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Around the Globe: Turkey

Shira Yehudit Djalilmand

As we get close to Turkey you’ll see it’s situated in a very strange place, right on the border between Europe and Asia. The Sea of Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles (known together as the Turkish Straits) divide the two continents, and also divide the city of Istanbul (Constantinople). This makes Istanbul the only city in the world to span two continents.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Anatolia, Ottoman, and Atatürk

Turkey’s location at the crossroads between Europe and Asia gives it a very important strategic position in the world. And that means that Turkey has a long and bloody history. The area was first called Anatolia, after the ancient Anatolian people who settled there thousands of years ago. When Alexander the Great conquered Anatolia, it became “Hellenized” (Greek), but was then taken over by the Romans and later by the Byzantines. Next came the Seljuk Turks, who ruled until the Mongols invaded in 1243. But for over 500 years, until 1917, it was the Ottomans who ruled not only Turkey but half the world. The Ottoman Empire, based in Constantinople (now Istanbul) ruled much of Asia, Europe, and even Eretz Yisrael. In fact, it was Turkish Emperor Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who built the walls you see around Jerusalem’s Old City today. 



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