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Explore Home of Civilizations Turkey
Turkey is also a paradise of sun, sea, sand, mountains,
forests, and lakes.
Turkey offers the vacationer a complete change from the
stress and routine of everyday life. From April to October, most places in
Turkey have an ideal climate that is perfect for relaxing on sandy beaches
or enjoying the tranquillity of forests, mountains and lakes.
There is no doubt that one visit will not be enough, and
you would like to come back again and again as you discover one
extraordinary place after another. All of them, no matter how different,
have one thing in common: the friendly and hospitable people of this unique
country of civilisations.
Turkey is a new country
in an old land. The modern Turkish state--beginning with the creation of the
Republic of Turkey in the years immediately after World War I--drew on a
national consciousness that had developed only in the late nineteenth century.
But the history of nomadic Turkish tribes can be traced with certainty to the
sixth century A.D., when they wandered the steppes of central Asia. Asia Minor,
which the Turks invaded in the eleventh century, has a recorded history that
dates back to the Hittites, who flourished there in the second millennium B.C.
Archaeological evidence of far older cultures has been found in the region,
Turkey, although sometimes used to
signify the Ottoman Empire, was not assigned to a specific political entity or
geographic area until the republic was founded in 1923. The conquering Turks
called Asia Minor, the large peninsular territory they had wrested from the
Byzantine Empire, by its Greek name, Anatolé (sunrise; figuratively, the East),
or Anatolia. The term
is also used when events described affected both that region and Turkish Thrace
("Turkey-in-Europe") because of the two areas' closely linked political, social,
and cultural development.
Anatolia is a bridge
connecting the Middle East and Europe, and it shares in the history of both
those parts of the world. Despite the diversity of its peoples and their
cultures, and the constantly shifting borders of its ethnic map, Anatolia has a
history characterized by remarkable continuity. Wave after wave of conquerors
and settlers have imposed their language and other unique features of their
culture on it, but they also have invariably assimilated the customs of the
peoples who preceded them.
The history of Turkey
encompasses, first, the history of Anatolia before the coming of the Turks and
of the civilizations--Hittite, Thracian, Hellenistic, and Byzantine--of which
the Turkish nation is the heir by assimilation or example. Second, it includes
the history of the Turkish peoples, including the Seljuks, who brought Islam and
the Turkish language to Anatolia. Third, it is the history of the Ottoman
Empire, a vast, cosmopolitan, pan-Islamic state that developed from a small
Turkish amirate in Anatolia and that for centuries was a world power.
history is that of the republic established in 1923 under the leadership of
Mustafa Kemal (1881-1938), called Atatürk--the "Father Turk." The creation of
the new republic in the heartland of the old Islamic empire was achieved in the
face of internal traditionalist opposition and foreign intervention. Atatürk's
goal was to build on the ruins of Ottoman Turkey a new country and society
patterned directly on Western Europe. He equated Westernization with the
introduction of technology, the modernization of administration, and the
evolution of democratic institutions.
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