Turkey’s population, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute is 85.000.000 people. The average age of the Turks is very young: for women – 29 years and for men – 28 years. Turkey’s population is distributed throughout the country is highly uneven. The most densely populated coasts of the Marmara and the Black Sea, and then, the areas adjacent to the Aegean Sea. The largest city in Turkey is Istanbul with a population about 15 million people. The second largest city is the capital Ankara with a population about 6 million people, third is Izmir – 3.5 million inhabitants. The most sparsely populated town is Hakkari – about 60 thousand people.
Population of cities and suburbs in Turkey
The first in the history of the Turkish population census took place relatively recently, in 1985. Even then, experts in demography have recorded excess of the urban population over the rural. Since then, the gap between city and countryside only increased, and by the early 2000s, more than 65% of Turks lived in cities. Despite on urbanization, the inhabitants of many rural regions of Turkey do not hurry to leave the province. They prefer to settle in the suburbs, where housing and land are much cheaper than in metropolitan areas. In addition, in the suburbs much easier to have agriculture, because the climate in Turkey allows you easily to cultivate a variety of crops. Namely in the suburbs of well-known resorts today are built famous hotels to receive tourists. So life is in full swing in Turkey not only in big cities.
Nationalities in Turkey
According to the last census, held in Turkey in 2000, 82% of the population are Turks. 10% from taken part in the census of people are Kurds. They are the dominant nationalities, which make up the main part of the population. Also in modern Turkey lives other nationalities:
- about 4 million Greeks,
- about 2 million Circassians
- more than 1 million Zaza, Arabs, Georgians,
- 500 thsd. Gypsies,
- 300 thsd. Albanians…
Among other nationalities living in Turkey, it is worth mentioning Armenians, Azeris, Iranians, Jews and Tajiks.
Languages of the people
Language picture in Turkey as colorful, as the national. The only official language of the country is Turkish, representatives almost of all nationalities can speak it. Second most common in Turkey’s considered Kurdish and Zaza. Also, on the streets of Turkish cities and towns can be heard Albanian, Iranian, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian language. Many people in Turkey speak English, German. Service workers in many resort cities are pretty good speaking Russian.
The origin of the Turks
The main population of Turkey is Turkish, number about 60-70mln. human. The roots go back to the pastoral Turkic tribes Oguzes and Turkmens, who migrated to Anatolia in the 11-13 centuries. In the development of ethnogenesis participated Romans, Greeks, Georgians, Armenians, Kurds, Arabs, Albanians, Romanians, South Slavic tribes. Formation of the Turkish ethnic group in Anatolia begins with the Seljuk Turks in 1071, and Turkic migration in 12-13 сс.. During the period of the Ottoman Empire Turks called themselves Ottomans. After 1923 Kemal Ataturk proposed to change the name of the people, and from two options, Turks and Anatolians, was choosed the first option, with an emphasis on Turkish origin as the basis for national identity.
Characteristics of the Turks
Turkey has always been a crossroads of civilizations. Therefore, the Turkish traditions and norms of their behavior reflects the traditions of both Eastern and Western cultures. Turks generally are very heterogeneous. Residents of deaf villages are very different from the residents of resort towns and cities. In the outback morals are quite strict, the inhabitants observe religious precepts; knowledge of foreign languages is very weak. At the same time, in big cities you will meet other people completely focused on Europe. The urban population is moderately religious. In many cities, especially young people speak English, German and other foreign languages.
On the tradition of communication between Turks affects a religion – Islam. Religious greeting formula, good wishes, and other expressions of underlined politeness still play an important role even in the cities. The Turks are always welcoming, friendly, unhurried in communication, do not show impatient, what is characterized by foreigners as slowness and sluggishness. Turkish people are very polite, considerate and attentive, courteous, decent, always ready to help.
Though the Turks in most cases are brunettes, but you can meet blond and blue-eyed, or red hair, with a bright expressed European appearance, due to geographical location on the border of East and West.
Turks characterized by hospitality, as host they are watching that the glass and dish of guest was not empty, and may be offended, if a guest shows restraint. Turkish people appreciate the subtle humor, their satire and caricature is considered the best in Europe. They are very respectful to people who respect their tradition, or know at least few words in Turkish. Turks are polite people, considerate and helpful. They are friendly to tourists and sensitive to other people’s traditions.