August 30 – Victory Day in Turkey

Posted on August 30, 2018

There once was an empire called the Ottoman Empire. Another name for the empire was the Turkish Empire - just Turkey. 

Under some rulers, this empire grew in size and power. Like, way back when, in the late 1600s, the Ottoman Empire included a lot of Southeastern Europe, much of Mideastern Asia, and narrow strips of Northern Africa! 

In the early 1900s, things fell apart. The Ottoman Empire joined in on World War I, fighting with the Central Powers (alongside the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria), and the Ottoman government committed genocides against the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek peoples within the empire! The Central Powers lost the war, and with that loss, the Ottoman Empire was no more.

The empire was carved up (or partitioned) into bits ruled by Britain, France, and Italy. Not long after the partitioning, the Turkish National Movement rose up to combat those three powers and Greece, and Armenia. 

Victory Day is the commemoration of the end of the last battle of the war between Greece and Turkey, on this date in 1922, and it ushered in independence for Turkey.

Turkey is very near the "cradle of Western civilization" - including the Egyptian, Mesopotamian (including Sumerian and Assyrian), Babylonian, and Phoenician  civilizations, and later the Ancient Greek civilization. 

Turkey's largest (most populous) city is Istanbul. It used to be called Byzantium and then Constantinople. Turkey is pretty much a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by seas - the Aegean, the Black Sea, and the Mediterranean. 

Check out some of the wonders of Turkey:

Ruins, including Ephesus and Mount Nemrut

Kurşunlu Waterfall

"Three Beauties" at Cappadocia

Maiden's Tower at Istanbul

The chimeras (naturally occurring "eternal flame" from methane gas coming out of the rocks)

The natural hot springs and terraces of Pamukkale

Hagia Sophia, a beautiful mosque in Istanbul

The upside-down head of Medusa at the Basilica Cistern

Surprising bits of color in Istanbul!

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