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Istanbul in the morning

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Location of Turkey on the map of Asia

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Western Asia and Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; and the Aegean Sea to the west. Istanbul, the largest city, is the financial centre, and Ankara is the capital. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population, and Kurds are the largest minority.

One of the world's earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey was home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe, and was inhabited by ancient civilisations such as the Hattians and Anatolian peoples. Hellenization started in the area during the era of Alexander the Great and continued into the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating in the 11th century, and the Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans started uniting the principalities and conquering the Balkans, and the Turkification of Anatolia increased during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power. From the late 18th century onwards, the empire's power declined with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening empire, Mahmud II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century. The 1913 coup d'état effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, who were largely responsible for the Empire's entry into World War I in 1914. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek subjects. After the Ottomans and the other Central Powers lost the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned. The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne (which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres) on 24 July 1923 and the proclamation of the Republic on 29 October 1923. With the reforms initiated by the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey became a secular, unitary and parliamentary republic; which was later replaced by a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Since then, the new Turkish governmental system under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party, the AKP, has often been described as populist, conservative and authoritarian.

Turkey is a regional power and a newly industrialized country, with a geopolitically strategic location. Its economy, which is classified among the emerging and growth-leading economies, is the twentieth-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and the eleventh-largest by PPP. It is a charter member of the United Nations, an early member of NATO, the IMF, and the World Bank, and a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC, and G20. After becoming one of the early members of the Council of Europe in 1950, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995, and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005. (Full article...)

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The monastery before its destruction in 1915

Surb Karapet Monastery (Armenian: Մշո Սուրբ Կարապետ վանք, Msho Surb Karapet vank, also known by other names) was an Armenian Apostolic monastery in the historic province of Taron, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Mush (Muş), in present-day eastern Turkey.

Surb Karapet translates to "Holy Precursor" and refers to John the Baptist, whose remains are believed to have been stored at the site by Gregory the Illuminator in the early fourth century. The monastery subsequently served as a stronghold of the Mamikonians—the princely house of Taron, who claimed to be the holy warriors of John the Baptist, their patron saint. It was expanded and renovated many times in later centuries. By the 20th century, it was a large fort-like enclosure with four chapels. (Full article...)
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Sertab Erener in 2019

Sertab Erener (born 4 December 1964) is a Turkish singer, songwriter and composer. With her coloratura soprano voice, she started working as a backing vocalist for Sezen Aksu, and with Aksu's help she released her first studio album in the 1990s. Because of her education in classical music, she initially had difficulties in performing pop music. Although she did experimental works from time to time, she eventually preferred to focus on making pop music instead of making avant-garde works, in order to make her music heard by a larger audience. In some of her works, she combined Western music and Eastern music, and benefited from operas as well as classical Turkish music together with ethnic elements. With her entrance to Europe's market in the early 2000s, many of her works were also sold in Turkey as well as European countries.

With Sezen Aksu's help, she made her debut in 1992 with the album Sakin Ol!, and made herself known as a Turkish pop music artist in the 1990s by releasing the albums Lâ'l (1994), Sertab Gibi (1997) and Sertab Erener (1999). From these albums, the songs "Sakin Ol!", "Aldırma Deli Gönlüm", "Ateşle Barut", "Sevdam Ağlıyor", "Aslolan Aşktır", "Yanarım", "Zor Kadın" and "Vur Yüreğim" became number-one hits in Turkey. In the early 2000s, she continued her work by releasing the songs "Kumsalda" and "Kendime Yeni Bir Ben Lazım". She won the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 with the song "Everyway That I Can", marking Turkey's first victory in the competition. In 2004, she released the album No Boundaries, followed by Aşk Ölmez in 2005. After five years, she released another Turkish studio album Rengârenk in 2010, and the hit songs "Bu Böyle", "Açık Adres" and "Koparılan Çiçekler" made the album a successful work, and marked her return to the music market. After Rengârenk, she released the album Ey Şuh-i Sertab (2012), which was dedicated to her father. At the same year, she received the Best Female TSM Soloist award at the Golden Butterfly Awards. In 2013, her new album Sade was released. The songs "İyileşiyorum", "Öyle de Güzel" and "Söz" all became hits in Turkey. In 2016, with the release of Kırık Kalpler Albümü, Erener stated that she was returning to her 90s style. The album received favorable reviews, and "Kime Diyorum" and "Olsun" both became hit songs inside Turkey. (Full article...)

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