In the early ages, the country occupied by the Iberian tribes (Lusitanians), BC. It became a province of the Romans in the 1st century. Then the Vandals, Suevler (a German tribe) were invaded by Visigoths from the 5th century to the 8th century. In 711, the country fell into the hands of Muslims. Andalusian Umayyads (756-1031), Teva 11.if-i Müluk (11th century) Islamic states were established and dominated the region. The region between the Douro and Minho rivers into the tenth century was called Terra Portucallis. Portucallis consists of a combination of Latin Portas (port) and Calle (castle).

Portugal became an independent kingdom in 1143. His borders widened with his battles against the Merinis. Towards the middle of the thirteenth century, the present borders of Portugal were completed. Portuguese sailors spread throughout the world in the 15th century. In the next century, they established a large colonial empire in Asia, Africa and South America, holding most of the trade between Europe and the East. In 1598, in a battle against the cities of Morocco, when Portugal suffered a heavy defeat, the empire suddenly collapsed. Spain benefited from the weakening of the country, Portugal in 1580 by adding to the territory, managed up to 1640.

Portugal became independent again in 1688 under the Lisbon Treaty. But Portugal lost its former glory, and an alliance agreement was signed with Britain in 1703 until the 20th century. In the 19th century, he had to fight against Napoleon because he was an ally with the British. While the country was at war with France, in 1811 the king and his family took refuge in Brazil. In this period the empire began to collapse. When Brazil declared its independence in 1822, Portugal lost its only source of great wealth.

The whole of the nineteenth century and early 20th century was a period of economic and political instability for Portugal. Violent partisan struggles, civil wars pushed the country into turmoil. The king was killed in 1908, two years later in 1910 was declared a republic. The republic period, which lasted for sixteen years, was quite unstable, during which forty-eight governments were formed and at least twenty-five coup attempts. In 1926, he took over the army administration and for forty-eight years the country was ruled by General Franko as a dictatorship. When the government was dismissed as a result of a coup d’etat by young officers on April 25, 1974, a military junta led by General Antonio de Spinola took control. President Spinola was forced to resign at the end of September of the same year as a result of pressure from leftist officers. In April 1975, despite the fact that the democratic parties won 64% of the vote, the Soviet-backed communist party increased its influence. Banks, insurances and industry were nationalized. The new constitution, which came into force in 1976, has also clearly demonstrated the goal of transition to socialism. In the general elections held after the new Constitution, no party had achieved a majority. Socialist Party President Mário Soares established a minority government. The President of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Antánio Ramalho Eones was elected. The government headed by Mário Soares resigned in December 1977. The coalition government established in January and a series of coalitions formed thereafter were short-lived. After the elections in 1980, the center-right Democratic Alliance came to power with a large majority. This government made major changes to the constitution and opened the way for civilian administration. In 1982, upon the government crisis, the President decided to hold early elections. The Socialist Party of Portugal, which became the first party in the elections held in April 1983, formed a coalition with the Social Democratic Party. Portugal was taken to the EEC on January 1, 1986. Soares was elected as the first civilian president in February 1986 after a break of 60 years. In July 1987, the Social Democratic Party increased the number of its seats to a large extent, leading to a stable coalition government. In the elections held in 1991, the Social Democratic Party maintained its first place.

Physical Structure

Portugal is mostly covered with low and medium-high land. More than 70% of the soil is below 400 meters above sea level. The Tagus River divides the country into two distinct regions. The north of the Tagus River is largely mountainous. In particular, 90% of the land is over 400 meters north of the Douro River.

The large plateaus were split into deep valleys. In some places the mountains exceed 50 m inside and 910 m above sea level. There is a triangular coastal plain between the Douro and Tagus rivers and there are several large valleys in the interior. The Serra de Estrela Range, which stretches towards Spain, reaches a height of 1991 meters in Torre Torre (Portugal’s highest peak). The other great rivers other than the Tagus and Douro, which spilled into the Atlantic Ocean from this region, are Minho, Mondego and Zezere, which form part of the Spanish border in the north. Approximately 60% of the territory to the south of the Tagus River is below 200 m. It is an area covered by undulating plains and low plateaus. High hills are rare and only a mountain range called Serra de Sao Mamede exceeds 900 m. The only major river in this region is the Guadiana River, which flows in the north-south direction and forms a wide valley and poured into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern tip of the country.


In the north of Portugal, temperate (moderate) climate and a warm climate prevail in the south. Cold winds bringing rain from the west during the winter. But when it comes to summer, there is a warm wave of dry weather from the south and little rain. As the northern part has a colder climate than the south, it receives more precipitation on most days of the year than it was exposed to the ocean winds blowing from the west. As it goes southward from the Tagus River, rainfall decreases and hot-dry summer continues for a long time.

The temperatures on the Portuguese coast are almost the same everywhere. In Lisbon, in the middle of the west coast, temperatures range from 7 ° C to 15 ° C in January and from 18 ° C to 28 ° C in July.

Natural Resources

Approximately 35% of Portugal is forested. 90% of the forests are covered with oak trees. Other important trees are chestnuts, figs, carob and almonds. Portuguese oak is the world’s first in making cork. Most wild animals, like wild rabbits and foxes, are small. The deer is located in mountainous areas. The underground riches are tungsten, copper, iron, marble, granite and slate.

Population and Social Life

In Portugal, which has a population of 10,372,000 people do not differ in terms of ethnicity. Most of the Portuguese are a bit shorter than the average European average, with black eyes and black eyes. The population of the present-day population is composed of people coming to the Iberian Peninsula at different times. These are Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Jews, Germanic tribes, Arabs and Berbers.

The Portuguese have been migrating to the world since the 15th century. The government seriously prohibited immigration in the 1960s in order to maintain its workforce. However, thousands of young Portuguese people continue to leave the country unlawfully and flee to France and other Western European countries for more wages. At the same time, there is migration from the villages to the city centers with new industries. The most important city in the middle of the west coast is Lisbon, with a population of 2,063,000. Other important cities are Oporto, Amadora, Coimba, Borreiro, Braga, Almada and Coimbra.

The official language of the country is Portuguese. 98% of the population is Roman Catholic, but there are few thousand Protestants and few Jews.

In Portugal, primary education is compulsory and starts from the age of 6. In the country where the literacy rate is 70%, the higher education is carried out in the universities of Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra, the Technical and Catholic University of Lisbon and in different institutes.

Political Life

Portekiz, which entered into a socialist administration with the new constitution which was put into force in April 1976, is divided into 18 administrative regions. The main governing bodies are the president, the revolutionary council and the government. The Revolutionary Council consisted of 4 officers and 14 officers elected from the armed forces. Portugal is a member of NATO.

The elections in 1980 were mostly won by the Democratic Alliance, centered on the center-right. The new government has made many changes in the constitution and opened the way for civilian administration. The Social Democrat Party won the elections in October 1985, defending the free market economy. In February 1986, Mário Soares won the presidential election and became the first civilian president after a hiatus of 60 years. In the same year Portugal was taken to the EEC. With the amendment made in 1989, socialism statements were removed from the constitution.


Portugal is one of the least developed countries in Europe and the level of life in the country is low. 31% of the working population works in agriculture, 35% in industry and trade and 34% in various services. The manufacturing and construction industry provides more than two-fifths of the gross national product. Agriculture provides only one third of the gross national product.

In Portugal, food industry, textile, furniture and construction sector have a significant place since. There are milling, sugar, fish, canned and olive oil factories related to the food industry. The main products of the textile industry are cotton, twisted wool yarn and dress. In connection with the clothing industry, shoe manufacturing has also been developed. Forest riches; It is used in the production of paper pulp, paper, bottle cork, tar, resin, nephth oil and especially in furniture.

One of the most important new industrial branches is the electronic machinery and its auxiliary components. The establishment of oil refineries has led to the development of the petrochemical industry. Small scale iron and steel industry is available. Shipbuilding and ship repair facilities made Portugal the first in Europe in this sector.

Approximately 55% of the land in Portugal is suitable for agriculture. Most of the arable land is grown in grain (wheat and rye). However, in most places the yield is low and the soil is inefficient and less likely to be erosion. The labor force is particularly insufficient in the south. The country has to import wheat and other grains.

In Portugal, vine gardens occupy 10% of the cultivated land. Olive oil production in the country is also advanced. Fruit trees grow apples and pears in the northern half of the country, oranges in the south.

Although the mineral deposits are very diverse in Portugal, most of them are inadequate and cannot be operated at the desired level due to inadequate places or inadequate funds. The important minerals extracted are tungsten, iron, sulfur copper, marble, granite and slate. Portugal imports all the oil it needs.

Portugal exports twisted wool yarn, fabric, clothes, canned fish, bottle cork, pulp and paper, electrical appliances. Portugal does most of its trade with the European Common Market countries of which it is a member.

In Portugal, the highways are 44,953 km. 44.680 km of it is covered with asphalt. The railways are 3600 km and are lower than other Western European countries. Air transport is available from 13 airports. The Portuguese trade fleet is large and has a capacity of 750,000 tonnes.