By Vexen Crabtree 2013
Republic of Turkey
|Social and Moral Index||88th best|
|Land Area||769 630 km21|
|Location||Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East|
|Population||74.51 million (2011)2|
|Life Expectancy||75.53yrs (2017)3|
|GNI||$18 705 (2017)4|
|ISO3166-1 Codes||TR, TUR, 7925|
“Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or "Father of the Turks." Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a "post-modern coup" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - now known as the Kurdistan People's Congress or Kongra-Gel (KGK) - has dominated the Turkish military's attention and claimed more than 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group's leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community. Over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy.”
CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9
|UN HDI (2016)10|
|74||St Kitts & Nevis||74|
|81||Bosnia & Herzegovina||81|
|Social and Moral Development|
The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..
The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).
|Life Expectancy (2015)11|
|3||St Vincent & Grenadines||2.0|
Turkey's population is predicted to rise to 86.67 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 2.04.
The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.
|Female Vote and Stand|
|Gender Inequality (2015)12|
|67||Trinidad & Tobago||0.32|
Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.
In 2016 Mar, Turkish president Recep Tayyip epitomized the traditional and established opinion of "woman's place" in Turkey, repeating several slurs against modern gender equality. He managed to include a criticism of contraception in general, saying that it is used to 'dry up our nation'. Contraception and modern life 'paves the way for abuses against women in all fields' and in particular, capitalism 'enslaves' women for profits. What he's talking about is (1) women making choices as to when they want children, and (2) women being able to work. Tayyip doesn't support either right and he has repeatedly called on Turkish women to have at least 3 children, even in a country that is suffering from overpopulation and serious issues with quality of life. He has described abortion as 'murder' and Caesarean sections as unnatural. His embarrassing and backwards opinions are holding back the entire country.13
|How Many Are Religious?|
Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below14:
It appears that when asked "What religion are you" many give pollsters the 'correct' answer despite how they actually feel, and despite what they actually believe. Although 98.8% of the populace say they belong to a religion, only 82% say that they are religious when the question is phrased as "Is religion an important part of your daily life?".
For more on this phenomenon, see:
The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)15.
The International Humanist and Ethical Union produced a report in 2012 entitled "Freedom of Thought" (2012), in which they document bias and prejudice at the national level that is based on religion, belief and/or lack of belief. Their entry for Turkey states:
“The Constitution protects freedom of religion or belief, guaranteeing equal protection before the law, irrespective of 'philosophical belief, religion and sect'. It also lists secularism as one of the fundamental characteristics of the republic. However, there are a few constitutional provisions which infringe on freedom of religion or belief and go against the principle of secularism.
Religion classes at primary and secondary schools are compulsory. Article 42 requires this education to be conducted under the 'supervision and control of the state'. While these classes cover basic information about other religions, they are predominantly about the theory and practice of Sunni Hanefi Islam. The state allocates substantial funds to provide religious services for Sunni Muslims: to pay the salaries of imams, construct mosques and oversee pilgrimage.
Cases of Discrimination
On June 1, 2012, Turkish authorities charged Fazil Say, an atheist and world-renowned classical and jazz pianist, with insulting Islamic values in Twitter messages, the latest in a series of legal actions against Turkish artists, writers and intellectuals for statements they have made about religion and Turkish national identity. Say has denied the charges, but a court in Istanbul has scheduled the case to begin on February 18, 2013. If convicted, he faces up to 18 months in prison.
"Freedom of Thought" by IHEU (2012)16
|IT Security Risks|
|Internet Users (2016)17|
|79||St Vincent & Grenadines||60%|
Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.
|Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)12|
|Alcohol Consumption (2010)18|
(World Position, 2013-2016)20
|Personal, Civil and Economic Freedom (2014)21|
|75||Papua New Guinea||74|
|Global Peace Index (2012)22|
|Research and Development|
|Country||% RDP PPP|
|Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)27|
|82||Timor-Leste (E. Timor)||17|
|Press Freedom (2013)28|
|Life Satisfaction (2011)29|
|Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)11|
|Environmental Performance (2010)30|
Turkey began the formal process for joining the European Union (EU) in 1987, when it was still called the European Economic Community. Most political commentators think that the required Turkish reform have made so little progress that there is little willpower to embrace democratic free-market capitalism. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already been mentioned on this page for resisting human rights, and in 2016 May he said to the EU "We´ll go our way, you go yours"32 and "it is clear, then, that Ankara is marching rapidly away from the EU"32. Despite this, the UK Conservative government under Prime Minister David Cameron has consistently argued in favour of Turkey joining the EU, and Turkey was one of the first countries to join the Council of Europe, founded by the UK in 1949 to bring Europe together after WW2. But under the sway of political Islam, Turkey has strayed from the international fold.
“A country has to adopt and enforce all the current EU rules before it can be admitted to the bloc. EU rules are divided into 35 policy areas and in 10 years Turkey only managed to adopt the rules on one: science and research. In most other areas it has not even made a start. [...]
A 2015 Commission report on Turkey highlighted many areas of difficulty. These include concerns about Turkey's human rights record, new limits to freedom of expression and its state of public administration.
Perhaps most importantly, the Commission said there had been "no progress on normalising bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus". Turkey is the only country that recognises the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The EU and the United Nations only recognise the Greek Cypriot government as the legitimate government of the whole island. [...]
The UK government's formal position is to support Turkey joining the EU and over the years it has sounded enthusiastic. In July 2010, on a visit to Turkey, David Cameron warned France and Germany not to shut Turkey "out of the club”
BBC News (2016)33
There are some arguments for keeping Turkey hopeful. After all, Recep Tayyip Erdogan cannot remain in power forever. The lure of the EU used to pull Turkey towards the embrace of democracy and human rights, but the statements against Turkey by European leaders "play directly into the hands of hardliners"32. Although there are politicians in Turkey who still want their country to embrace the modern world, they are often isolated by the actions of other Westerners.
“When Ms Merkel allows German comedians to be sued for insulting the Turkish president, she is sending the message that Turkey´s democrats are all alone. [...] Pushing Turkey away from Europe is easy - it is already happening. But all this will do is strengthen the anti-democratic forces there.”
Turkish novelist Elif Shafak32
Current edition: 2013 May 01
Last Modified: 2016 Jun 04
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent
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i Newspaper. UK newspaper. See Which are the Best and Worst Newspapers in the UK?. Published by Independent Print Limited, London, UK. Respectable daily news paper.
Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Apr 26.
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.
IHEU. International Humanist and Ethical Union.
(2012) Freedom of Thought. A copy can be found on iheu.org/...Freedom of Thought 2012.pdf, accessed 2013 Oct 28.
The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016..
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Analysis conducted by the UN Development Report Office. Available on hdr.undp.org/..
World Health Organisation. (WHO)
(2014) Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. A copy can be found on the WHO website. Accessed 2015 Jan 04. It "presents a comprehensive perspective on the global, regional and country consumption of alcohol, patterns of drinking, health consequences and policy responses in Member States" and was published in Geneva on 2014 May 12.
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