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 bordered by eight countries with
Bulgaria to the northwest;
Georgia to the northeast;
Iran to the east;
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; they also 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
 Other ethnic groups include legally recognised
Jews; and unrecognised
 Kurds are the largest ethnic minority group, making up approximately 20% of the population.
The area of Turkey has been inhabited since the
 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, starting the process of
Turkification, which was accelerated by the Seljuk victory over the Byzantines at the
Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
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 Anatolia and then creating an empire encompassing much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and
North Africa, becoming a world power
 during the
early modern period. The empire reached the peak of its land mass in the 16th century, during the reign of
Suleiman the Magnificent. It remained powerful and influential for two more centuries, until important setbacks in the 17th and 18th century forced it to cede strategic territories in Europe, signalling 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 which were ultimately defeated by the
Allied Powers. During the war, the Ottoman government committed
[II] against its
Pontic Greek citizens.
 Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that formerly comprised the Ottoman Empire was
several new states.
Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922), initiated by
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against the 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.
 Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a
 while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
 Turkey's current administration headed by president
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reversed many of the country's earlier reforms which had been in place since the founding of the modern republic of Turkey, such as
Freedom of the Press, and a
Legislative System of Checks and Balances. A set of standards for secularism in government, as first enacted by Atatürk have also diminished in favour of conservative religionist governance, to the grievance of much of the Turkish public.