Turkey

Lisa Stills

Committee: Social/Cultural

What is the population of your country?
75.8 million (2)

What percentage of the country is under 14, between 15 and 64, and over 65?
0-14 years: 27.2%
15-64 years: 66.7%
65 and older: 6.1% (1)

What is the ethnic make up of your country?
Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 18%, other minorities 7-12% (1)

What is the religious make up of your country?
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews) (1)

What is the literacy rate?
Definition-age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 87.4%
Male: 95.3%
Female: 79.6% (1)

What is the maternal mortality rate?
70 per 100, 000 live births  (year 2000) (4)

What is the infant mortality rate?
Total: 24.84 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 25.89 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 23.73 deaths/ 1,000 live births (1)

What is the life expectancy for men and women?
Men: 69 years
Women: 74 years (1)

Approximately how many years do boys go to school? How many years do girls attend school?
Male: 12 years
Female: 11 years (1)

What is the status of women in your country?
Legally, there are equal rights for women, but in reality there is still a gap between men and women with education. Discrimination and violence towards women still occurs. “Honor killings” are a problem as well. (5)


Does your country have a drug problem?
Yes. “The key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and to a lesser extent, the US-via air, land and sea routes; major Turkish and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin exist in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and over output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money laundering controls.” (1)

Does your country have problems with AIDS/HIV or any other major infectious disease?
My country does not have a problem with AIDS/HIV, there are no deaths from HIV/AIDS, less than 0.1% adult prevalence (1)

What is the relationship between religion and the public sector in your country?
The state is secular for reasons such as wanting to be modern and wanting to join the European Union. The state has tried its best to keep religion at bay (the headscarf is banned in public schools). Yet, many of the people in Turkey are Muslim and a good amount of them practice it. The headscarf is a topic of discussion. Some women want to practice their religion, but the state bans it. State and public are clashing. (6,7)

Does your country have a refugee problem?
Not refugees, but internally displaced persons, 1-1.2 million (fighting 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military) (1)

Does your country have freedom of religion, press, speech?
Turkey has freedom of religion, but religious communities that are non-Muslim still have problems. There is not as much freedom of the press or speech. Sensitive topics are the military, Kurds, and political Islam. If any of the media were to cover these topics, they may be persecuted. Some journalists have been attacked by police or imprisoned. (2,5)


Does your country have any issues with trafficking in persons?
Yes. Turkey is a destination for victims of human trafficking. It is also a transit country. (3)

What are three current social/cultural issues in your country?
-Kurds-there is a Kurdish minority, there have been issues about preserving their culture and identity. The Kurds would say they don’t have as many civil rights. Their human rights have also been violated. (2)
-EU candidacy-Turkey wants to be part European Union. Reforms are being made, so they can have more of a chance of getting in. (2)
-Women-Although there has been reform, it’s still not enough. (5)






Works Cited

1. CIA: The World Factbook. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html

2. BBC News-Turkey Country Profile http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1022222.stm

3. Dying to Leave. Human Trafficking Worldwide: Turkey. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/wideangle/episodes/dying-to-leave/human-trafficking-worldwide/turkey/1469/

4. Mortality Country Fact Sheet 2006. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/whosis/mort/profiles/mort_euro_tur_turkey.pdf

5. EU Report on Turkey-Key Points. BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3720506.stm

6. Dymond, Jonny. ‘Islam Problem’ Baffles Turkey. BBCNews. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4062603.stm

7. Hardy, Roger. Turkey: Battle of the Headscarf. BBCNews. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/world/2002/islamic_world/2144316.stm

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