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Historical Development in Turkey and Iran

Iran and Turkey are two Islamic countries that had undergone turmoil from its leaders but had survived. These two countries are rich in natural resources and continuously growing in every area of their economy, education and language and religion. This paper intent to scrutinize the historical development in Turkey and Iran. II. Discussion *Iran Iran or Islamic Republic of Iran is a country of southwestern Asia. Until 1935, it was known in the West as Persia. Iran is bounded by the Soviet Union, the Caspian Sea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and Turkey.

The area is about 636,300 square miles (1,648,000 km2). A. Economy After the World War II, especially during the 1960’s and 1070’s, much was done by the government to transform Iran into a modern, industrial nation. Industrial expansion and diversification were actively pursued, as was land reform. The rapid rise in world petroleum prices in the 1970’s and large Iranian oil exports provided the nation with enormous amounts of money to invest. Industrial growth and rapid change resulted in social and religious unrest and a revolution in 1979.

Growth of the economy has subsequently slowed, partly because of a prolonged war with Iraq (Bakhash, 2004). • Agriculture Agriculture provides a livelihood for most Iranian but contributes only a small part of the gross national product (GNP). Farming methods are generally centuries-old, and total output is relatively low. Only about 5 to 6 percent of the land is used for grazing livestock. Much more of Iran could be cultivated if water for irrigation were available. The construction of dams and irrigation systems has been a major undertaking by the government.

Wheat, barley, rice, and other grains are Iran’s chief crops. Sugar beets and sugarcane are also grown in large amounts, as are vegetables and fruits. Other crops include cotton, tea, and tobacco. After poultry, the most numerous farm animals are sheep, goats, and cattle. Many of the sheep and goats are herded by nomads in the drier parts of Iran (Bakhash, 2004). • Mining Petroleum and natural gas are Iran’s principal mineral resources. Iran has about one-twelfth of the world’s leading producers. Natural gas reserves are second only to those of the Soviet Union, but production is still relatively low.

Crude and refined petroleum account for most Iran’s foreign exchange. Production is mostly from wells in or near the head of the Persian Gulf. Many other minerals, including coal and ores of iron, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc, are beginning to be mined on a large scale (Irving, 1999). • Manufacturing Iran’s manufacturing industries contribute substantially to the economy. The chief activities are petroleum refining and the making of petrochemicals. One of the world’s largest refineries is at Abadan at the head of the Persian Gulf.

At Isfahan is a large steel plant, and Ahvaz has rolling mills and other cities. Motor vehicles, electrical appliances, and a wide variety of food and household items are also produced (Irving, 1999). • Transportation Rugged mountains and barren deserts make transportation difficult in Iran. There are few roads or railways in the east; most of the transport network focuses on Tehran. From there, railways and roads extend to the principal cities and the Persian Gulf. Pipelines link the major oil fields and refineries and serve the chief domestic markets.

Khark Island is the site of one of the Persian Gulf’s main petroleum export terminals. Iran Air is the government-owned airline. Tehran and Abadan have large international airports (Irving, 1999). B. The People The majority of the people are Iranians, or Persian. They are the descendant of the Indo-European people who are settled in the area about 1000 B. C. and of various invaders from the Altaic regions. About one-fourth the population consists of Azerbaijanis, a Turkic-speaking people who live in the northwest and northeast, Arabs are in the southwest.

Kurds live in the northwest; Lurs in the west, There are small groups of Assyrians, Armenians, and Jews (Keddie & Hooglund, 2002). • Language and Religion The official and prevailing language of Iran is Farsi, or Persian. Farsi, an Indo-European language, is written in Arabic script. More than 90 percent of the people are Shiite Moslems, and the Shiite branch of Islam is the official religion. Its religious leaders, called ayatollahs, are highly influential in Iran. Five percent, mostly Kurds and Turks, are Sunnite, or orthodox, Moslems (Keddie & Hooglund, 2002).

• Education Five years of primary school are followed by three additional years of elementary school called guidance school and four years secondary school (general or academic). Major institutions of higher learning are the University of Tehran (founded 1934) and the National University of Iran (1959), also at Tehran. The literacy rate is only about 40 percent because schooling is not available everywhere and the older generation has a high rate of illiteracy (Keddie & Hooglund, 2002). C. Government

Iran is an Islamic republic, meaning that the government is guided by the precepts of Islam. Under the constitution of 1979, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government are under the supreme authority of Iran’s chief religious leader, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A president, directly elected for a four-year term, serves as head of state. The head of government is the prime minister, who is chosen by the president. Members of the legislature, the Majlis, are elected for four-year terms (Keddie & Hooglund, 2002). D. History After 1935

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