Ted Thornton
History of the Middle East Database
Benchmarks in the History of the Ottoman Empire and Turkey

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click here for larger photo
Golden Horn, Istanbul

Critical Pre-Ottoman Benchmarks
1420 - 1200 BCE:   Hittite Empire in Anatolia.  

325: Council of Nicea.

330:  Emperor Constantine founds Constantinople: origins of names "Byzantium" and "Istanbul."  

451: Council of Chalcedon .

483-565: Life of Emperor Justinian I .

537: Justinian dedicates Hagia Sophia Church.

669-718: Failed Umayyad sieges against Constantinople.

1055:  Seljuk Turks capture Baghdad.  

1288: Osman, the first of thirty-six Turkish sultans.

1389: Battle of Kosovo.

1453: Ottomans under Sultan Mehmet II conquer Constantinople.

1517: Ottomans capture Egypt and Syria.

1520 -1566:  Reign of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman I, "The Magnificent."  

1529:  First Ottoman siege of Vienna.

1531:  Second Ottoman siege of Vienna.

1535: Ottomans capture Baghdad, Tripolitania, Tunisia, and Algiers.

1546: Ottomans capture Basra (southern Iraq).

1560: Battle of Djerba.

1571: Battle of Lepanto.

1588: Death of Ottoman architect Sinan.

1593 -1606:  Ottoman wars against the Hapsburgs.

1616: Blue Mosque, Istanbul is completed.

1623: Clashes with the Safavids in Iraq.

1656-1661: Koprulu Era.

1660: "Great Fire" of Istanbul .

1683: Final Ottoman siege of Vienna.  (See also 1529 and 1531)

1688: Ottomans driven from Belgrade.

1699: Treaty of Karlowitz.

1750:  Most of Iraq under the control of Georgian Mamluks.

1768 - 1774: Russo-Ottoman War (Ottoman period of self-assessment and reform begins).

1773: Tribe of Ibn Saud captures Riyadh.  

1783:  Russia occupies the Crimea.

1789 - 1807:  Reign of Ottoman sultan, Selim III and his al-nizam al-jedeed ("the new order").

1791: Treaty of Sistova.

1798:  Napoleon invades Egypt.  Beginning of the "modern period" in Middle East history.

1801: Joint British and Ottoman campaign drives French out of Egypt.

1805: Era of Muhammad Ali begins in Egypt .

1808: The great reforming Ottoman sultan, Mahmud II comes to power.

1811: Muhammad Ali defeats Wahhabis.

1815: Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo (Congress of Vienna that follows sows seeds of trouble in Middle East).

1821 - 1829: Greek war of independence from the Turks.

1826:  Reforms of Mahmud II. Janissaries massacred.

1829: Greeks gain independence from the Ottomans.  Ottomans abandon theology of jihad.

1831:  Further reforms of Mahmud II.

1832:   Ibrahim invades Syria.

1838:  Muhammad Ali overextends himself.

1839: Tanzimat "("reorganization") period.

1840: Muhammad Ali defeated by the British.

1841:  Muhammad Ali's peace treaty with the British and the Ottomans.

1854 -1855: The Crimean War.

1867:  Ottoman land and tax reform measure.

1876: "Young Ottomans" draft a constitution.

1876, April: Batak Uprising and war with Russia.

1878: Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II dissolves parliament and abolishes the constitution

1889: The "Young Turks."

1906: Young Turk revolutionary cells.

1908:  Young Turk constitutional revolution.

1910:  Albania rises up against Ottoman rule.

1912: Ottomans cede Libya to the Italians.

1913: Balkan Wars (1912-1913).

1914: Ottomans enter World War I on the side of Germany.

1915: British instigate an Arab Hashemite revolt against the Ottomans in Palestine.  Also in 1915: The Gallipoli campaign.

1917: Ottomans surrender Palestine to the British.

1920: Ataturk drives the Greeks out of Turkey.  Also in 19:20:  Treaty of Sevres.

1923:  Mustafa Kemal ("Ataturk") becomes Turkey's first president.

1923, July 24: Treaty of Lausanne brings formal recognition to the new Republic of Turkey.

1924: Ataturk abolishes the Caliphate.

1930:  Ataturk makes Istanbul the legal name for Constantinople.

1932: Turkish women gain the right to vote.

1938:  Death of Ataturk.

1960:  Turkish army coup.

1971:  Turkish army again intervenes in the country's political life.

1974:  Turkey occupies northern Cyprus.

1980:  Turkish coup.

1983:  The Refah ("Welfare") Party is founded.

1984: Kurdish separatists launch a campaign to take over parts of southeast Turkey.

1993:  Tansu Ciller becomes the first female Prime Minister in Turkey.

1996:  Turkish_Israeli defense pact (In trouble in 2004)

1996:  Necmettin Erbakan becomes the first Islamist prime minister in Turkey's history.

1997:  Army intervenes and forces the Erbakan government out.

1997:  Crackdown on Islamists.

1998:  Refah Party dissolved.    

1999: Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, is sentenced to death.

2002, November: Islamist party "Justice and Development" wins elections.

2003: Istanbul synagogue bombings.

2003: Reforms limiting power of military to intervene in politics.

2004: Islamist  Prime Minister Erdogan withdraws bill to criminalize adultery.

2004:  Islamist Metin Kaplan deported from Germany.

2004:  European Union agrees to move Turkey into entry talksProblems in 2005.

2005, October: Prosecution of novelist Orhan Pamuk sparks debate over free speech.

2006, May 17: Turkish judges shot over ban on wearing the veil in public buildings.

2006, August: Wave of bombings in Turkey perpetrated by Kurdish separatists.

2006, October: Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk wins Nobel Prize for literature.

2007, January 19: Murder of Armenian editor Hrant Dink in Istanbul and "Turkishness" law.

2007, spring: Moderate Islamist power on the rise.

2007, spring and fall: Turks threaten to invade Kurdish areas of northern Iraq; strained relations with the U.S.A.

2008, January: Proposed amendments to constitution to permit head scarves.

2008, June:  Constitutional Court bans head scarves.

2008, July 27:  Bombings in Istanbul.

2008, July 30: Constitutional Court votes to allow AKP to continue rule.

 

Turkey section of Islamic Middle East Blog

Additional Resource: NMH School Senior Seminar in Turkey, Fall, 2008

See also:

Sabrina Tavernise, "A Rumble is Heard in Ataturk's Grave," New York Times, May 20, 2007 (via NMH Virtual Desktop and ProQuest)

 

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email: tthornton@nmhschool.org

Last Revised: August 31, 2008