Brief History of Turkey

The history of Turkey is rich and complex, spanning thousands of years and encompassing various civilizations and empires.

The region of present-day Turkey has been inhabited since ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests human presence dating back to the Paleolithic era, around 750,000 years ago. Notable ancient civilizations in this area include the Hittites, who established the Hittite Empire around 1600 BCE. The Hittites were one of the earliest Indo-European-speaking peoples and left behind impressive ruins and inscriptions.

Anatolia, the western part of modern-day Turkey, witnessed the rise of several important civilizations, including the Phrygians, Lydians, and Carians. However, the most influential civilization to emerge was that of the Greeks. Cities like Troy (known from the epic of Homer), Ephesus, and Miletus became prominent centers of trade, culture, and philosophy.

Anatolia fell under the rule of the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE. In the 4th century BCE, Alexander the Great’s Macedonian armies conquered the region, toppling the Persian rule and spreading Hellenistic culture throughout Anatolia.

During the 1st century BCE, the Roman Republic expanded into Anatolia, and the region became an integral part of the Roman Empire. Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) also emerged as a crucial city in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.

In the 7th century CE, the Arab Muslims spread into the region, leading to the decline of the Byzantine Empire in Anatolia. However, the Seljuk Turks, a Central Asian tribe, rose to prominence in the 11th century, establishing the Sultanate of Rum. This marked a significant Turkic influence in the region.

The most critical period in Turkey’s history is the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire. Founded by Osman I in the early 13th century, the Ottomans gradually expanded their territory in Anatolia and beyond. Mehmed II, also known as Mehmed the Conqueror, captured Constantinople in 1453, marking the end of the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of Ottoman dominance.

The Ottoman Empire reached its peak under Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), spreading across three continents and controlling much of southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. During this period, the empire became a major cultural, economic, and military power.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Ottoman Empire began experiencing internal strife and external pressures from European powers. It gradually lost territories and influence, especially in the Balkans.

During the 19th century, the empire faced significant challenges, including nationalist uprisings, territorial losses, and economic stagnation. Efforts to modernize the empire, known as the Tanzimat reforms, were initiated to adapt to Western political and economic models.

By the early 20th century, nationalist sentiments grew stronger within the empire. The Committee of Union and Progress, known as the Young Turks, emerged as a reformist and nationalist movement. In 1908, they led a successful revolution, aiming to restore the constitution and reform the state.

However, the empire’s involvement in World War I led to its collapse. The Ottoman Empire sided with the Central Powers and faced defeat. During the war, the Armenian Genocide and other atrocities occurred, leading to the deaths of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks.

After World War I, the empire was partitioned, and the Turkish War of Independence began under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. This war aimed to repel foreign invaders and establish a new Turkish state. In 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed, and Ankara became the capital, replacing Istanbul.

Under Atatürk’s leadership, Turkey underwent significant reforms, including the adoption of a secular legal system, granting women the right to vote, and transitioning from an Arabic script to the Latin alphabet. These reforms aimed to modernize and westernize the country.

Since its establishment, Turkey has experienced periods of democratic governance and military interventions. The country has faced challenges, including regional conflicts, ethnic tensions, and economic fluctuations.

About Turkey

Country Code: +90.

Crime: Turkey, like any other country, has its share of crime.

Petty theft, pickpocketing, and robberies can occur in busy tourist areas and crowded public spaces, particularly in large cities like Istanbul. Tourists are often targeted, so it’s essential to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions like keeping valuables secure.

As technology usage grows, cybercrime has become a significant concern in Turkey, with incidents of hacking, identity theft, and online fraud being reported. The government has taken steps to combat cybercrime, but individuals and businesses should also practice online safety measures.

Turkey has experienced acts of terrorism, especially in regions close to its borders with Syria and Iraq. Various extremist groups have targeted both Turkish citizens and tourists in the past. The Turkish government has been actively involved in counterterrorism efforts to combat these threats.

Organized crime groups are known to be involved in various illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and smuggling. These criminal organizations can pose challenges to law enforcement efforts.

Like many countries, domestic violence is a problem in Turkey. While legislation has been enacted to protect victims and punish offenders, there are still issues related to reporting and handling such cases.

Although the Turkish government has taken steps to combat this issue, honor killings have been reported in some parts of the country. This is a sensitive cultural issue that continues to be a challenge.

Corruption can be a concern in Turkey, with reports of bribery and misuse of public funds. The government has been working on addressing this problem through various measures and anti-corruption campaigns.

The Turkish government has taken significant steps to address crime and enhance public safety. It has modernized its law enforcement agencies, improved intelligence gathering, and strengthened its judicial system. Additionally, Turkey has collaborated with international partners to combat transnational crimes and terrorism.

Currency: Lira.

Electricity: Type C (2-pin round), Type F (2-pin round with earth pin).

Language: Turkish.

Latitude and Longitude: 38.9637° N, 35.2433° E.

Population: 84.78 million (2021).

President: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

National Parks

Turkey is home to several stunning national parks, each offering diverse landscapes, wildlife, and recreational opportunities. These national parks are protected areas that aim to preserve the country’s natural beauty and biodiversity. Here are some of the notable national parks in Turkey:

Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia

Located in the historical region of Cappadocia in central Turkey, this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its unique geological formations, known as “fairy chimneys.” The park’s distinct rock formations, underground cities, and ancient cave dwellings make it a popular tourist destination.

Olympos Beydağları National Park

Situated in the Antalya province, this national park offers a combination of stunning coastline and impressive mountains. Visitors can explore the scenic Beydağları Mountains and enjoy the beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean Sea.

Mount Ararat National Park

Mount Ararat is Turkey’s highest peak and is located in the eastern part of the country, near the border with Armenia and Iran. The national park surrounding the mountain provides opportunities for trekking and mountaineering, attracting adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

Yedigöller National Park

Yedigöller, meaning “Seven Lakes,” is located in the Bolu province in northwestern Turkey. The park is characterized by its seven picturesque lakes surrounded by lush forests, making it a popular spot for camping, hiking, and birdwatching.

Köprülü Canyon National Park

Situated in the Antalya province, this national park is famous for its impressive Köprülü Canyon, carved by the Köprüçay River. The park offers opportunities for rafting, hiking, and observing the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

Kazdağı (Mount Ida) National Park

Kazdağı National Park is located in the Balıkesir province in northwestern Turkey. The park encompasses Mount Ida (Kazdağı), a significant site in Greek mythology. The area is known for its rich biodiversity, including various plant species, and offers hiking and nature-watching experiences.

Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park

Located in the Çanakkale province, this national park holds significant historical importance due to the World War I battles that took place here, particularly the Gallipoli Campaign. The park is now a site of remembrance and attracts visitors interested in history and war memorials.

Kus Cenneti (Bird Paradise) National Park

Kus Cenneti, situated in the southeastern part of Turkey, near the Syrian border, is a wetland area and a haven for birdwatchers. The park provides critical habitat for numerous bird species, including migratory birds.


Turkey’s weather varies significantly due to its diverse geographical features and location at the crossroads of different climatic zones. The country experiences a wide range of climates, from Mediterranean and Aegean climates along the coastal regions to continental and steppe climates in the interior and mountainous areas.

Mediterranean and Aegean Coasts

The coastal areas along the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas have a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Summers (June to September) are hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching 30-35°C (86-95°F) during the day. Winters (December to February) are mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 10-15°C (50-59°F). These regions experience most of their rainfall during the winter months, with occasional heavy showers and storms.

Marmara Region

The Marmara region, including Istanbul, has a transitional climate, with both Mediterranean and continental influences. Summers (June to September) are warm and relatively dry, with temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F). Winters (December to February) are generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 5-10°C (41-50°F). Snowfall is possible during winter, but it is not very common in the coastal areas.

Central Anatolia

The central part of Anatolia experiences a continental climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. Summers (June to August) can be scorching, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). Winters (December to February) are cold, with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing, and heavy snowfall is common, especially in higher altitudes.

Eastern Anatolia

Eastern Anatolia has a harsher climate with colder winters and hot summers. Summers (June to August) can be quite hot, with temperatures ranging from 25-35°C (77-95°F). Winters (December to February) are very cold, with temperatures often plummeting well below freezing, and heavy snowfall is typical, especially in mountainous areas.

Black Sea Coast

The Black Sea coastal region experiences a temperate climate, characterized by mild, wet winters and warm, humid summers. Summers (June to September) are warm, with temperatures around 25-30°C (77-86°F). Winters (December to February) are relatively mild, with temperatures rarely dropping below freezing. This region receives abundant rainfall throughout the year, with heavier precipitation during the fall and winter months.

Southeastern Anatolia

Southeastern Anatolia has a semi-arid to arid climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Summers (June to August) are scorching, with temperatures often exceeding 35°C (95°F). Winters (December to February) are mild, with daytime temperatures ranging from 10-15°C (50-59°F). Rainfall is minimal in this region, and it can be prone to droughts during the summer months.