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A Brief on Turkish History

Posted by nihat on April 10, 2019
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A Brief on Turkish History

If you have taken a history class anytime in the past decade, you have probably studied Greece and the Roman Empire extensively. After all, these are the foundations of modern civilization and political thought in the West. Just about all that we have is from the Greek and the Romans in origin, though we have come a long way since Aristotelian physics and the politics of Plato and Socrates. On the other hand, there are always the other countries that we do not hear so much about. These countries are not necessarily antagonists of Greece, but they are barely touched upon in a preliminary study of the Mediterranean. On maps of the ancient world, there are always the unmentioned, mysterious lands of Anatolia, Phoenicia, and Scythia. While these are just as advanced and developed as Greece and the Roman Empire, unfortunately we spend less time on these in our secondary education. Hence, the average person barely knows anything about Turkey. It is highly unfortunate, too, as our favorite Thanksgiving bird shares this country’s name.

In terms of modern geography, Turkey is located on the Anatolian peninsula. It is the dominant country on this peninsula, though parts of other countries also occupy the peninsula. If you go on your Turkey holiday, you will learn more about the exact size and political organization of Turkey beyond anything that you learned in class. Indeed, while the government is centralized, administration is not necessarily rigid. As an observer on your holidays to Turkey, you will be accustomed to seeing Turkey as an important geopolitical power. Your horizons will definitely broaden, especially if you decide to take multiple trips to see as much of this fascinating country as you can. Before Turkey was known as such, it was earliest occupied by a variety of different powers. There is no one origin of ethnic Turkish people. Some of their ancestors include the Avars and the medieval Khazar Empire. Both of these powers have since vanished from written documentation, for the most part. With that latter power in mind, though, you can see that Turkey is highly linked to the family tree of Europe. The ethnic Serbians also claim the story of the Khazars as their own.

While Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire, it shared an administrative system with various other territories throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East. This facilitated travel between the various territories, and even today you can see the influence of ancient Turkic names on the surnames of people throughout these territories. Even if the Ottoman Empire was ruled by a central government in Persia, after all, the Indo-European language that was spoken by the conquerors was highly similar to the language of the ethnic Turks. With such a complex history, your vacation will be more exciting if you learn more about the past of Turkey before you decide to take your trip. You will be able to catch up on all you missed from an inadequate school system, and take in more information too as an adult.

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