The Constitution of Turkey is going to be re-written. Work has started on it. The Constitution is not a simple document. It defines the rights of the citizens living in the country, and what the country will do for them. It also describes, amongst other things, the type of leadership that the country will have, and who will have what powers.
The current Constitution that is in use in Turkey was written 30 years ago. Why change it? Well, the current Constitution gives more rights to the military in the country, and less rights and freedom of speech to the citizens. Also, the current constitution hardly gives rights to some minorities who live in Turkey. The new constitution will be written with an aim to make Turkey more democratic and fairer to its citizens.
The modern country of Turkey was founded in 1923. Its first president was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who is looked upon as the founder of the country. He was given the title “Ataturk” meaning “Father of the Turks.” It was under him that the first constitution of modern Turkey was written. Before 1923, Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was one of the largest empires in the world. It lasted for over 600 years. At its peak, parts of Europe and Africa were also part of the Ottoman Empire.
Today, Turkey lives in two continents, Asia & Europe. Most of the Turkish people are Muslims. However, Turkey is a secular country, meaning Turkey does not support or oppose any religion. Ankara is its capital city and Istanbul is its largest city. Istanbul is the only large city in the world that is a part of two continents. The country has been a home to many great civilizations – Byzantine and Ottoman are two of them. Turkey has also created some of the greatest architectural marvels in the world, and is a gold mine of historical artifacts. Two of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” (the Mausoleum of Maussollos and the Temple of Artemis) were located in present-day Turkey.
There is a connection between the country Turkey, and the bird of the same name. When Europeans first encountered the bird in North America, they confused it with a kind of bird that was found in Turkey. That mistaken identity led to the name “turkey” for the bird, and that name has stuck.
Did You Know?
The tallest man in the world is from Turkey. Sultan Kosen is 8ft 1in (2.5m) tall!