HISTORY OF TURKEY
The history of Turkey begins with the migration of Oghuz Turks into Anatolia in the context of the larger Turkic expansion, forming the Seljuq Empire in the 11th century AD.After the Seljuq victory over forces of the Byzantine Empire in 1071 at the Battle of Manzikert,the process was accelerated and the country was referred to as 'Turchia' in Europe as early as the 12th century.The Seljuq dynasty controlled Turkey until the country was invaded by the Mongols following the Battle of Kosedag. During the years when the country was under Mongol rule, some small Turkish states were born. One of these states was the Ottoman beylik which quickly controlled Western Anatolia and conquered much of Rumelia. After finally conquering Istanbul, the Ottoman state would become a large empire, called the Turkish Empire in Europe. Next, the Empire expanded to Eastern Anatolia, the Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Europe and North Africa. Although the Ottoman Empire's power and prestige peaked in the 16th century; it did not fully reach the technological advance in military capabilities of the Western powers in the 19th century. Nevertheless, Turkey managed to maintain independence though some of its territories were ceded to its neighbours and some small countries gained independence from it. Following World War I in which Turkey was defeated, most of Anatolia and Eastern Thrace was occupied by the Allied powers including the capital city Istanbul. In order to resist the occupation, a cadre of young military officers formed a government in Ankara. The elected leader of the Ankara Government, Mustafa Kemal organized a successful war of independence against the Allied powers. After the liberation of Anatolia and East Thrace, the Republic of Turkey was established in 1923 with its capital at Ankara.
History of the Turkic peoples
Before the Turkish settlement, the local population of Anatolia had reached an estimated level of 12 to 14 million people during the late Roman Period.The migration of Turks to the country of modern Turkey occurred during the main Turkish migration across most of Central Asia and into Europe and the Middle East which was between the 6th and 11th centuries. Mainly Turkish people living in the Seljuk Empire arrived Turkey in the eleventh century. The Seljuks proceeded to gradually conquer the Anatolian part of the Byzantine Empire. In the following centuries, the local population began to be assimilated into the Turkish people. More Turkish migrants began to intermingle with the local inhabitants over years, thus the Turkish-speaking population was bolstered.
Battle of Manzikert
Great Seljuk Empire (dark green) and neighboring states, circa 1090
The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks who resided on the periphery of the Muslim world, north of the Caspian and Aral Seas in the Yabghu Khaganate of the Oğuz confederacy in the 10th century. In the 11th century, the Turkic people living in the Seljuk Empire started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became a new homeland of Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert on August 26, 1071.
The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire and to some Turkish principalities (beyliks), mostly situated towards the Eastern Anatolia which were vassals of or at war with Seljuk Sultanate of Rum.
On June 26, 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols in the Battle of Kosedag, and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm became a vassal of the Mongols.This caused the Seljuks to lose their power. Hulegu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan founded the Ilkhanate in the southwestern part of the Mongol Empire. The Ilkhanate ruled Anatolia through Mongol military governors. The last Seljuk sultan Mesud II, died in 1308. The Mongol invasion of Transoxiana, Iran, Azerbaijan and Anatolia caused Turkomens to move to Western Anatolia.The Turkomens founded some Anatolian principalities (beyliks) under the Mongol dominion in Turkey.The most powerful beyliks were the Karamanids and the Germiyanids in the central area. Along the Aegean coast, from north to south, stretched Karasids, Sarukhanids, Aydinids, Menteşe and Teke principalities. The Jandarids (later called Isfendiyarids) controlled the Black Sea region round Kastamonu and Sinop.The Beylik of the Ottoman Dynasty was situated in the northwest of Anatolia, around Söğüt, and it was a small and insignificant state at that time. The Ottoman beylik would, however, evolve into the Ottoman Empire over the next 200 years, expanding throughout the Balkans, Anatolia.
The Ottoman beylik's first capital was located in Bursa in 1326. Edirne which was conquered in 1361 was the next capital city. After largely expanding to Europe and Anatolia, in 1453, the Ottomans nearly completed the conquest of the Byzantine Empire by capturing its capital, Constantinople during the reign of Mehmed II. This city has become the capital city of the Empire following Edirne. The Ottoman Empire would continue to expand into the Eastern Anatolia, Central Europe, the Caucasus, North and East Africa, the islands in the Mediterranean, Greater Syria, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian peninsula in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
The occupation of some parts of the country by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement.Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, 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 September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were expelled. On November 1, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate, thus ending 623 years of Ottoman rule. The Treaty of Lausanne of July 24, 1923, led to 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 of Ankara.Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first President of Turkey and subsequently introduced many radical reforms with the aim of founding a new secular republic from the remnants of its Ottoman past.According to the Law on Family Names, the Turkish parliament presented Mustafa Kemal with the honorific surname "Atatürk" (Father of the Turks) in 1934.