Turkey (/ (
[ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish:
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (
[ˈtyɾcije d͡ʒumˈhuɾijeti]), is a
transcontinental country in
Eurasia, mainly in
Western Asia, with a
smaller portion on the
Balkan peninsula in
 Turkey is a
parliamentary republic; slated to transition to a presidential system in 2019, following a
2017 referendum. Turkey is bordered by eight countries with
Bulgaria to the northwest;
Georgia to the northeast;
Iran to the east; and
Syria to the south. The country is encircled by seas on three sides with the
Aegean Sea to the west, the
Black Sea to the north, and the
Mediterranean Sea to the south. The
Sea of Marmara, and the
Dardanelles, which together form the
Turkish Straits, divide
Anatolia and separate Europe and Asia.
Ankara is the capital while
Istanbul is the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Approximately 70-80% of the country's citizens identify themselves as ethnic
 Kurds are the largest minority at about 20% of the population, and other ethnic minorities include
 Minority languages spoken today in Turkey include
Kabardian and several others.
The area of Turkey has been inhabited since the
Paleolithic age by various
ancient Anatolian civilisations, as well as
Alexander the Great conquered these lands, the area was
Hellenized, a process which continued under the
Roman Empire and its transition into the
Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, and their victory over the Byzantines at the
Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start of
Turkification in Anatolia.
Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the
Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small
From the end of the 13th century the
Ottomans started uniting Turkish principalities in Anatolia and then went on to create an empire that encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and
Ottoman Empire reached its peak territorial mass and became a world power during the rule of
Suleiman the Magnificent in the
early modern period.
 It remained powerful and influential for two more centuries, until important setbacks in the 18th and 19th century forced it to cede strategic territories in Europe, which signalled the loss of its former military strength and wealth. After the
1913 Ottoman coup d'état, which effectively put the country under the control of the
Three Pashas, the Ottoman Empire
decided to join the
Central Powers during
World War I. During the war, the Ottoman government committed
genocides against its
Pontic Greek subjects.
 Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was
several new states.
Turkish War of Independence, initiated by
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying
Allies, resulted in the
abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
 Atatürk enacted
numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of
western thought, philosophy, and customs into the new form of Turkish government.
Turkey is a charter member of the
UN, an early member of
IMF and the
World Bank, and a founding member of the
G-20. After becoming
one of the first members of the
Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an
associate member of the
in 1963, joined the
EU Customs Union in 1995 and started
accession negotiations with the
European Union in 2005 which have been effectively stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey’s path toward autocratic rule".
 Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a
regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey's current administration headed by president
Tayyip Erdoğan has reversed many of the earlier reforms, such as
Freedom of the Press, a
Legislative System of Checks and Balances, and a set of standards for secularism in government, as previously enacted by Atatürk.