Villages of Turkey

A village (Turkish: köy) is the smallest settlement unit in Turkey.

Hierarchical model

There are 81 provinces (Turkish: il) in Turkey. The governor of each province is called vali. There are a number of districts (Turkish: ilçe) in each province. In İstanbul, the most populous province, the number of districts is 39. But in small provinces the number may be as low as 3. In 51 provinces, the capital of the province is also a district known as the central district with the same name. (i.e., The central district of Karaman Province is called Karaman) In 30 provinces however, the capital city is also divided into central districts all of which have unique names. The total number of districts is 919 (including the 51 central districts). The governor of each district is called kaymakam .

Smaller units

There are more than 30000 villages in Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire era the villages were called karye, but in Turkey they are known as köy. There are several hundred villages in each province. All villages are in the rural areas of the districts. The village heads are called muhtar.

During the early years of the Turkish Republic, sub districts called bucak had been established for the villages in remote areas. The center of the sub district was chosen as one of the villages. Now although they continue as a legal entity in 51 province, they have almost no administrative function.

Villages as neighborhoods

According to law 6360, beginning by 2013 in 30 provinces the villages were officially considered as the neighborhoods (Turkish: mahalle) of the districts .[1] Thus the municipalities in the district centers were held responsible for the villages also. The number of villages (and subdistricts) which were renamed as neighborhood is 16803[2]But this legal organization doesn't affect the 18214 villages with a total population of 8.7% in other 51 provinces.[3] Thus the other villages, except for the more populous villages with municipalities of their own, (Turkish: belde ) don't have any municipal services other than what can be carried on by the muhtars.


Some examples of Turkish villages (Except Çakırlar and Ayvalı all of them are officially called neighborhood)

Hayriye inegol 001

(İnegöl district of Bursa Province)

Cami cevresi

(Yapraklı district of Çankırı Province)

IMG 0221 Harbiye - Hatay province - Turkey

(Antakya Central district of Hatay Province)


(İskenderıun district of Hatay Province)


(Karaburun district of İzmir Province)

Cemilli, Mersin Province

(Mezitli Central district of Mersin Province)

Limonlu Mersin Province

(Erdemli district of Mersin Province)

Selimiye koyu

Selimiye, Marmaris
(Marmaris district of Muğla Province)


Dalyan (Ortaca district of Muğla Province)

Ayvalı, Nevşehir

(Ürgüp district of Nevşehir Province

Kumbag Tekirdag 2010

(Süleymanpaşa Central district of Tekirdağ Province)

Keferze 07

Midyat district of Mardin Province


  1. ^ Official gazette ‹See Tfd›(in Turkish)
  2. ^ "Atlas essay Yusuf Yavuz" (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2014-04-08.
  3. ^ Statistical Institute ‹See Tfd›(in Turkish)
Administrative divisions of Turkey

Turkey has a unitary structure in terms of administration and this aspect is one of the most important factors shaping the Turkish public administration. When three powers (executive, legislative and judiciary) are taken into account as the main functions of the state, local administrations have little power. Turkey is a unitary not a federal system, and the provinces are subordinated to the centre. Local administrations were established to provide services in place and the government is represented by the governors and city governors. Besides the governors and the city governors, other senior public officials are also appointed by the central government rather than appointed by mayors or elected by constituents.Within this unitary framework, Turkey is subdivided into 81 provinces for administrative purposes. Each province is divided into districts, for a total of 923 districts. Turkey is also subdivided into 7 regions and 21 subregions for geographic, demographic and economic purposes; this does not refer to an administrative division.

The largely centralized structure of decision-making in Ankara is often considered an impediment to good governance, and causes resentment in particular in ethnic minority regions. Steps towards decentralization since 2004 have proved to be a highly controversial topic in Turkey. Turkey is obligated under the European Charter of Local Self-Government to decentralize its administrative structure. A decentralization program for Turkey is an ongoing discussion in the country's academics, politics and the broader public.Turkey is subdivided in a hierarchical manner to subdivisions;



Belde (semi-rural)

Villages (rural)

Neighbourhoods (urban)

Küçük Tavşan Adası

Küçük Tavşan Adası (literally "little rabbit island") are a pair of adjacent Turkish islands located in the Aegean Sea north of Gölköy, in Bodrum.

The islands are typical of fishing villages of Turkey.

Modern Greek

Modern Greek (Νέα Ελληνικά néa elliniká or Νεοελληνική Γλώσσα neoellinikí glóssa) refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, and includes Standard Modern Greek. The end of the Medieval Greek period and the beginning of Modern Greek is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic modern features of the language arose centuries earlier, between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries AD.

During most of the period, the language existed in a situation of diglossia, with regional spoken dialects existing side by side with learned, more archaic written forms, as with the vernacular and learned varieties (Dimotiki and Katharevousa) that co-existed throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Muhtar (title)

Muhtar is the elected village head in villages of Turkey in addition to Lebanon which was part of the Ottoman empire until 1918. In cities, likewise, each quarter has a muhtar but with a slightly different status. Muhtars and their village councils (Turkish: Azalar or İhtiyar heyeti) are elected during local elections for five years. However, political parties are not permitted to stand candidates for these posts.

Population exchange between Greece and Turkey

The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey (Greek: Ἡ Ἀνταλλαγή, romanized: I Antallagí, Ottoman Turkish: مبادله‎, romanized: Mübâdele) stemmed from the "Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations" signed at Lausanne, Switzerland, on 30 January 1923, by the governments of Greece and Turkey. It involved at least 1.6 million people (1,221,489 Greek Orthodox from Asia Minor, Eastern Thrace, the Pontic Alps and the Caucasus, and 355,000 Muslims from Greece), most of whom were forcibly made refugees and de jure denaturalized from their homelands.

The population exchange was envisioned by the new state of Turkey as a way to formalize, and make permanent, the flight of its native Greek Orthodox peoples following their genocide (1914–1922), while initiating a new exodus of a smaller number of native Muslims from Greece to supply settlers for the now depopulated Greek Orthodox villages of Turkey, while Greece saw it as a way to supply its masses of propertyless Greek Orthodox refugees from Turkey with lands to settle from the exchanged native Muslims of Greece.This major compulsory population exchange, or agreed mutual expulsion, was based not on language or ethnicity, but upon religious identity, and involved nearly all the indigenous Orthodox Christian citizens of Turkey (the Rûm "Roman/Byzantine" millet), including even Turkish-speaking Orthodox citizens, and most of the native Muslims of Greece, including even Greek-speaking Muslim citizens. Each group were citizens, and mostly native peoples, of the state seeking to expel them, and neither had representation in the state purporting to speak for them in the exchange treaty.

Provinces of Turkey

Turkey is divided into 81 provinces (Turkish: il). Each province is divided into a number of different districts (ilçe). Each provincial government is seated in the central district (merkez ilçe). The central district usually bears the name of the province (e.g. the city of Van is the central district of Van Province). There are only three exceptions to this naming scheme:

Adapazarı of Sakarya Province

Antakya of Hatay Province

İzmit of Kocaeli ProvinceEach province is administered by an appointed governor (vali) from the Ministry of the Interior.

Tabaklar, Emirdağ

Tabaklar is a village in the District of Emirdağ, Afyonkarahisar Province, Turkey.

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