General Information

Turkey, country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents.

Turkey is situated at the crossroads of the BalkansCaucasusMiddle East, and eastern Mediterranean. It is among the larger countries of the region in terms of territory and population, and its land area is greater than that of any European state. Nearly all of the country is in Asia, comprising the oblong peninsula of Asia Minor—also known as Anatolia (Anadolu)—and, in the east, part of a mountainous region sometimes known as the Armenian Highland. The remainder—Turkish Thrace (Trakya)—lies in the extreme southeastern part of Europe, a tiny remnant of an empire that once extended over much of the Balkans.

The country has a north-south extent that ranges from about 300 to 400 miles (480 to 640 km), and it stretches about 1,000 miles from west to east. Turkey is bounded on the north by the Black Sea, on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia, on the east by Azerbaijan and Iran, on the southeast by Iraq and Syria, on the southwest and west by the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, and on the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria. The capital is Ankara, and its largest city and seaport is Istanbul.

                                                                                                         HISTORY OF ANATOLIA



≈400,000-14,000 BC
Hunter-gatherers used tools. They sheltered in caves and in other rock formations as ‘extended-family groups’. Fire was used to manipulate raw foods in cooking and heating, and also served as protection from predatory wildlife. Yarimburgaz Cave (near Istanbul), Karain Cave (Antalya-Mediterranean region), Beldibi, Belbasi, Okuzini, Kumbucagi and Kadiini Caves.
≈14,000-10,000 BC
Microlithic tools were used. Earliest evidence of religious practices: fertility cults, goddess figures. Mediterranean coast of Anatolia, Thrace and western Black Sea region. Sarklimagara cave (Gaziantep), Baradiz cave (Burdur) and cemeteries of Sogut Tariasi, Biris near Bozova, Urfa, Catal Huyuk, Tekeköy, Belbası, Beldi.
≈10,000-5,000 BC
Transition from hunter-gatherers to crop and farming cultivation techniques, abandoning nomadic life or semi-settled communities and societies for permanent settlements. The cultivation of plants, the domestication of wild animals, village life, religion, art, architecture, farming, advanced tools and weapons, etc. Female deity-the Mother Goddess of Anatolia. Cayönu (Diyabakir), Cafer Höyuk (Malatya), Asikli Höyuk (Aksaray), Kurucay (Burdur), Catalhöyuk (Konya) and Hacilar (Burdur).
≈5,000-3,000 BC
The discovery of metal, the development of trade, the introduction of copper alongside stone in tool production, an increase in permanent settlements and textile production. Bakla Tepe (Izmir), Liman Tepe (Izmir), Hacilar (Burdur), Beycesultan (Denizli), Kurucay (Burdur), Ikiztepe (Samsun), Alisar (Yozgat), Domuztepe (Adana), Yumuktepe (Icel), Arslantepe (Malatya), Degirmentepe (Malatya), Tilkitepe (Van) and Girikihaciyan (Diyarbakir).
≈3,000-2,000 BC
The invention of bronze, refining gold, silver and other metals, high level in metal production. Evidence of Mesopotamian influences in urbanism. Troy may be the most famous Early Bronze Age city. Arslantepe (Malatya), Alacahöyuk (Corum), Acemhöyuk (Aksaray), Troy (Canakkale), Karaoglan (Ankara), Alisar (Yozgat), Karahöyuk (Konya), Kultepe (Kayseri), Demircihöyuk (Eskisehir), Mahmatlar (Amasya), Horoztepe (Tokak), Ikiztepe (Samsun), Gözlukule (Tarsus), Beycesultan (Denizli), Semsiyetepe (Elazig) and Kulluoba (Eskisehir).
≈2,000-1,900 BC
High level of metal crafting, no writing, their culture is partially known from succeeding periods, Assyrian Trading Colonies and the Hittites. Burial customs detected in Alaca. Mahmatlar, Horoztepe, Alacahoyuk and Hattusas.
≈1900-1700 BC
Established a very sophisticated trading system with Anatolia. Traded tin, perfumes, ornaments and clothes in exchange for goods made of silver and gold. Writing and written history began in Anatolia with the introduction of cuneiform writing. Use of Assyrian cuneiform writing and Mesopotamian cylinder seals. First use of envelopes made of clay in the world. Kanesh Kharum (near Kultepe in Kayseri) and Kharum Hattush (Bogazköy) in Corum, Acemhoyuk (Aksaray), Aslantepe, Elazig, Malatya.
1600-700 BC
Hittites (the first Indo-European culture in history) won the struggle to establish a great kingdom in central Anatolia, making Hattusas their capital. Hittites’ first use of iron for weapons, iron production under kingdom monopoly. Built the three-man chariot. Became the main power in the Middle East. Concentration on wars simultaneous with very high level of culture. Assyrian cuneiform tablets in Hitite archives. Establishment of small kingdoms which were the inheritors of the Hittite Empire. Dilution of clear Hittite characteristics. Luwians dominant group in the Late Hittite culture. In the 1200s, Sea Peoples attacked Anatolia, destroyed Troy and moved south. The Hittite Empire broke into small city-states in southeastern Anatolia and north Syria. High-level relief art having Hittite, Luwian, Phonecian and Aramian influences done on orthostats in buildings. Alisar, Hattusas (Bogazköy), Corum, Aslantepe, Malatya, Buyukkale, Yazilikaya, Meliddu and Kummuhi near Malatya, Gurgum (Maras), Kargamis (Gaziantep), Samal/Zincirli (Gaziantep), Sakcagozu, Karatepe.
860-580 BC
The people of Urartian Kingdom spoke a language that unlike Indo-European Hittite language which was common in previous period in Anatolia. Urartian were not known to be very skillful at iron and bronze workmanship. Eastern Anatolia, Van Basin, Gokcegol, Cildir Lake, Toprakkale, Cavustepe, Ayanis, Malatya, Altintepe, Erzincan.
750-600 BC
Phrygians migrated from the Balkans in 1200 BC, but established their first political entity as a kingdom in 750 BC. They were incorporated into local cultures and became Anatolian according to their origin. They were influenced by the Late Hittite City-states and Hellenic groups. Midas, Ayazini, Aslantas, Yazılıkaya, Gordion, Pazarlı, Alisar, Alacahöyuk, Cappadocia, Eskisehir, Afyor, Yassihoyuk (Gordion), Ballihisar (Pessinus), Ankara, Sinop, Pazarli, Hattusas, Malatya, Manisa, the northern Kizilirmak and Sakarya rivers (Sangarius River), Aslankaya.
680-546 BC
The Lydians are said to have been the first people to coin money. Sardis, the capital of Lydia. Izmir (Smyrna), Miletus, Aydin, Manisa (Magnesia ad Sipylum), Usak, Afyon, Denizli, Gygaean Lake, Bintepe, Isparta, Sardis, Assos, Caria, Halicarnassus, Aphrodisias.
546-334 BC
Conquest of the whole area of present-day Turkey by the Persians. Continuous wars with the Greeks hampered the welfare of Persians. Defeated at the Battle of Gaugamela. Ephesus, Milet, Trabzon (Trebizond), Adiyaman (Mt Nemrud), River (Granicus), Caria, Halicarnassus.
395 BCE-1176 AD
The Lycians had a fierce desire for freedom and independence and this found its expression in their sense of unity and federation. The institutions of the democratic Lycian Federation (the first democratic union known) were studied and envied by most classical writers. The writers of the constitution of the United States studied the Lycian federal system of government with proportional representation as a possible model for their own government. The Lycians spoke a language of their own, with its own unique alphabet, an Indo-European language closely related to Luwian and Hittite. Antalya, Demre, Phaselis, Fethiye.
334-133 BC
Macedonian king Alexander the Great conquered Greece, the crossed into Asia at Gallipoli to take the whole of Persia. Ruled regions from western Greece to the border of present-day Pakistan. Strong town development. Towns have own laws, autonomy, defense and live on agriculture. Some city-states. Mediterranean Alexandria, Antioch, Pergamum, Ephesus, Priene, Miletus, Teos, Magnesia, Bithynia, Cappadocia, Pontus.
133 BC-395 AD
Out of Pergamum, the Romans formed the province of Asia. Roman Empire absorbed Anatolia. Brought Pax Romana, the period of peace. Spread of Christianity in the region by Jesus’ apostle Paul. Constantinopolis, the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD. Christianity, the official religion. The Council of Nicaea (Izmit), which established a key doctrine, took place in 325 AD. Cities including Ephesus, Magnesia, Assos, Bergama, Tralleis, Miletos and Didyma dominated the region. Thrace, Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Afrodisias, Efes, Bergama, İzmir, Manisa Side, Denizli-Pamukkale (Hierapolis), Konya-Beysehir, Aksaray (Garsaura), Viransehir (Nora), Malatya.
395-1453 AD
Byzantium, built by Emperor Constantine, became a major arts and cultural center. Under Justinian, innovative architecture was used to build largest cathedral in the world, Hagia Sophia, 532-7. Inspires Christian and Muslim architects for centuries. In 1071, Turkish Seljuks conquered Byzantium. Constantinople occupied during the Crusades. Byzantium collapsed totally when Ottoman Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Mehmet the Conqueror) conquered Constantinople in 1453. Istanbul, Cappadocia, Bolu, Izmit (Nicomedia), Trabzon (Trebizond), Iznik (Nicaea), Ephesus, Demre, Kilikya, Mardin, Nusaybin, Alexandria Troas, Guzelyurt, Akhirsar, Tire (Thyrra), Malatya.
1071-1409 AD
At the same time that the Great Seljuks (Iran, Iraq, Syria) were gaining power, other tribes of Turkomen tribes of the Danishmendids (1071-1178) in central and northeastern Anatolia (Tokat, Amasya, Kastamonu, Sivas, Kayseri and Malatya), the Saltuqids (1071-1202) in Erzurum, Kars, Bayburt, the Mengujukids (1071-1228) on the Upper Euphrates (Erzincan and Divriği), were carving out small principalities. Of all the dynasties founded by the members of the Seljuk tribes, the one that had the greatest success and the longest reign, and which managed to constitute a solid and organized state, was the Anatolian Seljuks of Asia Minor, otherwise known as the Seljuks of Rum (of the “Roman” empire, the country of “Rum”, as the West was called by the eastern Iranian Turks). Tokat, Amasya, Kastamonu, Sivas, Kayseri, Malatya, Erzurum, Kars, Bayburt, Erzincan and Divriği.
1071-1299 AD
Seljuk Turks entered Anatolia and established a state in 1358. They enlightened Anatolia via their tolerant government. Governed a population that was mostly Greek-speaking Anatolian Christian, with a significant Jewish minority. Konya (Iconium) was the capital. Turkish language and Islamic religion. The Crusades, Latin armies entered Anatolia for the first time. Sophisticated architecture. The Gothic style brick buildings that we see in some European cities today were influenced by Seljuks. Muslim mystic, theologian and poet Jelaleddin Rumi (1207-1273) is the sultanate’s most famous and enduring figure. Mongolian invasion (1243-1308). Konya, Eskisehir, Nigde-Ulukısla, Kırsehir, Tokat, Ankara, Elazıg, Van, Erzurum, Erzincan, Malatya, Mus, Bitlis, Kars, Ankara, Usak, Denizli, Antalya-Alanya, Sinop, Amasya, Sivas, Kayseri.
1318-1453 AD
Ahlatshahs (Ahlat) and Artuquids (Eastern Anatolia, Diyarbakir, Harput, Hasankeyf, Mardin and Silvan) reigned in Anatolia in the same period as the Anatolian Seljuks. Along with the weakening of Mongolian rule, the Turkomen groups founded many beylics (principalities) of varying sizes in Anatolia. The Karaman, Germiyan, Esref, Hamid, Mentese, Candar, Pervane, Sahib Ata, Karesi, Saruhan, Aydin, Inanc, Alaiye, Dulkadir, Eretna, Kadıburhanettin, Ramazan, Tacettin and Osmanogullari were among the Turkoman beylics. All of Anatolia came under Turkish rule. The Ottoman state was founded. Among these principalities, the Ottoman Principality restored the political unity in Anatolia. Osman I declares independence of the principality in 1299. Antalya-Burdur, Konya, Kayseri-Bünyan, Sivas, Karaman, Milas, Bilecik, Malatya, İzmir-Urla, Manisa, Bursa, Niğde-Bor, Trabzon, Ordu, Samsun, Giresun, Adana, Tokat, Amasya, Çorum, Yozgat, Gümüşhane, Bitlis, Mardin, Diyarbakir.
1365-1469 AD 1350-1502 AD
The Karakoyunlu State, established in Mosul, between Irbil and Nakhchivan, in the environs of Van Lake and Erzurum. It was defeated by Akkoyunlu Uzan Hasan and the country came under the hegemony of the Akkoyunlu State (1351-1469). The Akkoyunlu State was founded in the environs of Diyarbakir, Malatya. Defeated by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror at the Battle of Otlukbeli in 1473 (1340-1514). In 1473, with the defeat of the Akkoyunlu state, eastern Anatolia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. Van, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Ahlat, Malatya, Bayburt, Tercan, Harput, Erzincan, Urfa.
1299-1923 AD
Bursa, Edirne and Istanbul, capitals. At its widest, Ottoman Empire covered a vast area from the Caspian Sea and Iran in the east, to Vienna in the west and from Russian steppes in the north, to Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, Sudan and Algeria in the south. Golden Age under Suleyman the Magnificent in 16th century: control over the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, innovative architect Mimar Sinan (Selimiye Mosque, Edirne; Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul). Multi-ethnic in nature, religious and ethnic communities enjoy tolerance and some independence from central power. Rise of nationalism in the 19th century contributes to territorial losses and internal conflict. Internal administrative reforms. All over Anatolia, Turkey, Thrace.
Ottoman Empire is on losing side of World War I. Carved up and occupied by European powers as a result. National liberation struggle led by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk results in Turkish national independence and Turkey becomes a parliamentarian democracy with western-style institutions, based on reforms by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. All over Anatolia, Turkey, Thrace.



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