History and importance of Turkey.
Turkey is located in the southeastern Europe. It is an Islamic country with minorities of Christianity and Judaism. It is surrounded by 8 countries making it a crossroads and of great geographic importance. It has ad 11 presidents since 1923 to date. The current president is Abdullah Gul who is the leader of government and the state as elected by the citizens. In this paper we take a critical look at the history of Turkey its government, problems they face and the importance of turkey plus a brief biography of its current leader and the relationship it has with other nations. It is known as a peace harbor by many nations and has good international relations with other countries both in the Middle East, Europe and Africa.
History of Turkey.
The Republic of Turkey was formed by the Republican parliament in 1992 after overthrowing the then sultan Mehemet Vahdettin [Ataturk]. It was made a republic in October 1923 and Mustafa Kemal was the president and was also the leader of the Ankara based revolutionary group. During his ten year term, he encouraged reform industrialization and education he also welcomed other religions apart from Islam. In 1928 he introduced the Turkish alphabet to create literacy and it replaced the Arabic script. Turkish education was meant to increase skills for the social economic development of the country. He encouraged the equality of both sexes and in 1934, he granted full political rights to women. After his death in 10th November 1938, he was succeeded by Ismet Inonu. During the 2 nd World war in 1945, Turkey signed a peace treaty with Germany but in February, it declared war on Germany and Japan.
In 1946, Turkey organized multiparty elections which Inonu won and led till 1950. Andereas Menderes took over the leadership and the economy of the country dropped leading the country in to huge debts. In 1960, the government was overethrowm forming political parties which all wanted to rule they were justice party and republican people’s party led by Ecevit [Virginia 27].
In 1974 July under the leadership of Prime Minister Ecevit, they invaded Cyprus by sea and air following the fall of diplomatic efforts to resolve the issues surrounding Turkey and Cyprus. Turkey announced a cease fire in August after having gained 40% control of the Island. The failing political scene and the depreciating economy led to a coup on 1980 led by general Kenan Evren and returned the rule of the country to t he civilians. About
20% of the population was made up of Kurds and were regarded as a minority group and they were exempted from practicing and protecting their rights.
This oppression made the Kurds to form their own Kurdistan Workers Party in [PKK] 1984 which was a terrorist group under the leadership of Mohammed Ocalan. They started guerilla wars and it is estimated that over 35000 died as a result of clashes between the military and the PKK
1890S this was between 1980s and 1990s. On February 1999 Ocalan was captured and charged with committing treason and was sentenced to death on June 2 nd 1999. However on August 2009, Turkey was struck by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake leaving 17000 dead and scores homeless. There has been lost of hostilities between Armenia and Turkey with over one million deaths but in October 2009, they decided to establish democratic
relations and reopen the border line but both parliaments are yet to approve. The country is under the leadership of Abdullah Gul who is trying to revive the economy and develop diplomatic relations with other countries.
Structure of the Turkish government.
Turkey has a secular government structure which involves the legislature, executive and the judiciary. The legislature is practiced by the national or parliament which consists of 550 deputies representing the 81 provinces of the country. They are elected by citizens for a five year term by the people. The number of deputies representing a province is determined by the population of the province. Once elected the
national assembly enacts amends laws and monitors the actions of cabinet ministers, debate bills and budgets and pass them for final accounts. They also authorize the printing of currencies, international agreements, declaration of war and national issues.
The speaker plays the roles of the president incase of death, illness or when the president is traveling. The executive arm of government is practiced by the president and the council of ministers [cabinet ministers]. The president is elected for a single term of seven years. To be elected as president in Turkey one has to be over 40 years old a citizen and should be eligible to be elected to parliament. The president chairs the cabinet
meetings, appoints and accepts the resignation of the prime minister, calls national assembly into session publishes bills into laws and decides on parliamentary elections.
The president is not meant to have any political ties with ant political party as his /her integrity is to represent the nation. The judiciary arm of government is practiced by independent courts on behalf of the nation. They solve cases and ensure there is trust and
integrity in the judicial system.
Biography of Abdullah Gul.
He was born in October 29 th 1950 in Anatolia and he is the 11 th and current president of Turkey since August 2007. His father was a retired air force mechanic and his mother was a housewife. He studied economics at the University of Istanbul and later went a university in the UK where he studied for two years. He worked at the higher education facilities in Istanbul as an industrial teacher. In 1983, he received a PhD degree
from the University of Istanbul. He worked as a banker in1983-1991 at the Islamic Development Bank and later became a lecturer in International management. In 1991-1995 he became a member of the planning and budget committee of the Turkish parliament and in 1995-2001 was elected as a member of the foreign politics committee.
He gained interest in politics and wanted to try a hand at the presidential seat. He contested for the 2000 elections which were held in May and he won by a small margin facing stiff competition from Fazilet Partisi if the virtue party. He played an important role with foreign states and met US president George Bush in 2007 and met with the European Union to improve Turkey relationship with Syria. To date he is still active in
maintaining the country’s economy and international relations with other nations[Virginia 28]
Problems facing Turkey.
One of the challenges Turkey is experiencing is the revival of the economy. Since the financial crisis in 2008, it has not yet fully recovered and it has shown slow signs of recovery. The deficit was recorded at 7% and in 2009 it was recorded at 5% showing slow signs of recovery. Private investors do not have confidence in investing recording investments rate of 0.6% in2008. In the banking industry in 2008, the stocks led to the
fall of Istanbul stock exchange with stocks trading below the market value. In the capital markets, the consumer share lost 4.53% and lost 2.9% in technology shares. Being at the centre of eight countries turkey is at the crossroads and needs to improve the transport sector to make more revenue. It needs to improve the railway system and the shipping docks.
The problem the government faces is congestion in the hot spots because it is filed with booming business. The government plans to build a car tunnel to ease congestion but this will mean the destruction of old buildings and decentralization of the people who live nearby. It is estimated this will take seven years but it will make turkey a route between two continents and will attract development, investments and create job
opportunities. Turkey has got high skilled and motivated labor creating productivity in the industries. The global economic recession, political instability and high interest rates made consumers to delay in the purchase of products like cars, steel, petroleum products and plastics. This led to loss of jobs in the industry and production was low [Kinzer 14].
This however changed in 2008 when the government cut down the high interest rates from financial institutions. Turkey is known to be a host of 25million tourists each year. It is rich in beaches, attraction sites, and cultural spots geographical features and is a route to other countries although the political instability and rising costs of accommodation have lowered that number of tourists making the government to loose
revenue. The women in Turkey face discrimination and are undermined especially in rural area where they adhere to traditional roles. Women are not recognized as important people in the society and they are required to stay at home. They are also not allowed to get out of the houses without headscarves and covering their bodies. Majority of the people in Turkey are Muslims and they are strict with their religion making women have
no say in issues that are affecting them. In rural Turkey there are rebels who use guerrilla tactics to get money from the government and private investors. They have gained control of the northern region of the country which is rich in resources. The rebels own the resources and control the passage of goods in the northern area bringing slow economic development and a waste of the public resources [Kinzer 15].
Importance of Turkey.
Turkey is used as a crossroad and the tunnel of the BP oil industry passes through Turkey from Russia to the European Markets. It is estimated that 2% of the worlds crude oil pass through this route daily thus contributing as a supply channel for oil creating great income for the country Turkey is considered as a modern Islamic country as it stands between western and Islamic civilizations and acts as a role model, for the Islamic
world as it tries to fight terrorism. It offered assistance during the terrorist wars by acting as a mediator especially after the September 9/11 attacks in the US. The location makes it to be a transit routes for passenger’s tourists and investors. It creates market for its products and provides transport to other countries and it has been regarded o have high security and save haven for the commuters and traders. It is also seen as a peace maker
between countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan it is called upon to review the disputes.
It also has operation in the Darfur region of Sudan in Africa and has founded non- governmental organizations in these areas to provide assistance and relief. It is a peaceful country and its participation in the European markets has enabled it to be a world trader
exchanging goods and ideas with other nations making its economy to rise despite the economic crunch. Tourism, petroleum products and transport industries contribute highly to generate income to the people of Turkey by creating employment and taxation [Zurcher 181].
Since its inception, Turkey has struggled to be where it is today. Overcoming coups guerilla wars and religion wars it has proved to be rich in growth and development.
The economy is on the rise and Turkey uses its resources to its advantage. It has also created good international relations with foreign nations making it a peace harbor and mediator for warring nations. Its participation in the European Union has seen it rise in the economic and development areas. Its ability to maintain peace among its citizens plus its geographical features and good infrastructure makes the tourism sector to boom with business all year round.