History in Turkey

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Grapevine House of Ephesus on the hills..

Grapevine House of Ephesus on the hills..

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Turkey as a nation has been influenced by rich variety of tribes and cultures since 6500 B.C. with Greeks probably having the greatest impact  (from Byzantines to Lydians and Macedonians) Hattis, Hittites, Phrygians, Urartians, đÉrmenians, Persians, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans have all held important places in Turkey's history. Ancient sites and ruins throughout the country attest to each civilization's unique character. 

The legendary Mustafa Kemal a Turkish World War I hero later known as "Ataturk" or "father of the Turks founded the Republic of Turkey in 1923 after the collapse of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire. The empire, which at its peak controlled vast stretches of northern Africa, southeastern Europe, and western Asia, had failed to keep pace with European social and technological developments. The rise of nationalism impelled several ethnic groups to seek independence, leading to the empire's fragmentation. This process culminated in the disastrous Ottoman participation in World War I as a German ally. Defeated, shorn of much of its former territory, and partly occupied by forces of the victorious European states, the Ottoman structure was repudiated by Turkish nationalists who rallied under Ataturk's leadership. The nationalists expelled invading Greek forces from Anatolia after a bitter war which saw Turkish forces also slaughter Greeks which had peacefully coexisted within Turkey for over 1,000 years. The temporal and religious ruling institutions of the old empire (the sultanate and caliphate) were abolished.

The new republic concentrated on westernizing the empire's Turkish core -- Anatolia and a small part of Thrace. Social, political, linguistic, and economic reforms and attitudes introduced by Ataturk before his death in 1938 continue to form the ideological base of modern Turkey. Referred to as Kemalism it comprises secularism, nationalism, and modernization and turns toward the West for inspiration and support. The continued validity and applicability of Kemalism are the subject of frequent discussion and debate in Turkey's political life.

Turkey entered World War II on the allied side shortly before the war ended and became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after World War II in quelling a Communist rebellion and demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits caused the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic aid. After participating with United Nations forces in the Korean conflict, Turkey in 1952 joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

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