The Republic of Turkey, also known as Turkey and Türkiye, is a country located on the Anatolian peninsula and traverses two continents: Asia and Europe. It is surrounded by bodies of water that are pivotal to trade, including the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean Sea. The country has a population of more than 84 million, and its capital is Ankara.
The history of the region goes back thousands of years. The Turks were originally nomadic people from central Asia, and one of Turkey's settlements, Catal Hoyuk, is more than 8,800 years old. There was an empire created by the Hitties around 2,000 BC, during which time the empire expanded and trade thrived. The city of Troy, a major city in Homer's Iliad, was flourishing around this same time.
King Midas ruled in the Turkey region around 700 BC, and in 334 BC, Alexander the Great took over the area for Greek rule. The Roman emperor Constantine took over control of Turkey in 330 AD, making the capital Constantinople. Turkey remained part of the Roman empire until its fall and then became part of the Byzantine Empire.
In 1453, Ottoman ruler Sultan Mehmed II gained control of Turkey and ended the Byzantine empire. The Ottomans remained in power for hundreds of years until around the end of World War I, when the empire aligned itself with the losing side of the war. In 1923, modern Turkey was founded by Mustafa Kemal, who was known as Ataturk, meaning "Father of Turkey."
In 1945, Turkey joined the United Nations (UN). Several years later in 1952, it became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is a candidate country for the European Union but has yet to actually join the organization. There have been several attempted coups on the government, including one in 1960 and another in 2016, both of which failed.
Given the country's long history, there are many sites to see in Turkey:
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January 11, 2023