History

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Turkey has so much to offer her visitors: breathtaking natural beauties, unique historical & archaeological sites, a tradition of hospitality & competitive prices. Whatever the reason you choose to see Turkey today, you will be delighted to have seen it tomorrow. Turkey welcomes you…

There’s a lot of history here. The easiest way to deal with it in a digestible format seems to be to give a chronology of the major events to begin with. We’re going to use that as a framework to hang bits & pieces on later.

7500 BC First Stone age settlements at Catalhoyuk
1900-1300 BC Hittite Empire with Hattusas as capital, contemporary with ancient Egypt & Babylon
1250 BC The Trojan war & the fall of Troy
1200-700 BC Migration of Greeks to Aegean coastal regions. Establishment of the Phrygian, Ionian, Lycian, Lydian, Carian & Pamphylian Kingdoms. The East of Turkey is the home of the Urartians
725 BC King Midas rules the Phrygians from his capital of Gordion
700 BC Homer is born in Izmir (Smyrna). Aegean Hellenism begins
546 BC Cyrus the Great leads the Persians into Anatolia
334 BC Alexander the Great drives out the Persians
130 BC The Romans incorporate Anatolia as the province of Asia, controlled from Ephesus
40 BC Antioch sees the marriage of Antony & Cleopatra
47-57 AD St. Paul spreads Christianity & a community at Antioch is established
313 AD Roman Empire adopts Christianity
330 AD Constantine lays out the boundaries of his new capital, Constantinople
527-65 AD Glory of Byzantium under Justinian
638-718 AD Muslim Arabs besiege Constantinople
1054 AD Greek & Roman Churches split over theology
1071-1243 AD Rise & rule of the Selcuk Turks in Anatolia, Konya is their capital
1096-1204 AD The Crusades, marking the beginning of the end for Byzantium, a fascinating period in Byzantine history
1288 AD Ottoman Empire appears in Bursa
1520-66 AD Suleyman the Magnificent sits on the Ottoman throne controlling a huge & powerful empire
1682-1725 AD Peter the Great initiates Russo-Turkish rivalry
1854 AD Crimean war
1909 AD Abdul Hamid, the last of an unbroken line of Ottoman sultans is deposed
1914 AD Turkey allies with Germany in the first world war
1915 AD Gallipoli Campaign
1919 AD Ataturk leads resistance to the allied plan to carve up Turkey
1923 AD Foundation of the modern Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Many things happen all at once
1938 AD Ataturk dies in Istanbul’s Dolmabahce palace
1939-45 AD Turkey manages to remain neutral during the second world war
1946 AD Charter membership of the UN
1952 AD Turkey joins NATO

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