Turkey: Domestic Politics


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Individual presentation about the country of Turkey for the class of Politics of the Middle East (POLS 4314). Content: History of the Anatolian Region from the Persians to the Ottomans, Ataturk and the Turkish Modern Nationalism, Turkish government structure, ethnical and religious composition, GDP structure, unemployment, socio-cultural conflict with the Kurds, etc.

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Turkey: Domestic Politics

  1. 1. TURKEY Domestic Politics By Francisco Garrido-Garza
  2. 2. Flag The colors and design closely resemble the banner of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1918), which preceded modern- day Turkey. According to legend, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors. The crescent moon and star serve as insignia for the Turks, as well as being traditional symbols of Islam.
  3. 3. Location & Geography • Slightly larger than Texas. • High central plateau, narrow coastal plains & several mountain ranges in the East. • Strategic location: Bosporus Strait & Sea of Marmara linking with the Black and Aegean Seas. Its location between two continents (Europe and Asia) makes it a place of significant geostrategic importance as it has always been historically.
  4. 4. Location & Geography • Anatolia & Asia Minor are other terms to describe the region. • Western border: Greece & Bulgaria (Europe). • Eastern border: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia & Georgia. • Turkey shares the Black Sea with Romania, Ukraine & Russia besides the bordering countries of Bulgaria and Georgia.
  5. 5. History For more than a millennium, hegemonic empires contested and ruled the Anatolian Region because of its favorable geographic conditions and for its direct trade routes linking East with West (Silk Road Routes). • Persian Empire (546 – 334 BC) • Alexander the Great (323 – 146 BC) • Roman Empire (100 BC – 330) • Byzantine Empire (330 – 1453) • Ottoman Empire (1299 – 1918) • Republic (1923 – )
  7. 7. Persian Empire Persepolis The Persians in Anatolia built the first trade roads and ports, and linked them with the rest of the Empire (Middle East). Around 490 BC, the Greeks from the neighboring West, went to war against them. A century later, the Greeks pushed the Persians out of Anatolia. Sardis Susa Ecbatana Cappadocia Capital City founded Persian Empire (678 – 330 BC)
  8. 8. Hellenistic World Athens The Greeks, under the rule of Alexander the Great, extended the roads and trade routes that the Persians built previously. After Alexander’s death, the empire broke apart into independent Greek kingdoms. International trade between East and West emerged (Silk Road routes). Byzantium Alexandria Antioch Damascus Aleppo Seleucia Hierapolis Pergamum Capital City founded Hellenistic World (Greeks) Ephesus (323 – 146 BC)
  9. 9. Roman/Early Byzantine Empire Constantinople Ctesiphon In 330, Roman Emperor Constantine transferred the imperial seat to Byzantium and changes its name: Constantinople. He legalized Christianity and became the first Christian emperor. In the mid-400s, the Western Roman Empire fell. The Eastern part prevailed and re-emerged as the Byzantine Empire. Caesarea Nicaea Capital City founded Edessa Adrianople Sasanid Empire (Persian) Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) (100 BC – 330 AC)
  10. 10. Byzantine Empire Constantinople Damascus Baghdad Cairo Medina Mecca Capital City founded Muslim Empire (Umayyad/Abbasid ) Byzantine Empire (330 – 1453) In fact, the Byzantine Empire was the continuation and heir of Rome but it was totally a Christian-authoritarian state and mostly Greek in language. Since the emergence of Islam, Byzantine lands were gradually falling to the Umayyad Empire as long as Muslim authorities were more flexible and bold with Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, etc.
  11. 11. Late Byzantine Empire & Turks Constantinople Cairo Capital City founded Turks Byzantine Empire Mamluk Empire Kerman Rum Manzigert Osmanli (1057 – 1453) The Turks, who were in their beginnings nomadic tribesmen from the steppes of Central Asia, converted to Islam between the eight and ninth centuries as well as adapting to the Abbasid Caliphate. When the Abbasid Empire fell in 1258, the Turks declared themselves as an independent state and establish their own sultanate in Eastern Anatolia.
  12. 12. Ottoman Empire Istanbul Capital City founded Austrian-Hungarian Emp. Ottoman Empire Safavid Emp. Russian Emp. Isfahan Tehran Bursa (1299 – 1918) In 1453, the Turks, under the rule of the Ottoman Dynasty, removed the Byzantine Empire and established their new capital at Constantinople (Istanbul). Since the early 1500s, the Ottoman Empire made Islamdom to be the greatest power bloc in the world by controlling over 80 percent of the Mediterranean trade with the east.
  13. 13. Late Ottoman Empire Istanbul Europe took the alternative to search for new routes to the East due to the Ottoman blockade. Despite the success of the Ottoman expansion through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, problems in government and social organization occurred frequently. The Ottoman Empire was being weakened by itself and because of the European infiltration. Capital City founded Austrian-Hungarian Emp. Ottoman Empire Russian Emp. British-French Sevastopol Taganrog (1800s – 1918)
  14. 14. Republic of Turkey Ankara The Ottoman Empire lost its holdings at the Balkans in WWI. The Sultan and the imperial system were not powerful anymore. The Republic of Turkey, as it is known today and recognized by the World, was established in 1923 by Turkish nationalists and radical reformers. The modern city of Ankara became the capital.Capital Republic of Turkey (1923 – )
  15. 15. Ataturk & The Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, along with radical-nationalist reformers, removed the Sultanate. They incorporated western ideas and secular practices to the new Republic. Ataturk became the first president of Turkey in 1924 after he overthrew the Ottoman Sultan. In the same year, the new republic promulgated its first constitution based on democracy and secular pluralism.
  16. 16. Population: 79, 749, 461 (est. 2012). Demography & Population
  17. 17. Demography & Population 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Istanbul Ankara Izmir Bursa Adana Gaziantep Konya Population(millions) Turkey’s Largest Cities Source: Turkish Statistical Institute
  18. 18. Demography & Population Istanbul Ankara BursaIzmir
  19. 19. Age Distribution Source: The World Factbook – CIA 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 0-14 15-24 25-54 55-64 65 and older Population(millions) Age Male Female Total Population: 79,749,461
  20. 20. Religions Muslim* 98% Christian, Jew & other religions 2% * Mostly Sunni Source: The World Factbook – CIA Total Population: 79,749,461
  21. 21. Turks 70% Kurds 18% Greeks, Russians , Georgians & Others 12% Ethnic Groups Source: The World Factbook – CIA Total Population: 79,749,461
  22. 22. The Kurdish Problem Kurdistan: - A nation without a state. - Ethnical region situated in the adjacent parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. - 4th largest ethnicity in Western Asia after the Arabs, Persians and Turks. - 25% live in Turkey. - Actually, there are political parties (banned) and activist groups representing the struggles and interests of the Kurdish minority (e.g. People’s Labor Party).
  23. 23. Country Name: Republic of Turkey Type of Government: Republican &Parliamentary Democracy National Holiday: Republic Day (October 29) Legal System: similarly based on the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Suffrage: Universal (18 years of age). Government & Tradition
  24. 24. Government Structure • Constitution: Laws & amendments based on the Principles of Kemalism (Modern Turkish Nationalism), Laicism (secularism) & Modernization. • Executive Branch: President, Prime Minister & Council of Ministers. • Legislative Branch: Grand National Assembly (unicameral chamber of representatives). • Judicial Branch: Constitutional Court, High Court of Appeals (Yargitay), Council of State (Danistay), Court of Accounts (Sayistay), Military High Court of Appeals & Military High Administrative Court.
  25. 25. Executive Branch The executive power is exercised by the President and Prime Minister along with the Council of Ministers (presidential staff). • President: - Head of state. - Elected every 5 years on the principle of universal suffrage and is eligible for a second term. - Does not have to be member of the Parliament. - Must be over 40 years old and have, at least, a Bachelor’s degree. • Prime Minister: - Head of government. - Appointed by the President and must be approved by the Parliament through a vote of confidence. - Nominates members for the Council of Ministers before the President’s approval.
  26. 26. Executive Branch Abdullah Gül Recep Tayyip Erdogan President Prime Minister
  27. 27. Legislative Branch Legislative power is invested in the 550-seat Grand National Assembly of Turkey, representing 81 provinces. - To be represented in Parliament, a party must win at least 10% of the national vote in a national parliamentary election. - Members are elected only for a four-year term. - Independent candidates can run and be elected only if they win over 10% of the vote in the province from which they are running.
  28. 28. Legislative Branch
  29. 29. Judicial Branch Turkish courts have no jury system; judges render decisions after establishing the facts in each case based on evidence presented by lawyers and prosecutors. - All courts are open to the public, but in case it is closed, the court must declare the reason. - The Minister of Justice is the natural head of the judicial council. - The Military Court of Cassation (Askeri Yargıtay) and The Military High Court of Administration (or the Supreme Military Administrative Court) are the highest bodies to which appeals of decisions of military courts are to be made. - Turkey accepts the European Court of Human Rights' decisions as a higher court decision. Turkey also accepts as legally binding any decisions on international agreements.
  30. 30. Political Parties • Since 1945, Turkey has functioned under a multi-party system allowing a wide array of political groups to represent the population. • There are approximately 61 political parties (registered and banned). • Political parties that received more than 10% of the suffrage, and/or represented in the Parliament, are defined as Major parties. • Currently, 5 major parties have seats in the Parliament.
  31. 31. Main/Major Political Parties People’s Republic Party Modern-Turkish Nationalist (Center-left) Democratic Party Economic Liberalism (Center-right) National Movement Party Conservative/Nationalist (Far-right) Motherland Party Economic Liberalism (Center-right) Democratic Left Party Modern-Turkish Nationalist (Center-left) Justice & Development Party Social Conservatism (Center-left) Peace & Democracy Party Social Democracy (Center-left) Young Party Right-wing Populism (center-right) Most influential and often represented in Parliament
  32. 32. Minor Political Parties Radical/Left Wing: 14 registered (social democracy, socialist, Marxist…) Conservative/Nationalist: 11 registered (nationalist, Islamist…) Liberal: 4 registered (economic liberalism, neoliberal, moderate, progressive…) Green: 2 registered (green politics, sustainability…) Banned parties (interest groups): 10 (Kurdish separatist, Muslim extremists, workers’ pact…) Poorly represented in Parliament and/or form coalition with a major party
  33. 33. Agriculture: Tobacco, Cotton, Grain, Olives, Sugar Beets, Hazelnuts, Citrus & Livestock. Industry: Textiles, Food Processing, Autos, Electronics, Mining, Steel, Constr uction, Lumber & Paper. Energy: Petroleum, Coal, Natural Gas, Solar & Wind. Economy
  34. 34. Economy GDP: $ 783.1 billion. Poverty rate: 16.9 % Unemployment rate: 9 %
  35. 35. Agriculture 26% Industry 26% Services 48% Labor Force by Occupation Source: The World Factbook – CIA Labor force: 27.11 million
  36. 36. Agriculture 9% Industry 28% Services 63% GDP Composition Source: The World Factbook – CIA GDP: $ 783.1 billion
  37. 37. Conclusion Turkey is both European and Middle Eastern because of its cultural contrast and historical backgrounds. As a result of its location between the Black and Mediterranean seas, and by managing multiple diplomatic relations with both European and Middle Eastern neighbors, Turkey gained its recognition as a regional power. Comparing to many Middle Eastern countries, Turkey demonstrates to be a modern country with a stable economy and vast pluralism in politics. But on the other hand, the country still faces geopolitical and socio- cultural challenges in and beyond of its territory as with the Kurds.
  38. 38. THANK YOU