A cave at Karain, north
is inhabited by humans, the oldest
known evidence of habitation in Anatolia.
People live in the cave until a few
centuries ago, making it one of the longest
continuously-inhabited spots on earth. More...
Construction of the first temple/religious site at Göbekli Tepe near Şanlıurfa in southeastern Turkey. More...
Development of agriculture and pastoralism (domesticated animals) in southeastern Turkey.
Earliest known human community at Çatal
Höyük, 50 km (31 miles)
southeast of Konya. More...
Stone and Copper Age.
People have already been living in Anatolia for
20,000 years. Settlement at Hacılar.
Old Bronze Age. The Proto-Hittite
Empire flourishes in Central
Anatolia and the Southeast.
Empire flourishes with its capital at Hattuşa, battles
Egypt. Patriarch Abraham, who
has been dwelling in Harran,
leaves for Canaan (Israel). More...
The Trojan War fought between
the armies of Troy and
Achaea (Greece) for control of trade
passing through the Dardanelles strait. More...
The Phrygian kingdom
of Mithridates flourishes at Gordion,
west of Ankara. Mysians invade.
The great period of Hellenic
civilisation in Greece and Aegean
Anatolia follows. King Midas reigns
in splendor, and King Croesus of
Lydia invents coinage. The kingdoms
of Ionia (İzmir), Lycia (Fethiye), Lydia (Sardis), Caria (Marmaris)
and Pamphylia (Side)
flourish, as does the Empire of Urartu (Van).
Cyrus of Persia invades and
conquers most of Anatolia.
the Great of Macedon marches
through Anatolia on
his way to India. More...
Celts (or Gauls) invade and
establish the kingdom of Galatia near Ankara.
Rise of the Kingdom of Pergamum (Bergama)
as an Anatolian power.
Anatolia becomes the Roman Province
of Asia ('Asia Minor'), with
its capital at Ephesus.
Paul travels to
the Christian and Jewish communities
the Great dedicates Constantinople as
the 'New Rome,' which becomes the
empire's center of government.
Reign of Justinian, greatest Byzantine emperor,
builder of Hagia
Sophia, largest and most splendid
church in the world.
Birth of Muhammed. Revelation
of the Kur'an. Muhammed's 'flight' (hijra) from
Mecca to Medina.
Turkish Empire of the Great Seljuks in
Sultanate of Rum, an offshoot
of the Great Seljuk empire, established
in Anatolia with its capital in Konya.
Mystic poet and philosopher Jelaleddin
Rumi, called Mevlana, takes
up residence in Konya, writes his
great works, and inspires the founding
of the Whirling Dervish Sufi
Crusader armies cross Anatolia
through the lands of the Seljuk
Sultan of Rum, with frequent
Foundation of the Ottoman state by
a warrier chieftain named Osman,
at Sögüt near Bursa.
Conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul)
by Sultan Mehmet II 'the
Reign of Sultan Süleyman the
Magnificent, the great age of the Ottoman
Empire. The sultan rules most of
North Africa, most of Eastern Europe
and all of the Middle East. His navies
patrol the Mediterranean and Red seas
and the Indian Ocean.
Treaty of Karlowitz, the first
time in over 400 years that the Ottomans
were decisively defeated and forced
to sign a peace treaty as the clear
losers. The mighty empire was clearly
Reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II,
a ruthless despot who was the last
of the powerful sultans. The European
empires ask themselves the 'Eastern
Question': which European nations will
grab Ottoman territory when the sultan's
Empire enters World War I in alliance
with Germany. Australian, British,
French and New Zealand troops invade Gallipoli which
is successfully defended by Ottoman
forces led by Mustafa
Kemal. Eventual defeat of the
Ottomans, loss of most of the empire's
territory, and occupation of parts
of Anatolia by victorious foreign troops.
Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk)
organizes remaining Ottoman military
units into an army of resistance, and
establishes a government of resistance
Encouraged by Great Britain, Greece
invades Anatolia through Izmir and
presses eastward, threatening the fledgling
government in Ankara.
Defeat and explusion of the invading
armies. Abolishment of the last vestiges
of the Ottoman Empire and Proclamation
of the Turkish
Republic by Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk),
its founder and first president. Most
ethnic Greeks in Turkey, and ethnic
Turks in Greece, migrate to the opposite
Atatürk's reforms: equal
rights for women, secular government,
prohibition of the fez and the veil,
substitution of the Latin alphabet
for the Arabic, Turkification of
city names, everyone adopts a surname,
Death of Atatürk,
continuation of one-party rule.
Turkey maintains a precarious neutrality
during World War II.
Institution of multi-party democracy.
—by Tom Brosnahan