Turkish population

The Turkish people are scattered throughout the former Ottoman Empire. Today they form a majority in Turkey and Northern Cyprus. There are also significant Turkish minorities in Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Arab world.

The Turkish population refers to the number of ethnic Turkish people in the world.

During the Seljuk (1037–1194) and Ottoman (1299-1923) eras ethnic Turks were settled across the lands conquered by the two empires. In particular, the Turkification of Anatolia (modern Turkey) was the result of the Battle of Manzikert in 1077 and the formation of the Sultanate of Rum. Thereafter, the Ottomans continued Turkish expansion throughout the regions around the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Consequently, today the Turkish people form a majority in Turkey and Northern Cyprus. There are also significant Turkish minorities who still live in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Arab world.

More recently, the Turkish people have emigrated from their traditional areas of settlement for various reasons, forming a large diaspora. For example, from the mid-twentieth century onwards, unskilled mainland Turks settled mainly in German and French speaking countries of Western Europe as "guest workers"; in contrast, a "brain drain" of skilled workers migrated mostly to North America. Moreover, ethnic Turks from other traditional areas of settlement have emigrated mostly due to political reasons: the Meskhetian Turks were deported to Central Asia from Georgia in 1944 by the USSR authorities; Turkish Cypriots have emigrated mostly to the English-speaking world during the Cyprus conflict and its immediate aftermath.

Traditional areas of Turkish settlement

The 1965 Turkish census was the last census in which people were asked about their mother tongue. This map shows the distribution of people who spoke Turkish during this period.
Prior to the Cyprus dispute Turkish Cypriots lived throughout the island of Cyprus. However, the 1974 Cypriot coup d'état initiated by the Greek military junta, which sought to annex the island to Greece, prompted the Turkish invasion of Cyprus followed by the declaration of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus. Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983 the majority of Turkish Cypriots live mostly in the northern region of the island. The break-away state remains internationally unrecognised, except by Turkey.
Country Official State census figures Other estimates Constitution recognition See also
 Turkey N/A. The Turkish census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 55,000,000 - 59,500,000[1][2] The Turkish language is the official language of the Republic of Turkey, under Article 3 of the 1982 Turkish constitution. Turkish people
 Cyprus 1,128 (2011 Cypriot Census)[3] 2,000 Turkish Cypriots remain in the internationally recognized southern region of the Republic of Cyprus.[4] Under Article 2 of the Cypriot constitution the Turkish Cypriots, alongside the Greek Cypriots, form one of the two "Communities" in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots are therefore recognised as equal participants of the Republic rather than as a minority. Furthermore, under Article 3, the Greek and Turkish languages are the two official languages of Cyprus.[5]
Despite President Makarios III's attempt to amend the constitution and the aim to weaken the rights of Turkish Cypriots, under the 1963 Akritas plan, the original 1960 constitution is still legally in force today.
Turkish Cypriots
 Northern Cyprus 286,257 (2011 Turkish Cypriot census)[6] 300,000[7]-500,000[8] (includes Turkish Cypriots and recent Turkish settlers)
According to Article 2(2) of the 1985 constitution of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is only recognised by Turkey, the Turkish language is the sole official language of the break-away state.[9] Turkish Cypriots

Turkish minorities in the Balkans

Map of the Turkish population in Bulgaria. According to the 2011 Bulgarian census the Turks make up a majority in the Kardzhali Province (66.2%) and the Razgrad Province (50.02%).
According to the 2011 census of Kosovo the Turks make up a majority in Mamuša (93.1%).
According to the 2002 census of the Republic of Macedonia the Turks make up a majority in the Centar Župa Municipality (80.2%) and the Plasnica Municipality (97.8%).
According to the 2011 census of Romania the Turks make up a majority in Dobromir (61.93%) located in the Constanța County.
Country Official State census figures Other estimates Constitutional recognition/Minority status Further information Lists of Turks by country
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 267 (1991 Bosnian census)[10] 50,000[11][12] The Turkish language is officially recognized as a minority language, in accordance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, under Article 2, paragraph 2, of the 2010 ratification.[13] Turks in Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bulgaria 588,318 (2011 Bulgarian census)[14] 750,000[11] The Bulgarian constitution of 1991 does not mention any ethnic minorities and the Bulgarian language is the sole official language of the State. However, in accordance with Article 36(2), the Turkish minority has the right to study their own language alongside the compulsory study of the Bulgarian language. Moreover, under Article 54(1), the Turkish minority have the right to "develop their culture in accordance with his ethnic identification".[15] Turks in Bulgaria List of Bulgarian Turks
 Croatia 367 (2011 Croatian census)[16] 2,000[17] The Turks are officially recognised as a minority ethnic group, in accordance with the 2010 Constitution of Croatia.[18] Turks in Croatia
 Greece 179,895 (1951 Greek census)[19][20][21] 150,000[11]
(80,000[22] to 130,000 in Western Thrace,[23][24] 10,000[25] to 15,000 in Athens,[26] 5,000 in Rhodes and Kos,[27] and 5,000 in Thessaloniki)[26]
The Turks of Western Thrace have protected status to practice their religion and use the Turkish language, in accordance with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne. However, the other sizeable Turkish minorities in Greece have no official recognition.[28] Turks in Greece
 Kosovo 18,738 (2011 Kosovar census)[29] 30,000[30] to 50,000[11] The Turkish language is recognized as an official language in the municipalities of Prizren and Mamuša and has minority status in Gjilan, Pristina, Vučitrn, and Mitrovica.[31] Turks in Kosovo
 Republic of Macedonia 77,959 (2002 Macedonian census)[32] 170,000-200,000[33][34] Initially the 1988 draft constitution spoke of the "state of the Macedonian people and the Albanian and Turkish minority". Once the 1991 constitution came into force the Turkish language was used officially where Turks formed a majority in the Centar Župa Municipality and the Plasnica Municipality. Since the 2001 amendment to the constitution, the Turkish language is officially used where Turks form at least 20% of the population and hence it is also an official language of Mavrovo and Rostuša.[35] Turks in Macedonia
 Montenegro 104 (2011 Montenegrin census).[36] Turks in Montenegro
 Romania 28,226 (2011 Romanian census)[37] 55,000[38] to 80,000[39] The Turkish language is officially recognized as a minority language, in accordance with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, under Part III of the 2007 ratification.[13]Turks in Romania
 Serbia 647 (2011 Serbian census)[40] Turks in Serbia
Total N/A 1,300,000 (2011 estimate)[11] Turks in the Balkans

Turkish minorities in the Caucasus

The Meskheti region of Georgia had the largest Turkish population in Caucasus prior to the Second World War. In 1944 Joseph Stalin deported the Meskhetian Turkish minority to other parts of the Soviet Union, where they now form a large diaspora.
Country Official State census figures Other estimates Constitutional recognition/ Minority statusFurther information Lists of Turks by country
 Abkhazia 731 (2011 Abkhazian census)[41] 15,000[42] Turks in Abkhazia
 Armenia Turkish minority N/A.
Although the USSR censuses recorded a small number of Turks: 19 in 1970,[43] 28 in 1979,[44] and 13 in 1989,[45] they were not recorded in the 2001 Armenian census.
Turks in Armenia
 Azerbaijan Turkish minority N/A.
The 2009 Azeri census recorded 38,000 Turks;[46] however, it does not distinguish between the Turkish minority (descendants of Ottoman settlers who remained in Azerbaijan), Meskhetian Turks who arrived after 1944, and recent Turkish arrivals.
(Descendants of Ottomans settlers who remained in Azerbaijan only. This does not include the much larger Meskhetian Turkish and mainland Turkish arrivals who form a part of the diaspora)
Turks in Azerbaijan
 Georgia *Pre-World War II:
137,921 (1926 USSR Census).[48] The Turkish population was not recorded in later censuses; nonetheless, it is estimated that 200,000 Turks from Meskheti were deported to Central Asia in 1944.[48]
*Post-World War II:
The Meskhetian Turkish population in the USSR was published for the first in the 1970 census. However, by this point, the Turkish minority in Georgia had already diminished to several hundred due to the forced deportation of 1944.[48] There were 853 Turks in Georgia in 1970,[43] 917 in 1979,[44] and 1,375 in 1989.[45]
Although a small number has returned to Georgia, they have not been recorded in the 2002 Georgian census.
1,500[49][50] Meskhetian Turks

Turkish minorities in the Arab World

The majority of Iraqi Turks live in the so-called "Turkmeneli" region.
Turkish people form a majority in Kouachra and Aydamun, in the Akkar District of Lebanon.
Country Official State census figures Other estimates Constitutional recognition/Minority status Further information Lists of Turks by country
 Algeria 600,000-3,300,000[51][52][53][54] Turks in Algeria
 Egypt 100,000[55]-1,500,000[53][56] Turks in Egypt
 Iraq 567,000 (1957 census) 500,000–3,000,000[53][57]
3,000,000 (2013 Iraqi Ministry of Planning estimate)[58]
Under Article 14 of the draft of the first Iraqi constitution the Turks were one of the constitutive people of Iraq. However, due to the political dispute over the Mosul Question, which Turkey and Britain claimed as part of their territory, the Turkish minority in the Turkmeneli region were not mentioned in the 1925 and 1943 constitutions. Nevertheless, the 1932 Iraqi constitution was written in the Arabic, Kurdish and Turkish languages.[59] Under Article 3 of the current 2005 constitution the Iraqi Turks have been given official minority recognition. Furthermore, under Article 4, the Iraqi Turkmen/Turcoman language has been given official recognition.[60] Despite being called the "Turkmen/Turcoman" language, the Iraqi Turkoman Congress has adopted a Declaration of Principles, Article Three of which states that "The official written language of the Turkmans is Istanbul Turkish, and its alphabet is the new Latin alphabet."[61][62] Iraqi Turkmensa[]
 Jordan 60,000[53] Turks in Jordan
 Lebanon 80,000[63] Turks in Lebanon
 Libya 50,000[53] Turks in Libya
 Saudi Arabia 150,000[53] Turks in Saudi Arabia
 Syria 500,000-3,500,000[64][65][66][67][53][68] Syrian Turkmens
 Tunisia 500,000[53]-2,000,000[69] Turks in Tunisia
 Yemen 10,000-30,000[70][71] Turks in Yemen
Total 8,760,000 (1993 estimate)[53]

Turkish diasporas

Central Asia

Country Official State census figures Other estimates Further information Lists of Turks
 Kazakhstan 97,015 (2009 Kazakh census)[72] 150,000)[50]-180,000[49] (Meskhetian Turks only) Turks in Kazakhstan
 Kyrgyzstan 39,133 (2009 Kyrgyz census)[73] 50,000[74] to 70,000[75] (Meskhetian Turks only) Turks in Kyrgyzstan
 Tajikistan 1,360 (2010 Tajik census)[76] Turks in Tajikistan
 Turkmenistan 13,000 (2012 Turkmen census)[77] Turks in Turkmenistan
 Uzbekistan 106,302 (1989 Uzbek census)[78] 15,000[79]-38,000[49][80] (Meskhetian Turks only) Turks in Uzbekistan


Country Official State census figures Other estimates Further information Lists of Turks
 Austria N/A. The Austrian census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 350,000[81][82][83]-500,000[84][85] Turks in Austria List of Austrian Turks
 Azerbaijan 38,000 (2009 Azeri census)[46]
90,000-110,000 (Meskhetian Turks only)[50] Turks in Azerbaijan
 Belarus 55 (1989 Belarusian Census)[86]
 Belgium N/A. The Belgian census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 200,000[87][88] to 250,000[89][90][91][92] Turks in Belgium List of Belgian Turks
 Czech Republic 1,700[93]
 Denmark N/A. The Danish census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 70,000[94] 80,000[95] Turks in Denmark
 Estonia 544 (2011 Estonian census)[96]
 Finland 10,000[97] Turks in Finland
 France N/A. The French census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 800,000[98]- 1,000,000[99][100] Turks in France List of French Turks
 Germany N/A. The German census collects data on country of birth and citizenship but does not collect data on ethnicity. 3,500,000[101][102] 4,000,000 [103][104][105][106][107][108][109][110][111]
2,000 Turkish Cypriots[112]
Turks in Germany List of German Turks
 Hungary 1,565 (2001 Hungarian census)[113] 2,500[114] Turks in Hungary
 Iceland 68[115]
 Ireland N/A. The Irish census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 3,000[116] Turks in Ireland
 Italy N/A. The Italian census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 30,000-40,000[117][118] (excluding the Turkish minority in Moena) Turks in Italy
 Latvia 142[119] lv:Turki Latvijā
 Liechtenstein 1,000[120] Turks in Liechtenstein
 Lithuania 35[121]
 Luxembourg 450[122]
 Malta 53[123]
 Moldova Turks in Moldova
 Monaco 57[124]
 Netherlands N/A. The Dutch census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 400,000-500,000[125] to 627,000[126]
Plus 10,000-30,000 Bulgarian Turks.[127]
Turks in the Netherlands List of Dutch Turks
 Norway N/A. The Norwegian census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 16,000[128] Turks in Norway
 Poland 2,500[129] Turks in Poland
 Portugal 250[130]
 Russia Recorded 105,058 Turks and 4,825 Meskhetian Turks (2010 Russian census)[131] 120,000-150,000[132] Turks in Russia
 Slovakia 150[133]
 Slovenia 259 (2002 Slovenian census)[134]
 Spain N/A. The Spanish census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 4,000[135] Turks in Spain
 Sweden N/A. The Swedish census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 100,000[136][137]-200,000[138][139]
Plus 30,000 Bulgarian Turks[140]
Turks in Sweden
  Switzerland N/A. The Swiss census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 100,000[141]-120,000[142][143] Turks in Switzerland List of Swiss Turks
 Ukraine Recorded 8,844 Turks and 336 Meskhetian Turks (2001 Ukrainian census)[144] 10,000 (Meskhetian Turks only)[50] Turks in Ukraine
 United Kingdom N/A. The British census collects data on country of birth but does not collect data on ethnicity. 500,000 (including 300,000-350,000 Turkish Cypriots)[145] Turks in the United Kingdom List of British Turks
Total 9 to 10 million[11][146][147]

North America

Country Official State census figures Other estimates Further information Lists of Turks
 Canada 55,430 (2011 Canadian census)[148] 100,000[149][150][151]
Plus 1,800 Turkish Cypriots[112]
Turkish Canadians List of Turkish Canadians
 United States 206,911 (2014 American Community Survey estimate)[152] 500,000[153][154]
Plus 16,000 Meskhetian Turks[49]
Plus 5,000 Turkish Cypriots[112]
Turkish Americans List of Turkish Americans


Country Official State census figures Other estimates Further information Lists of Turks
 Australia 66,919 (2011 census)[155] 150,000[156] to 200,000[157]
Plus 40,000-120,000 Turkish Cypriots[112][158][159][160]
Turkish Australians List of Turkish Australians
 New Zealand 957 (2013 census)[161] 2,000-3,000[162]
Plus 1,600 Turkish Cypriots[112]
Turks in New Zealand

Other regions

Country Official State census figures Other estimates Further information Lists of Turks by country
 India Turks in India came Directly from Turkey To delhi .They came for trade and for their old art work . 100000[163] Turks in India
 Peru 12,000[164]

References and notes

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  4. Hatay, Mete (2007), Is the Turkish Cypriot Population Shrinking? (PDF), http://www.prio.no/: International Peace Research Institute, p. 40, ISBN 978-82-7288-244-9
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  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Cole, Jeffrey (2011), Ethnic Groups of Europe: An Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 367–368, ISBN 1-59884-302-8, Today Turkish/Muslim populations residing in the former European Turkey approximately amounts to 1.3 million, with roughly 50,000 in Bosnia- Herzegovina, 50,000 in Kosovo, 55,000 in Romania, 150,000 in Greece, 200,000 in the Republic of Macedonia, 750,000 in Bulgaria, and the rest living in various Balkan countries. This estimate does not included those citizens of Turkey who work and reside in the Balkans...
  12. Minahan, James (1998), Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 45, ISBN 0313306109
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  29. European Centre for Minority Issues Kosovo. "Minority Communities in the 2011 Kosovo Census Results: Analysis and Recommendations" (PDF). p. 4. Retrieved 2015-11-22.
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  40. Попис становништва, домаћинстава и станова 2011. у Републици Србији: Становништво према националној припадности - „Oстали“ етничке заједнице са мање од 2000 припадника и двојако изјашњени
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  47. Minahan, James (1998), Miniature Empires: A Historical Dictionary of the Newly Independent States, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 19, ISBN 0313306109, ...numbering about 19,000. The Turks are the remnant of a larger Turkish population that has mostly assimilated into Azeri culture since the seventeenth century, aided by the similarity between the Turkish and Azeri languages and cultures. Many of the Turks came to the region when Azerbaijan formed part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Unlike the majority of the Azeris, the Turks are mostly Sunni Muslim.
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