Thursday, September 6, 2012
In 1943, Turkey issued a souvenir sheet honoring Mustafa Izmet Inonu, its second president (Scott #915a). 25,000 were issued, and Scott '12 prices the unused sheet at $70.00. Inonu is remembered as statesman who maintained Turkey's neutrality in World War II, thereby facilitating its recovery from the carnage of World War I, and who presided over Turkey's development as a modern nation.
With a population of about 72 1/2 million, Turkey is perhaps the most culturally European of the Islamic nations, and a likely model for their modernization, economic development, and democratization. The country experienced rapid economic growth between 2002 and 2007, with GDP averaging 7.4%, but this slowed in 2008 to 5% and stalled in 2009 to 1%, due to the global financial crisis, from which the country is recovering. While traditional agriculture is still a pillar of the Turkish economy, it is becoming more dependent on industry. Key sectors include tourism, banking, construction, home appliances, electronics, textiles, oil refining, petrochemical products, food, mining, iron and steel, the machine industry, automotive, and shipbuilding. It is likely that in the future, Turkey will benefit from serving as an economic and cultural nexus connecting Europe, the Near East, and the Turkic (formerly Soviet) nations of Central Asia.
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