The State Structure of Turkey (City and Administration)
The Turkish Republic was established on the 29th October 1923. At the head of the republic is the State Presiden, who is elected for seven years by secret ballot. A majority of two thirds is required be fore parliament can sit.
The Turkish goverment is made up of a prime ministers. According to the decree estabished in 1982, 550 parliament members sit in parliament.
The country is divided into 82 provinces which are administered by myors, committees of municapal authorities and citizen committees. Villages are administered by village elders (muhtar).
The surface area of Turkey is divided by the Dardanelles, the sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. In the west, Turkey has boundaries with Greece (212km) and Bulgaria (269km). In the east and south east, Turkey has boundaries with four countries: The Soviet Union (610km) , Iran (454km), Iraq (331km), and Syria (870km). Geographically, Turkey is a land-bridge between Europe and Asia.
The european section of Turkey is a fertile hilly land. The Asian part of Turkey consist of an inner high plateau (1000m) with mountain ranges along the north and south coasts. The plaeau extends from the west to the Aegean coast, with many river valleys.
The western part is the most fertile section of the country. In eastern Turkey, the northern Pontus Mountains meet with the southern Taurus Mountains and from here the 1800m high Anatolian plateau. From this plateau rise the particularly high Vulkan Mountains over 3000m, while further south is the 5165m high Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in the country.
The History of Turkey from Prehistoric Times to the Hitities
Asia Minor was densely populated in the Palaeolithic Age (early Stone Age). In the fourth to third millenniums B.C. one can make a distinction between two cultural societies in Anatolia: the West with Troy and the islands just off the coast (old Trojan culture), and the highland of Alacahöyük ( High Anatolian culture).
The Hitite Empire
In 2000 B.C. Indo-Germanic Hittites were pressed forward in saveral waves from the north east to Asia Minor, and they eventually established their empire in the 15th century B.C. under the rule of their leader Labarnas. Hattuşa (now Boğazkale) was their capital. In the battle of Kadesh, Hittites gained a victory over the Egyptians during the reign of Ramses. Later on, the Hittites gradually collapsed however and Hattuşa was eventually burnt down.
From the period of the martime nations up until Alexander the Great
Asia Minor was conquered by small national ynities. In the East the Assyrians were pressed forward to Taurus, in the West and in the interior, the Indo-German origin Phrygians settled down and adopted Gordion as their capital. At the sametime, the colonization of the Greeks started. The cities of the Aegean region like Miletos, Ephesus and others, gained significance. The Lydians established their empire, the Greek city states excepting Miletos, being under their supervision in the 7th century B.C. Later on the Persians developed as a great power in Anatolia in the 6th century B.C. They rulled for 200 years and caused many wars in the area.
The Age of Hellene and Roman Rule
The victory at Granikos opened the way in Asia Minor for Alexander the Great. He conquered Anatolia and reached Afghanistan, and after his death Asia Minor was shared among his generals (Seleukos, Antigonos, and Lysimachos). In the 3rd century B.C. the Galatians (Celts) crossed the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles and plundered Asia Minor; in the west, the Kingdom of Pergamum under the rule of Philetarios was all-powerful. Later, this Kingdom extended from the Aegean region to the Medterranean, and became the cultural and economic centre of Asia Minor (the library in Pergamum and Zeus altar were buit at this time). In the 1st century A.D. the spreading of the Christian religion by the apostle St. Paul began in Anatolia.
The Byzantine Empire in Asia Minor
The political emphasis of the Roman Empire was transferred to the East, which was considered to be culturally and economically well developed, so Constantine estabished his new capital in Istanbul (330), when the history of the Byzantine Empire began.
Under the reign of Justinian, the empire reached its peak politically and culturally in the 6th century. In the 7th century, Arabs came to Asia Minor and occupied a great part of the land for the next hundred years. Later , the iconoclasm period ended after one hundred years with the victory of iconolatry supporters. In 1071, the Byzantine emperor Romanus 4 Diogenes, was defeated by Seljuks in Manzikert (Malazgirt), and with this battle, the way to Asia Minor was opened to the Seljuks. The Seljuks led many battles against the crusaders. It took them 1375 years to cross through to Europe over the Dardanelles. One hundred years later Istanbul fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks (29th May 1453)
The Seljuk and Ottoman Empires
After the victory in Manzikert (Malazgirt), the Seljuks reached the West. Nearly all Asia Minor fell under their control. Later they became divided into small units, among which three were Ottomans, who reached as far as Vienna in the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1326 Bursa fell into the hands of the Ottomans and became the first capital of the rising Ottoman Empire.
After the invasion of Asia Minor by Timur Leng (Tamerlan 1400-1402), it again came under the control of the Ottoman Empire, under Sultan Mehmet I, and in 1453, Constantinopole fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks. During the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566), the ottoman Empire reached its peak politically and culturally. The boundaries of the empire streched from Persia in the East to Gibralter in the West. In 1683, Turks attacked Austria, but were pushed back in front of Vienna, in Kahlenberg. Then the decline of the empire set in. In the following centuries large tracts of land were lost in Europe. The same occurred in the Balkan peninsula, North Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Sultans were extensively dependent upon their grand viziers and bodyguards. As a result of the Balkan War in 1911-1912, Greece and Bulgaria became independent. In 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the First World War on the side of Germany and the land was later invaded by foreign powers. This situation led to the Turkish War of Independence under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. The last sultan, Mehmet 4, who denounced Atatürk as a rebel, escaped from the country, and the cousin of the deposed sultan, Abdülmecit, was proclaimed as caliph without world power.
On October 29th 1923 the Turkish Republic was proclaimed. Atatürk became the first president, and he moved the capital of the country to Ankara.