World History

Turkey Timeline and History Highlights

Turkey Timeline Highlights


1600 – The Hittite Empire is born in Turkey, also known as Anatolia.

1274 – The Hittites battle an Egyptian army under Ramesses II at the Battle of Kadesh.

1250 – Traditional date when the Trojan War took place in northwestern Turkey.

1180 – The Hittite Empire collapses and splits into several smaller states.

1100 – Greeks begin to settle the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

657 – Greek settlers discover the city of Byzantium.

546 – ​​The Persians, led by Cyrus the Great, conquer most of Anatolia.

334 – Alexander the Great conquers Anatolia on his way to conquering the Persian Empire.

130 – Anatolia becomes part of the Roman Empire.


47 – St. Paul begins his mission in Turkey and establishes Christian churches throughout the region.

330 – Constantine the Great establishes the new capital of the Roman Empire in the city of Byzantium. He calls it Constantinople.

527 – Justinian I becomes Emperor of Byzantium. This is the golden age of the Byzantium Empire.

537 – Hagia Sophia completed.

1071 – Seljuk Turks defeat the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert. Turks control most of Anatolia.

1299 – The Ottoman Empire is founded by Osman I.

1453 – The Ottoman Empire conquers Constantinople, defeating the Byzantine Empire.

1520 – Suleiman the Magnificent becomes ruler of the Ottoman Empire. He expanded his empire to include Turkey, much of the Middle East, Greece and Hungary.

1568 – First war breaks out between Russia and Turkey. From 1586 to 1878, several more wars broke out between the two countries known as the Russo-Turkish War.

1569 – A great fire burns much of Constantinople.

1853 – The Crimean War begins between Russia and an alliance of nations including the Ottoman Empire, France and Great Britain. Russia was defeated in 1856.

1914 – World War I begins. The Ottoman Empire is allied with Germany.

1915 – The Battle of Gallipoli begins between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies. The Ottoman Empire won the battle and expelled the Allies.

1919 – World War I ends. The Ottoman Empire is defeated.1919 – Turkish military officer Mustafa Kemal Ataturk leads the Turkish War of Independence.

1923 – Republic of Turkiye is founded by Ataturk. He is appointed the first president of Turquie.

1923 – Capital moved to Ankara.

1924 – A new Turkish constitution is adopted. Religious courts are being replaced by state courts.

1925 – Fes hats are banned.

1928 – Islam is abolished as the state religion. 1929 – Women are given the right to vote and stand for office.

1930 – Constantinople’s name is officially changed to Istanbul.

1938 – Türkiye’s founding father Ataturk dies.

1939 – World War II begins. Turkey remains neutral. 1950 – First public elections are held.

1952 – Turkey becomes a member of NATO.

1960 – The military staged a coup against the government.

1974 – Turkey invades Cyprus.

1974 – The Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) is formed, seeking independence for the Kurds from Turkey.

1980 – Another coup d’état occurs, and martial law is imposed for a while.

1982 – A new constitution is introduced and martial law is lifted.

1984 – The PKK begins a guerrilla war in southeastern Turkey.

1995 – Turks attack Kurds in northern Iraq.

1999 – An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 hits Izmit, Turkey, killing about 17,000 people.

2005 – Turkey begins negotiations to join the European Union.

Turkey History Highlights:

Turkey is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This made the country an important country in world history. The city of Troy, famous for its Greek literature, was on the coast of Turkey thousands of years ago. The first great empire to form in this country was the Hittite Empire. Hittites were followed by Assyrians and then Greeks around 1100 BC. began to settle in the area. The Greeks founded many cities in the region, including Byzantium, later Constantinople, and now Istanbul. Other empires followed, including the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great, and the Roman Empire.

In 330 AD, under the reign of Roman Emperor Constantine I, Byzantium became the new capital of the Roman Empire. The city was renamed Constantinople. For hundreds of years it was the capital of Byzantium.

Turks began to migrate to the country in the 11th century. The Arabs and Seljuk Sultans conquered most of the country. The Ottoman Empire was born in the 13th century. It would become the most powerful empire in the region, reigning for 700 years. After World War I, the Ottoman Empire collapsed. However, Turkish war hero Mustafa Kemal founded the Republic of Turkiye in 1923. He became known as Ataturk, which means “Father of the Turks”.

After World War II, when the Soviet Union began demanding military bases in Turkey, the United States proclaimed the Truman Doctrine. This was primarily to ensure the security and independence of Turkey and Greece.