Important aspects of Turkish history include first settlers in the area around 2000 B.C. followed by a series of empires starting in the 3rd century B.C. and lasting throughout 1157 A.D. The Ottoman Empire rose in 1299 and lasted until 1923.Continue Reading
The earliest residents of the land that eventually became Turkey arrived in 2000 B.C., with the population waxing and waning depending on which empire controlled it and other land in both Asia and Europe. The Great Hun Empire began in the 3rd century B.C. and controlled Turkey as well as vast tracts of land throughout the Eurasian continent. Around 552 A.D., the Gokturk Empire rose, followed by the Uygur Empire in 741. The Avar Empire and Hazar Empire both ruled at roughly the same time between 600 and 1100 A.D.
The Turks first settled the country in the early 1200s and commenced warring against the Byzantine Empire, forming Great Seljuk Empire. During this time, the Turks kept the Holy Land from the Christians in a series of wars called the Crusades. The empire fell in 1308, due partly to Mongolian raids, to give rise to the Ottoman Age, named after Osman, a ruler of one of the Seljuk principalities.
The Ottoman Empire expanded from Europe to Africa and Asia in the 1600s and 1700s, reaching the pinnacle of its success. The Austrians thwarted the Ottoman's effort to expand further into Europe in 1683, marking the beginning of its slow slide into extinction, hastened by several revolts and World War I. Turkey became a republic in 1923.Learn more about Ancient History