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And in 1923, a national Turkish state, the Republic of Turkey, was established.
As the leader of the new nation, Ataturk created the foundations for a modern, secular state based on human rights and fundamental freedoms.
After World War II, developments on the international scene inspired Turkey to bolster its relations with the Western world.
Determined to secure its position within the Western alliance, Turkey became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe and other major Western organizations.
Although the Ottoman Empire was dissolved, the fight had just begun for the Turkish people.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a highly respected army general from World War I, led the Turkish people in their War of independence (1919-1922) against the allied occupiers.
The Seljuck Empire was the first Turkish empire in Anatolia.
Total land area is about 779,452 square kilometers, of which 755,688 square kilometers are in Asia and 23,764 square kilometers in Europe. Political parties in Parliament: Justice and Development Party (AK), Republican People’s Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Democratic Society Party (DTP), Democratic Left Party (DSP), Grand Unity Party (BBP), Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) Suffrage: Universal, 18 and older. ECONOMY GDP: (2004) 0.6 billion; (2005) 1.5 billion; (2006) 0.4 billion.
The European portion of Turkey, known as Thrace (Trakya), encompasses 3 percent of the total area but is home to more than 10 percent of the total population. Annual real GDP growth rate: (2004) ( ) 8.9%; (2005) 7.4%; (2006) 6.0%.
Born during a turbulent age of continual political and military conflict, Suleyman became a dynamic leader at a very early age.
To prepare for his reign that would begin after the death of his father (in 1520), Suleyman became governor of a province in Northwest Anatolia at the age of 15.
As a modern, secular democracy with a free market economy, Turkey will continue to expand its role as a commercial, political and cultural link between the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans and the West.