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Portal:Countries

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The Countries Portal

map showing countries with full recognition and some UN non-member states; some disputed territories are not shown
map showing countries with full recognition and some UN non-member states; some disputed territories are not shown

A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship.

A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. It is not inherently sovereign.

Countries can refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities, while other times it can refer only to states. For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".

The largest country in the world by geographical area is Russia, while the most populous is China, followed by India, the United States, Indonesia, Pakistan and Brazil. The newest UN member is South Sudan. Admission of new members requires the approval of the General Assembly; and UN membership has since 1991 been reserved to sovereign states. (Full article...)

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Madagascar (/ˌmædəˈɡæskər, -kɑːr/; Malagasy: Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar (Malagasy: Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, Malagasy pronunciation: [republiˈkʲan madaɡasˈkʲarə̥]; French: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the coast of East Africa. At 592,800 square kilometres (228,900 sq mi) Madagascar is the world's second-largest island country. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar (the fourth-largest island in the world) and numerous smaller peripheral islands. Following the prehistoric breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana, Madagascar split from the Indian subcontinent around 88 million years ago, allowing native plants and animals to evolve in relative isolation. Consequently, Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population and other environmental threats.

The archaeological evidence of the earliest human foraging on Madagascar may date up to 10,000 years ago. Human settlement of Madagascar occurred by Austronesian peoples, arriving on outrigger canoes from present-day Indonesia, where the contemporary social and religious situation was that of Hinduism and Buddhism, along with native Indonesian culture. These were joined around the 9th century AD by Bantu migrants crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. Other groups continued to settle on Madagascar over time, each one making lasting contributions to Malagasy cultural life. The Malagasy ethnic group is often divided into 18 or more subgroups, of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. (Full article...)

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Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye [ˈtyɾcije]), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Western Asia and Southeast Europe. It shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria to the northwest; the Black Sea to the north; Georgia to the northeast; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Iran to the east; Iraq to the southeast; Syria and the Mediterranean Sea to the south; and the Aegean Sea to the west. Istanbul, the largest city, is the financial centre, and Ankara is the capital. Turks form the vast majority of the nation's population, and Kurds are the largest minority.

One of the world's earliest permanently settled regions, present-day Turkey was home to important Neolithic sites like Göbekli Tepe, and was inhabited by ancient civilisations such as the Hattians and Anatolian peoples. Hellenization started in the area during the era of Alexander the Great and continued into the Byzantine era. The Seljuk Turks began migrating in the 11th century, and the Sultanate of Rum ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th century, the Ottomans started uniting the principalities and conquering the Balkans, and the Turkification of Anatolia increased during the Ottoman period. After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire became a global power. From the late 18th century onwards, the empire's power declined with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening empire, Mahmud II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century. The 1913 coup d'état effectively put the country under the control of the Three Pashas, who were largely responsible for the Empire's entry into World War I in 1914. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek subjects. After the Ottomans and the other Central Powers lost the war, the Ottoman Empire was partitioned. The Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allied Powers resulted in the abolition of the Sultanate on 1 November 1922, the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne (which superseded the Treaty of Sèvres) on 24 July 1923 and the proclamation of the Republic on 29 October 1923. With the reforms initiated by the country's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Turkey became a secular, unitary and parliamentary republic; which was later replaced by a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Since then, the new Turkish governmental system under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party, the AKP, has often been described as populist, conservative and authoritarian. (Full article...)

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