A caravanserai was a roadside inn where travelers could rest and recover from the day's journey. Caravanserais supported the flow of commerce and people across the network of trade routes covering Asia, North Africa and Southeast Europe, most notably the Silk Road. Caravanserais were a common feature not only along the Silk Road, but along the Achaemenid Empire's Royal Road, a 2,500-kilometre-long ancient highway that stretched from Sardis to Susa according to Herodotus: "Now the true account of the road in question is the following: Royal stations exist along its whole length, excellent caravanserais. Other significant urban caravanserais were built along the Grand Trunk Road in the Indian subcontinent in the region of Mughal Delhi; the word is rendered as caravansary, caravansaray and caravansara. The Persian word کاروانسرای kārvānsarāy is a compound word combining kārvān "caravan" with sarāy "palace", "building with enclosed courts", to which the Persian suffix -yi is added. Here "caravan" means a group of traders, pilgrims or other travellers, engaged in long distance travel.
The word serai is sometimes used with the implication of caravanserai. A number of place-names based on the word sarai have grown up: Mughal Serai, Sarai Alamgir and the Delhi Sarai Rohilla railway station for example, a great many other places are based on the original meaning of "palace"; the Persian caravanserai was built as a large road station, outside of towns. An inn built inside a town was known in Persian as a khan. In the Middle-East the term "khan" covers both meanings, of roadside inn as well as of inner-town inn. In Turkish the word is rendered as han; the same word was used in Bosnian. The Greek pandocheion, lit.: "welcoming all", thus meaning'inn', led to funduq in Arabic, pundak in Hebrew, fundaco in Venice, fondaco in Genoa and alhóndiga in Spanish. Al-Muqaddasi the Arab geographer wrote in 985 CE about the hostelries, or wayfarers' inns, in the Province of Palestine, a province at that time listed under the topography of Syria, saying: "Taxes are not heavy in Syria, with the exception of those levied on the Caravanserais.
The reference here being to the imposts and duties charged by government officials on the importation of goods and merchandise, the importers of which and their beasts of burden stopping to take rest in these places. Guards were stationed at every gate to ensure that taxes for these goods be paid in full, while the revenues therefrom accruing to the Fatimid kingdom of Egypt. Most a caravanserai was a building with a square or rectangular walled exterior, with a single portal wide enough to permit large or laden beasts such as camels to enter; the courtyard was always open to the sky, the inside walls of the enclosure were outfitted with a number of identical animal stalls, niches or chambers to accommodate merchants and their servants and merchandise. Caravanserais provided water for human and animal consumption and ritual purification such as wudu and ghusl. Sometimes they had elaborate baths, they kept fodder for animals and had shops for travellers where they could acquire new supplies. In addition, some shops bought goods from the travelling merchants.
Multani Caravanserai, established in the 14th century in Azerbaijan and now houses a restaurant, was constructed in a square shape. It has ancient style with balconies around the courtyard. Caravan city Islamic architecture Shaki Caravanserai, a historical monument in the Shaki Khanate, Azerbaijan Architecture of Azerbaijan Turkish architecture Persian architecture Persian gardens and bagh List of caravanserais List of caravanserais in Azerbaijan List of Seljuk hans and kervansarays in Turkey List of streets and gates in Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Branning, Katharine. 2018. Turkishhan.org, The Seljuk Han in Anatolia. New York, USA. Cytryn-Silverman, Katia. 2010. The Road Inns in Bilad al-Sham. BAR, Oxford. ISBN 9781407306711 Encyclopædia Iranica, p. 798-802 Erdmann, Erdmann, Hanna. 1961. Das anatolische Karavansaray des 13. Jahrhunderts, 3 vols. Berlin: Mann, 1976, ISBN 3-7861-2241-5 Hillenbrand, Robert. 1994. Islamic Architecture: Form and meaning. NY: Columbia University Press.. Kiani, Mohammad Yusef. 1976.
Caravansaries in Khorasan Road. Reprinted from: Traditions Architecturales en Iran, Tehran, No. 2 & 3, 1976. Schutyser, Tom. 2012. Caravanserai: Traces, Dialogue in the Middle East. Milan: 5 Continents Editions, ISBN 978-88-7439-604-7 Yavuz, Aysil Tükel. 1997. The Concepts that Shape Anatolian Seljuq Caravansara. In: Gülru Necipoglu. 1997. Muqarnas XIV: An Annual on the Visual Culture of the Islamic World. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 80-95. Shah Abbasi Caravanserai, Tishineh Caravansara Pictures Consideratcaravanserai.net and photos on research on caravanserais and travel journeys in Middle East and Central Asia. Caravanserais in Turkey The Seljuk Han in Anatolia
Tiberius was Roman emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD, succeeding the first emperor, Augustus. Born to Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla in a Claudian family, he was given the personal name Tiberius Claudius Nero, his mother divorced Nero and married Octavian—later to ascend to Emperor as Augustus—who became his stepfather. Tiberius would marry Augustus' daughter, Julia the Elder, later be adopted by Augustus. Through the adoption, he became a Julian, assuming the name Tiberius Julius Caesar; the emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years. His relationship to the other emperors of this dynasty was as follows: Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, great-grand uncle of Nero, his 22-and-a-half-year reign would be the longest after Augustus's until Antoninus Pius, who surpassed his reign by a few months. Tiberius was one of the greatest Roman generals. So, he came to be remembered as a dark and sombre ruler who never desired to be emperor.
After the death of his son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, Tiberius became more reclusive and aloof. In 26 AD he removed himself from Rome and left administration in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro; when Tiberius died, he was succeeded by Caligula. Tiberius was born in Rome on 16 November 42 BC to Tiberius Claudius Livia. In 39 BC his mother divorced his biological father and remarried Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus shortly thereafter, while still pregnant with Tiberius Nero's son. In 38 BC his brother, Nero Claudius Drusus, was born. Little is recorded of Tiberius' early life. In 32 BC Tiberius, at the age of nine, delivered the eulogy for his biological father at the rostra. In 29 BC, he rode in the triumphal chariot along with his adoptive father Octavian in celebration of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. In 23 BC Emperor Augustus became gravely ill and his possible death threatened to plunge the Roman world into chaos again.
Historians agree that it is during this time that the question of Augustus' heir became most acute, while Augustus had seemed to indicate that Agrippa and Marcellus would carry on his position in the event of his death, the ambiguity of succession became Augustus' chief problem. In response, a series of potential heirs seem to have been selected, among them Tiberius and his brother Drusus. In 24 BC, at the age of seventeen, Tiberius entered politics under Augustus' direction, receiving the position of quaestor, was granted the right to stand for election as praetor and consul five years in advance of the age required by law. Similar provisions were made for Drusus. Shortly thereafter Tiberius began appearing in court as an advocate, it is here that his interest in Greek rhetoric began. In 20 BC, Tiberius was sent East under Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa; the Parthian Empire had captured the standards of the legions under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus, Decidius Saxa, Mark Antony. After a year of negotiation, Tiberius led a sizable force into Armenia with the goal of establishing it as a Roman client state and ending the threat it posed on the Roman-Parthian border.
Augustus was able to reach a compromise whereby the standards were returned, Armenia remained a neutral territory between the two powers. Tiberius married Vipsania Agrippina, the daughter of Augustus’s close friend and greatest general, Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, he was appointed to the position of praetor, was sent with his legions to assist his brother Drusus in campaigns in the west. While Drusus focused his forces in Gallia Narbonensis and along the German frontier, Tiberius combated the tribes in the Alps and within Transalpine Gaul, conquering Raetia. In 15 BC he discovered the sources of the Danube, soon afterwards the bend of the middle course. Returning to Rome in 13 BC, Tiberius was appointed as consul, around this same time his son, Drusus Julius Caesar, was born. Agrippa's death in 12 BC elevated Drusus with respect to the succession. At Augustus’ request in 11 BC, Tiberius divorced Vipsania and married Julia the Elder, Augustus' daughter and Agrippa's widow. Tiberius was reluctant to do this, as Julia had made advances to him when she was married and Tiberius was married.
His new marriage with Julia turned sour. Tiberius once ran into Vipsania again, proceeded to follow her home crying and begging forgiveness. Tiberius continued to be elevated by Augustus, after Agrippa's death and his brother Drusus' death in 9 BC, seemed the clear candidate for succession; as such, in 12 BC he received military commissions in Germania. In 6 BC, Tiberius launched a pincer movement against the Marcomanni. Setting out northwest from Carnuntum on the Danube with four legions, Tiberius passed through Quadi territory in order to invade Marcomanni territory from the east. Meanwhile, general Gaius Sentius Saturninus would depart east from Moguntiacum on the Rhine with two or three legions, pass through newly annexed Hermundur
A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. The caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate. In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates. Prior to the rise of Muhammad and the unification of the tribes of Arabia under Islam, Arabs followed a pre-Islamic Arab polytheism, lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic communities, raided their neighbouring tribes. Following the early Muslim conquests of the Arabian Peninsula, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam.
The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was established after Muhammad's death in 632. The four Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider to be an early form of Islamic democracy; the fourth caliph, who, unlike the prior three, was from the same clan as Muhammad, is considered by Shia Muslims to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. Ali reigned during the First Fitna, a civil war between supporters of Ali and supporters of the assassinated previous caliph, from Banu Umayya, as well as rebels in Egypt; the second caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate, was ruled by Banu Umayya, a Meccan clan descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. The caliphate continued the Arab conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world; the caliphate had considerable acceptance of the Christians within its territory, necessitated by their large numbers in the region of Syria.
Following the Abbasid Revolution from 746–750, which arose from non-Arab Muslim disenfranchisement, the Abbasid Caliphate was established in 750. The third caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate was ruled by the Abbasids, a dynasty of Meccan origin which descended from Hashim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad, making them part of Banu Hashim, via Abbas, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the name. Caliph al-Mansur founded its second capital of Baghdad in 762 which became a major scientific and art centre, as did the territory as a whole during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. From the 10th century, Abbasid rule became confined to an area around Baghdad. From 945 to 1157, the Abbasid Caliphate came under Buyid and Seljuq military control. In 1250, a non-Arab army created by the Abbasids called. In 1258, the Mongol Empire sacked Baghdad, ending the Abbasid Caliphate, in 1261 the Mamluks in Egypt re-established the Abbasid Caliphate in Cairo. Though lacking in political power, the Abbasid dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517.
The fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, was established after their conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517. The conquest gave the Ottomans control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina controlled by the Mamluks; the Ottomans came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Muslim world. In the Indian subcontinent, dominant powers such as the Delhi Sultanate's Alauddin Khilji, Mughal Empire's sixth ruler Aurangzeb, Mysore's kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan have been heralded as few of the Indian caliphs existed, due to their establishments of Islamic laws throughout South Asia. Following their defeat in World War I, their empire was partitioned by the United Kingdom and French Third Republic, on 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate. A few other states that existed through history have called themselves caliphates, including the Isma'ili Fatimid Caliphate in Northeast Africa, the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberia, the Berber Almohad Caliphate in Morocco and the Fula Sokoto Caliphate in present-day northern Nigeria.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph may come to power in one of four ways: either through an election, through nomination, through a selection by a committee, or by force. Followers of Shia Islam, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt. In the early 21st century, following the failure of the Arab Spring and defeat of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State", there has seen "a broad mainstream embrace of a collective Muslim identity" by young Muslims and the appeal of a caliphate as a "idealized future Muslim state" has grown stronger. Before the advent of Islam, Arabian monarchs traditionally used the title malik, or another from the same root; the term caliph, derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalīfat Rasūl Allāh. However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phr
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
Alp Arslan, real name Muhammad bin Dawud Chaghri, was the second Sultan of the Seljuk Empire and great-grandson of Seljuk, the eponymous founder of the dynasty. As Sultan, Alp Arslan expanded Seljuk territory and consolidated power, defeating rivals to his south and northwest, his victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 ushered in the Turkish settlement of Anatolia. For his military prowess and fighting skills he obtained the name Alp Arslan, which means "Heroic Lion" in Turkish. Alp Arslan accompanied his uncle, Tughril Bey, on campaigns in the south against the Shia Fatimids while his father, Çağrı Bey, remained in Khorasan. Upon Alp Arslan's return to Khorasan, he began his work in administration at his father's suggestion. While there, his father introduced him to Nizam al-Mulk, one of the most eminent statesmen in early Muslim history and Alp Arslan's future vizier. After the death of his father, Alp Arslan succeeded him as governor of Khorasan in 1059, his uncle Tughril was succeeded by Suleiman, Arslan's brother.
Arslan and his uncle Kutalmish both contested this succession. Arslan defeated Kutalmish for the throne and succeeded on 27 April 1064 as sultan of Great Seljuq, thus becoming sole monarch of Persia from the river Oxus to the Tigris. In consolidating his empire and subduing contending factions, Arslan was ably assisted by Nizam al-Mulk, the two are credited with helping to stabilize the empire after the death of Tughril. With peace and security established in his dominions, Arslan convoked an assembly of the states and in 1066, he declared his son Malik Shah I his heir and successor. With the hope of capturing Caesarea Mazaca, the capital of Cappadocia, he placed himself at the head of the Turkish cavalry, crossed the Euphrates, entered and invaded the city. Along with Nizam al-Mulk, he marched into Armenia and Georgia, which he conquered in 1064. After a siege of 25 days, the Seljuks captured the capital city of Armenia. An account of the sack and massacres in Ani is given by the historian Sibt ibn al-Jawzi, who quotes an eyewitness saying: Putting the Persian sword to work, they spared no one...
One could see there the calamity of every age of human kind. For children were ravished from the embraces of their mothers and mercilessly hurled against rocks, while the mothers drenched them with tears and blood... The city became a road; the army entered the city, massacred its inhabitants and burned it, leaving it in ruins and taking prisoner all those who remained alive... The dead bodies were so many, and the number of prisoners was not less than 50,000 souls. I was determined to see the destruction with my own eyes. I tried to find a street. En route to fight the Fatimids in Syria in 1068, Alp Arslan invaded the Byzantine Empire; the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, assuming command in person, met the invaders in Cilicia. In three arduous campaigns, the Turks were defeated in detail and driven across the Euphrates in 1070; the first two campaigns were conducted by the emperor himself, while the third was directed by Manuel Comnenos, great-uncle of Emperor Manuel Comnenos. During this time, Arslan gained the allegiance of Rashid al-Dawla Mahmud, the Mirdasid emir of Aleppo.
In 1071 Romanos again took the field and advanced into Armenia with 30,000 men, including a contingent of Cuman Turks as well as contingents of Franks and Normans, under Ursel de Baieul. Alp Arslan, who had moved his troops south to fight the Fatimids reversed to meet the Byzantines. At Manzikert, on the Murat River, north of Lake Van, the two forces waged the Battle of Manzikert; the Cuman mercenaries among the Byzantine forces defected to the Turkish side. Seeing this, "the Western mercenaries rode off and took no part in the battle." To be exact, Romanos was betrayed by general Andronikos Doukas, son of the Caesar, who pronounced him dead and rode off with a large part of the Byzantine forces at a critical moment. The Byzantines were routed. Emperor Romanos IV was himself conducted into the presence of Alp Arslan. After a ritual humiliation, Arslan treated him with generosity. After peace terms were agreed to, Arslan dismissed the Emperor, loaded with presents and respectfully attended by a military guard.
The following conversation is said to have taken place after Romanos was brought as a prisoner before the Sultan: Alp Arslan's victories changed the balance in near Asia in favour of the Seljuq Turks and Sunni Muslims. While the Byzantine Empire was to continue for nearly four more centuries, the Crusades would contest the issue for some time, the victory at Manzikert signalled the beginning of Turkish ascendancy in Anatolia. Most historians, including Edward Gibbon, date the defeat at Manzikert as the beginning of the end of the Eastern Roman Empire. Alp Arslan's strength lay in the military realm. Domestic affairs were handled by his able vizier, Nizam al-Mulk, the founder of the administrative organization that characterized and strengthened the sultanate during the reigns of Alp Arslan and his son, Malik Shah. Military fiefs, governed by Seljuq princes, were established to provide support for the soldiery and to accommodate the nomadic Turks to the established Anatolian agricultural scene.
Göreme, located among the "fairy chimney" rock formations, is a town in Cappadocia, a historical region of Turkey. It has a population of around 2,000 people. Former names of the town have been Korama, Maccan or Machan, Avcilar; when Göreme Valley nearby was designated an important tourist destination, a "center" for all tourism in Cappadocia, the name of the town was changed to Göreme for practical reasons. Among Göreme's important sites are Ortahane, Durmus Kadir, Yusuf Koc and Bezirhane churches, in addition to the richly decorated Tokali Kilise, the Apple Church, a number of homes and pigeon houses carved straight into the rock formations in the town; the time that the Göreme was first settled is unclear, but it could date back as far as the Hittite era, between 1800 and 1200 B. C. For many centuries, the location was central between rival empires, such as the Hurri-Mitanni, Hittite Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire, Neo Assyrian Empire, Persian Achaemenid Empire and the Greek Seleucid Empire, leading the natives to tunnel into the rock to escape the political turmoil.
During the Roman era, the area became home to Christians retreating from Rome. Christianity prevailed as the primary religion in the region, evident from many rock churches that can still be seen today; the Göreme National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985. Churches of Göreme Amasya Ürgüp Goreme Info UNESCO site Goreme travel guide from Wikivoyage Durmus Kadir church Hundreds of pictures of Göreme
Turkey the Republic of Turkey, is a transcontinental country located in Western Asia, with a smaller portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe. East Thrace, located in Europe, is separated from Anatolia by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorous strait and the Dardanelles. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria to its northwest. Istanbul is the largest city. 70 to 80 per cent of the country's citizens identify as Turkish. Kurds are the largest minority. At various points in its history, the region has been inhabited by diverse civilizations including the Assyrians, Thracians, Phrygians and Armenians. Hellenization continued into the Byzantine era; the Seljuk Turks began migrating into the area in the 11th century, their victory over the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 symbolizes the start and foundation of Turkey. The Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm ruled Anatolia until the Mongol invasion in 1243, when it disintegrated into small Turkish principalities. Beginning in the late 13th-century, the Ottomans started uniting these Turkish principalities.
After Mehmed II conquered Constantinople in 1453, Ottoman expansion continued under Selim I. During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent the Ottoman Empire encompassed much of Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa and became a world power. In the following centuries the state entered a period of decline with a gradual loss of territories and wars. In an effort to consolidate the weakening social and political foundations of the empire, Mahmut II started a period of modernisation in the early 19th century, bringing reforms in all areas of the state including the military and bureaucracy along with the emancipation of all citizens. In 1913, a coup d'état put the country under the control of the Three Pashas. During World War I, the Ottoman government committed genocides against its Armenian and Pontic Greek subjects. Following the war, the conglomeration of territories and peoples that comprised the Ottoman Empire was partitioned into several new states; the Turkish War of Independence, initiated by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his colleagues against occupying Allied Powers, resulted in the abolition of monarchy in 1922 and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, with Atatürk as its first president.
Atatürk enacted numerous reforms, many of which incorporated various aspects of Western thought and customs into the new form of Turkish government. The Kurdish–Turkish conflict, an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and Kurdish insurgents, has been active since 1984 in the southeast of the country. Various Kurdish groups demand separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds in Turkey. Turkey is a charter member of the UN, an early member of NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, a founding member of the OECD, OSCE, BSEC, OIC and G-20. After becoming one of the first members of the Council of Europe in 1949, Turkey became an associate member of the EEC in 1963, joined the EU Customs Union in 1995 and started accession negotiations with the European Union in 2005 which have been stopped by the EU in 2017 due to "Turkey's path toward autocratic rule". Turkey's economy and diplomatic initiatives led to its recognition as a regional power while its location has given it geopolitical and strategic importance throughout history.
Turkey is a secular, unitary parliamentary republic which adopted a presidential system with a referendum in 2017. Turkey's current administration headed by president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of the AKP has enacted measures to increase the influence of Islam, undermine Kemalist policies and freedom of the press; the English name of Turkey means "land of the Turks". Middle English usage of Turkye is evidenced in an early work by Chaucer called The Book of the Duchess; the phrase land of Torke is used in the 15th-century Digby Mysteries. Usages can be found in the Dunbar poems, the 16th century Manipulus Vocabulorum and Francis Bacon's Sylva Sylvarum; the modern spelling "Turkey" dates back to at least 1719. The Turkish name Türkiye was adopted in 1923 under the influence of European usage; the Anatolian peninsula, comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest permanently settled regions in the world. Various ancient Anatolian populations have lived in Anatolia, from at least the Neolithic period until the Hellenistic period.
Many of these peoples spoke the Anatolian languages, a branch of the larger Indo-European language family. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical centre from which the Indo-European languages radiated; the European part of Turkey, called Eastern Thrace, has been inhabited since at least forty thousand years ago, is known to have been in the Neolithic era by about 6000 BC. Göbekli Tepe is the site of the oldest known man-made religious structure, a temple dating to circa 10,000 BC, while Çatalhöyük is a large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately