Abkhazia the Republic of Abkhazia, is a de facto and recognized republic on the eastern coast of the Black Sea, south of the Greater Caucasus mountains, in northwestern Georgia. It covers 8,660 square kilometres and has a population of around 240,000, its capital is Sukhumi and it is recognised as a state by Russia, Nicaragua and Syria. While Georgia lacks control over Abkhazia, the Georgian government and most United Nations member states consider Abkhazia part of Georgia, whose constitution designates the area as the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia; the status of Abkhazia is a central issue of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict and Georgia–Russia relations. The region had autonomy within Soviet Georgia at the time when the Soviet Union began to disintegrate in the late 1980s. Simmering ethnic tensions between the Abkhaz—the region's "titular ethnicity"—and Georgians—the largest single ethnic group at that time—culminated in the 1992–1993 War in Abkhazia which resulted in Georgia's loss of control of most of Abkhazia, the de facto independence of Abkhazia, the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from Abkhazia.
Despite the 1994 ceasefire agreement and years of negotiations, the dispute remains unresolved. The long-term presence of a United Nations Observer Mission and a Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States peacekeeping force failed to prevent the flare-up of violence on several occasions. In August 2008, Abkhaz forces fought against Georgian forces during the Russo-Georgian War, which led to the formal recognition of Abkhazia by Russia, the annulment of the 1994 ceasefire agreement, the termination of the UN mission. On 28 August 2008, the Parliament of Georgia declared Abkhazia a Russian-occupied territory, a stance supported by the vast majority of the international community; the Abkhazians call their homeland Аҧсны, popularly etymologised as "a land/country of the soul", yet meaning "a country of mortals". It first appeared in the seventh century in an Armenian text as Psin referring to the historical Apsilians; the state is formally designated as the "Republic of Abkhazia" or "Apsny".
The Russian Абхазия is adapted from the Georgian აფხაზეთი. In Mingrelian, Abkhazia is known as აბჟუა or სააფხაზო. Abkhazia's names in Western languages derived directly from the Russian form: Abkhazie in French. Between the 9th and 6th centuries BC, the territory of modern Abkhazia was part of the ancient Georgian kingdom of Colchis; this kingdom was subsequently absorbed in 63 BC into the Kingdom of Lazica. Between 1000 and 550 BC, the Greeks established trade colonies along the Black Sea coast of present-day Abkhazia, in particular at Pitiunt and Dioscurias, to become the capital of modern-day Abkhazia. Classical authors described various peoples living in the region and the great multitude of languages they spoke. Arrian and Strabo have given accounts of the Abasgoi and Moschoi peoples somewhere in modern Abkhazia on the eastern shore of the Black Sea; the Roman Empire conquered Lazica in the 1st century AD and ruled it until the 4th century, following which it regained a measure of independence, but remained within the Byzantine Empire's sphere of influence.
Although the exact time when the population of the region of Abkhazia was converted to Christianity has not been determined, it is known that the Stratophilus, Metropolitan of Pityus participated in the First Ecumenical Council in 325 in Nicaea. Around the mid 6th century AD, the Byzantines and the neighbouring Sassanid Persia fought for supremacy over Abkhazia for 20 years, a conflict known as the Lazic War. In 550, during the Lazic War, the Abasgians revolted against the Eastern Roman Empire and called upon Sasanian assistance. General Bessas however suppressed the Abasgian revolt. Abkhazia, or Abasgia in classic sources part of Colchis and of Lazica until the late 690s, was a princedom under Byzantine authority. Anacopia was the princedom's capital; the country was Christian, with the archbishop's seat in Pityus. An Arab incursion into Abkhazia led by Marwan II, was repelled by Leon I jointly with his Lazic and Iberian allies in 736. Leon I married Mirian’s daughter, a successor, Leon II exploited this dynastic union to acquire Lazica in the 770s.
Considered as a successor state of Lazica, this new polity continued to be referred to as Egrisi in some contemporary Georgian and Armenian chronicles. The successful defense against the Arabs, new territorial gains, gave the Abkhazian princes enough power to claim more autonomy from the Byzantine Empire. Towards circa 778, Leon II won his full independence with the help of the Khazars. During this period the Georgian language replaced Greek as the language of culture; the western Georgian kingdom flourished between 850 and 950 when it annexed significant parts of central Georgia. A period of unrest ensued, which ended as Abkhazia and eastern Georgian states were unified under a single Georgian monarchy, ruled by King Bagrat III at the end of the 10th century and the beginning of the 11th century. In 12th
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia is a British Overseas Territory on the island of Cyprus. The areas, which include British military bases and installations, as well as other land, were retained by the British under the 1960 treaty of independence, signed by the United Kingdom, Greece and representatives from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, which granted independence to the Crown colony of Cyprus; the territory serves an important role as a station for signals intelligence and provides a vital strategic part of the United Kingdom communications gathering and monitoring network in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The territory is composed of two Base Areas. One is Akrotiri, or the Western Sovereign Base Area, which includes two main bases at RAF Akrotiri and Episkopi, plus all of Akrotiri Village's district and parts of eleven other village districts; the other area is Dhekelia Cantonment, or the Eastern Sovereign Base Area, which includes a base at Ayios Nikolaos plus parts of twelve village districts.
The Sovereign Base Areas were created in 1960 by the London and Zurich Agreements, when Cyprus achieved independence from the British Empire. The United Kingdom desired to retain sovereignty over these areas, as this guaranteed the use of UK military bases on Cyprus, including RAF Akrotiri, a garrison of the British Army; the importance of the bases to the British is based on the strategic location of the island, at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, close to the Suez Canal and the Middle East. In July and August 1961, there was a series of bomb-attacks against the pipeline carrying fresh water to the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area The pipeline was breached by explosions twelve times. In 1974, following a military coup by the Cypriot National Guard attempting to achieve enosis, Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus, leading to the establishment of the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; this did not affect the status of the bases. Greek Cypriots fleeing from the Turkish forces were permitted to travel through the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area and were given humanitarian aid, with those from Achna setting up a new village, still in the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area.
The Turkish advance halted when it reached the edge of the Dhekelia Sovereign Base Area to avoid military conflict with the United Kingdom. In the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area a tented refugee camp was set up at "Happy Valley" to house Turkish Cypriots fleeing from Limassol and the villages surrounding the Area, until in 1975 they were flown out of RAF Akrotiri via Turkey to northern Cyprus; some Greek Cypriot refugees remain housed on land in the parts of Trachoni and Kolossi villages that fall within the Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area. In July 2001, protests were held at the bases by local Cypriots, unhappy with British plans to construct radio masts at the bases as part of an upgrade of British military communication posts around the world. Locals claimed the masts would endanger local lives and cause cancer, as well as have a negative impact on wildlife in the area; the British and Cypriot governments jointly commissioned health research from the University of Bristol and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Cyprus, that research project reported in 2005 that there was no evidence of health problems being caused by electromagnetic fields from the antennas.
The Sovereign Base Areas Administration has carried out assessments and surveys into the effects on wildlife, which have fed into an "Akrotiri Peninsula Environmental Management Plan", published in September 2012. The United Kingdom has shown no intention of ceding the Sovereign Base Areas in their entirety to Cypriot control, although it has offered to cede 117 square kilometres of farmland as part of the rejected Annan Plan for Cyprus; as of 2010, around 3,000 troops of British Forces Cyprus are based at Dhekelia. Ayios Nikolaos Station, in the ESBA, is an ELINT listening station of the UKUSA Agreement intelligence network; the election of left-wing Demetris Christofias as Cypriot president in February 2008 prompted concern in the United Kingdom. Christofias pledged to remove all foreign military forces from the island as part of a future settlement of the Cyprus dispute, calling the British presence on the island a "colonial bloodstain". On 29 August 2013, during the Syrian civil war, some Cypriot and British media sources speculated that long-range ballistic missiles, fired from Syria in retaliation for proposed British involvement in military intervention against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, could hit Cyprus, could deliver chemical weapons.
In some Cypriot media it was stated that the proposed interdiction of the Syrian civil war, utilising Akrotiri and Dhekelia, could recklessly endanger the Cypriot populations near to those bases. Two days earlier, on 27 August 2013, Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides had moved to calm Cypriot concerns, saying that the British bases were unlikely to play a major part in any intervention. In January 2010, a newspaper article appeared in the British press claiming that as a result of budgetary constraints arising from the Great Recession, the British Ministry of Defence drew up controversial plans to withdraw the United Kingdom's 3,000 stron
Armenia the Republic of Armenia, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Urartu was established in 860 BC and by the 6th century BC it was replaced by the Satrapy of Armenia; the Kingdom of Armenia reached its height under Tigranes the Great in the 1st century BC and became the first state in the world to adopt Christianity as its official religion in the late 3rd or early 4th century AD. The official date of state adoption of Christianity is 301; the ancient Armenian kingdom was split between the Byzantine and Sasanian Empires around the early 5th century. Under the Bagratuni dynasty, the Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia was restored in the 9th century. Declining due to the wars against the Byzantines, the kingdom fell in 1045 and Armenia was soon after invaded by the Seljuk Turks.
An Armenian principality and a kingdom Cilician Armenia was located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between the 11th and 14th centuries. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. In 1918, following the Russian Revolution, all non-Russian countries declared their independence after the Russian Empire ceased to exist, leading to the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia. By 1920, the state was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, in 1922 became a founding member of the Soviet Union.
In 1936, the Transcaucasian state was dissolved, transforming its constituent states, including the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, into full Union republics. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Armenia recognises the Armenian Apostolic Church, the world's oldest national church, as the country's primary religious establishment; the unique Armenian alphabet was invented by Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Council of Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Armenia supports the de facto independent Artsakh, proclaimed in 1991; the original native Armenian name for the country was Հայք, however it is rarely used. The contemporary name Հայաստան became popular in the Middle Ages by addition of the Persian suffix -stan.. However the origins of the name Hayastan trace back to much earlier dates and were first attested in circa 5th century in the works of Agathangelos, Faustus of Byzantium, Ghazar Parpetsi and Sebeos.
The name has traditionally been derived from Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and a great-great-grandson of Noah, according to the 5th-century AD author Moses of Chorene, defeated the Babylonian king Bel in 2492 BC and established his nation in the Ararat region. The further origin of the name is uncertain, it is further postulated that the name Hay comes from one of the two confederated, Hittite vassal states—the Ḫayaša-Azzi. The exonym Armenia is attested in the Old Persian Behistun Inscription as Armina; the Ancient Greek terms Ἀρμενία and Ἀρμένιοι are first mentioned by Hecataeus of Miletus. Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BC, he relates that the people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. According to the histories of both Moses of Chorene and Michael Chamchian, Armenia derives from the name of Aram, a lineal descendant of Hayk.
The Table of Nations lists Aram as the son of Shem, to whom the Book of Jubilees attests, "And for Aram there came forth the fourth portion, all the land of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates to the north of the Chaldees to the border of the mountains of Asshur and the land of'Arara." Jubilees 8:21 apportions the Mountains of Ararat to Shem, which Jubilees 9:5 expounds to be apportioned to Aram. The historian Flavius Josephus states in his Antiquities of the Jews, "Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus: this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia. Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the mountains of Ararat. There is evidence of an early civilisation in Armenia in the Bronze Age and earlier, dating to about 4000 BC. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 at the Areni-1 cave complex have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe and wine-producing facility.
According to the story of Hayk, the legendary founder of Armenia, around 2107 BC Hayk fought against Belus, the Babylonian God of War, at Çavuştepe along the Engil river to establish the first Armenian state. This event coinc
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre
Northern Cyprus the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is a de facto state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community to be part of the Republic of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula in the northeast to Morphou Bay, Cape Kormakitis and its westernmost point, the Kokkina exclave in the west, its southernmost point is the village of Louroujina. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the island's largest city and capital of both sides. A coup d'état in 1974, performed as part of an attempt to annex the island to Greece, prompted the Turkish invasion of Cyprus; this resulted in the eviction of much of the north's Greek Cypriot population, the flight of Turkish Cypriots from the south, the partitioning of the island, leading to a unilateral declaration of independence by the North in 1983.
Due to its lack of recognition, Northern Cyprus is dependent on Turkey for economic and military support. Attempts to reach a solution to the Cyprus dispute have been unsuccessful; the Turkish Army maintains a large force in Northern Cyprus. While its presence is supported and approved by the TRNC government, the Republic of Cyprus and the international community regard it as an occupation force, its presence has been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions. Northern Cyprus is a semi-presidential, democratic republic with a cultural heritage incorporating various influences and an economy, dominated by the services sector; the economy has seen growth through the 2000s and 2010s, with the GNP per capita more than tripling in the 2000s, but is held back by an international embargo due to the official closure of the ports in Northern Cyprus by the Republic of Cyprus. The official language is Turkish, with a distinct local dialect being spoken; the vast majority of the population consists of Sunni Muslims, while religious attitudes are moderate and secular.
Northern Cyprus is an observer of the OIC and ECO, has observer status in the PACE under the title "Turkish Cypriot Community". A united Cyprus gained independence from British rule in August 1960, after both Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed to abandon their respective plans for enosis and taksim; the agreement involved Cyprus being governed under a constitution which apportioned Cabinet posts, parliamentary seats and civil service jobs on an agreed ratio between the two communities. Within three years, tensions began to show between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in administrative affairs. In particular, disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. In 1963 President Makarios proposed unilateral changes via 13 amendments. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots rejected the proposed amendments, claiming that this was an attempt to settle constitutional disputes in favour of the Greek Cypriots and to demote Turkish status from co-founders of the state to one of minority status, removing their constitutional safeguards in the process.
Turkish Cypriots filed a lawsuit against the 13 amendments in the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus. Makarios announced that he would not comply with the decision of the SCCC, whatever it was, defended his amendments as being necessary "to resolve constitutional deadlocks" as opposed to the stance of the SCCC. On 25 April 1963, the SCCC decided; the Cyprus Supreme Court's ruling found that Makarios had violated the constitution by failing to implement its measures and that Turkish Cypriots had not been allowed to return to their positions in government without first accepting the proposed constitutional amendments. On 21 May, the president of the SCCC resigned due to Makarios's stance. On 15 July, Makarios ignored the decision of the SCCC. After the resignation of the president of the SCCC, the SCCC ceased to exist; the Supreme Court of Cyprus was formed by merging the SCCC and the High Court of Cyprus, undertook the jurisdiction and powers of the SCCC and HCC. On 30 November, Makarios legalized the 13 proposals.
In 1963, the Greek Cypriot wing of the government created the Akritas plan which outlined a policy that would remove Turkish Cypriots from the government and lead to union with Greece. The plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected they should be "violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene". On 21 December 1963, shots were fired at a Turkish Cypriot crowd that had gathered as the Greek police patrol stopped two Turkish Cypriots, claiming to ask for identification. Intercommunal violence broke out with a major Greek Cypriot paramilitary attack upon Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia and Larnaca. Though the TMT—a Turkish resistance group created in 1959 to promote a policy of taksim, in opposition to the Greek Cypriot nationalist group EOKA and its advocacy of enosis —committed a number of acts of retaliation, historian of the Cyprus conflict Keith Kyle noted that "there is no doubt that the main victims of the numerous incidents that took place during the next few months were Turks".
Seven hundred Turkish hostages, including children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia. Nikos Sampson, a nationalist and future coup leader, led a group of Greek Cypriot irregulars into the mixed suburb of Omorphita/Küçük Kaymaklı and attacked the Turkish Cypriot population. By 1964, 364 Turkish Cypriots and 174 Greek
East Thrace or Eastern Thrace known as Turkish Thrace or European Turkey, is the part of the modern Republic of Turkey, geographically part of Southeast Europe. It comprises 14 % of Turkey's total population; the rest of the country is located on the Anatolian peninsula, geographically in Western Asia. East Thrace is of historic importance as it is next to a major sea-based trade corridor and constitutes what remains of the once-vast Ottoman Empire region of Rumelia, it is also of specific geostrategic importance because the sea corridor, which includes two narrow straits, provides access to the Mediterranean Sea from the Black Sea for the navies of five countries: Russia, Romania and Georgia. The region serves as a future connector of existing Turkish and Greek high speed rail networks. East Thrace includes all in the eastern part of the historical region of Thrace; the area includes all the territories of the Turkish provinces of Edirne, Tekirdağ and Kırklareli, as well as those territories on the European continent of the provinces of Çanakkale and Istanbul.
Due to the moderating effect of the surrounding seas, the climate tends to be Mediterranean in character. It can rise to about 32 °C, similar to Asian Turkey. East Thrace has an area of 23,764 km2 smaller than Sardinia, a population of about 11 million people or about 14 percent of the total population. However, densities are skewed by the metropolis of Istanbul; the two continents are separated by the Dardanelles, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara, a route of about 361 km. The southernmost part of Eastern Thrace is called the Gallipoli peninsula. European Turkey is bordered on the west by Greece for 212 km and on the north by Bulgaria for 269 km, with the Aegean Sea to the south-west and the Black Sea to the north-east. ** Disclaimer: Sources may modify and/or release updated data, this will not be automatically reflected in these tables, additionally the refugee crisis' vast floating migrants have complicated data collection since 2013. Estimates and Census are not directly comparable. Source: Citypopulation.de mirroring data from: State Institute of Statistics, Republic of Turkey.
East Thrace was the setting for several important events in legend. The Greek myth of Hero and Leander takes place in the ancient city of Sestus. Aeneas founded the city of Aenus while trying to find new lands during his mythological travels. After the death of Alexander the Great, in the period called the Diadochi, Alexander's general Lysimachus became king of Thrace and established his capital in Lysimachia; the Battle of Adrianople in 378 was an important turning point in the decline of the Roman Empire. Çimpe Castle was the first European territory held by the Ottoman Empire. Edirne was the second capital of the Ottoman Empire after Bursa; the Gallipoli Campaign, one of the most important campaigns of the First World War, was fought on the Gallipoli peninsula. The mass killings and displacement of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913 and the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey ethnically cleansed the Orthodox populations. Prior to that the distribution of ethnoreligious groups in the local sanjaks was as follows: The Muslim millet was recorded as Turkish, while the church members of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as Greek.
In the past century modern East Thrace was the main component of the territory of the Adrianople Vilayet, which excluded the Constantinople Vilayet, but included West Thrace and parts of the Rhodopes and Sakar. A publication from December 21, 1912 in the Belgian magazine Ons Volk Ontwaakt estimated 1,006,500 inhabitants in the vilayet: Geography of Turkey Northern Thrace Upper Thracian Plain Western Thrace
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