Gagauzia (in Gagauz language: Gagauz Yeri or Gagauziya) is an autonomous region (since 1995) in the South-West of Republic of Moldova mainly inhabited by Gagauz, a people that speak a Turkish language and are culturally close to Turks, but are of orthodox Christian religion.
The official name of the autonomy is Autonomous Territorial Unit Gagauzia.
The Executive Committee of Gagauzia (Bakannyk Komiteti) is the standing executive body approved by the National Assembly for a mandate of four years when appointing the Governor of Gagauzia.
The Governor (the Bashkan) of Gagauzia is the highest position in Gagauzia. All public administration bodies in Gagauzia are subordinated to the Governor. The Governor of Gagauzia is elected for a period of four years based on universal, equal, direct and secret vote expressed on alternative basis. The Governor is appointed by the President of Moldova as a member of the Government of Republic of Moldova.
The surface area of Gagauzia is 1 848 square km or 5.5 % of the total territory of Republic of Moldova.
In compliance with Law on the special legal status of Gagauzia and the Law on the administrative-territorial structure of ATU Gagauzia, the autonomy is divided into raions, towns and villages. The Autonomy consist of 3 raions - Comrat, Ceadîr-Lunga and Vulcănești. Gagauzia has two municipalities, one town and twenty three villages and communes. The administrative center of the Autonomy is the town of Comrat.
The main economic sectors are agriculture, food industry (wine making, canning fruits and vegetables), textile industry and shoes manufacturing.
For decades, Gagauzia is known for its agricultural potential and traditions, determined by its common multinational values.
The Gagauz people is unique since it combines the linguistic identity, traditions and customs of the Turkish world and the Christian religion. Most population, 62.6 %, live in rural areas (87 thousand). The urban population is 48.6 thousand people (38 %). The density of population is 84.2 people per square km (in Republic of Moldova it is 117 people/km2). The average age of population is 34.6 years. The number of population able to work is 100 000 or 64.3 %.
The total number of population is about 135.6 thousand people. Out of all population, 83.4 % (117 thousand people) are Gagauz, 4.6 % (7 thousand) are Moldovans, 4.9 % (7.6 thousand) are Bulgarians, 3.3 % (4.3 thousand) are Russians, and other nationalities – 1 % (1.6%).