Anatolia

Anatolia (from Greek Ἀνατολή Anatolḗ; Turkish: Anadolu "east" or "[sun]rise"), also known as Asia Minor (Medieval and Modern Greek: Μικρά Ἀσία Mikrá Asía, "small Asia"; Turkish: Küçük Asya), Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula, or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east, and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.

The eastern border of Anatolia is traditionally held to be a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea, bounded by the Armenian Highland to the east and Mesopotamia to the southeast. Thus, traditionally Anatolia is the territory that comprises approximately the western two-thirds of the Asian part of Turkey. Nowadays, Anatolia is also often considered to be synonymous with Asian Turkey, which comprises almost the entire country;[5] its eastern and southeastern borders are widely taken to be Turkey's eastern border.[6] By some definitions, the area called the Armenian highlands lies beyond the boundary of the Anatolian plateau. The official name of this inland region is the Eastern Anatolia Region.[7][8]

The ancient inhabitants of Anatolia spoke the now-extinct Anatolian languages, which were largely replaced by the Greek language starting from classical antiquity and during the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. Major Anatolian languages included Hittite, Luwian, and Lydian among other more poorly attested relatives. The Turkification of Anatolia began under the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century and continued under the Ottoman Empire between the late 13th and early 20th centuries. However, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Neo-Aramaic, Armenian, Arabic, Laz, Georgian and Greek. Other ancient peoples in the region included Galatians, Hurrians, Assyrians, Hattians, Cimmerians, as well as Ionian, Dorian, and Aeolian Greeks.

Anatolia
Native name:
Anadolu
AnatolieLimits
The traditional definition of Anatolia within modern Turkey[1][2]
Geography
Location
Coordinates39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°ECoordinates: 39°N 35°E / 39°N 35°E
Area756,000 km2 (292,000 sq mi)[3]
Administration
Turkey
Capital and largest cityAnkara (pop. 5,270,575[4])
Demographics
DemonymAnatolian
LanguagesTurkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, Arabic, Kabardian, various others
Ethnic groupsTurks, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs, Laz, various others

Geography

Modern-day Turkey and Europe NASA modified
The location of Turkey (within the rectangle) in reference to the European continent. Anatolia roughly corresponds to the Asian part of Turkey
1907 map of Asia Minor-Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography by Samuel Butler
1907 map of Asia Minor, showing the local ancient kingdoms. The map includes the East Aegean Islands and the island of Cyprus to Anatolia's continental shelf.

Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to an indefinite line running from the Gulf of Alexandretta to the Black Sea,[9] coterminous with the Anatolian Plateau. This traditional geographical definition is used, for example, in the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary,[1] Under this definition, Anatolia is bounded to the east by the Armenian Highlands, and the Euphrates before that river bends to the southeast to enter Mesopotamia.[2] To the southeast, it is bounded by the ranges that separate it from the Orontes valley in Syria (region) and the Mesopotamian plain.[2]

Following the Armenian genocide, Ottoman Armenia was renamed "Eastern Anatolia" by the newly established Turkish government.[10][11] Vazken Davidian terms the expanded use of "Anatolia" to apply to territory formerly referred to as Armenia an "ahistorical imposition", and notes that a growing body of literature is uncomfortable with referring to the Ottoman East as "Eastern Anatolia".[12] Most archeological sources consider the boundary of Anatolia to be Turkey's eastern border.[13]

The highest mountains in Anatolia are Mount Süphan (4058 m) and Mount Ararat (5123 m).[14] The Euphrates, Araxes Karasu and Murat rivers connect the Anatolian plateau to the South Caucasus and the Upper Euphrates Valley. Along with the Çoruh, these rivers are the longest in Anatolia.[15]

Etymology

The oldest known reference to Anatolia – as “Land of the Hatti” – appears on Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets from the period of the Akkadian Empire (2350–2150 BC). The first recorded name the Greeks used for the Anatolian peninsula, Ἀσία (Asía),[16] presumably echoed the name of the Assuwa league in western Anatolia. As the name "Asia" broadened its scope to apply to other areas east of the Mediterranean, Greeks in Late Antiquity came to use the name Μικρὰ Ἀσία (Mikrá Asía) or Asia Minor, meaning "Lesser Asia" to refer to present-day Anatolia.

The English-language name Anatolia itself derives from the Greek ἀνατολή (anatolḗ) meaning “the East” or more literally “sunrise” (comparable to the Latin-derived terms "levant" and "orient").[17][18] The precise reference of this term has varied over time, perhaps originally referring to the Aeolian, Ionian and Dorian colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the Byzantine Empire, the Anatolic Theme (Ἀνατολικόν θέμα) was a theme covering the western and central parts of Turkey's present-day Central Anatolia Region.[19][20]

The term "Anatolia" is Medieval Latin.[21]

The modern Turkish form of Anatolia, Anadolu, derives from the Greek name Aνατολή (Anatolḗ). The Russian male name Anatoly and the French Anatole share the same linguistic origin.

Names

The term "Anatolia" originally referred to a northwestern Byzantine province. By the 12th century Europeans had started referring to Anatolia as Turchia. It has historically also been called "Asia Minor". In earlier times, it was called "(Land of the) Rûm" by both the Greeks and the Seljuqs.[22]

During the era of the Ottoman Empire mapmakers outside the Empire referred to the mountainous plateau in eastern Anatolia as Armenia. Other contemporary sources called the same area Kurdistan.[23] Geographers have variously used the terms east Anatolian plateau and Armenian plateau to refer to the region, although the territory encompassed by each term largely overlaps with the other. According to archaeologist Lori Khatchadourian this difference in terminology "primarily result[s] from the shifting political fortunes and cultural trajectories of the region since the nineteenth century."[13]

Turkey's First Geography Congress in 1941 created two regions to the east of the Gulf of Iskenderun-Black Sea line named the Eastern Anatolia Region and the Southeastern Anatolia Region,[24] the former largely corresponding to the western part of the Armenian Highland, the latter to the northern part of the Mesopotamian plain. According to Richard Hovannisian this changing of toponyms was "necessary to obscure all evidence" of Armenian presence as part of a campaign of genocide denial embarked upon by the newly established Turkish government and what Hovannisian calls its "foreign collaborators".[25]

History

Prehistory

Museum of Anatolian Civilizations003
Mural of aurochs, a deer, and humans in Çatalhöyük, which is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. It was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012.[26]

Human habitation in Anatolia dates back to the Paleolithic.[27] Neolithic Anatolia has been proposed as the homeland of the Indo-European language family, although linguists tend to favour a later origin in the steppes north of the Black Sea. However, it is clear that the Anatolian languages, the earliest attested branch of Indo-European, have been spoken in Anatolia since at least the 19th century BC.

Ancient Near East (Bronze and Iron Ages)

Hattians and Hurrians

The earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region and are from the Mesopotamian-based Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BC. Scholars generally believe the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians. The Hattians spoke a language of unclear affiliation, and the Hurrian language belongs to a small family called Hurro-Urartian, all these languages now being extinct; relationships with indigenous languages of the Caucasus have been proposed[28] but are not generally accepted. The region was famous for exporting raw materials, and areas of Hattian- and Hurrian-populated southeast Anatolia were colonised by the Akkadians.[29]

Assyrian Empire (21st–18th centuries BC)

After the fall of the Akkadian Empire in the mid-21st century BC, the Assyrians, who were the northern branch of the Akkadian people, colonised parts of the region between the 21st and mid-18th centuries BC and claimed its resources, notably silver. One of the numerous cuneiform records dated circa 20th century BC, found in Anatolia at the Assyrian colony of Kanesh, uses an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines.[29]

Hittite Kingdom and Empire (17th–12th centuries BC)

Lion Gate, Hattusa 01
The Lion Gate at Hattusa, capital of the Hittite Empire. The city's history dates to before 2000 BC.

Unlike the Akkadians and their descendants, the Assyrians, whose Anatolian possessions were peripheral to their core lands in Mesopotamia, the Hittites were centred at Hattusa (modern Boğazkale) in north-central Anatolia by the 17th century BC. They were speakers of an Indo-European language, the Hittite language, or nesili (the language of Nesa) in Hittite. The Hittites originated of local ancient cultures that grew in Anatolia, in addition to the arrival of Indo-European languages. Attested for the first time in the Assyrian tablets of Nesa around 2000BC, they conquered Hattusa in the 18th century BC, imposing themselves over Hattian- and Hurrian-speaking populations. According to the widely accepted Kurgan theory on the Proto-Indo-European homeland, however, the Hittites (along with the other Indo-European ancient Anatolians) were themselves relatively recent immigrants to Anatolia from the north. However, they did not necessarily displace the population genetically, they would rather assimilate into the former peoples' culture, preserving the Hittite language however.

The Hittites adopted the cuneiform script, invented in Mesopotamia. During the Late Bronze Age circa 1650 BC, they created a kingdom, the Hittite New Kingdom, which became an empire in the 14th century BC after the conquest of Kizzuwatna in the south-east and the defeat of the Assuwa league in western Anatolia. The empire reached its height in the 13th century BC, controlling much of Asia Minor, northwestern Syria and northwest upper Mesopotamia. They failed to reach the Anatolian coasts of the Black Sea, however, as a non-Indo-European people, the semi-nomadic pastoralist and tribal Kaskians, had established themselves there, displacing earlier Palaic-speaking Indo-Europeans.[30] Much of the history of the Hittite Empire concerned war with the rival empires of Egypt, Assyria and the Mitanni.[31]

The Egyptians eventually withdrew from the region after failing to gain the upper hand over the Hittites and becoming wary of the power of Assyria, which had destroyed the Mitanni Empire.[31] The Assyrians and Hittites were then left to battle over control of eastern and southern Anatolia and colonial territories in Syria. The Assyrians had better success than the Egyptians, annexing much Hittite (and Hurrian) territory in these regions.[32]

Neo-Hittite kingdoms (c. 1180–700 BC)

After 1180 BC, during the Late Bronze Age collapse, the Hittite empire disintegrated into several independent Syro-Hittite states, subsequent to losing much territory to the Middle Assyrian Empire and being finally overrun by the Phrygians, another Indo-European people who are believed to have migrated from the Balkans. The Phrygian expansion into southeast Anatolia was eventually halted by the Assyrians, who controlled that region.[32]

Arameans

Arameans encroached over the borders of south central Anatolia in the century or so after the fall of the Hittite empire, and some of the Syro-Hittite states in this region became an amalgam of Hittites and Arameans. These became known as Syro-Hittite states.

Luwians
Dalyan - Caunos2
Lycian rock cut tombs of Kaunos (Dalyan)

Another Indo-European people, the Luwians, rose to prominence in central and western Anatolia circa 2000 BC. Their language belonged to the same linguistic branch as Hittite.[33] The general consensus amongst scholars is that Luwian was spoken across a large area of western Anatolia, including (possibly) Wilusa (Troy), the Seha River Land (to be identified with the Hermos and/or Kaikos valley), and the kingdom of Mira-Kuwaliya with its core territory of the Maeander valley.[34] From the 9th century BC, Luwian regions coalesced into a number of states such as Lydia, Caria and Lycia, all of which had Hellenic influence.

Neo-Assyrian Empire (10th–7th centuries BC)

From the 10th to late 7th centuries BC, much of Anatolia (particularly the southeastern regions) fell to the Neo-Assyrian Empire, including all of the Syro-Hittite states, Tabal, Kingdom of Commagene, the Cimmerians and Scythians and swathes of Cappadocia.

The Neo-Assyrian empire collapsed due to a bitter series of civil wars followed by a combined attack by Medes, Persians, Scythians and their own Babylonian relations. The last Assyrian city to fall was Harran in southeast Anatolia. This city was the birthplace of the last king of Babylon, the Assyrian Nabonidus and his son and regent Belshazzar. Much of the region then fell to the short-lived Iran-based Median Empire, with the Babylonians and Scythians briefly appropriating some territory.

Cimmerian and Scythian invasions (8th–7th centuries BC)

From the late 8th century BC, a new wave of Indo-European-speaking raiders entered northern and northeast Anatolia: the Cimmerians and Scythians. The Cimmerians overran Phrygia and the Scythians threatened to do the same to Urartu and Lydia, before both were finally checked by the Assyrians.

Greek West

Achaemenid Satrap Asia Minor end of 6th century BCE
Portrait of an Achaemenid Satrap of Asia Minor (Heraclea, in Bithynia), end of 6th century BCE, probably under Darius I.[35]

The north-western coast of Anatolia was inhabited by Greeks of the Achaean/Mycenaean culture from the 20th century BC, related to the Greeks of south eastern Europe and the Aegean.[36] Beginning with the Bronze Age collapse at the end of the 2nd millennium BC, the west coast of Anatolia was settled by Ionian Greeks, usurping the area of the related but earlier Mycenaean Greeks. Over several centuries, numerous Ancient Greek city-states were established on the coasts of Anatolia. Greeks started Western philosophy on the western coast of Anatolia (Pre-Socratic philosophy).[36]

Classical Antiquity

Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period - general map - regions and main settlements
Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period. The classical regions and their main settlements
Asia Minor in the 2nd century AD - general map - Roman provinces under Trajan - bleached - English legend
Asia Minor in the early 2nd century AD. The Roman provinces under Trajan.
Templeofathenaprienemay2007
The temple of Athena (funded by Alexander the Great) in the ancient Greek city of Priene

In classical antiquity, Anatolia was described by Herodotus and later historians as divided into regions that were diverse in culture, language and religious practices.[37] The northern regions included Bithynia, Paphlagonia and Pontus; to the west were Mysia, Lydia and Caria; and Lycia, Pamphylia and Cilicia belonged to the southern shore. There were also several inland regions: Phrygia, Cappadocia, Pisidia and Galatia.[37]

Dying gaul
The Dying Galatian was a famous statue commissioned some time between 230–220 BC by King Attalos I of Pergamon to honor his victory over the Celtic Galatians in Anatolia.

Anatolia is known as the birthplace of minted coinage (as opposed to unminted coinage, which first appears in Mesopotamia at a much earlier date) as a medium of exchange, some time in the 7th century BC in Lydia. The use of minted coins continued to flourish during the Greek and Roman eras.[38][39]

During the 6th century BC, all of Anatolia was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the Persians having usurped the Medes as the dominant dynasty in Iran. In 499 BC, the Ionian city-states on the west coast of Anatolia rebelled against Persian rule. The Ionian Revolt, as it became known, though quelled, initiated the Greco-Persian Wars, which ended in a Greek victory in 449 BC, and the Ionian cities regained their independence, alongside the withdrawal of the Persian forces from their European territories.

In 334 BC, the Macedonian Greek king Alexander the Great conquered the peninsula from the Achaemenid Persian Empire.[40] Alexander's conquest opened up the interior of Asia Minor to Greek settlement and influence.

Nemrut Dağı 12
Sanctuary of Commagene Kings on Mount Nemrut (1st century BC)

Following the death of Alexander and the breakup of his empire, Anatolia was ruled by a series of Hellenistic kingdoms, such as the Attalids of Pergamum and the Seleucids, the latter controlling most of Anatolia. A period of peaceful Hellenization followed, such that the local Anatolian languages had been supplanted by Greek by the 1st century BC. In 133 BC the last Attalid king bequeathed his kingdom to the Roman Republic, and western and central Anatolia came under Roman control, but Hellenistic culture remained predominant. Further annexations by Rome, in particular of the Kingdom of Pontus by Pompey, brought all of Anatolia under Roman control, except for the eastern frontier with the Parthian Empire, which remained unstable for centuries, causing a series of wars, culminating in the Roman-Parthian Wars.

Early Christian Period

After the division of the Roman Empire, Anatolia became part of the East Roman, or Byzantine Empire. Anatolia was one of the first places where Christianity spread, so that by the 4th century AD, western and central Anatolia were overwhelmingly Christian and Greek-speaking. For the next 600 years, while Imperial possessions in Europe were subjected to barbarian invasions, Anatolia would be the center of the Hellenic world.

It was one of the wealthiest and most densely populated places in the Late Roman Empire. Anatolia's wealth grew during the 4th and 5th centuries thanks, in part, to the Pilgrim's Road that ran through the peninsula. Literary evidence about the rural landscape has come down to us from the hagiographies of 6th century Nicholas of Sion and 7th century Theodore of Sykeon. Large urban centers included Ephesus, Pergamum, Sardis and Aphrodisias. Scholars continue to debate the cause of urban decline in the 6th and 7th centuries variously attributing it to the Plague of Justinian (541), and the 7th century Persian incursion and Arab conquest of the Levant.[41]

In the ninth and tenth century a resurgent Byzantine Empire regained its lost territories, including even long lost territory such as Armenia and Syria (ancient Aram).

Late Medieval Period

Asia Minor ca 842 AD
Byzantine Anatolia and the Byzantine-Arab frontier zone in the mid-9th century
Anatolia1300
Beyliks and other states around Anatolia, c. 1300.

In the 10 years following the Battle of Manzikert in 1071, the Seljuk Turks from Central Asia migrated over large areas of Anatolia, with particular concentrations around the northwestern rim.[42] The Turkish language and the Islamic religion were gradually introduced as a result of the Seljuk conquest, and this period marks the start of Anatolia's slow transition from predominantly Christian and Greek-speaking, to predominantly Muslim and Turkish-speaking (although ethnic groups such as Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians remained numerous and retained Christianity and their native languages). In the following century, the Byzantines managed to reassert their control in western and northern Anatolia. Control of Anatolia was then split between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm, with the Byzantine holdings gradually being reduced.[43]

In 1255, the Mongols swept through eastern and central Anatolia, and would remain until 1335. The Ilkhanate garrison was stationed near Ankara.[43][44] After the decline of the Ilkhanate from 1335–1353, the Mongol Empire's legacy in the region was the Uyghur Eretna Dynasty that was overthrown by Kadi Burhan al-Din in 1381.[45]

By the end of the 14th century, most of Anatolia was controlled by various Anatolian beyliks. Smyrna fell in 1330, and the last Byzantine stronghold in Anatolia, Philadelphia, fell in 1390. The Turkmen Beyliks were under the control of the Mongols, at least nominally, through declining Seljuk sultans.[46][47] The Beyliks did not mint coins in the names of their own leaders while they remained under the suzerainty of the Mongol Ilkhanids.[48] The Osmanli ruler Osman I was the first Turkish ruler who minted coins in his own name in 1320s, for it bears the legend "Minted by Osman son of Ertugrul".[49] Since the minting of coins was a prerogative accorded in Islamic practice only to a sovereign, it can be considered that the Osmanli, or Ottoman Turks, became formally independent from the Mongol Khans.[50]

Ottoman Empire

Among the Turkish leaders, the Ottomans emerged as great power under Osman I and his son Orhan I.[51][52] The Anatolian beyliks were successively absorbed into the rising Ottoman Empire during the 15th century.[53] It is not well understood how the Osmanlı, or Ottoman Turks, came to dominate their neighbours, as the history of medieval Anatolia is still little known.[54] The Ottomans completed the conquest of the peninsula in 1517 with the taking of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum) from the Knights of Saint John.[55]

Modern times

Ethnicturkey1911
Ethnographic map of Anatolia from 1911.

With the acceleration of the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century, and as a result of the expansionist policies of the Russian Empire in the Caucasus, many Muslim nations and groups in that region, mainly Circassians, Tatars, Azeris, Lezgis, Chechens and several Turkic groups left their homelands and settled in Anatolia. As the Ottoman Empire further shrank in the Balkan regions and then fragmented during the Balkan Wars, much of the non-Christian populations of its former possessions, mainly Balkan Muslims (Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Turks, Muslim Bulgarians and Greek Muslims such as the Vallahades from Greek Macedonia), were resettled in various parts of Anatolia, mostly in formerly Christian villages throughout Anatolia.

A continuous reverse migration occurred since the early 19th century, when Greeks from Anatolia, Constantinople and Pontus area migrated toward the newly independent Kingdom of Greece, and also towards the United States, southern part of the Russian Empire, Latin America and rest of Europe.

Following the Russo-Persian Treaty of Turkmenchay (1828) and the incorporation of the Eastern Armenia into the Russian Empire, another migration involved the large Armenian population of Anatolia, which recorded significant migration rates from Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) toward the Russian Empire, especially toward its newly established Armenian provinces.

Anatolia remained multi-ethnic until the early 20th century (see the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire). During World War I, the Armenian Genocide, the Greek genocide (especially in Pontus), and the Assyrian genocide almost entirely removed the ancient indigenous communities of Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian populations in Anatolia and surrounding regions. Following the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, most remaining ethnic Anatolian Greeks were forced out during the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Many more have left Turkey since, leaving fewer than 5,000 Greeks in Anatolia today. Since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, Anatolia has been within Turkey, its inhabitants being mainly Turks and Kurds (see demographics of Turkey and history of Turkey).

Geology

Anatolia's terrain is structurally complex. A central massif composed of uplifted blocks and downfolded troughs, covered by recent deposits and giving the appearance of a plateau with rough terrain, is wedged between two folded mountain ranges that converge in the east. True lowland is confined to a few narrow coastal strips along the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Black Sea coasts. Flat or gently sloping land is rare and largely confined to the deltas of the Kızıl River, the coastal plains of Çukurova and the valley floors of the Gediz River and the Büyük Menderes River as well as some interior high plains in Anatolia, mainly around Lake Tuz (Salt Lake) and the Konya Basin (Konya Ovasi).

There are two mountain ranges in southern Anatolia: the Taurus and the Zagros mountains.[56]

Climate

Klima ankara

Ankara (central Anatolia)

Klima antalya

Antalya (southern Anatolia)

Klima van

Van (eastern Anatolia)

Anatolia has a varied range of climates. The central plateau is characterized by a continental climate, with hot summers and cold snowy winters. The south and west coasts enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate, with mild rainy winters, and warm dry summers.[57] The Black Sea and Marmara coasts have a temperate oceanic climate, with cool foggy summers and much rainfall throughout the year.

Ecoregions

There is a diverse number of plant and animal communities.

The mountains and coastal plain of northern Anatolia experiences humid and mild climate. There are temperate broadleaf, mixed and coniferous forests. The central and eastern plateau, with its drier continental climate, has deciduous forests and forest steppes. Western and southern Anatolia, which have a Mediterranean climate, contain Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub ecoregions.

  • Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests: These temperate broadleaf and mixed forests extend across northern Anatolia, lying between the mountains of northern Anatolia and the Black Sea. They include the enclaves of temperate rainforest lying along the southeastern coast of the Black Sea in eastern Turkey and Georgia.[58]
  • Northern Anatolian conifer and deciduous forests: These forests occupy the mountains of northern Anatolia, running east and west between the coastal Euxine-Colchic forests and the drier, continental climate forests of central and eastern Anatolia.[59]
  • Central Anatolian deciduous forests: These forests of deciduous oaks and evergreen pines cover the plateau of central Anatolia.[60]
  • Central Anatolian steppe: These dry grasslands cover the drier valleys and surround the saline lakes of central Anatolia, and include halophytic (salt tolerant) plant communities.[61]
  • Eastern Anatolian deciduous forests: This ecoregion occupies the plateau of eastern Anatolia. The drier and more continental climate is beneficial for steppe-forests dominated by deciduous oaks, with areas of shrubland, montane forest, and valley forest.[62]
  • Anatolian conifer and deciduous mixed forests: These forests occupy the western, Mediterranean-climate portion of the Anatolian plateau. Pine forests and mixed pine and oak woodlands and shrublands are predominant.[63]
  • Aegean and Western Turkey sclerophyllous and mixed forests: These Mediterranean-climate forests occupy the coastal lowlands and valleys of western Anatolia bordering the Aegean Sea. The ecoregion has forests of Turkish pine (Pinus brutia), oak forests and woodlands, and maquis shrubland of Turkish pine and evergreen sclerophyllous trees and shrubs, including Olive (Olea europaea), Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo), Arbutus andrachne, Kermes Oak (Quercus coccifera), and Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis).[64]
  • Southern Anatolian montane conifer and deciduous forests: These mountain forests occupy the Mediterranean-climate Taurus Mountains of southern Anatolia. Conifer forests are predominant, chiefly Anatolian black pine (Pinus nigra), Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani), Taurus fir (Abies cilicica), and juniper (Juniperus foetidissima and J. excelsa). Broadleaf trees include oaks, hornbeam, and maples.[65]
  • Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests: This ecoregion occupies the coastal strip of southern Anatolia between the Taurus Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Plant communities include broadleaf sclerophyllous maquis shrublands, forests of Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis) and Turkish Pine (Pinus brutia), and dry oak (Quercus spp.) woodlands and steppes.[66]

Demographics

Almost 80% of the people currently residing in Anatolia are Turks. Kurds constitute a major community in southeastern Anatolia,[67] and are the largest ethnic minority. Abkhazians, Albanians, Arabs, Arameans, Armenians, Assyrians, Azerbaijanis, Bosnian Muslims, Circassians, Gagauz, Georgians, Serbs, Greeks, Hemshin, Jews, Laz, Levantines, Pomaks, Zazas and a number of other ethnic groups also live in Anatolia in smaller numbers.

Cuisine

Bamia is a traditional Anatolian-era stew dish prepared using lamb, okra and tomatoes as primary ingredients.[68]

See also

References

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Bibliography

  • Steadman, Sharon R.; McMahon, Gregory (2011). McMahon, Gregory; Steadman, Sharon, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Anatolia:(10,000–323 BCE). Oxford University Press Inc. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195376142.001.0001. ISBN 9780195376142

Further reading

  • Akat, Uücel, Neşe Özgünel, and Aynur Durukan. 1991. Anatolia: A World Heritage. Ankara: Kültür Bakanliǧi.
  • Brewster, Harry. 1993. Classical Anatolia: The Glory of Hellenism. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Donbaz, Veysel, and Şemsi Güner. 1995. The Royal Roads of Anatolia. Istanbul: Dünya.
  • Dusinberre, Elspeth R. M. 2013. Empire, Authority, and Autonomy In Achaemenid Anatolia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gates, Charles, Jacques Morin, and Thomas Zimmermann. 2009. Sacred Landscapes In Anatolia and Neighboring Regions. Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • Mikasa, Takahito, ed. 1999. Essays On Ancient Anatolia. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Takaoğlu, Turan. 2004. Ethnoarchaeological Investigations In Rural Anatolia. İstanbul: Ege Yayınları.
  • Taracha, Piotr. 2009. Religions of Second Millennium Anatolia. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
  • Taymaz, Tuncay, Y. Yilmaz, and Yildirim Dilek. 2007. The Geodynamics of the Aegean and Anatolia. London: Geological Society.

External links

  • Media related to Anatolia at Wikimedia Commons
Black Sea Region

The Black Sea Region (Turkish: Karadeniz Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey.

It is bordered by the Marmara Region to the west, the Central Anatolia Region to the south, the Eastern Anatolia Region to the southeast, the Republic of Georgia to the northeast, and the Black Sea to the north.

Central Anatolia Region

The Central Anatolia Region (Turkish: İç Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey.

Central Anatolia Region (statistical)

The Central Anatolia Region (Turkish: Orta Anadolu Bölgesi) (TR7) is a statistical region in Turkey.

Central East Anatolia Region (statistical)

The Central East Anatolia Region (Turkish: Ortadoğu Anadolu Bölgesi) (TRB) is a statistical region in Turkey.

Eastern Anatolia Region

The Eastern Anatolia Region (Turkish: Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey.

The region and the name "Doğu Anadolu Bölgesi" were defined at the First Geography Congress in 1941. It has the highest average altitude, largest geographical area, and lowest population density of all regions of Turkey. Prior to getting its current name from the Turkish state, most of the region was part of the Six Armenian provinces in the region known as the Armenian Highlands. After the Armenian Genocide, the geopolitical term "Eastern Anatolia" was coined to replace what had historically been known as Western Armenia.

Erzincan Province

Erzincan Province (Turkish: Erzincan ili) is a province in the eastern region of Anatolia, Turkey, and home to Erzincan, a city which was destroyed and rebuilt after an earthquake of magnitude 7.9 on December 27, 1939. The population was 224,949 in 2010.

Geographical regions of Turkey

The geographical regions of Turkey comprise seven regions (Turkish: bölge) which were originally defined at the country's First Geography Congress in 1941. These seven regions are subdivided into twenty one sections (Turkish: bölüm), which are further split into numerous areas (Turkish: yöre) as defined by microclimate and bounded by local geographic formations.

"Regions" as defined in this context are merely for geographic, demographic, and economic purposes, and do not refer to an administrative division.

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe (pronounced [ɟœbecˈli teˈpe]), Turkish for "Potbelly Hill", is an archaeological site in the Southeastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, approximately 12 km (7 mi) northeast of the city of Şanlıurfa. The tell has a height of 15 m (49 ft) and is about 300 m (980 ft) in diameter. It is approximately 760 m (2,490 ft) above sea level.

The tell includes two phases of use believed to be of a social or ritual nature dating back to the 10th–8th millennium BCE. During the first phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA), circles of massive T-shaped stone pillars were erected – the world's oldest known megaliths. More than 200 pillars in about 20 circles are currently known through geophysical surveys. Each pillar has a height of up to 6 m (20 ft) and weighs up to 10 tons. They are fitted into sockets that were hewn out of the bedrock. In the second phase, belonging to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), the erected pillars are smaller and stood in rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime. The site was abandoned after the PPNB. Younger structures date to classical times.

The details of the structure's function remain a mystery. It was excavated by a German archaeological team under the direction of Klaus Schmidt from 1996 until his death in 2014. Schmidt believed that the site was a sanctuary where people from a wide region periodically congregated, not a settlement. In 2018, the site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

History of Turkey

See History of the Republic of Turkey for the history of the modern state.The history of Turkey, understood as the history of the region now forming the territory of the Republic of Turkey, includes the history of both Anatolia (the Asian part of Turkey) and Eastern Thrace (the European part of Turkey).

For times predating the Ottoman period, a distinction must be made between the history of the Turkish peoples, and the history of the territories now forming the Republic of Turkey, essentially the histories of ancient Anatolia and Thrace.The name Turkey is derived from Middle Latin Turchia, i.e. the "land of the Turks", historically referring to an entirely different territory of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which fell under the control of Turkic peoples in the early medieval period.

From the time when parts of what is now Turkey was conquered by Turks, the history of Turkey spans the medieval history of the Seljuk Empire, the medieval to modern history of the Ottoman Empire, and the history of the Republic of Turkey since the 1920s.

Hittites

The Hittites () were an Anatolian people who played an important role in establishing an empire centered on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC. This empire reached its height during the mid-14th century BC under Suppiluliuma I, when it encompassed an area that included most of Anatolia as well as parts of the northern Levant and Upper Mesopotamia.

Between the 15th and 13th centuries BC, the Empire of Hattusa, conventionally called the Hittite Empire, came into conflict with the Egyptian Empire, Middle Assyrian Empire and the empire of the Mitanni for control of the Near East. The Assyrians eventually emerged as the dominant power and annexed much of the Hittite empire, while the remainder was sacked by Phrygian newcomers to the region. After c. 1180 BC, during the Bronze Age collapse, the Hittites splintered into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until the 8th century BC before succumbing to the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

The Hittite language was a distinct member of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family, and along with the related Luwian language, is the oldest historically attested Indo-European language. Hittites referred to their native language as nešili "in the language of Nesa" but called their native land as Kingdom of Hattusa (Hatti in Akkadian). The conventional name "Hittites" is due to their initial identification with the Biblical Hittites in 19th century archaeology. Despite their use of the name Hattusa for their state, the Hittites should be distinguished from the Hattians, an earlier people who inhabited the region of Hattusa (until the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC) and spoke an unrelated language known as Hattic.The history of the Hittite civilization is known mostly from cuneiform texts found in the area of their kingdom, and from diplomatic and commercial correspondence found in various archives in Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt and the Middle East, the decipherment of which was also a key event in the history of Indo-European linguistics. The Hittite military made successful use of chariots, and, although belonging to the Bronze Age, the Hittites were the forerunners of the Iron Age, developing the manufacture of iron artifacts from as early as the 18th century BC; at this time, gifts from the "man of Burushanda" of an iron throne and an iron sceptre to the Kaneshite king Anitta were recorded in the Anitta text inscription. The Hittites were the first of the Indo-European people to make use of iron. Due to the widespread availability of iron ore, this allowed them to create weapons that were much stronger and cheaper. The Hittite empire fell victim to the Bronze Age Collapse around the beginning of the 12th century BC. Ethnic Hittite dynasties survived in small kingdoms scattered around modern Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Lacking a unifying continuity, their descendants are scattered and ultimately have merged into the modern populations of the Levant, Turkey and Mesopotamia.During the 1920s, interest in the Hittites increased with the founding of the modern Republic of Turkey and attracted the attention of Turkish archaeologists such as Halet Çambel and Tahsin Özgüç. During this period, the new field of Hittitology also influenced the naming of institutions, such as the state-owned Etibank ("Hittite bank"), and the foundation of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, located 200 kilometers west of the Hittite capital and housing the most comprehensive exhibition of Hittite art and artifacts in the world.

Nevşehir Province

Nevşehir Province (Turkish: Nevşehir ili) is a province in central Turkey with its capital in Nevşehir. Its adjacent provinces are Kırşehir to the northwest, Aksaray to the southwest, Niğde to the south, Kayseri to the southeast, and Yozgat to the northeast. Nevşehir includes the area called Cappadocia - a very popular tourist attraction in Turkey. The famous town of Göreme is also located in Nevşehir.

Cappadocia once included the area now covered by this province. This province is notable for the fairy chimneys of Göreme, the Ortahisar (middle fortress), a number of old churches from the Byzantine period.

Northeast Anatolia Region (statistical)

The Northeast Anatolia Region (Turkish: Kuzeydoğu Bölgesi) (TRA) is a statistical region in Turkey.

Seljuk Empire

The Seljuk Empire (Persian: آل سلجوق‎, translit. Āl-e Saljuq, lit. 'House of Saljuq') or Great Seljuq Empire was a medieval Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim empire, originating from the Qiniq branch of Oghuz Turks. The Seljuk Empire controlled a vast area stretching from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, and from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf. The Seljuk empire was founded by Tughril Beg (1016–1063) in 1037. From their homelands near the Aral Sea, the Seljuks advanced first into Khorasan and then into mainland Persia, before eventually conquering eastern Anatolia. Here the Seljuks won the battle of Manzikert in 1071 and conquered most of Anatolia from the Byzantine Empire, which became one of the reasons for the first crusade (1095-1099). From c. 1150-1250, the Seljuk empire declined, and was invaded by the Mongols around 1260. The Mongols divided Anatolia into emirates. Eventually one of these, the Ottoman, would conquer the rest.

Seljuk gave his name to both the Seljuk empire and the Seljuk dynasty. The Seljuks united the fractured political landscape of the eastern Islamic world and played a key role in the first and second crusades. Highly Persianized in culture and language, the Seljuks also played an important role in the development of the Turko-Persian tradition, even exporting Persian culture to Anatolia. The settlement of Turkic tribes in the northwestern peripheral parts of the empire, for the strategic military purpose of fending off invasions from neighboring states, led to the progressive Turkicization of those areas.

Sivas Province

Sivas Province (Turkish: Sivas İli), (Kurdish: Sêwas) is a province of Turkey. It is largely located at the eastern part of the Central Anatolia region of Turkey; it is the second largest province in Turkey by territory. Its adjacent provinces are Yozgat to the west, Kayseri to the southwest, Kahramanmaraş to the south, Malatya to the southeast, Erzincan to the east, Giresun to the northeast, and Ordu to the north. Its capital is Sivas.

The majority of Sivas Province shares the climate of the Central Anatolian Region, in which the summer seasons are hot and dry, while winter seasons are cold and snowy. However, the northern part of the province shares the Black Sea climate, while the eastern portion shares the climate of the Eastern Anatolian higher region.

This province is noted for its thermal springs.

Southeast Anatolia Region (statistical)

The Southeast Anatolia Region (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi) (TRC) is a statistical region in Turkey.

Southeastern Anatolia Region

The Southeastern Anatolia Region (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey.

It is bordered by the Mediterranean Region to the west, the Eastern Anatolia Region to the north, Syria to the south, and Iraq to the southeast.

Sultanate of Rum

The Sultanate of Rûm (also known as the Rûm sultanate (Persian: سلجوقیان روم‎, Saljuqiyān-e Rum), Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate, Sultanate of Iconium, Anatolian Seljuk State (Turkish: Anadolu Selçuklu Devleti) or Turkey Seljuk State (Turkish: Türkiye Selçuklu Devleti) was a Turko-Persian Sunni Muslim state established in the parts of Anatolia which had been conquered from the Byzantine Empire by the Seljuk Empire, which was established by the Seljuk Turks. The name Rûm was a synonym for Greek, as it remains in modern Turkish, although it derives from the Arabic name for Romans, الرُّومُ ar-Rūm, itself a loan from Greek Ῥωμαῖοι, "Romans"; ie. citizens superordinately to Latin-speakers.The Sultanate of Rum seceded from the Great Seljuk Empire under Suleiman ibn Qutulmish in 1077, following the Battle of Manzikert, with capitals first at İznik and then at Konya. It reached the height of its power during the late 12th and early 13th century, when it succeeded in taking Byzantine key ports on the Mediterranean and Black Sea coasts. In the east, the sultanate absorbed other Turkish states and reached Lake Van. Trade from Iran and Central Asia across Anatolia was developed by a system of caravanserai. Especially strong trade ties with the Genoese formed during this period. The increased wealth allowed the sultanate to absorb other Turkish states that had been established in eastern Anatolia (Danishmends, Mengujekids, Saltukids, Artuqids).

The Seljuq sultans bore the brunt of the Crusades and eventually succumbed to the Mongol invasion in 1243 (Battle of Köse Dağ). For the remainder of the 13th century, the Seljuqs acted as vassals of the Ilkhanate. Their power disintegrated during the second half of the 13th century. The last of the Seljuq vassal sultans of the Ilkhanate, Mesud II, was murdered in 1308. The dissolution of the Seljuq state left behind many small Anatolian beyliks (Turkish principalities), among them that of the Ottoman dynasty, which eventually conquered the rest and reunited Anatolia to become the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish people

Turkish people or the Turks (Turkish: Türkler), also known as Anatolian Turks (Turkish: Anadolu Türkleri), are a Turkic ethnic group and nation living mainly in Turkey and speaking Turkish, the most widely spoken Turkic language. They are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, as well as by far the largest ethnic group among the speakers of Turkic languages. Ethnic Turkish minorities exist in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, a Turkish diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe.

Turks arrived from Central Asia and settled in the Anatolian basin in around the 11th century through the conquest of Seljuk Turks, mixing with the peoples of Anatolia. The region then began to transform from a predominately Greek Christian one to a Turkish Muslim society. Thereafter, the Ottoman Empire came to rule much of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East (excluding Iran), and North Africa over the course of several centuries, with an advanced army and navy. The Empire lasted until the end of the First World War, when it was defeated by the Allies and partitioned. Following the successful Turkish War of Independence that ended with the Turkish national movement retaking most of the land lost to the Allies, the movement abolished the Ottoman sultanate on 1 November 1922 and proclaimed the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923. Not all Ottomans were Muslims and not all Ottoman Muslims were Turks, but by 1923, the majority of people living within the borders of the new Turkish republic identified as Turks.

Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution defines a "Turk" as "anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship"; therefore, the legal use of the term "Turkish" as a citizen of Turkey is different from the ethnic definition. However, the majority of the Turkish population are of Turkish ethnicity and are estimated at 70–75 percent.

West Anatolia Region (statistical)

The West Anatolia Region (Turkish: Batı Anadolu Bölgesi) (TR5) is a statistical region in Turkey.

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