The first great civilization in Turkey was the Hittite civilization, who worshiped the sun goddess and the storm god. The Hittites inhabited Anatolia from the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC), fighting with Egypt, where the great Ramses II ruled, they also captured Syria, but by the time the Achaean Greeks attacked Troy in 1250 BC, the Hittite empire began to decay. The great invasion of “sea people” from the Greek islands put pressure on the Hittites, and a mixture of minor kingdoms appeared at the bend of the border, which continued until Cyrus, the emperor of Persia (550-530 BC), did not attack Anatolia from the east. The Persians were expelled by Alexander the Great, who conquered the entire Middle East, from Greece to India in about 330 BC. After the death of Alexander, his generals began to divide the loot, and the civil war did not stop until the Galatians (Celts), who lived wonderfully with the Seleucidian, Pontic, Pergamon and Armenian kingdoms, declared Ankara their capital in 279 BC.
Roman rule brought relative calm and prosperity to the country for almost three centuries, provided excellent conditions for the development of Christianity. The Roman Empire began to weaken in 250 AD, until Constantine united it in 324. He began to build a new capital – a great city, which was destined to receive the name of Constantinople. Justinian (527–65) maximally glorified the Roman, or Byzantine, empire, re-conquered Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia and North Africa, but five years after his death Mohammed was born in Mecca, and Turkish history became similar to one of the most striking fairy tales. Sixty years after Muhammad heard the voice of the Lord and 50 years after his ascension over Mecca, Islamic armies threatened the walls of Constantinople (669-78), conquering everything and everyone from Constantinople to Mecca, as well as Persia and Egypt. Islamic dynasties that emerged after Muhammad began to use power and Byzantine status, but the great Turkish empire of Seljuks, which existed in the 11th century, was the first to rule the state, which is now called Turkey, as well as Iran and Iraq. The Seljuk power was undermined by crusades and raids of the Mongol hordes, but they held out until the emergence of strong and ambitious Ottomans.
The Ottoman Empire began its rule with the unification at the end of the 13th century of Turkish soldiers fleeing from the Mongols. By 1453, the Ottomans, led by Mehed the Conqueror, had enough strength to capture Constantinople. Sultan Suleiman the Wonderful (1520-66) extolled the empire, making Constantinople all the more beautiful, re-building Jerusalem and expanding the territory of the Ottoman Empire to the gates of Vienna. But only a few sultans ruling after Suleiman were capable of great rule, and by 1585 the long decline of the Ottoman Empire began. By the 19th century, degradation and incorrect government led to the strengthening of ethnic nationalism. The peoples subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, rebelled, often with direct support and encouragement from the European authorities. After a terrible battle in 1832, the kingdom of Greece was formed; soon after this, the Serbs, Bulgarians, Romanians, Albanians, Armenians and Arabs also began to strive for independence. European authorities hovered like vultures over a decaying empire, while inside Turkey various disastrous attempts to rebuild the country were suppressed by the unfortunate decision to side with Germany in the First World War. In 1918, the victorious Entente began to divide Turkey among themselves. Not a very nice sight!
From that moment, Ottoman General Mustafa Kemal began to organize resistance in order for the new government to take the fate of Turkey into its own hands for the Turks. When Greece captured Smyrna and began to move east, the Turks were shocked, but then they went into action. The war of independence continued from 1920 to 1922 and ended in the bitter victory of Turkey and the elimination of the sultanate. Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk or Father Turk) took the responsibility to completely rebuild Turkish society. By the time of his death in 1938, a constitution was adopted, polygamy and the fez, a sign of Ottoman backwardness, were prohibited. Islam ceased to be the state religion, Constantinople became Istanbul, and women got the right to vote. Atatürk remains a true hero in Turkey, his statues can be seen everywhere, and there are laws prohibiting denigrating or insulting his name.
Ataturk’s successor, Ismet Inonu, maintained dubious neutrality during World War II, after which Turkey entered a transitional period and switched to democracy. The opposition Democratic Party won the elections in 1950. In 1960, and then again in 1970, the cunning Democratic Party tried to cooperate with prudent army officers who considered despotic ways of government a violation of the constitution.