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The Anatolian peninsula (also called Asia Minor), comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions. The earliest Neolithic settlements such as Çatalhöyük, Çayönü, Nevali Cori, Hacilar, Göbekli Tepe and Mersin are considered to be among the earliest human settlements in the world. The settlement of Troy starts in the Neolithic and continues into the Iron Age. The first major empire in the area was that of the Hittites, from the 18th through the 13th century BC. Subsequently, the Phrygians achieved ascendancy 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. Starting around 1200 BC, the coast of Anatolia was settled by Aeolian and Ionian Greeks. The entire area was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire during the 6th and 5th centuries and later fell to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. Anatolia was subsequently divided into a number of small Hellenistic kingdoms (including Bithynia, Cappadocia, Pergamum, and Pontus), all of which had succumbed to Rome by the mid-1st century BC. In 324, the Roman emperor Constantine I chose Byzantium to be the new capital of the Roman Empire, renaming it New Rome (later Constantinople and Istanbul). After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it became the capital of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). The House of Seljuk was a branch of the Kınık Oğuz Turks who in the 10th century 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 11th century, the Seljuks started migrating from their ancestral homelands towards the eastern regions of Anatolia, which eventually became the new homeland of Oğuz Turkic tribes following the Battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071. The victory of the Seljuks gave rise to the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate; which developed as a separate branch of the larger Seljuk Empire that covered parts of Central Asia, Iran, Anatolia and Southwest Asia. In 1243, the Seljuk armies were defeated by the Mongols and the power of the empire slowly disintegrated. In its wake, one of the Turkish principalities governed by Osman I evolved over the next 200 years into the Ottoman Empire. In 1453, the city of Constantinople fell to the Ottoman armies of Mehmed II, marking the abolition of the Byzantine Empire. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was among the world's most powerful political entities, often locking horns with the Holy Roman Empire in its steady advance towards Central Europe through the Balkans and the southern part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on land; and with the combined forces (Holy Leagues) of Habsburg Spain, the Republic of Venice and the Knights of St. John at sea for the control of the Mediterranean basin. They frequently confronted Portuguese fleets at the Indian Ocean defending the Empire's monopoly over the ancient maritime trade routes between East Asia and Western Europe. After nearly a century of decline, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I (1914–1918) on the side of the Central Powers and was ultimately defeated. Following the Armistice of Mudros on October 30, 1918, the victorious Allied Powers sought the dismemberment of the Ottoman state through the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920. The occupation of Istanbul and Izmir by the Allies in the aftermath of World War I prompted the establishment of the Turkish national movement. 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 September 18, 1922, the occupying armies were repelled and the country saw the birth of the new Turkish state. On November 1, the newly founded parliament formally abolished the Sultanate 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. Mustafa Kemal became the republic's first president 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 Turk) in 1934. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II but entered on the side of the Allies on February 23, 1945 as a ceremonial gesture and became a charter member of the United Nations in 1945. 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 US military and economic support. After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean conflict, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. Following a decade of intercommunal violence on the island of Cyprus, Turkey invaded the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Nine years later the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established. The TRNC is recognized only by Turkey. Following the end of the single-party period in 1945, the multi-party period witnessed tensions over the next decades, and the period between the 1960s and the 1980s was marked by periods of political instability that resulted in a number of military coups d'états in 1960, 1971, 1980 and a military memorandum in 1997. The liberalization of the Turkish economy that started in the 1980s changed the landscape of the country, with successive periods of high growth and crises punctuating the following decades.
Identifier: 26, Last Accessed: 2017-10-17 04:34:06
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