Short History of Turkey
Turkish territory along its history has been
birthplace of many different cultures and
civilizations. Since 6500 B.C. Hattis, Hittites,
Phrygians, Urartians, Armenians, Persians,
Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans have left important
signs of its civilizations through the country,
ancient cities, ruins and the cultural heritage
that make of Turkey so unique.
The most remarkable civilizations in the Asia
Minor where undoubtedly Byzantines and Ottomans.
The Byzantine Empire also known as the Eastern
Roman Empire with Constantinople as its capital
was founded by Constantine the Great in AD 330
and survived to the collapse of the Western
Roman Empire; for 1100 years the Byzantines were
able to maintain control of their empire until
the wars with enemies from the east principally
Ottomans. After that Byzantine Empire declined
the Ottoman Empire occupied and expanded their
territorial control over Turkey and some parts
of Europe, Africa and Western Asia, but the
Ottomans� ambitions of territorial control over
the Mediterranean and Central Europe also
brought many enemies and wars with them, causing
the collapse of the Empire that governed the
Mediterranean over 623 years.
Ottoman Empire�s collapse culminated with its
participation in the World War I allied to
Germany in 1914. The alliance was defeated by
Allied powers and that brought the instability
inside the Ottoman structure. At the end of the
War, the Anatolian territory came under British
and French control and Istanbul was occupied.
The occupation of Istanbul and Izmir by the
Allies led the establishment of the Turkish
national movement under the leadership of
Mustafa Kemal Pasha known as �Ataturk� or
�father of the Turks�, a distinguished military
and Hero of the War. The Turkish War of
Independence was started with the aim of
revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres. In
1922, the occupying armies were repelled and the
country saw the birth of the new Turkish state.
Consequently the Sultanate and Caliphate were
In 1923 was signed the Treaty of Lausanne which
led the international recognition of the
sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of
Turkey" as the successor state of the Ottoman
Empire, and the republic was officially
proclaimed on October 29, 1923 in the new
capital, Ankara, with Kemal Ataturk as its first
The new republic concentrated its beginings to
make great changes into its social, economical
and political structure, following the Western
model. Political social and economic reforms
were introduced by Ataturk and after his death
in 1938, Turkish politics continue to form the
ideological base of modern Turkey.
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