The country straddles Asia and Europe, with the border between the two continents running through Istanbul, Turkey's largest city. Turkey is a republican parliamentary democracy, and Turkish is its official language. English is widely spoken in Istanbul. In 2011, Turkey boasted the fastest-growing economy in Europe, but it is currently expanding at only about 2 percent annually. Talks with the European Union for full membership began in 2005, but have stalled in 2013.

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