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  • ca. 10,000 B.C. Cave deposits in Antalya and surface discoveries around Ankara and Hatay regions suggest earliest cultures.
  • ca. 1940-1780 B.C. Assyrian merchants from Mesopotamia establish trading colonies in central and eastern Anatolia; Indo-European people arrive, assimilating with existing Assyrian colonies.
  • ca. 1750 B.C. Indo-Europeans conquer Hattusas, establishing the Old Hittite Kingdom.
  • ca. 1300 B.C. The battle of Kadesh between Muwattalis and Ramses II; both sides claim victory.
  • ca. 1284 B.C. Hattusilis III and Ramses II sign peace treaty.
  • ca. 1200 B.C. Invasion by the "Sea Peoples" destroys Hittite power in Anatolia; the Trojan War.
  • ca. 1200-700 B.C. Migration of Greeks to Aegean coastal regions; establishment of Phrygian, Ionian, Lycian, Lydian, Carian, and Urartu kingdoms.
  • ca. 546 B.C. Persian King Cyrus the Great conquers Croesus of Lydia.
  • ca. 499 B.C. Persians drive out the Greeks.
  • 334 B.C. Alexander the Great drives Persians out of Anatolia.
  • 323 B.C. Alexander dies; Generals Lysimachos and Seleucus divide the Anatolian Empire.
  • 133 B.C. Attalus III dies, leaving Pergamum to Rome; Pergamum becomes the province of Asia with its capital at Ephesus.
  • 40 B.C. Mark Antony and Cleopatra marry in Antioch.
  • A.D. 47-57 St. Paul establishes first Christian community in Antioch.
  • 284 Diocletian reforms Roman administrative system.
  • 313 Edict of Milan establishes official tolerance of Christianity.
  • 330 Constantine establishes his capital at Byzantium, renaming it New Rome, then Constantinople.
  • 476 Fall of the Roman Empire; Constantinople emerges as sole religious and cultural capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • 527 Justinian ascends the throne.
  • 726 Leo III rejects the idea of icons.
  • 1054 Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches split.
  • 1071 Selçuks defeat Byzantine army at Malazgirt.
  • 1204 Crusaders sack Constantinople.
  • 1243 Mongol invasions destroy Selçuk power.
  • 1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus reclaims Constantinople.
  • 1326 Ottoman capital established at Bursa.
  • 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror takes Constantinople.
  • 1481 Reign of Beyazit II begins.
  • 1492 Columbus discovers the New World.
  • 1512 Reign of Selim I begins.
  • 1517 Selim I captures Cairo and proclaims himself caliph.
  • 1520 Reign of Süleyman begins.
  • 1566 Reign of Selim II begins.
  • 1570 Turks capture Cyprus.
  • 1571 Turks defeated at battle of Lepanto.
  • 1574 Reign of Murad III begins.
  • 1622 Osman II assassinated by the Janissaries; Ahmed I restored to throne.
  • 1687 Reign of Süleyman II begins.
  • 1699 In the Treaty of Karlowitz, the Ottoman Empire relinquishes territory for the first time.
  • 1711 Defeat of Peter the Great at Prut River.
  • 1774 Reign of Abdülhamid I begins; Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca follows defeat by Catherine the Great.
  • 1826 Janissary massacred and corps abolished; Tanzimat Reforms.
  • 1839 Reign of Abdülmecid begins.
  • 1854 Britain and France support Ottomans against Russia in the Crimean War.
  • 1861 Reign of Abdülaziz begins.
  • 1876 Reign of Abdülhamid II begins.
  • 1878 The "Sick Man of Europe" progressively deteriorates.
  • 1881 Mustafa Kemal born in Salonika.
  • 1908 Coup d'état led by Young Turks; Abdülhamid is deposed.
  • ca. 1908-09 Mehmet V installed as lame-duck sultan.
  • 1914 Ottoman Empire enters World War I as ally of Germany.
  • 1915 Turkish forces repel Anzacs at Battle of Gallipoli.
  • 1918 Reign of Mehmet VI begins; Turks surrender; Allied forces enter Istanbul.
  • 1919 Mustafa Kemal leads national resistance for sovereignty; occupational Greek army lands at Smyrna.
  • 1920 Grand National Assembly created in Ankara, with Mustafa Kemal as president.
  • 1922 Greeks driven from Anatolia; sultanate abolished.
  • 1923 The modern Republic of Turkey is established; Kemal "Atatürk" is elected president; Ankara replaces Istanbul as capital.
  • 1924 Caliphate abolished.
  • 1924-38 Atatürk institutes programs of modernism, secularism, and reform.
  • 1938 Atatürk dies.
  • 1945 Turkey declares war on Germany.
  • 1946 Turkey becomes charter member of United Nations.
  • 1952 Turkey joins NATO.
  • 1960 Military coup.
  • 1961 Army restores parliamentary government.
  • 1964 Turkey granted associate member status in European Union.
  • 1974 Turkey sends troops to northern Cyprus.
  • 1980 Military coup.
  • 1999 Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan captured in Kenya, convicted of treason, and sentenced to death. Two major earthquakes rock northwestern Turkey in August and November, killing an estimated 20,000 people.
  • 2002 Turkey lifts bans on education and broadcasting in Kurdish.
  • 2002-3 and 2005 Turkish troops join Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
  • 2002-3 Justice and Development Party (AKP) wins landslide victory at the polls.
  • 2003 Terrorist bombing at Neve Shalom synagogue and HSBC Bank in Istanbul. More than 250 are killed.
  • 2004 Turkey abolishes death penalty.
  • 2005 E.U. accession talks officially begin and are projected to last at least a decade.
  • 2006 Ribbon-cutting on new Baku Tblisi Ceyhan pipeline.
  • 2007 Tensions heat up on the border with Turkish cross-border raids into northern Iraq in response to PKK attacks on Turkish military in the south of Turkey.
  • 2009 Turkey and Armenia establish diplomatic relations.
  • 2010 Istanbul reigns (along with Pécs, Hungary, and Essen, Germany) as European Cultural Capital.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.