The Ottoman Empire known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire; the Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror. During the 16th and 17th centuries, at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. At the beginning of the 17th century, the empire contained numerous vassal states; some of these were absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.
With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. While the empire was once thought to have entered a period of decline following the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, this view is no longer supported by the majority of academic historians; the empire continued to maintain a flexible and strong economy and military throughout the 17th and much of the 18th century. However, during a long period of peace from 1740 to 1768, the Ottoman military system fell behind that of their European rivals, the Habsburg and Russian empires; the Ottomans suffered severe military defeats in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which prompted them to initiate a comprehensive process of reform and modernisation known as the Tanzimat. Thus, over the course of the 19th century, the Ottoman state became vastly more powerful and organised, despite suffering further territorial losses in the Balkans, where a number of new states emerged.
The empire allied with Germany in the early 20th century, hoping to escape from the diplomatic isolation which had contributed to its recent territorial losses, thus joined World War I on the side of the Central Powers. While the Empire was able to hold its own during the conflict, it was struggling with internal dissent with the Arab Revolt in its Arabian holdings. During this time, atrocities were committed by the Young Turk government against the Armenians and Pontic Greeks; the Empire's defeat and the occupation of part of its territory by the Allied Powers in the aftermath of World War I resulted in its partitioning and the loss of its Middle Eastern territories, which were divided between the United Kingdom and France. The successful Turkish War of Independence against the occupying Allies led to the emergence of the Republic of Turkey in the Anatolian heartland and the abolition of the Ottoman monarchy; the word Ottoman is a historical anglicisation of the name of Osman I, the founder of the Empire and of the ruling House of Osman.
Osman's name in turn was the Turkish form of the Arabic name ʿUthmān. In Ottoman Turkish, the empire was referred to as Devlet-i ʿAlīye-yi ʿOsmānīye, or alternatively ʿOsmānlı Devleti. In Modern Turkish, it is known as Osmanlı Devleti; the Turkish word for "Ottoman" referred to the tribal followers of Osman in the fourteenth century, subsequently came to be used to refer to the empire's military-administrative elite. In contrast, the term "Turk" was used to refer to the Anatolian peasant and tribal population, was seen as a disparaging term when applied to urban, educated individuals. In the early modern period, an educated urban-dwelling Turkish-speaker, not a member of the military-administrative class would refer to himself neither as an Osmanlı nor as a Türk, but rather as a Rūmī, or "Roman", meaning an inhabitant of the territory of the former Byzantine Empire in the Balkans and Anatolia; the term Rūmī was used to refer to Turkish-speakers by the other Muslim peoples of the empire and beyond.
In Western Europe, the two names "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" were used interchangeably, with "Turkey" being favoured both in formal and informal situations. This dichotomy was ended in 1920–23, when the newly established Ankara-based Turkish government chose Turkey as the sole official name. Most scholarly historians avoid the terms "Turkey", "Turks", "Turkish" when referring to the Ottomans, due to the empire's multinational character; as the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum declined in the 13th century, Anatolia was divided into a patchwork of independent Turkish principalities known as the Anatolian Beyliks. One of these beyliks, in the region of Bithynia on the frontier of the Byzantine Empire, was led by the Turkish tribal leader Osman I, a figure of obscure origins from whom the name Ottoman is derived. Osman's early followers consisted both of Turkish tribal groups and Byzantine renegades, many but not all converts to Islam. Osman extended the control of his principality by conquering Byzantine towns along the Sakarya River.
It is not well understood how the early Ottomans came to dominate their
The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups; the name refers to the islands around the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos; the significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley and goats, tuna that were speared from small boats. Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities, when the organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.
The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose; the context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been destroyed and their meaning may never be understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.
In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, as a result there have been problems with erosion and water shortages. The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Andros, Delos, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos, Paros, Serifos, Sikinos, Syros and Thira or Santoríni. There are many minor islands including Donousa, Gyaros, Koufonisia, Makronisos and Schoinousa; the name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited. Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture; the islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands and Santorini. The climate is dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not fertile. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and do not receive wintry weather; the Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region: Andros Kea-Kythnos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Thira Syros Tinos The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well. Province of Amorgos: Amorgos Province of Andros: Andros Province of Kea: Ioulis Province of Milos: Milos Province of Naxos: Naxos Province of Paros: Paroikia Province of Syros: Ermoupoli Province of Tinos: Tinos Province of Thira: ThiraNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece. Local specialities of the Cyclades include: Brantada Fava santorinis Fourtalia Kalasouna Kalogeros Kakavia Ladopita Louza, similar to the Cypriot lountza Mastelo Strapatsada Lazarakia Melopita Aegean cat Nisiotika music Santorini wine Mosaics of Delos J. A. MacGillivray and R. L. N. Barber, The Prehistoric Cyclades 1984. R. L. N. Barber, The Cyclades in the Bronze Age 1987.
Peter Saundry, C. Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. 2011. Sea of Crete. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. M. Pidwirny & C. J. Cleveland. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC. Jeremy B. Rutter, "The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean": Lessons 2 and 4: chronology, bibliography Cyclades The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
Vehicle registration plates of Greece
Greek vehicle registration plates are composed of three letters and four digits per plate printed in black on a white background. The letters represent the district that issues the plates while the numbers begin from 1000 to 9999; as from 2004, a blue strip was added on the left showing the country code of Greece in white text and the Flag of Europe. Similar plates with digits beginning from 1 to 999 are issued for motorcycles. With the exception of Athens and Thessaloniki, all districts are represented by the first 2 letters; the final letter in the sequence changes in Greek alphabetical order after 9,000 issued plates. For example, Patras plates are ΑΧΑ-1000, where ΑΧ represents the Achaia prefecture of which Patras is the capital; when ΑΧΑ-9999 is reached the plates turn to ΑΧΒ-1000 and this continues until ΑΧΧ is finished. Only the letters from the intersection between the Latin and Greek alphabets by glyph appearance are used, namely Α, Β, Ε, Ζ, Η, Ι, Κ, Μ, Ν, Ο, Ρ, Τ, Υ, Χ; this is because Greece is a contracting party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which in Annex 2 requires registration numbers to be displayed in capital Latin characters and Arabic numerals.
The rule applies in a similar way in Russia, Belarus and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Combinations used for overseas residents are limited; until 2003, taxis used L-NNNN. Up until 1954 Greek number plates were quite simple: black numbers on a white background, indicating the serial number shown on the car's license; these started at 1 and advanced to 75-000 when the system was changed. The owner had to provide the plates and specifications were minimal: the size of the plates and numbers, as well as their respective colours; this meant that plates were not uniform. Taxis had to indicate the initial of the city. In 1954 it was compulsory for all vehicles to change to a new system. For just 2 years the system was L-NNNN or L-NNNNN with black characters on yellow background where L was the initial of the city they were licensed in. All these plates display "1953-54" in black characters on a white background using a smaller typeface in the top left corner; these plates were compulsorily withdrawn in 1956.
In 1956 the system was again changed to just numbers NNNNNN. NNNNNN could be any number from one to six digits starting once again with "1" and ending this time at about "451000", though not all numbers were allocated. Characters were black on white background with a blue band at the top of both front and back plates indicating city/district of registration and type of usage. After 1960 the blue band on the front plate was abandoned and hence that plate became shorter in height; this time it was not compulsory to change plates after 1972. Hence these so-called "six-figure plates" can still be spotted on a few old vehicles. In 1972, they became lettered and the system was LL-NNNN while trucks used L-NNNN. Again, they were black characters on white background but with a different typeface, it was not compulsory to change these plates. In 1982, the system changed to LLL-NNNN and the first two letters are prefecture letters. Again, it was not compulsory to change to the newer system plates in 2004. In 2004 the euroband was added to the left and the typeface changed, in all other respects the previous system continued.
The first 2 of 3 letters of a licence plate represent the prefecture where the car was registered. The full list of plates in Greece is below: ΑΑ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΒ Kavala prefecture - Kavala ΑΕ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΖ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΗ Xanthi prefecture - Xanthi ΑΙ Aitoloakarnania prefecture - Agrinio area ΑΚ Laconia prefecture - Sparti ΑΜ Phokida prefecture - Amfissa ΑΜ tax free cars ΑΝ Lasithi prefecture - Agios Nikolaos ΑΟ Achaia prefecture - Patras AO used in Mount Athos in style of AO-NNN-NN. ΑΡ Argolis prefecture - Nafplio ΑΤ Arta prefecture - Arta AY Achaia prefecture - Patras ΑΧ Achaia prefecture - Patras ΒΑ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΒ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΕ Piraeus prefecture BZ Piraeus prefecture ΒΗ Piraeus prefecture ΒΙ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΚ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΜ East Attica prefecture - Pallini ΒΝ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΟ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΡ West Attica prefecture - Elefsina ΒΤ Magnesia prefecture - Volos ΒΥ Boeotia prefecture - Livadeia ΒΧ Piraeus prefecture ΕΑ Dodecanese prefecture - Kos island ΕΒ Evros prefecture - Alexandroupoli ΕΕ Pella Prefecture - Edessa ΕΖ Cyclades prefecture - Ermoupoli ΕΗ Euboea prefecture - Chalkida EI Euboea prefecture - Chalki
Despotikó, Prepesinthus or Prepesinthos, is a small, uninhabited Greek island in the Cyclades. It is situated west of the island of Antiparos, east of the smaller island of Strongyli; the small and dry island is located about 700 m southwest from the shores of Antiparos. Despotiko is situated exactly in the center of the Cyclades and during clear days it is possible to view the surrounding islands of Antiparos, Serifos, Kimolos, Folegandros and Ios. Administratively, the island is part of the community of Antiparos; the island can only be reached by boats starting from the island of Antiparos. Boats leave either from the main village of Antiparos or from Agios Georgios, just opposite Despotiko; the final destination for them lies on the southern part of the island where a large sandy beach is located. The strait separating Despotiko from Antiparos only has a minimum depth of about 1m, with the intervening islet of Tsimintiri; this extreme shallowness of the strait suggests the possibility of a link between Antiparos and Despotiko in former times.
Indicators of previous sea-levels include archaeological remains on the sea-floor of Despotiko Bay such as Early Bronze Age cist graves off Koimitiri down to 3m water depths. Numerous parallel trenches occur west of the Panagia chapel on Despotiko which have not been excavated or dated so far, but can be compared with the identical submerged Hellenistic viticulture trenches from northeast Antiparos; these submerged archaeological structures, together with a Classical marble inscription from the sanctuary on Despotiko reading ΕΣΤΙΑΣ ΙΣΘΜΙΑΣ, suggest that the relative sea-level in this area was at least 3m lower during the Early Bronze Age and still more than 1m lower during the Hellenistic time. This implies that an isthmus may have linked Despotiko and Antiparos at least until the Hellenistic time. Although presently uninhabited, there are significant indications that in prehistoric and ancient times the island - due to its central position among the Cyclades and the large Despotiko Bay providing safe anchorage - played an important role in maritime communication routes.
Excavations are taking place in the northwest part of the island and so far the findings are of great importance. The excavations proved the existence of an important late Archaic sanctuary with abundant objects indicating links to mainland Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and to Northern Africa, as well as the continued use of this area in the Classical, Hellenistic and Frankish periods. 2015 excavations at the Archaic sanctuary site on an Aegean Sea islet revealed new evidence about its size and organization. The sanctuary seems to have been devoted to Apollo. Archaeologists discovered an ornate façade of a structure measuring 35 meters by 15 meters, suggesting that the sanctuary was extended and rebuilt several times during the Classical and Hellenistic periods. A large, four-room building on the site’s west section featured a large stone altar in one of the rooms as well as pottery fragments bearing inscriptions with Apollo’s name. A long wall, stretching from what would have been the islet’s ancient port to the site of the sanctuary, was revealed.
Some of the artefacts from the excavations are exhibited in the archaeological museum in Parikia, the capital of the nearby island of Paros, along with other important antiquities from the region. Some glimpses of the early modern and modern history of Despotiko might be reconstructed from historic topographic maps and descriptions of travellers from that period; the island, under the name Prepesinthus, is noted by ancient geographers Strabo and Pliny the Elder. Due to low and non-permanent human presence, as well as moderate pasture pressure, some natural habitat types, typical of the central Cyclades, are well preserved. Therefore, Despotiko and the southernmost part of Antiparos as well as surrounding marine areas have been selected for a NATURA 2000 habitat, part of an ecological network of protected areas in the European Union. Large areas are covered by a garrigue; the seal Monachus. On the sea floor Posidonia seagrass meadows provide habitat for a diverse flora. First comments about the geology of Despotiko originate from Fiedler in 1841, but it took until 1963 for the first geological map to be published.
Tectonically, Despotiko and Paros belong to the Attic-Cycladic Crystalline of the Central Hellenides, a stack of metamorphic tectonic nappes comprising variable types of gneiss, schist and amphibolite, tectonic slices of unmetamorphosed sediments on top, separated by low-angle normal faults from the metamorphic units below. Despotiko is dominated by metamorphic rocks with foliation surfaces dipping quite uniformly towards the southwest at shallow angles; the structurally lowest parts in the north and northeast of the island consist of grey foliated, mylonitic ortho-gneiss with abundant cross-cutting pegmatite dikes that become more and more deformed and rotated parallel to the foliation towards the hanging wall. The ortho-gneiss is followed by up to several metres thick, prominent white foliated, mylonitic gneiss. Higher up are medium-grained, white calcite marble, followed by greenish-white gneiss and an alternation of chlorite epidote schist and thin marble layers, on top of which are found
Gyaros locally known as Gioura, is an arid and unpopulated Greek island in the northern Cyclades near the islands of Andros and Tinos, with an area of 23 square kilometres. It is a part of the municipality of Ano Syros, which lies on the island of Syros; this and other small islands of the Aegean Sea served as places of exile for important persons in the early Roman empire. The extremity of its desolation was proverbial among Roman authors, such as Juvenal, it was a place of exile for leftist political dissidents in Greece from 1948 until 1974. At least 22,000 people were imprisoned on the island during that time, it is an island of great ecological importance as it hosts the largest population of monk seal in the Mediterranean. The pseudo-Aristotelian work On Marvellous Things Heard recounts the tale that on Gyaros the mice eat iron. In the Aeneid of Virgil and Mykonos are said to be the two islands to which the god Apollo tied the holy island of Delos to stop its wandering over the Aegean Sea.
In his recounting of the myth of the war between Minos and Aegeus, the king of Athens, the poet Ovid speaks of Gyaros as one island that refused to join the campaign of the Cretan king. In 29 BC, the historian and geographer Strabo had an extended stay on the island, on his way to Corinth. In the 1st century AD, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History that the island, which had a city, was 15 miles in circumference and lay 62 miles from Andros, he records that the inhabitants of Gyaros were once put to flight by mice. The island is mentioned by the Roman orator Cicero, other notable Latin authors, indicating a broad awareness of Gyaros among the educated elite of the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD; the island served as a place of exile during the early Roman Empire. Writing in the early 2nd century AD, the Roman historian Tacitus records that, when Silanus, the proconsul of the province of Asia was accused of extortion and treason, it had been proposed in the Roman Senate that he be exiled to Gyaros, the Roman Emperor Tiberius allowed him to be sent to the nearby island of Kythnos instead, since Gyaros was "harsh and devoid of human culture".
When confronted with another recommendation to exile a defendant to Gyaros, Tiberius once more declined, noting that the island was deficient in water, that those granted their lives ought to be granted the means to live. The defendant was allowed to go into exile on Amorgos instead; the Roman poet Juvenal, a near-contemporary of Tacitus, mentions this island twice in his Satires: first as a place of exile for vile criminals, second as a symbol of claustrophobic imprisonment. In the second reference, Juvenal compares the restlessness of Alexander the Great to that of a man imprisoned: Under emperor Nero, the philosopher Musonius Rufus was charged guilty for his participation in the Pisonian conspiracy and was banished to Gyara. There is a red brick prison building which during the years 1948 to 1953 held 10,000 men in custody due to their participation in the Greek Resistance organization Ethniko Apeleftherotiko Metopo. Many of them were involved in the Greek civil war. Jehovah's Witnesses were sentenced to exile there as being Christian conscientious objectors.
The prison was used again during the years 1957 to 1964 and during the Greek military junta of 1967-1974. The structures are decaying due to weathering, no maintenance is conducted. In four separate places north of the prison building, there are the ruins of the camps where the men lived in tents, both summer and winter. Once a year, the men and women who are alive and in good health who were imprisoned on the island for their political views, pay tribute by visiting the island and hold a ceremony in the cemetery of the men who left their last breath on this island; the Greek government used the island as a target range for the Hellenic Navy until the year 2000. The island is off-limits for the general public and approaching or fishing in close proximity is forbidden by the coast guard. Fred Ihrt's photos of the concentration camp on Gyaros in 1967 Gyaros Documentation 2014
Antimilos is a Greek island in the Cyclades, 13 miles northwest of Milos. Administratively, it is part of the municipality of Milos. Antimilos is an uninhabited mass of trachyte called Erimomilos, it is a volcanic island and the crater is still obvious. Ancient inhabitants transformed the crater to an open rain tank. On the island lives a rare variation of the common goat called, it is similar but not the same as the Cretan goat known as "kri-kri". According to an interpretation of Homer's Odyssey, it is the island of the sun god Helios, where Odysseus's companions slaughtered the sacred cattle of the sun god; the island was known by the name Ephyra or Ephora, because one could observe the sea from its highest point over long distances. Settlement in prehistoric times can be assumed due to remains of walls and arrowheads made of obsidian found on the island. Remains of a cistern of Roman or early Christian origin have been found. Official website of Municipality of Mílos