Ankara known as Ancyra and Angora, is the capital of Turkey. With a population of 4,587,558 in the urban center and 5,150,072 in its province, it is Turkey's second largest city after Istanbul, having outranked İzmir in the 20th century. On 23 April 1920 the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established in Ankara, which became the headquarters of Atatürk and the Turkish National Movement during the Turkish War of Independence. Ankara became the new Turkish capital upon the establishment of the Republic on 29 October 1923, succeeding in this role the former Turkish capital Istanbul following the fall of the Ottoman Empire; the government is a prominent employer, but Ankara is an important commercial and industrial city, located at the center of Turkey's road and railway networks. The city gave its name to the Angora wool shorn from Angora rabbits, the long-haired Angora goat, the Angora cat; the area is known for its pears and muscat grapes. Although situated in one of the driest places of Turkey and surrounded by steppe vegetation except for the forested areas on the southern periphery, Ankara can be considered a green city in terms of green areas per inhabitant, at 72 square metres per head.
Ankara is a old city with various Hittite, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman archaeological sites. The historical center of town is a rocky hill rising 150 m over the left bank of the Ankara Çayı, a tributary of the Sakarya River, the classical Sangarius; the hill remains crowned by the ruins of the old citadel. Although few of its outworks have survived, there are well-preserved examples of Roman and Ottoman architecture throughout the city, the most remarkable being the 20 BC Temple of Augustus and Rome that boasts the Monumentum Ancyranum, the inscription recording the Res Gestae Divi Augusti; the orthography of the name Ankara has varied over the ages. It has been identified with the Hittite cult center Ankuwaš, although this remains a matter of debate. In classical antiquity and during the medieval period, the city was known as Ánkyra in Greek and Ancyra in Latin. Following its annexation by the Seljuk Turks in 1073, the city became known in many European languages as Angora; the form "Angora" is preserved in the names of breeds of many different kinds of animals, in the names of several locations in the US.
Ankara has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate which borders a hot summer Mediterranean continental climate. Under the Trewartha climate classification, Ankara has a middle latitude steppe climate. Due to its elevation and inland location, Ankara has cold, somewhat snowy winters and hot, dry summers. Rainfall occurs during the spring and autumn. Ankara lies in USDA Hardiness zone 7b, its annual average precipitation is low at 400 millimeters precipitation can be observed throughout the year. Monthly mean temperatures range from 0.3 °C in January to 23.5 °C in July, with an annual mean of 12.02 °C. Ankara had a population of 75,000 in 1927. In 2013, Ankara Province had a population of 5,045,083; when Ankara became the capital of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, it was designated as a planned city for 500,000 future inhabitants. During the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, the city grew in a planned and orderly pace. However, from the 1950s onward, the city grew much faster than envisioned, because unemployment and poverty forced people to migrate from the countryside into the city in order to seek a better standard of living.
As a result, many illegal houses called gecekondu were built around the city, causing the unplanned and uncontrolled urban landscape of Ankara, as not enough planned housing could be built fast enough. Although precariously built, the vast majority of them have electricity, running water and modern household amenities. Many of these gecekondus have been replaced by huge public housing projects in the form of tower blocks such as Elvankent, Eryaman and Güzelkent. Although many gecekondus still remain, they too are being replaced by mass housing compounds, as empty land plots in the city of Ankara for new construction projects are becoming impossible to find; the region's history can be traced back to the Bronze Age Hattic civilization, succeeded in the 2nd millennium BC by the Hittites, in the 10th century BC by the Phrygians, by the Lydians, Greeks, Romans and Turks. The oldest settlements in and around the city center of Ankara belonged to the Hattic civilization which existed during the Bronze Age and was absorbed c.
2000–1700 BC by the Indo-European Hittites. The city grew in size and importance under the Phrygians starting around 1000 BC, experienced a large expansion following the mass migration from Gordion, after an earthquake which damaged that city around that time. In Phrygian tradition, King Midas was venerated as the founder of Ancyra, but Pausanias mentions that the city was far older, which accords with present archaeological knowledge. Phrygian rule was succeeded first by Lydian and by Persian rule, though the Phrygian character of the peasantry remained, as evidenced by the gravestones of the much Roman period. Persian sovereignty lasted until the Persians' defeat at the
The Göktürks, Celestial Turks, Blue Turks or Kok Turks were a nomadic confederation of Turkic peoples in medieval Inner Asia. The Göktürks, under the leadership of Bumin Qaghan and his sons, succeeded the Rouran Khaganate as the main power in the region and established the Turkic Khaganate, one of several nomadic dynasties which would shape the future geolocation and dominant beliefs of Turkic peoples. Speaking, the common name Göktürk is the Anatolian Turkish form of the ethnonym; the Old Turkic name for the Göktürks was Türük,: Kök Türük, or Türk. They were known in Middle Chinese historical sources as the tɦutkyat. According to Chinese sources, the meaning of the word Tujue was "combat helmet" because the shape of the Altai Mountains where they lived, was similar to a combat helmet. Göktürk means "Celestial Turks", or sometimes "Blue Turks"; this is consistent with "the cult of heavenly ordained rule", a recurrent element of Altaic political culture and as such may have been imbibed by the Göktürks from their predecessors in Mongolia.
The name of the ruling Ashina clan may derive from the Khotanese Saka term for āššɪna. According to American Heritage Dictionary The word Türk meant "strong" in Old Turkic; the Göktürk rulers originated from the Ashina clan, who were first attested to 439. The Book of Sui reports that in that year, on October 18, the Tuoba ruler Emperor Taiwu of Northern Wei overthrew Juqu Mujian of the Northern Liang in eastern Gansu, whence 500 Ashina families fled northwest to the Rouran Khaganate in the vicinity of Gaochang. Peter Benjamin Golden points out that the khaghans of the Turkic Khaganate, the Ashina, who were of an undetermined ethnic origin, adopted Iranian and Tokharian titles. German Turkologist W.-E. Scharlipp points out. According to the Book of Zhou and the History of the Northern Dynasties, the Ashina clan was a component of the Xiongnu confederation, but this connection is disputed, according to the Book of Sui and the Tongdian, they were "mixed Hu" from Pingliang. Indeed, Chinese sources linked the Hu on their northern borders to the Xiongnu just as Graeco-Roman historiographers called the Pannonian Avars and Hungarians "Scythians".
Such archaizing was a common literary topos, implied similar geographic origins and nomadic lifestyle but not direct filiation. As part of the heterogeneous Rouran Khaganate, the Türks lived for generations north of the Altai Mountains, where they'engaged in metal working for the Rouran'. According to Denis Sinor, the rise to power of the Ashina clan represented an'internal revolution' in the Rouran Khaganate rather than an external conquest. According to Charles Holcombe, the early Tujue population was rather heterogeneous and many of the names of Türk rulers, including the two founding members, are not Turkic; this is supported by evidence from the Orkhon inscriptions, which include several non-Turkic lexemes representing Uralic or Yeniseian words. Göktürk began to invade Sui Dynasty of China. However, the war ended due to the division of Turkish nobles and their civil war for the throne of Khagan. With the support of Emperor Wen of Sui, Jami Qayan won the competition. However, the Göktürk empire was divided to Western empires.
Weakened by the civil war, Jami Qayan declared allegiance to Sui Dynasty. When Sui began to decline, Shibi Khah began to assault its territory and surrounded Emperor Yang of Sui in Siege of Yanmen with 100,000 cavalry troops. After the collapse of Sui dynasty, the Göktürks intervened in the ensuing Chinese civil wars, providing support to the northeastern rebel Liu Heita against the rising Tang in 622 and 623, he enjoyed a long string of success but was routed by Li Shimin and other Tang generals and executed. Although Göktürk Khaganate once provided support to the Tang Dynasty in the early period of Chinese civil war, the conflicts between Göktürk and Tang broke out when Tang was reuniting China. Göktürk began to attack and raid the northern border of Tang Empire and once marched their main force to Chang'an, the capital of Tang. Having not been recovered from the civil war, Tang Empire had to pay tribute to Göktürk nobles. Allied with tribes against Göktürk Khaganate, Tang Empire defeated the main force of Göktürk army in Battle of Yinshan 4 years and captured Illig Qaghan in 630 AD.
With the submission of Turk tribes, Tang conquered Mongolia Plateau. After hard court debate, Emperor Taizong decided to pardon the Göktürk Nobles and offered them the positions of imperial guards. However, the plan ended in an assassination of the emperor. On May 19, 639 Ashina Jiesheshuai and his tribesmen directly assaulted Emperor Taizong of Tang at Jiucheng Palace. However, they did not succeed and fled to the north, but were caught by pursuers near the Wei River and were killed. Ashina Hexiangu was exiled to Lingbiao. After the unsuccessful raid of Ashina Jiesheshuai, on August 13, 639 Taizong installed Qilibi Khan and ordered the settled Turkic people to follow him north of the Yellow River to settle between the Great Wall of China and the Gobi Desert. However, many Göktürk generals still remain loyal service in Tang Empire. In 679, Ashide Wenfu and Ashide Fengzhi, who were Turkic leaders of the Chanyu Protectorate, declare
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethno-linguistic groups of Central, Eastern and Western Asia as well as parts of Europe and North Africa. They speak related languages belonging to the Turkic language family, they share, to certain cultural traits, common ancestry and historical backgrounds. In time, different Turkic groups came in contact with other ethnicities, absorbing them, leaving some Turkic groups more diverse than the others. Many vastly differing ethnic groups have throughout history become part of the Turkic peoples through language shift, intermixing and religious conversion. In their genetic compositions, most Turkic groups differ in origins from one group to the next. Despite this, many do share, to varying degrees, non-linguistic characteristics, including certain cultural traits, some ancestry from a common gene pool, historical experiences; the most notable modern Turkic-speaking ethnic groups include Turkish people, Uzbeks, Kazakhs and Kyrgyz people. The first known mention of the term Turk applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century.
A letter by Ishbara Qaghan to Emperor Wen of Sui in 585 described him as "the Great Turk Khan." The Orhun inscriptions use the terms Turuk. Previous use of similar terms are of unknown significance, although some feel that they are evidence of the historical continuity of the term and the people as a linguistic unit since early times; this includes Chinese records Spring and Autumn Annals referring to a neighbouring people as Beidi. During the first century CE, Pomponius Mela refers to the "Turcae" in the forests north of the Sea of Azov, Pliny the Elder lists the "Tyrcae" among the people of the same area. There are references to certain groups in antiquity whose names could be the original form of "Türk/Türük" such as Togarma, Turukha/Turuška, Turukku and so on, but the information gap is so substantial that we cannot connect these ancient people to the modern Turks. Turkologist András Róna-Tas posits that the term Turk could be rooted in the East Iranian Saka language or in Turkic. However, it is accepted that the term "Türk" is derived from the Old-Turkic migration-term Türük/Törük, which means "created", "born", or "strong", from the Old Turkic word root *türi-/töri- and conjugated with Old Turkic suffix from Proto-Turkic *türi-k, from the Proto-Turkic word root *töŕ from a Proto-Altaic source *t`ŏ̀ŕe.
This etymological concept is related to Old Turkic word stems'tür','türi-','törü' and'töz'. The earliest Turkic-speaking peoples identifiable in Chinese sources are the Dingling and Xinli, located in South Siberia; the Chinese Book of Zhou presents an etymology of the name Turk as derived from "helmet", explaining that this name comes from the shape of a mountain where they worked in the Altai Mountains. According to Persian tradition, as reported by 11th-century ethnographer Mahmud of Kashgar and various other traditional Islamic scholars and historians, the name "Turk" stems from Tur, one of the sons of Japheth. During the Middle Ages, various Turkic peoples of the Eurasian steppe were subsumed under the identity of the "Scythians". Between 400 CE and the 16th century, Byzantine sources use the name Σκύθαι in reference to twelve different Turkic peoples. In the modern Turkish language as used in the Republic of Turkey, a distinction is made between "Turks" and the "Turkic peoples" in loosely speaking: the term Türk corresponds to the "Turkish-speaking" people, while the term Türki refers to the people of modern "Turkic Republics".
However, the proper usage of the term is based on the linguistic classification in order to avoid any political sense. In short, the term Türki can be used for vice versa, it is agreed that the first Turkic people lived in a region extending from eastern Central Asia to Siberia, with the majority of them living in today China. A ethnolinguistic study claims that the Turkic people originated somewhere in modern Manchuria and adopted a nomadic lifestyle and started a migration to the west. Another research, based on genetic data of ancient Turkic samples and origin and homeland somewhere in Northeastern China, it is estimated that the ancient Turkic peoples belonged predominantly to the yDNA Haplogroup C-M217 with a medium distribution of Haplogroup Q-M242 and Haplogroup N-M231. They were established after the 6th century BCE; the earliest separate Turkic peoples appeared on the peripheries of the late Xiongnu confederation about 200 BCE. Turkic people may be related to the Xiongnu and Tiele people.
According to the Book of Wei, the Tiele people were the remnants of the Chidi, the red Di people competing with the Jin in the Spring and Autumn period. Turkic tribes such as the Khazars and Pechenegs lived as nomads for many years before establishing the Turkic Khaganate or Göktürk Empire in the 6th century; these were herdsmen and nobles. The first mention of
The Orkhon inscriptions known as Orhon Inscriptions, Orhun Inscriptions, Khöshöö Tsaidam monuments, or Kul Tigin steles, are two memorial installations erected by the Göktürks written in Old Turkic alphabet in the early 8th century in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. They were erected in honor of Kul Tigin and his brother Bilge Khagan; the inscriptions, in both Chinese and Old Turkic, relate the legendary origins of the Turks, the golden age of their history, their subjugation by the Chinese, their liberation by Ilterish Qaghan. In fact, according to one source, the inscriptions contain "rhythmic and parallelistic passages" that resemble that of epics; the inscriptions were discovered by Nikolay Yadrintsev's expedition in 1889, published by Vasily Radlov. The original text was written in the Old Turkic alphabet and was deciphered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893. Vilhelm Thomsen first published the translation in French in 1899, he published another interpretation in Danish in 1922 with a more complete translation.
Orkhon Valley is a region on the western Orkhon River near Ögii Lake. More they stand about fifty miles north of the Erdene Zuu Monastery, twenty-five miles northwest of the Ordu-Baliq. Before the Orkhon Inscriptions were deciphered by Vilhelm Thomsen little was known about Turkic script; the scripts are the oldest form of a Turkic language to be preserved. When the Orkhon inscriptions were first discovered, it was obvious that they were a runic type of script, discovered at other sites, but these versions had a clear form, similar to an alphabet; when Vilhelm Thomsen deciphered the translation it was a huge stepping stone in understanding old Turkic script. The inscriptions provided much of the foundation for translating other Turkic writings; the scripts follow an alphabetical form, but appear to have strong influences of rune carvings. The inscriptions are a great example of early signs of nomadic society's transitions from use of runes to a uniform alphabet, influenced that of the Uighur script and Sogdian language.
Both inscriptions are part of the Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape UNESCO world heritage site in Mongolia. TIKA showed interest in the site in the late 20th century and finalized their project to restore and protect all three inscriptions. Since 2000, over 70 archeologists from around the world have studied the area and performed excavations; the site is now protected by fences with buildings for research storage of artifacts. The total cost of the project is around 20 million dollars and will include the building of a museum to house the inscriptions and other discovered artifacts, they were erected by the Göktürks in the early 8th century. They commemorate the brothers Bilge Khagan and Kul-Tegin, one a politician and the other a military commander. Both were descendants of Ilterish Qaghan of the Second Turkic Khaganate, a prominent Turkic nomadic society during the Tang dynasty; the Göktürks have left artifacts and installations from China to Iran. But only in Mongolia have any memorials to kings and other aristocrats been found.
The ones in Khöshöö Tsaidam consist of tablets with inscriptions in Chinese and Old Turkic characters. Both monuments are stone slabs erected on carved stone turtles within walled enclosures. Bilge Khagan's stone shows a twisted dragon. In both enclosings, evidence of altars and carved depictions of human couples were found depicting the respective honorary and his spouse; the Old Turkic inscriptions on these monuments were written by Yollug Tigin, nephew of Bilge Khagan. These inscriptions together with the Tonyukuk inscription, are the oldest extant attestation of that language; the inscriptions show the sacred importance of the region, as evidenced by the statement, "If you stay in the land of the Ötüken, send caravans from there, you will have no trouble. If you stay at the Ötüken Mountains, you will live forever dominating the tribes!" A full English translation of the inscriptions may be found in The Orkhon Inscriptions: Being a Translation of Professor Vilhelm Thomsen's Final Danish Rendering The two monuments themselves have engravings on all four sides.
However, some of the script was not preserved, or is missing, therefore only portions of the original message remain. What follows is a summary of the most complete section of the inscriptions. One translation of the first and second monuments seems to indicate that the text continues from one side to the other; the first portion of the Turkic translations seems to be Bilge Khagan discussing the commemoration of the tablet, as well as mentioning the extent of the empire. One passage reads, "To the East I have made campaigns as far as the Shantung plain, reached the sea. To all these lands have I led; the forest of Mount Otiikin has no overlord. Continuing on, the inscriptions discuss the conquests of the Bilge Khagan and the struggles
The Issyk kurgan, in south-eastern Kazakhstan, less than 20 km east from the Talgar alluvial fan, near Issyk, is a burial mound discovered in 1969. It has a circumference of sixty meters, it is dated to the 4th or 3rd century BC. A notable item is a silver cup bearing an inscription; the finds are on display in Astana. It is associated with the Saka peoples. Situated in eastern Scythia just north of Sogdiana, the kurgan contained a skeleton, warrior's equipment, assorted funerary goods, including 4,000 gold ornaments. Although the sex of the skeleton is uncertain, it may have been an 18-year-old Saka prince or princess; the richness of the burial items led the skeleton to be dubbed the "golden man" or "golden princess", with the "golden man" subsequently being adopted as one of the symbols of modern Kazakhstan. A likeness crowns the Independence Monument on the central square of Almaty, its depiction may be found on the Presidential Standard of Nursultan Nazarbayev. A text was found on a silver bowl in Issyk kurgan, dated VI BC.
The context of the burial gifts indicates. The Issyk inscription is not yet deciphered, is in a Scythian dialect, constituting one of few autochthonous epigraphic traces of that language. Harmatta, using the Kharoṣṭhī script, identifies the language as Khotanese Saka dialect spoken by the Kushans. Hall, Mark E. Towards an absolute chronology for the Iron Age of Inner Asia. Antiquity 71: 863-874. Harmatta, Janos. History of Civilization of Central Asia. Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-208-1408-8, p. 421 Kuzmina, Elena Kuzmina. The Origin of the Indo-Iranians. BRILL. ISBN 900416054X. Archaeology magazine - Chieftain or Warrior Priestess
Hanyu Pinyin abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, written using Chinese characters; the system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters; the pinyin system was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang, based on earlier forms of romanizations of Chinese. It was published by revised several times; the International Organization for Standardization adopted pinyin as an international standard in 1982, was followed by the United Nations in 1986. The system was adopted as the official standard in Taiwan in 2009, where it is used for international events rather than for educational or computer-input purposes, but "some cities and organizations, notably in the south of Taiwan, did not accept this", so it remains one of several rival romanization systems in use.
The word Hànyǔ means'the spoken language of the Han people', while Pīnyīn means'spelled sounds'. In 1605, the Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci published Xizi Qiji in Beijing; this was the first book to use the Roman alphabet to write the Chinese language. Twenty years another Jesuit in China, Nicolas Trigault, issued his Xi Ru Ermu Zi at Hangzhou. Neither book had much immediate impact on the way in which Chinese thought about their writing system, the romanizations they described were intended more for Westerners than for the Chinese. One of the earliest Chinese thinkers to relate Western alphabets to Chinese was late Ming to early Qing dynasty scholar-official, Fang Yizhi; the first late Qing reformer to propose that China adopt a system of spelling was Song Shu. A student of the great scholars Yu Yue and Zhang Taiyan, Song had been to Japan and observed the stunning effect of the kana syllabaries and Western learning there; this galvanized him into activity on a number of fronts, one of the most important being reform of the script.
While Song did not himself create a system for spelling Sinitic languages, his discussion proved fertile and led to a proliferation of schemes for phonetic scripts. The Wade–Giles system was produced by Thomas Wade in 1859, further improved by Herbert Giles in the Chinese–English Dictionary of 1892, it was popular and used in English-language publications outside China until 1979. In the early 1930s, Communist Party of China leaders trained in Moscow introduced a phonetic alphabet using Roman letters, developed in the Soviet Oriental Institute of Leningrad and was intended to improve literacy in the Russian Far East; this Sin Wenz or "New Writing" was much more linguistically sophisticated than earlier alphabets, but with the major exception that it did not indicate tones of Chinese. In 1940, several thousand members attended a Border Region Sin Wenz Society convention. Mao Zedong and Zhu De, head of the army, both contributed their calligraphy for the masthead of the Sin Wenz Society's new journal.
Outside the CCP, other prominent supporters included Sun Fo. Over thirty journals soon appeared written in Sin Wenz, plus large numbers of translations, some contemporary Chinese literature, a spectrum of textbooks. In 1940, the movement reached an apex when Mao's Border Region Government declared that the Sin Wenz had the same legal status as traditional characters in government and public documents. Many educators and political leaders looked forward to the day when they would be universally accepted and replace Chinese characters. Opposition arose, because the system was less well adapted to writing regional languages, therefore would require learning Mandarin. Sin Wenz fell into relative disuse during the following years. In 1943, the U. S. military engaged Yale University to develop a romanization of Mandarin Chinese for its pilots flying over China. The resulting system is close to pinyin, but does not use English letters in unfamiliar ways. Medial semivowels are written with y and w, apical vowels with r or z.
Accent marks are used to indicate tone. Pinyin was created by Chinese linguists, including Zhou Youguang, as part of a Chinese government project in the 1950s. Zhou is called "the father of pinyin," Zhou worked as a banker in New York when he decided to return to China to help rebuild the country after the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, he became an economics professor in Shanghai, in 1955, when China's Ministry of Education created a Committee for the Reform of the Chinese Written Language, Premier Zhou Enlai assigned Zhou Youguang the task of developing a new romanization system, despite the fact that he was not a professional linguist. Hanyu Pinyin was based on several existing systems: Gwoyeu Romatzyh of 1928, Latinxua Sin Wenz of 1931, the diacritic markings from zhuyin. "I'm not the father of pinyin," Zhou said years later. It's a lo