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Syria vs. Turkey

Introduction

SyriaTurkey
BackgroundFollowing World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability and experienced a series of military coups. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights region to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional, albeit unsuccessful, peace talks over its return. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawi sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. Following the death of President Hafiz al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007, Bashar al-ASAD's second term as president was approved by popular referendum.
Influenced by major uprisings that began elsewhere in the region, and compounded by additional social and economic factors, antigovernment protests broke out first in the southern province of Dar'a in March 2011 with protesters calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. Demonstrations and violent unrest spread across Syria with the size and intensity of protests fluctuating. The government responded to unrest with a mix of concessions - including the repeal of the Emergency Law, new laws permitting new political parties, and liberalizing local and national elections - and with military force and detentions. The government's ongoing violence to quell unrest and widespread armed opposition activity has led to extended clashes between government forces, their allies, and oppositionists. International pressure on the ASAD regime has intensified since late 2011, as the Arab League, the EU, Turkey, and the US expanded economic sanctions against the regime and those entities that support it. In December 2012, the Syrian National Coalition, was recognized by more than 130 countries as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Political negotiations between the government and opposition delegations at the UN-sponsored Geneva II conference in 2014 and the UN-sponsored Geneva III talks in 2016 failed to produce a resolution of the conflict. Unrest continues in Syria, and according to an April 2016 UN estimate, the death toll among Syrian Government forces, opposition forces, and civilians was over 400,000. As of December 2016, approximately 13.5 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with 6.3 million people displaced internally, and an additional 4.8 million Syrian refugees, making the Syrian situation the largest humanitarian crisis worldwide.
"Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk or ""Father of the Turks."" Under his leadership, the country adopted radical social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democrat Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of formal political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster - popularly dubbed a ""post-modern coup"" - of the then Islamic-oriented government. A coup attempt was made in July 2016 by a faction of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the ""Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,"" which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a US-designated terrorist organization, has long dominated the attention of Turkish security forces and claimed more than 40,000 lives. In 2013, the Turkish Government and the PKK conducted negotiations aimed at ending the violence, however intense fighting resumed in 2015. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1963, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; it began accession talks with the EU in 2005. Over the past decade, economic reforms, coupled with some political reforms, have contributed to a growing economy, although economic growth slowed in recent years.
From 2015 and continuing through 2016, Turkey witnessed an uptick in terrorist violence, including major attacks in Ankara, Istanbul, and throughout the predominantly Kurdish southeastern region of Turkey. On 15 July 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed forces attempted a coup that ultimately failed following widespread popular resistance. More than 240 people were killed and over 2,000 injured when Turkish citizens took to the streets en masse to confront the coup forces. In response, Turkish Government authorities arrested, suspended, or dismissed more than 100,000 security personnel, journalists, judges, academics, and civil servants due to their alleged connection with the attempted coup. The government accused followers of an Islamic transnational religious and social movement for allegedly instigating the failed coup and designates the followers as terrorists. Following the failed coup, the Turkish Government instituted a State of Emergency in July 2016 that has been extended to July 2017. The Turkish Government conducted a referendum on 16 April 2017 that will, when implemented, change Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system.
"

Geography

SyriaTurkey
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria
Geographic coordinates35 00 N, 38 00 E
39 00 N, 35 00 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 185,180 sq km
land: 183,630 sq km
water: 1,550 sq km
note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
total: 783,562 sq km
land: 769,632 sq km
water: 13,930 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than 1.5 times the size of Pennsylvania
slightly larger than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 2,363 km
border countries (5): Iraq 599 km, Israel 83 km, Jordan 379 km, Lebanon 403 km, Turkey 899 km
total: 2,816 km
border countries (8): Armenia 311 km, Azerbaijan 17 km, Bulgaria 223 km, Georgia 273 km, Greece 192 km, Iran 534 km, Iraq 367 km, Syria 899 km
Coastline193 km
7,200 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
territorial sea: 6 nm in the Aegean Sea; 12 nm in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea
exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR
Climatemostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus
temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior
Terrainprimarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 514 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m
mean elevation: 1,132 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower
Land useagricultural land: 75.8%
arable land 25.4%; permanent crops 5.8%; permanent pasture 44.6%
forest: 2.7%
other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 49.7%
arable land 26.7%; permanent crops 4%; permanent pasture 19%
forest: 14.9%
other: 35.4% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land14,280 sq km (2012)
52,150 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdust storms, sandstorms
volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries
severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van
volcanism: limited volcanic activity; its three historically active volcanoes; Ararat, Nemrut Dagi, and Tendurek Dagi have not erupted since the 19th century or earlier
Environment - current issuesdeforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - notethe capital of Damascus - located at an oasis fed by the Barada River - is thought to be one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities; there are 42 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (2014 est.)
strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link the Black and Aegean Seas; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah's ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country
Population distributionsignificant population density along the Mediterranean coast; larger concentrations found in the major cities of Damascus, Aleppo (the country's largest city), and Hims (Homs); more than half of the population lives in the coastal plain, the province of Aleppo, and the Euphrates River valley
note: the ongoing civil war has altered the population distribution
the most densely populated area is found around the Bosporus in the northwest where 20% of the population lives in Istanbul; with the exception of Ankara, urban centers remain small and scattered throughout the interior of Anatolia; an overall pattern of peripheral development exists, particularly along the western Mediterranean coast, and the Tigris and Euphrates River systems in the southeast

Demographics

SyriaTurkey
Population17,185,170 (July 2016 est.)
note: approximately 20,500 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2014)
80,274,604 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 31.95% (male 2,815,140/female 2,675,166)
15-24 years: 19.65% (male 1,711,847/female 1,664,814)
25-54 years: 39.03% (male 3,342,264/female 3,364,406)
55-64 years: 5.26% (male 447,205/female 457,525)
65 years and over: 4.11% (male 318,691/female 388,112) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 25.08% (male 10,303,153/female 9,833,713)
15-24 years: 16.11% (male 6,605,634/female 6,329,921)
25-54 years: 43.15% (male 17,541,137/female 17,094,141)
55-64 years: 8.36% (male 3,335,021/female 3,374,965)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 2,603,655/female 3,253,264) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 24.1 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 24.6 years (2016 est.)
total: 30.5 years
male: 30.1 years
female: 31 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.56% (2016 est.)
0.9% (2016 est.)
Birth rate21.7 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
16 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
5.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 15.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 18.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.9 years
male: 72.5 years
female: 77.4 years (2016 est.)
total population: 74.8 years
male: 72.5 years
female: 77.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.55 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.03 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.01% (2014 est.)
NA
Nationalitynoun: Syrian(s)
adjective: Syrian
noun: Turk(s)
adjective: Turkish
Ethnic groupsArab 90.3%, Kurdish, Armenian, and other 9.7%
Turkish 70-75%, Kurdish 19%, other minorities 7-12% (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS900 (2014 est.)
NA
ReligionsMuslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)
HIV/AIDS - deathsless than 100 (2014 est.)
NA
LanguagesArabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English
Turkish (official), Kurdish, other minority languages
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.4%
male: 91.7%
female: 81% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95%
male: 98.4%
female: 91.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2013)
total: 16 years
male: 17 years
female: 16 years (2013)
Education expenditures5.1% of GDP (2009)
4.8% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 57.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.37% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 73.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.97% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 92.3% of population
rural: 87.2% of population
total: 90.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 7.7% of population
rural: 12.8% of population
total: 9.9% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 96.2% of population
rural: 95.1% of population
total: 95.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.8% of population
rural: 4.9% of population
total: 4.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 98.3% of population
rural: 85.5% of population
total: 94.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1.7% of population
rural: 14.5% of population
total: 5.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationAleppo 3.562 million; DAMASCUS (capital) 2.566 million; Hims (Homs) 1.641 million; Hamah 1.237 million; Lattakia 781,000 (2015)
Istanbul 14.164 million; ANKARA (capital) 4.75 million; Izmir 3.04 million; Bursa 1.923 million; Adana 1.83 million; Gaziantep 1.528 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate68 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
16 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight10.1% (2009)
1.9% (2014)
Health expenditures3.3% of GDP (2014)
5.4% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density1.55 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.75 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density1.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
2.5 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.6% (2014)
29.4% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 192,915
percentage: 4% (2006 est.)
total number: 321,866
percentage: 3%
note: data represent children ages 6-14 (2006 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate53.9% (2009/10)
73.5% (2013)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 70
youth dependency ratio: 63.1
elderly dependency ratio: 6.9
potential support ratio: 14.5 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 49.7
youth dependency ratio: 38.4
elderly dependency ratio: 11.3
potential support ratio: 8.9 (2015 est.)

Government

SyriaTurkey
Country nameconventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic
conventional short form: Syria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
local short form: Suriyah
former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)
etymology: name ultimately derived from the ancient Assyrians who dominated northern Mesopotamia, but whose reach also extended westward to the Levant; over time, the name came to be associated more with the western area
"conventional long form: Republic of Turkey
conventional short form: Turkey
local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti
local short form: Turkiye
etymology: the name means ""Land of the Turks""
"
Government typepresidential republic; highly authoritarian regime
parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Damascus
geographic coordinates: 33 30 N, 36 18 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins midnight on the last Friday in March; ends at midnight on the first Friday in November
name: Ankara
geographic coordinates: 39 56 N, 32 52 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah (Latakia), Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As Suwayda', Dar'a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq (Damascus), Halab, Hamah, Hims (Homs), Idlib, Rif Dimashq (Damascus Countryside), Tartus
81 provinces (iller, singular - ili); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir (Smyrna), Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon (Trebizond), Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak
Independence17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
29 October 1923 (republic proclaimed succeeding the Ottoman Empire)
National holidayIndependence Day (Evacuation Day), 17 April (1946); note - celebrates the leaving of the last French troops and the proclamation of full independence
Republic Day, 29 October (1923)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest issued 15 February 2012, passed by referendum and effective 27 February 2012
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by one-third of the People’s Assembly members; following review by a special Assembly committee, passage requires at least three-quarters majority vote by the Assembly and approval by the president (2016)
history: several previous; latest ratified 9 November 1982
amendments: proposed by written consent of at least one-third of Grand National Assembly (GNA) members; adoption of draft amendments requires two debates in plenary GNA session and three-fifths majority vote of all GNA members; the president of the republic can request GNA reconsideration of the amendment and, if readopted by two-thirds majority GNA vote, the president may submit the amendment to a referendum; passage by referendum requires absolute majority vote; amended several times, last in 2017 (2017)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil and Islamic law (for family courts)
civil law system based on various European legal systems notably the Swiss civil code
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Bashar al-ASAD (since 17 July 2000); Vice President Najah al-ATTAR (since 23 March 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Imad Muhammad Dib KHAMIS (since 22 June 2016); Walid al-MUALEM (since 2006); Deputy Prime Minister Fahd Jasim al-FURAYJ, Lt. Gen. (since 2012)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 3 June 2014 (next to be held in June 2021); the president appoints the vice presidents, prime minister, and deputy prime ministers
election results: Bashar al-ASAD approved as president; percent of vote - Bashar al-ASAD (Ba'th Party) 88.7%, Hassan al-NOURI (independent) 4.3%, Maher HAJJER (independent) 3.2%, other/invalid 3.8%
chief of state: President Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (since 10 August 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Binali YILDIRIM (since 22 May 2016); Deputy Prime Ministers Nurettin CANIKLI (since 24 May 2016), Veysi KAYNAK (since 24 May 2016), Mehmet SIMSEK (since 24 November 2015), Tugrul TURKES (since 29 August 2014), Numan KURTULMUS (since 29 August 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president {until the next parliamentary or presidential election following the April 2017 referendum)
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president from among members of parliament; note - a 2007 constitutional amendment changed the presidential electoral process to direct popular vote; prime minister appointed by the president from among members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
election results: Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN elected president; Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (AKP) 51.8%, Ekmeleddin IHSANOGLU (independent) 38.4%, Selahattin DEMIRTAS (HDP) 9.8%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral People's Assembly or Majlis al-Shaab (250 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 13 April 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - NPF 80%, other 20%; seats by party - NPF 200, other 50
description: unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats (will increase to 600 with next election following the April 2017 referendum); members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 1 November 2015 (next scheduled for 3 November 2019)
election results: percent of vote by party - AKP 49.5%, CHP 25.3%, MHP 11.9%, HDP 10.8%, other 2.6%; seats by party - AKP 317, CHP 134, MHP 40, HDP 59; note - only parties surpassing the 10% threshold can win parliamentary seats
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Court of Cassation (organized into civil, criminal, religious, and military divisions, each with 3 judges); Supreme Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council or SJC, a judicial management body headed by the minister of justice with 7 members including the national president; judge tenure NA; Supreme Constitutional Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the SJC; judges appointed for 4-year renewable terms
subordinate courts: courts of first instance; magistrates' courts; religious and military courts; Economic Security Court; Counterterrorism Court (established June 2012)
highest court: Constitutional Court or Anayasa Mahkemesi (consists of 17 members); Court of Cassation (consists of about 390 judges and organized into civil and penal chambers); Council of State (organized into 15 divisions - 14 judicial and 1 consultative - each with a division head and at least 5 members)
judge selection and term of office: Constitutional Court members - 3 appointed by the Grand National Assembly and 14 by the president of the republic from among candidates nominated by the plenary assemblies of the high courts (with the exception of the Court of High Accounts), the Higher Education Council, and from among senior government administrators, lawyers, judges and prosecutors, and Constitutional Court rapporteurs; court president and 2 deputy presidents appointed from among its members for 4-year terms; judges appointed for 12-year, non-renewable terms with mandatory retirement at age 65; Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors (SCJP), a 22-member body of judicial officials; Court of Cassation judges appointed until retirement at age 65; Council of State members appointed by the SCJP and by the president of the republic; members appointed for renewable, 4-year terms
subordinate courts: regional appeals courts; basic (first instance) courts, peace courts; military courts; state security courts; specialized courts, including administrative and audit
Political parties and leaderslegal parties/alliances: Arab Socialist Union of Syria or ASU [Safwan al-QUDSI]
National Progressive Front or NPF [Bashar al-ASAD, Suleiman QADDAH] (alliance includes Arab Socialist Renaissance (Ba'th) Party [President Bashar al-ASAD], Socialist Unionist Democratic Party [Fadlallah Nasr al-DIN]
Syrian Communist Party (two branches) [Wissal Farha BAKDASH, Yusuf Rashid FAYSAL]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party or SSNP [As'ad HARDAN]
Unionist Socialist Party [Fayez ISMAIL])
Kurdish parties (considered illegal): Kurdish Azadi Party
Kurdish Democratic Accord Party (al Wifaq) [Fowzi SHINKALI]
Kurdish Democratic Left Party [Saleh KIDDO]
Kurdish Democratic Party (al Parti-Ibrahim wing) [Nasr al-Din IBRAHIM]
Kurdish Democratic Party (al Parti-Mustafa wing)
Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria or KDP-S [Saud AL-MALA]
Kurdish Democratic Patriotic/National Party
Kurdish Democratic Peace Party [Talal MOHAMMED]
Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party or KDPP-Darwish
Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party or KDPP-Muhammad
Kurdish Democratic Union Party or PYD [Salih Muslim MOHAMMAD]
Kurdish Democratic Unity Party [Kamiron Haj ABDU]
Kurdish Democratic Yekiti Party [Mahi al-Din Sheikh ALI]
Kurdish Equality Party [Namet DAOUD]
Kurdish Future Party [Rezan HASSAN]
Kurdish Green Party [ Laqman AHMI]
Kurdish Left Party [Shallal KIDDO]
Kurdish National Democratic Rally in Syria
Kurdish Reform Movement in Syria [Amjad OTHMAN]
Kurdish Reform Movement Party [ Feisal AL-YUSSEF]
Kurdish Yekiti (Union) Party
Kurdistan Communist Party [ Nejm al-Sin MALA’AMIR]
Kurdistan Democratic Party in Syria [Abdul Karim SAKKO]
Kurdistan Liberal Union [Farhad TILO]
Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party
Tiyar al-Mustaqbal [Narin MATINI]
other: Syrian Democratic Party [Mustafa QALAAJI]
Democrat Party or DP [Gultekin UYSAL]
Democratic Left Party or DSP [Onder AKSAKAL]
Felicity Party or SP [Temel KARAMOLLAOGLU]
Grand Unity Party or BBP [Mustafa DESTICI]
Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN]
Nationalist Movement Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]
Patriotic Party or VP [Dogu PERINCEK]
People's Democratic Party or HDP [Selahattin DEMIRTAS and Serpil KEMALBAY]; note - DEMIRTAS was detained by Turkish authorities in November 2016 over his alleged links to the PKK
Republican People's Party or CHP [Kemal KILICDAROGLU]
True Path Party or DYP [Cetin OZACIRGOZ]
Political pressure groups and leadersFree Syrian Army
Syrian Muslim Brotherhood or SMB [Muhammad Riyad al-SHAQFAH] (operates in exile in London)
Syrian Opposition Coalition or National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces [Anas al-ABDAH]
note: there are also hundreds of local and provincial political and armed opposition groups that organize protests, provide civilian services, and stage armed attacks
Confederation of Public Sector Unions or KESK [Lami OZGEN, Saziye KOSE, co-chairs]
Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Kani BEKO]
Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or MUSIAD [Nail OLPAK]
Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Mahmut ARSLAN]
Turkish Confederation of Employer Associations or TISK [Kudret ONEN]
Turkish Confederation of Labor Unions or Turk-Is [Ergun ATALAY]
Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen or TESK [Bendevi PALANDOKEN]
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association or TUSIAD Erol BILECIK]
Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [M. Rifat HISARCIKLIOGLU]
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN (observer), CICA, CPLP (associate observer), D-8, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EU (candidate country), FAO, FATF, G-20, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, PIF (partner), SCO (dialogue member), SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USnote: Embassy ceased operation and closed on 18 March 2014
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mounir KOUDMANI (since 1 June 2012)
chancery: 2215 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 232-6313
FAX: [1] (202) 234-9548
chief of mission: Ambassador Serdar KILIC (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700
FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: ambassador (vacant); US Special Envoy for Syria Michael RATNEY (since 27 July 2015); note - on 6 February 2012, the US closed its embassy in Damascus; Czechia serves as protecting power for US interests in Syria
embassy: Abou Roumaneh, 2 Al Mansour Street, Damascus
mailing address: P. O. Box 29, Damascus
telephone: [963] (11) 3391-4444
FAX: [963] (11) 3391-3999
chief of mission: Ambassador John R. BASS (since 20 October 2014)
embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823
telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555
FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019
consulate(s) general: Istanbul
consulate(s): Adana
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; two small, green, five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); identical to the former flag of the United Arab Republic (1958-1961) where the two stars represented the constituent states of Syria and Egypt; the current design dates to 1980
note: similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band, Iraq, which has an Arabic inscription centered in the white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band
red with a vertical white crescent moon (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening; the flag colors and designs closely resemble those on the banner of the Ottoman Empire, which preceded modern-day Turkey; the crescent moon and star serve as insignia for Turkic peoples; according to one interpretation, the flag represents the reflection of the moon and a star in a pool of blood of Turkish warriors
National anthem"name: ""Humat ad-Diyar"" (Guardians of the Homeland)
lyrics/music: Khalil Mardam BEY/Mohammad Salim FLAYFEL and Ahmad Salim FLAYFEL
note: adopted 1936, restored 1961; between 1958 and 1961, while Syria was a member of the United Arab Republic with Egypt, the country had a different anthem
"
"name: ""Istiklal Marsi"" (Independence March)
lyrics/music: Mehmet Akif ERSOY/Zeki UNGOR
note: lyrics adopted 1921, music adopted 1932; the anthem's original music was adopted in 1924; a new composition was agreed upon in 1932
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)hawk; national colors: red, white, black, green
star and crescent; national colors: red, white
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Syria; if the father is unknown or stateless, the mother must be a citizen of Syria
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkey
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from the government
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

SyriaTurkey
Economy - overviewSyria's economy continues to deteriorate amid the ongoing conflict that began in 2011, declining by more than 70% from 2010 to 2016. The government has struggled to address the effects of international sanctions, widespread infrastructure damage, diminished domestic consumption and production, reduced subsidies, and high inflation, which have caused dwindling foreign exchange reserves, rising budget and trade deficits, a decreasing value of the Syrian pound, and falling household purchasing power.

During 2014, the ongoing conflict and continued unrest and economic decline worsened the humanitarian crisis and elicited a greater need for international assistance, as the number of people in need inside Syria increased from 9.3 million to 12.2 million, and the number of Syrian refugees increased from 2.2 million to more than 3.3 million.

Prior to the turmoil, Damascus had begun liberalizing economic policies, including cutting lending interest rates, opening private banks, consolidating multiple exchange rates, raising prices on some subsidized items, and establishing the Damascus Stock Exchange, but the economy remains highly regulated. Long-run economic constraints include foreign trade barriers, declining oil production, high unemployment, rising budget deficits, increasing pressure on water supplies caused by heavy use in agriculture, rapid population growth, industrial expansion, water pollution, and widespread infrastructure damage.
Turkey's largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey's export mix. However, the recent period of political stability and economic dynamism has given way to domestic uncertainty and security concerns which are generating financial market volatility and weighing on Turkey’s economic outlook.

Current government policies emphasize populist spending measures and credit breaks, while implementation of structural economic reforms has slowed. The government is playing a more active role in some strategic sectors and has used economic institutions and regulators to target political opponents, undermining private sector confidence in the judicial system. Between July 2016 and March 2017, three credit ratings agencies downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit ratings, citing concerns about the rule of law and the pace of economic reforms.
Current government policies emphasize populist spending measures and credit breaks, while implementation of structural economic reforms has slowed. The government is playing a more active role in some strategic sectors and has used economic institutions and regulators to target political opponents, undermining private sector confidence in the judicial system. Between July 2016 and March 2017, three credit ratings agencies downgraded Turkey’s sovereign credit ratings, citing concerns about the rule of law and the pace of economic reforms.
Turkey remains highly dependent on imported oil and gas but is pursuing energy relationships with a broader set of international partners and taking steps to increase use of domestic energy sources including renewables, nuclear, and coal. The joint Turkish-Azerbaijani Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) is moving forward to increase transport of Caspian gas to Turkey and Europe, and when completed will help diversify Turkey's sources of imported gas.

After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program. The reforms strengthened the country's economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth averaging more than 6% annually until 2008. An aggressive privatization program also reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, power generation, and communication. Global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, but Turkey's well-regulated financial markets and banking system helped the country weather the global financial crisis, and GDP growth rebounded to around 9% in 2010-11, as exports and investment recovered following the crisis.

Since 2014, productivity and growth has slowed to reveal persistent underlying imbalances in the Turkish economy. In particular, Turkey’s low domestic savings and large current account deficit means it must rely on external investment inflows to finance growth, leaving the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence. The economy contracted in the third quarter of 2016 for the first time since 2009, in part due to a sharp decline in the tourism sector, and growth is likely to remain below potential in 2017. Other troublesome trends include rising unemployment and elevated inflation, which is likely to increase in 2017 given the Turkish lira’s recent depreciation against the dollar. Although government debt remains low at about 32% of GDP, bank and corporate borrowing has almost tripled as a percent of GDP during the past decade, outpacing its emerging-market peers and prompting investor concerns about its long-term sustainability.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$50.28 billion (2015 est.)
$55.8 billion (2014 est.)
$61.9 billion (2013 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
the war-driven deterioration of the economy resulted in a disappearance of quality national level statistics in the 2012-13 period
$1.698 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.65 trillion (2015 est.)
$1.555 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate-9.9% (2015 est.)
-36.5% (2014 est.)
-30.9% (2013 est.)
2.9% (2016 est.)
6.1% (2015 est.)
5.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,900 (2015 est.)
NA (2013 est.)
NA (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2015 US dollars
$21,100 (2016 est.)
$20,700 (2015 est.)
$20,100 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 19.5%
industry: 19%
services: 61.5% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 6.1%
industry: 28.5%
services: 65.5% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line82.5% (2014 est.)
21.9% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 30.3% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)47.7% (2016 est.)
38.1% (2015 est.)
8.5% (2016 est.)
7.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force3.37 million (2016 est.)
30.54 million
note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 17%
industry: 16%
services: 67% (2008 est.)
agriculture: 18.4%
industry: 26.6%
services: 54.9% (2016)
Unemployment rate50% (2016 est.)
50% (2015 est.)
10.9% (2016 est.)
9.2% (2014 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $494.5 million
expenditures: $2.665 billion
note: government projections for FY2016 (2016 est.)
revenues: $146.4 billion
expenditures: $151 billion (2016 est.)
Industriespetroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, automobile assembly
textiles, food processing, automobiles, electronics, mining (coal, chromate, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper
Industrial production growth rate-2.4% (2016 est.)
1.3% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk
tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, hazelnuts, pulses, citrus; livestock
Exports$2.304 billion (2016 est.)
$2.14 billion (2015 est.)
$143.8 billion (2015 est.)
$157.6 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat
apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment
Exports - partnersIraq 64.7%, Saudi Arabia 11.3%, Kuwait 7.1%, UAE 6.1%, Libya 4.6% (2015)
Germany 9.3%, UK 7.3%, Iraq 5.9%, Italy 4.8%, US 4.5%, France 4.1% (2015)
Imports$5.965 billion (2016 est.)
$6.663 billion (2015 est.)
$142.5 billion (2016 est.)
$207.2 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper
machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment
Imports - partnersSaudi Arabia 28.4%, UAE 13.9%, Iran 10.3%, Turkey 9.2%, Iraq 8.4%, China 6.2% (2015)
China 12%, Germany 10.3%, Russia 9.8%, US 5.4%, Italy 5.1% (2015)
Debt - external$5.918 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$410.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$397.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesSyrian pounds (SYP) per US dollar -
497.8 (2016 est.)
236.41 (2015 est.)
236.41 (2014 est.)
153.695 (2013 est.)
64.39 (2012 est.)
Turkish liras (TRY) per US dollar -
3.5 (2016 est.)
2.72 (2015 est.)
2.72 (2014 est.)
2.1885 (2013 est.)
1.8 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt57.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
52% of GDP (2015 est.)
29.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
34.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover central government debt, and excludes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are sold at public auctions
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$504.6 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$772.9 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$115 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$110.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$3.148 billion (2015 est.)
-$3.667 billion (2014 est.)
-$32.6 billion (2016 est.)
-$32.12 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$24.6 billion (2014 est.)
$856.8 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$188.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$219.8 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$195.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0.75% (31 December 2016)
5% (31 December 2015)
5.25% (31 December 2011)
15% (22 December 2009)
Commercial bank prime lending rate32% (31 December 2016 est.)
27% (31 December 2015 est.)
15.2% (31 December 2016 est.)
13.66% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$2.336 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.285 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$611.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$581.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$3.017 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.254 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$119.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$107.1 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$3.712 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.98 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$474.7 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$425.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues2% of GDP (2016 est.)
17.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-8.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-0.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 35.8%
male: 26.6%
female: 71.1% (2011 est.)
total: 17.8%
male: 16.6%
female: 20.2% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 63%
government consumption: 22.6%
investment in fixed capital: 21.2%
investment in inventories: 11.1%
exports of goods and services: 13.9%
imports of goods and services: -31.8% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 59.5%
government consumption: 14.7%
investment in fixed capital: 29.8%
investment in inventories: 3%
exports of goods and services: 16.7%
imports of goods and services: -23.2% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving20% of GDP (2015 est.)
18.5% of GDP (2014 est.)
14.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
13% of GDP (2016 est.)
14.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
15% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

SyriaTurkey
Electricity - production21 billion kWh (2014 est.)
261.8 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption17 billion kWh (2014 est.)
217.3 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports100 million kWh (2014 est.)
2.96 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports1.2 billion kWh (2012 est.)
7.41 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Oil - production30,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
50,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports58,260 bbl/day (2013 est.)
503,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
62,570 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves2.5 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
334.5 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves240.7 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
3.708 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production5.205 billion cu m (2014 est.)
398.7 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - consumption5.205 billion cu m (2014 est.)
48 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
623.9 million cu m (2015 est.)
Natural gas - imports249.2 million cu m (2011 est.)
48.43 billion cu m (2015 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity8.2 million kW (2014 est.)
73.15 million kW (2015 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels82.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
68% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants16.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
25.6% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
6.5% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production111,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
432,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption165,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
498,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports12,150 bbl/day (2013 est.)
217,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports76,050 bbl/day (2013 est.)
300,400 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy49 million Mt (2013 est.)
319 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 1,600,000
electrification - total population: 96%
electrification - urban areas: 100%
electrification - rural areas: 81% (2013)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

SyriaTurkey
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 4.082 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 11,493,057
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 14 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 13.904 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 81 (July 2015 est.)
total: 73.639 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 93 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the armed insurgency that began in 2011 has led to major disruptions to the network and has caused telephone and Internet outages throughout the country
domestic: the number of fixed-line connections increased markedly prior to the civil war in 2011; mobile-cellular service stands at about 80 per 100 persons
international: country code - 963; submarine cable connection to Egypt, Lebanon, and Cyprus; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) and 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean region); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; participant in Medarabtel (2015)
general assessment: comprehensive telecommunications network undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially in mobile-cellular services
domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay, is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity is roughly 105 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 90; international service is provided by the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable and by submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas that link Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; satellite earth stations - 12 Intelsat; mobile satellite terminals - 328 in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2015)
Internet country code.sy
.tr
Internet userstotal: 5.116 million
percent of population: 30% (July 2015 est.)
total: 42.681 million
percent of population: 53.7% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediastate-run TV and radio broadcast networks; state operates 2 TV networks and a satellite channel; roughly two-thirds of Syrian homes have a satellite dish providing access to foreign TV broadcasts; 3 state-run radio channels; first private radio station launched in 2005; private radio broadcasters prohibited from transmitting news or political content (2007)
Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) operates multiple TV and radio networks and stations; multiple privately owned national television stations and up to 300 private regional and local television stations; multi-channel cable TV subscriptions available; more than 1,000 private radio broadcast stations (2009)

Transportation

SyriaTurkey
Railwaystotal: 2,052 km
standard gauge: 1,801 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 251 km 1.050-m gauge (2014)
total: 12,008 km
standard gauge: 12,008 km 1.435-m gauge (3,216 km electrified) (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 69,873 km
paved: 63,060 km
unpaved: 6,813 km (2010)
total: 385,754 km
paved: 352,268 km (includes 2,127 km of expressways)
unpaved: 33,486 km (2012)
Waterways900 km (navigable but not economically significant) (2011)
1,200 km (2010)
Pipelinesgas 3,170 km; oil 2,029 km (2013)
gas 12,603 km; oil 3,038 km (2016)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Baniyas, Latakia, Tartus
major seaport(s): Aliaga, Ambarli, Diliskelesi, Eregli, Izmir, Kocaeli (Izmit), Mersin (Icel), Limani, Yarimca
container port(s) (TEUs): Ambarli (2,121,549), Mersin (Icel) (1,126,866)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Izmir Aliaga, Marmara Ereglisi
Merchant marinetotal: 19
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 14, carrier 1
registered in other countries: 166 (Barbados 1, Belize 4, Bolivia 4, Cambodia 22, Comoros 5, Dominica 4, Georgia 24, Lebanon 2, Liberia 1, Malta 4, Moldova 5, North Korea 4, Panama 34, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 9, Sierra Leone 13, Tanzania 23, Togo 6, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 629
by type: bulk carrier 102, cargo 281, chemical tanker 80, container 42, liquefied gas 6, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 60, petroleum tanker 25, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 29, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 1 (Italy 1)
registered in other countries: 645 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 7, Azerbaijan 1, Bahamas 3, Barbados 1, Belize 16, Brazil 1, Cambodia 15, Comoros 8, Cook Islands 4, Curacao 5, Cyprus 1, Dominica 1, Georgia 14, Italy 4, Kazakhstan 1, Liberia 16, Malta 233, Marshall Islands 70, Moldova 18, Panama 62, Russia 101, Saint Kitts and Nevis 18, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 13, Sierra Leone 9, Slovakia 1, Tanzania 13, Togo 4, Tuvalu 1, unknown 3) (2010)
Airports90 (2013)
98 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 29
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 16
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
total: 91
over 3,047 m: 16
2,438 to 3,047 m: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 61
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 48 (2013)
total: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Heliports6 (2013)
20 (2013)

Military

SyriaTurkey
Military branchesSyrian Armed Forces: Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces (includes Air Defense Forces), Intelligence Services (Air Force Intelligence, Military Intelligence)
Ministry of Interior: Political Security Directorate, General Intelligence Directorate, National Police Force (2017)
Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Turkish Land Forces (Turk Kara Kuvvetleri), Turkish Naval Forces (Turk Deniz Kuvvetleri; includes naval air and naval infantry), Turkish Air Forces (Turk Hava Kuvvetleri) (2013)
Military service age and obligation18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve (2017)
21-41 years of age for male compulsory military service (in case of mobilization, up to 65 years of age); 18 years of age for voluntary service; 12-month conscript obligation for non-university graduates, 6-12 months for university graduates (graduates of higher education may perform 6 months of military service as short-term privates, or 12 months as reserve officers); conscripts are called to register at age 20, for service at 21; women serve in the Turkish Armed Forces only as officers; reserve obligation to age 41; Turkish citizens with a residence or work permit who have worked abroad for at least 3 years (1095 days) can be exempt from military service in exchange for 6,000 EUR or its equivalent in foreign currencies; a law passed in December 2014 introduced a one-time payment scheme which exempted Turkish citizens 27 and older from conscription in exchange for a payment of $8,150 (2013)

Transnational Issues

SyriaTurkey
Disputes - internationalGolan Heights is Israeli-occupied with the almost 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force patrolling a buffer zone since 1964; lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms in the Golan Heights; 2004 Agreement and pending demarcation would settle border dispute with Jordan
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley
Illicit drugsa transit point for opiates, hashish, and cocaine bound for regional and Western markets; weak anti-money-laundering controls and bank privatization may leave it vulnerable to money laundering
key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, the US - via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin exist in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and over output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 560,000 (Palestinian Refugees) (2016); 16,879 (Iraq)
note: the ongoing civil war has more than 5.1 million Syrian refugees - dispersed in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey - as of July 2017
IDPs: 6.3 million (ongoing civil war since 2011) (2017)
stateless persons: 160,000 (2016); note - Syria's stateless population consists of Kurds and Palestinians; stateless persons are prevented from voting, owning land, holding certain jobs, receiving food subsidies or public healthcare, enrolling in public schools, or being legally married to Syrian citizens; in 1962, some 120,000 Syrian Kurds were stripped of their Syrian citizenship, rendering them and their descendants stateless; in 2011, the Syrian Government granted citizenship to thousands of Syrian Kurds as a means of appeasement; however, resolving the question of statelessness is not a priority given Syria's ongoing civil war
refugees (country of origin): 30,398 (Iraq); 6,966 (Iran) (2016); 3,049,879 (Syria) (2017)
IDPs: 1.108 million (displaced from 1984-2005 because of fighting between the Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs are Kurds from eastern and southeastern provinces; no information available on persons displaced by development projects) (2016)
stateless persons: 780 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook