History of Turkey

Overview of Turkey's History

As with any other country's history, the history of Turkey is a long story but it is very interesting. The republic of Turkey was founded in 1923.

The "Hitties" (conservative English-language term for ancient people who spoke an Indo-European language and established a kingdom centered in Hattusa, north-central Turkey ) settled themselves in a place called Anatolia in the 2nd millennium BC. During the 1st millennium BC the Ancient Greek states of Ionia, Lydia and Troy were located here. It was captured by the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD.

The Byzantine Empire became the descendant of Rome and lasted more than a thousand years. Following the Battle of Mazikert in 1071 the Byzantines lost control of Anatolia to the Seljuk Sultante of Rum. In the late 13 th century the Ottoman Empire rose to power.

The history of modern Turkey then began with the establishment of the republic on October 29 1923 , from the Turkish remains of the Ottoman Empire , with Ataturk as its first president. The government was formed from the Ankara-based revolutionary group, led by Ataturk, which had defeated Greece in western Turkey . The agreement of Lausanne , signed on July 24, 1923 , and negotiated by Ismet Pasha on behalf of the Ankara government, then established most of the modern boundaries of the country

On 3 March, 1924 , the National Assembly eliminated the ministry of sacred law, all schools were placed under the ministry of education and a new constitution was approved on April 20, 1924 . For the next 10 years, there was a steady process of secular westernization, guided by Ataturk.

After the establishment of the Liberal Republican Party by Fethi Okyar, the devotedly religious groups joined to well-intentioned liberals and successively widespread blood-spattered disorders took place particularly in the eastern territory. The liberal party was dissolved on November 17, 1930 and no further attempt for a multiparty democracy was made until 1945. Turkey was admitted to the League of Nations in July 1932.

Ataturk died on November 10, 1938 and Ismet Inonu was his successor. When all its western neighbours were under Axis occupation during World War II , Turkey signed a peace agreement with Germany and officially remained neutral until near the end of war. In 1945 Turkey joined the UN, and in February 1945 it declared war on Germany and Japan . This was largely symbolic, as no Turkish troops engaged in battle. Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952.

In the 1990's the president, Kenan Evren, retired and Ozal was elected President, leaving parliament in the hands of the incompetent Yildirim Akbulut, and then, in 1991, to Mesut Yilmaz. Mesut increased Turkey 's economic profile and transformed its orientation toward Europe .

Ozal died in 1993 of a heart attack and Suleyman Demirel was elected president. The 1995 elections brought a brief coalition between Yilmaz's Motherland Party and The True Path Party, now with Tansu Ciller ( Turkey 's first female prime minister) at the reins. After Suleyman Demirel, Ahmet Necdet Sezer was elected ( 16 May, 2000 ) president and still holds that office today.


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