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TURKEY

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Turkey description

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The historic palette of Turkey is traced to the Stone Age settlements constructed in 7500 BC, and today, unforgettable names like Cyrus the Great, Homer, Alexander the Great, Troy and the Trojan War, the Holy Roman Empire and the Medieval Crusades leap from the pages of its ancient history. Many relics and ruins of same still stand for all to view.

As for the Trojan War, there's some debate as to whether it was an actual historical reality, or whether just a story passed down.

According to Greek mythology the Trojan War occurred in the 13th or 12th century BC after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband, Menelaus, king of Sparta. The end of the war came when a giant, hollow, wooden horse was filled with soldiers and then led by Odysseus into the city of Troy. The Trojans mistakenly believed that the war was over, and were caught off guard as the Acheans entered the city, massacring the sleeping population.

In 1870 a German businessman and amateur archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, discovered the ruins of Troy, and today numerous scholars have concluded that the Trojan War was indeed based on fact; however, few argue that the Homeric poems display any actual events of the war.

Considered among one of the oldest continuously inhabited regions, the Anatolian peninsula saw some of the earliest Neolithic settlements in the world. Along this coast, many of history's important cities were built, including Ephesus, Miletus, Smyrna, and Byzantium.

Oghuz Turks migrated into Anatolia during the 11th century AD, forming the Seljuq Empire, and remained until the Mongol invasion in 1243.

Under Mongol rule many Anatolian principalities (beyliks) were founded, including the powerful Karamanids and Germiyanids. Northwest of Anatolia, around the area of Sogut, a small, seemingly insignificant state was created called the Beylik of Ottoman Dynasty, which ultimately evolved into the Ottoman Empire, and spread throughout the Balkans.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire's power grew substantially, advancing through Central Europe, under the hand of Suleiman the Magnificent.

However, as with all major empires preceding it, the Ottoman's didn't last, and their decline began in 1699, with the Treaty of Karlowitz. The empire continued to slowly deteriorate through the next few hundred years, but it wasn't until the 1900's that the Ottoman's met their end.

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