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Middle East, Turkey

Turkey (country), officially the Republic of Turkey (Turkish Turkiye Cumhuriyeti), country in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, bordered on the northwest by Bulgaria and Greece; on the north by the Black Sea; on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia; on the east by Iran and the Azerbaijani exclave of Naxc?van; on the south by Iraq, Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea; and on the west by the Aegean Sea. The total area of Turkey is 779,452 sq km (300,948 sq mi). The capital is Ankara; Istanbul is the largest city.

The modern Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) from a portion of the Ottoman Empire, following the empire’s collapse as a result of World War I (1914-1918). Turkey became a secular state in 1928, and a multiparty political system was established in 1950. Apart from a brief period of government by a military junta in 1960 and 1961, Turkey remained under civilian rule until 1980, when, in a period of political instability, inflation, and acts of terrorism, the military again took control. Civilian rule was restored to Turkey at the end of 1983.

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