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May 2014



The town of Soma, Turkey experienced a severe mining disaster on May 14, 2014. Soma is located along the Izmir-Bandirma railroad, approximately 40 miles (64 km) north northeast of Manisa, Turkey.

Turkey is located in both Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia. A portion of the country lies west of the Bosporus Strait, which is geographically in Europe. The country is slightly larger than Texas, with a temperate climate. It experiences hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The terrain of Turkey is comprised of a high central plateau, narrow coastal plains, and several mountain ranges.

Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian 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 wide-ranging 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 Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community. Over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy; it began accession membership talks with the European Union in 2005.

Ankara is the capital, however, the largest city is Istanbul (population over 10 million). Other major cities include: Izmir, Bursa, and Adana. The natural resources of Turkey include: coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, and hydropower. Turkey can experience severe earthquakes and limited volcanic activity.

CIA World Factbook; The Columbia Gazetteer, 4/2014; 5/2014

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