Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A closer look at the unrest sweeping the Arab world

The fall of Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak spurred violent uprisings in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, leaving the fate of the region to be determined by people power. Here's key information about each country and how Turkey fits into the picture.

A closer look at the unrest sweeping the Arab world

The fall of Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak spurred violent uprisings in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, leaving the fate of the region to be determined by people power. Here's key information about each country and how Turkey fits into the picture.


Libya

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND



Leadership
Moammer Gadhafi

Relations established: 1954
Number of Turkish residents: 15,000, majority successfully evacuated in late February
Historical ties: Ruled by Ottomans from 1551 to 1912 as three separate districts, which were consolidated by Italy. Until the late 1960s, Turkey trained Libyan officers. Former PM Abdesselam Jaloul is a graduate of the Turkish Military Academy

Exports: $1.94 billion
Imports: $426 million
Number of Turkish firms: 220

Population: 6,461,454 (2010)
Government type: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in practice, an authoritarian state
Independence date: Dec. 24, 1951 (from UN trusteeship)
Literacy rate: 82.6% (2003)
Internet users: 353,900 (2009)
GDP per capita: $13,800 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 30% (2004)
Inflation rate: 3% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age (2004)
Military expenditures: 3.9% of GDP (2005)


Bahrain

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa

Relations established: 1973, two years after its independence from Great Britain
Number of Turkish residents: 1,000, estimated mainly as workers and businessmen
Historical ties: Bahrain was administered by the Ottoman Empire’s Najd Governor of the Arab peninsula during the 18th century

Exports: $172 million
Imports: $71.68 million
Number of Turkish firms: 47

Population: 738,004 (2010)
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Independence date: Aug. 15, 1971 (from the UK)
Literacy rate: 86.5% (2001)
Internet users: 419,500 (2009)
GDP per capita: $40,400 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 15% (2005)
Inflation rate: 3.3% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2010)
Military expenditures: 4.5% of GDP (2006)


Yemen

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Relations established: 1988
Number of Turkish residents: No significant number
Historical ties: The first Ottoman rule began in the 16th century and lasted through the 17th century. Its second rule was between 1848 and 1918. Nearly 300,000 Ottoman soldiers were killed during war in Yemeni deserts, which became the host of a gigantic Turkish cemetery

Exports: $329 million
Imports: $1.04 million
Number of Turkish firms:

Population: 23,495,361 (2010)
Government type: Republic
Independence date: May 22, 1990
Literacy rate: 50.2% (2003)
Internet users: 2.349 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $2,600 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 35% (2003)
Inflation rate: 12.2% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: Voluntary military service program authorized in 2001; 2-year service obligation (2006)
Military expenditures: 6.6% of GDP (2006)


Oman

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Sultan Qaboos

Relations established: 1985, when Turkey opened a diplomatic office there
Number of Turkish residents: No significant number
Historical ties: Never became a province of the Ottoman Empire, but did pass through a short period in the 16th century as a political dependent

Exports: $129.32 million
Imports: $39.46 million
Number of Turkish firms: 9

Population: 2,967,717 (2010)
Government type: Monarchy
Independence date: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
Literacy rate: 81.4% (2003)
Internet users 1.465 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $25,800 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 15% (2004)
Inflation rate: 4% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2010)
Military expenditures: 11.4% of GDP (2005)


Algeria

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Abdelaziz Bouteflika

Relations established: 1962, after it gained independence
Number of Turkish residents: Around 5,000
Historical ties: Algeria was under Ottoman rule from 1514 until the French occupied the country in 1830

Exports: $1.51 billion
Imports: $2.27 billion
Number of Turkish firms: 50

Population: 34,586,184 (2010)
Government type: Republic
Independence date: July 5, 1962 (from France)
Literacy rate: 69.9% (2002)
Internet users: 4.7 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $7,400 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 9.9% (2010)
Inflation rate: 5% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2006)
Military expenditures: 3.3% of GDP (2006)


Morocco

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
King Mohammed VI

Relations established: 1956, following independence from France
Number of Turkish residents: 1,500 estimated, mostly laborers and engineers working for Turkish companies
Historical ties: The Ottoman Empire established relations with Morocco in the 16th century when the Ottomans occupied Libya, Tunisia and Algeria. Never intending to occupy Morocco, the Ottomans backed the country in its fight against the Portuguese in 1576

Exports: $624 million
Imports: $397 million
Number of Turkish firms: 27

Population: 31,627,428 (2010)
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Independence date: March 2, 1956 (from France)
Literacy rate: 52.3% (2004)
Internet users: 13.213 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $4,900 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 9.8% (2010)
Inflation rate: 2.5% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; service obligation - 18 months (2010)
Military expenditures: 5% of GDP (2003)


Egypt

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Hosni Mubarak (deposed)

Relations established: 1925. First Turkish ambassador sent to Cairo in 1948
Number of Turkish residents: Exact number not known, estimates say around 5,000. Around 2,000 were evacuated during the unrest
Historical ties: Ruled by the Ottomans from 1517-1867 and was an autonomous tributary state until 1914. Contact between Turks and Egyptians goes back to the ninth century

Exports: $2.26 billion
Imports: $926 million
Number of Turkish firms: 217 (2009)

Population: 80,471,869 (2010)
Government type: Republic
Independence date: Feb. 28, 1922 (from UK protectorate status)
Literacy rate: 59.4% (2005)
Internet users: 20.136 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $6,200 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 9.7% (2010)
Inflation rate: 12.8% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18-30 years of age for male conscript military service; service obligation 12-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation (2008)
Military expenditures: 3.4% of GDP (2005)


Tunisia

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
(deposed)

Relations established: 1956, following independence from France
Number of Turkish residents: Not a significant Turkish population. Hundreds were evacuated during the recent unrest
Historical ties: Occupied in 1574 by the great Barbaros Hayrettin Pa┼ča, an admiral in the Ottoman Navy who dominated the Mediterranean for decades. The country was known as the “Regency of Tunis” under Ottoman rule until 1881

Exports: $714 million
Imports: $280 million
Number of Turkish firms: 15 (2008)

Population: 10,589,025 (2010)
Government type: Republic
Independence date: March 20, 1956 (from France)
Literacy rate: 74.3% (2004)
Internet users: 3.5 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $9,500 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 14% (2010)
Inflation rate: 4.5% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 20 years of age for compulsory military service, 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 1-year conscript service obligation (2007)
Military expenditures: 1.4% of GDP (2006)


Iran

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Relations established: 1639, when the two countries signed a border agreement. First ambassador sent to Iran in 1835
Number of Turkish residents: Exact number unknown, estimates say a few thousand
Historical ties: These two neighboring nations have had close relations throughout history, starting from when the Great Seljuk Empire first entered Anatolia from Persia in the 10th century.

Exports: $3.04 billion
Imports: $7.66 billion
Number of Turkish firms:

Population: 76,923,300 (2010)
Government type: Theocratic republic
Independence date: April 1, 1979
Literacy rate: 77% (2002)
Internet users: 8.214 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $11,200 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 14.6% (2010)
Inflation rate: 11.8% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 19 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation (2008)
Military expenditures: 2.5% of GDP (2006)


Sudan

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
Omar al-Bashir
  • Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir will not stand for re-election, an official of his National Congress Party said, insisting, however, that he was "not under pressure" from the wave of protests rocking the Arab world.
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Relations established: 1956, after independence from Great Britain
Number of Turkish residents: With boosting trade between two countries, between 3,000 and 5,000 Turks are living in Sudan
Historical ties: Ottomans ruled the country in the 19th century

Exports: $228 million
Imports: $5.21 million
Number of Turkish firms:

Population: 43,939,598 (2010)
Government type: Federal presidential republic
Independence date: Jan. 1, 1956 (from Egypt and the UK)
Literacy rate: 61.1% (2003)
Internet users: 4.2 million (2008)
GDP per capita: $2,200 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 18.7% (2002)
Inflation rate: 11.8% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory and voluntary military service; 12-24 month service obligation (2009)
Military expenditures: 3% of GDP (2005)


Jordan

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
King Abdullah II

Relations established: 1947, a year after its independence from Great Britain
Number of Turkish residents: More than 1,500
Historical ties: Ruled by the Ottomans from 1516-1917 under the Damascus Governorship. Home to a cemetery for Turkish soldiers

Exports: $573 million
Imports: $42.75 million
Number of Turkish firms:

Population: 6,407,085 (2010)
Government type: Constitutional monarchy
Independence date: May 25, 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
Literacy rate: 89.9% (2003)
Internet users: 1.642 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $5,300 (2010)
Unemployment rate: 13.4% (2010)
Inflation rate: 4.4% (2010)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription at age 18 was suspended in 1999, although all males under age 37 are required to register (2010)
Military expenditures: 8.6% of GDP (2006)


Syria

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW

RELATIONS WITH TURKEY

BACKGROUND


Leadership
President Bashar al-Assad

Relations established:1946, after Syria obtained independence from France.
Historic ties: Ruled by Ottomans from 1517 to 1917. Administratively registered as “Damascus province”, the region covered an area from Gaza to Gaziantep, from Beirut to Aleppo. Syria is very rich in term of Ottoman-era cultural and religious sites.
Turkish population: Not more than a few thousands. However, there are thousand of Syrian citizens with Turkish descent living along the Turkey-Syria border. All have relatives on the other side of borders.

Population:22,517,750 (July 2010 est.)
Government type: Republic under an authoritarian regime
Independence date:17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Literacy rate: 79.6% (2003)
Internet users:4.469 million (2009)
GDP per capita: $4,800 (2010 est.)
Unemployment rate:8.3% (2010 est.)
Inflation rate:5.9% (2010 est.)
Military service age and obligation:18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 21 months (18 months in the Syrian Arab Navy); women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2010)
Military expenditures:5.9% of GDP (2005 est.)

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