History of Anatolia & Turkey

Last Updated on April 30, 2019

The history of human habitation in Anatolia, heartland of the Turkish Republic, goes back 25,000 years—an incredible stretch of time.

Timeline of Turkey’s History

The history of Anatolia & Turkey from 23,000 BC to 1950 AD.

Karain Cave

Continuously inhabited by humans for 25,000 years…

Neolithic Göbekli Tepe

Humankind’s first temple was built by hunter-gatherers at Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Anatolia even before the invention of agriculture and pottery. More…

The Hittites (1900-1200 BC)

The Biblical empire that fought with Pharaoh.

Phrygia (1200-600 BC)

The Phrygians under King Midas gave us embriodery, cymbals, the musical triangle, and more.

Hellenic Civilization (1200-600 BC)

Western civilization started here.

Hellenistic: Alexander the Great (334 BC)

Conquering the world in his early 30s….

The Romans in Anatolia (250 BC-330 AD)

To the Romans, Anatolia was the province of Asia Minor.

The Journeys of St. Paul

He was from Tarsus, on the Mediterranean coast, so this was his homeland….

The Byzantine Empire (330-1453 AD)

A thousand years of art, culture, religion and political turmoil.

The Seljuk Turks (1071-1243)

Omar Khayyam, Mevlana Jelaleddin Rumi, civil tolerance, constant war, and great architecture….

The Ottoman Empire (1288-1923)

From warrior principality to huge empire and “Sick Man of Europe” in 500 years—not to mention the Orient Express.

The Turkish Republic (1923-Present)

A modern democratic state built on the ruins of a medieval theocratic monarchy.

Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938)

Brilliant general, masterful statesman, social reformer, powerful advocate of secularism and women’s rights.

History of the Middle East in 90 Seconds

Want to see it all in a 90-second Flash animation? Click here: the history of the Middle east in 90 seconds!

—by Tom Brosnahan

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