History of Turkey

The State Administration of the First Turkish State in Islamic Period

In 751, in the Battle of Talas between Chinese and Abbasids, such Turkish tribes as Karluk, Yağma and Ciğil took the side of Arabs, have accepted Islam and from this date until 10th century have largely became Muslims. Acceptance of Islam didn’t affect only social and cultural life, but also the state administration. From the idea that Turks were sent to give order and bring peace to the world, named as “Turks idea of dominating the world” and “taking power/strength of life”, and with acceptance of Islam and adoption of the idea of “jihad”, began to organize active spreading of Islam. First Turkish-Islamic state was “Karakhanids”. Ghaznavid and Seljuk rulers used the title “Sultan”.

The Importance of the Seljuk Empire from Perspective of Turkish History

After opening the Gates of Anatolia with Great Seljuks, it was accepted that instead of Byzantine, the new masters of Anatolia were Anatolian Seljuks. However, crusaders started attacking before Anatolians could adequately improve their status. These attacks fret the state, but Seljuks survived. Until Mongolian invasion, Anatolians lived in prosperity and happiness. Turks left a mark on Anatolia and its architectural works, so as of 12th century, Anatolia takes a name “Turkey”. With Mongolian invasion, migrations of Turkmens have increased. These tribes were settled along the state borders for the purpose of protecting the borders. As borders were called “point” (end), tribes were calling their leaders “Point leaders” (chieftain). With the loss of sovereignty of the Seljuk Empire, chieftains began movement for independence. This way the period of Anatolian beyliks (chiefdoms) has begun.

Ottoman Empire

History of the Ottoman Empire is examined and evaluated by particular periods. These periods are called: Beylik (chiefdom) Period (1299 and before), Establishment Period (1299-1453), Escalation Period (1453-1579), Stagnation Period (1579-1699), Retrogression Period (1699-1792) and Collapse Period (1792-1922).

Kuruluş Dönemi (1299-1453)

Chiefdom/beyliks period: Ottoman Beylik was connected to the Tribe of Kayı. In the period of Seljuks, Ertuğrul Gazi settled in Söğüt and vicinity. After Ertuğrul Gazi passed away, Osman Bey took the lead of his chiefdom/beylik.

Establishment Period (1299-1453)

Osman Bey, with his conquests, has heightened to the position of successor of Seljuk State which was about to collapse. After conquering Bilecik, Yarhisar and Inegöl, establishment of the Ottoman State was accepted and in history researches year 1299 is considered as the foundation date. In time of Orhan Bey who took the lead after Osman Bey, conquests accelerated, Bursa and Iznik were conquered. Orhan Bey, while coining money, declared independence and turned Ottoman Beylik into Ottoman State. In the Establishment Period, Ottoman State made an advance and spread to the Balkans. Edirne was conquered, in the Balkans – Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia were seized. At the same time, Beyliks which were established after the Seljuks started to come under the authority of the Ottoman State. In the Establishment Period, by order: Osman Bey, Orhan Bey, Murad I, Bayezid I (Beyazid the Thunderbolt), Mehmed I and Murat II, were the rulers of the Ottoman State. Establishment period comes to an end with the conquest of Istanbul.

Escalation Period (1453-1579)

After having conquered some important lands in the East and West and expanding borderlines of the Ottoman State, with Mehmet the Conqueror’s (Fatih Sultan Mehmet) conquest of Istanbul, Ottoman State which came to the state of “Empire”, entered the escalation period. Mehmet the Conqueror, who came to the throne after Murad II, conquered Istanbul in 1453, and İstanbul was declared the new capital of the Empire. During the Escalation period, by order: Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, Beyazid II, Selim I, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and Selim II took the throne. Especially the period of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), was the Empire’s most glorious period.

Stagnation Period (1579-1699)

Stagnation period of the Ottoman Empire started with the death of Sokullu Mehmed Pasha. Sokullu Mehmed Pasha was grand vizier during periods of Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murad III. Sokullu Mehmed Pasha, during 14 years of being grand vizier, has worked for the state’s political and military success. He was an important statesman and his death is considered as the beginning of the stagnation period of the Ottoman Empire. With inexperienced people taking the throne and weakening the central administration, internal rebellions also increased; especially Janissary’s revolt against authority had bad impact on the State. Corruption of feudal system and economic troubles brought by war time with Iran and Austria has also played an important role in stagnation. In the stagnation period, by order: Murad III, Mehmet III, Ahmet I, Mustafa I, Osman II, Murad IV, Ibrahim I, Mehmet IV, Suleiman II, Ahmet II and Mustafa II took the throne.

Retrogression Period (1699-1792)

In the history of the Ottoman Empire, period between the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 and the Treaty of Jassy in 1792, is considered as the period of retrogression. The Treaty of Karlowitz was the first treaty when Ottoman Empire lost a large amount of land in the West. After this date, the Empire’s basic politics focused on the recovery of the lost territory. In the retrogression period, by order: Mustafa II, Ahmet III, Mahmut I, Osman III, Mustafa III, Abdulhamid I and Selim III took the throne.

Collapse Period (1792-1922)

The period of disintegration of the Ottoman Empire is called the Collapse Period. This period, despite the evolving events including that the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia in 1787 in order to get back the Crimean, and Austria’s involvement in the war, was the beginning of signing the Treaty of Jassy in 1792. In the period of disintegration, by order: Selim III, Mustafa IV, Mahmut II, Abdulmecid I, Abdulaziz I, Murat V, Abdulhamid II, Sultan Mehmed Reshad (Mehmed V) and Sultan Mehmed Vahidettin (Mehmed VI) took the throne. In 1922, with the abolition of the sultanate, the Ottoman period has ended.

Republic of Turkey

Economic and military collapse of the Ottoman Empire led to the occupation of the territory of the Empire after the World War I. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey was established on 23rd of April in 1920, and, after the national struggle of the Turkish nation under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, GNAT declared the establishment of “Republic of Turkey” on 29th of October in 1923. Turkish art and culture, with the proclamation of the Republic, also experienced important changes. The new state accelerated in this period with works related to Turkish language, literature and history built upon national culture.
Basics of the new state are above all based on Turkish culture. These cultural innovations are also reflected in state administration and system. Innovations such as proclamation of the Republic, abolition of the Caliphate and Sultanate and adoption of the Latin alphabet provided existence of the modern Republic of Turkey. In the early years of the Republic, many investments were made by the state. From the 1950’s, when Democratic Party took the power, the multi-party period started. During this period, large investments in roads and factories were made by the state and private businesses started to increase. From 1950’s to 2000’s, Turkey has signed and became a member of many international conventions.
Series of radical reforms of Muslim-peasant society which turned to a modern bourgeois society and converted to only one nation which aimed to have the right to determine their own destiny, since the establishment of the state known and accepted as Ataturk’s reforms, are still ongoing. Largely due to these reforms, Turkey has become one of the most advanced and modern countries with a Muslim majority.
The Republic of Turkey is a democratic and secular constitutional state. United Nations, NATO, the European Parliament and the Organization of the Islamic Conference are some of the international organizations of which Turkey is a member. Also, from 3rd of October 2005 Turkey began negotiations for full membership to the European Union. After 1980’s as a result of liberal economic expansions, Turkey has speeded up its technology and industry attacks.


Since President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s duty ended on 16 May 2007, many political parties, mainly CHP (Republican People’s Party) were against the Prime Minister Erdogan’s possible candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections. At the start of the presidential election process, Justice and Development Party (AKP) nominated Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gül.

Presidential Elections

At the opening session of elections where the required number should be 367, CHP applied to the Constitutional Court for cancellation and stopping process of elections with argument that Assembly Standing Orders were violated. With the decision of the Constitutional Court that quorum should be 367, and as a consequence – Turkey, with world’s unseen decision, was forced to go to an early general election for not being able to elect a president.
On 28th of August 2007, by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mr. Abdullah Gül was elected as Turkey’s 11th President. He still continues his presidential duties. In the 2011 elections, with 49,95% AKP entered the Parliament with 326 deputies. Despite the increase in the percentage compared to previous elections, number of deputies who entered the Parliament decreased. AKP having the majority for the 3rd time and taking the confidence of a large audience, has carried on with its power and provided stability. In 2000’s, Turkey is making a pretty much big effort for peace in the Middle East. In this period, our relationships with Israel became distant. The outcome of this attitude is a huge sympathy Arab World has for Turkey.

Turkey, the Key-Country of Europe’s future

For the last 50 years, the European Union (EU) and Turkey have the willpower for sharing a common future. Turkey, after making application in 1959, with a partnership of European Economic Community, has signed a partnership agreement that clearly presupposed membership. This situation, from the first years of EU, showed that Turkey has an important strategic role.

In 1996, the establishment of Customs Union has developed economic integration between Turkey and EU. In 1999, also with adoption of candidate status, country initiated wide reform process. In 2005, following the decisions taken by EU member states and consensus that politically necessary criteria are adequately met for Turkey’s membership, membership negotiations began.

Political, economic and social transformation that accelerated with accession process makes Turkey each day a bit closer to the EU. Today, the rapidly changing global dynamics and shared interests, in terms of both sides of the Turkey-EU integration, make it increasingly vital and indispensable. The EU has a key role in the modernization of Turkey. Turkey also plays a key role for EU in achieving more powerful, more secure and more stable future.

Turkey as a Key to Success of Europe’s Global Economy

  • Turkey has the world’s 16th and Europe’s 6th largest economy. It is a member of G-20 and is among 10 most rapidly developing markets.
  • In 2004-2008, the average increase in GDP was 6.06%. According to OECD data, in 2017 Turkey, China and India will be first 3 countries with the highest growth rate.
  • Service, industrial and agricultural sectors, by GDP share are: 60%, 30% and 10%.
  • Turkey’s modern industry brings country to the Europe’s number one TV, DVD player and bus manufacturer, and 3rd largest steel and ceramic tile manufacturer. Turkey is in the world rankings 1st as a producer of boron, 2nd as a glass producer and 4th as a producer of big luxury boats.
  • It is at the position of the world’s largest cement exporter and 2nd largest exporter of jewelry. In addition to this, Turkey is Europe’s 2nd largest supplier of textile and clothing, and 3rd largest source of motor vehicles.
  • Turkey is the world’s 7th most popular tourist center. Istanbul, “European Capital of Culture in 2010”, was the 7th most visited city in the world.
  • In 2008, foreign direct investment inflows to Turkey reached 10 billion Euros. Turkey’s direct investments, made in more than 50 countries, amounted to 1.7 billion Euros.
  • Turkey, which is East of the West and West of the East, in its own region, has geographical, cultural and historical elements due to a unique strategic location. Turkey, like Middle East, South Caucasus, Central Asia, the Black Sea basin, Mediterranean Sea and Balkans, is an effective factor in critical areas and a trusted inter-agent.
  • With the majority of Muslim population, Turkey is unique as a country ingrained in a secular democracy.
  • Turkey, being member to both Western and Islamic organizations at the same time, is a rare country which, being under the auspice of the UN, together with Spain leads “Alliance of Civilizations” initiation.

Turkey as a Key to Success of Europe’s Global Economy

With the Muslim majority, Turkey is the only country with secular democratic basics. Turkey has characteristic showing that Islamic religion and democratic values can reconcile. Turkey, being member to both Western and Islamic organizations at the same time, is a rare country which, being under the auspice of the UN, together with Spain leads “Alliance of Civilizations” initiation. Turkey’s EU accession will strengthen its influence as the EU’s global actor, it will – by showing that EU is not closed “Christian Club” but a union of democratic values, – increase the reliability in the Islamic world, and it will send strong message of the “Clash of Civilization” to the world.