U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Turkey, October 1999
Released by the Bureau of European Affairs,
U.S. Department of State
Official Name: Republic of Turkey
Area: 766,640 sq. km. (296,000 sq. mi.) slightly larger than Texas.
Cities: Capital-Ankara (pop. 3.7 million). Other cities -- Istanbul
(9.2 million), Izmir (3.2 million), Bursa (1.9 million), Adana (1.7 million).
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain surrounds Anatolia, an inland plateau
becomes increasingly rugged as it progresses eastward. Turkey includes
one of the more earthquake-prone areas of the world.
Climate: Moderate in coastal areas, harsher temperatures inland.
Nationality: Noun -- Turk(s). Adjective -- Turkish.
Population (1999): 65.5 million.
Annual growth rate: 5%.
Ethnic groups: Turkish, Kurdish, other.
Religions: Muslim 98%, Christian, and Jewish.
Languages: Turkish (official), Kurdish, and Arabic.
Education: Years compulsory -- 8. Attendance -- 95%. Literacy -- 82%.
Health: Infant mortality rate - 35.81/1,000. Life expectancy -- 73 yrs.
Work force (23 million): Agriculture -- 46%. Industry and commerce -- 16%.
Services -- 38%.
Independence: October 29, 1923.
Constitution: November 7, 1982.
Branches: Executive -- President (chief of state), Prime Minister (head of
government), Council of Ministers (cabinet - appointed by the president on the
nomination of the Prime Minister). Legislative -- Grand National Assembly (550
members) chosen by national elections at least every 5 years. Judicial --
Constitutional Court, Court of Cassation, Council of State, and other courts.
Political parties: Democratic Left Party (DSP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP),
Motherland Party (ANAP), Virtue (Fazilet) Party, True Path Party (DYP),
Republican People's Party (CHP), and several smaller parties.
Suffrage: Universal, 18 and older.
National holiday: Republic Day, October 29.
Flag: White crescent and star on a red field.
GNP (1999 est.): $200 billion.
Annual growth rate (1998): 3.8%. (1999) -2%
GNP per capita: $3,200.
Average annual inflation rate (1999): 64%.
Natural resources: Coal, chromium, mercury, copper, boron, oil.
Agriculture (15% of GNP): Major cash crops -- cotton, sugar beets,
hazelnuts, wheat, barley, and tobacco. Provides more than 47% of jobs,
12% of exports.
Industry (29% of GNP): Major growth sector. Types -- Food processing,
textiles, basic metals, chemicals, and petrochemicals.
Trade (1999 est.): Exports -- $26 billion: textiles and apparel, iron
and steel, electronics, tobacco, and motor vehicles. Imports -- $40.2
billion: petroleum, machinery, motor vehicles, electronics, iron and
steel, plastics. Major partners -- France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan,
Netherlands, U.K., U.S., Russia.
Bridging Europe and Asia Minor, Turkey is a land of geographic, economic, and
social contrasts. Slightly larger than Texas, modern Turkey spans bustling
cosmopolitan centers, pastoral farming villages, barren wastelands, peaceful
Aegean coastlines, and steep mountain regions. More than half of Turkey's
population lives in urban areas that juxtapose Western lifestyles with
traditional-style mosques and markets. Most Turks, however, work in
agriculture. Although Turkey is still a developing country, recent improvements
in services have resulted in the proliferation of electricity nationwide and
telephone connections for all its 34,500 villages.
Turkey has been officially secular since 1924, although 98% of the population is
Muslim. Most Turkish Muslims belong to the Sunni branch of Islam, but a
significant number are Alevi Muslims. The appeal of political Islam and the
Kurdish insurgency continue to fuel public debate on several aspects of Turkish
society, including the role of religion, the necessity for human rights
protections, and the expectation of security.
Turks of Kurdish origin constitute an ethnic and linguistic group. Estimates of
their population range up to 12 million. Although an increasing number have
migrated to the cities, the traditional home of the Kurds is in poor, remote
areas of the east and southeast, where incomes are less than half the national
average and all other economic and social indicators lag.
Turkish culture, rich in Ottoman and folkloric elements, is traditional and
modern. Turkish carpet weaving is one of the oldest crafts in the world.
Ceramics and other Ottoman-era crafts retain their varied regional character.
Modern Turkish cultural life dates from the 1923 founding of the republic and
early efforts to Westernize Turkish society. As a result, the arts, literature,
drama, and classical and contemporary music have flourished. State support of
cultural activities is extensive and encompasses a national network of theaters,
orchestras, opera and ballet companies, university fine arts academies, and
various conservatories. Public funds also are used to provide partial support
for private theater groups and for major art exhibits and festivals.
The legendary Mustafa Kemal, a Turkish World War I hero later known as
"Ataturk" or "father of the Turks," founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923 after
the collapse of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire. The empire, which at its peak
controlled vast stretches of northern Africa, southeastern Europe, and western
Asia, had failed to keep pace with European social and technological
developments. The rise of nationalism impelled several ethnic groups to seek
independence, leading to the empire's fragmentation. This process culminated in
the disastrous Ottoman participation in World War I as a German ally.
Defeated, shorn of much of its former territory, and partly occupied by forces
of the victorious European states, the Ottoman structure was repudiated by
Turkish nationalists who rallied under Ataturk's leadership. The nationalists
expelled invading Greek forces from Anatolia after a bitter war. The temporal
and religious ruling institutions of the old empire (the sultanate and
The new republic concentrated on Westernizing the empire's Turkish core --
Anatolia and a small part of Thrace. Social, political, linguistic, and
economic reforms and attitudes introduced by Ataturk before his death in 1938
continue to form the ideological base of modern Turkey. Referred to as
"Kemalism," it comprises secularism, nationalism, and modernization and turns
toward the West for inspiration and support. The continued validity and
applicability of Kemalism are the subject of frequent discussion and debate in
Turkey's political life.
Turkey entered World War II on the Allied side shortly before the war ended and
became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece
after World War II in quelling a communist rebellion and demands by the Soviet
Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits caused the United States to
declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American
intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece and resulted in
largescale U.S. military and economic aid. After participating with United
Nations forces in the Korean conflict, Turkey in 1952 joined the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO).
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The 1982 constitution preserves a democratic, secular, parliamentary form of
government with a strengthened presidency. It provides for an independent
judiciary and safeguards internationally recognized human rights. These rights,
including freedom of thought, expression, assembly, and travel, can be limited
in times of emergency and cannot be used to violate the integrity of the state
or to impose a system of government based on religion, ethnicity, or the
domination of one social class. The constitution prohibits torture or ill
treatment. Labor rights, including the right to strike, are recognized in the
constitution but can be restricted. The president and the Council of Ministers
led by the prime minister share executive powers. The president, who has broad
powers of appointment and supervision, is chosen by Parliament for a term of 7
years and cannot be reelected. The prime minister administers the government.
The prime minister and the Council of Ministers are responsible to Parliament.
The 550-member Parliament carries out legislative functions. Election is by
proportional representation. To participate in the distribution of seats, a
party must obtain at least 10% of the votes cast at the national level as well
as a percentage of votes in the contested district according to a complex
formula. This "double threshold" or "barrage" mechanism is intended to reduce
the likelihood of coalition governments by reducing the number of smaller
parties in Parliament.
The president is to enact laws passed by Parliament within 15 days. With
the exception of budgetary laws, the president may return a law to the
Parliament for reconsideration. If Parliament reenacts the law, it is binding.
constitutional amendments require a two-thirds majority for approval.
They also may be submitted to popular referendum.
The 1982 constitution preserves the judicial system previously in effect and
provides for a system of State Security Courts to deal with offenses against the
integrity of the state. The high court system remains in place with its
functional division, common in European states, including a Constitutional Court
responsible for judicial review of legislation, a Court of Cassation (or Supreme
Court of appeals), a Council of State serving as the high administrative and
appeals court, a Court of Accounts, and a Military Court of Appeals. The High
Council of Judges and Prosecutors, appointed by the President, supervises the
Modern Turkey has a democratic tradition marred by several periods of
instability and authoritarian rule. One-party rule (Republican People's Party-
CHP) established by Ataturk in 1923 lasted until elections in 1950. The
Democrat Party then governed Turkey until 1960, when growing economic problems
and internal political tensions culminated in a military coup. A new
constitution was written, and civilian government was reinstated with the
convening of the Grand National Assembly (GNA) in 1961. This constitution
established a National Security Council (NSC) composed of the president; the
prime minister and other key ministers; the Chief of the Turkish General Staff;
and representatives of the army, air force, and navy.
Coalition governments, dominated by the CHP, ruled Turkey for the next 5 years.
In 1965 and 1969, the Justice Party (JP), led by Suleyman Demirel, won sizable
majorities of GNA seats and ruled alone.
Political agitation surfaced in 1968 and increased as left- and right-wing
extremists took to the streets. In March 1971, senior military leaders grew
dissatisfied with the JP's inability to cope with domestic violence. In a so-
called "coup by memorandum," they called for the JP's replacement by a more
Demirel's government resigned and was replaced by a succession of "above party"
governments, which ruled until the October 1973 general elections. Those
elections saw the CHP reemerge as the largest party and its chairman, Bulent
Ecevit, become prime minister of a coalition government composed of the CHP and
the conservative, religiously oriented, National Salvation Party. In 1974, the
coalition faltered. Ecevit resigned, early elections were called, and a
prolonged government crisis ensued.
From 1975 to 1980, unstable coalition governments ruled, led alternately by
Demirel and Ecevit. By the end of 1979, an accelerating decline in the economy,
coupled with mounting violence from the extreme left and right, led to
increasing instability. Demirel's government began an economic stabilization
program in early 1980, but by summer, political violence was claiming more than
20 victims daily. A severely divided GNA was unable to elect a new president or
to pass other legislation to cope with the crisis.
On September 12, 1980, the CNS ("Council of National Security"), led by Gen.
Kenan Evren, moved successfully to restore public order. Thousands of
terrorists were captured, along with large caches of weapons and ammunition.
While political activity was banned and the former political parties dissolved,
the CNS initiated steps to restore democratic civilian rule by 1983. These
measures included a national referendum on November 7, 1982, which resulted in
overwhelming public approval (91%) of a new constitution drawn up by the 160-
member Consultative Assembly and modified by the CNS. The referendum
simultaneously approved General Evren as president for a 7-year term. A
temporary article banning former political party leaders from
politics for 10 years also went into effect.
New political parties were allowed to form in 1983 as long as founding members
were not leaders or members of Parliament attached to any pre-
1980 political parties. Prior to the deadline for participation in the 1983
national elections, three political parties -- the Nationalist Democracy Party,
the Motherland Party and the Populist Party -- were authorized.
In the 1983 elections, the Motherland Party (ANAP -- founded by Turgut
Ozal, Deputy Prime Minister 1980-82 and architect of Turkey's successful
economic austerity program under the military government) won an absolute
majority in the then 400-member Grand National Assembly. The Populist Party
came in second and the Nationalist Democracy Party third. The new government
took office in December 1983. The Ozal administration, the first civilian
government since the early 1970s to rule without coalition partners, made
economic reform its priority.
In September 1987, a referendum lifting the 10-year ban on former politicians
passed by a small margin. Ozal called immediately for national elections, the
first since 1980 in which all legal parties were allowed to participate. The
elections were held in November, and Ozal won a second 5-year term and a
comfortable majority in Parliament (292 of then 450 seats based on a weighted
proportional system). The Social Democrat Populist Party won 99 seats and
became the main opposition party. Former Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel's True
Path Party won 59 seats. No other party reached the 10% level necessary to
enter Parliament. The Democratic Left Party of former Prime Minister Bulent
Ecevit won only 8% of the vote.
In 1989, Turgut Ozal was elected president by the Parliament, but Ozal's
Motherland Party suffered a setback in March 1989 municipal elections, receiving
only 22% of the votes cast; down from 36% in 1987. In October 1991, Suleyman
Demirel's True Path Party (DYP) won 179 seats in the parliamentary elections and
formed a coalition government with the Social Democratic Populist Party, which
had won 99 seats. In 1993, Demirel was elected president after Turgut Ozal
died, and Tansu Ciller became Turkey's first female prime minister.
In the March 1994 local elections, the Islamist Welfare Party (RP) emerged as
the big winner, capturing the offices of mayor of Ankara and Istanbul and most
municipalities in Turkey's southeast, even though the DYP got the largest
percentage of the vote. These local elections marked the emergence of RP as a
In the September 1995 party convention, Deniz Baykal was elected CHP party
leader. Baykal and Ciller failed to conclude an agreement to continue the
coalition, forcing the government to resign on September 20, which led to a 45-
day parliamentary "crisis." President Demirel asked Ciller to try to form a new
government. Ciller established a DYP-only minority government in late September
but failed to win a vote of confidence. Demirel gave Ciller a second chance to
form a government, and she again turned to Baykal. They formed a new DYP-CHP
coalition that won a confidence vote on November 5. The two parties cooperated
in passing a new election law and set general elections for
In the December 1995 elections, three parties emerged with nearly identical
electoral support of around 20% each: the Islamic-oriented Welfare Party of
Necmettin Erbakan, the moderate center-right Motherland Party of Mesut Yilmaz,
and Ciller's moderate center-right True Path Party. The latter two parties
represent the secular Turkish mainstream, but as a result of animosity between
their two leaders, they were unable to successfully forge a lasting coalition
that would have precluded a RP role in government; the ANAP-DYP coalition lasted
only a few months. In July 1996, Ciller and Erbakan agreed to form a government
in which Erbakan, because his party had garnered more votes, was the senior
The Erbakan government tried to set some new policy directions by "reaching out"
to a new group of international partners, challenging the military's political
role, and seeking to chip away at secularism. As a result, the military,
throughout the spring and late summer of 1997 supported a growing popular
movement of business, labor, and community groups to build pressure for the
Erbakan government's resignation. In June, Mesut Yilmaz formed a new minority
government with Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Cindoruk's Democrat
These three parties governed with 223 of 550 seats in Parliament. This was
possible because the Republican People's Party (CHP) under Deniz Baykal
supported the coalition without being a part of it. As a requirement of CHP's
support, in June 1998 Yilmaz announced that he would resign at the end of the
year and hand over power to an "election" government until new elections in
President Suleyman Demirel asked Ecevit on January 7 to form a government to
succeed that of Prime Minister Yilmaz, which fell on November 25 in response to
corruption allegations. Ecevit's government won a vote of confidence on January
17 and ruled until national elections were held on April 18, 1999.
In the April 1999 elections, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) captured 22% of the
vote, followed closely by the far right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) which
garnered 18%. Together with center-right Motherland Party (ANAP), the three
parties forged a coalition with a strong majority of approximately 360 of the
550 seats in Parliament. Ecevit's government won a vote of confidence in
Parliament on June 9. Bolstered by its strong parliamentary majority, the 57th
government embarked on an ambitious reform program that contained legislative
proposals that had been attempted by several previous governments but had never
Between June and September 1999, the 57th government successfully enacted
legislation that included reform of the country's banking sector and social
security system; codified procedures for the submission of foreign investment
contracts to international arbitration; removed military officers as judges in
State Security Courts; and amended the political parties law to make judicial
closure of parties more difficult.
Principal Government Officials
President of the Republic -- Suleyman Demirel
Prime Minister -- Bulent Ecevit
Minister of Foreign Affairs -- Ismail Cem
Ambassador to the United States -- Baki Ilkin
Ambassador to the United Nations -- Huseyin Celem
Turkey maintains an embassy in the United States at 1714 Massachusetts
Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20036 (Tel. (202) 659-8200) and consulates
general in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Houston.
Turkey is a free market economy oriented to Western markets. The share
of agriculture in the economy is decreasing as industry and services
continue to expand rapidly. Turkey continues to examine ways to improve
its investment climate through changes in its IPR legislation. The Turkish
privatization board continues to evaluate a series of significant privatizations
including telecommunications, iron and steel, and banks.
Turkey is a customs union partner with the European Union and a member
of the WTO. Turkey has a number of bilateral investment and tax treaties,
including with the United States, that guarantee free repatriation of capital in
convertible currencies and eliminate double taxation. Nonetheless, foreign
direct investment has totaled only $12 billion at the most since 1980, a paltry
sum reflecting investor concerns about political uncertainty, inadequate
regulations, stalled privatization, and troubling macroeconomic indicators.
Turkey has undertaken economic reforms over the past 15 years that have
reduced the government's role in the economy and permitted the private
sector to thrive. Turkey has abandoned the insulated, state-directed economic
policies put in place by Ataturk. An export-led growth strategy and free-
market principles catapulted Turkey into the ranks of the fastest-growing
economies in the OECD.
Turkey's leadership, however, failed to complete the reform program that was
initiated in the early 1980s, exacerbating Turkey's economic problems. Large
public sector deficits and resulting high inflation continue to hamper the
Rapidly overcoming a government-caused financial crisis in 1994, Turkey grew
7.4% in 1996 and 8.5% in 1997. In 1998, prior to implementation of a
disinflationary program, the economy grew 3.8%. WPI inflation rose to a peak of
91% in this period but fell to 50% in early 1999.
The Ecevit government, in place since June 1999, restarted structural reform,
including passage of social security reform. Privatization is expect to revive
with passage of legislation designed to implement international arbitration and
to introduce a regulatory framework for the energy and telecom sectors.
Turkey's current account normally runs a slight deficit, but, owing to the
economic slowdown in late 1998 and through 1999, the current account turned
positive for 6 months. The elimination of duties for most manufactured imports
under the EU Customs Union led to a sharp rise in imports from the EU, and the
EU's share of imports increased to about 60%.
Turkey's GNP has grown at an average annual rate of 5% since 1983, ranking it
at the top of the OECD countries, although the growth pattern has been uneven.
The recession in 1994, when GNP fell a record 6%, brought to an end 13 years of
positive growth. The economy rebounded with 8.1% GNP growth in 1995, 7.4% in
1996, and 8.0% in 1997. Officially, gross national product (GNP) totaled $204
billion in 1998.
Inflation, Wages, and Monetary Policy
Turkey's principal economic problem remains inflation, fueled primarily by large
public sector deficits and ingrained inflation expectations. Annual consumer
price inflation has averaged 79% since prices began to escalate in 1988;
wholesale price inflation has averaged 75% over the same period. Average annual
inflation was 75% in 1998. The government continues to regulate some prices to
control the impact of inflation on low-income households. The prices of bread,
sugar, tea, energy, and public utilities are regulated. The government also
exerts large control over wage rates because of large public sector employment.
Turkey's monetary authorities have successfully adopted policies to build up
convertible currency reserves, maintain an even depreciation of the lira in line
with inflation, and ensure smooth functioning of market clearing mechanisms.
The Central Bank and Treasury finalized an agreement in July 1997 to put strict
limits on short-term Treasury borrowings and realized a slight primary surplus
(the public sector balance excluding interest payments) instead of the projected
1% of GNP primary deficit for 1997. The 1998 primary surplus exceeded 4% of
Principal Growth Sectors
Energy. Electric energy demand in Turkey is growing by approximately 10% a
year. By the year 2000 electrical energy demand is projected to reach 130
billion kWh. Much of this increase will be met by natural gas fired plants.
Even if all the current hydroelectric potential (120 billion kWh) can be used,
total output will be far from sufficient to meet anticipated requirements by the
year 2000. Turkey requires 2000 - 2500 megawatts of additional power generation
capacity per year over the next 10-15 years. The Turkish Government plans to
meet this demand for electricity by encouraging Turkish and foreign private
sector investments in the power generation and distribution sectors through
build-operate, build-operate-transfer, and transfer of operating rights
projects. Once these privatizations are implemented, Turkey intends to have an
electricity pool system regulated by an independent regulatory body.
Telecommunications. Turkey currently has more than 17 million telephone lines
with a density of 25%. In order to meet its growing demand, Turkey needs to
install 2 - 2.5 million additional lines per year. Telephone density is
expected to reach 40% by 2005. Cellular density was extended at 3.8% by the
spring of 1999. Reforms of telecommunications regulations will continue until
an independent regulatory body is established. The government has initiated the
process to enact new legislation regarding these reforms and is expected to set
up a regulatory body by early 2000. During 1998, the government sold two
licenses for the provision of cellular service and plans to privatize 39% of
Turk Telecom in 2000.
In 1993 Turkey had a telephone exchange main line capacity of approximately 12.7
million and telephone subscriber density of 21 lines per 100 persons. By the
year 2002, Turkey aims to increase its subscriber line capacity to 20 million,
and increase the telephone line density to 25 per 100 persons. The system is
expected to be 80% digital by that point.
Environment. With the establishment of a Ministry of Environment in 1991,
environmental issues have taken on increased prominence. New regulations
regarding sewage, medical waste, and power plant emissions will add growth to
this sector. All new plants, as a part of their approval process, must submit
an environmental impact assessment to the Ministry of the Environment and obtain
approval before starting construction. Municipal governments nationwide also
are implementing environmental projects to better handle sewage and solid waste.
Transport. The Turkish Government gives a special priority to major
infrastructure projects, especially in the transport sector. The government is
planning the construction of new airports, ports, and highways. The government
will realize the majority of these projects by utilizing the build-operate-
transfer (BOT) model.
Textiles. The textile sector is Turkey's largest manufacturing industry and it's
largest export sector. Turkey's textile producers are generally very modern and
highly competitive, although an excessive amount of investment has taken place
under government incentives in low-value-added categories. The removal of
quotas to the EU -- part of the customs union -- has improved growth prospects.
The global phase-out of textile quotas called for in the Uruguay Round also
increases the sector's potential.
Other principal growth sectors are defense equipment, tourism infrastructure,
building products, automobiles, and electronics.
Turkey's primary political, economic, and security ties are with the West.
During the last several years, Turkey has continued to expand its relations with
western Europe, rejoining the Council of Europe after an absence of several
years and applying for full membership in the EU.
Turkey entered NATO in 1952 and serves as the organization's vital eastern
anchor, controlling the straits leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean
and sharing a border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Two NATO headquarters are
located in Izmir. Besides its relationships with NATO and the European Union
(EU), Turkey is a member of the OECD, the Council of Europe, and OSCE. Turkey
also is a member of the UN and the Islamic Conference Organization (OIC).
Due to proximity and Turkic linguistic and ethnic ties, the Turkish Government
and businesses continue to develop links with most of the Central Asian and
Caucasian states. The Turkish Government has stated that it would like to see
the establishment of joint ventures between Turkish and foreign firms to further
tap the potential of the emerging Central Asian markets. Turkey has established
the Turkish International Cooperation Agency to foster such ventures. Turkey
also has continued to expand its trade relations with the Middle East and
Turkey and the EU formed a customs union beginning January 1, 1996. The
agreement covers industrial and processed agricultural goods. Turkey has
harmonized its laws and regulations with EU standards. Turkey adopted the EU's
Common External Tariff regime, effectively lowering Turkey's tariffs for third
countries, including the United States.
Turkey is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It signed a
free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in
1991; it is negotiating free trade agreements with several central European
countries. In 1992 Turkey and 10 other regional nations formed the Black Sea
Economic Cooperation Council to expand regional trade and economic cooperation.
Turkish-American friendship dates to the late 18th century and was officially
sealed by a treaty in 1830. The present close relationship began with the
agreement of July 12, 1947, which implemented the Truman Doctrine. As part of
the cooperative effort to further Turkish economic and military self-reliance,
the United States has loaned and granted Turkey more than $4 billion in economic
aid and more than $14 billion in military assistance.
President Clinton, Secretary Albright, Energy Secretary Richardson, Commerce
Secretary Daley, and other leading Americans have all identified Turkey as
"pivotal," "central," and "important" to a wide range of priority American
interests. Turkey's geography and modern history, its economic and military
power, its weight in international organizations particularly NATO, its
supporting U.S. military activities from Korea to Kosovo, and its dynamic
internal struggle between strong popular aspirations for further democratization
vs. institutionalized resistance, add up to make Turkey's importance to the
United States both obvious and growing.
In December 1997, President Clinton and then-Prime Minister Yilmaz agreed to
base U.S.-Turkish relations on a five-point agenda of shared interests:
strategic energy cooperation; boosting trade and investment; strengthening
security ties; collaborating for regional stability; and removing Cyprus and
Aegean tensions as flashpoints. Human rights progress also is an important
interest. The interim Ecevit government adopted this agenda without
modification in early 1999, and it formed the basis of discussions for Prime
Minister Ecevit and President Clinton when they met in the White House on
September 28, 1999. President Clinton is scheduled to make a state visit to
Turkey and then participate in the OSCE Summit in Istanbul during November 1999.
The U.S. and Turkey have had a Joint Economic Commission since 1993.
Turkey has been designated a Big Emerging Market (BEM) for U.S. exports
and investment by the Department of Commerce. In 1997, the U.S. trade
surplus with Turkey was more than $2.0 billion. The U.S. is Turkey's third-
largest export market.
Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador -- Mark Parris
Deputy Chief of Mission -- James F. Jeffrey
Political Affairs -- Gene Christy
Political-Military Affairs -- Stuart Brown
Economic Affairs -- Madelyn Spirnak
Regional Affairs -- Terry Percival
Consular Affairs -- Jaqueline Ratner
Administrative Affairs -- Art Salvaterra
Public Affairs -- Helena Finn
Agricultural Affairs -- Susan Schayes
Commercial Affairs -- John Breidenstine
Defense/Air Attache -- Col. James M. Carlin, USAF
Navy Attache -- Comdr. Ken Taylor, USN
Army Attache -- USA
Consul General Istanbul -- Frank Urbancic
Consul Adana -- Stuart Jones
The U.S. embassy is located at 110 Ataturk Blvd., Ankara. The
consulate general in Istanbul is at 104-108 Mesrutiyet Caddesi; the
consular agent in Izmir at Kazim Dirik Caddesi, Atabay Is Merkezi 13/805, and
the consulate in Adana, on Ataturk Caddesi.
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
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Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs
regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to travelers also may
be obtained before your departure from a country's embassy and/or consulates in
the U.S. (for this country, see Principal Government Officials listing in this
U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are
encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country (see
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials listing in this publication). This may help
family members contact you in case of an emergency.
Further Electronic Information
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, DOSFAN
provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information.
Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; daily press briefings; Country
Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign service posts; etc.
DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at http://www.state.gov.
U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published on an annual basis by the U.S.
Department of State, USFAC archives information on the Department of State
Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of official foreign policy
information from 1990 to the present. Contact the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To
order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce,
the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is available on the
Internet www.stat-usa.gov and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-
1986 for more information.
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