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    (October 29, 1923- )
    3% of the country is in Europe, 97% in Asia
    Has two European and six Asian countries for neighbors
    Capital is Ankara
    Population is larger than Texas and California combined
    98% of the population are Muslim
    Gained independence on October 29, 1923
    The name has nothing to do with the bird of the same name.
    National groups, such as the Kurds, have had their existence denied for decades and, even though things have improved, civil war still rages.
    Attempts to move away from being a traditional Muslim society towards democracy and capitalism have angered many Muslim groups who feel the country is ignoring the past.
    Disastrous economic reforms, prior to 1980, crippled the country for years and in many ways it has yet to recover.
    The film 'Midnight Express' portrayed Turkey in negative light by highlighting an extremely severe drug policy and a corrupt, violent, prison system (although many Turks feel it was stereotyping).
    They love to eat onions (averaging 80 pounds consumed per person per year).
    It is said that in the 16th and 17th century, anyone in Turkey caught drinking coffee was put to death.
    Constantly battling Greece over Cyprus.
    It is famous for Turkish Baths, Turkish Towels, Turkish Coffee and Turkish Taffy.
    It is the birthplace of many great civilizations.
    It is among the first Islamic states to adopt Western, democratic, ideals and is slowly being accepted as an integral part of Europe.
    Becoming a secular state has resulted in more freedom for women.
    It has been prominent as a center of commerce because of its land connections to three continents and the sea surrounding it on three sides.
    It is an important strategic ally due to its proximity to both Europe and the Middle East.
    It is known for extravagant carpets.
    The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is one of the largest and most magnificent in the world.
    It suffered a devastating earthquake (1999).
    Scored the quickest goal in World Cup history at the 13 second mark, to beat South Korea, 3-2. Finished in third place after only its second showing at the World Cup (June 29, 2002).
    Many believe it is a near perfect mix of old and new world values.
    They grow red carrots.
    It is the birthplace of the real St. Nicholas (in the 4th century). He was the bishop of the small town of Myra.

Credit: Jet

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