Information About Turkey
Background: The Turkish Republic was formed in 1923 after Ottoman Empire. Nationalist resistance forces led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk defeated the occupying allies after the First World War to establish the country's present borders. Turkey oriented its political and economic structure towards the West, becoming a member of NATO (1952) and the Council of Europe (1949) and signing an association agreement with the then European Community (1963). A customs union with the EU took effect in 1996. EU accession negotiations were opened in October 2005, but have made slow progress. Political structure: Turkey is a secular democratic state governed under the 1982 constitution. There have been three periods of military rule in 1960-61, 1971-73 and 1980-83. The military continues to have a respected position in Turkish politics, although its constitutional powers have been reduced. The parliamentary term was cut from five years to four in October 2007. Parliament elected the current president, Abdullah Gul, in August 2007; his successor will be elected directly. Executive power will remain with the prime minister. Parties n eed at least 10% of the national vote to win any seats. Policy issues: Turkey established an industrial base through state intervention and import protection in the post-war period. Policies shifted toward liberalisation in the 1980s. IMF-backed reforms since the 2001 financial crisis have reduced macroeconomic instability. The IMF stand-by agreement expired in May 2008, but co-operation with the Fund will continue. A large current-account deficit and heavy reliance on short-term capital inflows leave the economy vulnerable to sharp changes in investor sentiment. Reducing unemployment and income inequality are key policy concerns, but the resources to tackle them are limited.
Taxation: The basic rate of corporation tax was lowered from 30% to 20% in 2006. Personal income tax rates range between 15% and 35% (the top rate was...
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