the adaptation of rural migrants to the urban environment. In actuality, all such neighborhoods were urban slums where poverty and its associated social ills remained pervasive in the mid-1990s.
Obtaining work in private manufacturing or state industries is a typical goal of lower-class men because of the steady employment and wages offered. Among industrial workers, there has been a long tradition of group identification and solidarity. By 1975, when more than 79 percent of all industrial workers had been unionized, labor leaders were able to exercise political influence on behalf of legislation protecting workers' rights. This situation changed dramatically following the 1980 coup. The military government forcibly dissolved existing labor unions, arrested prominent labor leaders, and banned strikes. Subsequently, to ensure that unions remained under supervision, the civilian government of Turgut Özal encouraged the formation of tradespeople-artisan guilds. By 1995 these guilds, however, represented only 10 percent of the entire labor force and lacked the political influence of their predecessors (see Human Resources and Trade Unions, ch. 3).
In the prevailing climate of economic and political uncertainty following the coup, several factories ceased production, a situation that meant immediate job and income loss for thousands of workers. Even after the restoration of civilian rule, economic conditions for the lower class did not improve. Up to 25 percent of adult males in the gecekondus were unemployed in the mid-1980s; throughout the first half of the 1990s, the level of industrial unemployment remained at the 10 to 11 percent level. An excess labor supply relative to available industrial jobs has tended to keep wages depressed.
There are more nonindustrial than industrial jobs in the cities, and as many as two-thirds of all lower-class urban families depend on nonindustrial, unskilled work for their livelihood. Such work includes crafts; automotive repair; brick masonry; butchering; carpentry; deliveries; bus and taxi driving; entertainment; equipment operation in bakeries; laundry, machine shop, and dockyard work; home painting and repairs; maintenance of grounds and buildings; personal services in public bathhouses, barbershops, beauty salons, and private homes; operation of small retail shops; service jobs in hotels, institutions, offices, restaurants, and retail establishments; street cleaning and maintenance; street vending of products and services; textile piecework in the home; and various transport and haulage jobs.
In addition to large and small cities, Turkey has scores of semiurban places that officially are classified as towns. A town (kasaba ) is defined as an incorporated settlement with a population between 2,000 and 20,000. Towns generally provide basic economic and political services to the regions in which they are located. The social structure of larger towns is similar to that of the cities. There is an elite composed of government officials, military officers, and a few wealthy landowning, mercantile, and professional families; a middle class made up of administrators, merchants, shopkeepers, soldiers, and teachers; and a lower class consisting of artisans and various categories of workers. Some of these diverse occupational groups may be absent in the smaller towns.
Traditionally, elite status in towns derived from both wealth and family descent. Political and economic influence was exercised for several generations by local landowning families that had intermarried with Ottoman officials sent by the government to administer the towns. The policies introduced by Atatürk during the 1920s and 1930s changed the composition of most town elites, however. Families unable or unwilling to adapt lost influence and power, whereas those families who embraced the new values continued to wield local influence. Since the 1960s, the educated descendants of some members of the traditional landed elite have become governors, mayors, doctors, lawyers, judges, and merchants, as well as large landowners employing modern farm technology and business practices. These individuals also have assumed leadership of the local hierarchies of the political parties.
Until the early 1950s, more than 80 percent of the inhabitants of Turkey lived in villages, which numbered more than 36,000. As defined by the government, a village (koy ) is any settlement with a population of less than 2,000. Although Turkey's rural population has continued to grow, the percentage of the total population living in villages has declined as a result of rural-to-urban migration. In 1970 about 67 percent of the population lived in villages; five years later, this proportion had shrunk to 59 percent. In 1980 more than 54 percent still lived in villages, but by 1985 most people lived in urban areas. In 1995 less than 35 percent of the population lived in villages.
Since the 1950s, agriculture has become increasingly mechanized, and this gradual change has affected land tenure patterns and village society (see Land Tenure, ch. 3). Small landowners and landless families generally have not benefited from this change, and consequently they have been the rural residents most likely to migrate to the cities. In contrast, larger landowners have profited from the new agricultural methods by increasing their holdings and investing their increased wealth in industry. By the early 1980s, the personal and sharecropping relationships between landowners and agricultural laborers and tenants had been replaced by new and impersonal wage relations. This development prompted agricultural wage earners with grievances against landowners to seek advice and relief from labor unions or labor-oriented groups in the towns.
In the 1990s, the extended family network remains the most important social unit in village society, even though most households tend to be composed of nuclear families. The extended family serves a crucial economic function in villages by fostering cooperation among related households by way of informal arrangements concerning shared machinery, shared labor, and even shared cash income. The extended family also is expected to provide support if one of its constituent nuclear households faces an economic, political, or social crisis. An extended family may be composed of a father, his married adult sons, and their children and wives, but usually it is a broader concept embracing several generations headed by one or more senior males who can trace common descent from a male ancestor. In this sense, an extended family is a patrilineage. Although such kin groups lack status as corporate entities in custom or law, they have an important role in defining family members' rights and obligations.
There are important similarities among villages within a given region, as well as differences from one region to the next. In this sense, it is possible to distinguish among villages in three distinct geographic regions: Anatolia, the coastal area, and southern and eastern Turkey.
The family (aile ) is the basic structure of Anatolian village life. The word lacks a single specific meaning in peasant usage, referring instead to the conceptual group of coresidents, whether in a household, lineage, village, or nomadic band. The unit functions as the primary element in any concerted group action. The two most frequent referents of the concept are household and village community; every sedentary (i.e., nonnomadic) villager in the Anatolian countryside belongs to at least these two groups. Consequently, household and village are what the Anatolian Turk means by aile .
The household provides the framework for the most intimate and emotionally important social relations, as well as for most economic activities. The activities of the household, then, form the nucleus of village economic and social life. Household members are expected to work the household's fields cooperatively and reap the harvests that sustain its life. Because household members share an identity in the eyes of the village at large, every member is responsible for the actions of any other member. Wider kinship ties of the extended patrilineal family are also important.
Because of the pervasiveness and significance of kinship groups and relationships defined on the basis of kinship, nonkinship groups in Anatolian villages tend to be few in number and vague in their criteria for membership. Generally, three kinds of voluntary associations can be found in Anatolian villages: religious associations and brotherhoods headed by dervishes, local units of the main political parties, and gossip groups that meet in the guest rooms (misafir odasi ) of well-to-do villagers.
Prior to the 1950s, most Anatolian villagers owned the land they farmed, and within individual villages there were relatively small differences in wealth. Three criteria influenced social rank: ascribed characteristics such as age, sex, and the position of a person in his or her own household, lineage, and kinship network; economic status as indicated by landholding, occupation, and income; and moral stature as demonstrated by piety, religious learning, and moral respectability. However, by 1995 absentee landlordism and large landholdings had become common, and wealth alone tended to be the determining factor in ascribing social status. Thus, resident large landowners often dominated the political, economic, and social life of the villages.
The relationship of wealth to influence and social rank is illustrated by the institution of the guest room. It is estimated that only 10 percent of homes in Anatolian villages have guest rooms because they are very expensive to maintain. Village men gather most evenings in guest rooms and spend much of their time there during the winter months. Regular attendance at a particular guest room implies political and social support of its owner because, by accepting his hospitality, a villager places himself in the owner's debt and acknowledges his superior status.
Every village in Anatolia, as well as elsewhere in Turkey, has an official representative of the central government, the headman (muhtar ), who is responsible to Ankara and the provincial administrators. The headman is elected every two years by villagers (see Provincial and Local Government, ch. 4). The position generally is not considered a prestigious one because most villagers distrust the government. Thus, in Anatolia, it is not unusual to find relatively young men serving as village headmen.
Unlike the traditionally isolated villages of Anatolia, villages in European Turkey and along the Black Sea and Aegean Sea, and to a lesser degree along the Mediterranean Sea, have been exposed to urban influences for several generations. Agriculture tends to be specialized and is generally undertaken in association with fishing and lumber production. Economic links with market towns historically have been very important. Although the extended family plays a significant role throughout a villager's life, economic considerations rather than kinship tend to shape social relations. The commercial nature of these villages has resulted in the substitution of nonkinship roles--such as employer and employee, buyer and seller, and landlord and tenant--for most interactions outside the home.
In coastal villages, the elite is primarily a landed group. Large landowners, by providing employment and--to a lesser degree--land to their laborers and tenants, and by serving as an economic link between the village and urban markets, acquire influence and power. Their personal contact with the laborers and tenants on their lands, however, has lessened since the 1950s. By the 1990s, urban businesspeople with both the resources and the inclination to serve as middlemen between village production and city markets generally wielded as much influence as local large landowners. Businesspeople's influence continues to expand as a result of increasing crop specialization and market dependency.
The villages of southeastern Turkey are predominantly Arab and Kurdish. Tribal organization--the grouping of several patrilineages claiming a common historical ancestor--remains important in some Kurdish villages. However, the political autonomy once enjoyed by tribal leaders was usurped by the central government during the 1920s and 1930s. Tribal leaders who retain local influence do so because they are large landowners. Large landholdings are typical of the region. In most villages, one or two families own most of the arable land and pasturage; the remainder is divided into small plots owned by several families. Most of the small landowners have holdings fit only for subsistence agriculture. From 10 to 50 percent of all families may be landless. Villagers who do not own land work as agricultural laborers or herders for the large landlords. The poverty of most villagers compels them to enter into dependent economic, political, and social relations with the wealthier landlords.
The fighting between the PKK and the government in southeastern Turkey since 1984 has disrupted life in many villages. About 850 Kurdish villages have been uprooted by the government and their inhabitants forcibly removed to western Anatolia. Thousands of other villagers have migrated to cities to escape the incessant fighting. The migrants have included all types of villagers: the landless, small landowners, and large landlords. The long-term effects of these changes were difficult to assess in the mid-1990s.
Prior to the establishment of the republic, matters of personal status, including marriage, divorce, and inheritance, were regulated by Islamic law and influenced by cultural customs that had evolved during several centuries of Ottoman rule. Atatürk and his associates regarded both religious rules and traditional cultural practices as hindrances to the creation of their shared vision of a modern society. In fact, their societal ideal for Turkey was the pattern of personal and family relations that prevailed among the educated upper classes of Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Consequently, many policies enacted during the early republican period were designed explicitly to remold Turkish society according to an urban European model. One of the most significant measures on behalf of this goal was the abolition of Islamic law. In 1926 a new civil code derived from Swiss civil laws replaced the religious legal system. The disestablishment of Islam as the state religion and other measures aimed at religion reduced the influence of Islam in life-cycle rituals.
The social changes induced by state policies after 1923 failed to create a new Turkish culture. Instead, at least two distinct cultures had emerged in Turkey by the 1950s. One was an elite culture characterized by secular values and patterns of family and gender relationships similar to those found in much of urban, middle-class Europe. The majority popular culture, in contrast, was influenced by a mélange of secular ideas learned in the compulsory state education system (through middle school), religious values learned within the family and from community organizations such as the mosques, and traditional views about the appropriate public role of the sexes.
<"47.htm">The Extended Family
<"49.htm">The Status of Women
As part of their rejection of the symbols of Islam, Atatürk and his associates outlawed traditional marriage practices. The 1926 civil code mandated that all marriages be registered with civil authorities. Marriages contracted before a member of the religious establishment henceforth were not recognized as lawful unions, and the children of such unions were considered illegitimate. The male prerogative to have up to four wives simultaneously, enshrined in Islamic law, was prohibited. Marriage between a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man, a practice forbidden under Islamic law, became legal.
Traditionally, marriage has been--and frequently continues to be--a contract negotiated and executed by the families of the betrothed and blessed by a member of the religious establishment. Representatives of the bride and groom negotiate the contract, which stipulates such terms as the size and nature of the bride-price paid by the family of the groom to the family of the bride and whatever conditions of conjugal life are mutually agreeable. After a series of meetings between the two families, an exchange of gifts, and the display of the trousseau, the marriage is formalized at a ceremony presided over by a religious official. The civil code requires only that the bride and groom, as individuals, swear vows before two witnesses and a representative of the state who registers the union. Despite the legal necessity for civil marriage, traditional courtship and marriage practices persist. Many couples, especially among the lower classes in cities and in rural areas, hold two ceremonies, a religious one to satisfy their families and a civil one to entitle them to government social benefits, as well as to confer legitimacy on future children.
Despite government attempts to outlaw the bride-price, during the 1990s this traditional prenuptial practice has continued in both urban and rural areas. The payment of the bride-price involves considerable expenditures and often requires financial cooperation from a number of kinfolk. The exact amount and the terms of payment form a part of the premarital negotiations. For example, the families sometimes agree to postpone payment of the full bride-price until after the wedding, stipulating that the full amount must be paid in the event of divorce, a practice that provides some protection for the bride if the match subsequently proves incompatible. Ordinarily the amount of the bride-price is directly related to the status of the families involved. However, the amount tends to be less if the two families have a close blood relationship. For these reasons, among others, most rural and urban families continue to prefer that their children marry closely related kin--first or second cousins.
Divorce also is affected by the civil code. Under Islamic law, a man can initiate divorce easily and is not required to cite any reasons; the grounds on which a woman can seek divorce, however, are tightly restricted, and she is obligated to prove fault on her husband's part. Under the civil code, divorce, like marriage, is not recognized as legitimate unless registered with civil authorities. The code permits either partner to initiate divorce proceedings, but the state, which claims an interest in maintaining marriage unions, especially in cases involving children, decides whether to grant a request for divorce.
Although a majority of households in Turkey are nuclear family units, the larger extended family continues to play an important social role in the lives of most individuals. The extended family always includes all relatives by blood or marriage through an individual's paternal grandfather, or sometimes, great-grandfather. In addition, many individuals, especially those of middle-class and elite social status, consider the parents and siblings of their own mother to be part of the extended family. In general, the extended family functions as an emotional support network during life-cycle events such as birth, marriage, and death, or during major family crises. It often functions as an economic support network by providing loans for exceptional personal expenses, finding employment for new graduates, and caring for indigent members who are elderly or disabled. In urban areas, the extended family--especially fathers and sons or two or more brothers--can serve as a means for the formation of business partnerships. In rural areas, members of an extended family may work together to farm large acreages or raise large herds of sheep.
By expressing approval or disapproval of its members' social behavior, the extended family also functions as an effective mechanism of social control. Every individual is expected to comport himself or herself in ways that do not bring dishonor to the family. There are many types of behavior that might bring shame to a family, but sexual promiscuity, especially among women, is considered the most serious offense. Regardless of class, women are expected to avoid any activity that might raise suspicions about their sexual conduct. Thus, unmarried females are expected to abstain from all sexual activity before marriage, and married women are expected to remain faithful to their husbands. Female adultery carries heavy social sanctions; among the lower classes in cities and in villages, it still is socially--albeit not legally--acceptable for a betrayed husband to redeem his family's honor by killing his adulterous wife.
The unequal burden placed upon women to uphold family honor highlights the ambiguous role of women in society. Official state ideology extols the equality of men and women. Intellectually, men tend to accept women as equals, and elite women have been able to achieve high positions in professional careers since the 1960s. Since the mid-1980s, women also have been active in politics; one, Tansu Çiller, became prime minister in 1993. Nevertheless, men traditionally view women as emotionally and physically inferior and thus in need of male protection, which in practice means male control. Both men and women traditionally have judged a woman's social status not on the basis of her personal accomplishments but by the number of sons she has borne. Thus, women--like their husbands--customarily have prized boys over girls. Mothers have tended to socialize their sons and daughters differently, rearing boys to be assertive and girls to be obedient and passive. The relationship between a mother and a son tends to be warm and intimate throughout life.
The traditional status of women continues to be established during the early years of marriage for most lower-middle-class and lower-class women. Within the extended family, a new bride tends to be under the critical surveillance of her husband's relatives, especially his mother. Whether the new couple lives in a separate household--this often is a requirement of the bride-price--or resides temporarily in the home of the groom's parents, the bride is isolated from her own family and friends and is expected to learn from her mother-in-law how to care for her husband. Her situation is recognized in the language: the expression gelinlik etmek , used to refer to the status of a new bride, means to be "on call." Although a bride may establish a close personal relationship with her mother-in-law, especially if the latter is also her aunt, friction and tension are more common. In such cases, the mother-in-law expects her son to side with her against his wife. A new bride only gains status and security within a traditional extended family after she has produced a son.
The status of a wife changes as she matures because within all extended families, whether traditional or modern, considerable respect is accorded to age. Younger family members are expected to show respect toward their elders regardless of their gender. Respect has many dimensions, but usually it means not speaking in the presence of one's elders unless requested, and refraining in their presence from arguing, smoking, or behaving in a casual way. Thus, a woman whose children are nearly grown is accorded respect and does not expect to be harassed by her mother-in-law. The authority of a mature wife and her opinions in family matters are important. If she also has employment outside the home, her influence increases. The migration of husbands to cities or foreign countries in search of work also changes the role of married women within families. Left at home to rear the children on remittances sent by her spouse, the wife often is forced to assume many of the daily decision-making roles previously filled by her husband. In addition, since the late 1960s, thousands of migrant workers have sent for their wives and children to join them in the foreign countries where they are employed. These prolonged residences abroad have tended to alter traditional extended-family relationships.
Male-female relations remain an area of some tension in Turkish society. The conflict between traditional and modern values and between patterns of socialization within the family and at school affect the social relationships that both men and women establish. Even among modernized urban dwellers, family loyalty, family obligations, and family honor remain strong considerations. Thus, even though Turks professing to have modern values may define the "ideal" family as one in which equality exists between spouses, wives who actually attempt to establish themselves as equal partners usually meet with resistance from their husbands. Among more traditional families, both men and women generally expect husbands to be dominant, especially with respect to matters involving household interactions with the public; wives are expected to be obedient. Even in traditional families, however, wives may not accept passive roles, and their efforts to assert themselves can come up against strong disapproval.
The conflicting tensions of traditional and modern values also influence social relations outside the family. The mass media and modern education popularize ideas such as social equality, openness between spouses, romantic love, and platonic friendships between the sexes, concepts that men and women with traditional values find objectionable but that their adolescent children may find appealing. Furthermore, whereas some young women have been readopting headscarves and modest dress to demonstrate their commitment to Islam, others have been attracted to the latest Western fashions in clothes and cosmetics, which traditionalists perceive as evidence of a general decline in female morality.
Men and women generally constitute largely separate subsocieties, each with its own values, attitudes, and perceptions of the other. Even among modernized urbanites, gender roles constrain social relations. For example, friendships between men and women who are unrelated generally are not acceptable. Among elite youth, men and women do meet socially and dating is fashionable, but parents try to monitor such relationships and discourage their daughters from becoming involved with any man unless marriage is contemplated. Among more traditional families, dating would ruin the reputation of a young woman and dishonor her family.
Traditional views of gender roles and relations have persisted in tandem with changes in the status of women both within and outside the family. These changes began during the latter years of the Ottoman Empire, when women were given opportunities to work as teachers, clerks, and industrial workers. Change accelerated during the early republican era. The 1926 civil code granted women unprecedented legal rights, and in 1934 they received the right to vote and to stand for election. Since the 1950s, their participation in the labor force, the professions, and in politics has increased steadily but unevenly. By 1991 women made up 18 percent of the total urban labor force. But not all changes have resulted in improved conditions. In some instances, especially among rural and newly urbanized women, changes have disturbed a traditional order that has provided meaningful, guaranteed roles for women without introducing new ones.
During the 1950s, rural women who migrated to the urban gecekondus generally found work as maids in private homes. Since the 1960s, employment opportunities for women in industry, especially light manufacturing, have been expanding. By 1991, the most recent year for which detailed statistics are available, almost 20 percent of employees in manufacturing were women. Nevertheless, a majority of women in the gecekondus do not work outside the home. Most urban working-class women are single and hold jobs for less than five years; they tend to leave paid employment when they get married. While working and contributing to family income, women enjoy enhanced status and respect.
Urban middle-class and upper-middle-class women tend to have more education than working-class women and generally are employed in teaching, health care, and clerical work. Since 1980 more than one-third of all bank clerks have been women. Upper-class women tend to work in the prestigious professions, such as law, medicine, and university teaching. On average about 18 percent of all professionals in Turkey were women in 1991; they were concentrated in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and a few other large urban centers.
In 1995 the status of women in Turkey remained a multifaceted, complex issue. Although the government guarantees women equal work and pay opportunities, the traditional value system elevates gender segregation in the workplace and other public spaces as a social ideal. Even urban, educated, professional women may encounter the persistence of traditional, religiously colored values about gender roles among their putatively modern, secular husbands.
The contemporary Turkish education system was established in 1924 after Atatürk closed the religious schools, set up new secular schools, and made elementary school attendance compulsory. It was many years before the country had the educational infrastructure to provide universal primary education, but since the early 1980s almost all children between the ages of six and ten have been enrolled in school. The most recent data on literacy (see <"http://worldfacts.us/Turkey..html">Updated population figures for Turkey) put Turkey's overall adult literacy rate around 86.5 percent. This statistic broke down as 94.3 percent literacy among males aged fifteen and over, and 78.7 percent among females in that age-group.
The public education system provides for five stages of education: preschool, primary school, middle school, high school, and university. Noncompulsory preschool programs established in 1953 offer education to children between the ages of four and six. The demand for preschool education has been limited, apparently because of parents' unwillingness to entrust the education of small children to institutions outside the family. Preschool programs are most common in large cities, where, since the 1980s, they have been increasing in popularity and in numbers. Primary education is coeducational as well as compulsory, and encompasses a five-year program for ages six to eleven. Attendance at the country's estimated 46,000 primary schools was reckoned at 97 percent for the 1994-95 school year. Education officials believe school attendance is lower in villages than in urban areas because it is easier for parents to keep older children, especially girls, at home.
The two-year middle-school program, for ages twelve to fourteen, also is coeducational and has been compulsory since 1972. However, authorities generally do not enforce middle-school attendance, especially in rural areas, where middle schools are few in number and most students must travel long distances to attend. The Ministry of National Education does not publish data on middle-school attendance, but overall it probably does not exceed 60 percent of the relevant age-group. To encourage higher levels of attendance, a 1983 law prohibited the employment of youths younger than fourteen. Middle-school graduation is a prerequisite to access to general, vocational, and technical high schools, and is deemed advantageous for admission to many vocational training programs.
Secondary school education is not compulsory but is free at all of the country's estimated 1,300 public high schools. The Ministry of National Education supervises the high schools, which are divided into lycée (general) and vocational schools. The lycées are coeducational and offer three-year college preparatory programs. A select number of lycées in the largest cities are bilingual, teaching classes in Turkish and either English, French, or German. Twelve lycées are open to students from the three legally recognized minorities--Armenians, Greeks, and Jews--and teach classes on some subjects in Armenian or Greek. In contrast, many of the vocational high schools offer four-year programs. Vocational high schools include technical training schools for men; domestic science schools for women; teacher-training schools; auxiliary health care, commercial, and agricultural schools; Muslim teacher-training schools; and other specialized institutions. The Muslim teacher-training schools, called imam hatip okullari , have expanded dramatically since the late 1970s. During the early 1990s, they numbered about 350 and enrolled 10 percent of all high school students. Except for the emphasis on religious subjects, the curriculum of the imam hatip okullari resembles that of the lycées rather than the vocational schools.
Higher education is available at several hundred institutions, including professional schools and academies, institutes, and conservatories, but primarily at the twenty-seven public universities, which enrolled more than 450,000 students in 1993-94. In the mid-1980s, when Özal was prime minister, his government authorized Turkey's first private university, Bilkent, in Ankara. The university law of 1946 granted academic autonomy to Turkey's universities. However, government policies since the 1980 coup, especially a 1981 law on higher education, have institutionalized extensive government interference in university affairs. The military leaders believed that the universities had been the center of political ideas they disliked and perceived as harmful to Turkey's stability. They thus sought through the 1981 higher education law and applicable provisions of the 1982 constitution to introduce both structural and curricular changes at the universities. For example, the constitution stipulates that the president of the republic may appoint university rectors, establishes the government's right to found new universities, and assigns duties to the Council of Higher Education (Yuksek Ögretim Kurumu--YÖK). The higher education law prohibits all teachers and matriculated students from belonging to or working for a political party and requires curricular standardization at all universities.
The YÖK consists of twenty-five members, of whom eight are appointed directly by the president, eight by the Interuniversity Council, six by the Council of Ministers, two by the Ministry of National Education, and one by the General Staff of the armed forces. The chair of the YÖK is appointed by the president of the republic. The YÖK's powers include recommending or appointing rectors, deans, and professors; selecting and assigning students; and planning new universities. The YÖK also has authority to transfer faculty members from one university to another. The YÖK effectively has reduced the faculty senates, which prior to 1980 had authority to enact academic regulations, to mere advisory bodies.
Education has continued to serve as an important means of upward social mobility. Annually since at least 1975, the number of students applying for university admission has exceeded the number of available spaces. To qualify for admission, every applicant must pass the nationwide university entrance exam, which is designed, administered, and evaluated by the Center for Selection and Placement of Students. During the early 1990s, more than 100,000 applicants sat for the entrance exam each year. Scoring is based on a complicated system that assures that the number who pass does not exceed the number of available spaces. Even if an applicant qualifies for admission, the individual's actual score determines whether he or she may study a chosen discipline or must take up a less preferred one.
In addition to the five levels of education described above, the system provides special education for some children with disabilities, as well as a wide range of adult education and vocational programs. Labor specialists consistently have cited inadequate skills as a key factor in Turkey's high level of unemployment, which during the early 1990s averaged 10 percent annually. In 1995 half of the urban unemployed had only a primary education, and an estimated 40 percent of pupils dropped out of school upon completing this level of education. Since 1980 the Ministry of National Education has conducted major literacy campaigns aimed at the population between ages fourteen and forty-four, with emphasis on women, residents of the urban gecekondus , and agricultural workers. The ministry also has provided primary, middle school, and secondary equivalency program courses to upgrade education levels. In addition, through its Directorate of Apprenticeship and Nonformal Education, the ministry provides nonformal vocational training to people lacking required skills, such as school dropouts, seasonal agricultural workers, and people in the urban informal sector.
The World Bank, which has provided funds for industrial training programs since the early 1970s, has been a major source of support for nonformal vocational training programs. These programs are intended to provide skilled personnel above and beyond the supply from the formal vocational education system, which was projected to meet 86 percent of the estimated industrial demand for skilled and semiskilled workers through 1995. Government plans have provided for a major expansion of the nonformal vocational training system; 650,000 additional people are expected to receive training in employment-related trades, including 150,000 to be trained in industrial skills during 1994 and 1995. Although the government program was expected to improve the quality and availability of skill education in less-developed regions such as eastern Turkey, the intense fighting there since 1991 has disrupted training.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress
Health care and related social welfare activities in the 1990s remain the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. Legislation has directed and authorized the ministry to provide medical care and preventive health services, train health personnel, make preservice and in-service training available, establish and operate hospitals and other health care centers, supervise private health facilities, regulate the price of medical drugs, and control drug production and all pharmacies. In addition, the ministry supervises all medical and health care personnel in the public sector.
Availability of health care in the mid-1990s is significantly better than it was twenty years earlier, but its quality remains uneven. Medical facilities are concentrated in the cities and larger towns, leaving most rural areas without adequate access to medical care. This situation is especially acute in eastern Anatolia, where medical care is generally available only in the provincial capitals. The salaries paid to state-employed physicians are low compared with what doctors in private practice earn. Consequently, most Turkish physicians prefer to work in the more highly developed urban centers or even to emigrate.
The overall ratio of inhabitants to physicians has continued to improve significantly. Whereas there was one physician for every 2,860 individuals in 1965, that ratio improved to one to 1,755 in 1976, one to 1,391 in 1985, and an estimated one to 1,200 in 1995. From 1977 to 1995, the number of all health care facilities--hospitals, health centers, clinics, and dispensaries--rose from 7,944 to 12,500. Simultaneously, the number of available hospital beds increased even more rapidly than the rate of population growth; the ratio was one bed per 400 citizens in 1995.
Turkey has achieved progress in controlling various debilitating and crippling diseases and in treating major infectious diseases. The incidence of measles, pertussis, typhoid fever, and diphtheria all declined dramatically between 1969 and 1994. The greater availability of potable water in both urban and rural areas has contributed to a general fall in the former prevalence of water-borne illnesses, especially of diarrhea among children and infants. Infant mortality, which at 120 per 1,000 live births in 1980 was among the highest rates worldwide, had declined to fifty-five per 1,000 live births by 1992. Nevertheless, this rate was still very high by European standards, being six times the rate of neighboring Greece, which had an infant mortality rate of nine per 1,000 live births.
Turkey had reported sixteen cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) to the World Health Organization in the first nine months of 1994. The rate of AIDS cases per 100,000 population was 0.1 for both 1992 and 1993, with twenty-nine cases reported in 1992 and thirty in 1993.
In the early 1990s, the most important underwriters of social security plans were the Government Employees' Retirement Fund, the Social Insurance Institution, and the Social Insurance Institution for the Self-Employed. In 1995 at least 15 percent of the working population participated in the social welfare system. If the agricultural sector is excluded, this percentage rises to 40 percent. Less than 1 percent of agricultural workers were part of the social security system in 1995, but the government has made efforts for at least a decade to increase their participation. Employers pay insurance premiums to cover work-related injuries, occupational diseases, and maternity leave. Both employers and employees contribute specified proportions to cover premiums for illness, disability, retirement, and death benefits. Thus, in these and other instances, Turkey is moving toward a more Westernized approach to socioeconomic, educational, and health matters, and is seeking to lay a firmer basis for participation in the EU.
THE TURKISH ECONOMY is being transformed in the 1990s from a state-led to a market-oriented economy. As in most economies undergoing market reforms, the process of change has caused severe internal dislocations. External economic "shocks" such as the Persian Gulf War of 1991 and the resulting United Nations (UN) embargo on Iraq have complicated the transition.
The Turkish economy's ongoing and turbulent reorientation has left the economy a study in contrasts. Modern industries coexist with pockets of subsistence agriculture. The major cities of western Anatolia are cosmopolitan centers of industry, finance, and trade, whereas the eastern part of the country is relatively underdeveloped. Several decades of state planning followed by economic liberalization have made industry Turkey's leading economic sector, even as most Turks continue to work on farms. Industry has undergone a fairly rapid transformation as a consequence of the far-reaching market reforms implemented in the 1980s and early 1990s. Despite the reforms, however, public enterprises continue to dominate raw-materials processing and the manufacture of heavy industrial and military goods. The smaller firms that dominate the private sector produce intermediate and consumer goods for domestic and foreign markets. The services sector is perhaps the most diverse, embracing large export-oriented marketing groups and world-scale banks as well as small shops and individual domestic workers.
To a large extent, the last 200 years in Turkey have been marked by its rulers' attempts to transform it into a modern European industrial nation. The Ottoman Empire encountered serious economic problems beginning in the eighteenth century with the imposition of unequal treaties, the capitulations (see Glossary), which affected trade and taxation. The tanzimat (reorganization) reforms of 1839-78, an important component of which was the reorientation of the economy toward development of an indigenous industrial base, led to deepening indebtedness to Western imperial powers by the end of the nineteenth century. This dependence on the West, which was seen as one of the main causes of Turkey's "backwardness," created the context for the economic policy of the new republic formed in 1923. The other important influence on the new leaders of the republic was the example of state planning in the Soviet Union. Given these influences, state planning was the route Turkey's new leaders took to modernize the country.
From the 1930s until 1980, the state pursued import-substitution industrialization by means of public enterprises and development planning. This policy created a mixed economy in which industrial development was rapid. However, during the post-World War II period the drawbacks of excessive state intervention became ever more apparent to policy makers and the public. State enterprises, which came to account for about 40 percent of manufacturing by 1980, were often overstaffed and inefficient; their losses were a significant drain on the government budget. State planning targets were often excessively ambitious, yet they neglected such essential sectors as agriculture. Concentration on import substitution deemphasized exports, resulting in chronic trade deficits and a pattern in which periods of rapid growth, financed in part by foreign borrowing, led to balance of payments crises that necessitated austerity programs.
The rapid transition from an agricultural to an industrial society also produced distortions in the country's labor markets and led to unequal income distribution. As was the case in most developing countries, there was a high birth rate, which contributed to unemployment in the postwar period by causing the labor force to grow rapidly. In addition, the modernization of agriculture tended to make small farms economically nonviable. As a result, many rural people migrated to urban areas. Those who left farming, however, often lacked skills needed in modern industry and could find employment only in the informal sector of the urban economy. Meanwhile, industrial enterprises became more capital intensive, which increased productivity but reduced the demand for unskilled labor. At the same time, firms had trouble recruiting skilled employees.
In January 1980, the Turkish government undertook a major reform program to open the Turkish economy to international markets. Leading the reform was Turgut Özal, then deputy prime minister and minister for economic affairs. Özal became prime minister in 1983, following a three-year military regime, and served as president from 1989 until his death in 1993. Özal's reform program included a reduced state role in the economy, a realistic exchange rate and realistic monetary policies, cutbacks on subsidies and price controls, and encouragement of exports and foreign direct investment. During its early years, the liberalization program achieved considerable success in reducing external deficits and restoring economic growth. Despite significant foreign direct investment during the 1980s and early 1990s, however, Turkey's balance of payments remained burdened by an external debt of more than US$65 billion at the end of 1993. A balance of payments crisis occurred in 1994 in the aftermath of a domestic political crisis in the wake of deep divisions within the administration over economic policy and a sharp decrease in exports to Turkey's beleaguered neighbors, Iraq and Iran. This situation led to a steep fall in the Turkish lira (TL; for value of the lira--see Glossary).
The success of the Özal program was predicated on developing satisfactory relationships with the country's economic partners and continued access to export markets. Rapid development required large capital imports because domestic savings were insufficient for needed investments. Foreign investors, attracted by Turkey's great economic potential and increasingly liberal economic policies, made major commitments to infrastructure projects during the mid-1980s. However, continued high inflation, as well as memories of the political instability of the late 1970s, caused investors to hesitate. These insecurities were heightened after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the rise of strong Islamist (sometimes seen as fundamentalist) parties in the early 1990s, and persistent macroeconomic problems.
Whatever short-term difficulties Turkey faces, most observers believe the country's long-term economic prospects are good. Mining and agriculture provide raw materials for industry, and the growing and resourceful population provides abundant labor. Turkey is one of the few countries that is self-sufficient in food; indeed it can export food to European and Middle Eastern markets. Economic reforms have led to increases in exports of processed foods, textiles, motor vehicles, and consumer durables. Considerable investments in tourism, the revitalization of banking, and upgraded transportation facilities should allow Turkey to compete in the international services market in the 1990s.
Turkey has made great strides toward building close economic ties with Europe, and Turkey's leaders have promoted the country as a vital link between the industrial economies of Europe and the underdeveloped economies of the Middle East and Central Asia. On several fronts, however, Turkey suffered a number of setbacks in the early 1990s. A critical one was the embargo on Iraq. Because of it, Turkey lost a huge export market as well as fees for allowing Iraqi oil to pass through a pipeline on Turkish territory. In addition, Iran, a major trading partner in the 1980s, reoriented its trade directly with Europe and Asia in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Early expectations for commerce with the Central Asian countries have gone unfulfilled because of the economic and social dislocations they have suffered in breaking away from the Soviet Union. Worst of all, Turkey's political relations with Europe have deteriorated, mainly because of human rights abuses of its Kurdish population and increasing intolerance in Europe of Turkish immigrants. As a result, Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU--see Glossary) appeared increasingly unlikely to happen as targeted in 1995, despite its having been an associate member since 1963 of the EU's predecessor body, the European Community (EC--see Glossary), and having applied for full membership in 1987.
At the time of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, the Turkish economy was underdeveloped: agriculture depended on outmoded techniques and poor-quality livestock, and the few factories producing basic products such as sugar and flour were under foreign control. Between 1923 and 1985, the economy grew at an average annual rate of 6 percent. In large part as a result of government policies, a backward economy developed into a complex economic system producing a wide range of agricultural, industrial, and service products for both domestic and export markets.
At the birth of the republic, Turkey's industrial base was weak because Ottoman industries had been undermined by the capitulations. World War I and the War of Independence (1919-22) also had extensively disrupted the Turkish economy. The loss of Ottoman territories, for example, cut off Anatolia from traditional markets. Agricultural output--the source of income for most of the population--had dropped sharply as peasants went to war. Even the production of wheat, Turkey's main crop, was insufficient to meet domestic demand. In addition, massacres and the emigration of Greeks, Armenians, and Jews, who had dominated urban economic life, caused a shortage of skilled laborers and entrepreneurs.
Turkey's economy recovered remarkably once hostilities ceased. From 1923 to 1926, agricultural output rose by 87 percent, as agricultural production returned to prewar levels. Industry and services grew at more than 9 percent per year from 1923 to 1929; however, their share of the economy remained quite low at the end of the decade. By 1930, as a result of the world depression, external markets for Turkish agricultural exports had collapsed, causing a sharp decline in national income. The government stepped in during the early 1930s to promote economic recovery, following a doctrine known as etatism (see Glossary). Growth slowed during the worst years of the depression but between 1935 and 1939 reached 6 percent per year. During the 1940s, the economy stagnated, in large part because maintaining armed neutrality during World War II increased the country's military expenditures while almost entirely curtailing foreign trade.
After 1950 the country suffered economic disruptions about once a decade; the most serious crisis occurred in the late 1970s. In each case, an industry-led period of rapid expansion, marked by a sharp increase in exports, resulted in a balance of payments crisis. Devaluations of the Turkish lira and austerity programs designed to dampen domestic demand for foreign goods were implemented in accordance with International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) guidelines. These measures usually led to sufficient improvement in the country's external accounts to make possible the resumption of loans to Turkey by foreign creditors. Although the military interventions of 1960 and 1971 were prompted in part by economic difficulties, after each intervention Turkish politicians boosted government spending, causing the economy to overheat. In the absence of serious structural reforms, Turkey ran chronic current account deficits usually financed by external borrowing that made the country's external debt rise from decade to decade, reaching by 1980 about US$16.2 billion, or more than one-quarter of annual gross domestic product (GDP--see Glossary). Debt-servicing costs in that year equaled 33 percent of exports of goods and services.
By the late 1970s, Turkey's economy had perhaps reached its worst crisis since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish authorities had failed to take sufficient measures to adjust to the effects of the sharp increase in world oil prices in 1973-74 and had financed the resulting deficits with short-term loans from foreign lenders. By 1979 inflation had reached triple-digit levels, unemployment had risen to about 15 percent, industry was using only half its capacity, and the government was unable to pay even the interest on foreign loans. It seemed that Turkey would be able to sustain crisis-free development only if major changes were made in the government's import-substitution approach to development. Many observers doubted the ability of Turkish politicians to carry out the needed reforms.
In January 1980, the government of Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel (who had served as prime minister 1965-71, 1975-78, and 1979-80) began implementing a far-reaching reform program designed by then Deputy Prime Minister Turgut Özal to shift Turkey's economy toward export-led growth.
The Özal strategy called for import-substitution policies to be replaced with policies designed to encourage exports that could finance imports, giving Turkey a chance to break out of the postwar pattern of alternating periods of rapid growth and deflation. With this strategy, planners hoped Turkey could experience export-led growth over the long run. The government pursued these goals by means of a comprehensive package: devaluation of the Turkish lira and institution of flexible exchange rates, maintenance of positive real interest rates and tight control of the money supply and credit, elimination of most subsidies and the freeing of prices charged by state enterprises, reform of the tax system, and encouragement of foreign investment. In July 1982, when Özal left office, many of his reforms were placed on hold. Starting in November 1983, however, when he again became prime minister, he was able to extend the liberalization program.
The liberalization program overcame the balance of payments crisis, reestablished Turkey's ability to borrow in international capital markets, and led to renewed economic growth. Merchandise exports grew from US$2.3 billion in 1979 to US$8.3 billion in 1985. Merchandise import growth in the same period--from US$4.8 billion to US$11.2 billion--did not keep pace with export growth and proportionately narrowed the trade deficit, although the deficit level stabilized at around US$2.5 billion. Özal's policies had a particularly positive impact on the services account of the current account. Despite a jump in interest payments, from US$200 million in 1979 to US$1.4 billion in 1985, the services account accumulated a growing surplus during this period. Expanding tourist receipts and pipeline fees from Iraq were the main reasons for this improvement. Stabilizing the current account helped restore creditworthiness on international capital markets. Foreign investment, which had been negligible in the 1970s, now started to grow, although it remained modest in the mid-1980s. Also, Turkey was able to borrow on the international market, whereas in the late 1970s it could only seek assistance from the IMF and other official creditors.
The reduction in public expenditures, which was at the heart of the stabilization program, slowed the economy sharply in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Real gross national product (GNP--see Glossary) declined 1.5 percent in 1979 and 1.3 percent in 1980. The manufacturing and services sectors felt much of the impact of this drop in income, with the manufacturing sector operating at close to 50 percent of total capacity. As the external-payments constraint eased, the economy bounced back sharply. Between 1981 and 1985, real GNP grew 3 percent per year, led by growth in the manufacturing sector. With tight controls on workers' earnings and activities, the industrial sector began drawing on unused industrial capacity and raised output by an average rate of 9.1 percent per year between 1981 and 1985. The devaluation of the lira also helped make Turkey more economically competitive. As a result, exports of manufactures increased by an average rate of 45 percent per annum during this period.
The rapid resurgence of growth and the improvement in the balance of payments were insufficient to overcome unemployment and inflation, which remained serious problems. The official jobless rate fell from 15 percent in 1979 to 11 percent in 1980, but, partly because of the rapid growth of the labor force, unemployment rose again, to 13 percent in 1985. Inflation fell to about 25 percent in the 1981-82 period, but it climbed again, to more than 30 percent in 1983 and more than 40 percent in 1984. Although inflation eased somewhat in 1985 and 1986, it remained one of the primary problems facing economic policy makers.
Turkey benefited economically from the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). Both Iran and Iraq became major trading partners, and Turkish business supplied both combatants, encouraged by government export credits. With limited access to the Persian Gulf, Iraq also came to depend heavily on Turkey for export routes for its crude oil. Iraq had financed two pipelines located next to one another from its northern Kirkuk oilfields to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Çeyhan, slightly northwest of Iskenderun. The capacity of the pipelines totaled around 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd). Not only did Turkey obtain part of its domestic supplies from the pipeline, but it was paid a sizable entrepôt fee. Some sources have estimated this fee at US$300 million to US$500 million.
Turkey's economy was battered by the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The UN embargo on Iraq required the ending of oil exports through the Çeyhan pipelines, resulting in the loss of the pipeline fees. In addition, the economy may have lost as much as US$3 billion in trade with Iraq. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) moved to compensate Turkey for these losses, however, and by 1992 the economy again began to grow rapidly.
The Turkish economy again was plunged into crisis in 1994. The central government's moves in 1992 and 1993 to grant large salary increases to civil servants and to increase transfers to state enterprises enlarged the public-sector borrowing requirement to a record 17 percent of GDP in 1993. This high government spending sharply boosted domestic demand's rate of growth to 6.4 percent in 1992 and 7.6 percent in 1993. In turn, inflation rates went up, with the annual rate peaking at 73 percent in mid-1993. The resulting rise in the real exchange rate translated into increased imports and slowed the expansion of exports. The trade deficit rose in 1993 to US$14 billion, while the current account deficit reached US$6.3 billion, or 5.3 percent of GDP.
Turkey's impressive economic performance in the 1980s won high marks from Wall Street's credit-rating agencies. In 1992 and 1993, the government used these ratings to attract funds to cover its budget deficits. International bond issues over this period amounted to US$7.5 billion. These capital flows helped maintain the overvalued exchange rate. In a market economy, a high level of government borrowing should translate into higher domestic interest rates and even possibly "crowd out" private-sector borrowers, thereby eventually slowing economic growth. But the government's foreign borrowing took the pressure off domestic interest rates and actually spurred more private-sector borrowing in an already overheated economy. Sensing an easy profit opportunity during this period, commercial banks borrowed at world interest rates and lent at Turkey's higher domestic rates without fear of a depreciating currency. As a result, Turkey's foreign short-term debt rose sharply. External and internal confidence in the government's ability to manage the impending balance of payments crisis waned, compounding economic difficulties.
Disputes between Prime Minister Tansu Çiller (1993- ) and the Central Bank governor undermined confidence in the government. The prime minister insisted on monetizing the fiscal deficit (selling government debt instruments to the Central Bank) rather than acceding to the Central Bank's proposal to issue more public debt in the form of government securities. The Central Bank governor resigned in August 1993 over this issue. In January 1994, international credit agencies downgraded Turkey's debt to below investment grade. At that time, a second Central Bank governor resigned.
Mounting concern over the disarray in economic policy was reflected in an accelerated "dollarization" of the economy as residents switched domestic assets into foreign-currency deposits to protect their investments. By the end of 1994, about 50 percent of the total deposit base was held in the form of foreign-currency deposits, up from 1 percent in 1993. The downgrading by credit-rating agencies and a lack of confidence in the government's budget deficit target of 14 percent of GDP for 1994 triggered large-scale capital flight and the collapse of the exchange rate. The government had to intervene by selling its foreign-currency reserves to staunch the decline of the Turkish lira. As a result, reserves fell from US$6.3 billion at the end of 1993 to US$3 billion by the end of March 1994. Before the end of April, when the government was forced to announce a long-overdue austerity program following the March 1994 local elections, the lira had plummeted by 76 percent from the end of 1993 to TL41,000 against the United States dollar.
The package of measures announced by the government on April 5, 1994, was also submitted to the IMF as part of its request for a US$740 million standby facility beginning in July 1994. Measures included a sharp increase in prices the public-sector enterprises would charge the public, decreases in budgetary expenditures, a commitment to raise taxes, and a pledge to accelerate privatization of state economic enterprises (SEEs). Some observers questioned the credibility of these measures, given that the tax measures translated into a revenue increase equivalent to 4 percent of GDP and the expenditure cuts were equivalent to 6 percent of GDP.
The government actually succeeded in generating a small surplus in the budget during the second quarter of 1994, mainly as a result of higher taxes, after running a deficit of 17 percent of GDP in the first quarter. The slowdown in government spending, a sharp loss in business confidence, and the resulting decline in economic activity reduced tax revenues, however. The fiscal crisis resulted in a decline in real GDP of 5 percent in 1994 after the economy had grown briskly in 1992 and 1993. Real wages also fell in 1994: average nominal wage increases of 65 percent were about 20 percent below the rate of consumer price inflation.
Analysts pointed out that despite the fragility of the macroeconomic adjustment process and the susceptibility of fiscal policy to political pressures, the government continued to be subject to market checks and balances. Combined with a stronger private sector, particularly on the export front, the economy was expected to bounce back to a pattern of faster growth.
In the years after World War II, the economy became capable of supplying a much broader range of goods and services. By 1994 the industrial sector accounted for just under 40 percent of GDP, having surpassed agriculture (including forestry and fishing), which contributed about 16 percent of production. The rapid shift in industry's relative importance resulted from government policies in effect since the 1930s favoring industrialization (see fig. 8). In the early 1990s, the government aimed at continued increases in industry's share of the economy, especially by means of export promotion.
Services increased from a small fraction of the economy in the 1920s to just under half of GDP by 1994. Several factors accounted for the growth of the services sector. Government--already sizable under the Ottomans--expanded as defense expenditures rose; health, education, and welfare programs were implemented; and the government work force was increased to staff the numerous new public organizations. Trade, <"69.htm">tourism, transportation, and financial services also became more important as the economy developed and diversified.
In the early 1990s, Turkey suffered from serious structural unemployment, although the country continued to lack skilled workers and managers. The number of people engaged in subsistence agriculture and in informal labor complicated efforts to make accurate estimates of unemployment and underemployment. In the absence of direct surveys, available statistical data only broadly indicated trends in labor markets (see table 5, Appendix A). In 1992 the civilian labor force totaled almost 18.5 million; the government estimated that unemployment was about 8.7 percent, but unofficial sources put it at 15 percent for 1993. In a study, the State Institute of Statistics estimated that unemployment in urban areas among those aged fifteen to twenty-four was 30.2 percent. According to official figures for 1992, about 44 percent of those employed worked in agriculture--down from more than 75 percent in the early 1960s. Employment in industry and construction amounted to about 20 percent in 1994, and the services sector employed about 35 percent.
During the postwar period, as agriculture modernized and grew more productive, many agricultural workers became redundant. Many now-jobless farmers, attracted by higher wages in the urban economy, migrated to the cities. Although industry and services grew rapidly after 1950, these sectors did not create enough jobs to meet the demand.
Demographic trends portend continued unemployment problems. Population growth rates declined somewhat after the 1970s, but in the mid-1990s demographers were predicting that the active population (those between fifteen and sixty-four years of age) would increase at more than 2 percent per year until at least 2000. The labor force grew at an estimated average annual rate of 2 percent during the 1960s and 1970s, at 1.5 to 2.0 percent during the early 1980s, and at 2.2 percent per year from 1985 to 1992. The several austerity programs since 1980 exacerbated the unemployment situation in the mid-1980s, with an estimated 3 million Turks unemployed in 1985. The recovery of the economy in the late 1980s appeared to improve the overall situation; manufacturing employment increased 3.4 percent per year. However, the economic crisis of early 1994 and the austerity program once again were expected to slow employment growth.
The labor force would have grown even faster during the 1970s and 1980s had it not been for a fall in the work force participation rate from about 73 percent in the 1970s to 35 percent in the early 1990s. This decline resulted from increased enrollments in secondary and postsecondary education and from the tendency of rural women who migrated to the city to refrain from entering the work force. Most demographers believed that participation rates would continue to fall as a result of higher overall school and female education rates. By 1991 the secondary school enrollment ratios, particularly for females, lagged significantly behind primary school enrollment ratios, implying room for higher future enrollment. Even if participation rates continue to fall, however, projected population growth rates will make unemployment a continuing problem.
Unemployment has caused distortions in rural and urban labor markets. Many farmers have remained on unproductive farms to avoid more uncertain fates in the cities. In addition, the large postwar increase in employment in the services sector probably reflects wide-scale underemployment, as unemployed persons resort to working as street vendors and domestic workers. The largest groups of the unemployed include educated youths from urban areas, migrants dislocated from the villages and living in shantytowns, and Turks returning from working abroad.
Emigration has provided a partial safety valve for excess labor, especially during the period between 1969 and 1973, when more than 100,000 workers left each year to seek jobs abroad. The capital-intensive, labor-short countries of northwestern Europe began recruiting workers from southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin in the 1950s. Turkish workers began emigrating to Western Europe in large numbers in the early 1960s, as the demand for labor increased in northern Europe and as the supply from southern Italy dried up because of increased domestic demand. Although Turks worked in many European countries, most went to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Many Turkish workers also went to France, Austria, and the Netherlands. The number of Turkish workers going abroad peaked near 136,000 in 1973. The oil shock of that year and the 1974-75 recession led to restrictions on new guest workers throughout Western Europe, including a ban in West Germany. These measures caused a sharp decline in Turkish emigration to Western Europe--which averaged only 18,000 per year from 1974 to 1980--and became an important issue between Turkey and the European Community. Despite the restrictions, in 1981 there were still about 1 million Turkish workers in Western Europe, half of them in West Germany.
After the unification of Germany in 1989, pressure mounted to return so-called foreign workers to their home countries even though many had been born in Europe. High unemployment rates, especially in eastern Germany, spurred neo-Nazi political parties to agitate for forced repatriation, and some groups used violence against immigrants. In one celebrated case in Rostock, members of a Turkish family were burned to death in their own home. Other European states also witnessed a rise in hostility toward guest workers, including Turks. In France, the National Front Party, led by Jean-Marie Le Pen, gained much support for its anti-immigrant stance.
After 1975 Turkish workers went more often to Arab oil states than to Western Europe. Each year from 1980 through 1982, more than 24,000 workers went to Libya and more than 10,000 to Saudi Arabia. During the same period, a yearly average of only 370 Turkish workers went to West Germany. By 1982 about 150,000 Turks were employed in Saudi Arabia, Libya, and the small Arabian Peninsula states. However, economic difficulties faced by oil-producing states in the mid- and late 1980s reduced opportunities for further Turkish emigration.
In general, the Turkish government has looked favorably on worker emigration, despite concerns that skilled workers are being lost because it is better-educated Turks who tend to emigrate. In 1994 an estimated 1.1 million Turkish workers were in Western Europe, of whom about 750,000 were in Germany. More than 200,000 were in Middle Eastern countries. Workers in Europe usually stay abroad several years, remitting funds to relatives in Turkey. Most eventually return with their accumulated savings to start a small business or buy a farm. Turks working in the Middle East, in contrast, tend to work for Turkish construction firms and typically return after each project is completed; these workers tend to remit a larger share of earnings to their families. The flow of workers' remittances became financially significant after 1965, when they reached the equivalent of US$70 million. By the early 1990s, this figure had reached US$3 billion per year.
Like most developing countries, Turkey lacks an adequate number of trained and skilled personnel. In the early 1990s, the demand for educated and skilled workers exceeded the limited number of technically and scientifically trained graduates.
Trade unions play an important role with reference to labor in the more modern sectors of the economy. Most agricultural and service workers do not belong to unions, but a substantial part of the industrial labor force in larger enterprises and some workers in other sectors, such as transportation, trade, and finance, are unionized; public-sector workers are the most likely to join a union. In the 1960s and 1970s, the wage and benefit gains of unionized workers exerted a positive influence on the income levels of nonunionized workers. After the 1980s, however, the labor movement weakened. Not only are unions smaller in terms of membership--Ministry of Labor and Social Security figures for 1985 suggested that unions included about 1.8 million workers, or about 10 percent of the civilian work force--but severe limits on their activities have kept them politically weak. As a result, during the 1980s organized labor suffered large cuts in real earnings.
By the mid-1970s, Turkey had about 800 unions, many of which had memberships in the hundreds. Few were what might be called nationwide unions; several had extensive membership in a particular industry, which gave them a leverage that most unions lacked. Many unions joined national federations to exert more influence. Before the 1980 coup, four main trade union federations with differing political orientations dominated the labor scene. The main union organization, the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türkiye Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--Türk-Is) was politically moderate, adhering to legal limits on its activities. The other major union group, the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Trade Unions of Turkey (Türkiye Devrimçi Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--DISK), originated from a faction of Türk-Is in 1967. DISK was much smaller than Türk-Is but more militant. In addition, small numbers of workers belonged to the pro-Islamist Confederation of Turkish Just Workers' Unions (Türkiye Hak Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--Hak-Is) and the right-wing Confederation of Turkish Nationalist Workers' Unions (Türkiye Milliyetçi Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--MISK). After the 1980 coup, all union federations except Türk-Is were banned for a period. Subsequently, the government allowed the other union groups to resume their activities.
Figures on trade union membership vary, but Ministry of Labor statistics at least give an idea of the relative sizes of the unions. According to this source, in 1992 Türk-Is had a membership of about 1.7 million, Hak-Is had about 330,000 members, and DISK had about 26,000 members. In addition, Turkey had twenty-four independent unions that did not belong to federations. The size of their memberships was uncertain in early 1995, but organized labor totaled almost 2.2 million workers in 1992. Workers could legally belong to more than one union, which explains some of the confusion surrounding membership statistics.
Established in 1952, Türk-Is includes many workers employed in SEEs and was the only union group actively involved in large-scale collective bargaining in the early 1990s. Strongly centralized, Türk-Is is dominated by a few large, conservative unions; the social democratic unions that figure among its thirty affiliates have little say in federation affairs. In adherence to the law, Türk-Is has remained technically aloof from party politics but is interested in issues affecting labor. Türk-Is is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations through its membership in the Asian-American Free Labor Institute, which provides training for union leaders. Since 1980 Türk-Is has generally refrained from calling strikes, perhaps because of fears that labor conflicts might lead to layoffs of surplus SEE personnel.
Against a background of growing labor unrest in 1994, related to deepening economic problems, budget cuts, and privatization, Türk-Is coordinated wage talks with the government at the end of the year. Although accused of earlier and questionable cooperation with the government, Türk-Is faced widespread pressure from affiliated unions and their members not to agree to the increase the government was offering. Both DISK and Hak-Is had strongly opposed a pay increase of 102 percent for the Türk-Is-affiliated Teksif union at the end of 1994 on the grounds that the size of the pay increase did not meet the much higher inflation rates and the agreement was co-optive.
DISK, Türk-Is's chief rival, draws its members primarily from the private sector and from municipal workers. In the mid-1990s, it seemed that supporters of left-wing unions such as DISK were shifting to Islamist-oriented ones. Nonetheless, DISK-affiliated unions continued to exert some influence as part of overall labor pressure to maintain wage and employment levels.
Before 1980 Hak-Is was reportedly tied to the pro-Islamic National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi--MSP), whereas MISK supported the Nationalist Action Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi--MHP). In 1980 the two federations claimed memberships of 68,000 and 290,000, respectively. After 1984 they played only a minor role in collective bargaining because they lacked sufficient membership to be considered representative under new labor legislation.
The 1980 military intervention severely restricted trade union activities. The 1982 constitution and the laws on union organization, collective bargaining, strikes, and lockouts passed in 1983 have made Turkey's unions the most tightly controlled in noncommunist Europe. To have the right to represent the workers at a given facility, unions must prove that they have the support of at least 10 percent of union membership within the industry and a majority at the particular workplace. Political and general strikes and many forms of industrial action, including secondary strikes, work slowdowns, and picketing, are prohibited. About half of the unionized workers, including those in the gas, water, electricity, mining, and petroleum industries as well as those in banking, urban transit, garbage collection and firefighting, are allowed to strike. Strikes can be called only after a written announcement to the government, which may require a ninety-day cooling-off period followed by compulsory arbitration. Workers who strike illegally may be punished with as much as eighteen months in prison, and those who participate in such strikes can be fired, with the loss of all accumulated financial claims, including pensions.
Following the 1980 coup, the military government prohibited collective bargaining until May 1984, after which time officials continued trying to restrain wage settlements in order to limit inflation. Although private-sector wage settlements in 1984 and 1985 included increases ranging from 25 to 60 percent, pay adjustments generally continued to run behind the inflation rate, resulting in declines in real wages. The government took a more relaxed attitude in the late 1980s, but by 1994 the authorities were once again using antistrike regulations from the early 1980s to stop strikes and other job actions.
In the public sector, the government has been even more successful at holding the line against wage increases, although large increases in 1992-93 led to a sharp jump in government expenditures. With a limited endorsement by the IMF, government employees' wages were targeted as the primary means of achieving budget cuts in 1994 and early 1995. As part of this strategy, Prime Minister Çiller attempted to use illegal strikes as a pretext for liquidating certain public enterprises; unionized workers also would be notified that there were plenty of unemployed people willing to do their jobs for lower pay. In early 1995, unions for public-sector workers outside the public enterprises faced the possibility of being abolished altogether. Also, seasonal workers with part-time jobs working on village roads, irrigation projects, and other infrastructure components were to be placed under the authority of provincial authorities, an arrangement that would cost them their labor rights. People employed with "worker" status, who therefore had certain rights under the law, were reclassified as "public servants" with no right to bargain collectively or to strike. Members of this group fared badly in the mid-1990s, with declining wages accompanying their loss of rights.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress
The Ottoman Empire established a strong tradition of government direction of the economy. Ottoman economic doctrine ascribed to the state both the right and the duty to control the economy for the common good. The state controlled a large proportion of the land and suppressed power centers, blocking the development of a landed aristocracy. One's position in the imperial hierarchy was the primary determinant of income. Because the sultan confiscated his functionaries' wealth when they died, status could be passed on only by means of education. For example, candidates for positions in the bureaucracy were required to have command of the Ottoman language. Peasants and artisans also claimed and received protection from the state, often at the expense of economic modernization. The bureaucracy had little interest in economic growth, which might lead to the rise of a new class that would challenge its dominance. To ensure control of certain urban-based production and service functions, they were reserved for minority groups.
Republican Turkey inherited attitudes and memories from the Ottomans that continue to play a key role in the country's political economy in the late twentieth century. Republican leaders believe that the state has a duty to intervene in the economy, not only to strengthen the nation against foreign intervention but ultimately to further the well-being of the people.
Scholars traditionally have stressed the significance of state intervention in the economy during the early years of the republic, but more recent research indicates that Turkish economic policy was relatively liberal until the 1930s. The government made significant investments in railroad and other infrastructure projects, but the Law for the Encouragement of Industry of 1927 and other measures encouraged private enterprise. Moreover, Turkey's economy was relatively open to international markets during the 1920s. Under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923, the capitulations were abolished, but Turkey could not introduce protective tariffs until August 1929. As a result, tariffs remained low, and the Turkish lira was convertible and floating. Foreign interests invested in both public and private enterprises, helping to initiate industrial development. During these early years, economic growth was satisfactory, but the country ran chronic foreign trade deficits despite the continued fall in the value of the lira.
Turkish economic development reached a turning point with the Great Depression. By 1930 foreign markets for Turkish agricultural products had collapsed, causing sharp declines in the prices of agricultural goods and a corresponding decline in national income. Dissatisfied with the slow development of industry, Turkey's leaders began to look for alternative policies. During the late 1920s and the early 1930s, economic and political thinkers discussed alternative approaches to national economic development. The interventionist trend in Western economic thinking, represented by works such as John Maynard Keynes's The End of Laissez-Faire (1926), influenced the theoretical debate. The apparent successes of the Soviet Union's drive to develop heavy industry under its First Five-Year Plan (1928-33) also impressed Turkish thinkers, although in the end Turkish policy borrowed primarily from the West.
At its 1931 congress, the Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi--CHP) adopted etatism, one of Atatürk's Six Arrows, as its official economic strategy. According to this program, individual enterprise was to retain a fundamental role in the economy, but active government intervention was necessary to boost the nation's welfare and the state's prosperity. The CHP also declared that etatism was an intermediate road between capitalism and socialism. In practice, etatism entailed the promotion of industrialization by means of five-year plans and the creation of public enterprises. Comprehensive protective tariffs also were introduced during the 1930s, establishing a pattern of import-substitution industrialization that would continue for many years.
After World War II, all major parties claimed to support etatism. The sharp reorientation of Turkey's economic policies after 1980 included a repudiation of much etatist doctrine, which, however, still influenced Turkish economic thinking. Inasmuch as Atatürk had declared that once Turkey had reached a satisfactory level of development certain state enterprises could be returned to private control, the post-1980s economic reforms perhaps could be considered a continuation of one aspect of the original etatist program. Moreover, the government continued to use policy tools such as SEEs and development planning that had originated during the etatist period. Nonetheless, by the mid-1990s deepening government indebtedness dictated a faster reduction of the state's economic commitments. Given Turkey's high inflation, job insecurity, and unemployment, etatism could be in vogue again, but in the mid-1990s no major opposition party was calling for the wholesale renationalization of the economy. .
An important tool of etatism to further government economic policies, State Economic Enterprises (SEEs) are variously organized, but the government owns at least a 50 percent share in each of them. SEEs are set up by the government, and each has a board that reflects the ownership of the particular SEE, combining government representatives, who direct the enterprise, with private interests. During the etatist industrialization campaign of the 1930s, the government set up many industrial SEEs. In the mid-1990s, SEEs continue to dominate sectors considered to be of national importance or sectors where private investors have hesitated to invest because capital requirements are too great in light of expected returns. SEEs include national transportation, communications, and energy enterprises; banks that own companies, in particular branches such as textiles or refining; and conglomerates with holdings in many fields. Some SEEs control companies in which ownership is shared with private and foreign investors. In 1964 the State Investment Bank was established to provide long-term investment credits to SEEs. Credits from the Central Bank of Turkey, transfers from the Treasury, and capital markets also finance SEEs.
In the mid-1990s, SEEs accounted for more than 40 percent of value added in manufacturing and employed about 550,000 workers, or about 20 percent of the industrial work force. Until 1980 SEEs set their prices in accordance with government directives, but after the introduction of that year's reform package, they were expected to set prices independently. Nevertheless, prices of some major commodities, such as fertilizers, continue to be determined by the government. SEEs also influence markets, especially those for agricultural goods, by establishing guaranteed minimum prices for commodities.
Aside from their role in industrial development, SEEs are charged with social goals. The farm-support program stabilizes farmers' incomes, while low consumer prices for food, energy, and transportation help the urban poor. SEEs also provide training and employ surplus university graduates and constituents of influential politicians, contributing to overstaffing. Some SEEs are placed in underdeveloped regions to spur industrial development, a practice that increases transportation and infrastructure costs.
One objective of the Özal reforms was to improve SEEs' efficiency and reduce their need for subsidies. By 1982 the government had freed most SEE prices and had given SEE managers greater autonomy and responsibility. The administration favored opening state monopolies to outside competition and decided in 1983 to limit SEE investments in manufacturing. Nevertheless, in the mid-1980s the state sector had to take over several failed banks that had significant industrial holdings, and the low rate of private investment meant that the public share in industrial investment actually rose. By the mid-1990s, SEEs remained a major burden on the public exchequer. Of the fifty SEEs, only fifteen were expected to report profits in 1994. Funding the operating losses of the SEEs--TL90 trillion in 1994 alone--annually cost the Treasury around TL20 trillion (about US$70 billion) in 1993 and 1994; the remainder was borrowed from banks. The total debt stock of the public enterprises by late 1994 was estimated at TL250 trillion, the bulk of which was owed to the Treasury and Central Bank. This debt generated an interest charge of around TL60 trillion in 1994 alone on collective sales of TL550 trillion. Deepening economic problems in the 1990s were part of the reason for the losses. This situation was exacerbated by a requirement that took effect after 1989 stipulating that SEEs borrow at high market rates.
Major plans for privatization of SEEs were supposed to go into effect as early as 1987 but as of early 1995 had not yet occurred. Prime candidates for sale include the state airline, the cement industry, and the textile industry. Almost all SEEs are considered potentially suitable for privatization except for certain infrastructure facilities such as power plants and railroads.
Some SEE managers and unions oppose privatization, fearing that, once under private management, the enterprises will eliminate unprofitable subsidiaries or aggressively reduce overstaffing. Some opposition parties also fear that public assets will be allocated among "friends" of government officials, with the result being the creation of private monopolies. Observers anticipate that certain "strategic" industries, including much mining and defense production, will remain in the public sector and that the best the administration can hope for would be to force them to approximate private- sector practices. Moreover, certain privatization moves, particularly the sale of cement mills belonging to the public enterprise Citosan, and a controlling stake in the airport management company Havas, were reversed by the Constitutional Court on administrative grounds.
After becoming prime minister, Çiller accepted the existing legislation on privatization and even sought wider powers to hasten the process. Law 3291, passed in 1986, had established the Public Participation Administration, which would control SEEs designated for privatization and prepare them for the process. In late 1994, the National Assembly passed a bill introduced by Çiller to revamp the administrative procedures dealing with privatization.
The bill established the Privatization Administration to carry out technical work and a Privatization High Board to make final decisions. The latter would control the Privatization Fund into which revenues were to be channeled. The Privatization High Board would consist of the prime minister, the minister of state "responsible for privatization," and the ministers of finance and industry and trade. The board was also to be responsible for deciding which public enterprises are of special strategic importance and in which the state should retain preference shares. Turkish Petroleum, Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank, Turkish Airlines, and the Soil Products Office Alkaloid Plant were placed in the latter category. Railroads, airports, and the General Management for Trade in Tobacco, Tobacco Products, and Alcoholic Spirits (Tütün, Tütün Mamülleri, Tuz ve Alkol Isletmeleri Genel Müdürlügü--TEKEL) were not designated to be privatized in the mid-1990s. Privatization of telecommunications and the electricity production and distribution board were to be dealt with in separate legislation. All other types of SEEs were again targeted for privatization in various ways, including the sale of all or parts of a company through share offers, block sales, auctions, and the transfer of plants to private domestic and foreign entities and to companies formed by workers and local townspeople. Some of the early candidates were the Eregli Iron and Steelworks, the Turkish Petroleum Refineries Corporation (Türkiye Petrol Refinerileri As--TÜPRAS), the state oil products distributor (Petrol Ofisi), the petrochemicals company (Petkim), the industrial interests of the state holding company, Sumerbank, the national airline (Turkish Airlines), and the airport company (Havas). The bill also set guidelines to prevent the formation of private monopolies and methods for dealing with workers who lose their jobs. Workers made redundant would continue to receive their wages for up to eight months and, depending on length of service, would get pensions or severance pay.
Turkey first introduced five-year plans in the 1930s as part of the etatist industrialization drive. The first five-year plan began in 1934. A second plan was drafted but only partially implemented because of World War II. These early plans were largely lists of desirable projects, but they provided guidance for the development of infrastructure, mining, and manufacturing. During the 1950s, the Democrat Party (DP) eliminated central economic planning, but the 1961 constitution made social and economic planning a state duty. In 1961 the government established the State Planning Organization (SPO), which was given responsibility for preparing long-term and annual plans, following up on plan implementation, and advising on current economic policy. The SPO comes under the prime minister's office and receives policy direction from the High Planning Council (also seen as the Supreme Planning Council), which is chaired by the prime minister and includes cabinet ministers. The Central Planning Organization, the secretariat of the High Planning Council, formulates the strategy and broad targets on which the SPO bases detailed plans. Plan targets are binding for the public sector but only indicative for private enterprises.
SPO plans include--in addition to investment levels--macroeconomic targets, social goals, and policy recommendations for individual subsectors of the economy. Turkey was one of the first countries to develop regional planning, a major challenge given the limited development of eastern and southeastern Anatolia. The SPO has approached planning from a long-term perspective and drew up the First Five-Year Plan (1963-67) and the Second Five-Year Plan (1968-72) in the context of what should be accomplished by the mid-1970s. Similarly, development goals for 1995, including a customs union with the EC, were set in the Third Five-Year Plan (1973-77) and the Fourth Five-Year Plan (1979-83). Successive plans took stock of problems and previous accomplishments, but many policy suggestions were never effectively implemented.
Early plans were heavily weighted toward manufacturing, import substitution, and the intermediate goods sector. The economic and political disorder of the late 1970s, however, made it impossible to achieve plan targets. After the 1980 coup, the Fourth Five-Year Plan was modified to favor the private sector, labor-intensive and export-oriented projects, and investments that would pay for themselves relatively quickly. The Özal administration delayed the Fifth Five-Year Plan (1984-89) for one year to take account of the structural reform program introduced in 1983. Unlike earlier plans, the Fifth Five-Year Plan called for a smaller state sector. According to the plan, the state would take more of a general supervisory role than it had in the past, concentrating on encouraging private economic actors. Nevertheless, the state was to continue an aggressive program of infrastructure investments to clear bottlenecks in energy, transport, and other sectors.
In May 1989, the government published the 1990-95 Development Plan. The plan called for overall economic growth of 7 percent per year. The growth of private-sector investment was targeted at an average of 11 percent per year, whereas the aim was to increase exports 15 percent per year. The inflation rate was targeted at 10 percent per year. As it developed, although high growth rates were maintained during the 1990-95 period, they came at the cost of increased foreign and domestic borrowing, which funded an inflationary government budgetary and monetary policy. Rapid rates of growth also were boosted by foreign direct investment. Excessive borrowing and domestic political problems led to a balance of payments crisis that sharply reduced domestic investment rates and ultimately led to a decline in incomes. Whereas the development plan had called for high growth rates and macroeconomic stability, Turkey actually has experienced high growth rates and macroeconomic instability.
Public-sector spending is the most important means of state intervention in the Turkish economy. The consolidated government budget comprises central government spending and a number of annexed budgets of such partially autonomous entities as the State Highway Administration, state monopolies, and some universities and academies. Local budgets and most SEE budgets generally are not included in the consolidated budget, nor are special and extrabudgetary funds. The most important of the latter are the Mass Housing Fund, financed from luxury-import duties; the Defense Industry Support Fund, financed from levies on sales of gasoline, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages; and the Public Revenue Sharing Schemes Fund. The partially autonomous organizations are included in the calculations for the public-sector borrowing requirement (PSBR).
Since 1983 the Treasury, under the direct control of the prime minister's office, has had sole responsibility to raise domestic tax revenues. The Ministry of Finance and the SPO are mainly responsible for planning spending policies, but the minister of finance presents the annual budget to parliament, which approves the annual government budget and legislates supplementary appropriations as required during the fiscal year, at times making significant modifications.
Turkish governments have persistently run large budget deficits, which have fueled inflation, capital flight, and heavy foreign and domestic borrowing. At the heart of this problem is the political system, which tends to be largely unrepresentative even when democracy is formally operating. Prior to major elections, governments have been prone to boost spending, particularly salaries for government workers. Despite recent modest changes to this system, Turkish governments have been averse to increasing taxes to pay for their high spending. Taxes, excluding social security contributions, are still around 20 percent of GNP--the lowest figure among the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Prior to 1980, local administrations had limited revenue-earning power and depended heavily on funds transferred from the central government. Even with such transfers, local governments were often short of funds needed to provide services required during a period of rapid urbanization when many city dwellers lacked even the most basic services. After 1980 reforms significantly strengthened the revenue base of municipalities, in part by providing that 5 percent of government tax revenues would be withheld at the local level. In 1994 Çiller also attempted to increase the revenues that local governments might raise.
During the early and mid-1980s, the government made serious attempts to reduce Turkey's inflationary budget deficits, implementing policies to streamline government, improve public resources allocation, and modernize the tax system. The government, for example, designed tax reforms to increase revenues and to reduce inequities. In addition, the introduction of a lump sum tax on small businesses and a new system of income tax payments for self-employed people reduced tax evasion. The government also started to tax farmers' incomes systematically for the first time since the 1920s. Other reforms strengthened tax administration, established new tax courts, and instituted heavier penalties for tax evasion.
Overall, the consolidated budget deficit declined during the 1980s as a result of the reform measures. During the decade, the deficit averaged 3 percent of GNP. However, the deficit went up in the 1990s, reaching 7.4 percent in 1991, 6.1 percent in 1992, 9.8 percent in 1993, and 8 percent in 1994 (see table 6, Appendix A). The 1994 figure includes a first-quarter budget deficit of 17 percent, which was sharply offset in subsequent quarters after the promulgation of the April 5 measures and tight supervision by the IMF. These measures more than reversed some of the increases in wages and other spending made in 1992 and 1993. Public-sector borrowing requirements have been much higher as a percentage of GNP. After averaging around 6 percent during the 1980s, they ranged from about 10 to 17 percent in the 1990s.
Agriculture--the occupation of the majority of Turks--continued to be a crucial sector of the economy in the mid-1990s, although industrial production was rising. Turkey's fertile soil and hard-working farmers make the country one of the few in the world that is self-sufficient in terms of food. Turkey's great variety of microclimates and adequate rainfall permit a broad range of crops. Farming is conducted throughout the country, although it is less common in the mountainous eastern regions, where animal husbandry is the principal activity. In the mid-1990s, crop cultivation accounted for about two-thirds and livestock for one-third of the gross value of agricultural production; forestry and fishing combined contributed a minimal amount.
Agriculture's share in overall income has fallen progressively, declining from almost 50 percent of GDP in 1950 to around 15 percent of GDP by 1993. During the same period, the sector grew only about 1 percent faster than the country's population, and per capita food production declined in absolute terms. The relatively poor showing of the agricultural sector reflected in part government policies that had made rapid industrialization a national priority since the 1930s. In addition, farmers were slow to adopt modern techniques, with agricultural output suffering from insufficient mechanization, limited use of fertilizer, excessive fallow land, and unexploited water resources. The result has been low yields.
Despite agriculture's relative decline in the 1980s as a percentage of GDP, the sector played an important role in foreign trade. Turkey enjoys a comparative advantage in many agricultural products and exports cereals, pulses, industrial crops, sugar, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, vegetables, olive oil, and livestock products. The main export markets are the European Union and the United States--to which Turkey primarily exports dried fruit and nuts, cotton, and tobacco--and the Middle East, which primarily imports fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat from Turkey. As late as 1980, agricultural exports accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total value of exports. In the early 1990s, agricultural products accounted for 15 percent of total exports. Around 50 percent of manufactured exports originate in the agricultural sector; counting these exports, the agricultural sector's contribution to exports again would rise to around 60 percent.
Agriculture has great potential for further development, provided that the state can implement successful agrarian reforms and development projects. Observers believe that to achieve balanced growth, Turkey needs to improve the training of farmers, make better seed available, upgrade livestock herds, standardize products, expand food-processing facilities (including cold storage and refrigerated transport), and reorganize marketing networks. Since 1980 the government has encouraged investments in packaging, processing, livestock, and slaughterhouses, and has imported new seed varieties. These efforts had a modest impact on overall production by the mid-1990s.
The failure to exploit the country's great agricultural potential has contributed to Turkey's periodic economic crises and poses serious problems for future development. Glaring inequalities of income between urban and rural residents--and among segments of the farm population--have created social tensions and contributed to emigration from rural to urban areas. Malnutrition continues to threaten segments of the rural population, especially children. The Kurdish insurgency in eastern Turkey has added to problems in some rural areas. Rising incomes in the urban areas have caused increased demand for more "exotic" foodstuffs, especially meat and poultry. Since 1984 Turkey has liberalized its policy on food imports, partly to meet this urban demand and partly to offset domestic price pressure. Many previously banned luxury food imports and imports that compete with domestically produced staples are permitted for these reasons; in turn, the growth of these imports has contributed to pressures on foreign trade accounts. Overall, agricultural output needs to expand along with the rest of the economy to maintain adequate supplies for industry and exports. Longer-term economic growth prospects and macroeconomic stability, therefore, depend on the performance of Turkey's agricultural sector and rural incomes.
<"61.htm">Cropping Patterns and Production
<"63.htm">Forestry and Fisheries
By 1980 Turkey was self-sufficient in food, and agricultural output was growing at a respectable rate, albeit more slowly than the economy as a whole. Starting in the early 1970s, crop intensification resulted from a reduction of fallow areas and increased use of fertilizer, fuel, and pesticides. The livestock industry, however, showed little improvement in productivity, and the later years of the decade saw the stagnation of all agriculture. Although production became less dependent on the weather as a result of irrigation and high-yielding varieties of seeds, these methods required adequate supplies of fertilizers, chemicals, equipment, and fuel, much of which had to be imported.
Productivity shortcomings, along with the new export-oriented development strategy, led to the adoption of different agricultural policies after 1980. Under the new approach, the government switched from promoting food self-sufficiency to maximizing agriculture's net contribution to the balance of trade. The incentive system was partially dismantled, fertilizer and pesticide subsidies were curtailed, and the remaining price supports were gradually converted to floor prices. The tight monetary policy limited agricultural credit, but real interest rates on loans to farmers remained negative. Nonetheless, a high proportion of defaults by farmers occurred on loans with high interest rates. In some cases, this led to the confiscation of land, tractors, or other property by the state, prompting one Turkish daily, Milliyet , to run an article entitled, "Bailiff Officer: The New Lord of the Peasants." The elimination of export licenses and minimum export prices, along with currency devaluation, an export-incentive system, and flat domestic demand, encouraged agricultural exports. In addition, a wider range of food imports was permitted, providing competition for domestic products.
The government's hope of rapidly increasing agricultural exports was slow in materializing, and total values fell sharply in the mid-1980s. This decline reflected both softer demand abroad (especially in the Arab oil-producing countries) and Turkey's own attempts to increase the share of agricultural products processed prior to export. Still, by the early 1990s agricultural exports had risen, with the most dramatic increase occurring in textiles and clothing, which depend on indigenously grown cotton.
Despite the turn toward liberal agricultural policies, government intervention in agriculture remained pervasive in the mid-1990s. Many of the institutions established between 1930 and 1980 continue to play important roles in the daily life of the farmer, and many old attitudes and practices remain. A large number of ministries, agencies, SEEs, and banks administer government price supports, credit measures, extension and research services, and irrigation projects. In the past, overlapping responsibilities and lack of coordination had often diluted the effectiveness of government activities. Some progress was made in the 1980s, however, when the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Affairs reorganized its eleven departments into five general directorates. Subsequently, the ministry was divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Ministry of Forestry.
After 1980 the government reduced budget transfers to agricultural SEEs and decreased the level of price supports, but the state still controlled most markets in the sector. Public marketing agencies and marketing or credit cooperatives administered prices and handled a large share of exports. Several of the SEEs involved in agricultural production had been slated for privatization in the early 1990s. The Meat and Fish Board, the Fodder Industry (Yem Sanayili), and the Milk Industry Board (SEK) were targeted for immediate privatization when they were placed under the control of the Public Participation Administration. However, officials in 1994 stated that they lacked sufficient funds to pay the sizable debts these organizations had accumulated, a necessary step before privatization.
Nearly all farm produce except livestock and fresh fruits and vegetables has support prices, which became more effective when the ministry started announcing them in the fall, giving farmers time to choose which crops would be most profitable. For most crops (except tea, sugar beets, and opium, for which the state is the only buyer), farmers can choose between selling to private buyers or to the state. Supports stabilize crop prices and improve aggregate farm income but add to the disparities of income between large and small farmers. Support prices grew slowly in the 1980s and did not keep up with inflation. However, in the summer of 1991, in anticipation of the forthcoming elections, Özal's Motherland Party government raised all support prices by 60 to 70 percent. Subsequent governments under Demirel and Çiller maintained increases in support prices roughly in line with the high inflation rate. During 1994, however, these increases were not maintained. In addition, the Agricultural Supply Organization provides many farm materials at subsidized prices, including fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides.
The Agricultural Bank of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ziraat Bankasi--TCZB) provides most loans to farmers and cooperatives and closely watches agricultural credit. Although the TCZB was intended to favor small farmers in the distribution of credit, its loan requirements restrict credit for the many small farmers who either rent or lack a secure title to land or other properties needed as collateral. Much of the bank's lending consists of short-term loans extended to cooperatives for commodity price support. Farmers also obtain credit from merchants, wealthy farmers, and money lenders, often at extortionate interest rates. Much of the World Bank's lending for agricultural projects in Turkey is channeled through the TCZB.
Agricultural extension and research services are poorly organized and generally inadequate because of shortages of qualified advisers, transportation, and equipment. Well-trained personnel willing to work in the field are difficult to find, and agricultural research is fragmented among more than ninety government and university institutes. Research is organized by commodity, with independent units for such major crops as cotton, tobacco, and citrus fruit. Observers note that coordination of the efforts of different research units and links between extension services are inadequate. During the mid-1980s, the government attempted to strengthen and rationalize research and extension services, but the organizational complexity of the entities involved made reform difficult.
<"61.htm">Cropping Patterns and Production
<"63.htm">Forestry and Fisheries
Getting enough water to crops is a major problem for many Turkish farmers. Rainfall tends to be relatively abundant and regular in the coastal areas because of the mountains behind them. However, the bulk of the agricultural land is on the Anatolian Plateau, which receives less rainfall because it is ringed by mountains. Although rainfall on the plateau varies considerably among regions, it is barely adequate over large areas. In addition, the amount and time of rains vary sharply from year to year, causing sharp fluctuations in harvests. Since World War II, officials have stressed irrigation as a means of increasing and stabilizing farm output, and irrigation projects have consumed more than half of public investment in agriculture.
In the mid-1980s, observers estimated that private irrigation, depending on weirs and small barrages to direct water into fields, reached up to 1 million hectares. In addition, some farmers pumped water from wells to irrigate their own fields. Development of large-scale irrigation was delayed until the 1960s. Public-sector irrigation systems, built and operated by the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works (Devlet Su Isleri--DSI) under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, tend to be large and costly. Most provide water for entire valleys, and some large projects--for example, the Southeast Anatolian Project (Güneydogu Anadolu Projesi--GAP)--combine water supplies for urban areas, protection from flooding, hydroelectric power, and irrigation. Irrigation projects are dispersed throughout the country, but most are concentrated in the coastal regions of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, where the longer growing seasons are particularly favorable to crops. Public irrigation water was available to 3.7 million hectares in the mid-1990s, although the area irrigated with public water totaled about 3 million hectares.
Deficiencies in irrigation included a serious lag between the construction of the main parts of an irrigation system and the completion of land leveling and drainage on farms. Also, crop research and farmer training were inadequate to assure the planting of suitable crops to obtain maximum yields from irrigated land. In the late 1970s, government officials estimated that only one-third of the irrigated land was being cultivated to its full potential. Moreover, low user fees did not initially permit the authorities to regain their initial investments; the fees were adjusted in the 1980s, however.
Major projects were planned to expand the irrigation system because government surveys had indicated that irrigation of up to 8.7 million hectares was possible. The most important project of the late 1980s and early 1990s is the GAP, which is linked with the 2,400-megawatt Atatürk Dam on the Euphrates River and is expected to irrigate 1.7 million hectares when it is completed in 2002. The system consists of a twin-bore 24.6-kilometer tunnel, which will take water from the reservoir to irrigate the plains around Harran, Mardin, and Ceylanpinar in southeastern Turkey. In the GAP region, farmers face a six-month dry season allowing them only one cash harvest per year. Irrigation will probably enable expansion to two or even three harvests. Crop rotation, which is largely unknown in areas without irrigation, has been introduced in the GAP region. Winter vegetables are expected to alternate with cotton as the summer crop. Although wheat and pulses dominate cropping patterns, cotton could take a larger share as access to water increases. The government projects that the GAP will increase Turkish wheat production by more than 50 percent, barley by a similar figure, and the region's production of cotton by more than four times by 2005, thus increasing national cotton production by 60 percent. The value of food surpluses expected to result from this project is estimated at US$5 billion.
Turkey's land surface totals about 78 million hectares, of which roughly 48 million hectares were being used for some form of agriculture by 1991. There were almost 24.2 million hectares in field crops, of which 5.2 million lay fallow. Another 3.7 million hectares were in use as vineyards, orchards, and olive groves, and 20.2 million hectares were covered by forests and other woodlands. Other land areas accounted for about 29 million hectares; included in this figure was land classified as lakes, marshes, wasteland, and built-up areas. The "other" category also included about 9 million hectares of permanent pastureland.
During the twentieth century, population pressure resulted in the expansion of farmland. The cultivated area increased from about 8 million hectares in the 1920s to nearly 19 million hectares in 1952 and to almost 28 million hectares by 1991. Using Marshall Plan credits that first became available in 1948, Turkey began to import large numbers of tractors, which made it feasible to expand cultivation of marginal lands, especially on the Anatolian Plateau. Although total production grew rapidly, average yields did not. By about 1970, nearly all arable land was under cultivation.
Cultivation increased primarily at the expense of meadows and grasslands, which diminished from about 46 million hectares in the mid-1920s to about 14 million hectares in the mid-1980s. Although cultivation of the larger area made greater agricultural production possible over the short run, it created long-term problems for livestock production. It also resulted in the destruction of tree cover and the plowing of marginal fields that were too steep and that received barely sufficient rainfall even in normal years. By the early 1960s, government agents were encouraging farmers to practice contour plowing and to take other measures to minimize erosion, but to little effect. By the late 1970s, more than half the country's land was judged to have serious erosion problems, and some plains regions were experiencing dust-bowl conditions. All of Turkey was affected, with the mountainous eastern provinces hit hardest. Some areas lost all topsoil and could support few plants.
In the 1970s, the government conducted land-use studies and found that more than one-fifth of the land should have been used differently to achieve optimum long-term production. Misuse was greatest in rain-fed cropped fields, but some grazing land and wasteland were found better suited to other uses such as cropping and forestry. Turkey's unusually high proportion of fallow land also limited production; in 1981 the government began encouraging double cropping and the planting of feed crops on fallow fields. The government also was considering a broad land-use policy. However, reform proved difficult because of government inefficiency and the lack of alternative crops in areas cut off from markets, where farmers had little choice but to use their land to grow grain to feed their families. Expansion of the road network, irrigation facilities, and extension services continued to offer hope for eventual improvements in land use.
From the time of Atatürk, it has been generally recognized that land reform would speed rural development. Most attention focused on land redistribution--a highly charged political issue. People who favored land reform pointed to the higher yield achieved by owner-operators and attacked absentee landlords. Opponents pointed out that land reform would not solve the difficulties of the rural population because there was insufficient land to establish farms large enough to support families. Whatever the merits of land reform proposals, large landowners effectively blocked most action, and governments often lacked the will to implement those measures that were enacted. Moreover, landless peasants continued to migrate to the cities in sufficient numbers to reduce the pressure for reform.
Historically, Turkey has been a land inhabited by independent peasants. The Ottoman state restricted the growth of a landowning class; and in the early years of Ottoman rule, the central government retained ownership of most of the land, which was leased to farmers under relatively secure tenure arrangements. To maintain farms large enough to support a family and a pair of oxen, the Ottomans exempted land from Muslim inheritance policy, a practice subsequently reversed as the state reinstituted Islamic inheritance practices, sold land to gain revenues, and authorized land transfers. These changes favored the growth of a class of large landowners during the latter decades of the empire. By 1923 landownership had shifted in favor of a small group with large holdings. However, during the republican period land concentration declined, a development that perhaps reflected the effects of division through inheritance or the attraction of alternative investments. At the same time, the opening of new areas to cultivation made land available to those farmers without holdings.
Because no comprehensive cadastral surveys have been carried out, landownership data are still poor in the mid-1990s, but a general picture of ownership patterns emerges. According to the 1980 agricultural census, about 78 percent of the farms consisted of five hectares or less and together accounted for 60 percent of farmland. About 23 percent of the farms were between five and twenty hectares in size, accounting for another 18 percent of the land. Fewer than 4 percent of the farms covered more than twenty hectares, although these occupied more than 15 percent of the farmland. Few farms exceeded 100 hectares. Although experts believed that landownership was more concentrated than data on farm size implied, it was clear that Turkey had more equal distribution of land than did many other developing countries.
Some observers estimate that, despite widespread leasing and sharecropping, a majority of farms are owner operated. However, tenure patterns vary significantly among regions, reflecting different geographical conditions and historical developments. In general, Islamic inheritance practices, which establish set shares for each male and female child, cause fragmented holdings and make leasing and sharecropping extensive. Joint ownership of land is common, and even very small farms normally consist of several noncontiguous plots. Farmers often rent out some of their own land while leasing or sharecropping other plots in order to till areas reasonably close together and large enough to support their families. Owners of small plots may rent out their land and work on other farms or in town. Owners of large holdings, sometimes whole villages, usually rent out all or most of their land. Between one-tenth and one-fifth of farmers lease or sharecrop the land they till, and landless rural families also work as farm laborers.
Tenancy arrangements are many and complex. Some leaseholds can be inherited, but many tenants lack sufficient security to make a long-term commitment to the soil they till. Sharecroppers generally receive about half of the crop, with the owner supplying inputs such as seed and fertilizer. Grazing rights are often held by groups rather than individuals. Many villages have common pastures open to the village herd. Cultivated areas have expanded as individuals appropriate village pastureland to grow grains, a process that not only has caused village strife but also has worsened erosion.
After 1950 the commercialization of agriculture accelerated changes in land-use and tenure patterns. Many of the large holdings on the coastal plains of the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea were converted to modern farms, often benefiting from irrigation projects and specializing in high-value fruits, or industrial crops. Landless families supplied the labor for such modern farms, while sharecroppers and owners of small farms tilled the adjacent land. In these more fertile areas, a five-hectare farm might produce as much income as a twenty-hectare farm in the semiarid central Anatolian Plateau. Southeastern Anatolia, one of the poorest regions of Turkey, included feudal-style landlords who controlled entire villages and many landless families.
Although Atatürk had stressed the need for upper and lower limits on landownership, the latter to halt the fragmentation process, little in the way of effective land reform had been carried out by the early 1990s. Nevertheless, more than 3 million hectares had been distributed to landless farmers between the 1920s and 1970, most of it state land.
The problems of land tenure remain, and some have worsened. Many farms are too small to support a family and too fragmented for efficient cultivation. Tenancy arrangements foster neither long-term soil productivity nor the welfare of tenants. In many areas, the rural poor are becoming poorer while land better suited to grazing continues to be converted to grain fields. At the same time, however, many large landholdings have been turned into productive modern farms that contribute to the country's improved agricultural performance. Major irrigation projects in the Euphrates River Valley and elsewhere offer the prospect of increasing the supply of productive land. The declining population growth rate has reduced the pressure for land reform, and industrialization offers an alternative for landless farm workers, who prefer city life to that of rural areas.
Turkey's varied ecology allows farmers to grow many crops, yet the bulk of the arable land and the greater part of the farm population traditionally have been dedicated to producing cereal crops, which supply 70 percent of Turkey's food consumption in terms of calories. As of 1992, cereal crops occupied 12.5 million hectares or more than half of the country's cultivated area. Wheat accounted for about 9 million hectares of this area, and barley for about 3 million hectares. Other grain crops include rye, millet, corn, and rice. Grains are produced in most parts of the country (see fig. 9).
Small or subsistence farmers produce most of Turkey's grain. Because most fields depend on rainfall, production varies considerably from year to year. Farmers traditionally have left grain fields fallow for a year to allow water to accumulate in the soil. Although the government encourages planting soybeans as a secondary crop following the wheat crop, farmers have been slow to adopt the practice. The integration of forage crops into crop rotation and the elimination of fallow periods offer the possibility of increased soil fertility and moisture retention.
Wheat has long been the basic food in the Turkish diet, generally eaten in the form of bread--of which Turkish per capita consumption ranks among the highest in the world. Farmers consume about half of the crop; the other half moves through commercial channels. The Soil Products Office buys up to one-fifth of the crop at support prices, which largely determine the prices for the open market, and handles most imports and exports of grain.
Production increases in the late 1970s turned the country into a wheat exporter. After 1980 the country also imported small amounts of high-quality wheat to improve baked products. Steady increases continued in the 1980s, with wheat production averaging 15 million tons. Even in the drought-stricken 1989 harvest, wheat production totaled 16.2 million tons. By the early 1990s, wheat production was averaging 20 million tons per year.
Barley production did not rise substantially after the 1960s; crops averaged 6 million tons per year in the 1980s and 7 million tons in the early 1990s. One reason for the slow growth in barley production was a change in dietary habits: whereas barley previously had been a staple food, it came to be used almost exclusively as animal feed or for export. Harvests of corn, which is also used for feed, increased from an average of about 1.1 million tons per year during the 1970s to around 2 million tons per year in the early 1990s (see table 7, Appendix A).
Turkey is the main pulse producer in the Middle East, and pulse output increased dramatically from an annual average of 617,000 tons in the 1970-75 period to more than 1.1 million tons in the 1980-85 period. By the early 1990s, however, pulse output had fallen to about 860,000 tons in 1990 and 610,000 tons in 1992. The country made a major effort to meet the increased demand for dry beans, lentils, and peas in the Middle East, and exported increasing amounts during the 1980s. Nevertheless, declining export demand in the 1990s and better opportunities in raising other crops led to falling output.
Cotton is the major industrial crop in terms of value, supplying seed for vegetable oil and fiber for textiles, a major export. In the 1950s and 1960s, cotton cultivation increased rapidly following the introduction of new varieties and the extension of irrigation. The main cotton areas are on the coastal plains of the south and southwest, where yields have exceeded international averages since the 1950s. Annual output of cotton lint rose from about 145,000 tons in the early 1950s to about 600,000 tons in the early 1990s. Exports averaged 10 percent of production in the early 1990s, having fallen from around 30 percent in the 1980s.
Tobacco is a classic industrial crop, but output rose relatively slowly after World War II, reaching about 200,000 tons per year by the 1980s and 300,000 tons by the early 1990s. European consumers' preference for Virginia tobacco was a factor in the slow expansion, although foreign investment in the domestic tobacco industry in the 1980s spurred production.
Sugar beet production expanded in the 1950s and 1960s, leveling off at a rate sufficient to produce an annual average of 677,000 tons during the first half of the 1970s. The yield met domestic needs and allowed limited exports. Production jumped sharply, to about 1.5 million tons in 1981, and ended the decade at around 11 million tons in 1989. The annual average in the early 1990s was 14 million tons.
Oilseed cultivation expanded during the 1980s and 1990s, but harvests averaging about 2 million tons in the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s continued to lag behind consumption, causing Turkey to import vegetable oils. Production of sunflower seeds, the main source of edible oil, declined, and the use of degenerated seed resulted in lower oil production. In 1987 Turkey produced 1.1 million tons of sunflower seeds; by 1992 production had declined to 950,000 tons. Olive production has experienced a two-year cycle with small crops every other year.
Cultivation of opium poppies as a field crop traditionally was fairly extensive in parts of the Anatolian Plateau. The opium gum had cash value, and the plant served villagers as food, forage, and thatch. Official figures showed that during the second half of the 1960s, annual production of opium gum averaged about 110 tons per year. During this period, the crop played an important role in the international illegal drug trade. With the United States pushing for a ban on poppy cultivation, after 1974 the Turkish government strictly controlled poppy harvesting, requiring that the mature pod be removed and processed at a state-run plant. During the first half of the 1990s, the area sown with opium ranged from 7,000 to 19,000 hectares, producing between 3,700 and 13,700 tons of opium pods. Most observers believed that government measures were effective in keeping opium derivatives in legal channels without causing undue hardship to farmers.
During the mid-1990s, cultivation of fruit, nuts, and vegetables contributed nearly 33 percent of the value of crop production, although such cultivation occupied only about 13 percent of cultivated land. Improved export possibilities led to the expansion of fruit and vegetable hectarage during the 1980s and 1990s; in 1991 about 593,000 hectares were devoted to green vegetables, tomatoes, and other produce, of which about 20,000 hectares were grown in greenhouses. Turkey is a major producer of high-quality hazelnuts, despite stiff competition in international markets from rising production in Spain, the United States, and Italy. The annual crop averages 400,000 tons per year, roughly half of which is exported. Turkey is also a major producer and exporter of various fruits, including grapes, sultana raisins, citrus fruits, and melons. Total fruit and vegetable exports yielded Turkey nearly US$1 billion per year in the early 1990s.
Animal husbandry is an important part of Turkey's agricultural sector and economy. Livestock products, including meat, milk, eggs, wool, and hides, contributed more than 33 percent of the value of agricultural output in the mid-1990s. Sheep and cattle are kept mainly on the grazing lands of Anatolia. Despite growing demand for animal products in Turkey's cities as incomes rose, animal numbers were static in the 1980s and fell in the early 1990s. Although yields were growing, traditional methods kept the livestock industry from achieving its considerable potential. Only 20 percent of cattle, for example, were high-yielding variety breeds. The oil boom in the Persian Gulf, however, led to an expansion of export markets and to major investments in the meat industry of the eastern Turkish towns of Erzurum and Van. In 1992 meat exports totaled US$140 million; exports, however, were being hurt by the UN embargo on Iraq. Wool is also a significant export. Traditional Turkish sheep varieties produce a coarse wool suitable for carpets and blankets rather than clothing. Merino sheep, which produce a finer wool, have been introduced in the Bursa region.
During the 1950s, officials expected that livestock production would decline as grain cultivation increased at the expense of grazing lands. In fact, the period of most rapid expansion of grain cultivation also saw an upswing in the number of farm animals. One result was overgrazing of grasslands, wasteland, forests, and mountain meadows, which damaged the soil, although not enough to reduce the size of herds. Another result was smaller, less productive animals. Cattle, which process coarse forage less efficiently than sheep and goats, suffered most from the loss of grazing land, but nearly all animals produced less meat and milk and fewer offspring.
Farmers made a modest beginning toward improving livestock production techniques in the 1980s, but traditional practices were hard to change. Even if they have no land, most village families own a few animals. Animals essentially scrounge for an existence, foraging on crop stubble, weeds, and grass on fallow land, and on uncultivable grazing areas. Few farmers integrate livestock production with cropping activities or match feed supply to their animals' requirements. Rural families raise livestock on land that lacks alternative uses, but the system does not allow the high levels of production necessary to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding population. Moreover, overgrazing has caused environmental damage that is difficult to repair.
Data on the livestock industry are poor but indicative of general trends. Official statistics reveal that recent years have seen changes in the relative roles of various animals in the farm economy. Given Turkish dietary preferences, sheep have relatively high value and increased in number from about 36.8 million head in 1970 to about 40.4 million head in 1992. The number of goats declined during the same period, from about 18.9 million to about 10.7 million because of grazing restrictions in forests and government policies encouraging herd reduction. The use of tractors probably has caused the decline in the number of oxen. Cattle, which have risen in value as farmers strive to meet the growing urban demand for milk, increased in number from about 2.1 million in 1970 to about 11.9 million in 1992.
Livestock output has increased over the years, although less rapidly than demand. In the early 1980s, the country was essentially self-sufficient in milk products, producing about 5.2 million tons per year. By the early 1990s, milk output had doubled, to 10 million tons per year. Annual meat production averaged 660,000 tons per year; this figure, however, represents only an estimate because most slaughtering occurs outside official slaughterhouses. During the 1980s, the price for red meat increased sharply, leading to a fall in domestic meat demand and an increase in poultry consumption. However, meat demand was partially sustained by exports of live animals--some of them smuggled over borders--to Middle Eastern countries, especially Iran and Iraq. The UN embargo on Iraq hurt domestic meat exporters after 1990.
Poultry production expanded rapidly after 1980 and appears capable of rising with demand as incomes increase and diets begin to include animal products. Poultry exports to Iran and Iraq also grew in the 1980s but fell somewhat in the 1990s. Many Turkish poultry operations are small, producing between 5,000 and 10,000 fowl at a time. However, larger, integrated operations have also been established, particularly in urban areas. One, Yupi of Izmir, claims to be one of the largest poultry producers in the world. By 1992 Turkey had 134 million head of poultry, double the number that it had had in 1987.
Forestry contributes little to the economy, but it holds potential for future development. In the early 1990s, Turkey's forests covered an estimated 20.2 million hectares, or 201,990 square kilometers (26 percent of the land area). Official statistics indicate that forests have doubled in size since 1950; the figures do not reflect actual growth in forested areas but rather continuing survey efforts and the inclusion of less productive wooded areas under the jurisdiction of the forestry administration. The most productive lumber area is the Black Sea region, followed by central, western, and southern Anatolia, where mostly pine wood is produced. The forests in the eastern part of the country are in poor condition and yield little besides firewood. Many forests are overmature because of poor management and infrequent cutting, and thus only about 20 percent of the total forested area is commercially exploitable.
By the mid-1950s, the state had taken over all forest areas from private owners. Compensation was largely in the form of access to fuel wood at low prices. The one-third of the rural population that lives in or near forests includes many of the country's poorest families. The bulk of their income comes from farming; forest products provide supplemental income and fuel. The main objective of forest management is control of traditional logging and grazing rights; the lack of alternative fuel supplies makes it impossible to stop illegal wood harvests in state forests.
The General Directorate of Forestry in the Ministry of Forestry has assumed responsibility for logging and reforestation operations and for reducing erosion. Whereas wood production has been substantially below potential, partly because of a lack of equipment and roads, reforestation efforts increased Turkey's wooded area by about 2 percent between 1977 and 1981. During the early 1980s, annual wood production averaged 5.2 million cubic meters of lumber. By 1991 production had risen to about 6.5 million cubic meters.
Despite the country's long coastline and large freshwater bodies, fishing is an underdeveloped industry. The Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara constitute the main fishing grounds. The tonnage of the fishing fleet has increased, but in the early 1990s it still included about 7,000 traditional boats, some 1,500 of which lacked motors. The annual catch rose from around 430,000 tons in 1981 to about 625,200 tons in 1988, but declined to about 365,000 tons in 1991. Frogs' legs, snails, shrimp, and crayfish are exported to Europe.
Turkish modernizers have long struggled to build an industrial system that would help restore the country's economic power. The import-substitution strategy followed until 1980 was designed to make the country an independent producer of manufactured goods. The result was a striking unfolding of industry, especially between 1950 and 1977, when the sector (including energy and natural resources) grew at an annual average rate of 8.6 percent in real terms, expanding its share of GDP from about 12 percent to about 25 percent. Despite the retrenchment of the early 1980s, the recovery of the industrial sector--which registered an average annual growth rate of 5.9 percent between 1987 and 1992--restored the sector to its pre-1980 proportion of more than 23 percent of GDP in 1993. By the early 1990s, industry was broadly based; the only individual industries accounting for more than 5 percent of industrial output were food processing, petroleum, textiles, and iron and steel.
Under the republic, the Turks have vastly improved their country's infrastructure and have achieved the ability to produce a wide range of products. The country's first factories processed food, such as sugar and flour, and nondurable consumer goods, such as textiles and footwear. Next came intermediate industrial products, including iron and steel, chemicals, cement, and fertilizer. By the end of the 1970s, the country was developing capital goods industries and high-technology products. Production of trucks and buses in cooperation with the West German firm Mercedes-Benz, and of F-16 fighter aircraft with the United States firm General Dynamics, indicated Turkey's industrial ambitions.
The press for rapid industrialization minimized the attention given to efficiency, and excessive protection forestalled competition that would have promoted efficiency; selling in the protected home market was much more attractive than attempting to export. Moreover, the rise of montage industries, which assembled such products as motor vehicles, consumer durables, and electronic goods primarily using imported components, meant that industrial growth required ever more imports. Hence, attempts at import substitution paradoxically tended to aggravate the country's trade balance. The capital-intensive nature of many industrial investments, especially those in the intermediate goods sector, caused employment in industry to grow relatively slowly, contributing to structural unemployment. Dependence on imported petroleum made the country highly vulnerable to increases in oil prices.
By the end of the 1970s, industry had reached a turning point. In the short run, the sector needed to overcome shortages of energy, imported machinery, parts, and processing materials that had caused a decline in industrial output during the last years of the decade. In the longer run, to become more efficient and to enable increased exports, the industrial structure had to be adjusted in accordance with the country's comparative advantages. In effect, industry would have to transfer resources out of uncompetitive industries to favor those that could compete in world markets. The difficult adjustment process started during the early 1980s, and substantial progress was made under the Özal team. Under the new outward-oriented development strategy, as under the old import-substitution policies, industry was to be the leading sector of the economy. Industrial performance--especially in export markets--would determine if that strategy would be successful.
Many of the problems of import substitution had not yet been overcome by the mid-1990s. Much progress had been made in spurring private-sector-led industrialization, particularly in light manufacturing and export promotion, however. Light manufactures and iron and steel accounted for an increasing proportion--and since the 1980s, the majority--of exports. Moreover, foreign investment in the industrial sector, made either directly or through the stock market, had begun to have a positive impact on Turkish industry. However, much of industry was still dominated by the public sector in early 1995, and private-sector companies still depended on crucial inputs from public-sector industries.
In line with the shift to an outward-oriented development strategy, in 1980 Turkey's policy makers began to revamp the country's industrial policy. The new policy set forth four related goals for industry: upgrading the role of market signals in decision making, increasing manufacturing exports, enlarging the private share in manufacturing, and reforming the SEEs to reduce inefficiency. In the early 1990s, a fifth goal was added: privatization of public-sector entities. Policy makers were also concerned with obtaining adequate energy supplies and providing enough work for the growing labor force.
Turkey is relatively well endowed with energy and mineral resources. The extensive mountainous terrain provides numerous hydroelectric sites, although most are far from the main population and consumption centers. The country also has substantial exploitable lignite resources and small reserves of hard coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Commercially exploitable deposits of many minerals have been located, but the territory has been surveyed only partially. Exploitation of these natural resources has occurred relatively slowly.
The combined demands of industrialization and urbanization nearly tripled energy consumption in the 1960s and 1970s. An inappropriate pricing policy, especially the subsidy of petroleum that led to unduly cheap products, was one cause of shifts in the sources of energy that exacerbated shortages. In 1960 more than half of the primary energy consumed came from noncommercial sources, mainly firewood but also manure and other agricultural wastes. These noncommercial sources, plus domestic coal and lignite, accounted for more than 80 percent of all primary energy consumed; oil supplied only 18 percent. By 1980, in contrast, oil supplied about 47 percent of the primary energy consumed, coal and lignite about 21 percent, hydroelectric power 8 percent, and noncommercial sources such as firewood and animal wastes only 23 percent. By 1992, 43.5 percent of final energy came from petroleum, 31.1 percent from lignite and hard coal, 4.1 percent from hydroelectric power, 6.9 percent from natural gas, and 14.4 percent from other energy sources, including solid fuels, geothermal, solar power, and wind power.
During the 1970s, the demand for electricity began to exceed supply, and by the late 1970s the power gap began to constrain industry. After 1977 rotating blackouts affecting industrial, commercial, and residential consumers were necessary to meet demand. By 1979 the shortage of foreign exchange had so restricted imports of crude oil that fuel for cars, trucks, and tractors had to be rationed. In the mid-1980s, in an attempt to deal with the energy shortage the Özal administration launched the build, operate, and transfer (BOT) system, under which foreign investors would provide the capital and technology to build plants, operate them for a number of years with guaranteed revenues, and finally transfer the units to the government when the investment had been fully returned. The Atatürk Dam was a major project designed to increase electricity output. Its first two power units came on line in 1992.
Although Turkey's energy resources remained underdeveloped in early 1995, the country had relatively good energy production potential. One estimate places the economically feasible hydroelectric potential at around 29,500 megawatts, which would allow annual production to reach roughly 100,000 gigawatt-hours in years with normal rainfall. Lignite is the second most important potential source of energy, with proven and probable deposits put around 6.4 billion tons. However, Turkish lignite, containing high amounts of water and sulfur, is hard to burn and pollutes the air. Turkey's proven and estimated petroleum stocks are equivalent to about three years' consumption. Proven reserves are estimated at about 16 million tons, and enhanced oil-recovery techniques may allow extraction of another 30 million tons. Proven reserves of natural gas total about 12.4 billion cubic meters, and reserves of hard coal about 1 billion tons. Turkey's geothermal resources are considerable, but they have not yet been systematically explored.
Imports of petroleum averaged more than 15 million tons per year in the early 1980s and increased to about 23 million tons in the early 1990s. Most of Turkey's oil fields are located in southeastern Anatolia near the borders with Iran, Iraq, and Syria (see fig. 10). Because of the country's fractured substrata, deposits are often contained in small pockets, which makes exploration and extraction difficult. In 1985 exploration proved that Turkey has oil deposits at very deep levels, but it was not known how large the deposits might be. Shell Oil determined that oil at Paleozoic levels would be recoverable, and other investigations proved significant deposits in central Anatolia under the salt flats in the plain north of Konya. In 1991 British Petroleum began exploring for oil in offshore areas of the Black Sea. It is also suspected that the Aegean shelf contains considerable petroleum deposits, but as long as relations with Greece remain strained, conflicting claims to the Aegean seabed limit prospects for exploration. To speed up the exploration process, the Turkish government in 1983 eased regulations on such activities by foreign oil companies, allowing them to export 35 percent of production from fields they discovered in Anatolia and 45 percent from offshore fields. Although several foreign concerns started exploration after the liberalization package went into effect, up to the mid-1990s no major finds had been reported.
The state-owned oil company, Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), Shell Oil, and Mobil control most petroleum output, which had climbed gradually to a peak of 3.6 million tons in 1969 but declined to about 2.1 million tons in 1985 as deposits were depleted (see table 8, Appendix A.). By the early 1990s, output had increased once again to nearly 4.4 million tons. The main petroleum project during the 1980s was an attempt at secondary recovery at the Bati Raman fields in southeastern Anatolia, which were expected to produce roughly 1.5 million tons a year over a twenty-year period.
TPAO stepped up oil exploration efforts at home and abroad in the hope of raising output. But prospects for new domestic finds were endangered by the escalating conflict with Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey. Western operators in the area were nervous after a sharp increase in the number of attacks on oil installations. Mobil suspended operations at its 3,200-bpd Selmo field and other small sites after Kurdish attacks on its staff. In the early 1990s, talks were underway on a possible transfer of the Selmo operation to TPAO. Shell Oil's rig near the 25,000-bpd Batman refinery was also hit, although operations there continued. TPAO reported no attacks. Total Turkish production in 1993 of about 78,600 bpd--down from about 84,500 bpd in 1991--met 17 percent of the country's 458,000-bpd needs. The state firm in 1993 pumped about 60,550 bpd, Shell Oil about 14,500 bpd, Mobil about 3,230 bpd, and Aladdin Middle East about 330 bpd. On several aging fields, rising water content has halved productivity. TPAO drilled sixty exploration wells in 1993, only one of which hit oil. In 1994 it planned to drill eighty-one, stepping up work outside the affected southeast. Meanwhile, Mobil was doing seismic work in central and southern Turkey, and Shell Oil and United States Arco were both exploring in the southeast.
TPAO's joint venture in Kazakhstan, which holds seven concessions, should help to increase the company's oil reserves. In addition, preliminary tests in 1993 near Aktyubinsk and Atyrau were promising. It is expected to be several years, however, before the oil or gas reaches Turkey, given the need to work out export routes or an exchange agreement with Russia. Turkish sources are cofinancing the venture with the Kazakh state oil company. The project is TPAO's first major overseas enterprise, although its subsidiary, the Turkish Petroleum International Corporation, holds concessions in Australia, Pakistan, and Egypt.
Five refineries with a total capacity of about 713,000 bpd meet most of the country's need for petroleum products. Until early 1995, about 85 percent of refinery capacity was in public hands in four refineries located at Aliaga near Izmir, Kocaeli, Kirikkale, and Batman. A fifth refinery, jointly owned by Mobil, Shell Oil, British Petroleum, and a Turkish company, is located at Mersin.
In early 1995, Turkey's privatization program appeared to be back on track after a period of wrangling over the legality of the sale of the state refinery company TÜPRAS and the retail company Petrol Ofisi. The sale of part or all of each company is scheduled to take place before the end of 1995.
Petrol Ofisi's 4,000 stations control 56 percent of a domestic gasoline market that since 1987 has grown by an average of 5.5 percent a year to 94,000 bpd. Full privatization is expected by the end of 1995.
A TPAO pipeline extends for nearly 500 kilometers from the oil fields near Batman to Dörtyol on the Mediterranean coast. The corporation also owns and operates the Turkish section of the pipeline from Iraq's Kirkuk fields to a port facility near Dörtyol. This pipeline was enlarged in 1984 to carry 1.1 million bpd, a share of which Turkey purchased at preferential rates. A second, smaller-capacity Kirkuk-Dörtyol pipeline was built in the late 1980s, which increased capacity to 1.5 million bpd. Oil flows through the two pipelines ceased after the UN embargo on Iraq was imposed in 1990. The pipeline cannot be used for domestic oil because according to international law the oil in the pipeline at the time of the embargo must be stored, awaiting UN disposition.
Apart from the country's own oil prospects in the Black Sea, Turkish officials see their nation as a strategic hub bringing oil from Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to the Mediterranean and connecting Turkmenistan and possibly Iran to the European gas network. Turkish officials have pushed their own brand of pipeline diplomacy, encouraging the nations of Central Asia and the Caucasus--as well as Iran--to cooperate so that they can start exporting their prime resources to the outside world via Turkey.
The Turks are convinced that at least some of the projects eventually will come to fruition, beginning with a projected pipeline to bring Azerbaijani crude to the eastern Mediterranean. In the early 1990s, the governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan officially approved plans for such a line. But a series of obstacles remained to be overcome, including rival pipeline projects that would bypass Turkey, border disputes that would render key intervening areas dangerous, and even a degree of antagonism toward Turkey on the part of some neighboring states. The most immediate challenge was the effort to bring oil from Kazakhstan's Tengiz field to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, which would mean an upsurge in tanker traffic not only in the Black Sea, but also in the Bosporus and Dardanelles. Turkey has opposed this project vehemently but is constrained by international conventions that guarantee passage between the Black and the Mediterranean seas. In some places, the straits are only 800 meters wide, and the Bosporus bisects Turkey's largest city, Istanbul. The threat to one of the nation's greatest attractions has turned Turkish officials into ardent environmentalists.
Natural gas became important in the 1980s. Gas tapped in Thrace (Trakya, European Turkey) was piped to the Istanbul region and used to produce electricity, thereby reducing the need for energy imports from Bulgaria. In 1986 Turkey began construction of a pipeline to carry Soviet natural gas from the Bulgarian border to Ankara; the line was completed in the late 1980s. In 1990 government officials announced that they also desired to purchase natural gas from Algeria, a move that would help balance Turkey's large purchases from the Soviet Union.
Policy makers in the early 1970s had targeted lignite as the most abundant domestic source of hydrocarbons, and production grew rapidly from an average of about 7.9 million tons for the 1970-75 period to more than 31 million tons in 1985. Mines operated by the state-owned Turkish Lignite Company are responsible for about two-thirds of output; private firms produce the remainder. Production of hard coal is entirely controlled by the government-owned Turkish Coal Company, which suffers from poor management and outmoded technology. Coal production is also hampered by the great depth of the country's deposits. Hard coal output fell from around 6.5 million tons in 1976 to about 3.8 million tons in 1983, and unit costs exceeded those of coal imports. As a result of these trends, Turkey is beginning to import coal for use in power plants. In 1992 Turkey produced about 12 million tons of coal and imported a net of about 4.2 million tons.
The Turkish Electricity Authority (Türkiye Elektrik Kurumu--TEK) is responsible for most electric power generation and distribution. In Adana the Cukurova Electrical Company produces some electricity privately. In Kepez, a city in Antalya Province, another private company produces electricity. Upgrading of the national distribution grid began in the 1980s, and by 1985 about 70 percent of Turkey's villages were receiving electricity. The Fifth Five-Year Plan (1984-89) called for the completion of village electrification by 1989; by the mid-1990s no village was without electricity.
Demand for electricity has increased rapidly, in large part because of the growth of industry, which consumed more than 56 percent of electricity in 1992. By 1985 thermal plants produced 53 percent of total installed capacity; hydroelectric plants produced the remainder. During the early 1980s, shortages of electricity had to be covered with imports from Bulgaria and the Soviet Union. In 1984 Turkey and the Soviet Union agreed to build a second transmission line that would allow future increases in Soviet electricity deliveries. Although in the 1990s electricity imports meet less than 1 percent of Turkey's needs, the Turks want to be independent of supplies from unreliable neighbors.
Sources for generating such electricity varied. By 1992 electricity generated by coal accounted for 36 percent of total installed capacity, with hydroelectric plants accounting for 40 percent. The rest was generated using petroleum products.
Turkey's chronic energy shortages make development of hydroelectric power imperative. In 1994 the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works was building or planning to build about 300 hydroelectric plants. The centerpiece of Turkey's ambitious hydroelectric program, the Southeast Anatolia Project, which includes dams on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, will increase Turkey's irrigable land about 25 percent and its electricity-generating capacity about 45 percent. As of early 1987, the first two of the three large dams in the program (the Keban Dam and the Karakaya Dam, both on the Euphrates, northeast of Malatya) had been built, and the third, the Atatürk Dam, was under construction, completed in 1994. The World Bank refused to help finance the construction of the Atatürk Dam because Turkey had not reached an agreement on sharing the water of the Euphrates River with Syria and Iraq; Turkey, however, arranged independent financing.
Turkish officials had long discussed the possibility that nuclear power might help the country address its energy problems. During the 1980s, the military government drew up a nuclear energy program and established the Nuclear Power Plants Division of the Turkish Electricity Authority to make feasibility studies and to build nuclear plants. Given Turkey's desire to diversify its energy sources, nuclear power was expected to remain on the agenda. By early 1995, however, no electricity had been generated from nuclear power.
Although Turkey has made a good start at addressing its energy problems, some analysts feel that more attention needs to be paid to conservation and pricing policies to limit the growth of demand. Industry is the major consumer of energy, and industrial consumption is expected to grow rapidly if left unchecked. The most energy-intensive sectors of industry, such as iron and steel, food processing, textiles, mining and nonferrous metals, chemicals, cement, and bricks and ceramics, probably could reduce demand significantly if required to do so. However, the government needs to audit major energy users to discover which could cut back consumption. In addition, a shift in relative energy prices to reflect long-run costs might induce industrial restructuring that would take Turkey's energy endowment into account. Moreover, energy policy makers need to improve management of firewood and agricultural wastes, which continue to play an important role in the rural energy economy.
Turkey's most important minerals are chromite, bauxite, and copper. The country also exploits deposits of other minerals such as iron, manganese, lead, zinc, antimony, asbestos, pyrites, sulfur, mercury, and manganese. Mining contributed slightly under 2 percent of GDP in 1992, but the subsector provides the raw material for such key manufacturing industries as iron and steel, aluminum, cement, and fertilizers. Turkey exports a variety of minerals, the most important of which are blister copper, chrome, and boron products. Minerals accounted for an average of about 2 percent of export earnings in the mid-1990s. The public sector dominates mining, accounting for about 75 percent of sales. Etibank, set up in 1935 to develop Turkey's natural resources, manages most of the state's mineral interests, particularly bauxite, boron minerals, chromite, and copper.
Private-sector mining enterprises are generally small, concentrating on lead, zinc, and marble; some operate intermittently depending on market conditions. A 1978 law nationalized all private holdings, but it was only partially implemented before being invalidated by the Constitutional Court. In 1980 the government began to encourage foreign investment, and in 1983 and 1985 mining laws were revised to provide incentives for private investment. Etibank sought to encourage joint ventures with private firms in Turkey and foreign investors. Although some partnerships were struck, mainly for copper production, foreign and private investors in 1995 continued to hesitate to make major investments.
Turkey's manufacturing industries are diverse and growing. Public-sector entities dominate manufacturing, accounting for about 40 percent of value added. Private-sector firms are dominated by a number of large conglomerates that have diversified across several industries.
The manufacture of textiles is Turkey's largest industry, very competitive in international markets, and the most important foreign-exchange earner. Domestic cotton and wool provide much of the raw material for the industry, but synthetics production has also expanded. The textile sector contributed 20 percent of total manufacturing output and employed 33 percent of all workers in the mid-1990s. Textiles are produced by factories controlled by the country's largest SEE, Sumerbank, and a number of private firms. Installed capacity is equivalent to around 33 percent of that of the EU in terms of cotton spinning and around 11 percent of EU woolen yarn and textiles. In 1994 Sumerbank was identified as a likely candidate for privatization.
Textile exports grew rapidly after 1980, but protectionism in industrial countries, including the EC nations and the United States, threatened the sector's growth. Nonetheless, between 1987 and 1992 textile export values expanded at an average annual rate of 19 percent. By 1992 textiles accounted for 35 percent of total exports. Investment in increased capacity in the 1980s resulted in increased exports of finished products and ready-made garments. In 1990 the administration of President George Bush increased the quota for United States textile imports from Turkey by 50 percent to compensate for Turkey's economic problems caused by sanctions on Iraq.
Agroprocessing is one of the most dynamic branches of Turkish industry, supplying both domestic and export markets. Main product lines are sugar, flour, processed meat and milk, and fruits and vegetables. Processed food exports grew at an average rate of 8 percent per year between 1987 and 1992, accounting for 9 percent of total exports.
SEEs are the most important producers of intermediate goods, although private firms are also active. The iron and steel sector has become more competitive in adjacent Middle Eastern markets, where Turkey's location is an advantage. However, competitiveness results largely from heavy subsidies to the state companies. Two-thirds of Turkey's steel is produced by three public-sector steel mills, which remain heavily subsidized. Twenty smaller private plants produce steel from arc furnace operations. Public plants include the old and outmoded mill at Karabük, the Eregli works completed in 1965, and the plant at Iskenderun, which was built with Soviet aid and opened in 1975. The overstaffed Iskenderun plant, although the largest and most modern, performs poorly. Private plants, often more profitable than state plants, tend to use scrap as a raw material and to export to neighboring countries. In December 1994, the government indicated that 51.7 percent of the Eregli Iron and Steel Works would be privatized in 1995. This company was cited as one of the most profitable in Turkey, especially after a US$1.5 billion upgrade designed to raise raw steel capacity by one-third, to about 3 million tons annually.
Capacity use in the iron and steel sector increased rapidly in the 1980s and early 1990s. Total output of crude iron grew from about 3.1 million tons in 1985 to about 4.5 million tons in 1992. Steel ingot output rose from about 7 million tons in 1987 to 10.3 million tons in 1992. The value of exports of iron and steel rose from US$34 million in 1980 to US$1.6 billion in 1992. Such exports accounted for around 10 percent of total exports.
The demand for cement also increased in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a result of an upswing in domestic construction stimulated by infrastructure and housing projects. The cement industry consists of a large SEE, the Turkish Cement Corporation, and a number of smaller companies. Until 1970 the country imported most of its cement, but it has since become self-sufficient. Total output increased from 22.7 million tons in 1987 to 28.5 million tons in 1992. Exports of cement, especially to the Middle East, grew rapidly in the early 1980s because of the construction boom in that region.
The chemical industry, one of the country's largest in terms of value, is concentrated in a few large state enterprises, including the Petrochemical Corporation (Petrokimya Anonimsirketi--Petkim) and Etibank, and some 600 private enterprises. Chemicals produced in Turkey include boron products, caustic soda, chlorine, industrial chemicals, and sodium phosphates. The high quality of the country's minerals gives it a comparative advantage in several products. Chemical exports increased during the second half of the 1980s but fell sharply in the early 1990s, mainly because of increasing competition and lower prices elsewhere. In the late 1980s, petrochemical production, dominated by Petkim, started with a complex at Yarmica, near Kocaeli, followed by a second at Aliaga, near Izmir. The complex includes twelve plants, seven subplants, a thermal power station, and a water supply dam. These plants supply small private-sector plants, which in turn manufacture finished products. The sector's goal is to make the country self-sufficient in petrochemicals rather than to export. In 1992 Turkey produced about 144,000 tons of polyvinyl chloride, about 238,000 tons of polyethylene, about 85,000 tons of benzine, and about 32,000 tons of carbon black.
Turkey's automobile industry, established in the mid-1960s, was gradually exposed to imports after 1980. Although the sector recovered from low production levels after 1983, domestic producers remain weak. Industry observers believe that Turkey's automobile makers are too numerous and too inefficient, but market prospects appear fairly favorable because of the low per capita ownership of cars. Car output rose from about 55,000 units in 1985 to about 300,000 units in 1993. Including trucks, buses, and tractors, Turkey produced about 345,000 units in 1992. Some 60,000 vehicles were imported in that year, a figure that should increase in the near future if Turkey gains entrance into the European customs union. Turkish producers benefit from a 20 percent tariff on foreign imports.
The Turkish automobile industry in 1995 consisted of three producers, each affiliated with a foreign manufacturer: Tofas, which assembles Fiat passenger cars; Oyak-Renault, which assembles Renaults; and General Motors, builder of Opel Vectras. Toyota in partnership with local conglomerate Sabançi Holding completed a plant in 1994 designed to produce 100,000 cars per year, and a Hyundai factory that would produce 100,000 units is scheduled to open in 1996.
The government, banks, and industry form a complex system through which legislation and government policies direct credit flows. Most state-owned banks were established to finance particular industries, whereas private banks generally have intimate connections with large industrial groups. The Central Bank of Turkey often provides credit to other banks at negative real interest rates. Banks, in turn, funnel credit to industries or groups they serve. The amounts available to particular sectors of the economy thus depend largely on the resources available to the institutions for that sector, rather than on market assessments.
The Central Bank set up a system of quarterly reporting in the mid-1980s, enabling timely warning of banks in difficulties. This reform was a start toward making banking more transparent, but it is still difficult to assess the condition of the banks. Strong political pressures to keep weak industries and groups afloat during the adjustment period make it likely that several years will pass before standard accounting rules can be systematically applied. Legislation introduced in 1993 sought to bring the Turkish banking sector into line with European standards on capital adequacy and other prudential ratios. However, in December 1993, the Constitutional Court blocked this legislation because the executive had enacted it without approval of the legislature. No further action had occurred as of early 1995.
Despite some setbacks, the government's new policies have effected rapid changes in the financial sector. The banking system in early 1995 consisted of the Central Bank and fifty-eight banks, including twenty-one foreign banks, divided between Ankara, where most state-owned banks are located, and Istanbul, the center for most privately owned banks. Turkey also had three state investment and development banks. The Development Bank is funded from the Treasury and invests in the private sector. The Export Credit Bank of Turkey (Türkiye Ihracat Kredi Bankasi) provides export finance. The Municipalities Bank (Iller Bankasi) supports local institutions. In 1995 nine merchant banks also operated in Turkey, six domestically owned and three foreign owned.
The Central Bank, founded in the early 1930s, has the usual central bank responsibilities, such as issuing banknotes, protecting the currency, and regulating the banking system and credit. The Central Bank also finances the government's budget deficits and makes loans to public and private banks. Starting in 1983, however, the Central Bank began to reduce lending and stepped up its supervisory functions.
Six of Turkey's commercial banks are in the public sector, and twenty-one are partly or wholly foreign owned. Of the banking sector's assets, 46 percent are concentrated in four banks: the oldest and largest public bank, the Agricultural Bank of the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyet Ziraat Bankasi--TCZB); the Real Estate Bank (Türkiye Emlâk Bankasi As); and two private banks, Isbank and Akbank TAS. The TCZB has many branches in rural areas, a strong deposit base, and favored access to state credits, which it uses partly for the agricultural commodity price-support program. After 1983 the TCZB was forced to take over other banks that had failed, a move that reduced earnings.
Much as in Germany and Japan, the major private banks are closely linked to industrial groups. Yapi ve Kredi Bankasi, Pamukbank, and Interbank are owned by the Cukurova Group conglomerate. Akbank, reputed to be the most profitable private bank in Turkey, is owned by the Sabançi Group. Partially publicly traded Kocbank is owned by the Koç Holding Company. Tütünbank is owned by the Yasar Holding Corporation.
Before 1980 there were only four foreign banks in Turkey, but their numbers grew rapidly during the 1980s as the government liberalized conditions. Several joint ventures were created in the 1980s, as well as two Islamic banks specializing in trade finance.
Private banks remain the most vulnerable sector of the banking system because the public banks enjoy de facto state guarantees. During the 1980s, most private banks engaged in trade financing or in sales of state bonds because investment activity was depressed. The largest private banks maintained their ties to Turkey's major corporations despite a 1983 banking law enacted to discourage such links. Although a few private banks were able to eliminate nonperforming loans, many remained vulnerable to their customers' difficulties. By 1986 private-bank balance sheets began to improve, as several years of high-interest earnings made it possible for banks to write off bad loans.
Although the government, public enterprises, and private undertakings increased their use of stocks and bonds after 1970, capital markets remained underdeveloped in the 1970s. After the passing of the Capital Markets Law in 1982, a Capital Markets Board was established to issue regulations for institutions marketing bonds and other financial instruments. Most Turkish corporations were closely held and tended to finance expansion through their own funds from their small circles of stockholders. But in the 1980s, companies were allowed to issue profit-and-loss-sharing certificates with liability limited to the face value of the certificate. The Özal administration also took steps to revive Istanbul's stock market, which had closed down in the late 1970s. The Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) reopened in December 1985. With the rise of "emerging market" funds, trading on the ISE expanded rapidly in the early 1990s; indeed, it was the best performing of any market in 1993. Foreign investment accounted for 25 percent of the daily trading volume. In early 1994, however, the stock market crashed in the wake of the currency and balance of payments crisis. Plans for privatization of SEEs were expected to revive the stock market, if foreign investment and confidence in the government's attempts to stabilize the macroeconomic situation increased.
Government securities are quite liquid in secondary markets; this has been true especially since the Treasury began issuing T-bills in 1986 and an interbank market was established in 1987. Government T-bill issues jumped in the early 1990s as the budget deficit exploded. In 1986 the public snapped up revenue-sharing certificates used to finance the Keban hydroelectric project on the Euphrates; the Oymapinar Dam, also on the Euphrates south of Malatya; and a second bridge across the Bosporus. Such certificates were popular, in part because they conformed to Islamic strictures prohibiting interest. Low returns discouraged the government from using such certificates in the 1990s.
Turkey's long and varied sea coast, high mountains and lakes, and its many historical, religious, and archaeological sites (possibly including more Greek ruins than survive in Greece) give the country unrivaled tourist potential. Until the 1980s, Turkish tourism lagged far behind its counterparts in other Mediterranean countries, and visitors tended to stay for shorter periods of time and spend less money than in countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece. The Özal government's promotion of tourism in the 1980s led to dramatic change. The number of visitors grew rapidly during the 1980s and early 1990s, and Turkey was able to appeal to tourists from many different countries. Including business travelers, Turkey hosted about 1.3 million visitors in 1983 and 2.1 million in 1984, whereas Greece during the same period received at least 6 million and Spain 40 million visitors annually. By 1987 visits to Turkey had increased to about 2.9 million, and by 1992 close to 7 million.
In the early 1980s, most tourists came from European countries, especially Greece and West Germany, but the number of Middle Eastern tourists also increased. Even in the late 1980s, however, European tourists accounted for nearly 61 percent of total arrivals. By 1992 the European proportion had fallen to 45 percent.The largest increase was registered in tourists from the republics of the former Soviet Union. By 1992 they accounted for 43 percent of tourists, whereas the Middle Eastern share had shrunk from 11 percent to 8 percent.
Regional origin is a good predictor of the type of tourism and destination. Middle-class Turks, who started to take vacations in the early 1980s, usually prefer the beach resorts on the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Tourists from Western Europe, Israel, and the United States tend to visit beaches and historical sites. East European tourists, particularly from the former Soviet Union, typically come to Istanbul or Black Sea towns to shop or barter goods. Tourists from Iran and other Middle Eastern countries generally take longer holidays in Istanbul and Bursa, also coming to shop in Turkey.
Although tourism earnings reached US$770 million in 1985 and jumped to US$3.6 billion by 1992, the industry has been plagued by political, economic, and environmental problems. The fallout from the nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union, terrorist attacks by Kurdish insurgents, and economic problems in Europe and the Middle East have tended to discourage tourism. Turkey has attempted to overcome these impediments by improving domestic services. The number of beds for visitors rose from about 49,000 in 1980 to about 206,000 in 1992, for example. The total will probably reach 600,000 by the end of the 1990s. One important effort, the South Antalya Project, involves transforming a seventy-four-kilometer stretch of Mediterranean beaches into a base for resort villages. Istanbul, the main tourist center, still lacks sufficient beds, however, and there is a tendency to concentrate on luxury hotels that are too expensive for middle-class tourists. Nevertheless, the mid-1990s saw a noticeable improvement in the average spending per day by tourists: US$141 compared with the world average of US$70-US$100. Shopping tours helped raise the average significantly.
<"http://accommodations-travelnow.com/asia/turkey/">Accommodations in Turkey
TURKEY'S POLITICAL SYSTEM faced four distinct but intertwined challenges in early 1995: accommodating the disaffected Kurdish ethnic minority; reconciling the growing differences, expressed with increasing stridency, between the secular elite and groups using traditional Islamic symbols to manifest their opposition to the political status quo; establishing firm civilian control over the military, which had a long history of intervening in the political process; and strengthening weak democratic practices and institutions. Turkey displays the trappings of a Western-style democratic government: a legislature whose deputies are elected by secret ballot, multiple and competitive political parties, and relatively free news media. However, Turkey also is a country where, on three occasions since 1960, military coups have overthrown elected civilian governments. The most recent military government, which seized power in September 1980, governed for three years. During the period of military rule, strict limits were imposed on personal and political rights and liberties. Political parties were banned, and prominent civilian politicians were barred from participating in political activity for up to ten years. The military justified its intervention on the premise that it was returning the country to the principles of Kemal Atatürk (see Atatürk and the Turkish Nation, ch. 1).
The supervised restoration of civilian rule began in November 1983 with National Assembly elections for which every candidate needed to obtain military approval. A civilian government with Turgut Özal as prime minister was formed after Özal's Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi--ANAP) won a majority of the seats in the new assembly. Özal worked with the president, General Kenan Evren, a leader of the 1980 coup, to reestablish the primacy of civilian authority. By November 1987, martial law decrees had been repealed in most of Turkey except Istanbul and the predominantly Kurdish provinces of the southeast, and the military refrained from interfering in the selection of candidates for National Assembly and local elections.
The strengthening of democratic practices, however, was hindered by a lack of consensus within the political elite on the issue of granting cultural freedom and local government autonomy to the country's Kurdish minority. The Kurdish question began to reemerge in 1984 after the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkere Kurdistan--PKK) initiated armed struggle against the state by attacking rural police posts in southeastern Turkey. The military's inability to suppress the militant PKK, combined with the international media attention generated in 1988 by the arrival of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurdish refugees fleeing chemical weapons attacks by their own government, made the Kurdish situation a leading topic of public discourse. Özal, whom the National Assembly elected president in 1989, became the first prominent politician to acknowledge openly that the Kurds were not merely "mountain Turks" but a separate ethnic group whose culture merited respect. Kurdish politicians opposed to the violent tactics and separatist ideology of the PKK responded by participating actively in the Social Democratic Party (Sosyal Demokrat Parti--Sodep) and the Social Democratic Populist Party (Sosyal Demokrat Halkçi Parti--SHP). Following the October 1991 National Assembly elections, a group of SHP-aligned Kurdish deputies, who previously had formed the People's Labor Party (Halkin Emek Partisi--HEP) to promote the full equality of Kurds and Turks within Turkey, organized themselves as a separate parliamentary party. However, many Turkish leaders were unable to distinguish between a separate Kurdish political party and a Kurdish separatist movement, and they campaigned to have the HEP banned and its members arrested, even though HEP deputies enjoyed parliamentary immunity. In a severe blow to democratic procedures, seven Kurdish deputies were arrested in March 1994; they were sentenced to long prison terms in December after being convicted of "crimes against the state."
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the intensification of the PKK insurgency in southeastern Turkey tended to enhance the status of the military as the guardian of the country's territorial integrity and security. Consequently, Turkish politicians tended to treat the armed forces cautiously, apparently as part of a strategy to dissuade senior officers from initiating yet another coup. Civilian wariness was evident in the government's acquiescence to a number of extrajudicial measures that violated basic due process rights, for example, military censorship of news coverage of operations against the Kurdish guerrillas. In 1993 and 1994, scores of Turkish journalists whose reportage was perceived by the military as endangering state security were detained for trials in special military courts. The military also forcibly deported more than 150,000 Kurds from some 850 villages in the southeast. Most of the evicted villagers subsequently resettled in the cities of western Turkey, where as many as one-half of the country's Kurdish minority was estimated to be residing in 1994. The presence of so many Kurds in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and other large cities has contributed to a transformation of the Kurdish situation from a regional problem to a national one, whose characteristics include increasing ethnic polarization between Kurds and Turks.
Another cause of polarization is the ideological competition between Turkey's elite, which is imbued with the secular philosophy of Atatürk, and a new generation of grassroots leaders, influenced by Islamic ideas. Islamic political activists began organizing in 1983, after the government authorized the formation of political parties, and subsequently founded the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi--RP; also seen as Prosperity Party). Its candidates competed in both national and local elections, campaigning in middle- and lower-class urban neighborhoods with a consistent message. They blamed the country's economic and political problems on the alleged indifference of secular leaders to Muslim values. The Welfare Party steadily increased its share of the popular vote, and won more than sixty seats out of a total of 450 in the 1991 National Assembly elections. In nationwide local elections held in March 1994, Welfare Party candidates won 19 percent of the total vote, placing the party third behind the ruling True Path Party (Dogru Yol Partisi--DYP) of President Süleyman Demirel and Prime Minister Tansu Çiller and the main opposition Motherland Party. The Welfare Party's electoral successes included winning the mayor's office in Ankara, Istanbul, and twenty-seven other major cities, as well as in 400 smaller municipalities, including almost all the towns in the Kurdish provinces of the southeast.
In early 1995, Turkey was still in the process of trying to redefine its regional foreign policy in the wake of the two major international developments on its borders during 1991: the Persian Gulf War fought by the United States-led international coalition against Iraq and the unexpected collapse of the Soviet Union. Turkey's de facto participation in the Persian Gulf War--Ankara permitted United States aircraft to use a Turkish air base for bombing missions over Iraq--helped to strengthen ties with the United States, a fellow member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--see Glossary). However, the aftermath of that same war--hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Kurds trying to flee into Turkey following the collapse of their uprising against the Iraqi government--was one of the factors that contributed to the intensification of the Kurdish problem within Turkey. The military efforts to suppress the PKK and the political efforts to silence Kurdish political leaders prompted international human rights organizations to accuse the Turkish government of systematic human rights violations. These charges complicated relations with the European Union (EU--see Glossary), an economic organization that Turkey aspired to join as a full member, because several EU countries opposed Turkish membership on grounds that the country's practice of democracy fell short of EU standards. In addition, Turkey and its neighbor Greece, an EU state and a member of NATO, had failed to resolve their dispute over the status of Cyprus and their conflicting offshore claims in the Aegean Sea.
The consequences of the Soviet Union's dissolution potentially are more promising for Turkish diplomacy than the consequences of the Persian Gulf War. The fifteen countries that replaced the Soviet Union include five Asian states whose peoples speak Turkic languages. Özal and his successor as president, Demirel, promoted Turkey as a political and economic model for these Turkic-speaking countries. In keeping with this role, they sought to expand Turkey's influence through numerous bilateral agreements pertaining to cultural and economic relations. However, the long-term success of Turkey's efforts is not assured because both Iran and Russia are trying to extend or maintain their respective influence in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Initially, Turkish leaders seemed to welcome the prospect of competition with Iran for influence in the region, and they confidently asserted the superiority of their secular state over Iran's Islamic model. By the end of 1993, however, Turkey--perhaps out of concern about Russian intentions--began to stress the need to work with Iran through multilateral regional arrangements such as the Economic Cooperation Organization.
<"73.htm">President, Council of Ministers, and Prime Minister
<"75.htm">Provincial and Local Government
<"78.htm">Political Developments since the 1980 Coup
<"80.htm">True Path Party
<"81.htm">Social Democratic Populist Party
<"84.htm">Democratic Left Party
<"85.htm">Political Interest Groups
The government of Turkey functions in accordance with the constitution of 1982, which was drafted and adopted during the period of military rule following the September 1980 coup. The National Security Council (NSC--see Glossary), composed of the commanders of the army, navy, air force, and gendarmerie, and headed by the president, established a Consultative Assembly in June 1981 to draft a new constitution. This assembly consisted of 160 members, forty of whom were appointed directly by the NSC and the remaining 120 selected from a list of about 10,000 names compiled with the aid of provincial governors. In July 1982, a fifteen-member constitutional committee of the Consultative Assembly produced a draft that subsequently was amended by the Consultative Assembly and the NSC. The constitution was submitted to a public referendum on November 7 and approved by 91.4 percent of the voters; 91.3 percent of the registered electorate cast ballots. A factor in this high turnout was Provisional Article 16 of the constitution, which stipulated that registered voters who failed to vote would lose their electoral rights for five years.
The 1982 constitution replaced the constitution of 1961, which also had been drafted following a military coup (see The Armed Forces Group and Interim Rule, 1960-61, ch. 1). Under the 1961 constitution, an elaborate system of checks and balances had limited the authority of the government; the powers of the president were curtailed, and individual rights and liberties were given greater emphasis. In contrast, the 1982 constitution expands the authority of the president and circumscribes the exercise of individual and associational rights. The 1982 constitution also limits the role and influence of political parties, which are governed by more detailed and restrictive regulations than under the 1961 document. For example, political parties are required to obtain a minimum percentage of the total vote cast before any candidates on their lists can qualify for seats in the National Assembly. The 1982 constitution also provides for the enactment of electoral laws to regulate the formation of parties and the rules for their participation in elections.
Article 2 of the 1982 constitution stipulates that the Republic of Turkey is a "democratic, secular, and social state governed by the rule of law," respecting human rights and loyal to the political philosophy of Kemal Atatürk. Article 5 vests sovereignty in the nation, stipulating that it is not to be delegated to "any individual, group, or class." The fundamental objective and duty of the state is defined as safeguarding the independence and integrity of the democratic Turkish nation and ensuring "the welfare, peace, and happiness of the individual and society." The constitution divides the powers of the state among the three branches of government. The legislative branch consists of a unicameral parliament, the National Assembly, composed of 400 members (later increased by amendment to 450) elected to five-year terms. The executive branch consists of the president, who is elected to a seven-year term by the National Assembly, and a prime minister, who is appointed by the president from among National Assembly deputies. The prime minister heads the Council of Ministers, members of which are nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the president. The judicial branch is independent of the legislature and the executive.
Like its predecessor, the 1982 constitution includes a detailed bill of rights covering the social, economic, and political rights and liberties of citizens. According to Article 5, all individuals are equal before the law and possess "inherent fundamental rights and freedoms which are inviolable and inalienable." However, articles 10 through 15 authorize the government to restrict individual rights in the interest of safeguarding the "integrity of the state" and "the public interest." The government may impose further limitations on individual rights "in times of war, martial law, or state of emergency."
Articles 28 and 67 of the 1982 constitution stipulate that the individual is entitled to privacy and to freedom of thought and communication, travel, and association; that the physical integrity of the individual must not be violated; that torture and forced labor are prohibited; that all persons have access to the courts and are assumed innocent until proven guilty; that all Turkish citizens over twenty years of age have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda; and that the news media are free and not liable to censorship, except by a court order when national security or the "indivisible integrity of the state" are threatened. According to articles 35, 44, and 46, all citizens have the right to own and inherit property. The state is obligated to provide land to landless farmers or to farmers with insufficient land, and, if the public interest so requires, the state may expropriate private property, provided that compensation is paid in advance.
Articles 49 through 54 of the 1982 constitution pertain to labor. The constitution stipulates that it is the right and duty of all people of working age to work and that all have the freedom to work in the field of their choice. The state is given responsibility to take necessary measures to raise the standard of living of workers, to protect them, and to create suitable economic conditions for the prevention of unemployment. Workers have the right to rest and leisure; minors, women, and people with disabilities are to be provided special protection at work. Workers and employers are free to form labor unions and employers' associations without prior permission, but no one may be compelled to join a union or association. Workers are allowed to bargain collectively and to strike, but not in a manner "detrimental to society." General and politically motivated strikes are prohibited.
According to Article 42, primary education is compulsory and free in public schools. Only Turkish may be taught as the primary language, and all schools must follow the principles and reforms of Atatürk. Education is to be based on "contemporary science and education methods" and is provided under the supervision and control of the state. The state provides scholarships and other means of assistance "to enable students of merit lacking financial means to continue their education."
Article 24 guarantees freedom of religion, provided that the exercise of this right does not threaten the "indivisible integrity of the state." No one may be compelled to worship or to participate in religious ceremonies or rites. Primary and secondary schools are required to provide religious instruction under state supervision and control. Secularism, a primary principle of Atatürk's reforms, is reaffirmed in the provision forbidding "even partially basing the fundamental, social, economic, political, and legal order of the state on religious tenets."
Articles 68 and 69 of the 1982 constitution stipulate that citizens may form or join political parties without prior permission from the government. However, political parties must act according to the principles of the constitution and may be dissolved by the Constitutional Court if that body determines that their activities "conflict with the indivisible integrity of the state." Political parties may not have ties with any association, union, or professional organization. Judges, teachers at institutions of higher education, students, civil servants, and members of the armed forces may not join political parties.
Other articles of the constitution obligate citizens to pay taxes and to render national service in the armed forces or elsewhere in the public sector, grant them the right to petition competent authorities and the National Assembly for redress of complaints, and stipulate that the constitutionality of all laws and decrees is subject to review by the Constitutional Court. To amend the constitution, at least one-third of the members of the National Assembly first must propose an amendment. The actual proposal then must win the votes of a two-thirds majority of all members of the assembly. If the amendment is vetoed by the president, the votes of a three-quarters majority of the members are required to override the veto.
The 1982 constitution also included a set of provisional articles, the first of which stipulated that the chair of the NSC and head of state would become president of the republic for seven years following approval of the constitution in a referendum. Another provisional article stipulated that the NSC would be transformed into an advisory Presidential Council after the formation of a civilian government following elections for the National Assembly. This Presidential Council would function for a period of six years and then be dissolved. Yet another provisional article made permanent a 1981 NSC decree that barred more than 200 politicians from joining new political parties or becoming candidates for a period of ten years. Some of the provisional articles were later rescinded.
Once the 1982 constitution had been approved but before it was implemented, the NSC in April 1983 issued a Political Parties Law (Law No. 2820) that placed further restrictions on political activities. This law, which was intended to regulate the formation of political parties in advance of the November 1983 National Assembly elections, stipulates that political organizations cannot be based on class, religion, race, or language distinctions. To qualify for registration, a political party is required to have at least thirty founders, each of whom must be approved by the minister of interior. New political parties are prohibited from claiming to be continuations of any parties in existence before 1980. The law also requires each party to establish organizations in at least half the country's provinces and in one-third of the districts within those provinces. Political parties are prohibited from criticizing the military intervention of September 1980 or the actions or decisions of the NSC. The Political Parties Law empowers the NSC and its successor, the Presidential Council, to investigate all party members and candidates for office and to declare any unsuitable.
The 1982 constitution stipulates that elections are to be held on the basis of free universal suffrage with direct, equal, and secret balloting. Ballots are to be sorted and counted publicly under the supervision of judicial authorities. The Supreme Electoral Council, composed of eleven judges elected by the Court of Appeals (also known as the Court of Cassation) and the Council of State from among their own members, has jurisdiction over all electoral proceedings. The Supreme Electoral Council is empowered to rule in cases of complaints concerning the validity of elections and may declare a particular election invalid. The executive and legislative branches of the government are prohibited from exercising any control over the electoral process.
Prior to the first elections under the new constitution, the NSC issued the Electoral Law of June 1983 (Law No. 2839), which stipulates that only parties obtaining 10 percent or more of the total national vote can be represented in the National Assembly. Law No. 2839 maintains the system of proportional representation on a provincial basis, but subdivides the more populous provinces for electoral purposes so that no single constituency can elect more than seven deputies. Each province automatically is assigned at least one seat, regardless of population. These measures work to the advantage of the larger parties and the rural provinces.
The 1982 constitution vests the power to enact legislation in the unicameral National Assembly (Millet Meclis). The first National Assembly, consisting of 400 deputies, was elected in November 1983 to a five-year term. The new Motherland Party headed by Turgut Özal won a majority of seats (211) and formed Turkey's first civilian government since the 1980 coup. In 1987 Özal convinced the National Assembly to adjourn itself one year short of its five-year mandate and hold new elections, a procedure that is permitted under the constitution. Prior to these elections, the assembly approved two constitutional amendments that affected its future structure and composition. One amendment expanded the assembly from 400 to 450 seats. A second amendment repealed the provisional article of the constitution that had banned more than 200 political leaders from all political activity for a ten-year period ending in 1991. This article had permitted the military to retain a degree of control over the electoral process, both at the national and local levels. Its repeal enabled Turkey's best-known politicians, including Süleyman Demirel and Bülent Ecevit, to participate openly in the electoral process. Consequently the National Assembly elections held in November 1987 constituted the first genuinely free balloting in the country since the 1980 coup.
Özal's party won a majority (292 of 450 seats) in the 1987 assembly elections, and he continued to head the government until 1989, when he was elected president. In 1991 the National Assembly again voted to schedule elections one year early. However, as a result of the October balloting, the Motherland Party won only 24 percent of the vote, coming in second behind Demirel's True Path Party, which obtained 27 percent of the vote. Because none of the political parties had won a clear majority, Demirel obtained the agreement of the Social Democratic Populist Party to form a coalition government. The next National Assembly elections are due to be held in October 1996.
Although the constitution stipulates that by-elections to fill vacant seats may be held once between general elections--unless the number of vacancies reaches 5 percent of the total assembly membership--the National Assembly has not scheduled such elections on a regular basis. The assembly holds a convocation following elections, but does not open its annual legislative term until the first day of September. By law, it cannot be in recess for more than three months in a year. Article 93 of the constitution empowers the president during an assembly adjournment to summon the deputies for an extraordinary session, either on his or her own initiative or at the written request of one-fifth of the members.
The National Assembly's powers include exclusive authority to enact, amend, and repeal laws. It also can pass legislation over the veto of the president. The assembly supervises the Council of Ministers and authorizes it to issue government decrees. The assembly is responsible for debating and approving the government's budget and making decisions pertaining to the printing of currency. In addition, the assembly approves the president's ratification of international treaties and has authority to declare war. The constitution stipulates that the assembly can request that the executive respond to written questions, investigations, and interpellations, and can vote the Council of Ministers out of office.
According to Article 76 of the constitution, every Turkish citizen over the age of thirty is eligible to be a National Assembly deputy, provided that he or she has completed primary education and has not been convicted of a serious crime or been involved in "ideological and anarchistic activities." In addition, men are required to have performed their compulsory military service. Members of higher judicial and education institutions as well as civil servants and members of the armed forces must resign from office before standing for election. Article 80 of the constitution stipulates that deputies represent the whole nation, not just their own constituencies.
Articles 83 and 84 of the constitution grant deputies parliamentary immunities, such as freedom of speech and, with some qualifications, freedom from arrest. These freedoms were put to a severe test in March 1994, when the National Assembly voted to strip the parliamentary immunities of seven deputies who had spoken out within the assembly on behalf of civil rights for the country's Kurdish minority. The seven deputies were arrested at the door of the National Assembly building in Ankara and charged with making speeches that constituted "crimes against the state."
Articles 83 and 84 also provide for a deputy to be deprived of membership in the National Assembly by vote of an absolute majority of its members. Furthermore, a deputy who resigns from his or her political party after an election may not be nominated as a candidate in the next election by any party in existence at the time of that resignation.
As was also the case before the 1980 coup, deputies in the National Assembly in early 1995 typically were fairly young, well-educated members of the elite, with as many as two-thirds having college degrees. However, since 1983 there has been a shift in occupational representation away from a predominance of government officials. In the three assemblies elected starting in 1983, a large percentage of deputies were lawyers, engineers, businesspeople, and economists (see The Changing National Elite, ch. 2).
The 1982 constitution vests executive authority in the president, who is the designated head of state. The president ensures implementation of the constitution and the orderly functioning of the government (see fig. 12). The president serves a seven-year term and cannot be reelected. Under a provisional article of the constitution, General Evren, who was chair of the NSC, automatically assumed the presidency when the constitution took effect at the end of 1982. Article 102 of the constitution provides the procedures for electing subsequent presidents, who must be chosen by the National Assembly from among its members. A deputy nominated for the presidency must obtain a two-thirds majority vote of the assembly. If a two-thirds majority cannot be obtained on the first two ballots, a third ballot is held, requiring only an absolute majority of votes. If a presidential candidate fails to obtain a majority on the third ballot, a fourth and final ballot is held, the choice being between the two candidates who received the greatest number of votes on the third ballot. If this procedure fails to produce a winner, new assembly general elections must be held immediately.
When Evren's seven-year term ended in November 1989, the assembly failed to produce a two-thirds vote for any candidate on the first two ballots. Prime Minister Turgut Özal won a majority on the third ballot and became Turkey's second president under the 1982 constitution. Özal died of a heart attack in April 1993 before completing his term in office. In the subsequent assembly vote for a new president, no candidate won a two-thirds majority on the first two ballots. Süleyman Demirel, who had become prime minister in November 1991, garnered the simple majority required for the third ballot and became the country's third president since the 1980 coup.
A candidate for president must have completed secondary education and must be at least forty years old. Articles 101 and 102 of the constitution provide that a presidential candidate can be nominated from outside the membership of the National Assembly if the candidate meets the stipulated qualifications and if the nomination is presented to the assembly in the form of a written resolution that has the endorsement of at least one-fifth of the deputies. In accordance with the requirement that the president-elect terminate relations with his or her political party, both Özal and Demirel resigned as heads of their respective parties following their election to the presidency.
The 1982 constitution gives the president a stronger and more extensive role than did the 1961 constitution, under which the presidency was a largely ceremonial office. The president is empowered to summon meetings of the National Assembly, promulgate laws, and ratify international treaties. The president also may veto legislation passed by the National Assembly, submit constitutional amendments proposed by the assembly to popular referenda, and challenge the constitutionality of assembly laws and cabinet decrees. The president's responsibilities include appointing the prime minister, convening and presiding over meetings of the Council of Ministers, and calling for new elections to the National Assembly. The president also is authorized to dispatch the Turkish armed forces for domestic or foreign military missions and to declare martial law.
The constitution also provides the president with appointive powers that he or she may exercise independently of the Council of Ministers. For example, the president is empowered to appoint the members of the Constitutional Court, one-quarter of the members of the Council of State, all diplomatic representatives, the chief of the General Staff, members of the Supreme Military Administrative Court, the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors, the State Supervisory Council, the Council of Higher Education, and all university presidents.
The president may be impeached for high treason at the recommendation of one-third of the members of the National Assembly and removed from office by the vote of a three-quarters majority. Otherwise, Article 105 of the constitution stipulates that "no appeal shall be made to any legal authority, including the Constitutional Court, against the decisions and orders signed by the president of the Republic on his own initiative." The constitution also provides for the establishment of a State Supervisory Council to conduct investigations and inspections of public organizations at the president's request.
The president presides over the National Security Council, a body that contains civilian as well as military members. It should not be confused with the former NSC, an all-military body, which ruled the country following the1980 coup and subsequently became the advisory Presidential Council. The present National Security Council is composed of the prime minister, the chief of the General Staff, the ministers of national defense, interior, and foreign affairs, and the commanders of the branches of the armed forces and the gendarmerie. This body sets national security policy and coordinates all activities related to mobilization and defense. An advisory Presidential Council, composed of the armed forces commanders who had joined Evren in the 1980 military coup and the military government that lasted until 1983, continued to advise the president until 1989. At that time, in accordance with the provisional articles appended to the 1982 constitution, the Presidential Council was dissolved (see Political Developments since the 1980 Coup, this ch.).
The Council of Ministers, or cabinet, is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president from among the elected deputies of the National Assembly. In practice, the president asks the head of the party with the largest number of deputies to form a government. The prime minister then nominates ministers for appointment by the president. Within one week of being selected, each new cabinet must be presented to the full assembly for a vote of confidence; a simple majority is required. If at any time during the Council of Ministers' tenure an absolute majority of the assembly should support a motion of no confidence, the ministers must resign. In the event that no party obtains a majority in National Assembly elections, a coalition of parties is allowed up to six weeks to form a government. If no new cabinet can be formed within forty-five days, the president may dissolve the assembly and call for new elections.
The prime minister supervises the implementation of government policy. Members of the Council of Ministers have joint and equal responsibility for the implementation of this policy. In addition, each minister is responsible for the conduct of affairs under his or her jurisdiction and for the actions of subordinates. In early 1995, the prime minister was Tansu Çiller, the first woman to hold this office. Her cabinet consists of a deputy prime minister and the following ministers: agriculture and rural affairs, communications and transport, culture, education, energy and natural resources, environment, finance, foreign affairs, forestry, health, industry and trade, interior, justice, labor, national defense, public works and housing, and <"69.htm">tourism. Çiller's Council of Ministers also includes a number of ministers of state with cabinet rank.
In the area of national defense, the Council of Ministers is responsible to the assembly for national security and for the readiness of the armed forces. However, the president normally serves as commander in chief of the armed forces. With the president as chair, the cabinet is empowered to declare martial law or a state of emergency and to issue decrees without restriction during such periods.
The 1982 constitution strengthens the role of the Council of Ministers vis-à-vis the National Assembly by empowering the cabinet to issue regulations pertaining to the implementation of laws. However, the cabinet also is weakened in terms of its relationship to the president. The constitution grants the president the right to dismiss any minister upon the suggestion of the prime minister. In effect, individual ministers are subject to removal at the discretion of either the president or the prime minister.
Since legal reforms instituted in 1926, Turkey's judicial system has been based on the Swiss Civil Code, the Italian Penal Code, and the Neuchâtel (Swiss) Code of Civil Procedure. The 1982 constitution guarantees judicial independence and prohibits any government agency or individual from interfering with the operations of the courts and judges. Members of the National Assembly also are not allowed to discuss or make statements concerning pending court cases. Although trials normally are held in open court, the constitution provides that they can be closed "for reasons of public morality or public security."
Headed by the minister of justice, the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors is the principal body charged with responsibility for ensuring judicial integrity. This council acts on matters pertaining to the careers of judges, including appointments, promotions, transfers, and supervision. The high council is empowered to remove judges and abolish courts and the offices of judges and public prosecutors. However, judges themselves are protected against arbitrary removal from office by a constitutional provision stipulating that they cannot be dismissed without due cause or retired involuntarily before age sixty-five.
In early 1995, Turkey's legal system consisted of three types of courts: judicial, military, and administrative. Each system includes courts of first instance and appellate courts. In addition, a Court of Jurisdictional Disputes rules on cases that cannot be classified readily as falling within the purview of one court system.
The judicial courts form the largest part of the system; they handle most civil and criminal cases involving ordinary citizens. The two supreme courts within the judicial system are the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeals.
The Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of laws and decrees at the request of the president or of one-fifth of the members of the National Assembly. Its decisions on the constitutionality of legislation and government decrees are final. The eleven members of the Constitutional Court are appointed by the president from among candidates nominated by lower courts and the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. Challenges to the constitutionality of a law must be made within sixty days of its promulgation. Decisions of the Constitutional Court require the votes of an absolute majority of all its members, with the exception of decisions to annul a constitutional amendment, which require a two-thirds majority.
The Court of Appeals (also known as the Court of Cassation) is the court of last instance for review of decisions and verdicts of lower-level judicial courts, both civil and criminal. Its members are elected by secret ballot by senior judges and public prosecutors. Below the Court of Appeals are the ordinary civil and criminal courts. At the lowest level of the judicial system are justices of the peace, who have jurisdiction over minor civil complaints and offenses. Single-judge criminal courts have jurisdiction over misdemeanors and petty crimes, with penalties ranging from small fines to brief prison sentences. Every organized municipality (a community having a minimum population of 2,000) has at least one single-judge court, with the actual number of courts varying according to the total population. Three-judge courts of first instance have jurisdiction over major civil suits and serious crimes. Either of the parties in civil cases and defendants convicted in criminal cases can request that the Court of Appeals review the lower-court decision. The Turkish courts have no jury system; judges render decisions after establishing the facts in each case based on evidence presented by lawyers and prosecutors.
The administrative court system consists of the Council of State, an appellate court, and various administrative courts of first instance. The Council of State reviews decisions of the lower administrative courts, considers original administrative disputes, and, if requested, gives its opinion on draft legislation submitted by the prime minister and the Council of Ministers. The president appoints 25 percent of the Council of State's judges. The other 75 percent are appointed by the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors.
The military court system exercises jurisdiction over all military personnel. In areas under martial law, the military also has jurisdiction over all civilians accused of terrorism or "crimes against the state." The military court system consists of military and security courts of first instance, a Supreme Military Administrative Court, an appellate State Security Court, and the Military Court of Appeals, which reviews decisions and verdicts of the military courts. The decisions of the Military Court of Appeals are final.
The 1982 constitution retains Turkey's centralized administrative system. Each province is administered by a governor (vagi ) appointed by the Council of Ministers with the approval of the president. The governors function as the principal agents of the central government and report to the Ministry of Interior. The constitution grants governors extraordinary powers during a state of emergency, powers similar to those of military authorities in areas under martial law. The constitution also stipulates that the central administration oversee elected local councils in order to ensure the effective provision of local services and to safeguard the public interest. The minister of interior is empowered to remove from office local administrators who are being investigated or prosecuted for offenses related to their duties.
In early 1995, Turkey was divided into seventy-six provinces (vilayetlar ). Each province was further subdivided into an average of about eight districts, or kazalar , each roughly equivalent in size to a county in a United States state. Each district was segmented into an average of 493 subdistricts, or bucaklar . Each provincial capital, each district seat, and each town of more than 2,000 people is organized as a municipality headed by an elected mayor. Government at the provincial level is responsible for implementing national programs for health and social assistance, public works, culture and education, agriculture and animal husbandry, and economic and commercial matters.
As chief executive of the province and principal agent of the central government, each governor supervises other government officials assigned to carry out ministerial functions in his or her province. Civil servants head offices of the national government that deal with education, finance, health, and agriculture at the provincial level. In each province, these directors form the provincial administrative council (vilayet genel meclisi ), which, with the governor as chair, makes key administrative decisions and, when necessary, initiates disciplinary actions against errant provincial employees.
The governor also heads the provincial assembly and several service departments concerned mainly with local trade and industrial matters. The provincial assembly, which advises and works closely with the provincial administrative council, is elected every five years and, with the governor chairing, meets annually to approve the provincial budget and to select one person from each district to serve on the province's administrative commission. With the governor presiding, the administrative commission meets weekly for mutual consultation. Provincial budgets derive their income from rents, payments for services, fines, state aid, and a 1 percent share of national tax revenues. In most provinces, provincial funds are spent primarily on agricultural and reforestation programs, irrigation, and schools.
Each district in a province has its own administration based in the district seat. The district administration consists of a district chief (kaymakam ), central government representatives, and a district administrative board. The more than 500 district chiefs are appointed by the president upon nomination by the minister of interior. Each district chief is responsible to the governor, serving essentially as his or her agent in supervising and inspecting the activities of government officials in the district. The district in which a provincial capital is located may not have a district chief but instead be headed directly by the governor. Each subdistrict director (bucak mudur ) is appointed by the minister of interior on the nomination of the governors. The subdistrict directors, who number about 40,000, are responsible for law enforcement in the villages. They are assisted by officials in charge of rural security; land titles; vital statistics; schools; and postal, telephone, and telegraph services.
Municipal governments exist in each provincial and district capital, as well as in all communities with at least 2,000 inhabitants. Municipal governments are responsible for implementing national programs for health and social assistance, public works, education, and transportation. Each municipality (belediye ) is headed by a mayor (belediye reisi ), who is elected by the citizens to a five-year term and is assisted by deputy directors of departments and offices. Municipal councils, also elected for five years, vary in size according to each town's population. Municipal councils meet three times a year to decide on such issues as the budget, housing plans, reconstruction programs, tax rates, and fees for municipal services. A variety of municipal standing committees, appointed by the mayor and municipal department directors or selected by municipal council members from among themselves, deal with financial issues and decide on the appointment and promotion of municipal personnel.
The smallest unit of local government in Turkey is the village (köy derneg ), a locality with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants. The principal authority in a village, the headman (muhtar ), is chosen by an assembly of all the village's adults. This informal assembly also makes decisions pertaining to village affairs and elects a council of elders (ihtiyar meclisi ) that includes the village schoolteacher and the imam (see Glossary). The headman supervises the planning and operation of communal projects and services and administers directives from higher authorities. The headman receives government officials, maintains order, collects taxes, and presides at civil ceremonies. The village council supervises village finances, purchases or expropriates land for schools and other communal buildings, and decides on the contributions in labor and money to be made by villagers for road maintenance and other community improvements. The village council also arbitrates disputes between villagers and imposes fines on those who fail to perform the services allotted to them.
Since the early years of the Turkish republic, the civil bureaucracy has played an important role in politics. It became one of the bases of Atatürk's power and was a key instrument of his reform policy, which emphasized adherence to the "Six Arrows" of secularism, republicanism, populism, nationalism, etatism (see Glossary), and reformism (see Atatürk's Reforms, ch. 1). During the 1930s and 1940s, a consistently high percentage of parliament members had a civil service background. However, the power and social prestige of the official elite declined with the emergence of competitive political parties in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Civil bureaucrats generally believed they worked in the service of the entire nation, and they tended to view politicians, especially those affiliated with the Democrat Party (Demokrat Partisi--DP), as being too partisan to comprehend the difference between policies beneficial to the nation and those merely serving special interests. Democrats and their Justice Party (Adalet Partisi--AP) successors did not appreciate these attitudes, and consequently bureaucrats lost credibility and influence among these politicians, who tried, generally with little success, to restrict the autonomy of the civil service.
The military regime that seized power in 1980 was less tolerant of an independent bureaucracy than its predecessor had been in 1960. Accordingly, it took measures designed to reduce the bureaucracy's autonomy and involvement in partisan politics. For example, civil servants lost the right to challenge or appeal decisions made by members of the Council of Ministers or the Council of State. Martial law commanders were empowered to remove or reassign civil servants under their jurisdiction at their own discretion. In April 1981, a Supreme Board of Supervision was established to oversee the bureaucracy. Its investigations resulted in a large number of officials receiving administrative or penal punishments and prompted many senior bureaucrats to leave government service. The tension between the military government and the civil service did not cease with the end of military rule. When Turgut Özal became prime minister at the end of 1983, he proclaimed that streamlining the bureaucracy was part of the fundamental administrative reform he intended to implement. Gradually, however, cooperation between bureaucrats and political leaders was restored; by the early 1990s, it was no longer fashionable to blame civil servants for the country's problems.
In early 1995, the civil service operated in accordance with provisions stipulated in the 1982 constitution and subsequent regulations. For example, civil servants are appointed for life on the basis of competitive examinations and can be removed from their posts only in exceptional cases. They must remain loyal to the constitution and may not join political parties. If a public employee wishes to compete in National Assembly elections, that individual first must resign from government service. All disciplinary decisions pertaining to civil servants are subject to judicial review.
Since the military coup of 1960, Turkish politics have been characterized by two opposing visions of government. According to the "rule from above" view, which has been dominant among the military elite and some of the civilian political elite, government is an instrument for implementing the enduring principles of Kemalism. Thus, if a government fails to carry out this mandate, it must be replaced by those who are the guardians of Atatürk's legacy, which is identified as synonymous with Turkish nationalism. In contrast, the "rule from below" view, which predominates among more populist-oriented politicians and thinkers, tends to regard government as an instrument for protecting the civic rights and individual freedoms of Turkish citizens. Thus, if elected leaders fail in their responsibilities, they should be voted out of office. Supporters of the first view tend to interpret democracy as a political order in which all Turks share common goals and national unity is not disrupted by partisan politics. When they perceive partisan politics as threatening this democratic ideal, they back military intervention as a corrective measure. Those favoring rule from below tend to accept diversity of opinion, and its organized expression through competitive political parties, as normal in a healthy democracy. These two very different conceptions of government have contributed significantly to Turkey's political history since 1960, an era in which periods of parliamentary democracy have alternated with periods of military authoritarianism.
The legacy of military intervention, in particular a general fear among politicians that it may recur, has adversely affected democratic practices in Turkey. For instance, the successor civilian governments have lifted only gradually the harsh restrictions imposed on political rights by the 1980-83 regime. In early 1995, various restrictions on the formation of political parties and free association remained in effect; civilians accused of "crimes against the state" continued to be remanded to military courts for detention, interrogation, and trial.
Immediately following the September 1980 coup, the military government arrested Turkey's leading politicians, dissolved the bicameral Grand National Assembly, declared martial law, and banned all political activity (see Military Interlude, ch. 1). In October 1981, all political parties then in existence were disbanded and their property and financial assets confiscated by the state. In April 1983, the NSC issued regulations for the formation of new political parties--which could have no ties to the disbanded parties--in anticipation of elections for a new single-chamber National Assembly to be held later that year. Subsequently, the ban on political activity was lifted, except for 723 politicians active before the coup who were forbidden to participate in politics. About 500--former deputies and senators of the dissolved Grand National Assembly--were barred until 1986. The remaining group of more than 200 was not allowed to be involved in politics until 1991. In addition to these restrictions, each party had to submit its list of candidates for NSC approval in order to compete in the assembly elections. Although fifteen parties were established by August 1983, the NSC disqualified all but three of them on the grounds that they had ties to banned political leaders such as Süleyman Demirel and Bülent Ecevit. For a variety of other political reasons, the NSC also vetoed several proposed candidates on the lists presented by the three approved parties.
The parties allowed to participate in the November 1983 National Assembly elections were the Nationalist Democracy Party (Milliyetçi Demokrasi Partisi--MDP), headed by retired general Turgut Sunalp, an ally of NSC chair and president Kenan Evren; the Motherland Party, led by Turgut Özal, a civilian who had served in the military government from 1980 to 1982 as deputy prime minister for economic affairs; and the Populist Party (Halkçi Partisi--HP), led by Necdet Calp. The military publicly supported Sunalp's party and expected it to win a majority of seats in the new assembly. However, the elections proved to be a stunning repudiation of the military government: the Nationalist Democracy Party won only 23.3 percent of the total votes cast and obtained only seventy-one of the assembly's 400 seats. Özal's Motherland Party won an absolute majority of seats (211 total); subsequently, Evren asked Özal to form a new government, which took office in December 1983.
The restoration of civilian government did not mean an immediate restoration of civilian rule. Although the NSC had dissolved itself, Evren, as president of the republic, was in a position to veto any policies that might displease the military. In addition, most of Turkey remained under martial law, which meant that military officers retained ultimate decision-making authority at the local level. Although Özal proceeded cautiously to reassert civilian authority, he recognized that easing various military-imposed restrictions was essential to improve Turkey's international image, especially in Western Europe.
Following the 1980 coup, the members of the European Community, which Turkey aspired to join, had frozen relations with Ankara. The pan-European parliament, the Council of Europe, had cited the military regime's record of human rights violations as justification for banning Turkish participation in 1982 (see Foreign Relations, this ch.). To demonstrate his commitment to democracy, Özal allowed three political parties whose participation in the 1983 general elections had been vetoed by the military to contest the municipal elections his government had scheduled for March 1984. All three parties seemed to be obvious continuations of dissolved precoup parties, and they did not try very hard to disguise their ties to banned politicians. For example, the True Path Party had been formed by former members of the Justice Party, and its de facto leader was widely acknowledged to be Süleyman Demirel. Supporters of the old Republican People's Party (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi--CHP) had formed the Social Democratic Party (Sosyal Demokrat Parti--Sodep) under the leadership of Erdal Inönü, the son of Ismet Inönü, a former president and close political ally of Atatürk. The Welfare Party (Refah Partisi--RP) was headed by Necmettin Erbakan, an Islamic activist whose political views had been irksome to the military since the early 1970s.
The local elections held on March 25, 1984, constituted a further repudiation of the military, with Sunalp's Nationalist Democracy Party obtaining less than 10 percent of the vote. At the level of local politics, Sodep and the True Path Party emerged as the second and third strongest parties behind Özal's Motherland Party, which won 40 percent of the vote. The Populist Party, which had the second largest contingent in the National Assembly, did poorly in the municipal elections, probably because most of its potential support went to Sodep, a party with which it shared ideological affinities, as well as common origins in the old Republican People's Party. Subsequently, in November 1985 a majority of Populist Party deputies voted to dissolve their party and merge with Sodep to form a single party, the Social Democratic Populist Party (Sosyal Demokrat Halkçi Parti--SHP). The local elections and the lifting of martial law in several Turkish provinces had a positive effect on some European governments, and in May 1984, the Council of Europe voted to readmit Turkey as an associate member of the European Community.
Following the 1984 municipal elections, former political leaders challenged restrictions on their activities by appearing at political meetings and making public speeches. Demirel and Ecevit were the most prominent of the leaders who openly defied the bans on political activities. The Özal government was under pressure from the military to enforce the bans but under equal pressure from both domestic public opinion and international human rights organizations to relax the restrictions on the country's former leaders. The government responded with alternating tolerance and legal harassment. Inconsistency also characterized the government's treatment of other democratization issues. For example, by the end of 1987 martial law had been lifted in most of Turkey's provinces, but the number of civilians being tried in military courts actually had increased. In addition, the government was embarrassed by reports published by Amnesty International and similar organizations charging the continuation of systematic torture in Turkish prisons, press censorship, and the denial of civil rights for the Kurdish minority. Although the Özal government dismissed these reports, they tended to complicate already delicate relations with members of the European Community.
In 1986 the expiration of the law banning political activity by some 500 minor politicians of the precoup era served to highlight the anomalous situation of a self-proclaimed democracy that continued to deny the right of political participation to more than 200 major political figures, including former prime ministers and cabinet members. Özal persuaded President Evren and the other senior military officers who supported the ban that the issue should be put to a referendum. The vote took place in September 1987, with a large majority of voters approving repeal. Demirel and Ecevit almost immediately assumed leadership of the parties they had controlled from behind the scenes, respectively the True Path Party and the Democratic Left Party (Demokratik Sol Partisi--DSP), and began campaigning for the National Assembly elections scheduled for November.
The 1987 National Assembly elections were held under the most democratic conditions since the 1980 coup. In contrast to its actions during the 1983 election, the government proscribed no political parties or individual candidates on party lists. From the perspective of the individual parties, the only drawback was the requirement that each must win at least 10 percent of the national vote in order to obtain a seat in the assembly. Parties competing in the elections included the Democratic Left Party, the Motherland Party, the Nationalist Labor Party (Milliyetçi Çalisma Partisi--MÇP), the SHP, the True Path Party, and the Welfare Party (see Political Parties, this ch.). However, only three parties exceeded the 10 percent threshold to qualify for assembly seats. Özal's Motherland Party upheld its dominance in parliament by winning 36 percent of the national vote--slightly less than the 40 percent it had won in 1983--and more than 60 percent of the assembly seats--292 out of a total of 450. Inönü's SHP, a 1985 merger of Sodep and the Populist Party (the latter had won the second highest number of seats in 1983), ranked second with ninety-nine seats. Demirel's True Path Party, which had not been allowed to participate in the 1983 elections, ranked third with fifty-nine seats.
The four years following the 1987 elections witnessed the political comeback of Demirel, who had been prime minister at the time of the 1980 military coup. Following the takeover by the armed forces, he and other members of his government had been arrested. His Justice Party and all other parties subsequently were forcibly dissolved. During Demirel's eleven-year exclusion from politics, his former protégé, Özal, emerged as the country's most prominent civilian politician. Because Özal had been a rising star in the Justice Party prior to the coup and had been chosen to take charge of the government's economic reform program, Demirel resented Özal's initial cooperation with the military and his later establishment of the Motherland Party, which competed directly with the True Path Party for the allegiance of former Justice Party supporters. Consequently, once the ban on his political activities was lifted, Demirel campaigned tirelessly against Özal and the Motherland Party. Demirel's persistent criticism of Özal's policies probably was an important factor in the major electoral setback suffered by the Motherland Party in the March 1989 municipal council elections. The Motherland Party's share of the popular vote fell to 22 percent--compared with 26 percent for Demirel's True Path Party--and it lost control of several municipal councils, including those in the country's three largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. Whatever satisfaction Demirel may have derived from his party's electoral edge over the Motherland Party, the True Path Party nevertheless did not receive the largest plurality of ballots. That distinction went to the SHP, which obtained 28 percent of the total vote (see fig. 13).
Encouraged by the results of the municipal council elections, Demirel devoted the next two-and-one-half years to building up his party for the National Assembly elections. His goal was for the True Path Party to win a majority of seats, a victory that would enable him to reclaim the post of prime minister from which he had been ousted so unceremoniously in 1980. Özal may have provided unintentional support for Demirel's efforts when he decided at the end of 1989 to be a candidate for president to replace General Evren, whose seven-year term was expiring. Because Özal's Motherland Party still controlled a majority of seats in the assembly, his nomination was approved, albeit on the third ballot. However, in accordance with the constitution, Özal had to sever his political ties to the Motherland Party upon becoming president. Because he had been so closely identified with the party and because none of its other leaders, including Yildirim Akbulut, who succeeded Özal as prime minister in November 1989, had achieved national prominence, Özal's departure tended to weaken the Motherland Party politically.
The decline--at least temporarily--of the Motherland Party was demonstrated in the October 1991 National Assembly elections. The party received only 24 percent of the total vote and won only 115 seats. In comparison to four years earlier, these results represented a severe defeat. However, the Motherland Party remained a serious competitor in the political arena, falling only from first to second place in terms of overall parliamentary representation. Whereas the True Path Party emerged from the elections with the largest number of votes and the greatest number of assembly seats, its overall performance--27 percent of the total vote and 178 assembly seats--was less impressive than Demirel had hoped and insufficient to give the party the 226 seats needed for parliamentary control. For Demirel to become prime minister, it would be necessary for the True Path Party to form a coalition with the Motherland Party--a very unrealistic prospect--or at least one of the three other parties that had obtained 10 percent or more of the total vote and thus qualified for representation in the assembly. The three parties were the SHP, eighty-eight seats; the Welfare Party, sixty-two seats; and the Democratic Left Party, seven seats. In November 1991, Demirel announced a DYP-SHP coalition government, with himself as prime minister and SHP leader Inönü as deputy prime minister. Thus, eleven years after being overthrown by the military, Demirel returned as head of government. More significantly, in May 1993 the National Assembly elected Demirel president of the republic following the unexpected death of Özal.
The Welfare Party and other parties also perceived the Motherland Party's weakness and shared Demirel's hope of benefiting from it. The Welfare Party built steady support in middle- and lower-class urban neighborhoods by focusing on widespread dissatisfaction with government policies and attributing official abuses of authority to the failure of leaders to adhere to traditional religious values. It had received 10 percent of the total vote in the 1989 municipal council elections and won control of several small town councils. In the October 1991 National Assembly elections, the party obtained 16.9 percent of the total vote and won sixty-two seats. Its base in the assembly provided the Welfare Party with a strong platform from which to criticize the DYP-SHP coalition government, which Welfare Party leaders accused of being as insensitive on issues of social injustice and civil rights abuses as its Motherland predecessor. In the March 1994 municipal elections, the Welfare Party demonstrated its ability to draw some of the support base of the DYP, whose share of the total vote fell to 22 percent. In contrast, the Welfare Party won 19 percent of the total vote--placing it a very close third after the DYP and the Motherland Party. Its mayoralty candidates won in both Ankara and Istanbul, the country's two most secular cities, as well as in scores of other cities and towns.
Prior to 1950, the Republic of Turkey was essentially a one-party state ruled by the Republican People's Party, which had been created by Atatürk to implement the Six Arrows of Kemalism. Although there had been abortive experiments with "loyal opposition" parties in the mid-1920s and in 1930, it was not until 1946 that the CHP permitted political parties to form and contest elections, albeit in a politically controlled environment. The Democrat Party was founded in 1946 by CHP members who were dissatisfied with the authoritarian style of the CHP but who otherwise supported the party's Kemalist principles. The DP emphasized the need to end various restrictions on personal freedom so that Turkey could become a democracy. Reform of laws governing political parties and electoral activities--measures that would enable the DP to compete on an equal basis with the CHP--were enacted prior to the 1950 parliamentary elections. Consequently, those elections were the first free ones since the founding of the republic in 1923. The DP won a large majority of seats in the assembly and thus took over the government from the CHP.
The DP retained control of the government throughout the 1950s, a period during which it enacted legislation that restricted news media freedom and various civil liberties. As the DP steadily became less tolerant of dissent, the CHP gradually moved in the opposite direction, abandoning its authoritarian stance and becoming an advocate of civil rights. The DP's efforts to suppress opposition to its policies provoked a political crisis that culminated in a May 1960 military coup. The DP subsequently was dissolved, but the Justice Party, which was established in 1961, was widely perceived as its successor and attracted most of its supporters. In the 1961 parliamentary elections that led to the restoration of civilian government, the Justice Party won the second largest number of seats and thus established itself as the principal competitor of the CHP, which had won a plurality of seats. In the subsequent nineteen years, the rivalry between the Justice Party and the CHP remained a significant feature of Turkish politics. Although both parties proclaimed their loyalty to Kemalist ideals, they evolved distinct ideological positions. Süleyman Demirel, who became leader of the Justice Party in 1964, favored economic policies that benefited private entrepreneurs and industrialists. In contrast, Bülent Ecevit, who became leader of the CHP in 1965, believed in a form of democratic socialism that included government intervention aimed at regulating private business and protecting workers and consumers. The views of these two men and the positions of their respective parties became increasingly polarized after 1972.
The inability of either the Justice Party or the CHP to win parliamentary majorities and the refusal of both Demirel and Ecevit to cooperate politically necessitated the formation of numerous coalition and minority-party governments. These governments proved ineffective at devising policies to cope with Turkey's economic and social problems, which became steadily more serious throughout the 1970s. Various groups on the extreme right and the extreme left formed illegal political organizations that resorted to violence in pursuit of their objectives, which for certain groups included the overthrow of the government. The apparent inability of governments--whether dominated by the Justice Party or by the CHP--to control increasing terrorism in urban areas contributed to a general sense of insecurity and crisis and served as the catalyst for the 1980 coup. Blaming politicians for the country's political impasse, the military sought to end partisan politics by dissolving the old parties and banning all activity by the politicians deemed responsible for the crisis. Although the formation of new parties was authorized in 1983, none was allowed to use the name of any of the banned parties from the precoup past. Nevertheless, most of Turkey's existing parties in early 1995 were transparent continuations of earlier parties.
<"80.htm">True Path Party
<"81.htm">Social Democratic Populist Party
<"84.htm">Democratic Left Party
In January 1995, the True Path Party (Dogru Yol Partisi--DYP) was the senior partner in Turkey's coalition government. It was a continuation of the Justice Party, and its leader from 1987 until 1993 was Demirel. Because Demirel was barred from political activity prior to late 1987, his close associate, Hüsamettin Cindoruk, became the party's titular chair when the True Path Party was established in 1983. However, Demirel was the driving force behind the party, raising money and campaigning on its behalf despite being banned from political action. Demirel promoted economic policies similar to those he had advocated as leader of the Justice Party, updated, however, to reflect changing economic conditions resulting from international political developments between 1989 and 1991.
The True Path Party's rise from political pariah to ruling party was gradual. In 1983 the military government prohibited the party's participation in the parliamentary elections, effectively shutting it out of the legal political process. However, a gain of thirty-five seats in the National Assembly resulted in 1986 when the Nationalist Democracy Party dissolved itself and most of its deputies joined the True Path Party. Subsequently the party won fifty-nine seats in the 1987 parliamentary elections, and Demirel returned to the National Assembly as a deputy for the first time since the military coup. The party's performance four years later was even more impressive: the True Path Party tripled its representation to 178 seats and emerged from the 1991 elections with a plurality in the assembly. Demirel, who had served three times as prime minister before the 1980 coup and twice had been deposed by the military, succeeded in forming his fourth government by negotiating a coalition agreement with the SHP.
When the Demirel government assumed office in November 1991, it faced several political and economic challenges. Two important political issues eluding resolution were the increasing militancy of Kurdish demands for civil rights and the growing stridency of the confrontation between religious and secular elements of society. Although the True Path Party had no sympathy for Kurdish aspirations, its SHP partners tended to support cultural freedom for the Kurds and had a relatively strong political base in the Kurdish provinces. However, the SHP's ability to influence overall government policy on the Kurdish issue was limited because the military had assumed de facto decision-making authority for matters pertaining to southeastern Turkey and expected that civilian politicians would accept this role. There was also no consensus among either True Path Party or SHP leaders on how to handle Islamist aspirations. Whereas some True Path Party members believed it was possible to accommodate Islamist concerns, militant secularists opposed any concessions to those whom they termed "Islamic fundamentalists."
After President Özal suffered a fatal heart attack in April 1993, Demirel decided he wanted to be president. In accordance with the constitution, which mandated that the president be nonpartisan, Demirel resigned as the True Path Party's secretary general in May, after the National Assembly had elected him president. In June 1993, the party's deputies in the assembly chose as their new leader Tansu Çiller (b. 1946), the first woman to head a Turkish political party. Çiller, who had done graduate studies in economics in the United States, put together a new DYP-SHP coalition government that was approved by the assembly in July 1993, enabling her to become Turkey's first female prime minister.
In early 1995, the junior partner in the Çiller government was the Social Democratic Populist Party, known by the Turkish acronym SHP, for Sosyal Demokrat Halkçi Parti. The SHP was one of several parties formed since 1983 that presented itself as an heir to the CHP. In fact, the SHP leader, Erdal Inönü, was the son of Ismet Inönü, a close associate of Atatürk and a cofounder of the CHP. The SHP had been created in 1985 when Inönü's Sodep (disqualified by the military from participating in the 1983 parliamentary elections) merged with Necdet Calp's Populist Party, which had been allowed to take part in the 1983 elections and had won the second largest number of assembly seats.
The decision to join the True Path Party in a coalition government brought to the fore the internal divisions within the SHP. Civil rights activists, both Turkish and Kurdish, opposed the SHP's participation in the government because they associated Demirel with government abuses of human rights during the late 1970s and doubted his willingness to terminate martial law in the Kurdish provinces. Consequently eighteen SHP deputies resigned from the party and, led by Ahmet Türk, established the People's Labor Party (Halkin Emek Partisi--HEP) in 1990 as a separate group in the National Assembly, although they agreed to continue voting with the SHP on certain issues. Because the HEP emphasized civil rights issues, its primary appeal was among Kurds, and a majority of the party's executives were Kurdish. The alliance with the HEP enabled the SHP to broaden its support base--the urban working-class neighborhoods of western and northeastern Turkey--to include the Kurdish areas of the southeast. Meanwhile the security situation in the southeast deteriorated as guerrillas affiliated with the PKK intensified attacks on government sites and personnel as part of a proclaimed effort to create a separate Kurdish state.
Many Turkish leaders, both civilian and military, tended not to distinguish between the HEP, which was committed to working for civil rights within the political process, and the PKK, which aimed to overthrow the political system through armed struggle. When the military initiated proceedings against HEP founders in 1992 for allegedly promoting "separatist propaganda," the HEP deputies accused the SHP of not actively protecting them from official persecution. The Constitutional Court outlawed the HEP in 1993 and its successor, the Democracy Party (Demokrasi Partisi--DEP), the following year. These developments, plus the arrest of DEP deputies in the National Assembly in March and June 1994, adversely affected the SHP's image, especially among its Kurdish supporters. Consequently the SHP did very poorly in the 1994 municipal council elections--virtually all SHP incumbents in the cities and towns of southeastern Turkey lost. It remained unclear in early 1995 whether the SHP could regain the confidence of its Kurdish base. A failure to do so would diminish the SHP's chances in the 1996 parliamentary elections to maintain its status as the third largest party in the National Assembly.
In early 1995, the Motherland Party (Anavatan Partisi--ANAP) was the main parliamentary opposition party, after having served as the governing party from 1983 to 1991. Turgut Özal founded the Motherland Party in May 1983, and his personality and energy were instrumental to the party's subsequent success. Even after Özal officially resigned as party leader in 1989 to become president, his influence--and that of his wife and brothers--continued in Motherland Party affairs. For example, Özal handpicked his successor as party leader, Yildirim Akbulut. However, after Akbulut proved ineffective, both as party chair and as prime minister, Özal pressured him to resign in June 1991. In anticipation of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, Özal approved the younger and more dynamic Mesut Yilmaz as Akbulut's successor. Yilmaz campaigned energetically, used his position as prime minister to woo voters with incentives such as wage increases for public-sector employees, and performed well against other political leaders in Turkey's first-ever televised political debate. However, the Motherland Party's total share of the national vote in the October 1991 balloting fell by 12 percent compared to 1987, and the party won sixty-three fewer assembly seats than its rival, the True Path Party.
The Motherland Party's policies and constituency were similar to those of the True Path Party, but the intense personal rivalry between Demirel and Özal had precluded political cooperation between the two parties prior to Özal's death in 1993. The president's death represented both a major loss and a potential opportunity for the Motherland Party. The party's cohesion had depended on the force of Özal's personality, and in early 1995 it was unclear whether Yilmaz would succeed in transforming the Motherland Party into an effective organization based on a coherent political program and ideology. In addition, because the party's past electoral strength had derived from Özal's own popular appeal, it was not evident what long-term impact his death would have. Despite Yilmaz's relative youth and limited political experience, he appeared to be the party's chief asset, and even before Özal's death he had been trying to chart a course independent of the party's influential founder. Nevertheless, many members were dissatisfied with Yilmaz's leadership; in late 1992 and early 1993, more than fifteen Motherland Party deputies, citing differences with Yilmaz, resigned from the party in a move that reduced its overall strength in the National Assembly to fewer than 100 seats. More than fifty former deputies, including five founding members of the party, also resigned to demonstrate their opposition to Yilmaz. Yilmaz now faced the challenge of developing a new party identity that would appeal to a broader constituency; otherwise the Motherland Party would expend all its energies competing with the ideologically similar True Path Party.
The Welfare Party (Refah Partisi--RP), which had received only 7 percent of the total vote in the 1987 parliamentary elections and thus had not qualified for assembly seats, was the main electoral surprise in the 1991 balloting. Nearly 17 percent of the electorate voted for the Welfare Party, enabling it to win sixty-two seats in the National Assembly. The Welfare Party was widely considered an Islamic party. Its leader, Necmettin Erbakan, had been identified with Islamic political activism since the early 1970s. He was the founder in 1972 of the National Salvation Party (Milli Selamet Partisi--MSP), which became the third largest party in parliament in 1973. The MSP openly supported a religious political agenda calling for the restoration of traditional "morals and virtues" and a reduction of economic ties to the Christian countries of Western Europe. In 1974 the MSP gained a measure of political legitimacy by participating in a CHP-led coalition government. In fact, Turgut Özal briefly was a member of the MSP in the 1970s and was at one time an unsuccessful candidate on its parliamentary list.
Following the 1980 coup, the military not only dissolved the MSP, along with other political parties, but also prosecuted Erbakan and other MSP leaders for violating a law forbidding the use of religion for political purposes. When new political parties were authorized in 1983, Erbakan founded the Welfare Party on a platform stressing themes similar to those espoused by the defunct MSP. The ruling generals--and most civilians--perceived the Welfare Party as a continuation of the MSP. It was therefore disqualified from participation in the 1983 parliamentary elections. However, the party did sponsor candidates in the 1984 municipal elections and since then has steadily expanded its support base.
The Welfare Party's strength is in middle- and lower-class urban neighborhoods and in the Kurdish areas of the southeast. This strength was first demonstrated during the municipal elections of 1989, when the party's candidates for mayor won in five large cities and 100 towns. The 1991 parliamentary elections provided further evidence of the Welfare Party's growing popularity and its ability to consolidate an electoral base. Inspired by the party's achievements in 1991, Welfare Party activists, including a new generation of university students, campaigned tirelessly to recruit new supporters. As a result of these efforts, the Welfare Party's share of the total vote increased to 19 percent in the municipal elections of March 1994. The symbolic importance of the 1994 balloting because of its religious implications, probably exceeded the actual significance of the party's turnout. Tayyip Erdogan, the Welfare Party's candidate for mayor of Istanbul, and Melih Gokchek, its mayoral candidate for Ankara, both won. In addition, Welfare Party candidates for mayor won in twenty-seven other cities and in 400 towns, including almost all of the predominantly Kurdish municipalities in the southeast.
The Welfare Party's electoral appeal stems from the popularity of its call for a return to traditional values--widely interpreted as meaning Islamic morals and behavior. Its slogans are sufficiently vague with respect to specific policies to attract diverse support. Thus, self-identified Welfare Party loyalists range from professionals who dress in expensive Western fashions and interpret Islam liberally to individuals, especially women, who adopt a contemporary version of traditional Islamic dress and give Islam a fundamentalist interpretation. Whereas the Welfare Party has adopted certain well-defined positions, such as opposition to Turkey's goal of full membership in the European Union, its adherents tend to hold divergent views on most economic and political issues. However, they share a common interest in religious practices such as daily prayers, fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramazan (Ramadan in Arabic), avoiding behavior harmful to others, and reading the Kuran (Quran in Arabic). Furthermore, the Welfare Party's emphasis on common religious bonds tends to bring together, rather than to divide, Turkish-speaking and Kurdish-speaking Muslims and has impressed secular Kurds who have become disillusioned with other political parties.
The Democratic Left Party, known by the Turkish acronym DSP (for Demokratik Sol Partisi), was the smallest parliamentary party in January 1995. Because the party received almost 11 percent of the vote in the 1991 elections, DSP leader Bülent Ecevit and six other party officials took seats in the National Assembly. Ecevit considered the DSP the legitimate successor to the CHP, which he headed prior to the 1980 coup. When the DSP was founded in November 1985--with Ecevit's wife serving as chair because he remained barred from political activity--Ecevit made known his low opinion of the SHP, which also presented itself as the heir to the CHP, and its leader, Erdal Inönü. Ecevit's personal animosity toward Inönü prevented DSP-SHP cooperation, even though the parties had similar programs and appealed to the same constituency. In both 1987 and 1991, Ecevit spurned efforts by Inönü and other SHP leaders to persuade him to join an electoral alliance. Ecevit condemned the SHP's participation in the Demirel and Çiller governments as evidence that the party had abandoned social-democratic principles and betrayed the working class.
The decades following World War II saw a proliferation of interest groups that evolved into increasingly active and politically conscious associations. The growth of these groups was part of a general trend toward a more politicized and pluralistic society. This trend resulted primarily from factors such as the advent of multiparty politics, economic development and the accompanying expansion of opportunity, and improvements in communications (see Mass Media, this ch.). Increasing urbanization, rising literacy rates, rapid industrial expansion, and the exposure of hundreds of thousands of Turkish guest workers--most from villages and lower-class urban areas--to new ideas and customs in Western Europe also contributed to the politicization of the populace. As a consequence, a growing number of voluntary associations sprang up to promote specific interests, either on their own, through representatives in parliament, or through the cabinet and senior bureaucrats. These associations enabled various social groups to exercise a degree of influence over political matters. The activities of groups such as labor unions, business associations, student organizations, a journalists' association, and religious and cultural associations promoted public awareness of important issues and contributed to a relatively strong civil society.
The autonomy of civic groups vis-à-vis the state has been a persistent political problem since 1960. During periods of military rule and martial law, the independence of such groups often was circumscribed (see Crisis in Turkish Democracy, ch. 1). Following the military takeover in September 1980, for example, strict limits were placed on the political activities of civic associations; some of these restrictions remained in force in early 1995. For example, the 1982 constitution, like that of 1961, affirms the right of individuals to form associations but also stipulates that the exercise of this right must not violate the "indivisible integrity of the state." Furthermore, associations are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of language, race, or religion, or from trying to promote one social class or group over others. Civic associations also are forbidden to pursue political aims, engage in political activities, receive support from or give support to political parties, or take joint action with labor unions or professional organizations. In addition, legislation enacted in 1983 prohibits teachers, high school students, civil servants, and soldiers from forming associations, and bans officials of professional organizations from participating actively in politics.
By dint of the influence it has exerted on politics since the early days of the Turkish republic, the military constitutes the country's most important interest group. Atatürk and his principal allies all were career officers during the final years of the Ottoman Empire. Although Atatürk subsequently endeavored to separate the military from political affairs, he nevertheless considered the army to be the "intelligentsia of the Turkish nation" and "the guardian of its ideals." By the time of Atatürk's death in 1938, the military had internalized a view of itself as a national elite responsible for protecting the Six Arrows of Kemalism. Prior to 1960, the military worked behind the scenes to ensure that the country adhered to the guidelines of the Kemalist principles. However, in 1960 senior officers were so alarmed by government policies they perceived as deviating from Kemalism that they intervened directly in the political process by overthrowing the elected government and setting up a military regime. The military saw its mission as putting the country back on the correct path of Kemalism. Believing by October 1961 that this goal had been achieved, the officers returned to the barracks, whence they exercised oversight of civilian politicians.
The 1960 coup demonstrated the military's special status as an interest group autonomous--if it chose to be--from the government. On two subsequent occasions, in 1971 and 1980, the military again intervened to remove a government it perceived as violating Kemalist principles. The 1980 coup resulted in a longer transition period to civilian government and the imposition of more extensive restrictions on political rights than had the earlier interventions. At the start of 1995, some fourteen years after the coup, senior officers in the armed services still expected the civilian president and Council of Ministers to heed their advice on matters they considered pertinent to national security. For instance, the military defines many domestic law-and-order issues as falling within the realm of national security and thus both formulates and implements certain policies that the government is expected to approve.
College teachers and students have acted as a pressure group in Turkey since the late 1950s, when they initiated demonstrations against university teaching methods, curricula, and administrative practices that they alleged resulted in an inadequate education. The violent repression of student demonstrations in the spring of 1960 was one of the factors that prompted that year's military coup. In 1960 both teachers and students generally were held in high public esteem because the universities were viewed as the centers where the future Kemalist elite was being trained. During the 1960s and 1970s, however, the universities became the loci of ideological conflicts among a multitude of political groups espousing diverse political, economic, and religious ideas. As students became progressively more radicalized and violent, armed clashes among rival student groups and between students and police increased in frequency and magnitude. By 1980 the military regarded the universities as a source of threats to Kemalist principles.
One of the aims of the military government that assumed power in 1980 was to regain state control over the universities. The regime created a Council of Higher Education, which was intended to provide a less autonomous, more uniform system of central administration. The regime purged ideologically suspect professors from the faculties of all universities and issued a law prohibiting teachers from joining political parties. Student associations lost their autonomy, and students charged with participating in illegal organizations became subject to expulsion. A cautious revival of campus political activity began in the 1990s, mainly around foreign policy issues. However, as of early 1995 the government's possession of the means and will to punish campus activists appeared to be intimidating most faculty and students.
The legalization of unions under the Trade Union Law of 1947 paved the way for the slow but steady growth of a labor movement that evolved parallel to multiparty politics. The principal goal of unions as defined in the 1947 law was to seek the betterment of members' social and economic status. Unions were denied the right to strike or to engage in political activity, either on their own or as vehicles of political parties. In spite of these limitations, labor unions gradually acquired political influence. The Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Türkiye Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--Türk-Is) was founded in 1952 at government instigation to serve as an independent umbrella group. Under the tutelage of Türk-Is, labor evolved into a well-organized interest group; the organization also functioned as an agency through which the government could restrain workers' wage demands (see Human Resources and Trade Unions, ch. 3). The labor movement expanded in the liberalized political climate of the 1960s, especially after a union law enacted in 1963 legalized strikes, lockouts, and collective bargaining. However, unions were forbidden to give "material aid" to political parties. Political parties also were barred from giving money to unions or forming separate labor organizations.
The labor movement did not escape the politicization and polarization that characterized the 1960s and 1970s. Workers' dissatisfaction with Türk-Is as the representative of their interests led to the founding in 1967 of the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers' Trade Unions of Turkey (Türkiye Devrimçi Isçi Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--DISK). DISK leaders were militants who had been expelled from Türk-Is after supporting a glass factory strike opposed by the Türk-Is bureaucracy. Both Türk-Is and the government tried to suppress DISK, whose independence was perceived as a threat. However, a spontaneous, two-day, pro-DISK demonstration by thousands of laborers in Istanbul--the first mass political action by Turkish workers--forced the government in June 1970 to back away from a bill to abolish DISK. For the next ten years, DISK remained an independent organization promoting the rights of workers and supporting their job actions, including one major general strike in 1977 that led to the temporary abolition of the military-run State Security Courts. By 1980 about 500,000 workers belonged to unions affiliated with DISK.
Following the 1980 coup, the military regime banned independent union activity, suspended DISK, and arrested hundreds of its activists, including all its top officials. The government prosecuted DISK leaders, as well as more than 1,000 other trade unionists arrested in 1980, in a series of trials that did not end until December 1986. The secretary general of DISK and more than 250 other defendants received jail sentences of up to ten years. Meanwhile, the more complaisant Türk-Is, which had not been outlawed after the coup, worked with the military government and its successors to depoliticize workers. As the government-approved labor union confederation, Türk-Is benefited from new laws pertaining to unions. For example, the 1982 constitution permits unions but prohibits them from engaging in political activity, thus effectively denying them the right to petition political representatives. As in the days prior to 1967, unions must depend upon Türk-Is to mediate between them and the government. A law issued in May 1983 restricts the establishment of new trade unions and places constraints on the right to strike by banning politically motivated strikes, general strikes, solidarity strikes, and any strike considered a threat to society or national well-being.
The government's restrictions on union activity tended to demoralize workers, who generally remained passive for more than five years after the 1980 coup. However, beginning in 1986 unions experienced a resurgence. In February several thousand workers angered by pension cutbacks held a rally--labor's first such demonstration since the 1980 coup--to protest high living costs, low wages, high unemployment, and restrictions on union organizing and collective bargaining. A subsequent rally in June drew an estimated 50,000 demonstrators. Since 1986 workers have conducted numerous rallies, small strikes, work slowdowns, and other manifestations of dissatisfaction. By the early 1990s, an average of 120,000 workers per year were involved in strike activity. Türk-Is has mediated these incidents by bailing detained workers out of prison, negotiating compromise wage increase packages, and encouraging cooperative labor-management relations.
The Turkish Trade Association (Türkiye Odalar Birligi--TOB) has represented the interests of merchants, industrialists, and commodity brokers since 1952. In the 1960s and 1970s, new associations representing the interests of private industry challenged TOB's position as the authoritative representative of business in Turkey. Subsequently the organization came to be identified primarily with small and medium-sized firms. The Union of Chambers of Industry was founded in 1967 as a coalition within TOB by industrialists seeking to reorganize the confederation. The Union of Chambers of Industry was unable to acquire independent status but achieved improved coordination of industrialists' demands. By setting up study groups, the union was able to pool research on development projects. In addition, the union organized regional Chambers of Industry within TOB.
Business interests also were served by employers' associations that dealt primarily with labor-management relations and were united under the aegis of the Turkish Confederation of Employers' Unions (Türkiye Isveren Sendikalari Konfederasyonu--TISK). This confederation was established in 1961, largely in response to the development of trade unions, and was considered the most militant of employers' associations. By the end of 1980, TISK claimed 106 affiliated groups with a total membership of 9,183 employers. Although membership in TISK was open to employers in both the private and public sectors, it was primarily an organization of private-sector employers. When the military regime took power in 1980, labor union activities were suspended, but TISK was allowed to continue functioning. Employers supported the subsequent restrictive labor legislation, which appeared to be in accord with TISK proposals.
Another representative of business interests, the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (Türk Sanayiçileri ve Is Adamlari Dernegi--TÜSIAD), was founded by the leaders of some of Turkey's largest business and industrial enterprises soon after the March 1971 military coup. Its aim was to improve the image of business and to stress its concern with social issues. At the same time, TÜSIAD favored granting greater control of investment capital to the large industrialists at the expense of the smaller merchant and banking interests usually supported by TOB. TÜSIAD's leaders also were concerned with the widening economic inequalities between regions and social classes and opposed TISK's extreme antilabor policies, which they perceived as jeopardizing Turkey's chances of entering the European Union.
Turkey officially has been a secular state since 1924. Atatürk viewed attachment to religion as an impediment to modernization and imposed rigorous restrictions on the practice of Islam (see Secularist Reforms, ch. 2). Until the late 1940s, the separation of mosque and state was rigidly enforced by the authoritarian, one-party government. However, secularism remained an elite ideology, whereas Islam, the nominal religion of 98 percent of the population, continued to be a strong influence on most of the people, especially in rural areas and lower-class urban neighborhoods. The advent of competitive politics in 1950 enabled religion to reacquire a respected public status. Initially the Democrat Party, then most other parties, found it politically expedient to appeal to religious sentiments in election campaigns. As the government gradually became more tolerant of religious expression, both public observance of religious festivals and mosque construction increased. In addition, there was a resurgence of voluntary religious associations, including the tarikatlar ( sing., tarikat --see Glossary). Prior to 1970, however, religion was not a political issue.
The formation of the MSP in 1972 as Turkey's first republican party to espouse openly Islamic principles inaugurated the politicization of the religious issue (see Retreat from Secularism, ch. 2). The MSP attracted a following by providing an Islamic defense of traditional values that were eroding as a consequence of the economic and social changes the country had begun to experience in the late 1960s. In effect, religion became a vehicle for expressing popular discontent. The inability of the major political parties to agree on policies to counteract this discontent tended to enhance the influence of minor parties such as the MSP. Indeed, in 1974 the main exponent of Kemalist secularism, the CHP, invited the MSP, by then the third largest party in parliament, to join it in a coalition government. Its participation in the government provided the MSP, and the Islamic movement more broadly, with an aura of political legitimacy. Subsequently, the MSP sponsored an Islamist youth movement that during the late 1970s engaged other militant youth groups--both socialists on the left and secular nationalists on the right--in armed street battles. In the mosques, numerous voluntary associations were formed to undertake religious studies, devotional prayers, charitable projects, social services, and the publication of journals. Even the minority Shia (see Glossary) Muslims organized their own separate groups (see The Alevi, ch. 2).
The 1980 coup only temporarily interrupted the trend toward increased religious observance. Initially, the military regime arrested Erbakan and other MSP leaders and put them on trial for politically exploiting religion in violation of Turkish law. However, the senior officers, although committed to secularism, wanted to use religion as a counter to socialist and Marxist ideologies and thus refrained from interfering with the tarikatlar and other voluntary religious associations. Furthermore, the generals approved an article in the 1982 constitution mandating compulsory religious instruction in all schools. When political parties were allowed to form in 1983, Özal's Motherland Party welcomed a large group of former MSP members, who probably were attracted to the party because Özal and some of his relatives had belonged to the MSP in the 1970s. One of Özal's brothers, Korkut Özal, held an important position in the Naksibendi tarikat , the oldest and largest organized religious order in Turkey.
The military regime was preoccupied with eliminating the threat from "communists," a term freely applied to anyone with socialist ideas. Thousands of persons lost jobs in state offices, schools, and enterprises because they were perceived as "leftists," and leftist organizations virtually disappeared. Religiously motivated persons assumed many of the vacated positions, especially in education, and Islamic groups filled the political vacuum created by the state's successful assault on the left. At the same time, the policies of neither the military regime nor its civilian successors effectively addressed the economic and social problems that continued to fuel popular discontent.
Without competition from the left, the religious orders and the religiously oriented Welfare Party enjoyed almost a monopoly on the mobilization of discontent. One tarikat , the boldly political Fethullahçi, actually tried to recruit cadets in the military academies. By 1986 the increasingly vociferous and militant activities of religious groups had forced on the defensive the concept of secularism itself--a bedrock of Kemalist principles for sixty years.
In 1987 the military had become persuaded that what it called "Islamic fundamentalism" was a potentially serious threat to its vision of Kemalism. In January 1987, President Evren publicly denounced Islamic fundamentalism as being as dangerous as communism. Initially, the secular political elite, with the exception of the SHP, was not persuaded by his arguments. Özal, then prime minister, seemed to support the Islamic wing of his party, which was pushing for the repeal of the remaining laws restricting religious practices. The True Path Party characterized the trend toward religious observance as a healthy development and stressed freedom of practice. However, as clandestine religious groups began to carry out attacks on noted secularists in the late 1980s, True Path Party leaders became concerned, and then alarmed, by the influence of Islamism (sometimes seen as fundamentalism).
The Welfare Party disassociated itself from violent attacks by both organized and unorganized religious fanatics, but such attacks increased in both frequency and severity in the 1990s. The most sensational attack occurred in July 1993, when a mob leaving Friday congregational prayers in the central Anatolian city of Sivas firebombed a hotel where Turkey's internationally renowned author, self-proclaimed atheist Aziz Nesin, and dozens of other writers were staying while attending a cultural festival. Although Nesin escaped harm, thirty-seven persons were killed and 100 injured in that incident. Several weeks before the attack, Nesin's newspaper, Aydinlik , had published translated excerpts of British author Salman Rushdie's controversial 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses , which many Muslim religious leaders had condemned as blasphemous. Following publication of the excerpts, the newspaper's offices in Istanbul and other cities were attacked by groups of Islamic militants.
Turkey's religious revival has foreign policy implications because the tarikatlar tend to link with religious groups in other Muslim countries. Saudi Arabia, for example, has been an important source of the extensive financial support that has enabled the tarikatlar to proselytize and to operate charitable programs that enhance their political influence. Turkish political leaders also fear the influence of neighboring Iran, where an Islamic government replaced the secular regime in 1979, and since 1987 have tended to blame incidents of religious violence on Iranian agents. However, Turkey's religious activists are Sunni (see Glossary) Muslims who tend to display suspicion and prejudice toward Shia Muslims--who make up more than 90 percent of the Iranian population--and there has been scant evidence to support the existence of significant ties between the Turkish Sunni and Iran.
At least 15 percent of Turkey's population consists of ethnic and religious minorities. The Kurds are the minority group with the greatest impact on national politics. Since the 1930s, Kurds have resisted government efforts to assimilate them forcibly, including an official ban on speaking or writing Kurdish. Since 1984 Kurdish resistance to Turkification has encompassed both a peaceful political struggle to obtain basic civil rights for Kurds within Turkey and a violent armed struggle to obtain a separate Kurdish state. The leaders of the nonviolent struggle have worked within the political system for the recognition of Kurdish cultural rights, including the right to speak Kurdish in public and to read, write, and publish in Kurdish. Prior to 1991, these Kurds operated within the national political parties, in particular the SHP, the party most sympathetic to their goal of full equality for all citizens of Turkey. President Özal's 1991 call for a more liberal policy toward Kurds and for the repeal of the ban on speaking Kurdish raised the hopes of Kurdish politicians. Following the parliamentary elections of October 1991, several Kurdish deputies, including Hatip Dicle, Feridun Yazar, and Leyla Zayna, formed the HEP, a party with the explicit goal of campaigning within the National Assembly for laws guaranteeing equal rights for the Kurds.
Turkey's other leaders were not as willing as Özal to recognize Kurdish distinctiveness, and only two months after his death in April 1993, the Constitutional Court issued its decision declaring the HEP illegal. In anticipation of this outcome, the Kurdish deputies had resigned from the HEP only days before and formed a new organization, the Democracy Party (Demokrasi Partisi--DEP). The DEP's objective was similar to that of its predecessor: to promote civil rights for all citizens of Turkey. When the DEP was banned in June 1994, Kurdish deputies formed the new People's Democracy Party (Halkin Demokrasi Partisi--HADEP).
The PKK initiated armed struggle against the state in 1984 with attacks on gendarmerie posts in the southeast. The PKK's leader, Abdullah Öcalan, had formed the group in the late 1970s while a student in Ankara. Prior to the 1980 coup, Öcalan fled to Lebanon, via Syria, where he continued to maintain his headquarters in 1994. Until October 1992, Öcalan's brother, Osman, had supervised PKK training camps in the mountains separating northern Iraq from Turkey's Hakkâri and Mardin provinces. It was from these camps that PKK guerrillas launched their raids into Turkey. The main characteristic of PKK attacks was the use of indiscriminate violence, and PKK guerrillas did not hesitate to kill Kurds whom they considered collaborators. Targeted in particular were the government's paid militia, known as village guards, and schoolteachers accused of promoting forced assimilation. The extreme violence of the PKK's methods enabled the government to portray the PKK as a terrorist organization and to justify its own policies, which included the destruction of about 850 border villages and the forced removal of their populations to western Turkey.
In March 1993, the PKK dropped its declared objective of creating an independent state of Kurdistan in the southeastern provinces that had Kurdish majorities. Its new goal was to resolve the Kurdish problem within a democratic and federal system. The loss of PKK guerrilla camps in northern Iraq in October 1992, following defeat in a major confrontation with Iraqi Kurdish forces supported by Turkish military intervention, probably influenced this tactical change. At the same time, Öcalan announced a unilateral, albeit temporary, cease-fire in the PKK's war with Turkish security forces. The latter decision may also have reflected the influence of Kurdish civilian leaders, who had been urging an end to the violence in order to test Özal's commitment to equal rights. Whether there were realistic prospects in the spring of 1993 for a political solution to the conflict in southeast Turkey may never be known. Özal suffered a fatal heart attack in April, and his successor, Demirel, did not appear inclined to challenge the military, whose position continued to be that elimination of the PKK was the appropriate way to pacify the region. Fighting between security forces and PKK guerrillas, estimated to number as many as 15,000, resumed by June 1993.
In early 1995, Turkey's other minorities--Arabs, Armenians, other Caucasian peoples, Circassians, Georgians, Greeks, and Jews--tended toward political quiescence. Arabs, who are concentrated in the southeast to the west of the Kurds and north of the border with Syria, had demonstrated over language and religious issues in the 1980s. Because most of Turkey's Arabs belong to Islam's Alawi branch, whose adherents also include the leading politicians of Syria, Ankara's often tense relations with Syria tend to be further complicated.
The Armenian issue also adds tension to foreign affairs. The 60,000 Armenians estimated to be living in Turkey in the mid-1990s had refrained from attracting any political attention to their community. However, along with Armenians residing in Lebanon, France, Iran, and the United States, the Republic of Armenia, which borders Turkey's easternmost province of Kars, has embarrassed Turkey with highly publicized annual commemorations of the Armenian genocide of 1915-16--which the Turkish government denies ever occurred (see World War I, ch. 1). The Turkish government also condemns as harmful to overall relations the periodic efforts by the United States Congress and the parliaments of European states to pass resolutions condemning the mass killings. Various clandestine Armenian groups--of which the most prominent is the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA)--have claimed responsibility for assassinations of Turkish diplomatic personnel stationed in the Middle East and Europe. Such assassinations have continued to occur in the 1990s. Unidentified Turkish government officials frequently have leaked reports to the news media accusing Armenia, Lebanon, and Syria of allowing Armenian terrorists to receive training and support within their borders.
The Turkish news media consist of a state-operated radio and television broadcasting system and privately owned press and broadcasting operations. Newspapers are not subject to prior censorship, but a 1983 press law restricts them from reporting information deemed to fall within the sphere of national security and prohibits the publication of papers that promote "separatism." Violations of these restrictions result in the closing down of newspapers and the prosecution of journalists. Except for official press releases, most reports on military operations in southeastern Turkey and almost all accounts of public speeches calling for Kurdish cultural rights prompt state prosecutors to come before security courts calling for judicial investigations of possible press law violations. Amnesty International has documented the detention of scores of journalists who wrote independent articles about conditions in the southeast during 1991-92; in some instances, journalists were injured during interrogations or held for prolonged periods without access to attorneys. Twenty-eight journalists were tried and sentenced to prison in the first six months of 1993 alone. Many of them worked for the Istanbul daily Ozgur Gundem , which has regularly featured stories on conditions in the Kurdish areas and has carried interviews with both PKK guerrillas and Turkish soldiers. In an apparent attempt to halt publication of such articles, the government arrested the newspaper's editor in chief, Davut Karadag, in July 1993 and charged him with spreading separatist propaganda. Subsequently, editors at Medya Gunesi, Aydinlik , and other newspapers were detained on similar charges.
The publication of materials thought to offend public morals is also grounds for suspending a periodical or confiscating a book. The Censor's Board on Obscene Publications has responsibility for reviewing potentially offensive material and deciding on appropriate action. The weekly Aktuel frequently questions the value of, and need for, such a board in a democracy, using biting satire to deliver its message. In 1993 the editor of the weekly and one of its freelance columnists were arrested and charged with insulting the board.
In 1994 there were more than thirty daily newspapers in Turkey. The mass-circulation dailies are based in Istanbul and are distributed nationally. These include the country's largest newspaper, Hürriyet (Freedom), which has a circulation of more than 850,000, and three other papers, each with daily circulations ranging from 200,000 to 300,000: Günaydin (Good Morning), Tercuman (Interpreter), and Milliyet (Nationality). A smaller paper, Cumhuriyet (Republic), is influential because it is read widely by the country's economic and political elite. In all, more than a dozen dailies are published in Istanbul. Nine dailies are published in Ankara and three in Izmir. Other major cities, including Adana, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Gaziantep, Konya, and Mersin, have at least one local daily newspaper. In addition to the newspapers, twenty weeklies and a variety of biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, and quarterly journals also are published.
The main news agency in Turkey is the official Anadolu Ajansi (Anatolian Agency), founded by Atatürk in 1920. Its primary function is to issue news bulletins and printed information within the country and for distribution abroad. As do most newspapers, Turkish radio and television depend on the agency as a primary source of domestic news. In 1994 it had regional offices in Turkey's major cities as well as correspondents throughout the country. It also had foreign correspondents in all major world cities. In addition to the Anatolian Agency, several private agencies serve the press.
The government of Turkey began radio broadcasting in 1927. Atatürk and his colleagues perceived radio as a means to promote modernization and nationalism and thus created a Bureau of the Press Directorate to oversee programming and ensure that it served national goals. In 1964 the government established the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (Türkiye Radyo Televizyon Kurumu--TRT) to expand radio facilities and develop public television. Subsequently, the transmission power of radio stations greatly increased, as did the number of licensed receivers. (The government required purchase of a license for ownership of radios, and later of televisions.) By 1994 almost the entire nation had radio coverage, with thirty-six transmitters beaming a total power of 5,500 kilowatts to an estimated 10 million receivers. TRT also broadcasts programs abroad in Turkish and in several foreign languages, including Arabic, Bulgarian, Greek, and Persian.
Television developed more slowly than radio, mainly because the government considered it a luxury. Television broadcasting began through a technical-assistance agreement between Turkey and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). With the aid of the equipment and technical personnel provided under this agreement, TRT inaugurated the country's first public television station in Ankara in 1968. Gradually new stations were opened in Istanbul, Izmir, and other cities. Investment in television facilities accelerated after 1972, and during the following decade television replaced radio as the country's most important mass medium. By 1994 the estimated number of television sets--10 million--equaled the number of radio receivers.
TRT had a constitutionally mandated monopoly on radio and television broadcasting prior to 1993. It financed its operations through limited allocations it received from the government's general budget and income derived from radio and television license fees. TRT news presentations and documentaries tended to avoid controversy; television viewers often criticized the programs as dull. Dissatisfaction with public television prompted proposals beginning in the late 1980s to amend the constitution to permit private, commercial broadcasting. Opposition to private broadcasting came from the military and other groups that feared loss of government control over programming. It was not until 1993 that the National Assembly approved legislation to authorize private radio and television in tandem with public broadcasting. Even before their legalization, however, private stations had begun to broadcast programs, many of which disturbed officials in the national security bureaucracy. For example, in the summer of 1993 the State Security Court opened an investigation into a public affairs program of a private Istanbul channel, charging that the program had spread separatist propaganda by including Kurdish guests.
Turkey began reevaluating its foreign policy in 1991, when the United States-led war against Iraq and the collapse of the Soviet Union totally upset patterns of international relations that had been relatively consistent for more than forty years. Both of these developments intimately affected Turkey because the former Soviet Union was its neighbor to the north and east, and Iraq its neighbor to the south. Political instability has plagued both these regions since 1991, causing some Turkish national security analysts to fear possible negative consequences for their own country. However, other Turks believe that the international changes since 1991 offer their country a unique opportunity to reassert its historical role as a bridge between two regions in which it has had only a marginal presence since 1918.
Since the end of World War II, Turkey had regarded the Soviet Union, the superpower with which it shared a 590-kilometer frontier, as its principal enemy. Fear of Soviet intentions was powerful enough to persuade Turkish leaders to join the United States-European collective defense agreement, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in 1952. Participation in NATO made Turkey a partisan on the side of the West in the Cold War that dominated international politics for more than forty years. Turkish suspicions of the Soviet Union gradually eased during the era of détente that began in the 1960s, paving the way for several bilateral economic cooperation agreements in the 1970s. However, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 revived Turkish concerns about Soviet expansionism and led to a cooling of relations that lasted more than five years. Beginning in the mid-1980s, Turkish fears again eased. Ankara and Moscow concluded a number of agreements, including plans for a pipeline to carry natural gas from Soviet gas fields to Turkey. Economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries were being expanded when the Soviet Union dissolved into fifteen independent nations.
For Turkey the practical consequence of the Soviet Union's demise was the replacement of one large, powerful, and generally predictable neighbor with five smaller near neighbors characterized by domestic instability and troubling foreign policies. Like most states, Turkey perceives Russia as the principal inheritor of Soviet power and influence. Turkish officials likewise share in the widespread uncertainty over Russia's role in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), formed at the end of 1991, and thus try to avoid policies that might antagonize a traditional adversary. Diplomatic contacts with Russia and the CIS have focused on the renegotiation of numerous Soviet-era economic and technical cooperation agreements that were in force when the Soviet Union was dissolved. Turkey also has initiated multilateral discussions with the five states that now border the Black Sea--Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania--on an economic cooperation project originally proposed before the demise of the Soviet Union. The inaugural meetings of the new group called for ambitious plans to increase trade among member states, encourage labor mobility, and establish a development bank.
In Transcaucasia and Central Asia, regions where Turkey is most keen to project its influence, Ankara has tended to defer to Moscow whenever such a course seems prudent. Turkey's efforts to make its presence felt in nearby Transcaucasia have been limited not so much by Russia as by the political realities that emerged in Transcaucasia itself after December 1991. All three new countries in the region--Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia--share land borders with Turkey; thus political and economic leaders view them as natural partners for trade and development projects. Both President Özal's Motherland Party and Prime Minister Demirel's True Path Party embraced the idea of expanding ties with Azerbaijan, an oil-producing country whose people speak a Turkic language closely related to Anatolian Turkish.
Almost all the major parties have expressed reservations about an independent Armenia, probably on account of the historical bitterness between Armenians and Turks. In the mid-1990s, the revival of Ottoman-era animosities seemed inevitable because Armenia and Azerbaijan had become independent while fighting an undeclared war over the Azerbaijani province of Nagorno-Karabakh, whose ethnic Armenian majority has been trying to secede. Turkey adopted an officially neutral position in the conflict, although its sympathies lie with Azerbaijan. Popular opinion against Armenia became especially intense in 1992 and 1993, when military successes by Armenian forces caused tens of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees to enter Turkey. Turkey responded by applying temporary economic pressure on Armenia, such as closing the transborder road to traffic bringing goods into the landlocked country and cutting Turkish electrical power to Armenian towns. However, Turkey's membership in NATO and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (from January 1995, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), its concerns about overall regional stability--adjacent Georgia was engulfed in its own civil war in 1993--and fears of unpredictable Iranian and Russian reactions all combined to restrain Turkey from providing direct military assistance to Azerbaijan.
Disappointment over the inadequacy of Turkish support was one of the factors that prompted the 1993 coup against Azerbaijan's staunchly pro-Turkish government. This unexpected political change in Baku represented a major blow to Turkish policy. The new regime in Azerbaijan was not only cool toward Turkey but also determined to cultivate friendlier relations with Iran and Russia. These developments provoked opposition deputies in Turkey's National Assembly to accuse the Çiller government of having "lost" Azerbaijan. As of late January 1995, Ankara's political influence in Baku still was limited, although Turkey's overall cultural influence in Azerbaijan seemed strong.
Turkey's policy in Central Asia has proved more successful than its Transcaucasian policy. As with Azerbaijan, a feeling of pan-Turkic solidarity has prompted Turkish interest in expanding ties with the countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In April 1992, in his first year as prime minister, Demirel traveled to the region to promote Turkey as a political and developmental model for the Central Asian states. He explicitly represented Turkey not only as a successful example of what an independent Turkic country could achieve but also as a more appropriate model than the Islamic alternative offered by Iran, which he perceived as Turkey's main rival for influence in the region. Subsequently, Turkey concluded numerous cultural, economic, and technical aid agreements with the Central Asian states, including non-Turkic Tajikistan. Turkey also sponsored full membership for the Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan in the Economic Cooperation Organization, a regional trade pact whose original members were Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. In practice, however, Turkey lacks adequate economic resources to play the pivotal role in Central Asia to which it aspires. Because Iran also has insufficient capital for aid to and investment in the region, the anticipated rivalry between Iran and Turkey had failed by the mid-1990s to develop into a serious contest. By the time President Özal followed Demirel's trip with his own tour of the region in April 1993, Turkey recognized, albeit reluctantly, that Russia, rather than Turkey or Iran, had emerged as the dominant political force in Central Asia, and that this situation would prevail indefinitely. Nevertheless, the new countries have professed friendship toward Turkey and welcomed its overtures. In response, Turkey has reoriented its policies to focus on strengthening bilateral cultural ties and encouraging Turkish private entrepreneurs to invest in the region. As of early 1995, Turkey enjoyed close diplomatic relations with the four Turkic republics of Central Asia and good relations with Persian-speaking Tajikistan.
Closely related to the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe. This development had positive consequences in terms of Turkey's relations with Bulgaria, which borders the Turkish province of Thrace. Relations between Turkey and Bulgaria had been badly strained between 1985 and 1989 as a result of Bulgaria's campaign of forcibly assimilating its Turkish minority, estimated at 900,000 and comprising approximately 10 percent of the country's total population. Efforts by Bulgaria's ethnic Turks to protest government policies requiring them to change their Turkish and Muslim names to Bulgarian and Christian ones, end all Islamic teaching and practices, and stop speaking Turkish in public had led to increasingly severe repression. This repression culminated in the summer of 1989 with a mass exodus of an estimated 320,000 Turkish Bulgarians, who fled across the border into Turkey during a seven-week period in July and August. The exodus overwhelmed Turkey's refugee facilities and provoked an international crisis as well as an internal crisis within Bulgaria that contributed to the fall of the communist government. Subsequently, Bulgaria's new democratic government repealed the controversial assimilation decrees and invited those who had fled to return home. Relations between Turkey and Bulgaria steadily improved during the early 1990s, and the two countries have concluded several bilateral trade and technical assistance agreements. A similar spirit of cooperation was evident in the agreements signed with other East European countries, in particular Hungary and Romania.
In contrast to the generally positive evolution of relations with Bulgaria, the international politics surrounding the disintegration of Yugoslavia proved frustrating for Turkish diplomacy. The plight of the Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the civil war that followed Bosnia's 1992 declaration of independence aroused popular sympathy in Turkey and support for interventionist policies to help the Bosnian Muslims. Although the government supported the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force in Bosnia and an auxiliary NATO military role, Ankara criticized these efforts as inadequate. In the mid-1990s, Turkey favored firmer measures against Bosnian Serbs and the government of Serbia, which Turkey, like other countries, had accused of providing military aid and other assistance to the Bosnian Serbs. However, as of early 1995, Turkey was not prepared to take unilateral steps in Bosnia that might antagonize its NATO partners.
Relations with ...
<"88.htm">The Middle East
<"90.htm">The United States
Turkey shares borders with three major Middle Eastern countries: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Turkey ruled much of the region during the Ottoman Empire, but between 1945 and 1990 Turkish leaders consciously avoided involvement in various Middle Eastern conflicts. President Özal broke with that tradition in 1990 when he sided with the United States-led coalition confronting Iraq following its invasion and annexation of Kuwait. To comply with the economic sanctions that the UN imposed on Iraq, Özal closed down the two pipelines used to transport Iraqi oil through Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea. Although Turkey did not formally join the military coalition that fought against Iraq, it deployed about 150,000 troops along its border with Iraq, which caused Baghdad to divert an equivalent number of forces from the south to the north of the country. Furthermore, Turkey authorized United States aircraft to use the military air base at Incirlik for raids over Iraq. A likely motive for Turkish support of the war against Iraq was a desire to strengthen ties with the United States and other NATO allies at a time of considerable uncertainty--at least in Turkey--about post-Cold War strategic relations.
The Persian Gulf War's main consequence for Turkey was the internationalization of the Kurdish issue. Following Iraq's defeat by the United States-led coalition at the end of February 1991, Iraq's Kurdish minority, which constituted approximately 15 percent of the approximately 19 million population, rebelled against the government of Saddam Husayn. Government forces repressed the rebellion within three weeks, precipitating a mass exodus of almost the entire Kurdish population of northern Iraq toward the Iranian and Turkish borders. Unable to deal with the refugee flood, Turkey closed its borders in April after more than 400,000 Kurds had fled into Hakkâri and Mardin provinces. Turkish soldiers prevented about 500,000 more Kurdish refugees on the Iraqi side of the border from crossing over to Turkey, forcing them to remain in makeshift camps; an additional 1 million other Kurds fled into Iran. The humanitarian crisis and the international publicity surrounding it posed a major dilemma for Turkey, which was reluctant to absorb hundreds of thousands of Kurdish refugees. Furthermore, Turkey opposed the creation of permanent refugee camps, believing such camps would become breeding grounds for militant nationalism, as had happened in the Palestinian refugee camps established during the war that followed Israel's creation in 1948.
Turkey's preferred solution to the Kurdish refugee crisis has been for the Kurds to return to their homes in Iraq with guarantees for their safety within a political environment that would encourage their integration into a united Iraq. Negotiations with Britain, France, and the United States produced an agreement in June 1991 to establish an interim protected zone in northern Iraq in which all Iraqi military activities would be prohibited. Turkey would permit its allies to use the Incirlik Air Base for armed reconnaissance flights over the protected zone. The interim period originally was intended to last for six months but could be extended for an additional six months at the discretion of the National Assembly. Although the agreement created a de facto safe haven in Iraq's three northern provinces and prompted a majority of the Kurdish refugees to return home, it did not resolve the political problem between the refugees and the Iraqi government. On the contrary, Baghdad responded by imposing a blockade on the north, effectively making the Kurds economically dependent on Iran and Turkey. The Western powers saw Iraq's attitude as justifying prolongation of the safe-haven agreement; as of January 1995, it was still in force.
Turkey has opposed the creation of an autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. However, Iraq's intransigence toward the UN after the Persian Gulf War and the determination of the United States to limit its involvement in the safe-haven zone to air patrols made the formation of a local administration inevitable. Turkey reluctantly acquiesced after Iraqi Kurdish leaders reassured Ankara that an autonomous government would not pursue independence for the Kurds but would cooperate with all Iraqi opposition groups to create a democratic alternative to Saddam Husayn's regime. Following elections for a representative regional assembly in May 1992, an autonomous government claiming to operate in keeping with the Iraqi constitution was established at Irbil. Turkey has accepted this government as the de facto authority in northern Iraq, but has not recognized it as a de jure provincial government. Turkey has made its continued cooperation with this autonomous government contingent on the Kurds' support of Iraq's territorial integrity and their assistance in controlling PKK camps in northern Iraq.
The Kurdish issue also assumed an important role in Turkey's relations with both Iran and Syria beginning in 1991. Ankara was concerned that Damascus and Tehran might exploit the Kurdish issue to put pressure on Turkey to compromise on other issues over which there were deep disagreements. For example, although Turkey had enjoyed relatively close political and diplomatic relations with Iran for more than fifty years following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, these ties were strained after 1979 when the Iranian Revolution brought to power an Islamic theocratic regime that frequently cites secular governments such as Turkey's as an evil that Muslims should resist. Although bilateral trade remained important to both countries throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, their economic ties have not prevented the regular eruption of tension. One source of intermittent friction has been the presence in Turkey of thousands of Iranians who fled their country during the 1980s because they opposed the religious government, preferred not to live under its puritanical legal codes, or wanted to evade military service during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88). Tehran has periodically protested that Ankara allows "terrorists" (i.e., members of various Iranian opposition groups) to reside in Turkey. Turkish security officials in turn suspect that Iranian diplomats in Turkey have been involved in assassinations of Iranian opposition leaders and also have assisted some of the militant Turkish Islamists who began resorting to violence in the late 1980s. With respect to international concerns, Turkey resents Iran's criticism of its membership in NATO, distrusts Iran's alliance with Syria and its cooperation with Armenia, and perceives Iran as a competitor for influence in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Above all, Turkish leaders believe that Iran supports the PKK and even provides sanctuary and bases for it in the area of northwest Iran that borders Kars, Agri, Van, and Hakkâri provinces.
Turkish suspicions of Iranian support for the PKK probably originated in 1987, when Iran strongly protested Turkey's bombing of Iraqi Kurdish villages that Ankara claimed were bases for PKK guerrillas. At the time Iran condemned this violation of Iraqi sovereignty, Iran and Iraq were at war, with Iranian forces occupying parts of southern Iraq. Iran's protest may have been prompted by the fact that the area Turkey bombed was controlled by an Iraqi Kurdish opposition group to which Iran was allied. This group not only helped Iran by fighting against Saddam Husayn's regime but also cooperated with Iran to suppress Iranian Kurdish opposition. From Turkey's perspective, however, this same Kurdish group was too friendly toward the PKK.
This complex intertwining of domestic and international Kurdish politics continued to cause misunderstanding between Turkey and Iran for more than five years. However, beginning in 1992, Turkish and Iranian views on the Kurdish issue gradually converged as Iranian Kurdish opposition groups initiated operations in Iran from bases in territory controlled by the Kurdish autonomous authority in northern Iraq. Iran not only ceased protesting Turkish actions in Iraq, but it even followed Turkey's example in bombing opposition bases in Iraq. During 1993 Iran also responded favorably to Turkish proposals pertaining to security cooperation in the region along their common border and joined Turkey in affirming opposition to an independent Kurdish state being carved out of Iraq.
Syria joined Iran and Turkey in declaring support for the territorial integrity of Iraq, and representatives of the three states met periodically after 1991 to discuss mutual concerns about developments in northern Iraq. Nevertheless, Turkey has had serious reservations about Syria's motives; some Turkish officials believe that if an appropriate opportunity presented itself, Syria would use the Kurdish issue to create a Kurdish state in parts of both Iraq and Turkey. Such pessimistic views stem from Syria's long support of the PKK. Turks believe that Syria permits the PKK to maintain a training base in Lebanon--where Syrian troops have been stationed since 1976--and allows PKK leaders to live freely in Damascus. Tensions between Turkey and Syria actually had been accumulating long before the eruption of the PKK "dispute" in 1984. Like Iraq, Syria was an Ottoman province until 1918. Subsequently, it was governed by France as a League of Nations mandate. In 1939 France detached Hatay (formerly Alexandretta) province from Syria and ceded it to Turkey, an action bitterly opposed by Arab nationalists. Syria thus became independent in 1946 with an irredentist claim against Turkey. The Arab-Israeli conflict soon developed as another source of Syrian antagonism toward Turkey, which extended diplomatic recognition to Israel in 1948. Syria's staunch Arab nationalists also condemned Turkey's participation in NATO and other Western defense arrangements during the 1950s and 1960s.
Turkey's adoption in 1974 of a more evenhanded policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict failed to impress Syria. Much to Turkey's disappointment, Syria supported the Greeks in the conflict between the Greek and Turkish communities on the island of Cyprus. By the mid-1970s, Turkey was convinced that Syria was facilitating Armenian terrorist operations against Turkish diplomats abroad. Given the coolness and mutual suspicions that have characterized their relations, neither Syria nor Turkey was prepared to be sensitive to the other's interests. One reflection of this attitude was Turkey's decision to proceed with plans for a major dam project on the Euphrates River, apparently without adequate consultation with Syria. The Euphrates rises in the mountains of northern Anatolia, and Syria's territory is bisected by the river before it enters Iraq on its way to the Persian Gulf. Upon completion of the project, Turkey demonstrated the way control of the flow of water to downstream users in Syria could be used for political purposes, provoking a minicrisis in already tense relations. Thus the dam became yet another source of tension between the two countries.
Turkey's relations with other Arab countries, including Iraq prior to 1990, have been more positive than those with Syria. In early 1995, trade seemed to be the most important aspect of overall relations. Ankara had hoped that its support of the United States-led coalition in the Persian Gulf War would produce economic rewards. In fact, some Turkish business interests won contracts for construction projects in the Persian Gulf region, albeit not to the extent anticipated. Turkey's regional exports prior to 1990 had gone primarily to Iraq and secondarily to Iran. The loss of the Iraqi market because of Turkish compliance with sanctions initially represented a severe blow to export-dependent businesses and probably contributed to an economic recession in 1991. Beginning in 1992, however, Turkey gradually increased the level of its exports--particularly processed food and manufactured goods--to Kuwait and other Persian Gulf states. Although the prospects for expanding trade with Egypt and Israel appear limited because Turkey and these countries export similar products that compete in international markets, Turkey, nevertheless, has consolidated its political ties to both countries. Since 1992, for example, Israeli and Turkish investors have undertaken several joint-venture development projects in Central Asia. Turkey also imports most of its oil from Middle Eastern countries, particularly Libya.
Since 1963, when it was accepted as an associate member of the European Community (EC), Turkey has striven for admission as a full member of that body, now called the European Union (EU--see Glossary), the association of fifteen West European nations that comprises the world's wealthiest and most successful trading bloc. The Özal government, which had formulated its economic policies with the goal of meeting certain EC objections to a perceived lack of competitiveness in Turkish industry, formally applied for full membership in 1987. Much to Turkey's disappointment, the decision was deferred until 1993--or later--on grounds that the EC could not consider new members until after the implementation of tighter political integration scheduled for the end of 1992. The unexpected end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union actually delayed integration by one year, primarily to allow time for the EU to adjust to West Germany's absorption of East Germany. The new Demirel government, which strongly supported Özal's goal of joining the EC, was disappointed in 1992 when the EC agreed to consider membership applications from Austria, Finland, Norway, and Sweden without making a decision on Turkey's long-standing application. By then it seemed obvious that the EC was reluctant to act on Turkey's application. In fact, most EC members objected to full Turkish membership for a variety of economic, social, and political reasons.
The principal economic objections to Turkish membership center on the relative underdevelopment of Turkey's economy compared to the economies of EC/EU members and Turkey's high rate of population growth. The latter issue is perceived as a potentially serious problem because of free labor movement among EU members and the fact that Turkey's already large population is expected to surpass that of Germany--the most populous EU member--by 2010. Closely related to the concern about there being too many Turkish workers for too few jobs is the social problem of integrating those workers into European culture. Throughout Western Europe, the early 1990s witnessed a rise in anti-immigrant feeling directed primarily against Muslim workers from North Africa and Turkey. For the most part, EU governments have not developed policies to combat this resurgence of prejudice.
The political obstacles to EU membership concern Turkey's domestic and foreign policies. Because the European body prides itself on being an association of democracies, the 1980 military coup--in a country enjoying associate status--was a severe shock. The harshness of repression under the military regime further disturbed the EC--many EC leaders knew personally the former Turkish leaders whom the military put on trial for treason. The EC responded by freezing relations with Turkey and suspending economic aid. A related body, the Council of Europe, also expelled Turkey from its parliamentary assembly. The restoration of civilian rule gradually helped to improve Turkey's image. In 1985 Germany's prime minister signaled the EC's readiness to resume dialogue with Turkey by accepting an invitation to visit Ankara. The following year, the EC restored economic aid and permitted Turkey to reoccupy its seats in European deliberative councils. Nevertheless, frequent veiled threats by Turkey's senior military officers of future interventions if politicians "misbehaved" did not inspire confidence in Europe that democracy had taken permanent root in Turkey. As late as 1995, some Europeans remained apprehensive about the possibility of another military coup, a concern that was shared by various Turkish politicians.
EU members have also expressed reservations about Turkey's human rights record. Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, two human rights monitoring organizations supported by the EU, have reported the persistence of practices such as arbitrary arrests, disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture in prisons, and censorship. The Turkish Human Rights Association, itself subject to harassment and intimidation tactics, has prepared detailed chronologies and lists of human rights abuses, including the destruction of entire villages without due process, and has circulated these reports widely in Europe. The documented reports of human rights abuses, like the coup rumors, sustained questions about Turkey's qualifications to join a collective body of countries that have striven to achieve uniform standards for protecting citizen rights.
In terms of foreign policy, the main obstacle to EU membership remains the unresolved issues between Turkey and EU member Greece. The most serious issue between the two countries is their dispute over the island of Cyprus, which dates back to 1974. At that time, Turkish troops occupied the northeastern part of the island to protect the Turkish minority (20 percent of the population), which felt threatened by the Greek majority's proposals for unification with Greece. Years of negotiations have failed to resolve a stalemate based on the de facto partition of Cyprus into a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south, a division that continues to be enforced by a Turkish force estimated at 25,000 troops in early 1995 (see Conflict and Diplomacy: Cyprus and Beyond, ch. 1).
Following the November 1983 declaration of independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus--a government recognized only by Turkey in early 1995--Greece persuaded fellow EU members that progress on settling the dispute over Cyprus should be a prerequisite to accepting Turkey as a full member. Despite Ankara's position that such an obvious political condition was not appropriate for an economic association, once the EC agreed in 1990 to consider an application for membership from Cyprus, diplomatic efforts aimed at convincing individual EC members to veto the condition became futile. Since 1990 Turkey has supported UN-mediated talks between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders that are aimed at devising procedures for the island's reunification. As of January 1995, these intermittent discussions had made little progress, and the prospects for a resolution of the Cyprus problem appeared dim.
Equally as serious as the Cyprus issue is Turkey's dispute with Greece over territorial rights and interests in the Aegean Sea. Although both Greece and Turkey are de jure allies in NATO, their conflicting claims brought them to the brink of war in 1986 and 1987. A fundamental source of contention is exploration rights to minerals, primarily oil, beneath the Aegean Sea. International law recognizes the right of a country to explore the mineral wealth on its own continental shelf. Greece and Turkey, however, have been unable to agree on what constitutes the Aegean continental shelf. Turkey defines the Aegean shelf as a natural prolongation of the Anatolian coast, whereas Greece claims that every one of the more than 2,000 of its islands in the Aegean has its own shelf. The issue is complicated further by Greece's claim to the territorial waters surrounding its islands. Turkey rejected Greece's attempts to extend its six-nautical-mile territorial claim around each island to twelve nautical miles on grounds that such a move would enable Greece to control 71 percent, rather than 43 percent, of the Aegean. Thus, it would be impossible for Turkish ships to reach the Mediterranean Sea without crossing Greek waters.
The issue of the right to control the airspace over the Aegean appears similarly intractable. Greece, which was granted control of air and sea operations over the entire Aegean region by various NATO agreements, closed the Aegean air corridors during the 1974 Cyprus crisis and only reopened them early in 1980 as part of the compromise arrangement for Greek reintegration into NATO. Disputes over the median line dividing the Aegean into approximately equal sectors of responsibility remain unresolved. In addition, Turkey refuses to recognize the ten-mile territorial air limit decreed by Greece in 1931; this line extends from the coast of Greece's mainland as well as from its islands. These unresolved issues contribute to the tensions over Cyprus and mineral exploration rights in the Aegean Sea.
Prime Minister Özal recognized the potential of Greece to block Turkish admission to the EC even before his government formally submitted its application. Thus, early in 1987 he attempted to defuse tensions by initiating a meeting with his Greek counterpart in Switzerland--the first meeting between Greek and Turkish heads of government in ten years. Their discussions resolved an immediate crisis over oil drilling in the Aegean and established channels for further diplomatic discussions. In June 1988, Özal accepted an unprecedented invitation to visit Athens, the first state visit by a Turkish leader in thirty-six years. Although Özal's initiatives did much to clear the political atmosphere, leaders in both countries remain unable to overcome their mutual suspicions. Thus, no progress has been achieved in resolving outstanding differences, although both countries are showing more restraint in their rhetoric and actions. Beginning in 1989, dramatic political developments in Eastern Europe and the Middle East caused Turkey and Greece to focus their attention beyond the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
In early 1995, Turkey's most important international relationship was with the <"http://worldfacts.us/US.htm"> United States. Turkey's association with the United States began in 1947 when the United States Congress designated Turkey, under the provisions of the Truman Doctrine, as the recipient of special economic and military assistance intended to help it resist threats from the Soviet Union (see Politics and Foreign Relations in the 1960s, ch. 1). A mutual interest in containing Soviet expansion provided the foundation of United States-Turkish relations for the next forty years. In support of overall United States Cold War strategy, Turkey contributed personnel to the UN forces in the Korean War (1950-53), joined NATO in 1952, became a founding member of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) collective defense pact established in 1955, and endorsed the principles of the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Turkey generally cooperated with other United States allies in the Middle East (Iran, Israel, and Jordan) to contain the influence of those countries (Egypt, Iraq, and Syria) regarded as Soviet clients.
The general tendency for relationships between nations to experience strain in the wake of domestic and international political changes has proved to be the rule for Turkey and the United States. The most difficult period in their relationship followed Turkey's invasion of northern Cyprus in 1974. In response to the military intervention, the United States halted arms supplies to Turkey. Ankara retaliated by suspending United States military operations at all Turkish installations that were not clearly connected with NATO missions. The Cyprus issue affected United States-Turkish relations for several years. Even after the United States Congress lifted the arms embargo in 1978, two years passed before bilateral defense cooperation and military assistance were restored to their 1974 level.
During the 1980s, relations between Turkey and the United States gradually recovered the closeness of earlier years. Although Ankara resented continued attempts by the United States Congress to restrict military assistance to Turkey because of Cyprus and to introduce congressional resolutions condemning the 1915-16 massacre of Armenians, the Özal government generally perceived the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush as sympathetic to Turkish interests. For example, Washington demonstrated its support of Özal's market-oriented economic policies and efforts to open the Turkish economy to international trade by pushing for acceptance of an International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) program to provide economic assistance to Turkey. Furthermore, the United States, unlike European countries, did not persistently and publicly criticize Turkey over allegations of human rights violations. Also, the United States did not pressure Özal on the Kurdish problem, another issue that seemed to preoccupy the Europeans. By 1989 the United States had recovered a generally positive image among the Turkish political elite.
The end of the Cold War forced Turkish leaders to reassess their country's international position. The disappearance of the Soviet threat and the perception of being excluded from Europe have created a sense of vulnerability with respect to Turkey's position in the fast-changing global political environment. Özal believed Turkey's future security depended on the continuation of a strong relationship with the United States. For that reason, he supported the United States position during the Persian Gulf War, although Turkey's economic ties to Iraq were extensive and their disruption hurt the country. After the war, he continued to support major United States initiatives in the region, including the creation of a no-fly zone over northern Iraq, the Arab-Israeli peace process, and expanded ties with the Central Asian members of the CIS. Özal's pro-United States policy was not accepted by all Turks. United States use of Turkish military installations during the bombing of Iraq in 1991 led to antiwar demonstrations in several cities, and sporadic attacks on United States facilities continued in 1992 and 1993. Nevertheless, among Turkey's political elite a consensus had emerged by January 1995 that Turkey's security depended on remaining a strategic ally of the United States. For that reason, both the Demirel and Çiller governments undertook efforts to cultivate relations with the administrations of presidents George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton.
|When you know||Multiply by||To find|
|Square kilometers||0.39||square miles|
|Cubic meters||35.3||cubic feet|
|Metric tons||0.98||long tons|
|Degrees Celsius (Centigrade)||1.8 and add 32||degrees Fahrenheit|
|Osman I||Son of the gazi Ertugrul||1281-1324|
|Orhan||Son of Osman||1324-60|
|Murad I||Son of Orhan||1360-89|
|Bayezid I2||Son of Murad I||1389-1402|
|Süleyman||Son of Bayezid I||1402-11|
|Musa2||Son of Bayezid I||1411-13|
|Mehmet I2||Son of Bayezid I||1413-21|
|Murad II||Son of Mehmet I||1421-44, 1446-51|
|Mehmet II||Son of Murad II||1444-46, 1451-81|
|Bayezid II||Son of Mehmet II||1481-1512|
|Selim I||Son of Bayezid II||1512-20|
|Süleyman I||Son of Selim I||1520-66|
|Selim II||Son of Süleyman I||1566-74|
|Murad III||Son of Selim II||1574-95|
|Mehmet III||Son of Murad III||1595-1603|
|Ahmet I||Son of Mehmet III||1603-17|
|Mustafa I||Son of Ahmet I||1617-18|
|Osman II||Son of Ahmet I||1618-22|
|Mustafa I||Son of Ahmet I||1622-23|
|Murad IV||Nephew of Mustafa I||1623-40|
|Ibrahim||Brother of Murad IV||1640-48|
|Mehmet IV||Son of Ibrahim||1648-87|
|Süleyman II||Son of Ibrahim||1687-91|
|Ahmet II||Son of Ibrahim||1691-95|
|Mustafa II||Son of Mehmet IV||1695-1703|
|Ahmet III||Son of Mehmet IV||1703-30|
|Mahmud I||Son of Mustafa II||1730-54|
|Osman III||Son of Mustafa II||1754-57|
|Mustafa III||Son of Ahmet III||1757-74|
|Abdül Hamid I||Brother of Mustafa III||1774-89|
|Selim III||Nephew of Abdül Hamid I||1789-1807|
|Mustafa IV||Cousin of Selim III||1807-08|
|Mahmud II||Brother of Mustafa IV||1808-39|
|Abdülmecid I||Son of Mahmud II||1839-61|
|Abdülaziz||Son of Mahmud II||1861-76|
|Murad V||Son of Abdülmecid I||1876|
|Abdül Hamid II||Son of Abdülmecid I||1876-1909|
|Mehmet V||Son of Abdülmecid I||1909-18|
|Mehmet VI||Son of Abdülmecid I||1918-22|
|President||Prime Minister||Period in Office|
|Atatürk||May 1920-January 1921|
|Fevzi Çakmak1||January 1921-July 1922|
|Rauf Orbay1||July 1922-August 1923|
|Fethi Okyar1||August-October 1923|
|Atatürk (1923-38)||Ismet Inönü (CHP)||November 1923-November 1924|
|Fethi Okyar (Progressive Republican Party)||November 1924-March 1925|
|Ismet Inönü (CHP)||March 1925-October 1937|
|Ismet Inönü (1938-50)||Celal Bayar (CHP)||October 1937-January 1939|
|Refik Saydam (CHP)||January 1939-July 1942|
|Sükrü Saraçoglu (CHP)||July 1942-August 1946|
|Recep Peker (CHP)||August 1946-September 1947|
|Hasan Saka (CHP)||September 1947-January 1949|
|Semsettin Günaltay (CHP)||January 1949-May 1950|
|Celal Bayar (1950-60)||Adnan Menderes (DP)||May 1950-May 1960|
|Cemal Gürsel (1960-66)||Cemal Gürsel||May 1960-November 1961|
|Ismet Inönü (CHP)||November 1961-February 1965|
|Suat Hayri Ürgüplü (Independent)||February-October 1965|
|Süleyman Demirel (AP)||October 1965-March 1971|
|Cevdet Sunay (1966-73)||Nihat Erim (Independent)||March 1971-April 1972|
|Ferit Melen (NRP)||April 1972|
|Suat Hayri Ürgüplü (Independent)||April-May 1972|
|Ferit Melen (NRP)||May 1972-April 1973|
|Naim Talu (Independent)||April 1973-January 1974|
|Fahri Korutürk (1973-80)||Bülent Ecevit (CHP)||January-November 1974|
|Sadi Irmak (Independent)||November 1974-March 1975|
|Süleyman Demirel (AP)||March 1975-January 1978|
|Bülent Ecevit (CHP)||January 1978-October 1979|
|Süleyman Demirel (AP)||October 1979-September 1980|
|Kenan Evren (1980-89)||Bülent Ulusu (appointed)||September 1980-December 1983|
|Turgut Özal (ANAP)||December 1983-October 1989|
|Ali Bozer 6 (ANAP)||October-November 1989|
|Turgut Özal (1989-93)||Yildirim Akbulut (ANAP)||November 1989-June 1991|
|Mesut Yilmaz (ANAP)||June-November 1991|
|Süleyman Demirel (DYP)||November 1991-May 1993|
|Erdal Inönü||May-June 1993|
|Süleyman Demirel 1993-||Tansu Çiller (DYP)||June 1993-|
Source: Based on information from The Dorling Kindersley World Reference Atlas, New York, 1994, 546
|Agriculture, fishing, and forestry||8,237||8,353||8,723||8,397|
|Trade and hotels||886||1,429||2,093||2,338|
|Transportation and communications||417||612||808||898|
|Other, including services||1,330||2,168||3,012||3,104|
|Total civilian employment||13,034||15,702||18,364||18,702|
|Unemployment rate (in percentages)||6.3||8.1||8.0||7.6|
|CIVILIAN LABOR FORCE||13,905||17,078||19,954||20,232|
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 9.
|Transfers to SEEs||1,025||1,223||1,265||12,191||8,145||25,850|
|Deferred minus advanced payments||-81||-639||-400||90||-12,005||7,754|
|Long-term borrowing (net)||2,609||5,578||7,983||4,200||19,446||51,197|
|Short-term borrowing (net)||1,064||1,452||2,263||23,509||41,372||75,251|
|Other (including errors and omissions)||268||1,111||2,108||5,717||-1,379||-345|
|Total industrial crops||13,431||12,403||11,764||14,929||15,879||15,725|
|Vegetables, fruits, and nuts|
|Hazelnuts (in shell)||280||353||456||375||315||520|
|Total vegetables, fruits, and nuts||9,770||10,522||9,801||10,661||10,690||10,629|
Source: Based on information from Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Turkey, 1994-95, London, 1994, 24.
|Total coal (including lignite)||11,530||12,940||12,550||11,880||12,210|
|Main petroleum products||19,265||17,789||18,563||18,409||18,811|
|Electricity (in thousands of kilowatt hours)||48||52||58||58||67|
Source: Based on information from Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Turkey, 1994-1995, London, 1994, 28; and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Energy Balances of OECD Countries, 1991-1992, Paris, 1994, 170.
|Other fruits and vegetables||409||508||523||612||721||692|
|Other industral crops and forestry products||97||289||53||57||284||268|
|Live animals and sea products||356||337||330||272||268||178|
|Total agricultural products||1,853||2,341||2,127||2,349||2,683||2,203|
|Processed and manufactured products|
|Processed agricultural products||954||885||918||940||1,212||1,337|
|Textiles and clothing||2,707||3,201||3,505||4,060||4,328||5,268|
|Hides and leather||722||514||604||747||620||568|
|Glass and ceramics||205||233||258||329||359||395|
|Iron and steel||852||1,458||1,349||1,612||1,452||1,558|
|Metal products and machinery||788||383||219||230||265||398|
|Electrical equipment and products||293||294||234||438||533||591|
|Total processed and manufactured products||8,065||8,944||9,087||10,279||10,629||12,247|
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 96; and Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Turkey, 1994-95, London, 1994, 43.
|Agricultural products and livestock||782||499||1,041||1,323||813||1,184|
|Total mineral products||3,400||3,204||3,426||4,794||3,954||3,920|
|Processed and manufactured products|
|Processed agricultural products||720||738||843||1,162||989||935|
|Rubber and plastics||488||525||485||807||848||986|
|Iron and steel||1,537||1,655||2,217||1,932||2,009||2,118|
|Non ferrous metals||418||412||421||537||452||426|
|Other industrial products||2,799||3,121||3,461||5,541||5,760||6,635|
|Total manufactured prod- ucts||9,381||9,894||10,482||15,023||15,291||16,833|
|Total processed and manufactured prod-ucts||10,101||10,632||11,325||16,185||16,280||17,768|
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 97; and Economist Intelligence Unit, Country Profile: Turkey, 1994-95, London, 1994, 44.
|Central and East European countries||520||923||829||1,053||1,217||1,670|
|Middle East and North Africa|
|Total Middle East and North Africa||3,456||2,804||2,452||2,694||2,763||2,743|
|Central and East European coutnries||857||1,124||1,947||1,875||2,094||3,253|
|Middle East and North Africa|
|Total Middle East and North Africa||2,841||2,830||3,659||2,981||3,238||3,240|
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-opearation and Development, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 99.
|Private transfers (net)||1,762||2,066||3,135||2,854||3,085|
|Official transfers (net)||222||324||423||2,245||73|
|Current account balance||-969||-806||961||258||-6,990|
|Private long-term capital (net)||856||1,388||2,456||1,562||6,839|
|Official long-term capital (net)||-594||453||-1,092||-939||-930|
|Capital account balance||262||1,841||1,364||623||5,909|
|Balance of payments||-707||1,035||2,325||881||1,081|
|Change in reserves||-361||137||2,471||-1,197||308|
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 100.
|Type and Description||Country of Origin||In Inventory|
|Infantry fighting vehicles||Turkey/United States||65|
|Armored personnel carriers|
|Self-propelled guns and howitzers|
|105mm: M-52A1 and M-108||United States||389|
|203mm: M-55 and M-110||-do-||228|
|105mm: M-101A1 and others||-do-||640|
|155mm: M-114A1 and M-59||United States||613|
|107mm: M-30, some self-propelled||-do-||1,265|
|120mm: various||United States/Germany/France||578|
|81mm: various, including self-propelled||-do-||3,175|
|Multiple rocket launchers|
|227mm: MLRS||United States/Turkey||12|
|Antitank guided weapons|
|TOW self-propelled||United States||365|
|S-70A Sikorsky||United States||8|
|AB-204 Agusta Bell||Italy||14|
|AB-205 Agusta Bell||-do-||64|
|AB-212 Agusta Bell||-do-||2|
|UH-1H Iroquois||United States||96|
Source: Based on information from The Military Balance, 1994-1995, London, 1994, 66-67
|Type and Description||Country of Origin||In Inventory|
|Fighter-bombers and fighter-ground attack|
|UH-1H Blackhawk utility||United States||21|
|Surface-to-air missile launchers|
Source: Based on information from The Military Balance, 1994-1995, London, 1994, 68.
|Type and Description||Country of Origin||In Inventory|
|MEKO-200 with Sub Harpoon SSM||Germany||4|
|MEKO-200||Turkey||4 (on order)|
|Knox-class with Sub Harpoon SSM||United States||8|
|Dogan-class (Lurssen 57) with Harpoon SSM||Germany/Turkey||8|
|Kartal-class (Jaguar) with Penguin SSM||Germany||8|
|Yildiz-class||Turkey||2 (on order)|
|Coastal and inshore||United States/Germany/Turkey||29|
|Landing ships, tank||United States/Turkey||7|
|Landing craft, tank||Turkey||35|
|Landing craft, utility||-do-||2|
|Landing craft, mechanized||-do-||22|
|Agusta-Bell AB-212 ASW shipborne helicopters||Italy||14|
|Grumman ST-2E Tracker ASW search||United States||14|
Source: Based on information from Jane's Fighting Ships, 1994-95, London, 1994, 704-22.
1.Date of beginning of reign is approximate.
2.The period 1403-13, during which the sons of Bayezid I contested succession to the sultanate, is cited as an interregnum by many sources. Other sources date the beginning of the reign of Mehmet I from 1403.
3.Süleyman II in some sources.
4.Süleyman III in some sources.
5.Sultanate abolished 1922; Abdülmecid II (brother of Mehmet VI) remained as caliph 1922-24.
6.President of the Grand National Assembly.
7.CHP--Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People's Party).
8.DP--Demokrat Partisi (Democrat Party).
9.Interim government under Committee of National Unity.
10.AP--Adalet Partisi (Justice Party).
11.Acting prime minister.
12.NRP--National Reliance Party.
13.Evren functioned as head of the National Security Council, or de facto chief of state, from September 1980 to November 1982.
14.ANAP--Anavatan Partisi (Motherland Party).
15.DYP--Dogru Yol Partisi (True Path Party).
16.Caretaker prime minister.
18.Figures may not add to totals because of rounding.
19.For value of the Turkish lira--see Glossary.
20.SEEs--State Economic Enterprises.
Source: Based on information from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developmnent, OECD Economic Surveys: Turkey, 1995, Paris, 1995, 105.
21.C.I.F.--Cost, insurance, and freight.
22.OECD--Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
24f.o.b.--free on board.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress
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CITATION: Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress. The Country Studies Series. Published 1988-1999.
Please note: This text comes from the Country Studies Program, formerly the Army Area Handbook Program. The Country Studies Series presents a description and analysis of the historical setting and the social, economic, political, and national security systems and institutions of countries throughout the world.
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