Article excerpt

552      First mention of T'u-kue tribe in Central Asia.

751      Chinese Buddhists driven out of Central Asia by Arab
         Muslim armies, opening the way for Turkish
         conversion to Islam.

861      Turkish slave soldiers kill the Muslim Caliph
         al-Mutawakkil. Turks become arbiters of Islamic courts
         from Cairo to Baghdad.

1071     Seliuk Turkish Sultan Alparslan Beg defeats Byzantine
         Emperor Romanus Diogenes IV at Mailzgert. Anatolia
         open for settlement by Turkish tribes.

1097     First Crusade devastates Seliuk fiefdoms and allows
         Byzantines to retake control of some of Anatolia.

1206-27  Genghis Khan begins Mongol invasion of Asia.

1236     Mongols conquer Russia.

1299     Establishment of the Ottoman Empire in central Anatolia.

1353     Ottoman invasion of Europe begins.

1453     Ottoman armies conquer Constantinople under Mehmed
         II. Collapse of Byzantine Empire.

1500s    Ottoman Empire reaches its height under Suleyman the

1648     Peace of Westphalia ends the Thirty Years War.

1699     Treaty of Karlowitz: Ottoman Empire receives it first
         major blow.

1789     Selim III, the first Westernizing sultan, ascends the

1821-8   Greek War of Independence. Turks defeated after
         Britain, Russia and France join in struggle.

1839     Gulhane Rescript ushers in major period of Ottoman
         reform, known as the tanzimat.

1854-56  Crimean War. Turks fight on the side of British and
         French against Russia.

1876-77  First Constitutional Period ended by Abdulhamid II.

1908     Young Turk Revolution.

1914     Ottoman Empire signs secret alliance with Germany

1914-18  First World War. Ottomans fight on the side of
         Germany and Austria-Hungary

1918-22  Allied occupation of Istanbul after Young Turk leaders

1919     Greek forces, encouraged by Britain and others, occupy
         Anatolia in May Turkish War of Independence starts.

1920     The Turkish Grand National Assembly meets for the
         first time on 23 April as representatives of the new
         Turkish state. Allies force sultan's government to sign
         Treaty of Sevres on 20 August, aiming to split Anatolia
         between British, French, Italian, Greek, Armenian and
         possibly Kurdish regions. Treaty is never ratified and
         Turkish troops launch offensive on Armenia to capture
         debated territory

1922     War turns in favor of Turks. Ataturk abolishes the
         sultanate on 1 November.

1923     Turkish-Greek Treaty exchanges nearly one million
         ethnic Greek Christians from Anatolia for nearly
         400,000 Turkish Muslims in Greece. The signing of the
         Lausanne Treaty on 24 July provides the basis of
         international legitimacy for the new Turkey. The
         Turkish Republic is proclaimed on 29 October, with
         Mustafa Kemal as president and Ankara as its capital.

1924     Parliament abolishes the Islamic Caliphate. Kurdish
         associations and newspapers are shut down.

1925     Kurds rise up under the leadership of Sheikh Said but
         are brutally suppressed by the state. The Kemalist
         revolution starts: Religious orders and brotherhoods are
         suppressed, the fez is abolished and the Western
         calendar adopted.

1926     The Swiss civil code and the Italian penal code are
         enacted. Treaty with Britain and Iraq resolves Mosul
         disputes and fixes Turkey's southeastern border.

1928     Introduction of the Latin alphabet. Secularism replaces
         Islam as official ethos of the state.

1934     Turks are ordered to take family names. Parliament
         grants Mustafa Kemal the surname of Ataturk. Women
         given the right to vote.

1936     Signing of the Montreux Convention gives Turkey
         sovereignty over the Straights but requires free passage
         for merchant shipping and some warships. …