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Turkey: Glossary
Country Study > Glossary

GLOSSARY


Alevi - (Alawi in Arabic), a heterodox Shia (qv) Islamic sect that has many followers in Turkey.

barrels per day - Production of crude oil and petroleum products is frequently measured in barrels per day, often abbreviated bpd or bd. A barrel is a volume measure of forty-two United States gallons. Conversion of barrels to tons depends on the density of the specific product. About 7.3 barrels of average crude oil weigh one ton. Heavy crude weighs about seven barrels per ton. Light products, such as gasoline and kerosene, average close to eight barrels per ton.

capitulations - Special agreements between the Ottoman Empire and various foreign governments giving those governments and their citizens and subjects specific exemptions from the laws of the empire.

Common Agricultural Policy - Agricultural support system of the EU (qv), under which farmers' incomes are maintained through a system of target prices for agricultural commodities.

etatism - Often considered as state socialism. In Turkish use, it involves state control of some industries and public services.

European Community (EC) - See European Union (EU).

European Currency Unit (ECU) - Instituted in 1979, the ECU is the unit of account of the EU (qv). The value of the ECU is determined by the value of a basket that includes the currencies of all EU member states. In establishing the value of the basket, each member's currency receives a share that reflects the relative strength and importance of the member's economy. In 1995 one ECU was equivalent to about one United States dollar.

European Union (EU) - Until November 1993, the EU was known as the European Community (EC). The EU comprises three communities: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). Each community is a legally distinct body, but since 1967 they have shared common governing institutions. The EU forms more than a framework for free trade and economic cooperation: the signatories to the treaties governing the communities have agreed in principle to integrate their economies and ultimately to form a political union. Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) were charter members of the EU; Britain, Denmark, and Ireland joined on January 1, 1973; Greece became a member on January 1, 1981; Portugal and Spain entered on January 1, 1986; and Austria, Finland, and Sweden became members on January 1, 1995.

fiscal year - Calendar year since 1983.

gecekondus - Literally, "built overnight"; term used for shantylike squatter housing erected on outskirts of large cities. Ottoman custom dictated that once a structure was built, it could not be destroyed.

gross domestic product (GDP) - A value measure of the flow of domestic goods and services produced by an economy over a period of time, such as a year. Only output values of goods for final consumption and intermediate production are assumed to be included in the final prices. GDP is sometimes aggregated and shown at market prices, meaning that indirect taxes and subsidies are included; when these indirect taxes and subsidies have been eliminated, the result is GDP at factor cost. The word gross indicates that deductions for depreciation of physical assets have not been made. See also gross national product.

gross national product (GNP) - The gross domestic product (qv) plus net income or loss stemming from transactions with foreign countries including income received from abroad by residents and subtracting payments remitted abroad to nonresidents. GNP is the broadest measurement of the output of goods and services by an economy. It can be calculated at market prices, which include indirect taxes and subsidies. Because indirect taxes and subsidies are only transfer payments, GNP is often calculated at factor cost by removing indirect taxes and subsidies.

imam - A word used in several senses. In general use and lower-cased, it means the leader of congregational prayers; as such it implies no ordination or special spiritual powers beyond sufficient education to carry out this function. Imam is also used figuratively by many Sunni (qv) Muslims to mean the leader of the Islamic community. Among Shia (qv) the word takes on many complex and controversial meanings; in general, however, it indicates that particular descendant of the House of Ali who is believed to have been God's designated repository of the spiritual authority inherent in that line. The identity of this individual and the means of ascertaining his identity have been major issues causing divisions among Shia.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Established along with the World Bank (qv) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and is responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members (including industrialized and developing countries) when they experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing countries.

lira - Turkish currency; 1 Turkish lira (TL) = 100 kurus. Value of the lira has fluctuated considerably. In 1989 US$1.00 = TL2,122; in 1991 US$1.00 = TL4,172; in 1993 US$1.00 = TL10,983; in January 1994 US$1.00 = TL 15,196; as of August 31, 1995, US$1.00 = TL47,963.

millet - A non-Muslim group or community in the Ottoman Empire organized under its own religious head, who also exercised important civil functions.

National Security Council (NSC -- Mili Güvenlik Kurulu) - Under both the 1961 and the 1982 constitutions, the NSC comprised military and civilian personnel and was charged with reviewing national security policy. The generals who took control of Turkey's government in 1980 also constituted themselves as a National Security Council (Milli Güvenlik Konseyi); this body was abolished following the reestablishment of civilian government after the 1983 election. The former members of the 1980-83 NSC, except for President Evren, subsequently formed the Presidential Council, whose function was to advise the president. The Presidential Council was dissolved in 1989.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) - In 1995 membership composed of Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and United States.

Shia (from Shiat Ali, the Party of Ali) - A member of the smaller of the two great divisions of Islam. The Shia originated in a dispute over who should be the legitimate successor to the Prophet; a majority of early Muslims accepted the tradition of community consensus to choose the leader, but a minority supported the claim of Ali, the Prophet's cousin, to inherit the mantle of leadership. Over time, theological differences emerged between the Shia and Sunni (qv). The Alevi (qv), Ismaili, Twelve Imam Shia, and Zayidi all are distinct Shia sects.

Sublime Porte (or Porte) - Ottoman Empire palace entrance that provided access to the chief minister, who represented the government and the sultan. Term came to mean the Ottoman government.

Sunni -- (from Arabic sunna , tradition or precedent) - A follower of the larger of the two primary denominations of Islam.

tarikat (pl., tarikatlar) - A Sufi order or lodge, usually headed by a teacher or master known as a seyh , in which devotees undertake a path of instruction toward spiritual perfection.

Warsaw Treaty Organization - Formal name for Warsaw Pact. Political-military alliance founded by the Soviet Union in 1955 as a counterweight to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (qv). Albania, an original member, stopped participating in Warsaw Pact activities in 1962 and withdrew in 1968. Members in 1991 included Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union. Before it was formally dissolved in April 1991, the Warsaw Pact served as the Soviet Union's primary mechanism for keeping political and military control over Eastern Europe.

World Bank - Informal name used to designate a group of four affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The IBRD, established in 1945, has as its primary purpose the provision of loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The MIGA, founded in 1988, insures private foreign investment in developing countries against various noncommercial risks. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The four institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF -- qv).




Last Updated: January 1995


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Turkey was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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