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Turkey History Timeline

BC
  • (4th Century BC) Alexander the Great gained control over Anatolia, present-day Turkey
  • (1250 BC) Trojan War - fought for control of the Straits of Dardanelles
11 AD - 1800's
  • (11-1300 AD) Oghuz Turk nomads migrated into Anatolia, formed numerous tribal communities
  • (1288 AD) Ottoman era began with the establishment of the capital of Bursa pagan
  • (1453) Mehmut the Conqueror captured the Byzantine capital Constantinople, renamed it Istanbul, made it the Ottoman capital
  • (1520-1566) Ottoman Empire achieves height of its authority under Suleyman the Magnificent, presided over an empire that included most of North Africa, most of Eastern Europe and all of the Middle East
  • (1681) Ottomans forced to cede control of Ukraine to Russia
  • (1783) Russia asserted control of Crimea
  • (1832) Ottoman power started to wane as the Greeks rebelled, declared independence
  • (1853-1856) Crimean war against Russians, British and French supported the Turkish army
  • (1876) Last of the great Ottoman rulers, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, assumed control of the empire, instituted a new constitution; then suspended it in order to assume direct personal control
1900's
  • (1908) Group of disgruntled Turks, known as the "Young Turks", sought to restore the constitutional authority as a means to create a stronger state
  • (1909) Turkish parliament deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid, placed his brother Mehmet V in his place
  • (1914-1918) Ottomans side with Germany during World War I, and lose most of their territory
  • (1920-1922) Turkish war of independence
  • (1923) Turkey founded as a republic, Ankara named capital; military hero, Kemal Ataturk, president
  • (1925) Fez (hat) is prohibited
  • (1925) Gregorian calendar adopted
  • (1928) Constitution revised, removed Islam as the state religion
  • (1938) Upon death of President Ataturk, Ismet Inonu became president
  • (1939-1945) Turkey remained officially neutral during World War II
  • (1945) Turkey declared war on Germany and Japan, did not take part in combat
  • (1945) Turkey joined United Nations
  • (1950) Opposition democratic party won its first multi-party election
  • (1952) Turkey abandoned Ataturk's neutralist policy: joined NATO
  • (1960) Coup staged against ruling Democratic Party
  • (1961) New constitution established two-chamber parliament
  • (1965) Suleyman Demirel became prime minister
  • (1971) After spiral of political violence, Army forced Demirel's resignation
  • (1974) Pkk Kurdistan Workers Party founded
  • (1974) Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus
  • (1976) Earthquake kills more than 5,000 in Van
  • (1978) U.S. lifted trade embargo
  • (1980) Military coup followed political deadlock and civil unrest; martial law imposed
  • (1982) New constitution created seven-year presidency, reduced parliament to single house
  • (1983) Motherland Party won general election
  • (1984) Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus recognized by Turkey
  • (1984) Kurdistan Worker's Party launched violent separatist campaign for independent state in southeastern Turkey bordering on Iraq
  • (1987) Turkey applied for full EEC membership
  • (1990) Turkey allowed US-led coalition against Iraq to launch air strikes from Turkish bases
  • (1992) Kurdish safe havens in Iraq in anti-PKK operation were entered by 20,000 Turkish troops
  • (1992) Turkey joined Black Sea alliance
  • (1993) Tansu Ciller became first woman prime minister, Demirel elected president
  • (1993) Ceasefire with PKK ceased
  • (1995) Over 35,000 Turkish troops involved in major military offensive against Kurds in northern Iraq
  • (1995) Ciller coalition collapsed
  • (1995) Pro-Islamist Welfare Party won elections, but lacked support to form government
  • (1995) Anti-Islamist coalition formed by two major center-right parties
  • (1995) Turkey admitted to EU Customs Union
  • (1996) Center-right coalition failed
  • (1996) Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan headed first pro-Islamic government
  • (1997) After campaign led by the military, coalition resigned, and was replaced by new coalition led by the center-right Motherland Party of Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz
  • (1998) Welfare Party banned
  • (1998) Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz resigned amid corruption allegations, replaced by Bulent Ecevit
  • (1999) PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan captured, sentenced to life imprisonment
  • (1999) Earthquake at Izmit in northwest Turkey killed 17,000
  • (1999) Second quake in Izmit three months later killed hundreds more

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.