"The lands of Turkey are located at a point where the three continents, making up the old world, Asia, Africa and Europe are closest to each other, and straddle the point where Europe and Asia meet- (http://www.turkishembassy.org/countryprofile/index.htm). With a population of 68,109,469(July 2003) growing at a rate of 1.16% Turkey has two main ethnic groups; Turkish 80% and Kurdish 20% who are mostly Sunni Muslims covering a population of 99" with the other 0.2% being mostly Christians or Jews. Turkey gained its independence as a national state from the Ottoman Empire on 29 October 1923 and adopted a constitution only on 7 November 1982. The Gross Domestic Product for the year 2002 was $489.7 billion which is growing at a rate of 7.8%. The per capita GDP of Turkey is $7,300 (2002 est.). The inflation rate and unemployment rates remain high at 45.2% (2002 est.) and 10.8% (2002 est.) respectively. Turkey's annual budget comprises of an exceeding expenditure over revenue; revenues at $42.4 billion and expenditure mount to $69.1 billion (2001). The industrial production growth rate is 8.5% for 2002. Turkey's exports and imports for the year 2002 sum up to $35.1 billion f.o.b. and $50.8 billion c.i.f. Turkey is a current member of a large number of international organizations such as, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CERN (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECO, ESCAP, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, MONUC, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMISET, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC. (http://www.politinfo.com/infodesk/countryfacts/tu.html © Copyright 2001-2004 PolitInfo.com. InfoDesk Contributors and Copyright Information).
The relations between Turkey and The European Union date back to the application of Turkey for membership into the European Economic Community (EEC), later the EU, in 1959 only two years after the its formation and the signing of the Treaty of Rome for an "Ever closer union for the people of Europe- by its founders.