Demographics of Turkey
Demographics of Republic of Turkey
Turkey-demography.png
1961–2007
Population: 72,586,256[1]
(2009 est.)
Growth rate: 1.45% (2009 est.)
Birth rate: 17.0 births/1,000
population (2010)
Death rate: 6.0 deaths/1,000
population (2008 est.)
Life expectancy: 73.7 years (2009)
–male: 71.5 years (2009)
–female: 76.1 years (2009)
Fertility rate: 2.03 children born/woman (2010)
Infant mortality rate: {{{infant_mortality}}}
Age structure:
0-14 years: 25.5% (male 9,133,226; female 8,800,070)
15-64 years: 67.7% (male 24,218,277; female 23,456,761)
65-over: 6.8% (male 2,198,073; female 2,607,551) (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Under 15: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65-over: 0.84 male(s)/female
Nationality:
Nationality: noun: Turk(s) adjective: Turkish
Major ethnic: Turks
Minor ethnic: Kurds, Lazs, Azerbaijanis, Zazas, Chechens, Circassians, Arabs, Albanians, Tatars, Armenians, Greeks
Language:
Official: Turkish
Spoken: Turkish, Kurdish, Neo-Aramaic Laz, Georgian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Pontic, Zazaki, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Kabardian, Armenian, Ladino

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Turkey, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

As of 2010, the population of Turkey is estimated to be 73.7 million[2] with a growth rate of 1.21% per annum (2009 figure).[3] The population is relatively young with 26.6% falling in the 0-14 age bracket.[4] According to the OECD/World Bank population statistics in Turkey the population growth from 1990 to 2008 was 16 million and 29 %.[5]


Population in Turkey [5]
Year Million
1971 36.21
1980 44.44
1990 55.12
2000 64.30
2004 67.73
2008 71.08
Source: OECD/World Bank

Contents

Population

Year Population
2007 70,586,256
2008 71,517,100 +1.32%
2009 72,561,312 +1.46%
2010 73,722,988 +1.60%

Source: Turkish Statistical Institute[6]

Birth statistics

Birth statistics of Turkey have been started to get from The Central Population Administrative System (MERNIS) data base after MERNIS had on-line application in 2001. Birth statistics are updated continually because MERNIS has dynamic structure. [7] In 2010 Turkey had a crude birth rate of 17.0 per 1000, down form 20.3 in 2001. The total fertility rate (TFR) in 2010 was 2.03 children per woman. The crude birth rate in 2010 ranged from 11.4 in West Marmara (TFR 1.51) to 27.3 in Southeast Anatolia (TFR 3.46).

Live births Crude birth rate (per 1000)
2001 1 323 002 20.3
2002 1 229 199 18.6
2003 1 198 443 17.9
2004 1 221 483 18.0
2005 1 241 835 18.1
2006 1 251 370 18.0
2007 1 284 543 18.3
2008 1 288 772 18.1
2009 1 254 946 17.4
2010 1 238 970 17.0


Immigration

Ottoman Empire period

Throughout its history, the Ottoman Empire welcomed altogether hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of Spanish and Portuguese Jews after 1492; political and confessional refugees from Central Europe: Russian schismatics in 17-18th centuries, Nekrasov Cossacks (after rebellion), Polish and Hungarian revolutionaries after 1848, Jews escaping the pogroms and later the Shoah, White Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Russian and other socialist or communist revolutionaries, Trotskyists fleeing the USSR in the 1930s;

Republican Period (since 1923)

People moving into Turkey during the Republican Period include Muslim refugees (Muhajir) from formerly Muslim-dominated regions invaded by Christian States, like Crimean Tatars, Circassians and Chechens from the Russian Empire, Algerian followers of Abd-el-Kader, Mahdists from Sudan, Turkmens, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other Central Asian Turkic-speaking peoples fleeing the USSR and later the war-torn Afghanistan, Balkan Muslims, either Turkish-speaking or Bosniaks, Pomaks, Albanians, Greek Muslims etc., fleeing either the new Christian states or later the Communist regimes, in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria for instance.

Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, there has been a considerable influx of Eastern Europeans to Turkey, particularly from the former USSR. Some of them have chosen to become Turkish citizens, while others continue to live and work in Turkey as foreigners. The district of Laleli in Istanbul is known with the nickname "Little Russia" due to its large Russian community and the numerous street signs, restaurant names, shop names and hotel names in the Russian language.

Property acquisition since the 1990s

After a change in the Turkish constitution increased foreigners' right to purchase real estate in the country in 2005, a large number of people, mostly pensioners from Western Europe, bought houses in the popular tourist destinations and moved to Turkey. The largest groups, according to the volume of purchases, are the Germans, British, Dutch, Irish, Italians and Americans.

Religion

There are no statistics of people's religious beliefs nor is it asked in the census. According to the government, 99.8% of the Turkish population is Muslim, mostly Sunni, some 10 to 15 million are Alevis.[8] The remaining 0.2% is other - mostly Christians and Jews.[4] The Eurobarometer Poll 2005 reported that in a poll 96% of Turkish citizens answered that "they believe there is a God", while 1% responded that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".[9] In a Pew Research Center survey, 53% of Turkey's Muslims said that "religion is very important in their lives".[10] Based on the Gallup Poll 2006-08, Turkey was defined as More religious, in which over 63 percent of people believe religion is important.[11][12] According to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, 62% of women wear the headscarf or hijab in Turkey.[13][14][15] 33% of male Muslim citizens regularly attend Friday prayers.

Religious groups according to estimates:[8][16]

  • Muslim - 96.83% (80-85% Sunni, 15-20% Alevi)
  • Christian - 0.13% (60% Armenian Orthodox, 20% Syrian Orthodox, 10% Protestant, 8% Chaldean Catholic, 2% Greek Orthodox)
  • Jewish - 0.03% (96% Sephardi, 4% Ashkenazi)
  • Bahá'í Faith - 0.01%
  • Atheist - 3%

The vast majority of the present-day Turkish people are Muslim and the most popular sect is the Hanafite school of Sunni Islam, which was officially espoused by the Ottoman Empire; according to the KONDA Research and Consultancy survey carried out throughout Turkey on 2007[17]:

  • 40.8% defined themselves as "a religious person who strives to fulfill religious obligations" (Religious)
  • 42.3 % defined themselves as ""a believer who does not fulfill religious obligations" (Not religious).
  • 2.5% defined themselves as "a fully devout person fulfilling all religious obligations" (Fully devout).
  • 10.3% defined themselves as "someone who does not believe in religious obligations" (Non-believer).
  • 4.1% defined themselves as "someone with no religious conviction" (Atheist).

Ethnic groups

Anatolia and Turkish people during 1919–1920

The word Turk or Turkish also has a wider meaning in a historical context because, at times, especially in the past, it has been used to refer to all Muslim inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire irrespective of their ethnicity.[18] The question of ethnicity in modern Turkey is a highly debated and difficult issue. Figures published in several different sources prove this difficulty by varying greatly.

It is necessary to take into account all these difficulties and be cautious while evaluating the ethnic groups. A possible list of ethnic groups living in Turkey could be as follows:[19]

  1. Turkic-speaking peoples: Turkmen, Azeris, Tatars, Karachays, Karakalpaks, Uzbeks, Crimean Tatars and Uyghurs
  2. Indo-European-speaking peoples: Kurds, Zaza-Dimli Kurds[20][21], Bosniaks, Albanians, Pomaks, Armenians, Hamshenis and Greeks
  3. Semitic-speaking peoples: Arabs, Assyrians/Syriacs and Jews
  4. Caucasian-speaking peoples: Circassians, Georgians, Laz and Chechens

Proving the difficulty of classifying the ethnicities of the population of Turkey, there are as many classifications as the number of scientific attempts to make these classifications. Turkey is not unique in this respect; many other European countries (e.g. France, Germany) also bear a great ethnic diversity that defies classification. The immense variation observed in the published figures for the percentages of Turkish people living in Turkey (ranging from 75 to 97%) simply reflects differences in the methods used to classify the ethnicities, with a main factor being the choice of whether to exclude or include Kurds. Complicating the matter even more is the fact that the last official and country-wide classification of spoken languages (which do not exactly coincide with ethnic groups) in Turkey was performed in 1965; many of the figures published after that time are very loose estimates.

According to a newspaper, there is a 2008 report prepared for the National Security Council of Turkey by academics of three Turkish universities in eastern Anatolia, estimating approximately 55 million ethnic Turks, 9.3 million Kurds, 3,000,000 Zazas, 1,500,000 Circassians, 1,300,000 Albanians 1,000,000 Bosniaks, 1,000,000 Georgians, 870,000 Arabs, 600,000, Pomaks, 80,000 Laz, 60,000 Armenians, 25,000 Assyrians/Syriacs, 20,000 Jews and 5,000 Greeks living in Turkey.[22]

Turks

Turkish women and a school boy from Istanbul, 1873.

The Oğuz people (western branch of the wider Turkic peoples) began arriving in the region as mercenary soldiers under the Abassid caliphs over a thousand years ago. Their origins were in the Altay region (across the boundary of modern day Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia and China). The Oghuz became substantially mixed during their westward migrations, with Persians, Armenians and other Caucasian peoples.

The Oğuz people, which once constituted the majority of the reigning fraction of Turkic people in Anatolia, gained political, cultural and military dominance in the region but remained for centuries only a small part of the population, demographically speaking. Anatolia, which was formerly a part of many civilizations like the Hittites and the Byzantine Empire, was (and still is) an ethnically very mixed region where the last official religion was Greek Orthodox, but there are also adherents of other Christian churches or "deviant" Christian or syncretist movements, as well as Jews.

The Turkic migrations were not only westwards, but also south into South Asia, Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, north into Siberia and east into Korea (although some sources contest this). The wider Turkic peoples therefore represent one of the most widely distributed ethnicities in the world. Other non-Ottoman Turkic tribes are present in Turkey include the Karakalpaks, Turkmens, Kazakhs, Kumyks, Uzbeks, Tatars, Azeris, Balkars, Uyghurs, Karachays, Nogai and Kyrgyz, mostly the result of modern migrations from the former Soviet Union.

Kurds

The Kurdish identity remains the strongest of the many minorities in modern Turkey. This is perhaps due to the mountainous terrain of the south-east of the country, where they predominate and represent a majority. They inhabit all major towns and cities across Turkey, however.[citation needed] No accurate up-to-date figures are available for the Kurdish population, because the Turkish government has outlawed ethnic or racial censuses. Though some estimates such as the CIA World Factbook place their population at approximately 18%.[4] Another estimate, according to Ibrahim Sirkeci, an ethnic Turk, in his book The Environment of Insecurity in Turkey and the Emigration of Turkish Kurds to Germany, based on the 1990 Turkish Census and 1993 Turkish Demographic Health Survey, is 17.8%.[23]

The Minority Rights Group report of 1985 (by Martin Short and Anthony McDermott) gave an estimate of 15% Kurds in the population of Turkey in 1980, i.e. 8,455,000 out of 44,500,000, with the preceding comment 'Nothing, apart from the actual 'borders' of Kurdistan, generates as much heat in the Kurdish question as the estimate of the Kurdish population. Kurdish nationalists are tempted to exaggerate it, and governments of the region to understate it. In Turkey only those Kurds who do not speak Turkish are officially counted for census purposes as Kurds, yielding a very low figure.'. In Turkey: A Country Study, a 1995 on-line publication of the U.S. Library of Congress, there is a whole chapter about Kurds in Turkey where it is stated that 'Turkey's censuses do not list Kurds as a separate ethnic group. Consequently, there are no reliable data on their total numbers. In 1995 estimates of the number of Kurds in Turkey is about 8.5 million.' out of 61.2 million, which means 13%. Kurdish national identity is far from being limited to the Kurmanji language community, as many Kurds whose parents migrated towards Istanbul or other large non-Kurdish cities mostly speak Turkish, which is one of the languages used by the Kurdish nationalist publications. According to some sources, Kurmanji Kurds are related with Kuman Turks.

Pontians

There are still up to 2,000, mainly elderly, people speaking this ancient dialect in Turkey today.[citation needed]

Arabs

Armenians

Armenians in Turkey have an estimated population of 40,000 (1995) to 70,000.[24][25] Most are concentrated around Istanbul. The Armenians support their own newspapers and schools. The majority belong to the Armenian Apostolic faith, with smaller numbers of Armenian Catholics and Armenian Evangelicals.

Assyrians/Syriacs

An estimated 25,000 Assyrians/Syriacs live in Turkey, with about 17,000 in Istanbul and the other 8,000 scattered in southeast Turkey. They belong to the Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, and Chaldean Catholic Church. The Mhallami, who usually are described as Arabs, have Assyrian/Syriac ancestry. They live in the area between Mardin and Midyat, called in Syriac "I Mhalmayto" (ܗܝ ܡܚܠܡܝܬܐ).

Azerbaijanis

According to some sources, there are about 800,000 Azerbaijanis, however this figure may differ substantially from the real one.Up to 300,000 of Azeris who reside in Turkey are citizens of Azerbaijan.They currently are the largest ethnic group in the city of Iğdır and second largest ethnic group in Kars.

Chechens

Towards the end of the Russian-Circassian War (1763–1864) many Chechens fled their homelands in the Caucasus and settled in the Ottoman Empire.

Circassians

Towards the end of the Russian-Circassian War (1763–1864) many Circassians fled their homelands in the Caucasus and settled in the Ottoman Empire.

Georgians

Lazs

Most Lazs today live in Turkey but the Laz minority group has no official status in Turkey. Their number today is estimated to be around 250.000[26][27][28]
and 500.000[29][30] Lazes are Sunni Muslims. Only a minority are bilingual in Turkish and their native Laz language which belongs to the South Caucasian group. The number of the Laz speakers is decreasing, and is now limited chiefly to the Rize and Artvin areas. The historical term Lazistan — formerly referring to a narrow tract of land along the Black Sea inhabited by the Laz as well as by several other ethnic groups — has been banned from official use and replaced with Doğu Karadeniz (which also includes Trabzon). During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, the Muslim population of Russia near the war zones was subjected to ethnic cleansing; many Lazes living in Batum fled to the Ottoman Empire, settling along the southern Black Sea coast to the east of Samsun.

Roma people

A Gipsy camp near Istanbul (1901)

The Roma in Turkey descend from the times of the Byzantine Empire. There are officially about 500,000 Roma in Turkey,[31][32][33] though the unofficial estimations of experts don't agree with this number. Sulukule, located in Western Istanbul, is the oldest Roma settlement in Europe.

Converts from Christianity and Judaism

Islam spread slowly over many generations either through voluntary or forced conversions; many poor families chose to become Muslims in order to escape a special tax levied on conquered millet peoples or for reasons of upward mobility. Another common motivation was to escape the devşirme system for recruiting Janissaries to the Ottoman forces, and the similar institution of using dhimmi children to serve as odalisques or köçeks in the Ottoman harems or as tellaks in the hammams. Conversion to Islam was usually accompanied by the adoption of the Ottoman-Turkish language and identity and eventual acceptance into the mainstream population, because conversion was generally irreversible and resulted in ostracism from the original ethnic group.

While smaller converted groups generally assimilated to the culturally dominant Turkish ethnicity, some have maintained a distinct ethnicity for centuries. The Hamshenis are an ethnic group of (originally) Armenians who converted to Islam in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but still keep some pre-Islamic traditions and retain the use of two distinct Armenian dialects. Their Laz neighbours name them "Sumekhi" the Turkish term for Armenians. There are also some Pontic Greek Muslims.

Among the Black Sea Turkish intellectuals, there has been in the last few years a revival of interest for the forgotten ethnic and religious identities of their ancestors. The research by Özhan Öztürk, but also the books of Ömer Asan and Selma Koçiva, are good illustrations at this trend.

There have also been, through the 19th and 20th centuries and still nowadays, rumors of the existence, mostly in rural and small town areas, of sizable populations of Crypto-Christians and Crypto-Jews, notably among the Dönme, descendants of Sabbatai Zevi's followers who had to convert en masse following Zevi's example.

Largest cities

view · talk · edit view · talk · edit Largest cities of Turkey
TurkStat. Address-based calculation from December, 2010[34]
Rank City Name Province Pop. Rank City Name Province Pop.
Istanbul
Istanbul

Ankara
Ankara

1 Istanbul Istanbul 12,946,730 11 Kayseri Kayseri 826,523 İzmir
İzmir

Bursa
Bursa

2 Ankara Ankara 4,223,398 12 Eskişehir Eskişehir 629,609
3 İzmir İzmir 3,948,848 13 Denizli Denizli 498,643
4 Bursa Bursa 1,667,321 14 Şanlıurfa Şanlıurfa 498,111
5 Adana Adana 1,584,053 15 Samsun Samsun 495,145
6 Kocaeli Kocaeli 1,560,138 16 Adapazarı Sakarya 414,537
7 Konya Konya 1,036,027 17 Kahramanmaraş Kahramanmaraş 412,252
8 Antalya Antalya 928,229 18 Malatya Malatya 401,705
9 Diyarbakır Diyarbakır 843,460 19 Van Van 367,419
10 Mersin Mersin 843,429 20 Elazığ Elazığ 331,479

Languages spoken

Turkish (official), Kurdish, Circassian, Zazaki, Arabic, Azeri, Armenian, Syriac, Bulgarian, Albanian, Laz, Georgian, Greek, and Bosnian.

Language Mother tongue Only language spoken Second best language spoken
Abaza 4,563 280 7,556
Albanian 12,832 1,075 39,613
Arabic 365,340 189,134 167,924
Armenian 33,094 1,022 22,260
Bosnian 17,627 2,345 34,892
Bulgarian 4,088 350 46,742
Bulgarian - Pomak 23,138 2,776 34,234
Chechen 7,563 2,500 5,063
Circassian 58,339 6,409 48,621
Croatian 45 1 1,585
Czech 168 25 76
Dutch (or Flemish) 366 23 219
English 27,841 21,766 139,867
French 3,302 398 96,879
Georgian 34,330 4,042 44,934
German 4,901 790 35,704
Greek 48,096 3,203 78,941
Italian 2,926 267 3,861
Kurdish (Kurmanji) 2,219,502 1,323,690 429,168
Judæo-Spanish 9,981 283 3,510
Laz 26,007 3,943 55,158
Persian 948 72 2,103
Polish 110 20 377
Portuguese 52 5 3,233
Romanian 406 53 6,909
Russian 1,088 284 4,530
Serbian 6,599 776 58,802
Spanish 2,791 138 4,297
Turkish 28,289,680 26,925,649 1,387,139
Zaza 150,644 92,288 20,413

Languages spoken in Turkey, 1984 data[35]

Minorities

Modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as secular (Laiklik, Turkish adaptation of French Laïcité), i.e. without a state religion, or separate ethnic divisions/ identities.

The concept of "minorities" has only been accepted by the Republic of Turkey as defined by the Treaty of Lausanne of 1924 and thence strictly limited to Greeks, Jews and Armenians, only on religious matters, excluding from the scope of the concept the ethnic identities of these minorities as of others such as the Kurds who make up 15% of the country; others include Assyrians/Syriacs of various Christian denominations, Alevis and all the others.

There are many reports from sources such as (Human Rights Watch, European Parliament, European Commission, national parliaments in EU member states, Amnesty International etc.) on persistent yet declining discrimination.

Certain current trends are:

  • Turkish imams get salaries from the state (like Greek Orthodox clerics in Greece), whereas Turkish Alevi as well as non-Orthodox and non-Armenian clerics are not paid
  • Imams can be trained freely at the numerous religious schools and theology departments of universities throughout the country; minority religions can not re-open schools for training of their local clerics due to legislation and international treaties dating back to the end of Turkish War of Independence. The closing of the Theological School of Halki is a sore bone of contention between Turkey and the Eastern Orthodox world;
  • The Turkish state sends out paid imams, working under authority from the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı) to various European or Asian countries with Turkish- or Turkic-speaking populations, with as local heads officials from the Turkish consulates;
  • Turkey has recently engaged in promulgating a series of legal enactments aiming at removal of the procedural hurdles before the use of several local languages spoken by Turkish citizens such as Kurdish (Kurmanji), Arabic and Zaza as medium of public communication, together with several other smaller ethnic group languages. A few private Kurdish teaching centers have recently been allowed to open. Kurdish language TV broadcasts on 7/24 basis at the public frequency denominated in the government-owned TRT 6, while the private national channels show no interest yet. However there are already several satellite Kurdish TV stations operating from Kurdish Autonomous Region at Northern Iraq and Western Europe, broadcasting in Kurdish, Turkish and Neo-Aramaic languages, Kurdistan TV, KurdSAT, etc.;
  • Non-Muslim minority numbers are said to be falling rapidly, mainly as a result of aging, migration (to Israel, Greece, the United States and Western Europe).
  • There is concern over the future of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, which suffers from a lack of trained clergy due to the closure of the Halki school. The state does not recognise the Ecumenical status of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

According to figures released by the Foreign Ministry in December 2008, there are 89,000 Turkish citizens designated as belonging to a minority, two thirds of Armenian descent.[36]

CIA World Fact Book demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook,[4] unless otherwise indicated.

Population 73,722,988 (December 2010)

Age structure 0-14 years: 26.6%
15-64 years: 67.1%
65 years and over: 6.3%

Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate 23.94 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth total population: 72.5 years
male: 70.61 years
female: 74.49 years (2011 est.)

Nationality noun: Turk(s)
adjective: Turkish

Ethnic groups Turkish 85-90 %, Kurdish 5-8 %, others 2-3 % (2008 est.)

Religions Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Languages Turkish (official), Kurdish, Arabic, other minority languages

Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 87.4%
male: 95.3%
female: 79.6% (2004 est.)

References

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  2. ^ "Turkish Statistical Institute". Turkstat.gov.tr. http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/PreHaberBultenleri.do?id=8428. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  3. ^ "Turkey - Data & Statistics". World Bank. http://go.worldbank.org/KMLVYJ93M0. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
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  5. ^ a b CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion Population 1971-2008 (pdf pages 83-85) IEA (OECD/ World Bank) original population ref e.g. in IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2010 page 57)
  6. ^ Population Statistics And Projections
  7. ^ Turkish Statistical Institute
  8. ^ a b Shankland, David (2003). The Alevis in Turkey: The Emergence of a Secular Islamic Tradition. Routledge (UK). ISBN 0-7007-1606-8. http://books.google.com/?id=lFFRzTqLp6AC&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=Religion+in+Turkey. 
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  11. ^ 2009 Gallup poll Gallup Poll
  12. ^ Gallup World View
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  19. ^ Andrews, Peter A. Ethnic groups in the Republic of Turkey., Beiheft Nr. B 60, Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients, Wiesbaden: Reichert Publications, 1989, ISBN 3-89500-297-6 ; + 2nd enlarged edition in 2 vols., 2002, ISBN 3-89500-229-1
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  29. ^ ecoi.net
  30. ^ http://www.usefoundation.org/view/865
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