Demographics of Turkey
|Demographics of Republic of Turkey|
79 814 871
(31 December 2016)
|Growth rate||1.35% (2016)|
|Birth rate|| 16.9 births/1,000
|Death rate|| 5.1 deaths/1,000
|Life expectancy||78 years (2014)|
|• male||75.3 years (2014)|
|• female||80.7 years (2014)|
|Fertility rate||2.14 children born/woman (2015)|
|Infant mortality rate||11.6 deaths/1000 infants (2012)|
|0–14 years||23.7% (2016)|
|15–64 years||68% (2016)|
|65 and over||8.3% (2016)|
|At birth||1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)|
|Under 15||1.04 male(s)/female|
|15–64 years||1.03 male(s)/female|
|65 and over||0.84 male(s)/female|
|Nationality||noun: Turk(s) adjective: Turkish|
|Minor ethnic||Kurds, Albanians, Lazs, Azerbaijanis, Zazas, Chechens, Assyrians, Circassians, Bosniaks, Tatars, Armenians, Greeks, Yazidis|
|Spoken||Turkish, Kurdish, Albanian, Neo-Aramaic, Laz, Georgian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Greek, Zazaki, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Kabardian, Armenian, Ladino, Circassian|
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Turkey, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
In 2010, the population of Turkey was estimated to be 73.7 million with a growth rate of 1.21% per annum (2009 figure). The population is relatively young with 25.9% falling in the 0-14 age bracket. According to the OECD/World Bank population statistics, from 1990 to 2008 the population growth in Turkey was 16 million or 29%.
- 1 Population
- 2 Vital statistics
- 3 Immigration
- 4 Internal migration
- 5 Ethnic groups and languages
- 6 Religion
- 7 Census
- 8 Minorities
- 9 CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
- 10 References
- 11 Notes
- 12 External links
|Historical population |
The figures from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:
|Period||Live births per year||Deaths per year||Natural change per year||CBR1||CDR1||NC1||TFR1||IMR1|
|1950–1955||1 108 000||431 000||677 000||48.4||18.8||29.6||6.30||167.4|
|1955–1960||1 237 000||485 000||752 000||46.9||18.4||28.5||6.15||163.9|
|1960–1965||1 328 000||529 000||799 000||44.3||17.6||26.7||6.05||160.5|
|1965–1970||1 355 000||562 000||792 000||40.3||16.7||23.6||5.70||156.9|
|1970–1975||1 451 000||564 000||887 000||38.7||15.0||23.7||5.30||141.3|
|1975–1980||1 523 000||545 000||977 000||36.4||13.0||23.4||4.72||119.4|
|1980–1985||1 579 000||505 000||1 074 000||33.8||10.8||23.0||4.15||96.7|
|1985–1990||1 433 000||457 000||976 000||27.7||8.8||18.9||3.28||78.0|
|1990–1995||1 419 000||432 000||987 000||25.1||7.7||17.4||2.90||63.0|
|1995–2000||1 382 000||399 000||983 000||22.6||6.5||16.1||2.57||45.5|
|2000–2005||1 296 000||373 000||923 000||19.7||5.7||14.0||2.23||31.4|
|2005–2010||1 316 000||384 000||932 000||18.7||5.5||13.2||2.15||24.0|
|2010–2015||1 295 000||381 000||914 000||17.1||5.0||12.1||2.11||13.0|
|1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births|
Registered births and deaths
Birth statistics of Turkey from 2001 onward are from The Central Population Administrative System (MERNIS) data base which is available on-line. Birth statistics are updated continually because MERNIS has dynamic structure.
In 2010 Turkey had a crude birth rate of 17.2 per 1000, in 2011 16.7, down from 20.3 in 2001. The total fertility rate (TFR) in 2010 was 2.05 children per woman, in 2011 2.02. The crude birth rate in 2010 ranged from 11.5 in West Marmara (TFR 1.52) (11,5;1.55 in 2011), similar to Bulgaria, to 27.9 in Southeast Anatolia (TFR 3.53) (27.1;3,42 in 2011), similar to Syria. Similarly, in 2012, the TFR ranged from 1.43 in Kırklareli, to 4.39 in Şanlıurfa. Deaths statistics from MERNIS are available as of 2009. Mortality data prior to 2009 are incomplete.
|Population (31.12.)||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1000)||Crude death (per 1000)||Natural increase (per 1000)||Total fertility rate (TFR)|
|2001||1 323 341||175 137||1 148 204||20.3||2.37|
|2002||1 229 555||175 434||1 054 121||18.6||2.17|
|2003||1 198 927||184 330||1 014 597||17.9||2.09|
|2004||1 222 484||187 086||1 035 398||18.0||2.11|
|2005||1 244 041||197 520||1 046 521||18.1||2.12|
|2006||1 255 432||210 146||1 045 286||18.1||2.12|
|2007||70 586 256||1 289 992||212 731||1 077 261||18.3||2.16|
|2008||71 517 100||1 295 511||215 562||1 079 949||18.2||2.15|
|2009||72 561 312||1 266 751||368 390||898 361||17.6||5.1||12.5||2.10|
|2010||73 722 988||1 261 169||365 190||894 687||17.2||5.0||12.2||2.08|
|2011||74 724 269||1 248 550||375 923||871 158||16.8||5.1||11.7||2.05|
|2012||75 627 384||1 292 380||376 000||914 387||17.2||5.0||12.2||2.11|
|2013||76 667 864||1 294 088||372 686||918 531||17.0||4.9||12.1||2.10|
|2014||77 695 904||1 345 286||391 009||954 277||17.4||5.1||12.3||2.18|
|2015||78 741 053||1 325 783||405 218||920 565||16.9||5.2||11.7||2.14|
|2016||79 814 871|
Birth and Death Rate by Region and Year
Absolute Births and Deaths by Region and Year
Natural Increase by Region and Year
Historical Fertility Rate
Total fertility rate (TFR) by Province and Year
Structure of the population
Immigration to Turkey from the Balkans:
Bursa Province and Yalova Province were the provinces with foreign born population greater than 5% in 2014. This figure possibly excludes the Syrians with refugee status as 76413 were the Syria-born people. Turkey hosts nearly 3 million registered Refugees of the Syrian Civil War
Foreign-born population of Turkey:
|Place of birth||1955||1970||1990||2000||2015|
|Saudi Arabia||4.109||7.886||14 573|
|Saudi Arabia||14 573|
|Serbia and Montenegro||9 201|
|TOTAL||846.042||889.170||1.133.152||1.260.530||1 592 437|
Ottoman Empire period
Throughout its history, the Ottoman Empire welcomed altogether hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Spanish and Portuguese Jews after 1492; political and confessional refugees from Central Europe: Hungarian revolutionaries after 1848, Jews escaping the pogroms and later the Shoah, Circassians, Ossetians and Chechens from the Russian Empire, Trotskyists fleeing the USSR in the 1930s;
Republican Period (since 1923)
People moving into Turkey during the Republican Period include Muslim refugees (Muhajir) from formerly Muslim-dominated regions invaded by Christian States, like Crimean Tatars, Algerian followers of Abd-el-Kader, Mahdists from Sudan, Turkmens, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Central Asian Turkic-speaking peoples fleeing the USSR and later the war-torn Afghanistan, Balkan Muslims, either Turkish-speaking or Bosniaks, Bulgarian Muslims, Albanians, Greek Muslims etc., fleeing either the reborn majority-Christian states or later the Communist regimes, in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria for instance.
Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, there has been a considerable influx of Eastern Europeans to Turkey, particularly from the former USSR. Some of them have chosen to become Turkish citizens, while others continue to live and work in Turkey as foreigners. The district of Laleli in Istanbul is known with the nickname "Little Russia" due to its large Russian community and the numerous street signs, restaurant names, shop names and hotel names in the Russian language.
- See also Russians in Turkey
Property acquisition since the 1990s
After a change in the Turkish constitution increased minorities' right to purchase real estate in the country in 2005, a large number of people, mostly pensioners from Western Europe, bought houses in the popular tourist destinations and moved to Turkey. The largest groups, according to the volume of purchases, are the Germans, British, Dutch, Irish, Italians and Americans.
|Regions||İstanbul||West Marmara||Aegean||East Marmara||West Anatolia||Mediterranean||Central Anatolia||West Black Sea||East Black Sea||Northeast Anatolia||Central East Anatolia||Southeast Anatolia||Total Population|
|West Black Sea||2,637,016||186,103||252,628||458,730||956,151||133,053||54,578||3,982,185||42,935||18,878||21,757||27,735||8,771,749|
|East Black Sea||1,918,805||96,494||152,843||529,110||241,801||70,823||19,104||198,869||2,382,704||33,854||11,852||13,140||5,669,399|
|Central East Anatolia||1,293,157||86,315||359,161||299,390||167,451||393,102||31,612||22,064||11,070||31,709||3,438,577||133,862||6,267,470|
Ethnic groups and languages
No exact data are available concerning the different ethnic groups in Turkey. The last census data according to language date from 1965 and major changes may have occurred since then. However, it is clear that the Turkish are in the majority, while the largest minority groups are Kurds and Arabs. Smaller minorities are the Armenians, Greeks and several Caucasian peoples. All ethnic groups are discussed below.
|Language||Census 1935||Census 1945||Census 1965|
The word Turk or Turkish also has a wider meaning in a historical context because, at times, especially in the past, it has been used to refer to all Muslim inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire irrespective of their ethnicity. The question of ethnicity in modern Turkey is a highly debated and difficult issue. Figures published in several different sources prove this difficulty by varying greatly.
It is necessary to take into account all these difficulties and be cautious while evaluating the ethnic groups. A possible list of ethnic groups living in Turkey could be as follows:
- Turkic-speaking peoples: Turks, Azerbaijanis, Tatars, Karachays, Karapapak, Uzbeks, Crimean Tatars and Uyghurs
- Indo-European-speaking peoples: Kurds, Yazidis (Kurmanj), Zazas, Bosniaks, Albanians, Pomaks, Ossetians, Armenians, Hamshenis, Goranis, Jews and Greeks
- Semitic-speaking peoples: Arabs and Assyrians/Syriacs
- Caucasian-speaking peoples: Circassians, Georgians, Lazs and Chechens
According to the 2012 edition of the CIA World Factbook, 70-75% of Turkey's population consists of ethnic Turks, with Kurds accounting for 18% and other minorities between 7 and 12%. According to Milliyet, a 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia suggested that there are approximately 55 million ethnic Turks, 9.6 million Kurds, 3 million Zazas, 2.5 million Circassians, 2 million Bosniaks, 500,000-1.3 million Albanians, 1,000,000 Georgians, 870,000 Arabs, 600,000, Pomaks, 80,000 Laz, 60,000 Armenians, 25,000 Assyrians/Syriacs, 20,000 Jews, and 15,000 Greeks, 500 Yazidis living in Turkey.
Since the immigration to the big cities in the west of Turkey, interethnic marriage has become more common. A recent study estimates that there are 2,708,000 marriages between Turks and Kurds/Zaza.
|Turks Anatolian||53 402 000||70.6%||Turkish||1 (National)|
|Kurds Kurmanji||8 127 000||10.7%||Kurmanji||3 (Wider communication)|
|Kurds Turcophones||5 881 000||7.7%||Turkish||1 (National)|
|Kurds Zaza||1 155 000||1.5%||Zaza||5 (Developing)|
|Arabs Lebanese||1 133 000||1,4 %||Levantine Arabic|
|Circassians Kabardians||1 062 000||1,4 %||Kabardian||5 (Developing)|
|Arabs Iraqi||722 000||0.9%||Mesopotamian Arabic||6a (Vigorous)|
|Azerbaijani||540 000||0.7%||Azeri||5 (Developing)|
|Romani||500 000 (1985)||0.7%||Romani, Domari|
|Gagauzes||418 000||0.5%||Balkan Gagauz Turkish||7 (Shifting)|
|Pomaks||351 000||0.4%||Bulgarian||5 (Dispersed)|
|Pontic Greeks||321 000||0,4 %||Pontic Greek||6a (Vigorous)|
|Circassians Adyghe||316 000||0.4%||Adyghe||5 (Developing)|
|Kurds Alevi||184 000||0,2 %||Zazaki|
|Georgians||151 000||0,1 %||Georgian||6b (Threatened)|
|Crimean Tatars||100 000||0.1%||Crimean Tatar||5 (Developing)|
|Lazi||93 000||0.1%||Lazi||6b (Threatened)|
|Albanians||66 000||Tosk Albanian||6b (Threatened)|
|Armenians||61 000||Armenian||6b (Threatened)|
|Abkhazians||44 000||Abkhazian||6b (Threatened)|
|Han Chinese||38 000||Chinese|
|Jews||30 000||Turkish, Ladino||7 (Shifting)|
|Assyrians||15 000||Turoyo||6b (Threatened)|
|Turks other (Hemshin, Meskhetian Turks, Gajal)||57 000||Turkish|
|Kurds other (Herki and Shikaki)||62 000||Kurdish|
|Total||75 566 800|
Scale of Ethnologue: "Institutional (EGIDS 0-4) The language has been developed to the point that it is used and sustained by institutions beyond the home and community.
Developing (EGIDS 5) — The language is in vigorous use, with literature in a standardized form being used by some though this is not yet widespread or sustainable.
Vigorous (EGIDS 6a) — The language is unstandardized and in vigorous use among all generations.
In trouble (EGIDS 6b-7) — Intergenerational transmission is in the process of being broken, but the child-bearing generation can still use the language so it is possible that revitalization efforts could restore transmission of the language in the home.
Dying (EGIDS 8a-9) — The only fluent users (if any) are older than child-bearing age, so it is too late to restore natural intergenerational transmission through the home; a mechanism outside the home would need to be developed.
Extinct (EGIDS 10) — The language has fallen completely out of use and no one retains a sense of ethnic identity associated with the language."
Although numerous modern genetic studies have indicated that the present-day Turkish population is primarily descended from historical Anatolian groups, the first Turkic-speaking people lived in a region extending from Central Asia to Siberia and were palpable after the 6th century BC. Seventh-century Chinese sources preserve the origins of the Turks stating that they were a branch of the Hsiung-nu (Huns) and living near the "West Sea", perhaps the Caspian Sea. Modern sources tends to indicate that the Turks' ancestors lived within the state of the Hsiung-nu in the Transbaikal area and that they later, during the fifth century, migrated to the southern Altay.
The word Türk was used only referring to Anatolian villagers back in the 19th century. The Ottoman elite identified themselves as Ottomans, not usually as Turks. In the late 19th century, as European ideas of nationalism were adopted by the Ottoman elite, and as it became clear that the Turkish-speakers of Anatolia were the most loyal supporters of Ottoman rule, the term Türk took on a much more positive connotation. During Ottoman times, the millet system defined communities on a religious basis, and a residue of this remains in that Turkish villagers will commonly consider as Turks only those who profess the Sunni faith, and will consider Turkish-speaking Jews, Christians, or even Alevis to be non-Turks. On the other hand, Kurdish-speaking or Arabic-speaking Sunnis of eastern Anatolia are sometimes considered to be Turks. The imprecision of the appellation Türk can also be seen with other ethnic names, such as Kürt(Kurd), which is often applied by western Anatolians to anyone east of Adana, even those who speak only Turkish. Thus, the category Türk, like other ethnic categories popularly used in Turkey, does not have a uniform usage. In recent years, centrist Turkish politicians have attempted to redefine this category in a more multi-cultural way, emphasizing that a Türk is anyone who is a citizen of the Republic of Turkey. Currently, article 66 of the Turkish Constitution defines a "Turk" as anyone who is "bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship".
The Kurdish identity remains the strongest of the many minorities in modern Turkey. This is perhaps due to the mountainous terrain of the southeast of the country, where they predominate and represent a majority. They inhabit all major towns and cities across Turkey, however. No accurate up-to-date figures are available for the Kurdish population, because the Turkish government has outlawed ethnic or racial censuses. An estimate by the CIA World Factbook places their proportion of the population at approximately 18%. Another estimate, according to Ibrahim Sirkeci, an ethnic Turk, in his book The Environment of Insecurity in Turkey and the Emigration of Turkish Kurds to Germany, based on the 1990 Turkish Census and 1993 Turkish Demographic Health Survey, is 17.8%. Other estimates include 15.7% of the population according to the newspaper Milliyet, and 23% by Kurdologist David McDowall.
The Minority Rights Group report of 1985 (by Martin Short and Anthony McDermott) gave an estimate of 15% Kurds in the population of Turkey in 1980, i.e. 8,455,000 out of 44,500,000, with the preceding comment "Nothing, apart from the actual 'borders' of Kurdistan, generates as much heat in the Kurdish question as the estimate of the Kurdish population. Kurdish nationalists are tempted to exaggerate it, and governments of the region to understate it. In Turkey only those Kurds who do not speak Turkish are officially counted for census purposes as Kurds, yielding a very low figure." In Turkey: A Country Study, a 1995 online publication of the U.S. Library of Congress, there is a whole chapter about Kurds in Turkey where it is stated that "Turkey's censuses do not list Kurds as a separate ethnic group. Consequently, there are no reliable data on their total numbers. In 1995 estimates of the number of Kurds in Turkey is about 8.5 million" out of 61.2 million, or 13% of the population at that time. Kurdish national identity is far from being limited to the Kurmanji-language community, as many Kurds whose parents migrated towards Istanbul or other large non-Kurdish cities mostly speak Turkish, which is one of the languages used by the Kurdish nationalist publications.
The population of Arabs in Turkey varies according to different sources. Al Jazeera and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy estimates the Arab population before the Syrian Civil War in 2011 from 1,500,000 to more than 2,000,000, with recent Syrian refugees 2,748,367, so Arabs in Turkey constituency now numbers anywhere from 4.5 to 5.1% of the population. Put another way, with nearly 4-5 million Arab inhabitants.
Armenians in Turkey are indigenous to Anatolia & Armenian highlands well over 3000 years, an estimated population of 40,000 (1995) to 70,000. Most are concentrated around Istanbul. The Armenians support their own newspapers and schools. The majority belong to the Armenian Apostolic faith, with smaller numbers of Armenian Catholics and Armenian Evangelicals. Their original population during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire was estimated in excess of 2 million, from 1915 to early 1920's it is estimated that over 1.5 Million of them perished during the massacres and forced relocations into the Syrian desert. most scholars including majority of the leading scholars of Genocide call it the Armenian Genocide.
An estimated 25,000 Assyrians/Syriacs live in Turkey, with about 17,000 in Istanbul and the other 8,000 scattered in southeast Turkey. They belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, and Chaldean Catholic Church. The Mhallami, who usually are described as Arabs, have Assyrian/Syriac ancestry. They live in the area between Mardin and Midyat, called in Syriac "I Mhalmayto" (ܗܝ ܡܚܠܡܝܬܐ).
It is difficult to determine how many ethnic Azeris currently reside in Turkey, as ethnicity is a rather fluid concept in Turkey, especially amongst Turkic-speaking and Caucasian groups who have been more readily and easily assimilated into mainstream Turkish culture. According to the Looklex Encyclopaedia, Azerbaijani people make up 800,000 of Turkey's population. Up to 300,000 of Azeris who reside in Turkey are citizens of Azerbaijan. In the Eastern Anatolia Region, Azeris are sometimes referred to as acem (see Ajam) or tat. They currently are the largest ethnic group in the city of Iğdır and second largest ethnic group in Kars.
Since linguistically the two are so similar, the safest way to count or estimate the number of Azeris from the Turks in Turkey is to note that face that Azeris are practically all Shia Muslims while their Turkish and Kurdish neighbors are Sunni Muslims
Towards the end of the Russian-Circassian War (1763–1864), many Circassians fled their homelands in the Caucasus and settled in the Ottoman Empire. Most ethnic Circassians have fully assimilated into Turkish culture, making it difficult to trace, count, or even estimate their ethnic presence.
The Greeks constitute a population of Greek and Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians who mostly live in Istanbul, including its district Princes' Islands, as well as on the two islands of the western entrance to the Dardanelles: Imbros and Tenedos (Turkish: Gökçeada and Bozcaada), and historically also in western Asia Minor (centred on Izmir/Smyrni), the Pontic Alps (centred on Trebzon and Sumelia, see Pontic Greeks), and central Anatolia (Cappadoccia ) and northeastern Anatolia and the South Caucasus region (Erzinjan, Erzerum, Kars, and Ardahan, see Caucasus Greeks). The Istanbul Greeks are the remnants of the estimated 200,000 Greeks permitted under the provisions of the Treaty of Lausanne to remain in Turkey following the 1923 population exchange, which involved the forcible resettlement of approximately 1.5 million Greeks from Anatolia and East Thrace and of half a million Turks from all of Greece except for Western Thrace. After years of persecution (e.g. the Varlık Vergisi (1942–1944) and the Istanbul Pogrom of 1955), emigration of ethnic Greeks from the Istanbul region greatly accelerated, reducing the 120,000-strong Greek minority to about 7,000 by 1978. The 2008 figures released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry places the current number of Turkish citizens of Greek descent at the 2,000–3,000 mark. According to Milliyet there are 15,000 Greeks in Turkey, while according to Human Rights Watch the Greek population in Turkey was estimated at 2,500 in 2006.
Most Laz today live in Turkey, but the Laz minority group has no official status in Turkey. Their number today is estimated to be around 250,000 and 500,000. Lazes are Sunni Muslims. Only a minority are bilingual in Turkish and their native Laz language which belongs to the South Caucasian group. The number of the Laz speakers is decreasing and is now limited chiefly to the Rize and Artvin areas. The historical term Lazistan — formerly referring to a narrow tract of land along the Black Sea inhabited by the Laz as well as by several other ethnic groups — has been banned from official use and replaced with Doğu Karadeniz (which includes Trabzon). During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the Muslim population of Russia near the war zones was subjected to ethnic cleansing; many Lazes living in Batum fled to the Ottoman Empire, settling along the southern Black Sea coast to the east of Samsun.
The Roma in Turkey descend from the times of the Byzantine Empire. According to some reports, there are about 500,000-700,000 Roma in Turkey. The neighborhood of Sulukule, located in Western Istanbul, is the oldest Roma settlement in Europe.
The Zazas are a people in eastern Anatolia who natively speak the Zaza language. Their heartland, the Dersim region, consists of Tunceli, Bingöl provinces and parts of Elazığ, Erzincan and Diyarbakır provinces. The exact number of Zazas is unknown, due to the absence of recent and extensive census data. The most recent official statistics concerning native language are available for the year 1965, where 147,707 (0.5%) chose Zaza as their native language in Turkey.
There are no official statistics of people's religious beliefs nor is it asked in the census. According to the government, 99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim, mostly Sunni, some 10 to 15 million are Alevis. The remaining 0.2% is other - mostly Christians and Jews. However, these are based on the existing religion information written on every citizen's national id card, that is automatically passed on from the parents to every newborn, and do not necessarily represent individual choice. Furthermore, anyone who was not officially registered as Christian or Jewish by the time of the foundation of the republic, was automatically recorded as Muslim, and this label has been passed down to new generations. Therefore, the official number of Muslims also include people with no religion; converted from Islam to a different religion than Islam; and anyone who is of a different religion than their parents, but hasn't applied for a change of their individual records. It should also be noted that the state allow the individual records to be changed and can have their religion information removed from the identification card, but such change doesn't affect the official record.
The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 reported that in a poll 96% of Turkish citizens answered that "they believe there is a God", while 1% responded that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force". In a Pew Research Center survey, 53% of Turkey's Muslims said that "religion is very important in their lives". Based on the Gallup Poll 2006–08, Turkey was defined as More religious, in which over 63 percent of people believe religion is important. According to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, 33% of women wear the headscarf or hijab in Turkey however most of them wear a cultural headscarf which is not a symbol of Islam and is used by women in small villages that work under the sun to protect themselves from the sun. 18% of male Muslim citizens regularly attend Friday prayers.
A poll conducted by Eurobarometer, KONDA and some other research institutes in 2013 showed that around 4.5 million of the 15+ population had no religion. Another poll conducted by the same institutions in 2015 showed that that number has reached 5.5 million, which makes roughly 9.4% of the population.
The vast majority of the present-day Turkish people are Muslim and the most popular sect is the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam, which was officially espoused by the Ottoman Empire; according to the KONDA Research and Consultancy survey carried out throughout Turkey on 2007:
- 52.8% defined themselves as "a religious person who strives to fulfill religious obligations" (Religious)
- 34.3 % defined themselves as "a believer who does not fulfill religious obligations" (Not religious).
- 9.7% defined themselves as "a fully devout person fulfilling all religious obligations" (Fully devout).
- 2.3% defined themselves as "someone who does not believe in religious obligations" (Non-believer).
- 0.9% defined themselves as "someone with no religious conviction" (Atheist).
Census of 1927
|Language||Mother tongue||Only language spoken||Second best language spoken|
|Province / Language||Turkish||Kurdish||Arabic||Zazaki||Circassian||Greek||Georgian||Armenian||Laz||Pomak||Bosnian||Albanian||Jewish|
|Adana (including Osmaniye)||866,316||7,581||22,356||332||51||51||0||28||9||0||312||483||29|
|Ankara (including Kırıkkale)||1,590,392||36,798||814||21||393||124||41||66||120||7||126||833||64|
|Bolu (including parts of Düzce)||375,786||363||0||0||1,593||3||1,541||488||1,791||0||40||6||1|
|Çankırı (including parts of Karabük)||250,510||158||1||0||0||1||0||3||2||0||0||0||0|
|Gümüşhane (including Bayburt)||260,419||2,189||0||0||91||0||0||0||17||0||0||0||0|
|Hakkari (including parts of Şırnak)||10,357||72,365||165||0||1||0||1||21||2||0||0||0||0|
|Kars (including Ardahan and Iğdır)||471,287||133,144||61||992||215||6||8||5||24||1||5||4||1|
|Kastamonu (including parts of Düzce)||439,355||1,090||2||0||3||2||180||849||1||0||0||0||0|
|Konya (including Karaman)||1,092,819||27,811||67||4||1,139||3||7||1||5||1||11||75||0|
|Mardin (including parts of Batman)||35,494||265,328||79,687||60||75||11||15||11||0||0||1||6||0|
|Niğde (including Aksaray)||353,146||8,991||10||0||227||5||0||12||4||0||15||4||0|
|Siirt (including parts of Batman and parts of Şırnak)||46,722||179,023||38,273||484||1||0||15||98||3||0||10||0||0|
|Zonguldak (including Bartın and parts of Karabük)||649,757||43||26||0||5||17||2||3||15||0||1||1||1|
Provinces with Turkish speakers in majority Provinces with Turkish speakers in plurality Provinces with Kurdish speakers in plurality Provinces with Kurdish speakers in majority
Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as secular (Laiklik, Turkish adaptation of French Laïcité), i.e. without a state religion, or separate ethnic divisions/ identities. The concept of "minorities" has only been accepted by the Republic of Turkey as defined by the Treaty of Lausanne of 1924 and thence strictly limited to Greeks, Jews and Armenians, only on religious matters, excluding from the scope of the concept the ethnic identities of these minorities as of others such as the Kurds who make up 15% of the country; others include Assyrians/Syriacs of various Christian denominations, Alevis and all the others.
There are many reports from sources such as (Human Rights Watch, European Parliament, European Commission, national parliaments in EU member states, Amnesty International etc.) on persistent yet declining discrimination.
Certain current trends are:
- Turkish imams get salaries from the state (like Greek Orthodox clerics in Greece), whereas Turkish Alevi as well as non-Orthodox and non-Armenian clerics are not paid
- Imams can be trained freely at the numerous religious schools and theology departments of universities throughout the country; minority religions can not re-open schools for training of their local clerics due to legislation and international treaties dating back to the end of Turkish War of Independence. The closing of the Theological School of Halki is a sore bone of contention between Turkey and the Eastern Orthodox world;
- The Turkish state sends out paid imams, working under authority from the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) to various European or Asian countries with Turkish- or Turkic-speaking populations, with as local heads officials from the Turkish consulates;
- Turkey has recently engaged in promulgating a series of legal enactments aiming at removal of the procedural hurdles before the use of several local languages spoken by Turkish citizens such as Kurdish (Kurmanji), Arabic and Zaza as medium of public communication, together with several other smaller ethnic group languages. A few private Kurdish teaching centers have recently been allowed to open. Kurdish-language TV broadcasts on 7/24 basis at the public frequency denominated in the government-owned TRT 6, while the private national channels show no interest yet. However, there are already several satellite Kurdish TV stations operating from Kurdish Autonomous Region at Northern Iraq and Western Europe, broadcasting in Kurdish, Turkish and Neo-Aramaic languages, Kurdistan TV, KurdSAT, etc.;
- Non-Muslim minority numbers are said to be falling rapidly, mainly as a result of aging, migration (to Israel, Greece, the United States and Western Europe).
- There is concern over the future of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, which suffers from a lack of trained clergy due to the closure of the Halki school. The state does not recognise the Ecumenical status of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
According to figures released by the Foreign Ministry in December 2008, there are 89,000 Turkish citizens designated as belonging to a minority, two thirds of Armenian descent.
CIA World Factbook demographic statistics
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook:
0-14 years: 26.6% (male 10,707,793/female 10,226,999)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 26,741,332/female 26,162,757)
65 years and over: 6.3% (male 2,259,422/female 2,687,245) (2011 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 72.5 years
male: 70.61 years
female: 74.49 years (2011 est.)
urban population: 70% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 1.7% annual rate of change (2010–15 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 94.1%
female: 90.3% (2011 est.)
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Sonunda nüfuslarını 70 bine indirmeyi başardık.
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6-7 Eylül olaylarından önce İstanbul'da 135 bin Rum yaşıyordu. Sonrasında bu sayı 70 bine düştü. 1978'e gelindiğinde bu rakam 7 bindi.
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