According to the last demographic census, which was carried out on 20 October 1935, 16,200,694 residents were counted in Turkey, with an average density of 21.2 residents. per sq. km. (52.8 per sq. Km. In European Turkey, where 7.8% of the Turkish population lives, and 20.2 per sq. Km. In Asia). In the different vilâyet the population is divided as follows:
Administratively, the territory of Turkey is divided into vilâyet, the vilâyet in kaza (364), the kaza in nahiye (771), the nahiye in kasaba or villages (40.186). The number of vilâyet, which was 63, was reduced in May 1933 to 57, but then later in December 1935 it was increased to 62 (63 including the area of Tungeli, which embraces the mountainous territory of Dersim).
The first census of the republic, which was carried out in 1927, had instead counted 13,648,270 residents, so that in 8 years there was an increase of 18.7% equal to an annual increase of 2.3%. The increase itself was overall fairly uniform, as it fluctuated between a minimum of 14.6% and 14.9% in central Anatolia and the vilâyet bathed by the Sea of Marmara and the Aegean Sea and a maximum of 22.6% in SE Anatolia. and 30.4% in eastern Anatolia (where some omissions had probably occurred in 1927). However, it should be remembered that between 1914 and 1927, due to the world war and the war for the liberation of the country, the exodus of most of the Greeks and Armenians who survived the massacres of the numerous victims of the Kurdish revolt (1925), there had been a notable decrease of 13%. In fact, within the current borders Turkey counted, in 1914, 15,702,500 residents Compared to the pre-war period, the regions of the center, already sparsely populated, are decreasing, and above all the territories located to the east of the Euphrates. On the other hand, on the rise: a) the coal area of Eraclea-Zonguldak;) the southern vilâyets, located between the Euphrates Valley and the Gulf of Alexandretta (Malatya, Seyhan, Içel); c) some northern vilâyet.
Regarding the population density, if we take away the big cities, it is quite uniform, as evidenced by the fact that out of 57 vilâyet 25 have a population between 15 and 25 residents per sq km. and 40 between 10 and 30. Only 5 exceed 40 residents and only 4 remain below 10. The lowest values are those of some mountainous districts of the vilâyet of Van towards the border with Persia (Yüksekova, 1.1 residents per sq. km.; Şitak, 2.5).
The problem of minorities, even after the exodus of the Greeks and Armenians and the massacres of the latter and despite having been made less alive with the exchange of populations, is not completely resolved and the number of residents who have a language is still high. mathematics other than Turkish, as appears from the following data (1927):
The Kurds (see the entry kurdistān for this population) are very numerous especially in the vilâyet of SE., Diyarbekir (132,000, equal to 68.8% of the population), Malatya (128,323; 41.9%), Mardin (109,850; 59.8), Elâziz (112.500; 44.3) and constitute the majority of the population in the vilâyet of Aǧri (59.5), Bitlis (74.9), Hakâri (68.0; the latter two now suppressed), Siirt (74.8), Van (76.5). Arabic is spoken in the Vilayet of Cilicia bordering Syria, especially Mardin (51,750, just under one-third of the residents), Urfa (25,600) and Siirt (20,200, representing a fifth of the population).
The Greeks decreased from one million and 250 thousand in 1900 to just 120 thousand, three quarters in Constantinople. Even the few Armenians who remain are now almost all in the latter city (46 thousand), while in the pre-war period there were 170 thousand in the vilâyet of Sïvas and 135 thousand in those of Erzerum and Muç, mostly massacred, in part they took refuge in the neighboring Armenian Soviet republic, in part exiles in America and elsewhere. The Jews, dedicated to trade, while the Greeks were also sailors and the Armenians artisans, are almost all in the three vilâyet of Constantinople (39,200), Smyrna (16,800) and Adrianople (5900) and in smaller numbers in Brussa (1720) and Çanakkale (1300). In Constantinople there are also 6,000 Albanians and 5,000 Bulgarians. Finally, the Circassians are found numerous (at least 1000 units) in about twenty vilâyet, but especially in those of Kayseri (13.600), Bolu (12.100), Kocaeli (8960), Tokat (7150), Balïkesir (6430). Italian is spoken by about 7000 people (in Constantinople and Smyrna).
The consequence of the exchange of populations is the high number of people born in the Balkan Peninsula, 101 thousand in Bulgaria (1927), 75 thousand in Greece, 24 thousand in Yugoslavia, which has increased considerably in recent years. In fact, it appears that from 1923 to 1933 the immigrants (muhacir, also göçmen) were 628,300, of which 380,000 individuals subject to exchange. Between June 1933 and June 1934 the number of immigrants was 15,300 and somewhat higher in the following year. The main regions of origin are Bulgaria and Dobruja. The national policy of the Turkish government has also greatly reduced the number of foreigners, who are in greater numbers Greeks (26,530), Italians (11,600) and Bulgarians (7,500). For Turkey 2006, please check computergees.com.
The anthropological differences have less importance, given that it has now been demonstrated (by Pittard and others) that the Turks have nothing in common with the Mongols and the Tatars, even if they have some linguistic relationship with them; it is in fact a population of white race, which represents the westernmost group of a lineage that in Asia has many relatives, of generally high stature (1.71 among the Turks of Asia), mainly brachycephalic, rather leptorini, with straight nose, frequently aquiline, dark eyes and hair, moderately widespread hairiness, tendency to obesity, high and wide forehead. A very common drink among both urban and rural populations is yo ǧ urt (fermented milk), common foods are kebap (whole cooked lamb) and pilaf (chicken cut into pieces mixed with rice, mutton fat, saffron, pepper, tomato, honey) and the famous sweets, very sweet (tatli). Coffee is also widely consumed. Hospitality in the inland regions is proverbial, while the coasts, especially those of the Mediterranean, maintain Levantine characteristics and the long bargaining (pazarlïk) is still in use in the bazaars, which are galleries with arcades, where commercial life is concentrated., generally placed in a central place, while on the outskirts the shops are infrequent.
Political sentiment is now very different from that of the past due to the strengthening, sometimes in an exaggerated form, of national sentiment and the contempt for the culture of other countries. The use of one of the best known exterior badges, the fez, was banned on September 2, 1925.
Turkey then underwent a profound transformation on the religious side, following the rejection of Islam from the state religion, which led to the abolition of the caliphate (1924) and of Islamic law (abolition of the shar ī ‛ ah courts, abolition of the mystical brotherhoods and closure of the tekke); among the juridical consequences of this radical transformation, the most important were the recognition of the equalization of the two sexes and the suppression of polygamy. The state (and in part also the population) is increasingly orienting itself towards a secular direction.
Considerable progress has been made by Turkey in the cultural field; the main stages are connected with the introduction of the European calendar in place of the one that began with the ègira, with the abolition of the Arabic alphabet and the introduction of the Latin one (1928), with the adoption of the metric system, with the ever greater diffusion of primary education, with a marked tendency to approach the European mentality.
The number of illiterates, already very high, has been decreasing with prodigious speed. According to official reports, the number of those who could read and write had risen between 1923 and 1933 from 7 to 35 percent.