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Turkey History Timeline

Turkey's Information

Flag of Turkey
Land Area 769,632 km2
Water Area 13,930 km2
Total Area 783,562 km2
Population 80,274,604
Population Density 102.45 / km2
Government Type Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $1,700.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $21,100
Currency Lira (TRY)
Largest Cities
  • Istanbul (11,174,257)
  • Ankara (3,517,182)
  • Izmir (2,500,603)
  • Bursa (1,412,701)
  • Adana (1,248,988)
  • Gaziantep (1,065,975)
  • Konya (875,530)
  • Cankaya (792,189)
  • Antalya (758,188)
  • Bagcilar (724,270)
  • (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
  • (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
  • (2000) Ahmet Necdet Sezer became new president
  • (2001) Turkey found guilty by European Court of Human Rights of violating Greek Cypriots' rights during occupation of northern Cyprus
  • (2001) Pro-Islamic Virtue Party banned by Constitutional Court for anti-secular activities
  • (2001) Former Virtue Party members established Saadet, a new pro-Islamist party
  • (2002) Women given same legal equality as men
  • (2002) Turkish, Greek governments agreed to build gas pipeline with Turkey supplying gas to Greece
  • (2002) Eight ministers resigned over Prime Minister Ecevit's refusal to step down amid growing economic and political turmoil
  • (2002) New political party dedicated to social democracy launched, membership in EU
  • (2002) Islamist Justice and Development Party won control of government; leadership pledged to uphold country's secular principles
  • (2003) Turkish parliament fails approval legislation to allow US forces to launch an attack on Iraq from Turkish soil, allowed US use of Turkish airspace
  • (2003) Turkish forces dispatched into Kurdish areas in northern Iraq
  • (2003) Earthquake in Bingol area kills more than 160, many schoolchildren trapped in dormitory
  • (2003) Car bombs near Istanbul's main synagogue killed 25, injured over 200
  • (2003) Two suicide bombings at British consulate and British bank killed 28
  • (2004) Turkey banned death penalty
  • (2004) First Kurdish-language program broadcast on state TV
  • (2004) Turkey signed protocol recognizing existence of Cyprus government, cleared the way to begin accession talks for full EU membership
  • (2005) New lira currency introduced
  • (2005) Bomb attack in east killed six, PKK blamed
  • (2005) EU membership negotiations officially launched
  • (2005) Multi-billon-dollar Blue Stream pipeline carrying Russian gas under the Black Sea to Turkey opened in the port of Samsun
  • (2006) Clashes between Kurdish protesters, security forces in southeast killed over a dozen people
  • (2006) Prominent judge killed, four wounded when gunman opened fire in court
  • (2006) Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline opened
  • (2006) Resorts and Istanbul targeted by bombers, Kurdistan Freedom Falcons claim responsibility
  • (2006) PKK declared unilateral cease fire
  • (2006) Due to Ankara's failure to open ports and airports to Cypriot traffic, EU partially froze membership talks
  • (2007) Prime Minister Erdogan pressured not to run in presidential elections due to Islamist background
  • (2007) AK Party's Abdullah Gul elected president
  • (2007) Six killed, more than 100 injured in bomb blast in Ankara
  • (2007) Parliament approved military operations to pursue Kurdish rebels in Iraq
  • (2007) In referendum, voters approved plan to elect future presidents by the people, not Parliament
  • (2007) Turkey launched air strikes on fighters from Kurdish PKK movement in Iraq
  • (2007) Two explosions in Istanbul's Gungoren community killed 15, injured more than 150
  • (2008) Protests held after Parliament approved constitutional amendment allowing women to wear Islamic headscarves to university
  • (2009) Legislation proposed AK party giving giving civilian courts the power to try military personnel for threatening national security or involvement in organized crime approved by President Abdullah Gul
  • (2009) At meeting in Switzerland, Turkey and Arminia governments agreed to normalize relations
  • (2009) Government introduces measures increasing Kurdish language rights and reduce military presence in southeast, part of "Kurdish initiative"
  • (2010) 70 members of military arrested over "Sledgehammer" plot, 33 officers charged with conspiring to overthrow government
  • (2010) Debates began in Parliament over proposed constitutional changes towards democracy
  • (2010) Relationship with Israel strained after nine Turkish activists killed in Israeli commando raid on aid flotilla attempting to reach Gaza
  • (2010) 196 people indicted by Istanbul court accused of plotting to overthrow government
  • (2010) Wikileaks website published confidential cables revealing France and Austria had been blocking Turkey's EU membership
  • (2010) Turkey barred Israeli military flight from Turkish airspace in retaliation for Israel's raid on aid convoy bound for Gaza
  • (2011) Ruling AKP party won general election, Prime Minister Ergodan began third term
  • (2011) Thousands of refugees poured into Turkey due to unrest in Syria
  • (2011) Following resignations of top military leaders, President Gul appointed new leaders
  • (2011) Military strikes by Turkey launched against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq's mountains
  • (2011) 24 Turkish troops killed near Iraqi border by PKK rebels
  • (2011) Iran, Turkey agreed to cooperate to defeat Kurdish militants
  • (2011) Turkey's Kurdish minority staged protests against restrictions of their rights
  • (2011) Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador, senior diplomats over raid on Gaza-bound ship in 2010
  • (2011) Earthquake in eastern Turkey killed 279, injured 1,300, destroyed 970 buildings
  • (2011) Turkey threatens to cut electricity supply to Syria due to Syria's lethal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators
  • (2011) Turkish football corruption scandal investigated match fixing, bribery, organized crime; 61 arrested
  • (2011) Human chain more than 20 kilometers long against nuclear plant took place near Akkuyu
  • (2011) Turkish air strike kills 35 civilians near Iraq
  • (2012) Prime Minister Erdogan said bill passed by French parliament on mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman Rule was "racist" and "murdered freedom of thought"

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