Czech Republic

  Czech Republic, Europe

The Czech Republic, or Czech Republic officially, is a country in Central Europe. It borders Poland to the north, Germany to the west and northwest, Austria to the south and Slovakia to the east.

The historical city of Prague, in addition to being the capital and largest city of the country, is a very interesting tourist center. Country; It consists of the regions of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. The Czech Republic became a member of the European Union on 1 May 2004.

The country’s world-renowned products; crystal, glasswork and garnet. In addition, beer is one of the most important symbols of the country, both in terms of production and culture. In many countries, local brewers got their naming rights from this country, especially the city of Plzeň in the Bohemia region.

Etymology

The short name of the country was officially “Czechsia” with a decision taken on 3 July 2016. The Prague administration has notified the English, French, German, Russian, Arabic and Chinese equivalents of the country’s new name to all international organizations, especially the United Nations. “Czech Republic” is still used as the official name of the state.

History

The ancestors of today’s Czechs are Slavs who migrated to Central Europe from the Black Sea and Carpathian mountains in the 5th century.

The Principality of Great Moravia was established in the region in the 8th century. In 874, Bořivoj of Czech origin accepted Christianity and declared his independence from the Principality of Great Moravia, thus the first Bohemian state emerged. The Přemyslovců Dynasty, founded by Bořivoj I, ruled Bohemia until the end of the middle ages. Bohemia, one of the most powerful states in Central Europe, was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Hussite Wars in the 15th century and the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century caused great damage to the people of Bohemia. From the 16th century, the region came under the rule of the Habsburgs. As the Holy Roman Empire weakened, Bohemia became part of the Austrian Empire and then the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1918, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed at the end of World War I; Slovakia, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Carpathian Ruthenia united to form a country called Czechoslovakia.

II. After the start of World War II, Slovakia left Czechoslovakia in agreement with Nazi Germany. On May 9, 1945, Soviet Union and American troops entered the country, ending the German occupation of the country. Czechoslovakia was reunified. In 1948, the administration passed into the hands of the communists. After this date, Czechoslovakia took part in the Eastern Bloc for 41 years.

Alexander Dubček, who came to power on January 5, 1968, initiated a period of political liberalization. However, this period, called the Prague Spring, ended on August 20 of the same year, when the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies (excluding Romania) invaded the country. In November 1989, Czechoslovakia returned to capitalism in a bloodless revolution called the Velvet Revolution. Czechoslovakia peacefully split into two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on 1 January 1993. Large-scale economic reforms were carried out in both countries. Czech Republic; It joined NATO on 12 March 1999 and the European Union on 1 May 2004. The Czech Republic has been included in the European visa union as of 21 December 2007.

Administrative structure

Since 2000, the Czech Republic consists of 13 provinces and the capital, Prague. Each province has its own council (krajské zastupitelstvo) and governor (hejtman). In Prague, parliamentary and presidential powers are exercised by the city council and the mayor.

The Czech Republic is governed by a multi-party parliamentary system. There are 200 deputies in the House of Representatives and 81 in the Senate.

From 1993 to 2012, the president was elected by the parliament for a 5-year term and could serve a maximum of two terms. In 2013, the president was directly elected by the people. Miloš Zeman became the first directly elected president.

The government is accountable to the House of Representatives. Bohuslav Sobotka, who took office on January 17, 2014, is still serving as the 11th Prime Minister. A 5% election threshold is applied in the country. Members of the House of Representatives are elected for a four-year term. There are 14 administrative constituencies.

Economy

As of 2017, the Czech Republic’s GDP per capita in terms of PPP is $35,223 (similar to Israel, Italy or Slovenia) and $20,152 in face value. As of November 2018, the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic was the lowest in the European Union at 1.9%, and the Czech Republic had the second lowest rate of poverty among OECD members after Denmark. Czech Republic; 24th in both the Economic Freedom Index (following Norway) and the Global Innovation Index (following Australia), 29th in the Global Competitiveness Report, 30th in the Ease of Doing Business Index, and Global Trade Enabling It is ranked 25th (after Canada) in its report. Both in export and import, the trade partners in general are the members of the European Union, with Germany being the largest trading partner.

The Czech Republic displayed a diversified economy and ranked 10th in the 2016 ‘Economic Composition Index’. In the country, 60% of the economy is services, 37.5% is industry, and 2.5% is agriculture. Major industry input; high-tech engineering, electronics, automotive and machine building, steelmaking, transportation equipment manufacturing, chemical product manufacturing, and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Major services include Research and Development, ICT and Software Development, Nanotechnology and Life Sciences such as Biotechnology among others. The main agricultural products are cereals, vegetable oils and hops. The largest Czech companies are Skoda Auto, RWE Supply Trading and Unipetrol.

Geography

The Czech Republic is located at latitudes 48° and 51° N and longitudes 12° and 19° E, except for a small region north of 51°.

The landforms in the country vary according to the region. Bohemia in the west has river basins, hills and plateaus surrounded by generally low mountains. Moravia in the east of the country is mountainous.

Demography

94.2% of the population of the Czech Republic is made up of Czechs. Small minorities include Slovaks (1.9%) and Germans (0.4%). There are also some Poles living in the country. The majority of the population lives in cities. The most densely populated areas are the capital city of Prague and Pilsen, Brno and Ostrava.

Religion

The Czech Republic is the country with the largest atheist population in the EU after Estonia. 60% of the population does not have a religious belief. Some churches and monasteries that are not used today serve as concert halls and museums.

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