Prehistory of Anatolia and Eastern ThraceMain articles: Prehistory of Anatolia and Prehistory of the BalkansSee also: Ancient Anatolians, Ancient kingdoms of Anatolia, and ThraciansPortion of the legendary walls of Troy (VII), identified as the site of the Trojan War(ca. 1200 BC.)
The Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various Ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, beginning with the Neolithic period until conquest of Alexander the Great. Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages radiated. European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has also been inhabited since forty thousand years ago, and entered Neolithic by about 6000 B.C. with its inhabitants starting the practice of agriculture.
Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a very largeNeolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BCE to 5700 BCE. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date and in July 2012 was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The settlement of Troy started in the Neolithic Age and continued into the Iron Age.
The earliest recorded inhabitants of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians, non-Indo-European peoples who inhabited central and eastern Anatolia, respectively, as early as ca. 2300 BC. Indo-European Hittites came to Anatolia and gradually absorbed the Hattians and Hurrians ca. 2000–1700 BC. The first major empire in the area was founded by the Hittites, from the eighteenth through the 13th century BC. The Assyrians conquered and settled parts of southeastern Turkey as early as 1950 BC until the year 612 BC.
Following the collapse of the Hittite empire c. 1180 BC, the Phrygians, an Indo-European people, achieved ascendancy in Anatolia until their kingdom was destroyed by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC. The most powerful of Phrygia's successor states were Lydia, Caria and Lycia.
he Seljuks and the Ottoman EmpireMain articles: Seljuk dynasty and Ottoman EmpireSee also: Turkic migration, Turkification, Great Seljuk Empire, and Anatolian Seljuk SultanateMevlana Museum (1274) in Konya, capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate.
The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks who resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy, to the north of the Caspianand Aral Seas, in the 9th century.[page needed] In the 10th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homeland into Persia, which became the administrative core of theGreat Seljuk Empire.
In the latter half of the 11th century, the Seljuks began penetrating into the eastern regions of Anatolia. In 1071, the Seljuk Turks defeated the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert, startingTurkification of the area; the Turkish language and Islam were introduced to Anatolia and gradually spread over the region and the slow transition from a predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking Anatolia to a predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking one was underway.[page needed]
In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols, causing the Seljuk Empire's power to slowly disintegrate. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I would, over the next 200 years, evolve into the Ottoman Empire, expanding throughout Anatolia, the Balkans, theLevant and North Africa.[page needed] In 1453, the Ottomans completed their conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital,Constantinople.
In 1514, Sultan Selim I (1512–1520) successfully expanded the Empire's southern and eastern borders by defeating Shah Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty in the Battle of Chaldiran. In 1517, Selim I expanded Ottoman rule into Algeria and Egypt, and created a naval presence in the Red Sea. Subsequently, a competition started between the Ottoman and Portuguese empires to become the dominant sea power in the Indian Ocean, with numerous naval battles in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. The Portuguese presence in the Indian Ocean was perceived as a threat for the Ottoman monopoly over the ancient trading routes between East Asia and Western Europe (later collectively named the Silk Road). This important monopoly was increasingly compromised following the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, which had a considerable impact on the Ottoman economy.
The Ottoman Empire's power and prestige peaked in the 16th and 17th centuries, particularly during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The empire was often at odds with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. At sea, the Ottoman Navy contended with several Holy Leagues (composed primarily of Habsburg Spain, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Knights of St. John, the Papal States, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Savoy) for control of the Mediterranean Sea. In the east, the Ottomans were occasionally at war with Safavid Persia over conflicts stemming from territorial disputes or religious differences between the 16th and 18th centuries.
From the beginning of the 19th century onwards, the Ottoman Empire began to decline. As it gradually shrank in size, military power and wealth, many Balkan Muslims migrated to the Empire's heartland in Anatolia,[not in citation given] along with the Circassians fleeing the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The decline of the Ottoman Empire led to a rise in nationalist sentiment among the various subject peoples, leading to increased ethnic tensions which occasionally burst into violence, such as the Hamidian massacres.
The Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. During the war, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were deported and exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish government denies that there was an Armenian Genocide and claims that Armenians were only relocated from the eastern war zone. Large-scale massacres were also committed against the empire's other minority groups such as the Greeks and Assyrians.
The occupation of Constantinople and Smyrna by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement.[not in citation given] Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Pasha, a military commander who had distinguished himself during the Battle of Gallipoli, the Turkish War of Independence was waged with the aim of revoking the terms of the Treaty of Sèvres.
By 18 September 1922, the occupying armies were expelled, and the Ankara-based Turkish regime, which declared itself the legitimate government of the country in April 1920, started to formalize the legal transition from the old Ottoman into the new Republican political system. On 1 November, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923 led to the international recognition of the sovereignty of the newly formed "Republic of Turkey" as the continuing state of the Ottoman Empire, and the republic was officially proclaimed on 29 October 1923 in Ankara, the country's new capital.[page needed] The Lausanne treaty stipulated a population exchange between Greece and Turkey, whereby 1.1 million Greeks left Turkey for Greece in exchange for 380,000 Muslims transferred from Greece to Turkey.
Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first President and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of transforming old Ottoman-Turkish state into a new secular republic.With the Surname Law of 1934, the Turkish Parliament bestowed upon Mustafa Kemal the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father of the Turks.)
Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, but entered the closing stages of the war on the side of the Allies on 23 February 1945. On 26 June 1945, Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic support. Both countries were included in the Marshall Plan and OEEC for rebuilding European economies in 1948, and subsequently became founding members of the OECD in 1961.
After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade of Cypriot intercommunal violence and the coup in Cyprus on 15 July 1974 staged by the EOKA B paramilitary organization, which overthrew PresidentMakarios and installed the pro-Enosis (union with Greece) Nikos Sampson as dictator, Turkey invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974. Nine years later the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey, was established.
The single-party period ended in 1945. It was followed by a tumultuous transition to multiparty democracy over the next few decades, which was interrupted by military coups d'état in 1960,1971, 1980 and 1997.[page needed] In 1984, the PKK, a Kurdish separatist group, began an insurgency campaign against the Turkish government, which to date has claimed over 40,000 lives; however, a peace process is currently ongoing. Since the liberalization of the Turkish economy during the 1980s, the country has enjoyed stronger economic growth and greater political stability.[page needed]